Christmas cheer on a daily basisBy Julie Spencer
December 12, 2012
The countdown to Christmas continues in Wokingham with a nightly pop-up arts festival in the town centre.
Poetry, songs and classical music have been performed outside a different shop each evening in the Living Advent calendar.
Crowds of between 25 and 80 have gathered at 6.15pm for 15 minutes of surprise entertainment including Christmas carols, country and western tunes and a classical violinist in an eclectic programme put together by More Arts and Wokingham Town Council.
Cllr Maurice Monk, chair of the Living Advent Calendar steering group, described the performances as ‘brilliant’.
He said: “On Saturday night we had Regency singing group Austentation dressed in Regency costume outside Anthony Blay Menswear and there was a tremendous atmosphere.
“So far all the events have been very successful and there has been a very buoyant atmosphere.”
Jayne Mosses, owner of Anthony Blay Menswear, hosted Austentation which perform songs from Jane Austen’s era.
She said: “We had about 25 people watching and the singers were very eccentric but fun.”
The Electric Tattoo Company in Broad Street hosted the calendar on Wednesday, December 5 and The Local Barber Shop next door was the venue for The Thames Valley Chorus singing songs from the shows the night before.
Tattoo artist Jay Norwell said: “We had a couple of singers and it was brilliant.
“It was a bit cold so we served hot chocolate to the crowd. I was surprised by the number of people who came out to support and see it.
“I am all for this as it is really bringing the town together.”
The biting cold forced classical violinist Endre Adam to perform inside rather than outside Oslar Coffee in Denmark Street on Friday, December 7.
Owner Jason Oslar said: “It was great and people certainly enjoyed it.
“It has given me exposure as people have discovered where my shop is and it is bringing a nice bit of Christmas cheer to Wokingham.”
Rococo jewellery hosted musician Pauly Zarb on Thursday, December 6. Manager Juliette Bluhm and staff served sparkling wine and hot chocolate to the audience.
She said: “Our staff gave out drinks and it was definitely a party atmosphere.”
The Living Advent Calendar performances continue until Saturday, December 22 and there will be collections at each show for Wokingham & District Association for the Elderly (WADE), More Arts, Wokingham Rotary Club and JAC (Just Around the Corner) charities.
Make a date for town’s Advent Calendar
Mystery performers will appear at 6.15pm outside the following venues:
Tonight – Bookends Gift Shop, 12 Peach Street
Tomorrow – Antique Rose, 3 Bush Walk, Market Place
Friday, December 14 – Waitrose
Saturday, December 15 – Cafe Rouge, Market Place
Sunday, December 16 – The Roebuck, Market Place
Monday, December 17 – Martin & Pole, 7 Broad Street
Tuesday, December 18 – The Duke’s Head, 56 Denmark Street
Wednesday, December 19 – Herrington and Carmichael, 27 Broad Street
Thursday, December 20 – Barbara Easton, 7 Bush Walk, Market Place
Friday, December 21 – Waitrose
Saturday, December 22 – Waitrose
Sunday, December 23 – Nativity at Elms Field
For more information go to http://advent.wokingham-tc.gov.uk/