ArtBeat 2016 Open Gardens Trail

Follow the ArtBeat Open Gardens Trail

The ArtBeat Open Gardens trail is a unique opportunity to see some of the beautiful gardens around Clarendon Park. The residents of six Clarendon Park properties have kindly agreed to show off their herbaceous works of art. The Open Gardens in Clarendon Park trail takes place on Sunday 26th June, 2pm-5:30pm. Printed maps will be available at 231 Queens Road on the day, or you can use the interactive map below.

Open Gardens Trail Map

Open Gardens Trail Details

ArtBeat Open Gardens Trail - 38 Springfield RoadLocation: 48 Springfield Road, LE2 3BA
Hosts: Caroline Moles and Michael Gerard
A small contemporary garden with mixed beds, mini lawn and ponds, and a big area of decking and lots of pots.

Location: 38 Springfield Road, LE2 3BA
Hosts: Jean and Pino Greco
A long narrow garden with some box bushes, and herbaceous borders with naturalistic planting.

ArtBeat Open Gardens Trail - 231 Queens RoadLocation: 231 Queens Road
Host: Heather Morris
A well-established and informal suburban garden. Retro, reclaimed and relaxed. Crammed with plants, old favourites and new.

Location: 36 West Avenue, LE2 1TR
Hosts: Peter and Brenda Worrall
A quirky urban garden, with recently reversed planting to face the sun and a focus on mixing vegetables with flowers. Serving teas and home-made cakes.

163-Howard-Road-01Location: 22 Portland Road, LE2 3AB
Hosts: Maryanne McGinn and Paul Glynn
A walled garden with paving. Informal planting, mainly herbaceous, fills two long raised brick beds.

Location: 163 Howard Road, LE2 1XQ
Hosts: Lin and Steve Johnson
A small walled, paved garden with a border of established plants and shrubs & pots. Decorative hand-made mosaics on a wall. Serving teas and home-made cakes.

'The Children’s Book of Richard III' by Rosalind Adam

ArtBeat Brings Richard III Alive

On 24 June 2016, join us for a brand new take on the life and death of Leicester’s most famous King, Richard III. ArtBeat brings together three talented individuals to tell the story of Richard III through a rich mixture of fact, storytelling and beautiful traditional Indian dance. Come along to Avenue Primary School (4.30pm – 6.00 pm) and enjoy an afternoon which promises to be a unique experience – not only for kids but for all ages.

Richard III for Kids

Bharata Natyam Performance
Bharata Natyam Performance – image courtesy of

The events of Richard III’s last day will be told through the classical Indian Bharat Natyam dance style. Nimisha Parmar will be using hand gestures, called mudras, and facial expression to tell the story. Aayush Parmar will accompany her on the drums. This dance is an ancient classical dance style that brings a whole new dimension to the story of Richard III.

Rosalind Adam, author of The Children’s Book of Richard III, will explain how a king’s body got to be under a city car park.

Dr. Richard Buckley, Director of the University of Leicester Archaeology Service, will demonstrate how Richard III’s body was located and identified.

There will be a question and answer session, followed by the chance for members of the audience to try out some traditional Indian dance moves.

Copies of The Children’s Book of Richard III will be available for purchase and author signing.

The session will take place at Avenue Primary School on June 24th from 4.30 until 6.00 pm. This is truly a must for your diary.

About the Presenters

'The Children’s Book of Richard III' by Rosalind Adam
‘The Children’s Book of Richard III’ by Rosalind Adam

Richard Buckley worked on his first archaeological excavation in Leicester as a schoolboy in 1974. He studied archaeology at the University of Durham returning to Leicester in 1979. He set up the University of Leicester Archaeological Services with Patrick Clay in 1995 where he is co-director. In 2012, he led the team of archaeologists in a search for the final resting place of Richard III in a car park in central Leicester.  You can find out more about Dr. Buckley on the University of Leicester website.

Rosalind Adam is a Leicester writer with a particular interest in history. She has a History BA Hons Degree and was a teacher for many years. Her most recent publications include The Children’s History of Leicester and The Children’s Book of Richard III. She is a regular blogger at

Nimisha Parmar is a trained Indian dance teacher. She is passionate about keeping the style of Bharat Natyam dance alive and holds regular classes in Leicester. She can be contacted on her Facebook page.

Sam Brookes Rockhaq Interview

Meet Rockhaq Student: Sam Brookes

This year we’re running a joint writing competition, featuring last year’s short story writing exercise and a music review writing task for all you young, budding music journalists out there!

The music reviews competition is running thanks to the input and support of award-winning local journalist Michelle Dhillon. Michelle has donated a £255 prize pot to award to the best music reviews. She is also the founder of the Rockhaq student music journalism community, which has recently been relaunched after a successful pilot a few years ago now, involving colleges in Leicestershire and Nottinghamshire.

Meet the Rockhaq Students

Some of the original Rockhaq students from a few years ago have been very keen to return to the community, after a gap of three years. One of these original students is Sam Brookes. Sam was studying A Level English Literature at Regent College when he was first introduced to the Rockhaq community. He has since graduated from Leicester’s De Montfort University, worked as a teacher and is now a writer and editor of his own blog.

Sam credits the Rockhaq student community with inspiring him to pursue writing as a career. He also has agreed to act as a judge on this year’s music review writing competition for ArtBeat Festival.

In the meantime, Rockhaq founder Michelle Dhillon caught up with Sam to ask what he’s up to now and what impact the Rockhaq community had on him from 2012 through to 2016. Hopefully this and seeing Sam’s latest reviews on the Rockhaq community will give you all some inspiration to start writing your own music reviews. Good luck!

Cultura Comedy Night

Everyone’s a Comedian at our Cultura Comedy Night

What’s that? Another ArtBeat first? You betcha! This year we’re thrilled to bring you some rib-tickling local comedians at the Cultura Comedy Night.

Update: Comedy Night Line Up Confirmed!

Jason Neale
Jason is heading to the Edinburgh Festival 2016 with Jason Neale’s Footprint. He got his first gig at DMU Square Mile 2013. Jason is now juggling day job and comedy. Runs “Proper Funny” at Criterion and recently won Best Show & Best Compare at Midland Comedy Awards. Check out his website at:

Kevin Hudson
Kevin is a local resident and accounting lecturer who is taking the plunge into stand up. It’s his first time so give him a huge Clarendon Park welcome. Find out more about Kevin on Twitter.

Sarah Johnson
Sarah has been on the comedy circuit for 16 years and has giggled all over the UK. In 2015 went solo at debut at Alan Seamanship Ship of Fools comedy club, she entered the 2016 Funny Women Awards and has done 12 nights at Edinburgh festival. Find out more at

Rory Campbell
Rory describes his act as smörgåsbord of weird gags, risqué, political comment and it might be a bit rude…

Cathy Loughead
Another Clarendon Park local who tried her hand at poetry stand up at ArtBeat’s Poetry, Tea and Toast yesterday evening.

Matt Hollins
The Leicester Mercury calls Matt Hollins “A genuine original” following his performance at the 2016 Dave’s Leicester Comedy Festival. What’s more he bagged the 2004 Leicester Mercury Comedian of the Year. Check his Chortle profile here!

Adham Fisher
Adham participated in 2016 Dave Leicester Comedy Festival . He is attempting to enter Guinness book of records and describes himself as an “extreme commuter”.

Liz Gray
Liz is a local resident, writer, poet, blogger, novelist and performer. Read more about Liz on her website.

Comedy Night Talent Wanted

The Cultura Comedy Night performances kick off at 8:30pm on Monday 20th June and we’ll be giggling until 10:30pm. The evening will be compéred by our very own Patrick Kitterick, winner of the 1999 Leicester Mercury Comedian of the Year.

This is an open mic event and we’re on the hunt for more Clarendon Park comedians to join the line-up.

If you think you’re the guy or gal to tickle some funny bones, drop us a line on the contact form and get your name on the list. Performers should rock up around 7:45pm and make themselves known to Deb Lawrence who will be organising time slots.

Good luck, and knock ’em dead! We all love a night of pun.

Young buskers on their ukes at ArtBeat

Clarendon Park Buskers: Tune Up!

Buskers at ArtBeat, Clarendon Park, LeicesterArtBeat wouldn’t be ArtBeat without buskers bringing sweet music to the streets of Clarendon Park. You’ll discover music of all sorts along Queens Road and Clarendon Park Road (and maybe elsewhere) during both weekends of the festival.

Busking at Clarendon Park Summer Fair

ArtBeat 2016 coincides with the Clarendon Park Summer Fair on Sunday 19th June. This opens up a prime busking spot at the junction of Queens Road and Cecilia Road due to the road closures. Let’s keep this spot busy during the fair (11am to 5pm). If you’re interested in playing during the fair day, drop us a line and we’ll work out a schedule.

Local Busking Talent Wanted

We’re looking for local musicians of all kinds who are willing to make a public exhibition of their talents. Whether you’re a plucking amazing guitarist, a super saxophonist or hot stuff on the ivories, come along and entertain the good folks of Clarendon Park. We’ll make the streets a musical feast for ArtBeat 2016.

There are no limits when it comes to age, gender or genre. All buskers are welcome so start working on your set today.

Buskers’ Etiquette

For details of suggested busking spots, time slots and ArtBeat buskers’ etiquette, check out our ArtBeat 2016 busking guidelines.

More Music at ArtBeat 2016

If the talents of the ArtBeat buskers have whet you’r appetite, you’ll discover lots more music around Clarendon Park at this year’s festival.Whether your tastes run to rap, folk, classical, blues, jazz or good old acoustic guitar, there’s a sound for you. For a full list of all the music events, check out the online festival programme.

Michael Lane ArtBeat Film

Introducing Film at ArtBeat 2016

This year we’re thrilled to add a new creative element of the arts to the ArtBeat festival: Film. Local film-maker, Michael Lane, generously put his hand up to lead the initiative.

We decided to find out what made him give up his precious time to bring us a festival of Film…

What inspired you to kickstart a film strand at ArtBeat?

I’ve been a local participant at the ArtBeat Festival for a couple of years and thoroughly enjoyed myself. This year, I thought it might be nice to give something back. I noticed that the performance arts section had a couple of areas which could do with some developmental help, like theatre and film. So, I have volunteered to launch a film strand into ArtBeat.

What’s your background with film and film-making?

I’ve loved films since I was a boy. I went to the Saturday Morning Flicks at the Trocadero and the excitement of watching moving images in the dark has never left. My day job as a Drama Teacher felt like a natural follow on from that initial energy.

I have retired now and can give more time over to a lifetime interest. Now I’m a member of the ‘7/5 film-makers group based at Phoenix Leicester and I make a short narrative film a year.

Last year, my film Some Questions, Like Ghosts, Haunt received a Highly Commended award at the Stratford-upon-Avon film festival. I’ve just screened my film Captured at Phoenix. At the end of March I’ve been invited to present a new work BOXES! at the Five Ways Screenings in Derby. And I’m due for a reading of my latest script The Arrangement – A love story this week with a view to filming in the Autumn.

I like switching roles too. All the films listed I’ve written and some I’ve acted in, others produced. I see it as a field of creative endeavour and enjoy all different aspects.

How can local film-makers get involved?

This year is an experiment to see if I’m right that the gap in performance art can be filled so I’m keeping it low-key for now. We have a couple of opportunities for Clarendon Park film-makers and film enthusiasts.

If there are any film-makers in Clarendon Park who would like their work to be shown to a local audience as part of ArtBeat, please get in touch. We will be displaying these short films in Create Studios on Hartopp Road because it has the perfect ambience to show and chat about film.

I’d also love to hear from any willing participants for a question and answer session. The questions could be about any aspect of the film, presentation fun and problems with making or showing.

If you’re a local film-maker or film enthusiast and are interested in getting involved, please complete the contact form on the website and I’ll be in touch.

What’s your vision for film and film-makers at ArtBeat in the future?

Part of the future will depend on the present; meaning, interested film-makers themselves may wish to take ‘film’ in a direction I haven’t yet thought of and their opinions go into the considerations pot. I’ll know better after June.

The main aim presently is to create a platform on which to build. I can forsee the possibility of an active film-making strand, not just watching evenings. There could be research done on film of historical Clarendon Park; there could be a thematic making spread throughout the year on something central to Clarendon Park-like ‘Shops’.

For me, the tone of ArtBeat is celebratory of the area and that any films shown should have something to celebrate- either the work of the person concerned or some aspect of Clarendon Park itself. The festival itself is young yet and has time to grow organically: the film strand will undoubtedly evolve accordingly.