John Bird on Arts Alive, politics and llamas...

PUBLISHED: 19:22 09 November 2009 | UPDATED: 08:57 21 February 2013

In the October edition of Surrey Life, we speak to political satirist and Bremner, Bird and Fortune star, John Bird, about his new involvement with the Mole Valley's Arts Alive as festival patron

In the October edition of Surrey Life (avaliable in all good shops from Wednesday September 24), we speak to political satirist and Bremner, Bird and Fortune star, John Bird, about his new involvement with the Mole Valley's Arts Alive as festival patron. While you're waiting to get your hands on the mag, here is a little taste of John in action...

Arts Alive Festival '10 of the best'

Grand Opening Event
Leatherhead High Street and St Martin's Walk Dorking
Saturday September 27, 10am - 3pm
A showcase of some of the groups participating in Arts Alive, as well as street entertainment, face-painting and give-aways for all to enjoy.
Admission: Free

Boy George in Concert
Dorking Halls, Reigate Road, Dorking
Wednesday October 1, 8pm
After a 10 year absence, Boy George is back on stage performing hits from Culture Club, his solo career, covers and new writing.
Admission: 25
Box office: 01306 881717

Dorking Group of Artists - Annual Exhibition
Denbies Wine Estate, London Road, Dorking
Friday October 10 and Saturday October 11, 10am - 5.15pm, Sunday October 12, 11am - 4pm
An exhibition of affordable, contemporary and traditional paintings. Visitors will be able to enjoy the vineyard, with its beautiful setting and restaurant, doubled with the opportunity to view more than 300 pieces of original work.
Admission: Free

Dorking Concertgoers Presents: A Tribute to Vaughan Williams with the London Philharmonic Orchestra
Dorking Halls, Reigate Road, Dorking
Saturday October 11, 7.30pm

The London Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Ramon Gamba, will play an all Vaughan Williams programme comprising Fantasia on Greensleeves, The Lark Ascending, Oboe Concerto and Symphony No. 5.
Admission: 10, 18 (stalls), 26 (bleachers), 23 (balcony). Students half price, children under 16 accompanied by an adult quarter price.
Box Office: 01306 881717

Embroiderers' Guild
Talk by Jean Littlejohn and an Exhibition of Members' Work
Friends Meeting House, Victoria Terrace, Dorking
Monday October 13, 10am for 10.30am talk, exhibition 2 - 4.30pm
Visitors are welcome to the monthly meeting of the Guild to enjoy world renowned textile artist and author Jean Littlejohn's illustrated talk, 'Stitch, Enrich, Embellish'. In the afternoon, there will be an exhibition of members' embroidery. Admission: Exhibition free. Talk: members 2, non-members 3.50 at the door.
Information: 01306 887327

The Arts Alive Cultural Quiz
The Star Pub, West Street, Dorking
Tuesday October 14, 8.30pm
An entertaining and irreverent pub quiz with a difference: No sports round and plenty of arty stuff. This is for you if you love music, theatre, art and literature. Join in the 'making and doing' round to win extra prizes...
Admission: Free or voluntary contributions to the Culture Conspiracy.
Information: 01306 889734

Watermill Jazz, Alan Barnes Ellingtonians
Friends Provident Social Club, Pixham Lane, Dorking
Thursday October, 8.30pm
This all-star octet of award-winning saxophonist and clarinetist Alan Barnes performs rarely known compositions by Duke Ellington and Billy Strayhorn, set to arrangements by Tony Faulkner. Joining Alan in the front line-up will be trumpeter Bruce Adams, trombonist Andy Wood, along with Tony Coe and Andy Panayi on reeds. An impressive rhythm section features pianist John Horler, on double bass Alec Dankworth and drummer Mike Smith.
Admission: 13; concessions 12; Watermill Jazz members 11; students half price.
Box office: 01737 210454 (after 6pm)

Jali Djembe's Children's Workshop and Performance
Main Church Hall, United Reform Church, West Street, Dorking
Saturday October 18
Workshop 2-4pm. Performance 4.30-6pm
A workshop for children ages seven to 14, teaching West African percussion and dance, followed by a performance by Jali Djembe of West African Music.
Admission: 10; child ticket for workshop and performance, 7.50; sibling ticket, 10
Box office: 01306 881717

Raindance Film Scriptwriting Workshops
Council Chamber, Mole Valley District Council Offices, Pippbrook, Dorking

99 Minute Film School
Monday October 20, 7.30pm

Admission: 15; concessions 7.50; Group Booking Offer of one free ticket with every 10 tickets purchased.

Idea, Script, Screen
Saturday October 25 to Sunday October 26, 10am - 6pm
Admission: 65; concessions 50; Group Booking Offer of one free ticket with every 10 purchased.

Do you have an idea for a film but don't know how to get it from script to the screen?

Based on the popular Raindance courses, these workshops cover the art and craft of screenwriting and film production. The writers, directors or producers of films such Sliding Doors and The Dark Knight have attended Raindance seminars before making their first films.
Box Office: 01306 881717

The Graduate
DDOS The Green Room Theatre
Tuesday October 21 - Saturday October 25, 7.45pm
Dorking Dramatic and Operatic Society presents The Graduate - the highly-acclaimed West End stage adaptation of the film. Admission: 11; concessions 9
Box office: 01306 881717

High School Musical
The Leatherhead Theatre, Church Street, Leatherhead
Friday October 24 and Saturday October 25, Monday October 27 - Friday October 31, matinees and evenings
The Leatherhead Theatre is delighted to welcome the event of the season - Disney's High School Musical - live on stage! When basketball star Troy and brainy Gabriella both decide to try out for East High's School Musical, it sends their peers into a tizzy...
Admission: 17 (friends 15, family ticket 60)
Box office: 01372 365141

Festival Grand Finale
Lantern Procession and Dorking Round Table Firework Display
Meadowbank Recreation Ground, Dorking
Saturday November 1, 6.45pm, Fireworks at 7.00pm
Gigantic paper sculptures and lanterns will be paraded through the town in a stunning candlelight procession, on a musical theme to celebrate Vaughan-Williams. The procession accompanied by samba percussionists Bloco Do Sul culminates in a spectacular firework display from Dorking's Round Table. Under 3's Free.
Admission on the Night: Adults 5, under 14's 3, Family Ticket (2 adults plus 3 children) 15. Admission in Advance: Adults 4, under 14's 2, Family Ticket (2 adults plus 3 children) 10

  • The Arts Alive festival is sponsored by KBR and Aerospace Logistics. For full festival listings visit are available at venues across the district, including local libraries, The Leatherhead Helpshop, Dorking Halls and the Leatherhead Theatre or by telephoning 01306 879188.

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