Handpicked arts, theatre, music and entertainment goodies courtesy of Wells Maltings director, Simon Daykin.

Welcome back to the Lockdown Lowdown, my short digest of things to satisfy your cultural hunger whilst staying safe at home. You can’t come to us – so we will come to you!

Here’s my schedule of sweetmeats for this week:


Zoom into Action

Two more interactive events in our Lockdown Zoom programme next week, after two popular and fun activities this week. It’s the turn of open mic poetry on Tue 24 November when Strictly Speaking goes online at 7pm, hosted by editor of Ambit magazine Briony Bax – bring something to read, or just join to listen in.

Then on Thu 26 November we go classical, inviting musicians to share short pieces in a different take on open mic. Top pianist and Maltings associate Adam Johnson will be playing pieces by Mozart, Chopin and Bach-Kempff, host Tim Lankester will be playing pieces by Brahms and Casals, and the Bingham Quartet two movements from Haydn’s beautiful Opus 54 No 2. There is still chance for you to sign up to play – or just login to the Zoom on Thursday to listen.



Identity and Grief

I recommended the Norwich Film Festival last week (and still do of course), but also take a look at Sheffield Doc/Fest, which runs online for the next few weeks. The film I really wanted you to see, Sisters with Transistors, about the women that pioneered electronic music (remember Hymns for Robots at the Maltings last April?) has now expired sadly, but my attention was immediately grabbed by an equally fascinating film on American multiculturalism and identity, which is hugely current. Everything That Is Forgotten In An Instant is a powerful piece of work, and bundled with the moving and beautiful Point And Line To Plane, about a woman who seeks solace from sudden grief in art. Well worth the £4 to see both films.


It’s also not too late to see the Q&A after the screening of Sisters with Transistors, and a new piece of music by Space Lady. And all for free. That’s available here:


Two Sides of War

Their War (Milo Cosemans)

Talking of the Norwich Film Festival, a multi award winning film that premiered there two years ago is now available to watch on Amazon Prime. Their War, directed by Max Mason and largely shot in Norfolk and Suffolk, moves between the stories of respective English and German soldiers and their journeys from home life to trench life in the First World War. Poignant and moving.

Just search for Their War on Amazon Prime to watch.



Working on the Musical Frontline

The Frontline Worker

More from the prolific composer, musician, singer and Maltings associate Susie Self, and a collaboration with Skipton Camerata, who commissioned five composers to reflect on the coronavirus pandemic in their series Lockdown Diaries. Susie has collaborated with Kamal Kaan in The Frontline Worker, a piece which uses the conjunction of stand-up comedy and chamber music to examine the tragedy of a nurse faced with the lack of PPE and ventilators in the NHS. The piece, brought to the screen by digital producers Cloth Ears, is available to watch here:



Sounding and Mapping

In the new year, we’ll be talking more about an exciting collaboration between Wells Maltings and the Open University’s Sounding Coastal Change project, which will focus on spoken histories and reflections of local people both from Wells and all along this particular stretch of coastline.

If you don’t know about Sounding Coastal Change, it’s a fascinating thing. The Blakeney Postcards (a series of listening posts) were onsite at the Maltings throughout 2019, and more beautiful and thought provoking works are available online. Too much to recommend, but dive straight into the haunting Doggerland – a song by Sam Richards, celebrating the ancient landmass that connected our coastline to northern Europe.

Listen to Doggerland here

and explore the rest of the Sounding Coastal Change collection here


Stories from the Woodshed

Stories From The Woodshed

Finally this week, a shout out to a project that’s close to my own heart, and something in which I was very involved ten years ago in its early stages. The Story Museum, in the heart of Oxford city centre, is a real treasurebox – and whilst currently locked down, it has launched Stories from the Woodshed – an exciting new digital series of remixed and reimagined stories for young and not-so-young alike from a wonderful cast of professional storytellers. The series starts with my former colleague, the brilliant Amantha Edmead, reading The Wolf and the Seven Kids.

Follow the series here
That’s my selection box for this week – come back next week for more.

Stay safe, be strong and be kind



See previous Lockdown Lowdown Listings here: