Started A Story? Make Sure You Enter It!

Budding authors in school years 5 – 8 have until 30th November to submit their magical 1,000 word story. RB Writes has one golden rule: stories must clearly be about the area- or use local landmarks as inspiration. The Belfry Centre, Priory Park, Mercers and Earlswood Lakes, Banstead Common and Reigate Hill have featured as…

Hangmen by Martin McDonagh

Courtyard Theatre, Chipstead Hangmen, the first play by Martin McDounagh to be set in England, brims with dark humour and horror and gives a whole new meaning to the ‘Swinging Sixties’.  The curtain opens on a bleak scene, made more claustrophobic as only the far right of the stage is used. It is 1963 and…

The comforting and lawless world of the Mr Men.

Children’s Books. The Mr Men may be 50 somethings but they have stood the test of time, delighting and entertaining generations of children. The Mr Men provided the visual and wordy landscape of my early childhood – the vivid illustrations from Roger Hargreaves remain so etched on my mind’s eye, that to this day I…

Just in time for Half-Term!

RB Writes – the creative writing competition for young people returns for the 5th fantastical year. The 2022 round opens Thursday 13th October and young writers have until 30th November to submit their story. Once again, the borough’s young people are asked to pick up their pens or fire up a laptop and write a…

‘Down The Hatch’. Well Worth The Walk!

The Hatch, Hatchlands Road, Redhill. Is there a more perfectly placed RH pub than the Hatch? Opposite the War Memorial on Shaw’s Corner and eminently walkable from Redhill, Reigate and beyond. The announcement back in May that it would become the first Pilgrim Brewery Free House was no surprise. Its former incarnation attracted ‘regulars’ who…

Putting on the Ritz…

Aternoon Tea at The Ritz An average August Sunday afternoon in London Town. Honking horns blare with top notes of police sirens, pavements are equally as busy as ambling tourists take their selfies and absorb the capital’s sights. Amidst this madding crowd are a group of well-dressed women sashaying down Piccadilly. Afternoon Tea at The…

It’s Back!

Calling RB Writes Supporters. WRITI NG FINGERS AT THE READY! RB WRITES RETURNS THIS AUTUMN The 2022 Reigate & Banstead Writes competition will open for entries on 10th October. Young people aged 10-14 who live or go to school in the borough will be asked to write a 1,000 word story all about where they…

Back to the ’80s. Calling Planet Earth at Dorking Halls.

In the week Kate Bush dethroned Harry Styles from his number one spot, the current 1980’s ‘Back to the Future’ vibe was reinforced by ‘Calling Planet Earth’ at Dorking Halls. Calling Planet Earth is the show that defines a decade. For the uninitiated this may appear grandiose. But this New Romantic symphony is so much…

The Chipstead Players present The Woman in White.

The Chipstead Players are back with an ambitious adaptation of Wilkie Collins’ 1859 novel, The Woman in White.  It tells the story of the dashing Walter Hartright, (David Hall in his Courtyard debut). Who takes up the position of drawing master to Laura Fairlie and her half-sister Marian.  But he is troubled by the memory…

Strictly Magic!

Giovanni Pernice: The Hawth Theatre, Crawley – 16th April. It’s been a long wait for dance fans but strictly champion Giovanni Pernice has finaly quickstepped back to his ‘home town’ of Crawley with a wonderfully witty, energetic and sexy romp of a show.  Whilst it may not be for dance purists, Creative director and Choreographer…

Skiing. A novice’s review.

Tale from the Town. Wanna try skiing and feel you’ve left it too late? Mary Garg may change your mind. “Its supposed to be slippy”… it’s a slippy sport. So said my ski instructor Gigi during my first ever Alpine ski lesson (my second lesson after I fell off the escalator at my local artificial…

What to Watch: Peaky Blinders.

The Shelby’s are back and out for vengeance. It was way back in 2013 that Peaky Blinders started cautiously on BBC2, before cementing its place as a distinctive behemoth of British TV. On the way, it has become one of Birmingham’s best exports; up there with HP Sauce and Jack Grealish’s calves. Stylish, cinematic and…

WHAT TO WATCH: AFTERLIFE SERIES 3

AFTERLIFE – NETFLIX Afterlife, Ricky Gervais’s wildly successful foul-mouthed dark comedy that takes on the epic themes of love, loss and how we learn to start over has been seen in over 100 million households. Its success could explain why Gervais broke his 2-series only rule. The big question, can Afterlife 3 live up to…

Goodnight Mr Tom presented by Chipstead Players.

Goodnight Mr Tom. A packed courtyard theatre, hosting an audience consisting of the old to the young, who have made the trek out on a bitterly cold January evening, is testament to the enduring popularity of the 1981 book by Michelle Magorian. For those unfamiliar, Goodnight Mr Tom is in essence, the story of two…

PANTOMIME MAKES A TRIUMPHANT RETURN TO THE HARLEQUIN

Aladdin. The Harlequin Theatre, Redhill. After a two-year enforced absence Redhill’s theatre lovers were more than ready to be transported into the familiar bawdy, pantomime world via Aladdin’s Arabia. There was a palpable, excited fizz from the mask-wearing audience as the lights dimmed revealing the stage and a suitably evil Abanazar, played by Nicole Faraday,…

Wimbledon To Richmond Park: A rural, capital walk.

There is something slightly other-worldly, sitting on a tube, rucksack on back, clad in walking gear, heading off for a day’s hiking. Pulling on my battered muddy boots would normally mean a remote countryside walk, up hill and down dale, rather than a 7-mile walk through London’s outer suburbs. But, after a summer spent walking…

Cultural Crumbs – November 2021

RB Writes previews what we can look forward around RH1/2. THEATRE Chipstead Players Present On Golden Pond. On Golden Pond is currently showing on Broadway, its cast headed up by Hollywood actor James Earl Jones. The Chipstead Players, with their talented bunch of actors and crew may not perform their adaptation to a Broadway-sized crowd…

Up The Junction

The Junction and Sai Kitchen. Fine dining in the heart of Redhill. In a former life, I lived in an unfashionable area of North London. An area not known for culinary delights, or so I believed. For in the block of cafes, nail-bars and general stores at the end of my road lurked a superb…

Fancy listening to our winning entries?

Missed out on tuning in to SUSY last week? Fear not, by the marvels of modern technology we have the recordings all ready for you to listen to. Enormous thanks to David Jay for broadcasting them to the area via his afternoon stroll. Settle down with a cup of tea and listen in to the…

Listen to our 2021 stories on Susy Radio this week

David Jay’s afternoon stroll set to broadcast 2021 RB Writes winning story and runners up. Tune into SUSY Radio’s Afternoon Stroll this week (27th September), settle down with a cuppa and listen to the wonderful, quirky and thoughtful top three tales from the very talented finalists. The brilliant David Jay will broadcast the two runners…

Yo Ho Ho and a Bottle of Rum

Rebecca Biden Reviews Treasure Island presented by The Chipstead Players I had the pleasure of seeing Treasure Island preformed at Courtyard Theatre by the Chipstead Players Youth Theatre. The play was directed by Debra Elson and remarkably, took only ten days to put together. The beautifully designed set really drew you into performance and helped…

It’s a Pirate’s Life For Me

The Chipstead Players present Treasure Island. ‘Yo Ho Ho and a Bottle of Rum.’ The famous rousing pirate chant is more reminiscent of a celebratory songs from sporting crowds, as an audience, delighted to be back at the Courtyard Theatre, took their seats with the famous shanty ringing in their ears. We were eagerly anticipating…

WORDS FROM THE WAY

West Highland Way. A walk through Scotland’s Mountains and Mists. The West Highland Way buzzes with a tangible magic along its 96 mile route between Milngavie and Fort William; especially after you cross the high/lowland divide and history, legend and folklore collide. As you traipse along the high-fern lined and wildflower filled trails that lead…

And the winner is…..

My Life In Reigate: A true Story. My Life in Reigate: A True Story written by 10-year old Heidi Penrose Buckley, is the 2021 winning entry. Heidi is a pupil at Reigate Priory Junior School Her ‘zeitigisty’ story has an original narrator in Mishi the dog, Our judges praised her creativity, local setting and her…

A Guaranteed Escape this summer. Dive into a book.

The forecast may be grim and we may not be heading off to the Costas. Don’t despair. There are plenty of bumper books to help you find a summer escape. For an old-fashioned mystery : ‘The Lamplighters’ by Emma Stonex. They say the sea keeps its secrets… Captivating Cornwall, remote and mysterious, it keeps its…

Aged 9 – 14? 10 Days Left to write a ‘Tale about your Town!

Pick up your pen or load up your laptop and let your imagination fly. Don’t miss out on entering your story in this years round of Reigate & Banstead Writes, the short-story competition that asks youngsters to write about where they live. The competition has received its first batch of stories and they are cracking….

Local youngsters have until 30th June to enter RB Writes

There is still plenty of time to write a 1,000 word original story for this year’s Reigate and Banstead Writes Competition. The annual short-story competition for local kids aged 9-14 is open for entries until 30th June. Stories are beginning to trickle in and are as wonderful, quirky and imaginative as ever. Stuck for inspiration?…

Five Years of RB Writes.

RB Writes began as a creative writing competition. 1,600 entries later. It has grown into a blog, review site and more. Ahead of the 2022 round. Here is it’s story. “That must be a labour of love! Are you insane?” Comments made in jest or otherwise when Reigate & Banstead Writes slides into converstation. Whilst…

RB WRITES 2021 UPDATE. ITS BACK!

Its almost time for our young writers to pick up their pens, IPADs or devices and write us a story all about where they live. Back in January, it felt impossible, thinking we could run Reigate & Banstead Writes in 2021. Schools closed and we were all existing in a scattered world. Schools re-opened and…

BOOKS BOX SETS AND BANDS

CULTURAL CRUSTS TO CUT THROUGH THOSE JANUARY BLUES. Even in non-covid times, January is often a cultural desert, with very few cultural crumbs to feast on after the excesses of December, when new books have been devoured and we watch enough Netflix to give us eyes the size of Samsung’s wall-sized screen. We are locked…

A Christmas Playlist from RH1 with love.

National treasures Ed and Elton v acid-tongued Craig Revel Horwood for the 2021 Christmas number one. That is not a wild flight of imagination. They hope to insert themselves into the nation’s festive heart with their brand new ditties. Like sprouts, some will love, some hate both. BUT it is a good opportunity to re-visit…

RB Writes: Our Best Books of 2020.

Hoping for a book for Christmas? Take a look at our guide to some of the best from 2020. The weather is dank and fairy lights are twinkling away brightening up windows and trees. Christmas is coming! Time to hunker down with a blooming good read and take a look at our guide to the…

University beckons for the next generation.

18 very short years ago, I became a mum. As I cradled my precious new born son day after day during our endless first summer, there was a dreamy trance like existence to our early months, perhaps because of sleeplessness but also taking in the enormous change that had hit me. My perfect calm little…

Homesick for Ripon. Pandemic Hometown Blues.

Corona awakens a need in many to be closer to our family and friends and gives a chance to examine the town that forged us and the roots that claim us. The welcome to Ripon signs which greet visitors and residents alike, urge us ‘to stay awhile amidst its ancient charms’. I may be a…

Books At Bedtime?

Books at Bedtime? Listen to David Jay of Susy Radio Fame read the 2020 winning stories from Reigate and Banstead Writes.

It’s all about the (RH) writers.

We planned a number of exciting author and literature events as part of Fringe Week’. We look at three local writers who were set to feature. NIKI MACKAY Reigate’s very own ‘Queen of Crime’. Niki is going from strength to strength. In her words.. I am a writer and a bookworm. I studied Performing Arts…

This is My Theatre

Thisismytheatre.com were set to perform Jane Eyre in the Reigate Castle Grounds.

We have winners…

A wartime tale featuring Reigate’s pigeons wins the 2020 round of Reigate and Banstead Writes.

RH Fringe 2020

Apollo Junction were due to perform at the Harlequin today (30th May) as the headline act for the first RH Fringe Rock and Write. Then along came a global pandemic and the rest is history. Events have been cancelled but we will return bigger and better in June 2021. We wanted to share the band’s…

Stories are in….

the 2020 round of Reigate and Banstead Writes has closed with many entries.

RH Recommended Reads.

Bookworms know the power and comfort of a blooming good read. Power to distract and detract. Whether you are a book lover of dip in and out, why not try a recommended book from RH readers? Something for everyone I hope.  Feel free to comment and review… If you like historical… The Secrets We Kept…

Schools are shut. Reigate and Banstead Writes is open for entries.

The annual competition asks for tales from our towns by our youngsters. Reigate and Banstead Writes is open for entries. We have received several entries already since opening our doors on 1st February. The original deadline day has now been extended until 10th April to allow more children aged 9-14 to scribe their 1,000 word…

Sussex Author Vashti Hardy hosts Reigate and Banstead Writes Awards.

Celebrated author of Brightstorm and Wild Spark will be MC at the awards afternoon on 19th June at the Harlequin Theatre, Redhill. Vashti Hardy is a writer of children’s books living near Brighton in Sussex with her husband and three teens Brightstorm “A fast-paced fantasy adventure that will set your imagination soaring!” was shortlisted for…

RH Fringe: See Jane Eyre in the Castle Grounds, Reigate this June.

RH Fringe in association with Reigate and Banstead Council welcomes this inspiring and energetic theatre company to Reigate this June. thisismytheatre a Sussex based theatre company bring their production of Charlotte Bronte’s classic novel ‘Jane Eyre’ to Reigate. The production is part of a week long programme between 13-20 June that is the RH Fringe….

APOLLO JUNCTION LAUNCH FIRST RH FRINGE AT HARLEQUIN

Tickets for first event of the Fringe are on sale now! “A MUST SEE LIVE” – Daily Mirror “Magnificent” – The Sun Huge Anthems – Steve Lamacq BBC6 Music “Music is tremendous” – Graham Norton Apollo Junction are an anthemic, electro rock and roll band taking influences from Brit Pop to more modern times. Huge…

Ready to rock?

Rising stars Apollo Junction are playing Redhill. Get your tickets.

ANNE OF GREEN GABLES

Anne of Green Gables from the Chipstead Players, reviewed by Reigate and Banstead Writes.

HELVE – PLAY THE FRINGE.

Local band Helve set to support Apollo Junction on 30th May for the Fringe Opener. The inaugural RH Fringe kicks off on Saturday 30th May. The Harlequin Theatre Redhill will host up and coming band Apollo Junction (set to support the Kaiser Chiefs, Madness and The Libertines later on this summer) for a charity gig…

CULTURAL CRUMBS 8TH JANUARY.

It’s oh so quiet as we return to the working world after the Bacchus- like revelry of December. No money coupled with little energy quenches desire for any entertainment excepting flopping in front of Netflix, but yet: there are still a few cultural crumbs out there to tempt one out of the post ‘xmas stupour….

Book Corner – Lost by Eve Ainsworth

Have you read anything by Eve Ainsworth yet? Eve is the author of several Young Adult books. Seven Days, her first title – was published  way back in 2015 by Scholastic. Her latest novel LOST is aimed at a slightly younger readership and is a beautifully written and tender account of a young boy dealing…

BOOK CORNER

NADINE MOORE REVIEWS A GENTLEMAN IN MOSCOW BY AMOR TOWLES A SUNDAY TIMES BOOK OF THE YEAR 2017 The story starts in 1922, where the genteel and most charming Count Alexander Ilyich Rostov is under house arrest, in Moscow’s Metropol Hotel.  The Bolsheviks have seized power, the Aristocracy have been overthrown and our Count has…