Entertainment

It’ll be funny, it might help you understand Alzheimer’s better – and it’s already got Rob Gee a new job.

He’s the comic behind Forget Me Not – The Alzheimer’s Whodunit, and when NHS bosses heard about it, they offered him a role helping to prevent vulnerable elderly patients being abused by staff.

GIVING DEMENTIA A HUMAN FACE – Rob Gee’s show is based on his experience with challenging patients

He based the show on his experience as a nurse of people with “challenging behaviour” in the late stages of dementia. In the play, Jim’s wife has died from what appears to be natural causes but the retired detective smells a rat and sets out to solve one last case. The problem is he also has dementia.

Rob plays Jim and 14 other characters in Forget Me Not, delivering a series of clues, plot twists and red herrings, drawing on his 12 years as a registered nurse as well as a long career as a poet and comic working alongside the likes of Jo Brand, Sarah Millican and Jimmy Carr.

As for his new job, he’s been recruited by Leicesteshire NHS to run a series of dementia care workshops, training staff in areas such as whistle-blowing, as well as teaching them how to provide more compassionate care for dementia sufferers.

“I’ll be using both my skills as a psychiatric nurse and my skills as a comic, which is great,” Rob says. “I’m excited about it, because I think it shows the NHS are taking the subject of institutional bullying seriously and really want to do something about it.

“It’s much harder to be cruel to someone if you see them as a human being with the same thoughts and feelings as you and that’s what I want to get across.

“I hope in the future vulnerable patients will be treated better because of some trickle effect that began in my workshops. I hope it means that elderly people will have a nicer experience at the end of their life.”

He was hired after NHS executives heard of his one-man show Forget Me Not – The Alzheimer’s Whodunit. The boardroom execs were so impressed they booked him on the spot.

You can check out the play for yourself at the Star Inn, Guildford, on Sunday (21 July).

The Physics House Band may not sound like your average band name – but then this foursome are not your average band.

They create avant-garde compositions that capture everything from jazz to prog to psych to doom-metal, all combined together with a furious energy transcending to their mind-bending live shows.

DARKNESS AND LIGHT – The Physics House Band

Their recently completed third record explores further into the expanses of intense darkness and light, involving soft ambient synths, angular guitars and saxophones.

The bulk of the record was written over a two-week period in a secluded farmhouse turned studio on Start Point, a Devonshire headland located between the English channel and the Celtic Sea. The record is a reflection of that time, as the cabin fever drew ever closer.

Find out what it all means when The Physics House Band play at the Boileroom, Guildford, on Monday (22 July).

The annual exhibition Centrepiece returns to Woking’s Lightbox Gallery this week, featuring original works of art by students from eight local schools.

This year they have taken inspiration from the sculpture, Bird, by Dame Elisabeth Frink, a modern sculpture piece from The Ingram Collection.

Since 2011, The Lightbox has worked with local schools on the Centrepiece project, resulting in a show that presents the students’ work. The free exhibition will be on display until 1 September 2019.

The Bird in The Ingram Collection

Frink (1930-1993) was one of Britain’s leading 20th century sculptors who had a huge interest in sculpting animals. The Bird in The Ingram Collection is a development from her early birds series.

Students from Fullbrook School, Peter Pan Nursery and Forest School, The Marist Catholic Primary School, The Grange Community Infant School, St Paul’s C of E Primary School, Beaufort Primary School, Kingfield Primary School and Broadmere Primary Academy have all been working to create original works of art inspired by Bird.

IT’S tribute time at G Live in Guildford, two salutes to major artists on stage next week.

The ELO Experience, emulating Jeff Lynn and The Electric Light Orchestra, heads to the venue on Wednesday (24 July) followed the next day by The Estefan Experience, a tribute to Latin songstress Gloria Estefan.

SOUNDS OF THE 70s -The ELO Experience re create the sounds of the Electric Light Orchestra

The legacy left by Jeff Lynne and The Electric Light Orchestra barely needs any introduction – suffice to say that between 1972 and 1986 they achieved more combined UK and US Top 40 hits than any other band, including 10538 Overture, Evil Woman, Living Thing, Diary of Horace Wimp, Don’t Bring me Down and, of course, Mr Blue Sky.

As for the Queen Of Latin Pop, the real Gloria Estefan sold over 100 million album and won 26 Grammy Awards. The tribute show will feature a 12-piece band with Cuban-themed singers and dancers and songs like Get On Your Feet, Conga, 1-2-3, Rhythm is Gonna Get You, Anything For You, Dr Beat and many more.

The Murder Capital…it’s a big name to live up to. But if anyone can do it, it’s the Dublin five-piece who are on the road to promote their debut album, When I Have Fears.

The suicide of a close friend led not only to the birth of the band’s name but to the philosophy of the entire record.

“Every single one of those lyrics relates back in some way to his death,” says frontman James McGovern.

The band have a bleak, post-punk sound but it comes with tenderness and hope too.

PROMOTING THEIR DEBUT ALBUM – The Murder Capital are on the road and will be appearing at Guildford’s Boileroom

One band member buried his mum half way through recording, and so was born the dark grooves and tragic beauty of the record’s bravest track, Don’t Cling To Life.

“Even through everything that was going on we didn’t want to write a sad song, we wanted to write a song you could dance to,” explains James. “Feeling grief and wanting to dance through it, and feeling the rawness and emptiness of our own grief, because any relationship that involves love is so specific to you.”

There’s a lot going on in The Murder Capital’s songs and they seek inspiration all over the place. For example, discovering the work of photographer Francesca Woodman who took her own life at 22, was also a significant touch point.

“The biggest impression her work left on us was relating to the loneliness of her photos<” says the singer. “That sense of being completely on your own, but also taking solace in the beauty of the work as well.

“I think we’d be lying if we ever truly admitted to ourselves that we weren’t afraid of dying young. I think we push the boundaries at times. There’s something about Francesca Woodman’s work that just takes control of that.”

The band have already caused a stir with their first two singles, Feeling Fades and Green And Blue, a masterpiece of isolation written immediately after discovering Woodman’s work. They’ve also toured with the likes of Idles, Slaves, Shame and fellow countrymen Fontaines DC.

The quintet have grown up together – especially since forming the band and When I Have Fears feels like a coming of age album.

James agrees, saying: “The last time we played through the album we felt every second of those six months spent writing it and a lot of it is a reflection of what we went through together.

“When you get to your teens you begin to feel like you’re playing catch up with your inner child. You have to dismantle all the shit that was put into your parents brains and given to you.”

“We’ve tried to dismantle it in the fact that we’ve been completely honest in attempting to dismantle ourselves.”

The Murder Capital will play at the Boileroom, Guildford, on Tuesday (16 July).

Tara Newton-Wordsworth in Motherhood

Tara Newton-Wordsworth has two children under two (yes they were both planned, thank you for asking…) and doesn’t mind exploiting them for as much comedy material as possible.

In her new show, Motherhood, the Aussie comic muses on marriage and raising children in the modern UK, versus growing up in the outback and being home schooled by hippies.

From group pelvic floor exercises to googling how to change a nappy, Tara’s debut hour delves into the hilarious (often sanity threatening) world of parenthood… Hear more at Guildford’s Electric Theatre on Wednesday 17 July.

In the final hours of 14 April 1912 the RMS Titanic, on her maiden voyage from Southampton to New York, collided with an iceberg and the “unsinkable” ship slowly sank.

It was one of the most tragic disasters of the 20th Century. 1,517 men, women and children lost their lives…and now it’s been turned into a musical.

IMMINENT DISASTER – The stories of Titanic’s passengers are being told in a new musical

Based on real people aboard the most legendary ship in the world, Titanic The Musical focuses on the hopes, dreams and aspirations of her passengers who each boarded with stories and personal ambitions of their own.

All innocently unaware of the fate awaiting them, the third class immigrants dream of a better life in America, the second class imagine they too can join the lifestyles of the rich and famous, while the millionaire barons of the first class anticipate legacies lasting forever.

Titanic The Musical will be at the New Victoria Theatre, Woking, from Thursday (11 July) until Saturday 13 July.

First it was a massive bestseller, then a blockbuster film starring Emily Blunt, so there’s a lot of pressure on former EastEnders star Samantha Womack as she takes the title role in the stage version of psychological thriller Girl On The Train.

But the woman who played Ronnie Mitchell in the Albert Square soap is undaunted by taking on the character of Rachel Watson.

SUSPENSE – Samantha Womack and Adam Jackson-Smith, who plays Tom Watson, rehearsing Girl on the Train

“The good thing is this is the only part I’ve ever done where I can look absolutely terrible,” she laughs. “I don’t have to put any makeup on – she’s permanently hungover or drunk anyway… I’ve never done a part where I can be that relaxed. I can turn up in a pair of cargo pants and just walk on stage!”

But Samantha does think the theatre version of Girl On The Train can offer something the film couldn’t.

“It’s hard to do a novel like this and do it justice in a film because you have to make it feel like ‘real life’, and you don’t have so much access to inside someone’s head in a film,” she explains. “I think it really needed a bit more of that. I think in the play we’ve got a little bit more of that in.”

She said that she read Paula Hawkins’ novel when it came out and was “captivated” but adds: “I didn’t want to reread it and contaminate the play as I wanted to treat the show as its own thing.

“The opportunity to take on a role like this is incredibly exciting. I’ve been fascinated by thrillers for a long time and this kind of storytelling, like Hitchcock’s Rear Window, offers us a voyeurs journey into a world which is dangerous and full of suspense.”

For the uninitiated, Samantha goes on: “It’s a thriller and a dark drama about coercive control, abuse and fixating on perfection and all the characters are imperfect and damaged in their own way.

“I play Rachel, who has been in an abusive relationship, lost her job and she also can’t conceive so drinks a lot and has a sketchy memory. She sits on the train drinking vodka and fixates on a couple she can see from the window about their perfect life.

“Next the policeman turns up and the woman she has been watching goes missing and due to her memory blackouts she can’t remember if she was involved in the disappearance and becomes paranoid.”

It’s a complex character to portray and she adds: “Rachel has taken a little while for me to get right because she is quite rude and disillusioned and provokes everyone she meets but the audience still needs to champion her which is a difficult balance but she is really lovely to play.

“I suppose everyone you play, you have to like, or understand at least. She’s someone who’s lost her way and been manipulated for a long time and had the misfortune to not have a baby, and so you find her at her lowest point, but what’s quite nice about her is that she’s quite firey and when she’s drunk she’s unpredictable.

“She’s a very good anti-hero. I liked reading about her, and when she’s drunk she’ll say out loud what other people won’t normally say and I love playing a character like that.”

The Girl on the Traincomes to Guildford’s Yvonne Arnaud Theatre from Monday (8 July) until Saturday 13 July.

One of The Who’s greatest albums, it became the film which launched a mod revival – now Quadrophenia is being resurrected again.

This time, the songs like The Real Me, I’m One, 5.15 and Bell Boy will be played live by eight-piece band The Goldhawks at G Live, Guildford, on Wednesday (10 July).

REBELLION – Doug Freeman fronting The Goldhawks in Quadrophenia

Released in October 1973, The Who’s second rock opera, Quadrophenia, was guitarist Pete Townshend’s homage to a pivotal moment in British youth culture.

The album tells the story of Jimmy, a mod, by chronicling his dissatisfaction with life, work, love, home, and family life. It served as an ode to teenage angst and counterculture rebellion, as well as a criticism of the British class, economic and educational systems.

Quadrophenia Live will see the album played in its entirety, along with a few other all-time Who hits for good measure.

ART students from Woking College will be the featured exhibition at the Lightbox Gallery next week for their annual Art & Design Show.

Due to run from Thursday (27 June) until 7 July, the exhibition will fill the building with fine art, textiles, graphic and design works. It aims to be an immersive experience, with contemporary and experimental works displayed in the upper gallery, the education studio and across the mezzanine levels.

Woking College annual Art & Design Show at The Lightbox

Students are involved in every stage of the exhibition development, arranging and installing their own works to gain invaluable hands-on professional experience in a gallery. Works from A Level textiles, photography, graphic design, fine art and product design will feature from a variety of courses.

Fine art student Grace Burns joined the elite of the art world with a portrait of her father called My Dad Left View, which was exhibited in last year’s annual Lightbox show and has been selected as a Royal Society of British Artists winner and exhibited at the Mall Galleries in London and at the Royal Overseas League Gallery in St James in London.

Heather Thomas, Learning & Engagement Manager at the Lightbox, says: “Woking College has become an extremely important and popular fixture in our exhibition programme. Over 250 students in six subject areas present work of exceptional quality, imagination and technical skill year upon year, and 2019 will be no exception.”

Entry to the show is free.