John D Slater is now “ARTS-ROUND-ABOUT” columnist for
The Bridlington Echo
Bridlington Echo – October issue – Arts Roundabout – John D Slater.
Celebrating 30 glorious years declared the programme for the Bridlington Art’s Festival(BAF) Grand Finale Concert event; and a true celebration it was, enjoyed by an enthralled Saturday night audience at The Spa.
It was at an August 1986 meeting of Bridlington Live Arts Support Team (BLAST), held at The Seabirds Hotel, that the germ of an idea for a festival for the town was first proposed.
Amongst others at that meeting was Bridlington born – Judy Wilson who told The Echo that it was a ground breaking event and not without its hiccups along the way.
Said Judy “Some of us felt that Bridlington was being regarded as a cultural desert and we were determined the dispel that theory with an early season festival starting on May Day 1987. We knocked on many doors for financial support and our biggest came from the local authority. But over the years, following changes in local government and cuts to arts funding we have found it increasingly difficult to stage a festival worthy of the town. We are, however, thankful that the county council still gives us some support along with our Town Council, The Lions, The Rotary, The Tourism Association, The Lords Feoffees and The Freemasons.”
At the BAF gala night. conclusion of Arts Festival 2016, we were treated to some wonderful performances; opening the show was Choir In Day, followed by some lively dance routines from Michelle Hatton’s school. Then six members from the cast of At The Movies gave us a taste of their summer show, East Riding Dance and Coastal Voices concluded part one.
Part two opened with and explosion of Celtic music from Shamrock Experience and some amazing virtuoso Celtic fiddling from Ben Couper. Later in part two another explosion came with Sheffield based Fulcrum Circus performers – Simon Scotting and Miley Rose, a multi talented duo, dazzled the Spa audience with their own spectacular presentation of “poi”, ancient Maori performance art form, displaying a level of juggling which has to be seen to be believed. Bringing the show to a close was the ever popular Bridlington Excelsior Band who joined in with the whole company and the audience in the final item Jerusalem.
Artistic Director for The Grand Finale Concert was The Spa’s Alex Weatherhill.
Readers may have been aware that the 11th of September was Bridlington’s Heritage Day and staged in Old town. One of the events was held at the Georgian Rooms where author Linda Ellis was signing her books and talking about her research; she was joined by local authors Frank Bull, Chris Bonnet and Peter Thompson who also had their books on sale.
I had picked up, at one of Linda’s previous signings, her book – “A Snapshot Of Bridlington In The 1920s” ;over 50 pages packed with snippets of local news of the day, like Whitsun weekend 1925 attracted over eighteen thousand cars. Along with a selection of Ernest Brigham’s post cards and posters showing the attractions of the time – it’s a most enjoyable read and can be purchased at Georgian Tea Rooms, Lodge Books – South Back Lane or from Amazon on line. Any problems getting a copy – call Linda at 01262 604415.
This project has now been completed and the film footage
is in the process of being edited.
We hope to be able to announce very soon that
the completed DVD will be available for purchase.
“The eight day Mark”
“The eight day mark” was a project/performance, “staged” over an eight day period – Sunday 5th – to Sunday 12th July 2015; from Withernsea to Whitby. Sixteen locations, situated on or near to the Yorkshire coast, had at pre-arranged times, actor John D Slater – as “John Mark”, giving a public presentation, from memory, of one chapter from the sixteen chapters of Mark’s Gospel.
Two thousand years ago, or thereabouts, there would have been no shortage of eager listeners, because if nothing else, it was a really amazing story about a man who, to all intents and purposes, was an ordinary carpenter’s son from Nazareth but someone who did and said some pretty extraordinary things.
Our project seeks to emulate the idea of a travelling story teller, as it is considered that Mark was – exchanging the coast of Syria for the coast of Yorkshire. Over the eight day period the whole of The Gospel According To Mark – almost 16,000 words will have been delivered from memory.
Film footage will be made into a video – to be submitted for TV broadcasting and in addition, be available to be screened in churches, schools or other venues; it will also be available in DVD format. Sales of the DVD will support fund raising for the work of The Red Cross in Syria.
A video clip from the production can be found below.
Venues and locations visited were;
Day One – Sunday 5th July
10am St Matthew – Withernsea – 2pm All Saints, – Tunstall
Day Two – Monday 6th July
10 am St Michael, – Garton – 2pm St. Bartholomew – Aldbrough
Day Three – Tues 7th July
10 am All Saints – Mappleton – 2pm St Nicholas – Hornsea
Day Four – Wed 8th July
10am All Saints – Skipsea – 2pm All Saints – Barmston
Day Five – Thurs 9th July
10 am Holy Trinity – Bridlington – 2pm Methodist Church – Sewerby
Day Six – Friday 10th July
10 am St John The Baptist – Cayton – 2pm St. James – Scarborough
Day Seven – Sat. 11th July
10 am St Mary – Cloughton – 2pm St. John – Staintondale
Day Eight – Sunday 12th July
10 am Methodist Chapel – Hawsker – 2pm St John – Whitby
Clip from the production.
NB. In the 1980/90s John D Slater toured a stage production of The Gospel According To Mark, to over 200 UK churches, cathedrals, schools, theatres and colleges. It was also performed at The Christian Resources Exhibition in Manchester and, in addition, has had several TV features.