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Variety Acts

Variety is the inaugural programme for a new era at the De La Warr Pavilion and presents a repertoire of contemporary artworks that reflect new ideas whilst giving context to their histories.

Variety is dedicated to the artist Ian Breakwell who sadly died on Friday 14 October 2005. His inspiration and creativity gave rise to both the concept and content of the Variety programme.

Curated by the Live Art Development Agency Variety Acts is a weekend of commissioned events taking place throughout De La Warr Pavilion and its surroundings and looking at some of the ways in which contemporary artists working with a range of performance practices are continuing, and re-examining the concept of Variety for the 21st century.  Featuring Miss High Leg Kick, Geraldine Pilgrim, Curious, Richard Dedomenici, Gary Stevens, Tim Etchells, Adrian Heathfield, Marcia Farquhar, Robin Deacon, Rose English and Duckie. Variety Acts artists’ biographies.

Miss High Leg Kick  – Mistress of Ceremonies
Saturday 26 and Sunday 27. From noon daily

As mistress of ceremonies for Variety Acts Miss High Leg Kick will lead audiences through the weekend’s events using her famous signature move of the ‘high leg kick’.

Geraldine Pilgrim – Stardust
Saturday 26 and Sunday 27

Audiences will be invited to take tours between 12 noon and 14.00 and 16.00 and 18.00 daily. Free.

A performance installation in which ghosts of variety haunt the De La Warr Pavilion and where fragments of time and images from the past are glimpsed through half opened doors. 

Curious – Beauty SpotSaturday 26 and Sunday 27.

Short performances for two people at a time between 12.00 and 14.00 and 15.00 and 17.00 daily. Free, but reserve a timeslot on arrival or in advance by calling 01424 787949

The seaside towns of Agatha Christie are evoked in this intimate performance where two people at a time will jump into the backseat of a vintage Riley 472 and be taken on a furious motoring excursion along the coast to a local beauty spot. Bring a weapon!

Richard Dedomenici – Crazy Golf
Saturday 26 and Sunday 27. From 12 noon daily

A participatory event in which Richard Dedomenici attempts to transform De La Warr Pavilion into the First Hole of Bexhill on Sea’s famous Crazy Golf course.

Gary Stevens – Flock
Saturday 26. 14.00

Partly inspired by the Keystone Kops and early music hall performances, Flock is a building wide performance in which a large, but anonymous group of people form a cascade of bodies that materialise in De La Warr Pavilion, move throughout the building and then disperse onto the streets of Bexhill.

Tim Etchells and Adrian Heathfield  – Somewhere Near Variety
Saturday 26. 15.30. Free, but as spaces are limited you are advised to book by calling 01424 787949

A dialogue between Tim Etchells (virtual) and Adrian Heathfield (live) on the influence of variety and other 'illegitimate' cultural forms on contemporary performance practices: from end of the pier acts at Blackpool, through dodgy Elvis impersonators and theatrical psychics to Saturday night TV in the 70’s.

Documentation of Somewhere Near Variety is available to by at Unbound or can be viewed in the Study Room.

Duckie’s Big Saturday Night Seaside Birthday Special
5ive Minute Variety Acts
Saturday 26. 20.00 till late. Tickets £8 (£5 concessions)

Duckie invite you to a special evening of performance, fun, dancing and socialising to celebrate their 10th birthday. An all star line up including Ida Barr, Tommy Angel, AK von Malmborg, Society of Wonders, Marcia Farquhar, Leslie Hill, Helen Paris, and Miss High Leg Kick will perform 5 minute variety acts and will be joined by special guest performers from Bexhill on Sea including the eight piece belly dancing group Sheik’s Delight, Silver Bells Soprano Ann Dalton and the 18 piece Bexhill Harmony Ladies Barbershop Chorus.  Disc Jockeys Readers Wifes soundtrack the relaxed party as dance cards are issued and hostess Miss Amy Lamé introduces the new wave vaudeville.

Marcia Farquhar – The Cabinet of Horribly Violent Glove Puppets
Sunday 27. Short performances on the hour every hour from 12 noon

From somewhere between the archetypal tale and the artist's own experience will emerge a life-size Punch & Judy show, with Marcia Farquhar playing all the parts. In a booth that appears to have crash landed on the beach, Farquhar will bash her way through the trials and tribulations of this centuries old family.

The Art of Entertainment – A Discussion
Sunday 27. 12.30. Free, but as spaces are limited you are advised to book by calling 01424 787949

Why is the theatrical suddenly the hot subject in art? Why are so many artists plundering the aesthetics of variety with its arcane, showy, comic and decidedly over-the-top routines and gestures? What do these forms say about our current cultural condition? About our enduring interest in the art of illusion? About our attitudes to the dark, glamorous and uncanny spectacle of the theatre? Adrian Heathfield convenes a lively discussion with Jonathan Allen, Gary Stevens and Daria Martin.

Robin Deacon – They Used to Call it a White Elephant
Sunday 27. 14.30

Robin Deacon’s father Robert was a regular visitor to the De La Warr Pavilion in the 1950s and his memories of luminaries such as The John Roye Orchestra and Uncle Jack The Punch and Judy Man form the basis of this father-son collaborative performance: a personalised De La Warr performance history and a son’s interpretation of his fathers recollections.

Rose English – Abstract Vaudeville
Sunday 27. 16.30. Free, but as spaces are limited you are advised to book by calling 01424 787949

Rose English turns her lorgnette to the twin rigours of modernity and the baroque in a special lecture using clips and pics from her own work and that of others in a paean to forms both minimalist and prodigious – agricultural exhibitions, horse fairs, stadium spectacles, floor shows and ice follies as well as vaudeville, revue and circus.

De La Warr Pavilion
Bexhill On Sea
East Sussex
TN40 1DP

Box Office 01424 229111


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