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Gaslight (A Victorian Thriller) by Patrick Hamilton – The Phoenix Theatre Company

Saturday 17th – Saturday 24th March at 7.30pm

The play is set in the first-floor drawing room of the Manninghams’ 4-storey house in Victorian England. Welcome to a world of swirling fog, shadows and gloomy gas-lit interiors, the troubled world of Bella Manningham. For Bella is a woman beset by fears; afraid of the dark she is terrified by mysterious sounds in empty rooms at night; afraid to assert herself over the servants (particularly the precocious scullery-maid Nancy). Most of all she fears she is descending into madness like her mother who died insane. Grateful for the little kindnesses bestowed by her husband she endeavours to please him but unexplained incidents only serve to come between them and undermine her self esteem as Manningham threatens to call in doctors to have her put away. And then a stranger appears; he seems to know a lot about her… is he friend or foe? What does he want? As the plot unfolds secrets start to reveal that Bella is in extreme danger…

The cast includes Amanda Smith as ‘Bella’, Gareth Wigg as ‘Manningham’, Michelle Cooper as ‘Nancy’, Jacky Bedford as the housekeeper ‘Elizabeth’ and Ray Smith as the Stranger.

Brian Jackson

 Keith Thompson – UK Singer/Songwriter – Acoustic/Blues – Saturday 14th April at 7.30pm

Having toured the length and breadth of the UK and Europe as a solo artist and with his band, a couple of years ago Keith released an acoustic album, “Steel Strings & Bruised Reed” to much critical acclaim. Now in 2018 Keith has followed that with a new acoustic based album called, “Two Minutes To Midnight”. Blues In Britain have already stated, “Here is a British blues artist who delivers one of surely the best acoustic based albums you’ll hear this year. The recording quality is excellent, and as said, he’s in great voice throughout and remains on very fine form as a musician but on top of that is a songwriter of the highest order. Very highly recommended”. Keith has been consistently performing in mainland Europe now for 20+ years, where he is well known to a large following as an exciting live performer. Over the years he has released a lot of incidental music for television programs and soundtrack projects and he has sold over 100,000 albums. Keith also writes songs and music for other artists and musical projects. Recent credits include, “Road to Recovery” the AA’s theme tune. His song “Preaching The Blues” was voted into third place in the “People’s Voice” competition, being the only UK finalist in the International Song-writing Competition (Blues Category) out of over 16000 entries.

Keith Thompson’s website – http://www.densitymusic.com/

Keith James – The Songs of Nick Drake – Sunday 15th April at 7.30pm

A haunting and immaculately crafted concert.  This concert begins with an introductory set of timeless songs by brilliant songwriters – all contemporary with Nick Drake.

Richard Thompson, Roy Harper, Sandy Denny, Al Stewart, Vashti Bunyan, John Martyn, Bridget St John and Bert Jansch.

Also featured are two poems by William Blake which Keith has set to guitar arrangements based on Nick’s unique style.

Nick Drake is the most revered and loved of all this country’s singer/songwriters. He recorded three cherished Albums between 1969 and 1972 but was almost entirely unknown in his day. After his tragic death in 1974, aged only 26, his music almost disappeared into obscurity. Now, thanks to a massive resurgence of interest and a worldwide re-evaluation of his genius, Nick Drake has become a National treasure. An important book, Remembered for a while has been recently released, written by his elder Sister Gabrielle Drake. This volume throws light on almost everything attributed to Nick’s brief career as a songwriter and recording artist as well as on many corners of mystery and supposition.

A number of years have now passed since singer/guitarist Keith James paralysed the whole country with his stunningly beautiful series of concerts entitled The Songs of Nick Drake. At the beginning of the project in 2001 he was the first artist ever to bring this fragile and intriguing music to theatres across the UK in its pure live concert form. The end result was over a decade of highly acclaimed concerts amounting to over 1500 shows in venues in the UK, Ireland, Holland, France, Italy and Spain including all of Nick’s Schools and Colleges – even Glastonbury Festival.

‘Some of the most atmospheric and emotive music you will ever hear’ The Independent

‘Keith James has become a pillar of trust. A sublimely intimate and engaging voice’ Sunday Times

‘a sensitive and pleasingly understated delivery, all the better that the songs might speak for themselves’ Acoustic Magazine

Keith James’ website www.keith-james.com

Upcoming films being shown at The Phoenix Theatre include (see http://www.rosscinema.com for details) :

Victoria & Abdul – 17th February

The Zookeeper’s Wife – 3rd March

Hampstead – 25th March