Summer Exhibition 2021

In Conversation with celebrities – Fane Online

Fane continues to offer some top-notch names “in conversation” online, rolling on until the autumn. Book ahead for Dame Maggie Smith and Kathleen Turner or Anne Reid and Derek Jacobi in April, or way ahead for a Hollywood actor Stanley Tucci, live-streaming from the London Palladium in October. From 24-31 March, Fane is also offering Black Matters, a musical event with Giles Terera, Olivier-award winning star of Hamilton. It’s a cycle of songs inspired by the view from Terera’s Soho apartment during lockdown.

Films, yoga and drama clubs – Riverside Studios, Hammersmith

Riverside is offering three independent films which have received rave reviews – the award-winning animation Away plus Falling, and Luxor. Riverside receives part of the rental income from these films. Plus it’s offering yoga classes every Tuesday at 10am and Cat’s Whiskers, an adult drama club for the over-50s. These classes are free, but donations are welcome.

Orange Tree Theatre performances, Richmond

The Orange Tree is launching its first live streamed performances – a series of world premiere short plays by six emerging and established writers. The plays tell stories of “estrangement and loneliness, connection and redemption, despair in confinement to hope found in life outdoors”. The first tranche of three plays run from 25-27 March, the second from 15-17 April. They can be watched separately – or save 20 per cent when you book them all at the same time. Early Bird tickets only £10 until 18 March.

What the Butler Saw – Theatre Royal Bath

The Theatre Royal Bath is offering the farce “What the Butler Saw” by Joe Orton as an interim show during lockdown, starring Rufus Hound. A co-production with the Leicester Curve Theatre, it’s a filmed version of a stage production. Note: What the Butler Saw was not originally intended for online streaming. The sound is a bit quiet – but the theatre has helpfully provided subtitles

Opera in a Kensington Clock Shop

Grange Park Opera has no less than 19 free events online in what it calls its “Interim Season”. Its latest offering, available from 20 March, is Ravel’s L’Heure Espagnole.  It was filmed in and around an antique clock shop on Kensington Church St. Watch this trailer for a behind-the-scenes look at the filming process, including shots of the famous Sally Clarke’s deli and café. These events are free.

Barnes’ People – Original Theatre Company

Barnes’ People is about four theatrical monologues starring Jon Culshaw, Matthew Kelly, Jemma Redgrave and Adrian Scarborough. Then there's A True Born Englishman, starring Adrian Scarborough. Billed as a “world premiere”, it tells the story of a footman at Buckingham Palace who decides, after 30 years, to spill his secret. Duration: around 20 minutes per monologue. Tickets £7.50 per monologue (or you can opt to buy a package). On until 31 July.

A Splinter of Ice – Original Theatre Company

A Splinter of ice is a political drama, set in Moscow in the final years of the Cold War. British novelist Graham Greene meets his old MI6 boss, Kim Philby, Britain’s greatest spy – and traitor. Starring Oliver Ford Davies, it’s penned by Ben Brown, whose award winning West End play Three Days in May inspired the Oscar-winning film, Darkest Hour. Filmed onstage at the Cheltenham Everyman. Tickets £20. 15 April – 31 July.

In the Company of Actors –

A documentary on the making of theatrical show called 'In the Company of Actors' follows Cate Blanchett and Hugo Weaving in New York as they prepare to open in the Sydney Theatre Company’s production of Hedda Gabler. Price: £3.99

Letters Live series – YouTube

If you haven’t come across the Letters Live series yet, they are archive recordings from iconic venues like the Union Chapel and Freemasons’ Hall have star names reading brilliant letters; some touching, others absolutely hilarious. Most recently uploaded is a special compilation for International Women’s Day starring Olivia Coleman, Gillian Anderson, Daisy Ridley and Caitlin Moran. Note – adult themes make it unsuitable for children. Letters Live Women’s Day The Letters Live YouTube channel also has other archive events featuring readings from stars including Benedict Cumberbatch, Alan Carr, Claire

Musical events at The Irish Cultural Centre – Hammersmith

West London's local Irish Centre in Hammersmith Broadway has a series of online musical events. And there’s a special traditional session, filmed in the Irish Cultural Centre, which will be available to view from 16 March. See below.  This is a free event.

A Splinter of Ice

The other new production I have my eye on is Original Theatre’s A Splinter of Ice.  It’s a political drama, set as the thaw to the Cold War sets in in the late 1980s.  On paper, its pedigree looks excellent. Starring Oliver Ford Davies, it’s penned by Ben Brown, whose award winning West End play Three Days in May inspired the Oscar-winning film, Darkest Hour. Unlike many of OT’s other productions, this one will be filmed onstage at Cheltenham Everyman, with the idea of transforming it into a live touring production later in the year. This is how the website describes it: Moscow 1987, as the cold war begins to thaw and Britain’s greatest living novelist Graham Greene meets with his old MI6 boss, Kim Philby, Britain’s greatest spy… and traito

Barnes’ People

Original Theatre presents a series of four theatrical monologues starring Jon Culshaw, Matthew Kelly, Jemma Redgrave and Adrian Scarborough. They’re written by Peter Barnes, known for his series of monologues on the BBC back in the 80s. I particularly like the sound of A True Born Englishman, starring Adrian Scarborough. Billed as a “world premiere”, it originally appears to be been destined to be part of the original Beeb series, but was later dropped.  It tells the story of a footman at Buckingham Palace who decides, after 30 years, to spill his secrets... Duration: around 20 minutes per monologue. Tickets £7.50 per monologue (or you can opt to buy a package). 18 February-31 July

Over 70 and not been vaccinated? Contact the NHS

Image above: Dr Nikki Kanani, Medical Director of Primary Care for the NHS  People aged 70 or older in England who have not yet had their coronavirus vaccine but would like to, are being asked to contact the NHS themselves. Dr Nikki Kanani, Medical Director of Primary Care for the NHS gave a press conference on behalf of the Government on Monday 8 February, urging everyone over 70 to take up the offer. "This weekend we were vaccinating almost 28,000 people every hour" she said. "That means that we were doing everything we can to protect you from this virus and the snow has not stopped us". Chiswick Health Centre is one of 1500 sites all over the country which are now giving vaccinations. In Chiswick GPs are now calling people in their 60s to be vaccinated.

Support and Advice – domestic violence

If you are afraid that someone is about to discover you looking at this page, click here to take you to The Chiswick Calendar's homepage. LB Hounslow are providing support and advice to any resident experiencing domestic abuse and also to people who want to report suspected abuse. In an emergency always call 999, and you can report any incident of domestic violence at any police station. If it is not an emergency, you can also telephone 101 to speak to the police. Help from social services If you already receive support from either adults’ or children’s social services, your s

Not showing symptoms? You could still have the virus – Book a rapid test

LB Hounslow has two new mobile testing units to help reach as many people as possible who don’t have COVID-19 symptoms and who want a rapid test. Rapid testing is available for anyone over the age of 18, who still needs to go out for work and who needs free, quick and regular testing. You can get up-to-date info on mobile testing unit locations by following the council's

Rules for weddings and funerals

Under the current Covid guidelines, events where the public gather in person should only be taking place under very limited circumstances. Funerals of up to 30 are permitted. Weddings of up to 6 are permitted in exceptional circumstances. Wakes and other linked ceremonials of up to 6 are permitted. The police can take action against you if you meet in larger groups. This includes breaking up illegal gatherings and issuing fines (fixed penalty notices). Read more stories on The Chiswick Calendar See also: 

Covid vaccine scam

As coronavirus vaccines are being administered across the country, with people receiving invitations to be vaccinated in several different ways now, fraudsters are trying to cash in by targeting residents who are waiting for the call to vaccination. An email is doing the rounds which attempts to trick people into handing over their bank details. It was reported more than 1,000 times in 24 hours on the 25 January. It's meant to look as if it has come from the NHS and asks the recipient to click on a link to accept or decline an invitation to receive the coronavirus vaccine. If they click accept, they are asked to input personal information and their bank card details. People in Chiswick are among those to have received the scam emails. Tony Cardiff from Glebe Estate said on social me

New test site in Isleworth for people without symptoms

Image above: Isleworth Library; Google Streetview A new site went live on Tuesday 19 January for asymptomatic testing at Isleworth Library, Twickenham Rd, Isleworth TW7 7EU, which may be the nearest one for some people living in south Chiswick. Another, at the Wellington Day Centre 292 Staines Rd, Hounslow TW4 5BA went live on Monday 18 January. Th

New test site in Stamford Brook for people with symptoms

Image above: Site of new Covid testing site for people who have Covid symptoms; Google Maps A new site for testing people who have symptoms is planned to open soon in the car park at Welstead Way W4 1NH in the Stamford Brook area of Chiswick. It will be built on Monday 25 January, with a pilot test due on Wednesday 27 January. To access the site residents need to go to the request a test portal as usual. This site will be listed after 27 January. You cannot just turn up an

Most of Chiswick’s top priority residents already vaccinated against Covid

A high percentage of Chiswick residents who are in the Government's top category of those eligible to be vaccinated against Covid at this stage have already been vaccinated. LB Hounslow's Director of Public Health Kelly O'Neill told The Chiswick Calendar that 78% of the top priority group in Chiswick - those over 80, people who are housebound or living in care homes, have already had their jabs. 'This higher uptake was due to an additional unexpected delivery which means that the GPs needed to respond and add additional capacity to ensure the vaccination was administered' she said. Over LB Hounslow as a whole, total vaccinations given up till Monday 18 January exceeded 8000. Of those, 28% are Chiswick priority residents. 'Maximum 15 minute wait' for vaccinations In Chis

Online things to do for kids

Confusion as NHS launches national Covid vaccination booking system

The NHS has launched a new national booking system for appointments for Covid vaccinations. In Chiswick, an email went out to local residents from NHS Hounslow CCG (Clinical Commissioning Group) on Monday 18 January about it. The trouble is that GPs received the email at the same time as the public and they are left unclear what now is their role. The email said: 'Letters are now being sent to NW London residents to book a vaccination through the national booking system'. (You may wonder what that has to do with us in Chiswick. It's the first I've heard that I live in north west London. I don't, I live in Chiswick, in west London, but we now come under the umbrella of NW London for all things NHS related). The email explains that letters are now being sent to residents in the

A Night in With: Tim peak, Mel Giedroyc and Stacey Dooley

A Night in With Fane continues its “A Night in With” series with celebrities including astronaut Tim Peake, broadcaster Nicky Campbell and presenters Mel Giedroyc and Stacey Dooley. There’s also a selection of well-known authors, including Marian Keyes and Kate Mosse.

Join an online choir

Join a local community choir Watermans in Brentford is offering you the chance to improve your singing with Hounslow Community Choir. Sessions are weekly. Term officially started on 14 January, but Waterman’s says it’s not too late to join. Open to over 18s.  £42 for 10 sessions (term started last week). Email hounslowcommunitychoir Image above: Chiswick Choir (taken before the pandemic)

Natural History Museum 

Experience the natural world through online events at the Natural History Museum. There is a huge dinosaur section, which includes lots of fun activities. There are 14 virtual tours you can take, including one of the famous Hintze Hall with Sir David Attenborough which features the skeleton of the blue whale, the largest creature to have ever lived. You can also take a virtual tour of the Fantastic Creatures exhibition which examines possible links between some of the creatures in the care of JK Rowling’s hero Newt Scamander to real creatures of the ancient world. And you can marvel at the stunning photos of the Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition online.

Nature and wildlife from Woodland Trust

If your youngster fancies themselves as a junior Chris Packham, there are lots of activities available on the Woodland Trust’s website; garden scavenger hunts, how to make your own bird feeder, and a free downloadable tree-identifying app to take out on your walks. Plus quizzes and indoor craft ideas. Details here:

Tate kids – Online art at home

Tate Kids offers activities ranging from learning about contemporary London artists to guided activities like using your body to make art, soap carving, or making a unicorn puppet from recycled materials. You can make a collage, learn how to paint like Turner, or draw creatures inspired by sounds. There’s even a personality quiz you can take to decide which famous artist should redecorate your room.

Online lessons for budding actors

ArtEd ArtsEd is offering weekend acting and musical theatre courses - the Saturday Skills Academy - for kids from aged 7 -16 +. Lyric Theatre Hammersmith The Lyric’s live theatre shows may be on hold, but its Zoom courses for children and young people  are ploughing ahead online, at least until mid-February. They include dance improvisation and acting classes for both disabled and non-disabled youngsters and Key Club classes for young people on the autism spectrum over the

Unicorn Theatre Company shows

The Unicorn Theatre Company has several productions for younger children, the first being Anansi the Spider. It’s an adaptation of classic West African and Caribbean tales about a trickster spider, filmed by the cast in their own homes. The three episodes come with free family activity packs for home learning.  Available on Unicorn’s YouTube Channel until 31 March. For ages 2- 5, Unicorn is also offering Huddle, the story of a daddy penguin and his new chick learning to thrive against the odds. This lovely production uses instrumental music and hand drawn animation to illustrate the reading. Unicorn is still offering two of its o