The Unfamiliars Scratch Lab: Tales for the Fireside

Friday 30th November 7.30pm – 10.00pm An evening showcasing some of the finest creative types Colchester has on offer. Expect comedy, music, magic, art, performance, poetry, spoken word and the unfamiliar. Taking place in different and exciting locations each monthly show is built around a theme. This month: Themed “Tales For The Fireside”, the Scratch … Continue reading The Unfamiliars Scratch Lab: Tales for the Fireside

Friday 30th November 7.30pm – 10.00pm

An evening showcasing some of the finest creative types Colchester has on offer. Expect comedy, music, magic, art, performance, poetry, spoken word and the unfamiliar. Taking place in different and exciting locations each monthly show is built around a theme. This month:

Themed “Tales For The Fireside”, the Scratch Lab contains an hour of curated content, a mini exhibition and the launch of the new issue of the Unfamiliars zine. Expect enthralling tales, gothic experiences and just darn good stories.

Featuring:

Lisa Temple-Cox

Lee Ashcroft

and more!

The evening will be hosted by Lewis Walker and Tourism Superstar 2017 Nominee Gemma Abbott.

Alongside all of the above there’ll be a limited edition zine boasting contributions from a host of incredible talent.

The event takes place downstairs at Red Lion Books. Seats are limited! Guarantee yours by booking in advance or chance it and pay what you want on the door.*

Tickets available from Eventbrite here

Book of the Week, November 17th 2018

Drawing Europe Together

Axel Scheffler and others

Drawing Europe Together

Axel Scheffler and others

The Gruffalo has been the most popular children’s picture book over the last twenty years. It is a collaboration between English writer Julia Donaldson and German illustrator Axel Scheffler, who originally came to the UK as a student and has made his home here for 36 years. With Brexit, his future here is uncertain. He … Continue reading Book of the Week, November 17th 2018

The Gruffalo has been the most popular children’s picture book over the last twenty years. It is a collaboration between English writer Julia Donaldson and German illustrator Axel Scheffler, who originally came to the UK as a student and has made his home here for 36 years. With Brexit, his future here is uncertain. He realised that without easy movement of people across Europe’s borders the world-famous Gruffalo might never have been born. Scheffler has invited children’s book illustrators from across Europe to draw a picture that expresses their thoughts and feeling about Europe.

One shows a group of children all playing together……. except one who plays alone in the corner. Another has a baby dinosaur asking its parent, ‘Do grown up dinosaurs always know what is best for little dinosaurs?’ This is a collection of 45 pictures, touchingly simple but with a powerful and passionate message.

PanMacmillan Hardback, £12.99

Book of the Week, November 10th 2018

The Overstory

Richard Powers

The Overstory

Richard Powers

This is a big book.  It is long.  It has a vast gallery of characters and spans centuries. But most importantly is big in ambition. The novel opens with introductions to a range of separate characters. There is a family of Iowan farmers who, over generations, tend a single giant chestnut growing in the middle … Continue reading Book of the Week, November 10th 2018

This is a big book.  It is long.  It has a vast gallery of characters and spans centuries. But most importantly is big in ambition. The novel opens with introductions to a range of separate characters. There is a family of Iowan farmers who, over generations, tend a single giant chestnut growing in the middle of the treeless plains. There is a soldier in Vietnam whose life is saved when, falling with a twisted parachute, he lands in a Banyan tree. There is the daughter of a Chinese immigrant who inherits a jade ring with a delicately carved image of a mulberry tree.

The lives of these characters and others eventually converge as they join forces as eco-warrios to save the last virgin forests from commercial logging.

Throughout this sprawling novel the most important presence is really the trees themselves. The complex interconnected forest community exerts its influence over all the characters and over us as readers in this powerful ecological fable.

Heineman, Hardback £18.99

Book of the Week, November 2nd 2018

Without Walls

edited by Alice Goss

Without Walls

edited by Alice Goss

Homelessness in Colchester is nothing new. At the turn of the 20th century two of our town’s most well-known residents were Emma and Grimes, an inseparable couple, devoted to each other though famous for their bickering, who slept in ditches and toured the streets scrounging for food. This book describes itself as ‘an anthology of … Continue reading Book of the Week, November 2nd 2018

Homelessness in Colchester is nothing new. At the turn of the 20th century two of our town’s most well-known residents were Emma and Grimes, an inseparable couple, devoted to each other though famous for their bickering, who slept in ditches and toured the streets scrounging for food.

This book describes itself as ‘an anthology of new poetry in aid of Colchester’s homeless’, but it is so much more. It contains a wide, varied and endlessly interesting collection of poems all on the theme of Colchester and its history by poets both well-known and unknown. But interleaved are many fine paintings and drawings by local artists as well as photographs that complement the poems.  Added to that are fascinating articles on Colchester’s history and on homelessness and vagrancy over time, making this a book that really does have something for everyone. Author and historian, Alice Goss has done a splendid job in shaping poems, pictures and history into a coherent themed anthology to raise funds to help Colchester’s homeless people.

Hardback £15.00

Book of the Week, October 27th

The Man Who Painted Colchester and Sudbury.

Charles Debenham

The Man Who Painted Colchester and Sudbury.

Charles Debenham

Anyone who has spent much time in Colchester has quite likely encountered an elderly chap with flowing white hair and moustache, sitting beside his easel with paintbrush in hand. Charles Debenham was born and raised in Colchester and has been painting the buildings and street scenes around the town for most of his life – … Continue reading Book of the Week, October 27th

Anyone who has spent much time in Colchester has quite likely encountered an elderly chap with flowing white hair and moustache, sitting beside his easel with paintbrush in hand. Charles Debenham was born and raised in Colchester and has been painting the buildings and street scenes around the town for most of his life – as well as straying over the border to Sudbury.

He doesn’t seek out just the pretty buildings and he doesn’t wait for the sun to shine before he paints – always with his distinctive palette of muted colours. Here are pictures of corner shops, pubs, tattoo parlours and simple terraces with wheelie bins. For Charles Debenham, painting a building is like painting a portrait – each one has a story to tell, but it can take the fresh eyes of an artist to reveal that character. And some also record the life of people in the streets. Buskers and mothers pushing buggies; shoppers and friends talking at the roadside. Together these pictures form a portrait gallery of the people and buildings of Colchester and Sudbury.

Paperback, £15.00