Friday, 13 July 2018


By Carlo Vuolo, Cirencester Scene Magazine

Following the resounding successes of the first two productions at The Barn Theatre, the brilliant musical ‘The Secret Garden’ and the stark realism of ‘One Minute’, the last show of the current season is an uplifting and engaging tragi-comedy. ‘The Rise and Fall of Little Voice’ by Jim Cartwright, which has been named one of the 50 best plays in the history of theatre, opened on July 7th.  

Sarah Louise Hughes as Little Voice

It is the tale of a shy, reclusive northern girl, nicknamed Little Voice (LV), living with Mari, her domineering, alcoholic mother. LV’s only comfort is listening to her late father’s collection of old vinyl records, from which she learns to impersonate famous singers, including Shirley Bassey, Edith Piaf and Marylin Monroe.

Sarah Louise Hughes, making her professional debut, excelled as the title character, Little Voice, and blew the audience away with the sheer power of her ‘Massive Voice’ after she has been persuaded - or rather coerced, into performing at the local nightclub. We really thought we were listening to the great stars themselves as she finally opened up and released all her inner tensions and frustrations, albeit temporarily. Mari’s long-suffering neighbour, Sadie, mercilessly teased and ‘fat-shamed’ by Mari, was played with appropriate resigned pathos by Larissa Hunter.

Failed talent scout, the scheming Ray Say, is played menacingly by Gary Richards as the latest in a long line of Mari’s useless boyfriends. He hears LV sing and sees her as his big chance of fame and fortune. Her mother, mistakenly thinking her daughter’s success would secure her own relationship with Ray, persuades her to comply against her will when he ruthlessly coerces Little Voice into singing at his friend Mr Boo’s seedy nightclub. It ends badly for all.

There was some welcome light relief with the sweet, gentle friendship LV struck up with the equally shy Billy (Hadley Brown), an apprentice telephone engineer with his own hidden talent, as well as the entertaining comedic interaction between the telephone fitter (Stephen Omer) and Mari.

Gillian Cafferty as Mari and Sarah Louise Hughes as Little Voice

The glue which held the whole story together was, however, undoubtedly the superb performance of Gillian McCafferty as Mari. Her performance was brilliant, and her comic timing accurate to the nanosecond. She even kept in character during the interval, drinking ‘vodka and Malibu’ in the theatre bar with Sadie and bantering with the audience as they passed by.

With the cleverly designed set, The Barn Theatre backstage team used their technological wizardry to recreate a convincing representation of Northern back-to-back gloom and deprivation.

This production is guaranteed to raise laughs and lift your spirits. It is a delight from start to finish and is another ‘must see’ offering from the Barn Theatre team. Cirencester is so, so lucky to have this wonderful facility. 

The rise and fall of Little Voice runs until August 4th.   
Tickets can be booked on or 01285 648255.

Please be aware that mature language, smoking and adult themes are used throughout the show.

Cirencester Ramblers Walks July 18

Lechlade Bridge

Sun 15 Jul  Cockleford to Cowley returning through woods.  6.5 miles. Donation to travel £3.  Meet at Waterloo Car Park at 9.15 07502 281184am for a 9.30am start.  R A Dogs Only. Visitors welcome. Marian Preston 01285 654904OTD 07854 179541 Details  

CIRENCESTER RAMBLERS Tues 17 Jul Bishopstone up the Coombe to The Ridgeway.  3.5 miles. Donation to travel £3. Meet at Waterloo Car Park at 6.15pm for a 6.30pm start.  R A Dogs Only. Visitors welcome.  John Bookwood 01285 860407OTD 07803 707843 Details 


Lacock to Reybridge and along the River Avon.  Bewley Comon, Bowden Park & Nocketts Hill.  6.5 miles. Donation to travel £4. Meet at Waterloo Car Park at 9.15am for a 9.30am start.  R A Dogs Only. Visitors welcome.  Mike Bailey 01666 577755/otd 07870976315 Details   

CIRENCESTER RAMBLERS Sun 29 Jul  The Ridgeway, Barbury Castle and Draycot Foliat. 6 miles.  Donation to travel £4. Meet at Waterloo Car Park at 9.15am for a 9.30am start.  R A Dogs Only. Visitors welcome.   Gerry Swallowe 01285 862116OTD 07985941784 Details

Cirencester Hypnotherapy Centre: Phobia Anyone? July 18

Phobia anyone? 

Did you know that everything would be okay if we only had one mind each? But in actual fact I’m frequently heard saying “We have one brain, with two minds”. The conscious mind and the subconscious mind.

The conscious mind is your intellectual mind, it likes fact and it comes up with the correct assessment of any given situation.  The other mind, your subconscious mind, is emotionally driven and is powerfully focused on your survival.  It’s there to keep you safe.  Therefore it can frequently come up with the opposite response to the conscious mind.  Whereas the conscious mind might think ‘Flying is the safest form of transport’, the subconscious will be looking for the nearest exit to flea if you’re fearful of flying.

Remember when that plane was magnificently landed in the Hudson River by Chesley Sullenberger? At the time I had a fear of flying, so when someone said “Isn’t that fantastic”, I responded “That’s another darned good reason not to get on a plane”!  We’re looking at the same situation, but from two totally different perspectives.

So how do we deal with phobias using hypnotherapy?  Well it depends on the phobia as there are two types of phobia.  There is the simple specific phobia where a person reacts negatively when they come into contact with the thing that causes fear, i.e. dentists, needles, flying, spiders, etc.  Then there’s the more complex non-specific phobia which causes fear and anxiety continually.  An example is Emetophobia - a fear of being sick, considered to be one of the most common phobias in the world.  It can affect the sufferer in ways such as not wanting to collect their children from school in case that child is feeling ill. This phobia can even stop someone having chemotherapy because of the fear of sickness, they’d prefer to take their chances with the cancer!

Another non-specific phobia is a fear of driving, unless there’s been a specific incident that triggered the fear, such as an accident.  But rarely do people understand the difference between specific and non-specific fears and that’s important in order to choose the right hypnotherapy treatment.

One of the basic features of any phobia is a conflict between the conscious and the subconscious.  I say “Conversation talks to the conscious minds, whilst hypnosis talks to the subconscious”.  This means we can filter through to the client’s subconscious about how they want to be rather than how they currently are.

If a phobia is a specific phobia, i.e. spider or flying, then it’s usually a pretty quick fix of 4 sessions.  If it’s a non-specific phobia, then it may take quite a few more sessions depending on what life is throwing at that person at that time.

The good news is either sort can be fixed!  So you can enjoy wondering how it would be to get on that plane looking forward to the flight (as I do now every month when going to lecture in Belfast), or to pick up that spider and throw it out of the window, or whatever phobia you have, wondering how good it would be if you didn’t have it anymore!

Nicola Griffiths runs the Cirencester Hypnotherapy Centre in Dyer Street which has a choice of six solution focused hypnotherapists who have specialist training in helping people overcome phobias.  Visit

Thursday, 12 July 2018

Little Voice, from now to August 4th! Don't miss.

Gillian McCarthy and Sarah Louise Hughes

The Rise and Fall of Little Voice

A tale of despair, love and hope written by English dramatist Jim Cartwright in 1992.

Olivier award winner for Best Comedy ‘The Rise and Fall of Little Voice’ tells the heartwarming story of a reclusive Northern girl-next-door whose remarkable ability to impersonate the great singers of old brings her into the spotlight. Pushed by a foul-mouthed, hard-drinking mother and her equally unappealing talent agent boyfriend, timid ‘Little Voice’ will need to conquer more than just stage-fright if she is to find her own voice in the world.

Named as one of the top 50 plays of all time and called a “A northern showbiz fairytale, a backstreet Cinderella story, with a built-in kick” by The Guardian. Directed by Award Wiinner Michael Strassen and featuring a full professional cast, Little Voice has something for everyone.

Sarah Louise Hughes plays LV
“Enchanting, uplifting, emotional and truthful, Jim Cartwright’s Olivier award winning show is a comedic tragedy about finding your voice in a noisy world.”

Praise for The Rise and Fall of Little Voice:

“A northern showbiz fairytale, a backstreet Cinderella story, with a built-in kick” The Guardian

“Like everything Cartwright writes, Little Voice is playful, magical and terrifying, a view of the world from an unexpected angle, perpetrated by an imagination that notices the dust in the grooves of old records and finds poetry in garish, swanky clothes or the glitterball of a rowdy northern club” Sunday Times

Please be aware that mature language, smoking and adult themes are used throughout the show.

01285 648255

Join in at a local Fundraiser for the "Forgotten Army" of WWII


Gloucester boy Ron Harding, now
102 years old.
The 14th Army in Burma was known as the “Forgotten Army” because all attention in the UK was on the war in Europe following D Day .  Even when the war was over in Europe troops in Burma had to continue the fight until what was known as “VJ” Day (Victory over Japan) on 15th August 1945.

We should not forget this awful struggle in the jungles and plains of Burma and there is certainly one amongst us who will surely not.  Ron Harding who is 102 was one of those great men who fought there and he is very much alive living in a care home in Gloucester.  His story is remarkable as he narrowly escaped death and capture several times as a gunner in 24 th Anti Aircraft/Anti Tank Regiment, Royal Artillery.   On one occasion his position was overrun by the Japanese and he was compelled to hide in  a jungle hole for nigh on 3 weeks  until he was rescued suffering from dehydration and malnutrition.

Another remarkable story is how he was forced to find his own way home after VJ Day.  Such was the chaos as the war ended administration faltered. This he did by hitch hiking on military aircraft and ships to get himself home to Leckhampton. 

The ABF The Soldiers Charity are holding a fundraising talk and supper at the Royal Agricultural University on Friday July 20th at 6.30 pm to highlight the “Forgotten Army”.  The talk given by a renowned military tour guide Piers Storie Pugh will focus on another remarkable story, the Chindits, a group of soldiers who fought behind the lines in Burma.   Ron will not be attending but his son Andrew will be.  And we hope others will too.  To attend please get in touch with  Suzanne Hollis  on 01980 672337 Tickets are £25 including a fork supper with wine included.

Alison Fielden & Co: Employed or Self Employed?

Get advice at this local law firm near the Abbey Grounds

By Alison Fielden & Co

Amid all the distractions of The World Cup, Brexit, President Trump and Wimbledon, not everyone may have spotted an interesting decision from The Supreme Court which impacts further on the so-called “gig economy”.

The decision will allow plumber Gary Smith to take action for redress against Pimlico Plumbers Ltd as a “worker”. He had been with the company for almost six years.

Pimlico Plumbers, as readers may know, is a well-known London-based business which used (it argued) “self-employed” contractors as the lifeblood of its workforce. It is led by its charismatic chief executive, Charlie Mullins.

In the recent judgment, the Law Lords backed the initial employment tribunal and the Court of Appeal in ruling that Mr Smith’s work met the definition of “employment” under statute. In the lead judgment, Lord Wilson said that Mr Smith should be considered a “worker” and entitled to numerous rights, including the right to holiday pay and rights not to be the subject of unlawful discrimination nor to have unlawful deductions made from his pay.

An important consideration was whether Mr Smith had undertaken to perform personally his services for Pimlico Plumbers. A second question was whether he actually worked for the company, or whether the company was his client or customer.

On the first matter, it was held that the dominant feature of Mr Smith’s contract was an obligation of personal performance (he had a limited facility to to turn down jobs, but only by substituting himself with another Pimlico person)

On the second question, it was held that Pimlico imposed such a tight control over his work attire, as well as severe payment terms and restrictions that it was right to conclude that Pimlico could not be regarded as a client or customer of Mr Smith.

Some commentators have argued that Pimlico Plumbers and other similar organisations may now have to change their model or they will face multiple legal challenges. This case may also influence other appeals to be heard by the higher courts later this year e.g. the Uber and City Sprint cases.

These are interesting times in the Employment Law world!
For legal advice on all aspects of Employment Law, please call Martin Hopwood or Alison Fielden on 01285 653261 (for further information or to book an appointment).

July Events at Corinium Museum!

July at Corinium Museum

Sian Summerhayes Exhibition

5 July – 29 July

This exhibition is a collection of artwork by Sian Summerhayes featuring original paintings, giclee prints, hand-painted jewellery, homewares and hanging ornaments. Sian works on an array of surfaces including paper, wood, slate and fabric to create original pieces and prints as well as decorative and functional items for the home and to wear. Bright and busy, her style is cheerful, colourful and pattern-orientated, inspired by countryside scenes and homely interiors. 

Quirky depictions of birds and animals are a trademark of her work, combining a folky yet contemporary feel. Sian Summerhayes is a local artist living and working in the Stroud area of the Cotswolds.

Free entry


Corinium Cinema

Thursday 12 July, 7pm

Maudie, based on a true story, is an unlikely romance in which the reclusive Everett Lewis (Ethan Hawke) hires a fragile yet determined woman named Maudie (Sally Hawkins) to be his housekeeper. Maudie, bright-eyed but hunched with crippled hands, yearns to be independent, to live away from her protective family and she also yearns, passionately, to create art. Unexpectedly, Everett finds himself falling in love.

Cert: 12

Run time: 1 hr. 53 min.

Cost: £6.50 per adult, £5.50 concession

RSC Live Romeo & Juliet

Corinium Cinema

Wednesday 18 July, 7pm

Join us for an RSC Live screening of Romeo & Juliet, broadcast to the Corinium Cinema.

What if your first true love was someone you’d been told you must hate?

Set in a world very like our own, this Romeo and Juliet is about a generation of young people born into violence and ripped apart by the bitter divisions of their parents.

The most famous story of love at first sight explodes with intense passion and an irresistible desire for change, but leads all too quickly to heartbreaking consequences.

Cost: £17 per adult, £15 members

Discovery to Display

Roman Society Day Excursion

Saturday 21 July, 9.30 – 4.30pm

A ‘Discovery to Display’ day excursion to find out about current archaeological processes from excavation, to processing the archaeology, and then to final museum deposition and display.

The day will include a tour of the Cotswold Archaeology Office in Kemble to hear about recent excavations and take a look at how finds are processed. Then to the Corinium Museum Resource Centre in Northleach where the museum team will explain the next stage of the process and finally on to the Corinium Museum for a talk from Museum Director Amanda Hart and a chance to look at the galleries. Transportation will be provided.

10-11am                               Cotswold Archaeology tour including a break for tea & coffee

12-1pm                                 Resource Centre, Northleach

1-2pm                                   Lunch (please bring a packed lunch)

2.15-4.30pm                       Corinium Museum, talk by Amanda Hart

This day excursion has been made possible with support from the Roman Society.

Cost: £15 per adult, £12 members and Roman Society Members

Booking essential

Adult Drawing Workshop

Festival of Archaeology Fringe 2018

Monday 23 July, 10-1pm

Join us to draw some real Roman and Prehistoric artefact. Drawing material is provided but feel free to bring your own. This is a relaxed and friendly workshop with guidance if needed.

Cost: £15 per adult, £12 members

Booking recommended

Suitable for ages 16 and above

Roman Shields

Family Drop-in

Festival of Archaeology Fringe 2018

Thursday 26 July, 10-11am

Make and decorate your own Roman Shield, inspired by the Roman army, to take home.

This fun morning drop-in will provide you with the tools to create your own Roman shield. Shields were often curved to protect the soldier’s body and brightly decorated with special designs to show power. Designs included eagles, lightning bolts and laurel wreaths. Create your own to take home.

Suitable for age 5 and above.

Cost: £2.50 per child, £1.50 members

Become an Archaeologist

Discovery Zone

Festival of Archaeology Fringe 2018

Thursday 26 July, 11-12pm

Have a go at handling real Roman artefacts from our collections, drawing and trying to identify them.

Included in admission

Free to members

A Tale of Two Hoards

Afternoon Talk with Kurt Adams

Festival of Archaeology Fringe 2018

Thursday 26 July, 2-3pm

Join Kurt Adams finds liaison officer for Gloucestershire, to hear the tale of two remarkable Roman hoards. First the Thornbury coin hoard which features over 11,000 Roman coins then the amazing dog hoard which features a unique standing dog statuette. Kurt will discuss how these hoards were found, how they have benefited their local museum and most importantly how they have shed new light on to the archaeology of the area.

Cost: £7 per adult, £6 members

Booking recommended

Roman Helmets

Family Drop-in

Festival of Archaeology Fringe 2018

Friday 27 July, 10-11am

Make and decorate your own Roman Centurion helmet, inspired by the Roman army, to take home.

This fun morning drop-in will provide you with the tools to create your own Roman helmet. Helmets were worn to protect the face and often had cheek plates and a rim around the neck. They were made from metal, usually bronze, and prevented soldiers from being harmed by swords and spears. Create your own protective helmet and wear it with pride, just like a Roman soldier.

Suitable for age 5 and above.

Cost: £2.50 per child, £1.50 members

Become an Archaeologist

Discovery Zone

Friday 27 July, 11-12am

Have a go at handling real Roman artefacts from our collections, drawing and trying to identify them.

Included in admission

Free to members

Rural Cinema

Saturday 28 & Sunday 29 July, 2.15pm

The Corinium Museum takes part in the Rural Cinema Scheme. Films are released approximately 4-6 weeks in advance. For film titles contact the Corinium Museum or visit our website.

Cost: £5.60 per adult, £4.80 concession

Iron Age Round house

Family Drop-in

Monday 30 July, 10-11am

This family drop in activity will show you where people in the Iron Age lived.  It will demonstrate the concept of a roundhouse, and give your child a fun takeaway activity to play with at home. This creative activity includes a roundhouse with an Iron Age man, animals, fire and fish bringing the Iron Age world to life.

Suitable for age 5 and above.

Cost: £2.50 per child, £1.50 members

Prehistoric Painting

Children’s Workshop

Tuesday 31 July, 10.30-11.30am

Release your inner artist, and explore the natural methods that people have been using for the creation of art for thousands of years.  Be prepared to get creative and messy!

Prehistoric art tells us about the early life of the nomadic hunters and gatherers. Be inspired by the cave paintings of animals, hand prints and people that have been found all over the world. Natural pigments were carefully painted onto the rock by ancient artists. You can do the same in this workshop, learning new techniques and going back to the past to create your own artworks to take home.

Cost: £5.50 per child, £5 member

Find out more about ultra fast broadband in rural areas with Gigaclear!

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Gigaclear was founded in 2010 and is one of the fastest growing broadband suppliers in the UK – by the end of 2017 Gigaclear operated networks in rural locations across some 17 counties mainly in the south of England, with more in the pipeline. The company is dedicated to providing reliable, ultrafast, full fibre broadband directly to homes and businesses in rural Britain.

What does this mean for you?

Do you have trouble staying connected in the countryside?
Enjoying the freedom of working flexibly, streaming seamlessly and getting the latest entertainment or box-set with the speed you need – wherever you are. We also understand that rural communities rely on high speed broadband to thrive enabling schools, village halls, shops and surgeries to better serve the people of the community. At 1000Mbps, we offer a significantly faster service with FTTP connection than standard copper-based ADSL connection. All part of our commitment to ensuring that rural communities have access to the latest and very best technology.

For the residents of Appleton, a village in Oxfordshire, the choice of internet connectivity was between slow and nothing at all – applications such as iPlayer were virtually impossible to use and downloading a one hour programme would take all night. Appleton’s broadband connection used old-school copper wire and major network providers had no plans to upgrade it any time soon – even with Government funding. Villagers got together to take matters into their own hands and researched what alternatives were available.

Local resident, Julian Morris, comments, “There were a number of rural broadband initiatives out there, but they required significant time and investment from residents to run and manage the service. We needed a solution from a sound commercial organisation which we could simply subscribe and easily connect to. That’s why we chose Gigaclear.

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The company held an Open Day which made people realise what they’d been missing out on for years because of poor broadband. Since connecting to Gigaclear, we’ve been able to take full advantage of the Internet in a way that just wasn’t possible before. We watch TV shows using BBC iPlayer without interruption, access our daily newspapers online and most importantly have regular and reliable Skype conversations with our grandchildren. Additionally, I’m now able to work just as efficiently at home as in the office. This means that I can miss the rush hour completely and have a better work/life balance.”

One of many comments from happy customers which have contributed to our Trust Pilot 4 Star rating.

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Tuesday, 10 July 2018

Pet Talk With Corinium Vets: BBQ Safety Tips July 2018

Food for dogs?
BBQ safety tips for pet owners

We all love a family BBQ on a hot summer day.

Please consider the potential dangers for your pets if they are to be part of this joyful event.

Here are a few top tips on how to avoid accidents with pets:

1. Please don’t feed any scraps and tell your family members and friends not to ‘accidentally’ drop food. Scraps can upset your pet’s stomach. Some, for example garlic, onions and grapes are poisonous for pets. Undercooked or fatty foods can give them diarrhoea and vomiting.

2. Place left overs and litter in a lidded bin. In particular bones, plastic bags, corn on the cob and peach stones will often cause bowel blockages or injuries if ingested by greedy pets. Kebab skewers can cause very serious injuries.

3. Keep pets at a safe distance from the barbeque while it is hot. Keep pets away from flames and glowing embers. Leave lighter fluid and firelighters out of reach.

4. Alcohol is dangerous for pets, so keep alcoholic drinks out of reach of thirsty pets.

5. Your pet is at risk of heatstroke in the sun and hot weather. Keep pets in the cool shade and provide plenty of water. Dogs will enjoy licking ice-cold water or ice cubes. A moist towel placed over the back or a cooling vest may be appreciated by a dog who is getting very hot. It may be better to get them into a cooler place indoors to calm down and relax in peace, especially if they are very excitable.

6. White or pale coloured animals may suffer from sunburn especially on their nose and the end of their ears. Use a pet safe sun cream.
We hope these tips are helpful and everybody is able to enjoy the lovely summer weather!
Dr. Bettina Gruninger (Veterinary Surgeon), Alison Cuss and Nicki Wray (Veterinary Nurses)