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acorn arts centre penzance

I breathed a huge sigh of relief when it emerged that the Acorn Arts Centre building had been ‘saved’. The venue as we knew it has closed for now – it’s looking sorry for itself – but the trustees are currently in discussion about how to secure the Acorn’s future and, crucially, how to make it more financially viable. After the Poly’s rebirth in Falmouth, I feel more hopeful!

I was a regular at the Acorn before it closed – in the past few years I’ve seen the Portico Quartet twice, Brother & Bones, Hedluv & Passman at the cabaret, Mark Steel is in Town, Patrick Gale giving a talk, singer-songwriter Jenny Bishop, superb comedians Robin Ince and Dan Antopolski – so I feel quite alarmed at the thought of west Cornwall without this intimate cultural venue, the only dedicated arts centre in the far west.

Rightly, the trustees are keen to find a formula for the Acorn that makes it financially sustainable, and to that end they are seeking the opinions of their audience. My god, I couldn’t click on the link to the online survey quick enough!

“Question 2. The Acorn has presented a varied programme of professional theatre in the past five years but I would have preferred a more popularist/entertainment programme.” STRONGLY DISAGREE!

Please not another Hall for Cornwall-type programme of expensive, mainstream acts. I know it’s all very well me throwing my hands up in horror but they must of course find a way to make money – maybe the key is in making the atmospheric basement bar into a standalone arty bar-bistro? I’ve happily sustained a number of San Miguel hangovers after drinking in there.

Be sure to have your say by clicking here (it only takes a few minutes).

Some one-off performances are taking place and Miracle Theatre’s ‘Beauty and the Beast from Mars’ is playing the Acorn tonight, Wednesday 15 December, and Thursday 16 December at 7.30pm; call 01872 262466 or book online at http://www.miracletheatre.co.uk

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When the compere introduced the opening act at the Last Cabaret at the Acorn on Saturday as a rap outfit from west Cornwall, I couldn’t help but brace myself and check the exit leading to the bar was clear (well, come on, on paper it didn’t bode well). I needn’t have worried though because the duo in question clearly started honing their sense of irony in the womb.

“Casio rap duo” Hedluv & Passman deliver deadpan raps and rhymes from the urban underbelly of, er, Redruth. ‘Doin’ it Dreckly’, as fans will know, is their “anthem” – you can buy the T-shirt on their website. The chorus is catchy and it goes like this: Cos we’re doin’ it, yeah, we’re doin’ it dreckly… doin’ it, yeah, we’re doin’ it dreckly… Listen to it on their myspace.

Their act was over too soon for me – the belly laughing was just gathering momentum on my row – and I was left gasping for more of their humorous rhapsodies on life in ‘Druth. Fortunately I have now discovered Hedluv’s blog, The Online Pasty Guide, to sate my appetite – which is a stroke of pasty genius. Here’s the basic remit:

“Welcome to ‘the online pasty guide’ brought to you by hedluv and filled with hints and tips designed to help you avoid the unspeakable pain of having a bad pasty (photographed above). This particular pasty was purchased after 3pm – that was my first mistake, and leads me neatly to my first tip: 3pm is too late to be buying pasties.”

Look out for them.

headluv and passman (www.druth.co.uk).

Don’t forget to join the facebook group ‘Save the Acorn’ for the latest on how to help secure the future of the marvellous venue, which is sadly due to close shortly. Click here for my blog post on this.

mark steel in penzance

Stand-up Mark Steel is travelling around Britain at the moment for a new series of his comedy show ‘Mark Steel’s in Town’.

Taking six British towns in turn, he lovingly celebrates their quirks and individuality, but much more importantly for the purposes of comedy, he rips the piss out of them on home turf in front hundreds of locals.

Last night he was in Penzance (it’s not hard to see how it made the shortlist) – and I was lucky enough to have tickets to witness the Steel spectacle.

Without wanting to give too much away, highlights included a portrait of Humphry Davy as a caner, using chemistry experiments as an elaborate excuse to get high Read the rest of this entry »

p&c january header: artist’s studio Newlyn

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