Sunday, 28 December 2014

Cirencester College: Loserville 10/12/14

Evan Burgess checked out the young casts slick production...

The Cirencester College performing arts students put on a musical show with great stage design, lighting and sound. This retro comedy set in 1971 tells the tale of Michael Dork, who is named appropriately for his social status. Trying to build a network between computers, he sees himself beaten back at every turn by those who want his idea or just don’t like seeing him succeed. Played by Sam Stafford, the character isn’t a natural communicator. The comedy and friction comes from his need to rely on others to reach his goals when he is banned from the computer room. Usually matters turn farcical as soon as he opens his mouth.

We find the glamorous and sweet voiced Joely Barbour playing Michael’s love interest, and (suspend your disbelief) chief geek. Will she however be able to withstand the testosterone filled advances of bad boy Eddie, whose idea of a gift is giving girls pictures of himself? We can only hope the good in human nature comes out when the jocks and cheerleaders fall for peer pressure and stick a wedge between the geeks friendship.

The version of the show I saw was good fun and full of claps and cheers as the audience congratulated the cast on each number. As with most theatre shows at this level, there were a few more girls to make up the numbers than boys. This lead to no doubt stylish ladies Olivia Raeburn and Lucy Soanes playing creepy and respectively geeky guys. It wasn’t without a cheeky glint in their eyes when they convincingly delivered laddish behaviour to their roles.

Shockingly we discover that amongst the crowd of cheerleaders is a secret geek. Chloe Smith did a good job playing both cheerleader and competition winning nerd Samantha, who falls for dashing dungeons and dragons player, Marvin. Brad Clark who played the role did a good job convincing us of Marvin’s love of sci-fi, sporting some very trendy tartan trousers.
Though it isn’t possible to name everyone’s good work, the spirit of the show was bright and bouncy throughout. The team effort will no doubt stand the students in good stead for future endeavours.

Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Winter Mountain Review-Prema Arts Centre, 22/11/14

A visual fitting the music

Evan Burgess trekked over to Uley to review one of the countries upcoming duos...
All the senses were catered for during Winter Mountain’s concert at Prema Arts Centre in Uley. The intriguing building in the confines of a village suitable for postcards glowed in the autumn night. The fresh air from the tree filled valley was exchanged for the smell of wooden flooring in the venue, with the waft of refreshments from the vegetarian cafe. Stocking plenty of Stroud Brewery beer, it was clear that the venue utilised the most of its surroundings.

With something for the taste buds and abundant eye candy in the form of architecture, another sense would be satiated upon the start of Winter Mountain’s set. The sound was delivered perfectly for the venue. Before I got up the stairs I had thought it was a CD playing in the background, but it was Winter Mountain’s first track. With members Joseph Francis and Martin Smyth, it was refined harmonies that put them a step above expectations. Whilst technically proficient, they also had the taste to write and cover good songs that accentuated their abilities.

I was disappointed not to be able to take their record away with me. It transpired there was just a bit too much month at the end of my money. It would have been great to keep or to give as a Christmas present. Let’s hope the crowds for their upcoming concerts haven’t made the same mistake I did!

To keep up to date with Winter Mountain and Prema, visit the following links.

Saturday, 8 November 2014

The Consuelas to Play at Lights Ceremony

Guitar duo, the Consuelas will be playing at the Christmas Lights switch on. This year will see Saturday 29th Nov glow in the dark! The adorable double act have been building up a fan base around Cirencester and further afield for the last few years. After forming to enter a battle of the bands competition in Wooton Basset, they surprised themselves by winning and went on to search for shows elsewhere. 

The Consuelas have played at numerous beer festivals, hotels and are also open to playing the odd wedding. Popular bank holiday shows in town such as local favourite Somewhere Else have also gone down well.

The band have recorded at Stranded Studios in Swindon and are set to record original material next year to put on iTunes. Having met at Rendcomb College, the duo are very excited to play a local event and are hoping to recognise some faces in the crowd from their studies. If you want to find out more about the Consuelas or book them, you can find them online at or e-mail them on

Friday, 7 November 2014

O’Shea and O’Gaukroger Sundial Theatre Show Friday 24th Nov

Up and coming comedy duo O’Shea & O’Gaukroger came to the Sundial Theatre for a high tempo sketch show. The original duo from Devon delighted the audience with their characters, role play and banter. Some of the characters were quite menacingly odd, but less so than Pappa Lazarou in the League of Gentlemen. Talking gummy bears and women playing eastern Europeans with beards wasn’t something I’d expected, but the segues into improv were seamless and enjoyable.

As with any character show, you will need to get to know the roles and they did well considering most people would have been introduced to an array of new characters in one night.
The duo are worth seeing when they’re next in town and the Sundial Theatre has some great events coming up. The next big comedy show is Susan Calman on the 15th Nov which I will definitely be checking out, but don’t miss Iolo Williams on the 28th November, doing a wildlife talk based on his native Wales.

To find out more about the act and book tickets to future Sundial Theatre shows follow the links below:

Friday, 27 June 2014

Want a Fine Family Car? Treat Yourself... Jaguar XJ Review

The drivers of Cheltenham were inspired to look but not touch.

Evan Burgess knows nothing about cars but has driven for years, whilst James Weighill loves cars but has no licence. Together they make a compromise car review team, with Evan reviewing the drive and James reviewing the passenger seat.

James and I made our way to our allotted test drive at H.A. Fox with a sense of anticipation. Based in Cheltenham’s Kingsditch Industrial Estate, the showroom is right next to Bentley and Aston Martin. The cordial and polite staff offered us refreshment and we perused the nick nacks for sale in the waiting area. “Should I?” remarked James, thinking of getting a £40 Jaguar teddy for his soon to be born son. It certainly is tempting to be affiliated with Jaguar, a brand with such quality design and heritage, even I wanted to take home a mug.

This man has no understanding of cars.
The XJ is a saloon car with five seats and doors. That was normal to me, but it lacked one thing I had grown accustomed to. The ignition. Fortunately, the friendly salesman explained to me the keys just needed to sit in the cup holder and then I needed to turn the car on with the click of a button. Once that rookie mistake was overcome it was just a matter of having my electronic seat adjusted for me like a baby in a booster by the same salesman. I did try, but to the uninitiated the seat controls appeared like Tetris blocks stuck to the side of the seat. With our dignity in tatters we hit the back streets of Swindon Village to try out some country lanes.

We noticed quickly there was hardly a bump to be felt despite the fact that some of the roads hadn’t had any love for years. The sleek automatic commanded respect on the road as buses and lesser vehicles quivered in fear at the thought of insurance claims lest they collide. In some respects keeping their distance probably allowed them to get a good look at the long and sturdy XJ frame.
James: No license, but multiple copies of  Auto Trader.
We were incredulous as drivers rewrote the highway code to wave us on and stared at the vehicle from head to toe. It was in a way that if you saw them doing it to your girlfriend, you’d get angry, even though you'd understand.

The seats were more than comfortable and the driving experience was easy going with the accelerator and brake very intuitive. The engine always shut off when the car stopped and jumped straight back to life when the accelerator was pressed. Without doubt this is a car fit for family outings with small children or single professionals commuting to work. Due to the smoothness of the ride James was certain he could really work up a snooze in the passenger seat. He in fact wondered if it might be better to buy an XJ than a house.

H.A Fox were more than helpful to us and if you would like to find out more about their range or talk to an adviser, you can contact them with the following details.

Telephone: 01242 851 612 

Sunday, 16 March 2014

The Importance of Post Workout Meals with Zane Bokmeldere

Food and exercise must be combined for optimal results.
Personal Trainer Zane Bokmeldere outlines the benefits of choosing the right foods to support your health and fitness targets...

I have noticed that with many of my clients and acquaintances there is a reluctance to see the benefit of eating soon after exercise. Most comments are something like "What is the point spending and hour to burn calories just to put them back on again right after?"
Delicious and nutritious!
My response would be the use of a metaphor. Imagine having a maxed out £1000 credit card where your normal eating represents just the interest repayment. If you never put back more than the interest you will never pay off the principle of the credit card and always be at least £1000 in debt. By not eating enough after exertion, you are essentially trying to buy things on a maxed out card! You will end up in greater debt and bigger problems then when you started. When training your muscles vigorously they become depleted of nutrients and in fact are broken down. The only way to repair the micro tears that training causes is for fresh nutrients to replenish what was used. The right way to put it back is with a nutritionally balanced post workout meal designed for muscle recovery like the lovely pancakes pictured.

In the long term, if you don't eat in a supportive manner, your immune system will weaken and your fat loss goals will slow down or even come to a complete halt. Physical bankruptcy! Remember a simple rule, the more muscle you have the faster your metabolism. The faster your metabolism, the more calories burnt whilst at rest. To achieve this you must eat properly. Do not starve your muscles if you strive to gain a lean and toned physique.

For more personal advice and personal training please contact:
Zane in competition.
Pancake mix: 70g gluten free oats 1tsp baking powder 1/2 tsp stevia, 1/2 scoop whey protein best vanilla or cinnamon flavor or add cinnamon to the mix
1 egg white
3-4 Egg whites
blueberries Milk+water Mix all dry ingredients then slowly add water and milk until you reach even semi thick mix, add blueberries on top and layer with scrambled egg whites. Will make 2 pancakes.