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Back to School: not so bad?

Thank goodness the kids are going back to school.  Not just for the peace and quiet but because of the blooming expense.  I mean, really, how on earth does a family manage to afford summer holiday entertainment?  We had my friends’ children staying for just four days.  Day One I thought ‘Oo, how lovely it would be to give them a taste of Speedway.  Something they can’t ever get to see in their leafy London suburb – bingo!  No change out of £70 once tickets and snacks had been bought. The following night I thought a concert of light music would be nice.  Not the greatest band on offer, nor the best of conductors, but a lovely concert hall and a good programme for those with the concentration span of a biscuit.  The night set me back just under £100.  By Saturday I’d run out of entertainment funds so we ordered a jumbo pizza and logged on to Netflix.  Thank goodness the football season hadn’t started or else I’d have been phoning up the bank manager.

And my point to the rant is this: it’s all just too expensive.  How are we meant to entertain (and educate?) these young, bright-eyed, curious sponges at those prices?  I’d like to advocate ‘entertainment for a tenner’ for just a month.  Every single bit of entertainment whether it’s classical, rock, pop, dance, theatre or football is available for everyone for just ten pounds.  And children go free.  Any company out there wishing to sponsor this crackpot idea?

In the meantime, September brings some lovely concerts.  Roman River Music ‘the festival for everyone in Colchester and North Essex’ is back with an eclectic mix of concerts from 14th September to 1st October (romanrivermusic.org.uk).  Opera highlights are being performed by the RPO and top soloists at the Marina Theatre, Lowestoft on 1st September.  Trianon Music Group can take you on an interesting journey through the UK and ‘Across the Pond’ to the US on Saturday 16th at the Corn Exchange.  Dame Evelyn Glennie is coming to the Apex on Friday 29th to perform with the Cohen Ensemble.  The Ipswich Choral Society are inviting you to come and sing Handel’s Messiah with them on Sunday 17th.  And if you fancy a lunchtime recital, check out stmaryletower.org.uk where you can have a concert for nothing on a Tuesday.

Back to School isn’t so bad after all.

This month’s Get Classical with FJ radio highlight: Monday 18th September, Actor and Director Brian Theodore Ralph will take us through his favourite music and talk about his life in theatre.  Tune in Mondays at 6pm on ICR 105.7FM & online at www.icrfm.com.