Christ’s Hospital performing arts events, January to March: Full mask theatre, empowering dance and magnificent music

String players at last year's Angus Ross concert
String players at last year's Angus Ross concert

Christ’s Hospital in Horsham begins its latest programme of performing arts events this week with the moving true story of Holocaust survivor Mrs Rachel Levy.

Rachel, by Small Nose and Trestle Theatre Company, is at the theatre on Thursday, January 17 (7.30pm), with a work that mixes full mask theatre with elements of clowning.

A spokesperson said: “We introduce some of Rachel’s family to you. Her and her brother Chaskiel were the only survivors. Her mother, father, two younger sisters and younger brother Ben did not. Each of those who survived and those who did not have a story that should be told and never forgotten.”

Tickets cost £5 (concessions £4, Friends £3).

On Tuesday, January 22 (7.30pm), there will be a Dominions Recital by the Senior Woodwind players.

The show takes place in the Dominions Theatre where three senior musicians – Katherine Cooley (flute), Amber Marshall-Porter (flute) and Annabella Chenevix Trench (saxophone) offer a joint recital in preparation for their instrumental diplomas and academic exams. Admission to this event is free.

Sing-a-Long-a Grease takes place on Thursday, January 24 (7.30pm), in the theatre.

Fans of the musical movie can enjoy a screening full of interactive songs and dancing. There will be a vocal warm-up at the beginning and each viewer will be handed a prop bag. Tickets cost £15 for adults, with £14 concessions and £13 tickets for Friends.

Away from the Christ’s Hospital grounds, singers can enjoy a day-long workshop at Southwater Parish Church (Saturday, January 26, 9.30am, £8.50). This is the first of two linked events at Holy Innocents Church, Southwater, that celebrate the folk music of Henry Burstow (arranged by Lucy Broadwood). The workshop will be led by Alex Hodgkinson, director of music at Christ’s Hospital. There will also be a folk singer at the church to demonstrate how the pieces were originally performed. The actual concert will be in the church on February 10 (3.30pm).

A second Dominions Recital, this time from GE and UF Music Scholars, will be in the Dominions Theatre on Friday, February 1, at 7.30pm. Admission is free for this evening where the Music Scholars will showcase their talents.

A jazz and blues night is next, taking place in the Theatre on Friday, February 8 (7.30pm). It will feature the National Youth Jazz Orchestra playing with Christ’s Hospital’s own jazz ensembles. Theatre seat tickets cost £8 for adults with £7 concessions and £6 tickets for Friends.

Bela Hartmann and Vasilis Rakitzis perform their Dominions Recital on Tuesday, March 5 (7.30pm), to celebrate the installation of the venue’s new Steinway grand piano with a night of Romantic music.

The Christ’s Hospital Band (together with the Training Band) offer a concert at the Big School on Sunday, March 10 (3pm), providing a feast of light classics, solos, film music and more.

Emergence is the first dance spectacular of the year at Christ’s Hospital Theatre.

Phoenix Dance Theatre’s artistic director Sharon Watson and company artistic director Joss Arnott have created new works for 12 bold dancers who are on their first tour.

The performance takes place on Wednesday, March 13 (7.30pm, £6-£8).

A spokesperson said: “Taking the idea of empowerment as a starting point, both choreographers have created pieces that play to the incredible strengths of the dancers. Sharon’s And still I walk… takes inspiration from women’s suffrage and the struggles that we as humans still face today. Joss Arnott’s When Worlds Collide is an exhilarating, technical masterclass that features an original, cinematic music score and an elaborate lighting design. Emergence is the brand-new postgraduate dance company of award-winning Joss Arnott Dance and the University of Salford.”

There will be a Choral Society Workshop in the Big School on Saturday, March 16 (9am-5pm, £15 in advance), and a Drama Scholars evening in the Octagon on Friday, March 22 (7.30pm, free).

Finally, the Angus Ross Gala Concert will end the season in the Big School on Sunday, March 24 (7pm, £10-£12).

This thrilling celebration of music at Christ’s Hospital will start with two concertos played by Grecian pupils, accompanied by the school Symphony Orchestra in a new collaboration with the English Chamber Orchestra. The second half will feature extracts from Handel’s Messiah, performed by the Chapel Choir, Choral Society, and soloists.

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