“I can’t listen to music too often. It affects your nerves, makes you want to say stupid nice things and stroke the heads of people who could create such beauty while living in this vile hell.” Vladimir Lenin


Perhaps Lenin’s fear of music led to his diktat following the Russian Revolution that everything, including the Arts must fall under the sway of the ideals of Communism, so that the party could ‘systematically guide this process and form its result’. In this centenary year of the Russian Revolution, strong traces of Russian culture underpin many of the Arts productions this term. Back in the USSR forms the theme of the musical offerings this term, with the works of Stravinsky, Prokofiev and Shostakovich all featuring in the Allan Bunney Concert, the Orchestral Concert and the Soviet Composers concert. Allied to our Senior School play, the musical Chess, and other theatre productions such as Goblin’s Peter and the Wolf these concerts will help reveal just how influential Russia has been in influencing our cultural consciousness in the past centuries.

As ever, there are many literary and theatrical highlights in this term’s programme. We are delighted to announce that Costa winning poet, Jonathan Edwards and multi award winning Jeanette Winterson, will be in the EM Forster Theatre this term. Further, exciting interpretations of Shakespeare’s The Tempest, and Stevensons’s The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, will be performed alongside newer material such as Fall Out and ‘Team Viking’ following its success at the Edinburgh Festival. NT live presents Lorca’s Yerma and our popular Comedy Nights continue on their monthly basis.

The Natural World takes centre stage in OBS with our flagship exhibition, Wildlife Photographer of the Year, sponsored by the Natural History Museum, opening in late September. Talks by Young Environmental Photographer of the Year Luke Massey and our own wildlife photography competition complement this exhibition and hopefully Rob Parkinson’s Incredible and Fantatsical Animal Tales, in OBS., will further inspire future young photographers to follow in Luke’s footsteps.

Children’s theatre is once again well catered for with adaptations of King Arthur, There’s a Shark in the Park amongst others. Following the excitement and thrills of last year’s pantomime, our season ends with a stunning production of Aladdin, which runs for two weeks at the end of December. Do book early to avoid disappointment!

All of the above and much more beside, promise to entertain, challenge and intrigue audiences in the coming months. Please do look through the brochure carefully; we are confident that there is something for every taste and we look forward to seeing you here in the coming months.


John Bleakley
Chair, Tonbridge Arts Committee