Life in 21st century Britain is brought into focus at The Spring Arts and Heritage Centre this summer in a series of productions which will make audiences think, reflect and laugh out loud.
Modern Life is Rubbish, a comedy evening specially curated by The Spring’s director Sophie Fullerlove, sets the tone for an original and thought provoking four months.
Comedian Arthur Smith, Britain’s favourite grumpy old man, headlines a Saturday evening in May designed to help audiences laugh at all those things that stress us out.
The evening kicks off with Tensile Strength (Or How To Survive At Your Wit’s End), which questions the causes of stress and how to deal with it before it turns sinister.
After a short break and a chance for some refreshment at the bar, we head outdoors for some very clever slapstick fun in That Parking Show, where two cars and their occupants fight for a single space. Then back in the theatre, Smith, the star of TV’s Grumpy Old Men, rounds off the evening with a comedic masterclass reflecting on modern life.
There’s further musing on the meaning of life later in May when Walk of Shame II, the sequel to a sell-out in 2018, discovers what happens when you exit a life of excess in search of moderation and meaning. MEH in June explores the phenomena of mass epidemic hysteria in a powerful and visceral new piece of work.
The Event Cinema series continues to mesmerise audiences with productions from the best theatres in the world beamed live into the Havant theatre.
Matthew Bourne’s classic Swan Lake from Sadler’s Wells has a fascinating twist: the female corps de ballet is replaced with a menacing male ensemble. There’s All About Eve, starring Gillian Anderson (Scully from the X-Files and much more) as Margo Channing, and a new take on the Arthur Miller classic All My Sons.
Also as part of the Event Cinema series, nineties boy band Take That are on their Greatest Hits Live tour. Get ready to party with front row seats at The Spring’s encore screening, as Gary, Mark and Howard perform your favourite songs.
Accomplished storyteller James Rowland brings a hilarious but surprising trio of shows. James Rowland: Three Performances features live music, heartache and belly laughs.
The Spring is screening the documentary it commissioned about the local appliance manufacturer Kenwood. It’s produced by Emsworth company Millstream Productions and looks at a bygone age in Havant and coincides with the exhibition in the Mezzanine Gallery Kenwood In Havant.
For children aged eight and under, and to coincide with The Spring’s 10th anniversary, we explore the history of birthdays. This free interactive exhibition during the summer holidays includes party games, birthday facts, card making (materials provided) and of course, some cake!
There’s still time for artists to enter the Open Exhibition, a competition on the theme of Ten in celebration of The Spring’s first decade. Professional and amateur artists, and even those who occasionally just dabble in art, are invited to submit up to three pieces of work by May 31.
There’s more wit and wisdom with raconteur Gyles Brandreth: Break A Leg and Chris McCausland, one of the UK’s top stand-ups.
Sophie Fullerlove said: “The summer is part of our 10th anniversary season which encompasses a range of celebratory activities and events that we hope everyone can enjoy.”
Between April to July last year The Spring held 66 events. This year it’s planning more than 90.
She added: “We’re certainly busier and I’m really proud of the range and quality of the events we’ve got on offer. With more events and growing audiences we want to be a hub of activity for Havant. We’re no longer Havant’s best kept secret!”