Past Events RAP

For the first time since 2019 we were delighted to bring back


Friday 21st, Saturday 22nd and Sunday 23rd April

Amongst many events for all ages – story telling for children, and the return of the ever-popular Pile By My Bed.

Other highlights  included competitions, an Open Mic session and window displays – SEE BOOK TRAIL MAP BELOW


The Festival began in The Club at 8pm on Friday 21st April with the inimitable Madame Galina in My Tutu Went AWOL!

  ‘A rare and perfect synthesis of art and larkiness.’  The Times    (Photo credit: Luke Casey-Brown)
When Olivier-Award-winning Iestyn Edwards took Russian ballerina, Madame Galina, to entertain the troops, he didn’t quite realise what he was letting himself in for.   In My Tutu Went AWOL he recalls how Galina danced Sugarplum on a misguided tour of Afghanistan and Iraq. ‘Only the divinely unique Iestyn Edwards could be in a tutu in war-zones and talk about it so perfectly.  Fascinating, moving and completely hilarious.’  Miranda Hart      ‘Achingly funny.’  Daily Mail A revue with song and dance for ADULTS only.  TICKETS:  £10, RAP members £8 – available on TICKETS page at and at Judges. 


CHILDREN’S BOOK TRAIL – from 16th – 23rd April throughout the village –

Here are just two of the wonderful Book Trail window displays around the village from 16th – 23rd April.

Thank you to all who have participated in making these fantastic windows for children to find using the map above. 


AUTHORS’ TALKS – Upstairs at The Ostrich

Charlotte Moore – an interactive workshop on ‘getting’ poetry!

Saturday 22nd April 11am – 12.30 at The Ostrich, upstairs   

What makes a poem work?  Poetry, said A E Housman, is “not the thing said but the way of saying it”; how do poets get their words to fall into place so that they delight us, refresh us, amuse us, console us, move us?    Charlotte Moore has lived in close companionship with poetry all her life, as a reader, a teacher, a lecturer and an editor. She holds a weekly poetry reading group at her home in Whatlington; from this arose her anthology The Magic Hour, a selection of favourites chosen by herself and by members of the group.   In this workshop she will present several poems, some well-known, others fresh discoveries, and will discuss the variety of ways in which they take on aspects of the world and transform them for us.
Whether you’re a habitual poetry reader or a complete novice, you’re welcome to attend; the only thing you need to bring with you is an open mind. 
Charlotte is an author, journalist and public speaker. She has published four novels, four historical books for children, George and Sam – a memoir of life with her autistic sons, and Hancox – a family history. 

Annette Lloyd Thomas – Mad Jack: The many lives of John Fuller squire of Brightling.

Saturday 22nd April 1pm – 2pm at The Ostrich, upstairs

Local legend has it that John ‘Mad Jack’ Fuller sits inside his mysterious pyramid tomb at a table set with a roast chicken and bottle of port. Curious stories such as this overshadow Fuller’s true philanthropy and patronage of the arts and sciences, while his arrest in the House of Commons is now better known than the details of his long political career.  Nearly 200 years after his death, Fuller is chiefly remembered as a typical English eccentric: a wealthy eighteenth century squire who built whimsical follies around his Brightling estate in Sussex.  This is, however, a narrow view of a man who took on many roles in his lifetime.

In her biography, Annette Lloyd Thomas delves beneath the myths and tall tales to examine more closely the life of a colourful, charismatic and often contradictory character who is as controversial today as he was in his own time.  Annette believes everyone has a story worth telling and is particularly drawn to people deemed ‘eccentric’ by society.  She has an obsession with Georgian Britain where eccentrics abound.  An unashamed bibliophile, she enjoys debunking historical myths and challenging popular misconceptions.  After exhaustive research, her first book – “Mad Jack: The Many Lives of John Fuller, Squire of Brightling”, was published in 2020. 

While graduating in Geography, History and Education from York University, Toronto Annette learned the value of unearthing primary documents and original sources. In her long career as a teacher, she encouraged critical thinking and debating skills in her students. She believes it is better to find the truth than to be right. 

Born in Sussex, Annette moved to Canada with her family as a child. Now retired, she has returned to her roots and currently lives in Chichester.


Tim Devlin – Cracking Humpty Dumpty: Famous Nursery Rhymes – What they really mean.

Saturday 22nd April 3pm-4pm at The Ostrich, upstairs

Almost everyone in the English speaking world knows a nursery rhyme. They help young children to speak and read, and have become part of the fabric of life and our social history. Some are nonsense, some are scurrilous and some are dark, but what do they mean? In Cracking Humpty Dumpty, Hastings author, Tim Devlin, follows an investigative trail of discovery, debunking myths surrounding these comforting rhymes and revealing the stories behind them.

Tim Devlin, former journalist and education correspondent of The Times, is co-author of books on what we should teach in schools, famous people and where they went to school, and a real murder mystery in his home county of Sussex. He lives in Hastings Old Town, and spends some of his time crocheting presents for friends and family and hat bases for the long-running musical The Lion King.


Paul Dawson – The Book Beautiful: John Ruskin, William Morris, George Allen and The Private Press Movement  

Saturday 22nd April 5pm-6pm at The Ostrich, upstairs


G.D. Harper – The Maids of Biddenden  

Saturday 22nd April 7.30pm at The Ostrich, upstairs

The Maids of Biddenden is inspired by the real-life story of conjoined twins Mary and Eliza Chulkhurst, born in 1100 into a wealthy family from a small Kent village.  The two women lived to be 34 and left their land to charity when they died. An annual dole from the proceeds of their estate is still paid out to the poor and elderly every Easter, and they are commemorated on the sign seen when entering the village. Little is known about Eliza and Mary Chulkhurst, so GD Harper (Glyn) has taken the real-life historical events and characters of the time and used them to create an entertaining and inspirational story about their life. In an interview with fellow-novelist, Elena Kravchenko, Glyn will talk about the history of the maids and tell us a little about his book. Despite his Scottish accent, Glyn was born in Kent and has lived in Sussex for the last 30 years He currently resides in Punnetts Town, near Heathfield, and has published four novels.  The Maids of Biddenden is currently shortlisted for this year’s London Book Fair independent publisher award, was shortlisted for the 2021 Impress Prize, longlisted for the 2021 Exeter Novel Prize, the 2021 Cheshire Novel Prize and the 2021 Flash 500 Novel Award, and was a 2021 Page Turner Writer Award finalist. Elena Kravchenko was a top international cat-walk model based in Paris at the beginning of millennium, working with the Valentino, Dior and Giorgio Armani fashion houses and photographed by the likes of Helmut Newton.  Her debut novel, Breathe, about the Boxing Day tsunami in Thailand, was the runner-up at last year’s London Book Fair for the best independently published novel.


Paul Roberts – Lord Byron and Franz Liszt: the ultimate Romantic hero worship

Sunday 23rd April  11am – 12 midday at The Ostrich, upstairs

Byron – the idolised virtuoso poet, and Franz Liszt – the irresistible virtuoso of the piano, were dominating figures of the post-Napoleonic age. Liszt was 13 when Byron died, but just over 10 years later he followed his hero’s path to the Swiss Alps where the poet had once taken refuge from a scandalised British public. Liszt was similarly escaping…The fruit of this journey was one of his greatest piano works, replete with extended quotations from Byron. Paul Roberts, pianist, writer, lecturer, has just published his fourth book, Reading Franz Liszt: Revealing the Poetry behind the Piano Music. ‘Dazzling and richly informed’ – International Piano Magazine


Families are invited to join the BOOK TRAIL to be held from 16th – 24th April around the village.  Look out for windows with a display depicting a well-loved book or story character. A map will be available from Judges to help children to find them!


On Saturday 22nd April ED BOXALL – writer, illustrator and performer – will be hosting his giant book event “CARRIED AWAY WITH THE CARNIVAL” – a morning of songs, poems, and joining in, for children aged 3 to 11, to be held at the Robertsbridge Club from 10.30 to 12 midday.



Writers’ Clinic at 49, High St Saturday, 22nd April 1.30-4.30pm with Joanna Norland

Have you been waiting for years to get going with that novel, memoir, film script, picture book, volume of poetry, etc? Or are you between drafts, wondering what to do next? To the rescue, we have Joanna Norland — writer, writing coach and creator of! Drop in to her writer’s surgery for a chat to jump start your writing project, or get it back on track. To ensure a slot, sign up in advance by contacting her at





We hope those who joined us for the Quiz enjoyed the evening on 24th March at the Village Hall – it was fun!


In December 2022 we were delighted to bring you a Christmas event at the Village Hall – a family puppet show called STINKY MCFISH AND THE WORST CHRISTMAS WISH – a fun story about a crab who wants to be human for Christmas.   This was performed by Joanna Neary who appears on BBC children’s programmes.

This performance was on SATURDAY 17th December at 4pm, and though the weather was snowy we had a good audience, with lots of rapt children

watching a lovely performance by Jo Neary playing all the characters.   I hope everyone had a good time with us!


The Bygone Robertsbridge Memory Trail has now finished, but you can view great photos of days gone by and a bit of history for each of 20 locations on our COMMUNITY page.  For more information:

Photos from the Robertsbridge village celebrations for the Queens Platinum Jubilee in June 2022

The above photos are of various spots in Robertsbridge Village taken on 4 June 2022.  Shown are two examples of what you will see when visiting sites on the ‘memory trail’.  The metal objects are the bells for the Bell Orchestra. For more Bell Orchestra info:

At the Robertsbridge Celebrations for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee

Beautiful Creatures Theatre

Bell Orchestra

Bell Orchestra is an interactive musical installation that invites audiences of all ages to come together to play beautiful melodies on a set of giant chimes. Guided by performers the participant percussionists follow patterns and improvisational instructions to strike the chimes with their beaters, each chime playing a different note with striking resonance. Audiences stop to listen to the unique sounds, captivated by the spectacle and charmed by the joy of watching participants learn the sequences and tuning in to each other. With a playful invitation and ceremonial tone, this unique instrument will create many memorable moments of togetherness throughout your event.
The installation was on the green at the Jubilee Garden, on Saturday 4 June as part of the Jubilee celebrations in 2022.

The HUG…… Sunday, 8 May 2022

Robertsbridge Village Hall  Long Nose Puppets performed their brand-new show. A tale of hope, empathy and acceptance. Based on the heart-warming and funny book ‘The Hug’ by Eoin McLaughlin and Polly Dunbar. Starring a Hedgehog and a Tortoise both in search of a restorative hug. They face many rejections along the way from a rather scary badger, a squirrel (who knows A LOT about nuts), a shy frog, a fabulous fox and an owl who really wants to be wise.  Set to Tom Gray’s beautiful and witty music, the audience are invited on a journey full of fun, laughter and love…and at the end, a very special hug from our puppets. __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ BIG ARTS QUIZ 2022   This popular event on Saturday 26th March 2022 Robertsbridge Village Hall was well-attended by some great teams. a quiz for lovers of the arts in all its forms. Quiz mistress Jenny Barrett did her utmost to get our brains pumping. A fun evening, with great prizes!

Christmas Capers 2021

After the enforced break due to the Covid pandemic Christmas Capers was welcomed back to Robertsbridge on 3rd December 2021, and a great evening ensued.     __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

The Star in the Jar

Pied Piper Theatre Company Sunday 26 January 2020 Robertsbridge Village Hall, Station Road Suitable for ages 3 to 8 years and their families. With Very Special Guest Sarah Massini, Illustrator of The Star in the Jar and Robertsbridge resident who will be doing book signings and bringing a delightful display of her work for this book. RAFFLE! We will be holding a raffle for your chance to win both a copy of Star in the Jar signed by Sarah and a framed print from the book. Raffle tickets £1 per strip – available at the show only. When a little boy stumbles across a special star, he puts it in a jar and takes it on adventures. But the poor star misses its home… Can the little boy and his big sister find a way to send the star safely back? From Star in the Jar by Sam Hay. Illustrations copyright © 2018 Sarah Massini. Published by Egmont UK Ltd and used with permission.


The RAP Online Productions events during the Covid lockdown in 2020 have been recorded.

All the recordings can be found on the RAP ZOOM EVENTS page

Alan Judd presents:

‘The Romney Marsh Gang – Sussex writers a century on.’

Sunday 16 May – 7:30
‘Just over a century ago, East Sussex and nearby bits of Kent boasted or – perhaps more accurately – hosted a number of well-known writers.   They included Kipling, Henry James, H.G. Wells, Joseph Conrad, Ford Madox Ford and others, plus regular visitors such as Edith Wharton and Violet Hunt.  They mostly knew each other, they competed and collaborated and gossiped.  They also wrote about each other, not always kindly, including one who recorded her failed attempt to seduce Henry James in Lamb House.  What brought them here, what did they think of it and what happened to them?  Local author Alan Judd offers a quick canter over the ground.’ Alan Judd is the author of 15 novels and two biographies. He previously served as a soldier in the British army and as a diplomat in the Foreign Office. Judd is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and has won numerous awards including the Guardian Fiction Prize and the Heinemann Award, with three of his novels having been filmed.     Alan’s latest:  A Fine Madness, a novel about Christopher Marlowe published last month by Simon & Schuster.  Chosen as The Sunday Times historical fiction Book of the Month, also one of The Guardian Books of the Month.


Aunt Barbara’s Fireplace. A presentation by Charlotte Moore.

Saturday 20 March – 7:30pm

Continuing the series of online talks given by village professionals in different areas of the Arts, The Robertsbridge Arts Partnership is delighted to present local author and journalist, Charlotte Moore.

She will introduce her great-great-great Aunt Barbara who lived at Scalands on the Brightling Road. A leading feminist and founder of Girton College, Barbara Leigh Smith Bodichon counted among her friends many of the great Victorians including Rossetti, Morris, Gertrude Jekyll and George Eliot, all of whom visited her here in Robertsbridge. Charlotte’s talk will be illustrated by early photographs of the area, many unpublished.

All are very welcome to view this free online talk via Zoom from the comfort of their own homes! This is planned to be a 40 minutes presentation with a question/answer session at the end. This will be a ZOOM Webinar and questions can be submitted via chat.

 Notes from the Opera Pit

Sunday 21 February – 6:00pm Celebrating the wealth of professional artistry we have in the village, Robertsbridge Arts Partnership was proud to present Sarah Brooke (flute) and Mike Hext (trombone) in conversation for its February Online Production. Known by many in the village as daily dog-walkers, in their working lives Mike and Sarah are giants of the UK orchestral world. They have played under the baton of every great conductor of the age, accompanied the grandest of international opera stars and can be heard on the soundtracks of many blockbuster films. Showing photos and video clips, they will talk through the highlights of their careers – Mike’s beginning spectacularly with becoming the very first BBC Young Musician of the Year in 1978 – and give a peek behind the scenes at The Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, where they were both long-standing principals of their instrumental sections.  

The Illustrious Illustrators

Sarah Massini and Finn Dean

Sunday, 13 December, 6pm
Sarah and Finn have reminisced about how they were drawn to their craft and how their careers and styles have developed and evolved. We shall discover the differences and similarities in their methods for getting drawings from thought to print and in their daily routines.  Please join us for a lively discussion with these ‘illustrious illustrators’ whose work is drawn in Robertsbridge and seen around the world. ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ THE BONFIRE SOCIETY – The past, the present and the future – Saturday 21 November Approximately one hour, a Zoom recording of a lively discussion between John Goldsmith and Eric Vidler with lots of fabulous photos and memorabilia.

Photos of our prize winning pumpkins –  Another great turn out by our Robertsbridge Community! Well done!

Jeeves & Wooster in Perfect Nonsense

Chipping Norton Theatre Company Sunday 15 March 2020 Robertsbridge Village Hall Priority booking & seating for RAP members. Winner of the 2014 Olivier Award for Best New Comedy. When a country house weekend takes a turn for the worse, Bertie Wooster is unwittingly called on to play matchmaker, reconciling the affections of his host’s drippy daughter Madeline Bassett with his newt-fancying acquaintance Gussie Fink-Nottle.  If Bertie, ably assisted by the ever-dependable Jeeves, can’t pull off the wedding of the season he’ll be forced to abandon his cherished bachelor status and marry the ghastly girl himself! Will Bertie get caught with the Policeman’s helmet again?  Will Aunt Dahlia get her way and lead Bertie into trouble?  How often will Jeeves save the day?  And who is Seppings? Based on P.G. Wodehouse’s delightfully bonkers stories, this Goodale Brothers’ dramatisation premiered at the Duke of York’s Theatre, West End. Written for a cast of three, who play multiple roles, this adaptation will keep you laughing and breathless all at once. A stuffed dog also makes an appearance. We were thrilled to have co-writer David Goodale with us on the evening! **RAP Members received up to 4 discounted tickets for this event.
The Race to the South Pole & The Sussex Connection An Illustrated Talk by Michael Smith Thursday 27 February 2020 Robertsbridge Village Hall, Humans first set eyes on Antarctica 200 years ago in 1820 and began the famous quest to reach the South Pole, featuring celebrated explorers like Scott, Shackleton and Amundsen. But there is more to the compelling saga than the Captain Scott tragedy as Polar exploration author and Robertsbridge resident Michael Smith— known as Mick—explains, revealing how Sussex plays a significant role in the drama to reach the South Pole. This illustrated talk lasted approximately one hour followed by a Q&A session. Mick’s talks are always extremely popular!___ _____________________________________________________________________________________________

A Penny Pincher’s Christmas Carol – An It’s Not Us production Sunday 29 December 2019 Robertsbridge Village Hall

Festive entertainment for all the family, A Penny Pincher’s Christmas Carol is a mad-cap re-imagining of Dickens’ classic tale, featuring all the firm favourites of ghosts past, present and future – as you’ve never seen them before – all played by just two actors, the wonderful Kate Tym and hilarious John Knowles!  A fabulous fun show, free of ‘D’ list celebrities, and guaranteed to have young and old alike smiling their socks off and dancing in the aisles…. or your money back! (Actually, that last bit’s not true – Scrooge never gives refunds!)

Robertsbridge Christmas Capers  

Friday, 6th December 6 pm – 9 pm

RAP is delighted to again be sponsoring the Lantern Making workshops, and the Friendly Giant Lantern Procession. Martin Brockman and Simon Page have worked tirelessly to put together a truly spectacular display. Just when we thought it couldn’t get any better, it got bigger and better! Starting from the Mission Room and outside the George Inn, then meeting up to form one parade, children and their families will process up and down the High Street and Station Road with their beautiful, hand-made lanterns culminating in an unmissable, magical finish outside the Seven Stars. RAP is also taking part in the Open Houses, and will be at Robertsbridge House, 61 High Street, together with local crafts people. Tickets will be available for our next two events, A Penny Pinchers Christmas Carol and A Star in the Jar. More details below. Please do drop in and we’d love to see you!

Songs for a Late Summer Evening 7th September, 2019     18.30    

An intimate performance in a unique and private setting, from Soprano Mhairi Lawson accompanied by Elizabeth Kenny on the Lute. 6.30pm on the lawn for drinks & canapes, 7pm performance, 8.30pm approx end. Tickets £37.50, this event is a fundraiser with the profits to be split between RAP and the Abbey owners’ charity, the Motor Neurone Disease Association. NB tickets on sale through
Robertsbridge Literary Festival           15-18 May 2019 This is our third festival and we are keeping it local again. Featuring Sussex authors, storytellers, writers and actors, we have nine very different events over the four days. Hopefully there’s something for everyone! See below for full information. Sponsors Thanks to our local sponsor heroes: No Agenda Healthstyles |  Salehurst Halt |  Eggs to Apples Moat Osteopaths |  Hush Beauty |  The George Inn, Robertsbridge

A Writers’ Conversation: Terry Newman & Isabel Lloyd

Wednesday 15 May

8pm Upstairs @ The Ostrich  doors 7.30pm, talk 1 hr incl Q&A Tickets £5 from Judges Bakery & the Village Store and online Author of the #1 USA Kindle Epic Fantasy Bestseller ‘Detective Strongoak and the Case of the Dead Elf’ Terry Newman (aka Dr Tel) in conversation with Brightling journalist-turned-author and gardener Isabel Lloyd. Robertsbridge’s Terry is an award winning writer for film, animation, stage, musicals, comedy, TV and radio, working with top comedy people such as Rory Bremner and producers of The Office. He’ll be in conversation with Isabel Lloyd, fellow local writer and editor who has worked for most major British news titles including The Economist, FT and The Independent. A lifelong garden enthusiast and sci-fi nerd, she is co-author of Gardening for the Zombie Apocalypse (Anima, 3 Oct). Who knows where this conversation will end up…! Sponsored by No Agenda


The Rat in the Cellar: A radio play reading

Thursday 16 May

8 pm Upstairs @ The Ostrich doors 7.30pm, talk 1 hr including Q&A’s Tickets £5 from Judges Bakery, the Village Store and online. A darkly comic radio play, written by local performer, writer, poet and former Random House editor Kate Tym. Marilyn is frustrated by her loveless marriage. It was all right whilst her husband Alan was at work, but now he’s retired… So, the ever innovative Marilyn takes matters into her own hands, locks husband Alan in the cellar and cheerfully gets on with her life of trash TV and M&S ready meals, all the while blithely planning Alan’s ultimate, untimely demise. I love, love, love your play! – Miriam Margolyes Reminiscent of some of the funniest and best of Alan Bennett’s monologues – Marilyn Imrie, Literary Agent Written by Kate Tym and performed by Kate and John Knowles of Come and join us for something a bit different, and chat to Kate afterwards about her writing and inspiration for the play Sponsored by HealthStyles Skin Care HealthStyles Skin Care With thanks to The Ostrich for the use of their upstairs room.


Illustrated Talk with Sarah Massini

Friday 17 May

Robertsbridge Village Hall 8pm, doors & bar 7.30pm Talk lasts approx 1 hour incl Q&A.   Tickets £5 from Judges Bakery, the Village Store and online. Robertsbridge based children’s book illustrator Sarah Massini in conversation with RAP’s Jenny Barrett, talking about her journey from first scribbles to where she is today, with several lessons learned along the way! Now in the enviable position of being extremely choosy about what she works on, Sarah will explain what appeals and why. Her numerous books include The Velveteen Rabbit, The Boy and The Bear, Star in the Jar, Little Cloud and, due out later this year, The Girl and the Dinosaur. Our thanks to John Powell for the photograph. Sponsored by The Salehurst Halt


Talk: For the Love of The Archers (An Unofficial Companion)

Saturday 18 May

The George Inn, Robertsbridge 10.15 am doors open to order tea/coffee/cake 10.45 am talk starts followed by Q&A 11.45 am ends (approx.) Tickets £5 from Judges Bakery, the Village Store and online Join Sussex based author Beth Miller for a chat about what it’s like to write about the world’s longest running drama, the havoc she would wreak on Ambridge if only she was allowed anywhere near a script, and a good moan about our least favourite characters! Beth has published three novels, the most recent of which is The Two Hearts of Eliza Bloom (March 2019) Photo credit Katie Vandyck Sponsored by The George Inn, Robertsbridge

Tales for Children Under 5 & Storytelling for 5-11 year olds

With Kevin Graal

Saturday 18 May

Upstairs @ The Ostrich, Station Road Under 5s: 11am – 11.45am Doors open 10.45am 5-11 year olds: 12.30pm – 1.15pm Doors open 12.15pm Tickets £3 per child Kevin Graal’s innate way with words will have your children spellbound and transported to a different world. A highly regarded and experienced storyteller, Kevin is also an inspiring educator, working with an impressive range of partners from schools and community groups to leading arts and educational organisations such as Tate Modern, the British Library and the British Council. His finely tuned storytelling combines careful planning with playful improvisation and is always filled with laughter, music and imagination. Children must be accompanied by an adult Sponsored by The Moat Practice

Talk: The Sussex Trug

With Sarah Page

Saturday, 18th May

Venue: Robertsbridge Village Hall 4.30pm Doors open & bar 5.00pm Talk (approx 1 hr inc. Q&A) Tickets £5 from Judges Bakery, the Village Store and online. Discover the history of the much-loved Sussex Trug, a survivor from the Weald’s industrial past. Sarah Page, author of the charming book The Sussex Trug, has for the last 24 years lived and worked in a house that has been home to Sussex trugmakers since 1899. Keeping alive the culture and the art of the trug, Sarah will share with us stories of the trugmakers and their families, take an in depth look at the history of this enduring basket, and guide us through a step by step guide to making a trug. Sponsored by Eggs to Apples Farm Shop

Talk: Alan Judd – Truth & Fiction in Spy Literature

Saturday, 18th May

Robertsbridge Village Hall 7.30pm Doors open & bar 8.00pm Talk (approx 1 hr inc. Q&A’s) Tickets £5 from Judges Bakery, the Village Store and online.

Image may contain: 1 person, indoor From Mata Hari to Bond to Smiley, eminent Sussex author Alan Judd gives an insight into the world of spy literature. How much is based on truth? And how much total fiction?! The winner of numerous awards including the Guardian fiction, Royal Society of Literature and the Heinemann, Alan has written two biographies and thirteen novels. Two of his novels have been filmed by the BBC, with a third, The Kaiser’s Last Kiss, a feature film (The Exception) starring Christopher Plummer and Lily James. Alan will also be speaking about his two most recent works: Shakespeare’s Sword (set in Rye and Winchelsea) and Accidental Agent. Before becoming a writer, Alan served in the army and the Foreign Office. With our thanks to Hush for kindly sponsoring this event. NB you’ll find Alan’s books on sale in Rother Books. _______________________________________________________________________________________________________

The Pile By My Bed 

Saturday, 18th May.  11.00 a.m. – 4.00 p.m.  Free Event.  49 High Street, Robertsbridge

‘The Pile by my Bed’ is back as part of RAP’s Robertsbridge Literary Festival 2019! Once again it’s being held at 49 High Street, Robertsbridge from 11-4 on Saturday, May 18th. This is a wonderful opportunity to come and browse local readers’ book choices, talk about books, find inspiration for your next read and enjoy free tea and cake! This is a completely free, open house event as part of the RAP Literary Festival. Drop in any time between 11-4 and enjoy what we have on offer: 1. ‘The Pile by my Bed’ — Browse piles of books from local readers’ bedside tables. These may be favourite novels, books they aspire to read soon, or volumes they frequently dip in and out of. (Scroll down for details of how you can join in). 2. ‘Inheritance Tree’ — Add your own leaf to the inheritance tree of books to bequeath to the future. 3. ‘Connections’ — Participate in (or simply observe) our new interactive feature exploring the connections between our own reading choices and those of the wider Robertsbridge reading community. 4. ‘Book Swap’ — bring a used book to the bookshelf outside the house and swap it for a different one (there will also be a book swap for children’s books!) 5. Enjoy free tea and cake! 6. Receive a free raffle ticket — the prize is a free book (there will be separate adult and children’s raffles). 7. Pick up a free bookmark (on which you can write down all your new reading ideas)! JOIN IN? If you’d like to join in and have your own pile on display at 49 High Street, please message or email us or Alternatively, take a photo of the pile by your bed and post it on the RAP Facebook page Everyone is welcome and we look forward to seeing your pile!!!

I’m A Soul Man

Tribute to The Blues Brothers

Friday 12 April 2019, The Robertsbridge Club, Station Road

Don your shades, dress up if you want and join us for the ultimate tribute to The Blues Brothers. Yes! You have the authority to Soul and RocknRoll… Cult classic, The Blues Brothers, began as a sketch starring John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd as brothers Jake and Elwood Blues on Saturday Night Live in the late 1970s. By 1980 the sketch had become a hit musical comedy film directed by John Landis. With their black hats, sunglasses and skinny ties, the Blues Brothers were easily recognisable and performed a wide range of Soul, Blues and RocknRoll in their distinctive style. This fantastic tribute act, starring L.J. Urbani and Clayton Schlimper, bring the iconic characters back to life. Complete with costumes and signature dance moves they perform the much-loved songs from the film including ‘Everybody’, ‘Soul Man’ and ‘Jailhouse Rock’. Clayton and L.J. are two accomplished actors, singers and musicians. Both are from Tunbridge Wells and together front the party band Mangetout Recovery. They have starred as the Blue Brothers all around the world, from South Africa to Thailand. L.J. has starred as Buddy Holly in the Buddy Holly Story on the West End. He has also been the leading actor in the Little Shop of Horrors, Rocky Horror Picture Show and Life of Brian. Clayton is an award-winning actor, for his portrayal of Elwood Blues. He has also starred in Grease, Return to The Forbidden Planet and The Buddy Holly Story. This show is jam-packed with No. 1 chart-topping hits and loads of audience participation, so what are you waiting for?
Big Arts Quiz 2019 Question Mistress: Jenny Barrett Saturday 30 March 2019, Robertsbridge Village Hall, Station Road Doors open 7.30pm | Quiz starts 8pm | Bar & snacks available

After the sell-out success of the inaugural Big Arts Quiz, we’re bringing it back to delight those of you who love quizzing but positively hate science and sport questions.

Get your thinking caps on for a variety of arts and culture based rounds. Prizes to won.

Create your own team of 6-8 arts buffs, or come along, join the fun and make up a team on the night.

The best team name wins a prize. Last year’s winners: The Prerotherlites.

Will they be returning to try and hold onto their crown or will they be trumped by FFS (For Fauve’s Sake), In it for the Monet or Dada wouldn’t buy me a Bauhaus (that was way too clever for us)?

Suitability 16+ | Finishes approximately 10.30pm

Tickets £8 includes nibbles. Priority booking for RAP members.

TOBY BELCH IS UNWELL A dark comedy monologue by John Knowles

Upstairs at The Ostrich Friday 21 September 8:00 pm The life of one of Shakespeare’s better known, but still, minor characters. Toby Belch is unwell: the years of drinking, late nights and debauchery have taken their toll and now he faces his end with the knowledge that he is seen as a buffoon, a drunken sot and a bully. He could have been Hamlet, he could have been Macbeth….. Is this his epitaph?
Latchepen: A night of gypsy jazz & swing Friday 8 June 2018 Robertsbridge Club  7:30 doors & bar open, 8:00 music to begin A night of gypsy jazz and swing by four of London’s top young musicians. Between them they have played all over the world, ticking off nearly every major gypsy jazz festival and venue. They have come together to create a set of spellbinding music for your ears. This will be a charismatic performance that takes the listener on a journey through the world of manouche music and shows its fusion with jazz and swing. Acoustic by nature, but with a projection and a heart beat that can rival any amp or drum, this is jazz on a string, with influences ranging from Romani music to bebop. Formerly performing as the band Daj Dook, they have recently change their name to Latchepen, an exclamation of happiness and contentment in the Romani language.
The Franklin Expedition Disaster– Lost and Found Thursday 24 May 2018 Robertsbridge Village Hall 7:30 doors open, 8:00 talk will begin The Franklin expedition, which was sent to the Arctic in 1845 to find the fabled North West Passage, was the biggest disaster in the history of Polar exploration. Two well-stocked ships, 129 men and the hopes of the Empire disappeared in the Arctic ice and were never seen again. The mystery has intrigued people for 170 years and there is now hope of solving the mystery following the discovery of the two lost ships high above the Arctic Circle. Michael Smith, Robertsbridge resident and Polar historian, charts the background to the disaster, pieces together the tragic events and discusses what the shipwrecks may reveal.  Illustrated talk.  Approximately one hour talk with Q & A after. Michael Smith Michael Smith is an authority on Polar exploration whose nine books have sold over 250,000 copies worldwide and been translated into various languages including Chinese, Korean and Italian. He has appeared in TV and radio documentaries and lectured at many prestigious venues, including:  The Queen’s Gallery Buckingham Palace, Royal Geographical Society, National Maritime Museum, National Museum of Ireland, Princess Grace Memorial Library Monaco, Queen’s University Belfast, the Royal Scottish Geographical Society and Scott Polar Research Institute Cambridge. Michael is a former award-winning journalist with The Guardian and The Observer.
Lee Miller’s The Angel and the Fiend 21 April 2018 Robertsbridge Village Hall 7:00 doors and bar open 7:30 show begins “I was terribly, terribly pretty. I looked like an angel but I was a fiend inside.” Lee Miller (1907-1977) American model, photographer and acclaimed war correspondent for Vogue. Under her brave and beautiful exterior there lay a hidden torment. This award-winning drama has been performed widely in Britain and the US. It is a dramatised reading of words taken from original text or dialogue by the characters and set to images edited and written by Lee Miller’s son Antony Penrose. Antony Penrose appears as himself, Lee Miller is played by her granddaughter Ami Bouhassane. The role of the Surrealist photographer Man Ray is played by James Leighton. Miller’s wartime buddy David E. Scherman is played by Jonathan Bailey and her husband Roland Penrose by David Burrough, who also directs the production. 2 hours with interval.
Scary Little Sisters: The Full Bronte Friday 23 March 2018 The Ostrich, upstairs 7:00 showroom doors to open Roll up, roll up for a cabaret celebration of your favourite literary sisters, their lives and times! Brought to you by Scary Little Girls, who’ve enjoyed sell-out successes at Edinburgh and Brighton festivals, toured nationally and run regular comedy and cabaret night in central London and at Glastonbury Festival. This affectionate tribute is a performative romp conducted with tongues firmly in cheeks! Hosts Maria (glamour puss, academic, thespian) and her assistant Brannie (ensemble cast, backstage crew, musician, general dog’s body) try their best to pay homage to Charlotte, Emily, Anne and their family – but best laid plans quickly go hysterically awry! Story-telling, music, audience games and sketches create wuthering delights in a show that has been hailed as the anarchic love child of French and Saunders and Hinge and Brackett! Show time approximately 90 minutes with a 15 minute interval. Under 16’s must be accompanied by adult; suggested age 12+.
The Big Arts Quiz Saturday 3 February 2018 Robertsbridge Village Hall 7:30 doors and bar open 8:00 quiz begins Prizes to be won Positively no sports questions! Create your own team of 6 – 8 or come on night and join one.
Box Tale Soup ‘The Wind in the Willows’ Thursday 28 December 2017 Robertsbridge Village Hall Show time 5:00 Doors open and bar available from 4:30 “Believe me, my young friend, there is nothing – absolutely nothing – half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats.” From the peaceful pleasures of Ratty’s beloved River Bank, to the fearful frights and wicked weasels of the Wild Wood, join Ratty and Mole on their marvellous adventures, along with gruff old Badger and magnificent Mr. Toad. A beautiful new adaptation of Kenneth Grahame’s much loved classic, The Wind in the Willows features unique handmade fabric puppets and a charming original score.
Farnham Maltings ‘Brilliance’ Friday 27 October 2017 Robertsbridge Village Hall Show time 7:30 Doors open and bar available from 7:00 1963, winter. Everyone is gathering in the village hall. Daisy places her hand on the switch, presses it down, and life is never the same again. Long after its arrival in the city, the slow process of rural electrification is starting to illuminate every corner and crevice of village life. As the dark evenings hold us in, 240 volts of alternating current and the humble electric light bulb allows us to gather and sing long into the night. Brilliance is a 90-minute theatrical event that celebrates progress and change in a bright new world. From the company that brought you It’s A Wonderful LifeThe Iranian Feast and Yørgjin Oxo, we now bring you Brilliance a show with music made especially for village halls.
George…Don’t Do That’ Friday 8 September 2017 7:30 Robertsbridge Village Hall “George, don’t do that” an entertainment of monologues and songs, celebrating the wit and wisdom of one of Britain’s best loved comediennes, written by Catherine Flye and Ian Clarke. Their tribute to Joyce Grenfell has been described by Sir Derek Jacobi as, “such a delightful concoction that I have seen it twice. A glorious mixture of frivolity and seriousness, food for the spirit and the mind. A lovely, warm, amusing and touching evening”. Catherine Flye has written and produced over 50 commissioned plays and entertainments, integrating the performing arts, for such organizations as The Smithsonian Institution; The Folger Shakespeare Library, Washington’s National Cathedral and the Supreme Court of the United States of America. Acting credits include principal roles in Washington DC at The Folger Theatre, Arena Stage, The Shakespeare Theatre, and The Kennedy Center, among others. She has been nominated for Washington’s prestigious Helen Hayes Award thirteen times for acting and directing, including her performances as Shirley in Shirley Valentine, Mrs. Bennett in Pride and Prejudice and as Joyce Grenfell in George – don’t do that! During the past seventeen years she Catherine Flye has toured the UK with her tribute to the beloved entertainer accompanied her dear friend Tony Davies.
Son Yambu Quintet Friday 16 June 2017 7:30 Robertsbridge Club With red hot rhythms straight from the streets of Eastern Cuba, Son Yambu play authentic Cuban son, the intoxicating fusion of Spanish and African rhythms that gave rise to salsa. The band features a new generation of Cuban musicians who are all passionate about maintaining the traditions of the genre and continuing the Buena Vista legacy that put Cuban music back on the map in 1997. They give this irresistible music a contemporary edge, bringing their audiences a truly sensational, authentic, Latin music experience. N.B Band line-up may vary depending on the availability of musicians.
Archaeus Quartet Saturday 27 May 2017 7:30 St Mary’s Church, Salehurst Complete Cycle of Beethoven String Quartets The Archaeus Quartet continues their performance of the complete quartets of Beethoven with their second programme at St Mary’s Church, Salehurst. The programme includes an early, a middle and a late work: Op.18/2, Op.59/3 “Razumovsky” and Op.127. This is a rare opportunity to hear these great works played in the familiar surroundings of your own environment. During the concert there will be short introductions to each work, placing the quartet in the context of Beethoven’s life and that of musical Europe at the time. The Archaeus Quartet, formed in 1990, are no strangers to the major concert venues in the UK, and have enjoyed a busy performing schedule since their inception. In addition to the Beethoven cycle, they are currently pursuing a programme of commercial recordings, as well as their regular concerts. “Indeed from the first note they fairly explode with feeling and energy, turning each phrase into a gleaming gem. This is quartet playing on an extraordinarily high level.” Fanfare Magazine. USA