Event: The Full Monty at the Wyvern

Event: The Full Monty at the Wyvern

The Full Monty at the Wyvern

The Full Monty

The tragi-comic Full Monty began life as a 1997 (yes – THAT long ago!) British comedy film set in Sheffield, Yorkshire with a screenplay by Simon Beaufoy, The film starts with a travelogue of a 1972 Sheffield and tells the story of six unemployed men – four of them former steel workers. The men decide to form a male striptease act  (à la Chippendale dancers – remember them??) in an effort to raise enough money to:

a. Get out of Sheffiled

b. Enable Gaz, the main character, to get access to his son.

Gaz declares that their show will be better than the Chippendales dancers because they will go “the full monty“—strip all the way—hence the film’s title.

The Themes

A comedy it may well be but the film tackles difficult subjects.  We now have a different political and working landscape – the old concept of the ‘job for life’ died with the wholesale destruction of first the steel industry and then  the mining industry. Yet, the underpinning themes of unemployment, father’s rights, depression and suicide, impotence, sexuality, body image and working class culture remain relevant and still have something to say. Arguably more than they ever did.

The Full Monty Play

Buy your Full Monty Tickets here: https://swindontheatres.co.uk/Online/tickets-the-full-monty-swindon-2018

I was intrigued to see how this stage production would play out – see what I did there? The backstory to the Full Monty is my heritage. I come from a mining area not so very far from Sheffield. My ex-husband was a miner. My daughter grew up in the middle of the 1980s miner’s strike. Indeed her first word was ‘picket’. True story. (https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/picket )

So I know this world first hand. And I even have an amusing anecdote involving an RSJ beam. But that’s best kept for the memoirs.

The film, so far as I can recall, behind its comedic aspects, conveyed well the desperation of these people’s lives. Everything they knew, had known for generations, and were fiercely proud of, was gone. They had to adjust to a whole new reality. One where women were no longer full-time housewives and mums, but had jobs -albeit often it was low paid cleaning/shop work etc – while the men were unemployed. As it says in the programme ‘The Full Monty captures that moment when a way of life that had seemed eternal was gone for good.’

If I have a critique of this stage production, it’s that I don’t think one gets enough of a sense from it, of how very awful it was for those people in that part of England, back then. ‘A lot of men were wandering around lost, not really knowing what was going on, not just with their life but with their city.’ (Simon Beaufoy – playwright). That may well be because I’m still, 30 odd years on, too, too close to it all. I guess too it’s the nature of the beast – the confines of a stage production as opposed to the broad brush of a film. Or a little of each. I’m not sure.

In rehearsal

But that does mean the play is not worth seeing? Hell no it doesn’t! Does that mean I didn’t enjoy the production? No – absolutely not! I most surely did.

It’s fabulous, raucous, mildly raunchy, potty-mouthed fun.  YES – there’s lots of swearing as befits the setting and the subject. It really wouldn’t work at all delivered in received pronunciation

The staging rather neatly dealt with the film’s opening travelogue – I liked that. There’s lots of laugh in it – and goodness knows we need a reason to laugh eh? For those familiar with Victoria Wood’s work there’s a familiar face too. This is a great night out with a story that is sad and funny, yet ultimately uplifting as the central characters begin to come to terms with their new reality and get to do their performance.

 But – the question on everyone’s lips is surely: ‘Do they actually do the Full Monty?’ Well – that would be telling eh? So if you really want to know – buy a ticket and go see it. It’s a great night! 

Buy your Full Monty Tickets here: https://swindontheatres.co.uk/Online/tickets-the-full-monty-swindon-2018









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Event: Closing a sale – a free presentation at Business Village

Event: Closing a sale – a free presentation at Business Village

August 2018

Spotlight will turn on closing a sale at free business presentation

A free presentation to Swindon networking group Business Village will focus on avoiding mistakes that cost businesses a sale.

The breakfast event, on Thursday September 6, is the first after the group’s summer break, and is free to anyone wanting to attend, as well as Business Village regulars.

Story-led marketing coach Sarah Archer will deliver a talk entitled ‘How to avoid the three biggest mistakes businesses make around customer objections that cost them the sale.’

Sarah, who is based in Royal Wootton Bassett, said: “So many business owners lose the sale to hot prospects at the last minute. So in my presentation I’ll look at the three most common mistakes made, why they happen and how to avoid them.”

Sarah Archer - Closing a sale - presentation at Business Village

Sarah has a background in comedy and acting. She is an author and playwright, with more than 20 years in corporate life, and she is on a mission to make business owners less boring and more successful.

The event runs from 7.30-9am at The Campanile, West Swindon, and includes networking, one-minute introductions and breakfast. The usual charge for each weekly, Thursday meeting is £10 for booking online in advance (£9 early bird) or £12 on the door. The group charges no membership fee.

For more information and to book for Sarah’s talk, and other events on the Business Village calendar, visit https://businessvillage.org/.

See also: http://www.lemon-squeeze.co.uk

And – Swindon Business Village

Event: Summer Workshops at Swindon’s Museum and Art Gallery

Event: Summer Workshops at Swindon’s Museum and Art Gallery

11th August 2018

Summer Workshops at Swindon’s Museum and Art Gallery

Doing what it says on the tin – a poster advertising stuff to do with the kids, in the form of summer workshops at Swindon’s museum and art gallery up in Old Town. The activities are sponsored by the friends of Swindon museum and art gallery– an organisation well worth joining.

If you’re the sociable sort then check out Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MuseumandArtGallery and Twitter: https://twitter.com/museumandart

And Instagram too:

Summer workshops at museum and art gallery

Event: Transport company’s drive to raise charity funds arrives at fun day

Event: Transport company’s drive to raise charity funds arrives at fun day

10th August 2018

Transport company’s drive to raise charity funds arrives at fun day

Akcess fun day August 19th at Coate Water 
Akcess fun day August 19th

Akcess Medical NEPTS transport

They say you wait for one bus then three come along – well that’s just what’s going to happen when the team at Swindon-based transport company Akcess lay on a bumper fundraising fun day.

As part of the festivities at the event, which takes place at Coate Water on August 19, visitors will be asked to guess the combined weight of three vehicles. The vehicles are from Akcess CIC, a not-for-profit community transport company, and its sister company Akcess Medical, which operates hospital transport.

As well as guess-the-weight, there will be everything from fun fair rides to tombolas and sweet stalls, displays, and old-fashioned races like egg-and-spoon. There will also be a raffle, with local business people generously donating prizes ranging from Swindon Town tickets and swimming lessons, to chocolates and Bluetooth speakers.

All the profits from the event, which starts at midday, will be split between Wiltshire Air Ambulance and Uplands special school in Swindon.

Organising the fun day is Akcess Medical’s crew manager, Tracey Mason.

“Originally, we were going to run a fun day for staff, as we employ about 200 people across the businesses, but then we decided to open it up to everybody who wants to come along and to help charity at the same time,” she said.

“We picked Uplands as we provide transport for a lot of the children to get to and from school, and for school trips, and they are really wonderful. Wiltshire Air Ambulance fits with Akcess Medical, although our ambulances are firmly on the ground!”

Tracey is still looking for people who want to run stalls or displays at the fun day. To get in touch or for more information email info@akcess.co.uk or call 01793 855550.

Event: This is our town

Event: This is our town

13th July 2018

Event: This is our town

Prime Theatre wins major support for new Swindon history play called This is our town.

Prime Theatre this is our town

Prime Theatre has been awarded a Heritage Lottery Fund grant of £27,000 for an exciting new performance project based on Swindon’s people & places at the turn of the century.

Made possible by money raised by National Lottery players, the project ‘This is Our Town’ will allow young actors & writers to partner the town’s heritage organisations & create live & digital performances & exhibition.

Supported through the Heritage Lottery Fund, the nine-month project begins with a major production at STEAM museum at the end of July,

’This Is Our Town’, brings to life figures & events from between 1903 & 1913. After this first production, new young writers & historians will be able to join another creative project with digital stories & an exhibition in the autumn.

Celebrating the award, Prime’s Associate Director Emma Barr said: This is a fantastic opportunity for Prime Youth Theatre and any actors, producers, writers, researchers, technicians and directors between the ages of 10-17 to develop skills alongside professionals while learning more about local heritage. In our research we have come across dramatic stories and visionary people, giving us plenty of reasons to be proud of our town.’

Cast member and young writer, Jenna said: ‘I’ve really enjoyed learning more about the history of Swindon. Getting to be involved with both the writing and the performing has been so interesting and so much fun!’

Prime Theatre will support up to 150 young participants from across Swindon to get involved with heritage professionals from Swindon Local Studies archives, Swindon Museum & Art Gallery, STEAM Museum, Wiltshire & Swindon History Centre & Swindon Heritage.

The show features William Morris, editor of the town’s newspaper, then called the “Swindon Advertiser and Wiltshire, Berkshire and Gloucestershire Chronicle”. Other glimpses of history include suffragette Edith New, James ‘Raggy’ Powell the Swindon Councillor and philanthropist and events such as the tram crash of 1906.

Daryll Moody from Swindon Local Studies said: ‘We are proud to be involved in this fantastic project, which will allow Swindonians to step back in time and glimpse life in ‘our town’ a century ago. We always welcome the opportunity to share the treasures of the Local Studies collection with the widest possible audience.’

‘This is Our Town’ will be performed at STEAM museum on Thursday 26 to Saturday 28 July at 7pm with a matinee on Saturday at 2pm. Tickets at £7 are available through the Wyvern ticket office on 01793 524481 and www.swindontheatres.co.uk


TIOT poster


Series of free events aims to help Swindon businesses

Series of free events aims to help Swindon businesses

15th June 2018

Series of free events aims to help Swindon businesses

Rombourne hosting Free events for Swindon businesses


Rombourne serviced offices in Swindon are to stage a series of free events to support businesses across the area, as well as those based in the centre.

Shirley Hensher - The Change Agent

Shirley Hensher – The Change Agent

The first event will be on July 3, and is a two-hour afternoon workshop with business and career coach Shirley Hensher, of the Change Agent, focusing on helping business owners rediscover their direction and priorities so they can manage their time more effectively.





On July 18, Jo Smyth, who runs PR and copywriting agency Word Worker, will hold a drop-in copy clinic, where business owners can call in and ask for help and advice on anything from how to write and where to send a press release, to tips on blogging and crafting web copy.

Jo Smyth - Word Worker

Jo Smyth – Word Worker. Photo credit Stuart Harrison Photography

Other events will be planned in for later in the year.

“I am keen to integrate and support the local business community. I really wanted to try something different and I have the facilities to accommodate varying size workshops,” said Danielle Mottram, business centre manager at Rombourne’s Kingston House, Lydiard Fields, West Swindon. “Shirley Hensher is one of my newest clients at Kingston House, and this is a great opportunity for us to work together in supporting the local business community. I also hope Jo Smyth’s copy clinic appeal to the businesses in our centre and further afield.”



Shirley Hensher, who helps provide fresh perspective to her clients so they can shape their working lives, spent 25 years in corporate life, as an employee then freelance project manager, before starting a coaching business. She said: “I am really looking forward to running the workshop in July and helping business people rediscover their sense of direction and purpose so they can align their daily activities with what is really important to them and to their business.”

Jo Smyth works with SMEs and uses her journalism skills to craft press releases which hit the mark with online and offline media. She said: “I always enjoyed copy clinics when I was a young journalist, and received some really fantastic advice from my editors, so I am looking forward to helping business owners unlock their own writing potential.”


Danielle Mottram of Rombourne Serviced Offices

Danielle Mottram of Rombourne Serviced Offices

For more information about the events at Kingston House, email dmottram@rombourne.co.uk or call 01793 683550.