Sunday, 6 September 2020

Grace Before Jones Exhibition At Nottingham Contemporary PREVIEW

Model, popstar, actress and Bond girl Grace Jones' thrillingly unique and inimitable mix of style, beauty, strength and versatility has been gracing and wowing entertainment for decades. The free exhibition Grace Before Jones: Camera, Disco, Studio is coming to Nottingham Contemporary from 26 September 2020 until 3 January 2021.

Please note that the dates of this exhibition may be subject to change due to the COVID-19 crisis.

In 1979, Grace Jones had her face moulded by her collaborator and then-partner Jean-Paul Goude to produce multiple ultra-realist masks. These were intended to be worn by fellow musicians, performers and models, but were also for herself. Grace Jones had multiplied and turned herself into sculpture and serial form. Departing from the observation that Grace Jones is not one but multiple, the exhibition Grace Before Jones: Camera, Disco, Studio unfurls a range of Grace Joneses: from disco queen to dub cyborg; Jamaican to French; runway model to nightclub performer; black to white; feminine to masculine.

Grace Before Jones: Camera, Disco, Studio travels through time to present a multifaceted portrait of the iconic singer and seeks to give both a historical background and contemporary perspective to Grace Jones’ image-making, while expanding on stage design, music and fashion. 

Departing from the iconic singer’s career and her collaborations with artists, designers, photographers and musicians to question black image-making and gender binarism as well as both performance and the performance of life, the exhibition promises to be "a cross between fan-fiction, study and biography."

Grace Before Jones: Camera, Disco, Studio is at Nottingham Contemporary from  26 September 2020  - 3 January 21. Entrance is FREE. Full details can be found on the Nottingham Contemporary website.
Monday, 23 September 2019

Gandeys Circus At Woodthorpe Grange Park, Nottingham PHOTO REVIEW

Photo copyright Laura Patterson ©

Gandeys Circus has brought Europe’s largest touring big top show to Woodthorpe Grange Park in Sherwood, Nottingham. Their two-hour spectacular “The Greatest Show” has been wowing audiences since last Wednesday. 

Photo copyright Laura Patterson ©

The international cast of over 30 artistes includes stunning acrobats, talented aerialists, a contortionist and of course a clown! The show features a sensational 5 handed springboard act, an unbelievable bar act, three motorbikes racing around an iron Thunderdome and many more breath-taking acts.

Photo copyright Laura Patterson ©
We sent Nottingham Confidential photographer Laura Patterson along to capture some of the action.

Photo copyright Laura Patterson ©
The show runs until Tuesday 24th September, so there is still time to catch one of the final performances with shows at 6.30pm on Monday 23rd and 4.45pm on Tuesday 24th September. If you need any more incentive to go and see this fantastic show, all seats for the Tuesday performance are only £7.99 each! Full details on Gandeys Circus website

Photo copyright Laura Patterson ©
Photo copyright Laura Patterson ©
Photo copyright Laura Patterson ©
Photo copyright Laura Patterson ©
Tuesday, 26 March 2019

Nottingham Pint Of Science Festival

Instead of coming up to the lab to see what's on the slab, get down to your local and get blinded with science this May as 50 scientists visit Nottingham's pubs as part of the world's largest festival of public science talks. 

After selling out all events last year, Pint of Science returns to Nottingham for its 4th year running, joining nearly 300 cities around the world taking part in this global festival from the 20 – 22 May. The international three-day Pint of Science festival will see thousands of scientists simultaneously bringing their research out of the lab to share with the public across 24 countries.

Researchers from the University of Nottingham and Nottingham Trent University will talk about everything science at pubs across the city, including Rough Trade, Canalhouse, The Waterfront, Parliament Bar, The Angel Microbrewery, Herbert Kilpin and Lord Roberts.

The festival has expanded on last year’s success and will be covering science from all 7 themes: ‘Planet Earth’, ‘Tech Me Out’, ‘Our Society’, ‘Our Body’, ‘Atoms to Galaxies’, ‘Beautiful Mind’ and 'Creative Reactions'  which brings together some of Nottingham’s brightest creatives with local academics to produce science inspired pieces of art.

Tickets are available from the Pint of Science website (, with each evening costing £4. Attendees in Nottingham will enjoy a variety of exciting talks including:

Dr. Jon McKechnie: ‘Trash or treasure? Finding value in wastes’

Dr Sara Goodacre and Ella Deutsch: ‘Life with eight legs: unravelling the secrets of arachnids’

Gabby Kavaliauskaite: 'The Genetics of Your Sweet Tooth

’Dr Jenni Cauvain: ‘Social Sustainability and the City’

Alongside the main talks, each evening will also include a range of science-inspired activities including real scientific data, comedy, quizzes, games, geeky puzzles, engaging stories and virtual reality demonstrations.

Tickets for Pint Of Science will be on sale from 8 April at
Monday, 25 June 2018

Summer House Sounds At Belvoir Castle PREVIEW

It's an unusual and resplendent setting for a series of big-name music performances and this July, the beautiful Belvoir Castle will host four Summer House Sounds concerts, featuring major headline acts and artists.

Music legend Tom Jones, disco king Nile Rodgers and his band CHIC, dance DJ Pete Tong and the Heritage Orchestra with Ibiza Classics and the world’s most successful classical crossover group Il Divo are the incredible line-up for four consecutive nights in July.

Presented by live music promoters Cuffe and Taylor, Summer House Sounds is about bringing music to the people in unique and beautiful locations. Director Peter Taylor said: “We’re delighted to be presenting Summer House Sounds across the UK this July and are especially delighted to be doing so at Belvoir Castle.

“Since our inception more than nine years ago Cuffe and Taylor’s ethos has always been about taking music to the people and working in areas that don’t tend to attract huge household names.We’ve not worked with Belvoir Castle previously so to be bringing such a stellar line-up to this most magnificent location this year is very exciting."

The Belvoir Castle Summer House Sounds series is:

•   19 July – Nile Rodgers & CHIC
•   20 July – Il Divo with very special guest Michael Ball
•   21 July – Pete Tong Ibiza Classics with support from Becky Hill
•   22 July – Tom Jones with support from Into The Ark

Tickets to all Summer House Sounds concerts are available from

Monday, 3 July 2017

Dinosaurs Of China Exhibition REVIEW

Photo copyright Laura Patterson  ©
Nottingham, get ready to stampede from here all the way to October to the most jaw-dropping Jurassic-tastic prehistoric fantastic beasts show not only right here in town but ONLY right here in town!
Mamenchisaurus copyright Laura Patterson  ©
With exhibits ranging from the massive and mighty Mamenchisaurus right down to the adorable little Mei Long dinosaur that's actually small enough to fit in the palm of your hand, the Dinosaurs Of China Exhibition is THE world-exclusive event of the summer. Spread over the two sites of Nottingham's Wollaton Hall and Lakeside Arts, the exhibition tells the story of how birds evolved from dinosaurs and features 26 specimens, 3D mounted skeletons, detailed replicas and original fossils.

Photo copyright Laura Patterson  ©

TV presenter, renowned naturalist and lifelong dinosaur fan Chris Packham is supporting the event. "I'm tremendously excited, there are some remarkable specimens here," he told us confidentially. "They've done such a brilliant job to get these specimens on loan. For me, it's all about transforming the way people perceive these ancient animals and I think that many people still think they were relatively unintelligent, slow-moving, cold-blooded, lizard-like things. They were none of those things, they were rapid, warm-blooded, social and feathered in many instances. This is about the science, this is about the real deal. And we've learned so much more in recent years and this is a great opportunity for the public to have their impressions updated.

Chris Packham copyright Laura Patterson  ©
"I think Wollaton Hall as a venue is fantastic, I like the mix of the old and the new, I'm a museum buff and I had an opportunity to look at their natural history collection, it's a remarkable collection of bird taxidermy and other mammals too. And this is a brilliant modern exhibit, it's got a narrative to it, it's got an overall purpose and the purpose is that you come here and from utilising the space and the specimens that have come all the way from China, you leave understanding that in fact, dinosaurs aren't extinct, they live on in the form of birds which are flying around outside."

Famous for quoting Smiths lyrics whilst presenting Springwatch on television, could Chris quote any dinosaur-relevant Smiths lyrics? "Well - of course, there would be Panic if any of these things were recreated and they were rampaging around, no doubt about that," he quips brilliantly straight away. "And downstairs in Wollaton Hall, there's no doubt that if the Sinraptor got its way, then it would be a case of Big Mouth Strikes Again. I could go on forever but I won't."

Photo copyright Laura Patterson  ©

Dr Adam Smith is the curator of the exhibition and the Nottingham Natural History Museum, and, with a lifelong interest in dinosaurs and fossils, he has even been involved in the naming of newly-discovered dinosaur species "I'm the main curator and there are two of us but it was actually Dr Wang Qi's idea to do this exhibition in the first place. He's a lecturer at Nottingham University in the architecture department and his background is in how museums use space to tell stories, so when he visited Wollaton Hall, he was surprised to find it's a Natural History Museum as well and it combines his two interests. So, five years ago, he came here and said, I've got this idea and through his connections in China, he was able to bring the Chinese dinosaurs and this is where we are now. Once the project started to get rolling, we worked together to select the objects and decided on the story we wanted to tell between us. It was quite complicated to organise but it's so rewarding to see the exhibition come together now."

Dr Adam Smith copyright Laura Patterson  ©
A concerted effort has been made to keep the entrance fee to the Wollaton Hall exhibition as affordable as possible whilst entrance to the Lakeside Arts exhibits is completely free. Family-friendly events, talks and workshops will also be taking place in conjunction with the exhibition.

The Dinosaurs Of China Ground Shakers To Feathered Flyers World Exclusive Exhibition is at Wollaton Hall and Lakeside Arts right now until 29 October 2017. Full details can be found on the official Dinosaurs of China website

And you can see lots more photos of the exhibition in glorious technicolour on our Nottingham Confidential Facebook page

Photo copyright Laura Patterson  ©
Monday, 19 June 2017

Aegon Open Nottingham Women's Tennis Final REVIEW

Donna Vekic, Aegon Open Nottingham Champion,  lifts the Elena Baltahca Trophy

Advantage Vekic

The Aegon Open Nottingham final ended with cordite hanging in the air following a shock victory in three sets by Donna Vekic over Johanna Konta.

This is the third season in the event’s present incarnation with Konta having made her debut here as a wild card in 2015 ranked 147 by the WTA. In between a semi-final in the Australian Open, a quarter-final in the Olympics and WTA premier wins have catapulted her both into the world’s top ten and -  not least following an outspoken appearance on Jonathan Ross – established her as a celebrity.

Arriving now as World No. 8 and facing an unfamiliar list of entrants, Konta had made smooth progress through to the final with her play attracting plaudits for its power and fluency. Expectation therefore on Sunday for the first WTA win by a British Woman on home soil since Sue Barker in Brighton 36 years ago were high.

However rankings have generally provided an unreliable yardstick for progress in Nottingham and in the striking form of Donna Vekic, Konta faced an opponent for whom the word combustible hardly does justice.

The World No. 70’s semi-final victory over the fancied Lucie Safarova was a three-set thriller characterised by dazzling stroke play interspersed with high drama. The Croatian has a natural sense of theatre which forms an integral part of her game.

In her Saturday evening performance, this found expression in her battling an internal monologue and exhibiting an emotional range that ran from ‘Theda Bara as Medusa’ glares at officials, to full on lung-busting rants sending the crowd scurrying to their phones to consult the Croatian option on Google translate.

The stage for Sunday’s final was set suitably for a diva therefore with a picture perfect Centre Court and blistering sun substitutes for a proscenium arch and klieg lights.

At first, the action appeared to be sticking to a predictable script with Vekic losing her opening service game and her confidence struggling in the face of Konta’s rhythmic, baseline power game. The first set dashed by 6-2.

Runner-up Johanna Konta
The second set appeared to be heading the same way when Vekic suddenly assumed the role of heroic underdog. Her gunnery and radar at last began functioning with 110mph serves and huge groundstrokes finding the lines. Konta had no immediate answer. Consistency started to desert the Brit and despite some canny improvisation - a series of drop shots on key points left the Croat looking like a giraffe slipping on a banana skin – Vekic’s momentum took her through to a second set tie-break win.

The Brit seemed to recover early in the third set but ultimately it was her and not Vekic’s frustration which told; the latest in a series of poor line decisions – an unhappy feature of this tournament -  leading to a heated haranguing of the umpire.

In a final twist, Vekic surrendered a 3-1 lead with a resurgent Konta breaking serve to first level then head into a 4-3 lead but Vekic kept her composure, broke back and served out at 6-5 bringing the curtain down on her second WTA win to generous applause.

This has been a pleasing week overall benefitting from – at last! - fine weather, a condensed format integrating several titles into seven days, high-profile players, entertaining finals and worthy champions. With attendances increasing, organisers would do well to secure further marquee names next year so as to guarantee the continuing success of Nottingham tennis well into the future.
EMIL KOWALSKIWednesday, 24 May 2017

Dinosaurs Of China Exhibition In Nottingham PREVIEW

Mamenchisaurus close up

Get ready for a monster of a summer in Nottingham when the once-in-a-lifetime world-exclusive Dinosaurs of China exhibition stalks into Wollaton Hall and Nottingham Lakeside Arts, grrrrr!

Featuring some of the largest dinosaur skeletons in existence and with a vast selection of genuine fossils and 3D skeletons that have never been seen outside of Asia before, the Dinosaurs of China – Ground Shakers to Feathered Flyers exhibition takes place from 1st July to 29th October at Wollaton Hall and Nottingham Lakeside Arts.

It's promising to be an amazing one-off event and highlights will include the show-stopping Mamenchisaurus  – a dinosaur the same height as three double-decker buses and the Gigantoraptor, the largest feathered dinosaur in the world. The 26 exhibits have been hand-picked to take visitors on a journey through time and show how dinosaurs evolved from ground shakers of the past to the birds we see in our gardens today. As well as 3D skeletons there will be replica and original fossils on display including two type specimens, regarded as the best examples of those species anywhere in the world.


The event will span two family-friendly sites with Wollaton Hall hosting the main exhibition over the summer holidays. The second exhibition at Nottingham University’s public arts centre, Lakeside Arts will welcome the Alxasaurus and the Dilophosaurus which together with the university's own Life Science collection will explore how dinosaurs may have looked.

Dr Adam Smith, Curator at the Nottingham Natural History Museum, Wollaton Hall said, “The exhibition is a one-time opportunity to see some of the world’s best-preserved dinosaur discoveries, and the tallest dinosaur skeleton ever seen in the UK. Many of the fossils on display have only been discovered in the past 20 years and one was named just two years ago.”

The exhibition has also attracted support from respected TV presenter and naturalist Chris Packham. With a lifelong passion for palaeontology, he's keen to help tell the story of dinosaur evolution through the exhibits on show. Chris said, “The way dinosaurs have evolved is truly fascinating and I’m passionate about spreading the message far and wide. Dinosaurs have long been perceived as huge scaly beasts but now we’re finding out that this was only part of the story. This exhibition provides a real once in a lifetime chance to see some of the most exciting dinosaur discoveries in recent years and learn more about how dinosaurs actually looked when they roamed the Earth.”

Dinosaurs of China is a collaboration between Nottingham City Council and the University of Nottingham who have worked closely with the Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology in Beijing and the Long Hao Institute of Geology and Paleontology Inner Mongolia.

Tickets for the Wollaton Hall exhibition are now on sale. Prices are £7.70 for an adult and  £5.50 for a child. There is a family ticket (2 adults and 2 children) for £22.00. Children under five go free and the event welcomes school parties at a reduced price. Entry to the Lakeside exhibition is free of charge.

For more information, please visit

Chris Packham
Tuesday, 27 September 2016

Nottingham Independents Festival October 1st

Photo by Mark Fear

Fantastic and fabulous events will be taking place around Nottingham on Saturday October 1st and most of them are FREE! 

From pizza and doughnut eating contests to fudge tastings and treasure hunts with fire-eaters, singing princesses and a Bubbleologist thrown in for good measure, the It’s In Nottingham Independent Festival, organised by the Nottingham Business Improvement District (BID), will be taking over the city with five stages in different locations across the city centre with free entertainment happening from 10.00am until 4.30pm. There will also be pop up events taking place at various independent shops, bars and businesses around the city for people to enjoy as well as some exclusive offers.

Below is a selection of the events that will be on offer. There will be even more happening on the day on the five stages set up around the city: one on King Street, one on Chapel Bar, one on Carlton Square, one on Pelham Street and one on Middle Pavement.

Death By Pizza - Suede
Location: Carlton Square Stage
Time: 14:00 - 14:30
Price: Free
Details: How fast can you eat a 14-inch spicy pizza? Find out at the Suede pizza eating contest! The participant with the fastest time wins one month of free pizza from Suede! Turn up to the Carlton Square stage to be in with a chance of being one of the lucky few to enter.

The Public Vs The Doughnuts - The Nottingham Doughnut Co.
Location: Carlton Square Stage
Time: 14:00
Price: Free
Details: Visit the Notingham Doughnut company Facebook page to enter and you could be one of the lucky four that will battle it out for the title of Doughnut champion. The winner will be the quickest to eat 20 glazed doughnuts and will win one of the Nottingham Doughnut Co.'s famous 14" doughnuts.

Free Fudge Tasting Session - The Treat Kitchen
Location: The Treat Kitchen
Time: All day
Price: Free
Details: The Treat Kitchen would like to invite the people of Nottingham to come in and try their signature cream and butter fudge. All The Treat Kitchen’s fudge is made on site in the Nottingham store. Plenty of flavours to choose from such as salted caramel, cherry Bakewell and chocolate orange.

The Flying Horse Treasure hunt - Flying Horse Walk
Location: Flying Horse Walk
Time: 9:00 - 17:30
Price: Free
Details: Tell us how many pewter horses with a purple ribbon round their necks you can find hidden in the windows of our great independent shops and be in with a chance of winning an exclusive goody bag full of surprises provided by the businesses taking part.

The “Dawg Eat Dog” Chilli Dog Eating Competition - Last Chance Saloon
Location: Last Chance Saloon
Time: 15:00
Price: £15
Details: You could win a rare bourbon and a £125 cash prize. Pick up your ticket from Last Chance Saloon.

FREE Bare minerals mini makeup and complimentary drink at the cocktail bar - Beauty Temple
Location: Beauty Temple
Time: All day
Price: Free
Details: Call and book for this amazing experience on the 1st October-places are limited so book quickly.

Outdoor Golf Course - Lost City Adventure Golf
Location: Carlton Square Stage
Time: 10:00 - 16:00
Price: Free
Details: Turn up and show your skills plaing outdoor golf in this unique course.

Pancake Party Family Morning - Cafe Sobar
Location: Cafe Sobar
Time: 9:30 - 11:30
Price: Free
Details: Children and their families can make their own crazy pancakes, prizes will be awarded for the ‘wackiest’ pancakes.

Fatboy Lamzac Demonstration - The Worm That Turned
Location: Chapel Bar Stage
Time: 14:10 or 15:25
Price: Free
Details: Try out an ingenious and gorgeously comfortable new outdoor inflatable seat, seen at festivals throughout the UK this summer - The Lamzac as demonstrated by Nottingham’s only stockist; The Worm that Turned (on Derby Road). Get expert tips on the best way to inflate without looking like an idiot, plus special spot prizes for lucky attendees!

Batik Demonstration with Louise from Missmac Designs - Focus Gallery
Location: Focus Gallery
Time: 1:30 - 3:30
Price: Free
Details: Come and see how Batiks are created using wax resist techniques with traditional tools and techniques. Creating beautiful colours and designs from an age old process in a contemporary style.

Coffee, Cake & Culture - The Specialty Coffee Shop
Location: The Specialty Coffee Shop
Time: 18:30 - 20:30
Price: £15
Details: Witness talent coming together for an evening of pure fun and entertainment. Acts include musician Nathaniel Shaw, comedian Gary Wayne and musical exhibition from Courtney Dacres. Also enjoy amazing food and mocktails over the evening.

Ignition - Volt Nightclub
Location: King Street Stage
Time: 14:00 - 16:00
Price: Free
Details: A pyrotechnic infused dance show brought to you by Volt Club in the Lace Market. (Fire Breathers, Angle Grinders, and Stilt Walkers!) Accompanied by a DJ.

The National Videogame Arcade Presents "Mario The Musical" Medley - NVA
Location: King Street Stage
Time: 12:30
Price: Free
Details: The world’s most famous Italian plumber and friends take to the stage to perform songs from their hit show Mario the Musical, featuring all your favourite characters.

Vegan Cocktail & Cake Taster - Debbie Bryan
Location: Debbie Bryan
Time: 19:00 - 21:00
Price: £35
Details: Enjoy an array of deliciously tailored cocktails matched to locally baked vegan sweet and savoury treats. My Sight Nottinghamshire are also supporting with raffle tickets; past prizes include Cream Tea for Two and bottles of exquisite wines.

Meet the Maker ‘Be Independent, Be Creative’ - Made in Nottingham
Location: Upper mall, intu Broadmarsh
Time: 10:30 - 16:00
Price: Free
Details: a day of events, info, advice and ‘have a go’ workshops with the designer makers in the Made in Nottingham artisan collective and other Indie Retailers.

Purple Dot Day - Derby Road independents
Location: Derby Road
Time: All day
Price: Free
Details: Derby Road businesses have an event, offer or promotion on the day. Each offer will be different and full details can be found inside. Look out for the Purple Dot Day posters in windows and purple balloons to find out what's in store.

Free Cookie Day - CookieShake
Location: CookieShake
Time: From midday
Price: Free
Details: Cookieshake will be giving away a total of 200 free cookies, 1 with every purchase, from midday.

DUKKI Dialect Treasure Hunt - DUKKI Designs
Location: Citywide
Time: 10:00 onwards
Price: £2 per person or £6 for a team of 4
Details: Discover the landmarks of Nottingham, and the way we talk, on this journey through Nottingham city centre, starting from the Dukki Shop in the Broadmarsh Shopping centre, and ending at the DUKKI shop on St James’ Street. Prizes will be won for the most correctly answered questions, so take your time! Winner will be announced via social media, once all teams have returned their answer sheets. The route involves some hills, but is wheel chair friendly.

Check the It's in Nottingham website for all the activities that are taking place -

Sunday, 1 May 2016

Nottingham Fashion Week Style Show Live REVIEW

Photo by Laura Patterson
Nottingham's inaugural Fashion Week concluded this weekend with catwalk Style Shows at the beautiful Old Museum building in Nottingham Conference Centre.

Showcasing Spring/Summer 2016 fashions and trends from key national High Street retailers including River Island, House of Fraser, Topshop, Next and Karen Millen, the live shows were hosted by BBC Radio 1 DJ and TV presenter, Nottingham's very own Alice Levine.

Alice Levine Photo by Laura Patterson

"I think it's a really nice showcase for Nottingham and with fifty retailers represented on the catwalk, it's so nice to see it all in motion." said Alice. "Nottingham is such a great city to shop in and Fashion Week is really celebrating what's here. Whenever I come back to Nottingham I always shop. I've always shopped in vintage and retro shops, love Hockley but also where my mum and dad are in Beeston, the charity shops are amazing, I probably shouldn't tell you, but Sue Ryder is the best!

Photo by Laura Patterson

"With fashion, I know what I like and it's hard to avoid trends if you shop on the high street, you're inadvertently picking up on things, so the vintage thing is nice, you can freshen something up with one piece and not be the same as everyone else. I really like the silhouettes from the 60s, I really like A-line shapes, the long sleeves and high necks."

Key trends on show included boho folksy prints mixed with fringing, suede, denim and ethnic jewellery, the perennially popular monochrome and nautical looks and a big colour-clash finale with hot pinks, orange and this season's must-have yellow.

You can see more photos in glorious technicolor on our Facebook page here

Photo by Laura Patterson
Thursday, 7 January 2016

EXHIBITION: Inspiring Beauty. No7 - 80 Years Of Making Up The Modern Woman

A new free exhibition chronicling the history of Nottingham's Boots No7 make up brand starts this month at Lakeside Arts at the University of Nottingham.

For the first time, previously unseen material charting key moments in the history of Boots No7 from its launch in 1935 to its development as an international beauty range will be exhibited.

Treasures from the Boots Archives not normally on display to the public, such as original packaging and advertising, original archive documents and museum objects have been brought together from Boots Archives, The University of Nottingham's Manuscripts and Special Collections and The University of Nottingham's Museum to show the wider social and cultural role of cosmetics from Roman times to the present day.

No7 was launched in an era soon to be transformed by the Second World War and the exhibition explores the social changes affecting women during the last eight decades and the extent to which No7 responded to them, charting the measures taken to counteract war-time shortages and the explosion of colour and choice in the 1960s to enable glamour-on-the-go. 

The exhibition has been jointly curated by Sophie Clapp and Judith Wright from the Boots Archives, Dr Richard Hornsey (Lecturer in Modern British History at The University of Nottingham) and Manuscripts and Special Collections at The University of Nottingham.

"The history of Boots is deeply rooted in Nottingham, where the company was founded and where so many local people have worked and shopped. It seems fitting to tell the story of No7 on the University of Nottingham campus that Jesse Boot helped create. No7 was launched just as the modern beauty industry came of age, and it's fascinating to see how it has constantly adapted and grown from just a handful of products to an enormous internationally-available range. But this exhibition is not just about make-up, it's also the social and cultural story of the past 80 years, and how the changes are reflected in the products we buy and the marketing we see," says Kathryn Steenson, Archivist at Manuscripts and Special Collections at The University of Nottingham.

Posters, products, photographs and Boots staff magazines will be used to tell a decade-by-decade story of the cosmetic evolution of the modern woman and also on display is some Victorian advice for young ladies regarding their appearance, along with 20th century beauty advisors' notes that demonstrate the shift in attitudes to female beauty over the generations.

Inspiring Beauty. No7 ~ 80 years of making up the modern woman is at the Weston Gallery, D H Lawrence Pavilion, Nottingham Lakeside Arts, University Park, Nottingham, NG7 2RD from Friday 15 January to Sunday 17 April 2016.

The Weston Gallery is open Monday to Friday 11am - 4pm
Saturday, Sunday and Bank Holidays noon - 4pm (Closed Easter Sunday)
Admission Free

A series of talks and a creative workshop will be held to accompany the exhibition, places are limited so booking in advance is advised with the Box Office on 0115 846 7777

Full details about the exhibition and accompanying talks can be found on the Nottingham Lakeside Arts website

Tuesday, 28 April 2015


Benedict Cumberbatch at Sherlocked ©Sandra Franklin

Sherlock teaches us many things, and being a fan of the latest BBC incarnation certainly teaches us patience. Over a year ago, we were tantalised with the promise of an official 'Sherlocked' convention, and I must admit I was beginning to suspect it would never happen, but a couple of months ago, the announcement we had all been waiting for was made, the game was on! A bewildering array of differently priced packages were launched in a wild flurry of internet bookings and website crashes, but I was in, I had my ticket.

The timing of the event attracted criticism, short notice for overseas fans and a very unfortunate clash with the London Marathon, meant that many hotels were already full and those rooms left were horribly expensive. I can only imagine that it really isn't easy to get the likes of Bendedict Cumberbatch, Mark Gatiss, Andrew Scott et al all in the same place at the same time, but I understand the frustration that was vented by many who couldn't attend.

Friday 24 April finally arrived. I boarded the train, full of excitement and anticipation, dragging a case brimming with photography equipment and cosplay and destined for the ExCel centre in London, my home for the weekend. Friday was registration day and the chance of a sneak preview of the displays and stands. The queues were well managed by cheerful event crew and it didn't take long to collect my pass, find some friends, and head into the exhibition area. The London theme was certainly evident, a full size London bus, black cab, red post box, army tank and front door of 221B Baker Street had all been transported into the hall, like a fleet of impossible ships in a bottle. Nestled between them was the BBC shop, traders stands and a Sherlock museum corner displaying props and costumes from the recent episodes.

Friday night was the first of the party nights and sadly the biggest disappointment of the weekend. With the promise of 'Two themed party rooms a night, overlooking the Thames with the London skyline in the background', I donned my PVC, tucked my riding crop under my arm and headed off for the Irene Adler's Boudoir/The Underground themed event. What greeted me looked like a 1980s wedding reception, a sad, tired conference room,  no theming at all, curious brown balloons tied to tables, a cheesy DJ in the corner and lots of confused looking attendees. There wasn't even a view as the blinds had been well and truly drawn. After 10 minutes or so, many of us left and headed back to our hotels wondering how the entertainment had gone so wrong. Saturday was apparently the same, with a lonely soul posting a picture of an empty room on Facebook, with a caption of 'Where is everyone?'

Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss at Sherlocked  © Sandra Franklin 

Despite the disappointment of the previous evening, I sprang out of my hotel bed on Saturday morning, excited to discover what adventures lay ahead. I assembled my Hound of the Baskervilles costume, my Femlock friend grabbed my lead, and off we bounded back to ExCel. The clash with the London Marathon led to some curious glances and one lady asking me 'are you going to run the whole way like that?'

Each day was a bit of a balancing act with talks taking place on two different stages, six photo-shoot sessions running simultaneously and guests signing autographs in between. Everything was tightly managed by ticket type and group, those who'd paid a whopping £3,000 getting priority. Most of the event crew coped admirably with the masses of people with masses of questions and provided excellent assistance to those with disabilities. Waves and waves of excited fans filled the massive ExCel hall with the sound of accents from across the world and the almost subliminal loop of the Sherlock theme tune.

Our very first stop was a photo shoot with Jonathan Aris, who couldn't be more different than the unloveable Anderson he portrays in Sherlock. Jonathan was charming and dashing, enthusiastically greeted us and seemed very laid back amongst all the hustle. One of the things I love about conventions is the chance to meet the supporting actors that never normally receive much attention and I came away with a new admiration for all of the cast who took part in Sherlocked.
Next came the biggie, my photograph with Benedict. Looking chiseled and immaculate, he politely greeted each guest, complying with requests for pointing poses, holding stuffed toys and lightly placing his arm around fans' shoulders. Suddenly it was my turn, Benedict held my lead, looked quizzical for the camera, and in a literal flash it was over.

We bounced along from shoot to shoot, signing to signing meeting Una Stubbs, Mark Gatiss, Steven Moffat, Sue Vertue, Rupert Graves, Andrew Scott, Clive Mantle, Lars Mikkelsen, Lara Pulver, Louise Brealey, Elizabeth Coyle, Louise Breckon-Richards and Arwel Jones, all of whom were a joy to meet and took time to say hello and admire the multitude of costumes worn by cosplayers. I say admire, but Moffat just looked at me and exclaimed 'why?'.

The talks were divided over two stages, the main stage impressively decorated as Sherlock's living room, it really was one of the best looking sets I've seen at any convention panel talks. The second stage hosted the lower key talks, which were still well worth attending, if you happened to have a handy time-turner or TARDIS with you. Moffat and Gatiss kicked off the panel sessions together, appearing very relaxed and comfortable in each other's company. Moffat throwing back his head in laughter as Gatiss entertained the crowd with Americanisms straight from a TV chat show, 'I've done this little show called Doctor Who, pause for applause'. Benedict's panel, although more reserved by comparison, was captivating, despite Benedict fighting a cold. He talked of how normal it seemed to be there with us all, but that he would never get used to being spotted whilst shopping, mentioned his excitement at soon becoming a father and was bemused at the thunderous applause for having got married. He fielded the crowd's questions well, throwing in a Chewie impression and using his Smaug voice to announce he was not a performing monkey. The odd naughty word slipped out, but who could possibly not forgive him.

Andrew Scott followed Benedict's session, very different, but utterly brilliant. Andrew is cheeky and delightful where Benedict is polished and polite, but both fantastic viewing. Watching Andrew on stage, it is hard to imagine just how he transforms into the chilling menace that is Moriarty. Warm and funny, he won everyone's hearts by talking about how fabulous he thought fans of the show are, to much applause. But in true Jim style, he left us with an instruction not to get nervous or worried about anything, we'd all be dead soon so it didn't matter.

Andrew Scott at Sherlocked © Sandra Franklin
I must admit to feeling an involuntary chill in the presence of Lars Mikkelsen, almost waiting for Magnussen to spring to life, but his relaxed air was an excellent balance to Rupert Graves' exuberant naughtiness as they took to the stage together. Saturday ended with a big screen showing of A Scandal in Belgravia, introduced on stage by Benedict. One last glimpse of our favourite consulting detective before he disappeared for the weekend.

Despite the lack of Benedict, Sunday was probably the highlight for me. There were noticeably fewer attendees which made it much easier to move around and not to mention cooler, which certainly went down well with this hound in a corset! We started the day with Jonathan again, now feeling like old friends, just time to grab an autograph from him before he kicked off the main stage sessions with Rupert. They were followed by Andrew and Mark, which I felt was the jewel in the crown on the whole event. Irreverent, wicked and razor sharp, they really should have their own late night chat show. Topics hurtled from scripts and filming, to gay marriage and integration. We learnt that they ARE both beach body ready, even if it is Morecombe in the winter and that yes, Mark does shave for Sherlock, but he's not telling you where. It was the session I hoped would never end and I have bruises from where my corset fought with my laughter-racked body.

As a seasoned convention goer, it was a delight to see the second stage reduced to standing room only for the cosplay parade. My hound scuttled along with Femlocks, Watsons, Irenes and Moriartys abound. The grand prize went to a very worthy Mary, every inch of her costume stitched, dyed and beaded by hand.

All too soon, the end neared. Just time for one last photo shoot, with the awe inspiring Mark Gatiss, who I think we had all well and truly fallen for over the weekend. Greeted with a 'hello again puppy', he grasped me firmly by the lead and generated the picture that still has me laughing days later.
I staggered to the tube with a grin on my face, fighting my way through spent runners who had completed the marathon that afternoon. Yes I was exhausted, yes it was expensive, yes there was lots and lots of queuing but this is all par for the course in the world of fandom. Apparently there were nearly 7,000 of us there over the weekend, but what was really special was that I have never heard so many people say it was their first ever convention. Not only that, they had flown from Japan, Germany, Poland, Chile, America and Australia to worship at the doorstep of 221B Baker Street. So Sherlock definitely does teach us patience as we wait for episodes, wait in queues, wait for the next titbit, but it also teaches us the value of newly forged friendships, comfortable shoes and that sometimes, just sometimes, a bit of magic can leak out of that TV screen.


You can find more photos of the Sherlocked event in glorious technicolor on the official Sandra Franklin Photography page here  All photos property and copyright of Sandra Franklin Photography.

Friday, 15 August 2014

Get Up And Go Guide To Nottingham

Photo courtesy of Travelodge

Welcome to the City of Nottingham! In association with Travelodge let us confidentially reveal to you our top favourite Nottingham haunts, fabulous secrets and absolute must-sees for your perfect Nottingham day.

First, fuel up for your busy day with the best slap-up fry-up in town at the breakfastalicious Brown Betty’s on St James’s Street, just a close couple of streets away if you book your stay at the Travelodge on Maid Marian Way in the heart of the city centre.

Now you’re all set up to get down to the serious business of shopping! For under-one-roof chain stores including our massive flagship Boots shop plus an indoor market try Victoria Centre, the lovely shops in The Exchange located inside the Council House in the Old Market Square or the beautiful Bridlesmith Gate which leads up to Nottingham designer Paul Smith’s flagship Byard Lane store. For independents, try the extraordinary Ice Nine in the arty area of Hockley for gorgeously-unusual sterling silver jewellery and fun trinkets. For vintage music fans, the second hand vinyl treasure-trove Rob’s Record Mart in Hurt’s Yard is a must.

Lunchtime already and step briefly out of Nottingham and into the enchanting wonderland of The White Rabbit Teahouse on Hound’s Gate. With daintily-beautiful mismatched china teapots and teacups, confidentially, our favourite treat is the adorably-indulgent afternoon tea, tiered with sandwiches, jam and cream scones and mini cupcakes. Or try lunch with scenic views of the city in the café at Nottingham Castle, for a small entrance fee you can visit the castle’s museum, art gallery and beautiful grounds.

Ready to get scared? Check out the spookily-fascinating Galleries Of Justice Museum, pre-booking is advised, as at the mysterious City of Caves. If you’re staying at the Wollaton Travelodge you’re right on the doorstep for free entry to the glorious Wollaton Hall which starred as Wayne Manor in Batman film The Dark Knight Rises, read the exciting story of how it all happened here

Dinner time already and you’d better be hungry for the awesome Annie’s Burger Shack! Located in Nottingham’s beautiful Lace Market area, these epic mouth-watering burgers are the most popular in town, so make sure you book well in advance! Follow up with drinks at legendary ‘England’s Oldest Inn’ Ye Olde Trip to Jerusalem or if cocktails are your cup of tea, follow our confidential clues to the superb secret speakeasy Boilermaker bar.

Night time and let us entertain you with top class theatre and shows at the Royal Centre. Capital FM Arena is within easy walking distance of the city centre where you can catch entertainment’s biggest names or head next door to the National Ice Centre where you can skate in the footsteps of Nottingham Olympians Torvill and Dean. Fancy a dance? Try the famous ‘sticky floor’ at Rock City or end up all the way back in St James’s Street at the Cookie Club where Nottingham’s singing-songwriting superstar Jake Bugg has been seen hanging out.

Finally, here are Five FREE Things To Do for that genuine Nottingham experience:

1. Strike a bow and arrow/raised arm clap pose at the Robin Hood/Brian Clough statue
2. Engage someone with the traditional Nottingham greeting ‘Aye Up Me Duck’
3. Skip (carefully!) through the fountains in the Old Market Square and watch the trams go by whilst the Little John bell chimes in the Council House.
4. Visit the plaque of Nottingham’s most loved busker Xylophone Man who couldn’t actually really play the xylophone at all.
5. Never, never, never refer to football club Nottingham Forest as ‘Notts Forest’.

Have a fantastic time in our City! From Nottingham Confidential with love x

You can check out our full Get Up And Go Guide to Nottingham together with full details of all Nottingham and natioanl Travelodge hotels on their official website here 

Wednesday, 10 July 2013

First Day Of The Ashes At Nottingham Trent Bridge Cricket Ground REVIEW

Alastair Cook Photo © Nottingham Confidential
"Some things change and some things stay the same" the philosopher said. Actually, the philosopher was Morpheus in The Matrix, but if Laurence Fishburne is a cricket fan he too may have cast his mind back to 1989 today and the last time an Australian side arrived for an Ashes series to be rated by the media as the "worst ever" to tour England.

Of course, Australia went on to win that series 4-0 with the lowest in a series of low points for England that summer a crushing innings defeat inside four days in Nottingham. So while the glitter and swagger of Trent Bridge in 2013 bears hardly any resemblance to the gently fading grandeur of two decades ago, the sense of impotence and frustration that took hold of a partisan crowd just after tea seemed all too familiar.

All this after an auspicious opening ceremony earlier in the day for which full marks for pomp and circumstance are due to the ECB, Investec and Notts CCC. The band of the Coldstream Guards, Lesley Garrett and the Red Arrows produced a surge of patriotism to inspire the crowd and English cricketers, even if one or two couldn't quite remember the words to the national anthem. In fact within a couple of hours it seemed one or two had forgotten which way round to hold a cricket bat as in the face of steady, if unspectacular Australian seam bowling, wicket fell after wicket giving plenty of opportunity for the scorers to give the new, space age scoreboard at the Radcliffe Road end a thorough workout.

It seemed with Bell's dismissal leaving England at 178 for 5 as if things could not get any worse. They did however and despite some spirit from Stuart Broad who endured a verbal battering and a clout to the shoulder for his troubles that put paid to his afternoon, the tail duly collapsed with the last five wickets falling for 37 runs.

But just as in The Matrix the resistance called for and were delivered by The One, circumstances duly conjured up a saviour to the English cause in the unlikely form of Stephen Finn. An unprepossessing start of long hops was followed by a correction to his navigation system and rewarded by two wickets in two balls. Clearly uncomfortable with a mere co-starring role, Jimmy Anderson promptly made the stage his own with headline-grabbing deliveries to undo Michael Clarke and Chris Rogers, passing Fred Trueman's Test wicket record in the process.

Fourteen wickets, just under 300 runs and this is only the first day of the first instalment of the 2013 Ashes blockbuster. England's day, just, but the tourists have showed sufficient discipline to suggest this will be a far closer struggle than previously advertised. Fate, as Morpheus would attest, is not without a sense of irony.

Friday, 31 May 2013

Art And Design Degree Shows At Nottingham Trent University PREVIEW

Spread over four buildings in their city centre site, The Nottingham Trent University Art and Design Degree Shows Festival 2013 is now open to everyone until Saturday June 8 and entrance is FREE.

Transformed into creative spaces for the festival, visitors can enjoy viewing the various collections of the final-year work from over 20 courses from the School of Art and Design and School of Architecture, Design and Built Environment in the different locations.

Disciplines including photography, fine art, furniture and product design are exhibited and highlights from the Bonington and Waverley building include spectacular theatrical costumes, beautifully ornate embroidery, imaginative textile design and interactive art exhibits with live participation and inventive artistic surprises. Moving images, cryptic messages and hidden rooms to explore are displayed along with light shows, peep-hole box artworks and even a real live sleeping princess sprawled in a castle cut-out montage in the Fine Art section.

It's the largest showcase so far of the final-year Art and Design student exhibitions, it's right here, in the city centre of Nottingham and it's completely FREE, so confidentially, we cannot recommend highly enough that you take yourself on a magical mystery tour around these four buildings crammed to the rooftops with creative talent and designs.

You can see lots more colour photos of the exhibition in our Nottingham Confidential Facebook photo album  here

The exhibitions on display are:


BA Fine Art
BA Photography
BA Textile Design


BA Costume Design and Making
BA Design for Film and Television
BA Fashion Communication and Promotion
BA Fashion Marketing and Branding
BA Fashion Management
BA International Fashion Business
BA Multimedia
MA Theatre Design
FdA Media Creatives


BSc and BEng Civil Engineering
BA FAshion Design
BA Fashion Knitwear Design and Knitted Textiles
BA Furniture and Product Design
BA and BSc Product Design
BA (Hons) Decorative Arts


BArch Architecture
BA Graphic Design
BSc Architectural Technology

There are also taster creative sessions, art trails and many more fun and informative activities taking place around Nottingham as part of the festival, full details can be found on the Nottingham Trent University website here

Sunday, 5 May 2013

Nottingham Day Of Kindness

Nottingham group In Kind has declared Saturday July 27 2013 as Nottingham's Day of Kindness to tie in with the UN International Day of Friendship on July 30.

In Kind was set up two years ago to promote more compassion and kindness in the daily lives of local people and also to influence private companies and public bodies to recognise the genuine benefits of adopting a more empathetic and compassionate approach to all aspects of their work.

For the last two years, In Kind has carried out on all-day Random Acts of Kindness event in Nottingham city centre, giving away sweets, cakes, flowers, balloons and hugs and passing on kindness challenges to persuade people to carry out their own random acts of kindness to make a real difference to both the giver and the receiver.

The ultimate aim of the group is to have Nottingham officially declared the first City of Compassion in the UK, joining Seattle (Washington), London (Ontario) and Louisville (Kentucky) and others that aspire to the title, such as Amsterdam, Barcelona and Jerusalem.

In Kind member Jeff Buck said: "As well as doing another Random Acts of Kindness event in the city centre, we'll be encouraging individuals, communities, voluntary groups and local companies to do their own acts of kindness during the week leading up to the 27th or on the day itself. Big or small, they all count and we want everyone to get involved."

Find out how to get involved with the event on the In Kind website

Thursday, 23 May 2013

Eddie Izzard at Nottingham Capital FM Arena REVIEW

Making a psychedelic hypnotic-swirled light show grand entrance, suited, high-heel booted, kohled-up and with a scarlet kerchief peeping from his top pocket to match his every-other scarlet fingernails, Eddie Izzard launched the first Nottingham night of his Force Majeure World Tour with the immortal words, "Let's get this show started with human sacrifice!"

Thus began the always extraordinary Eddie Izzard torrent of educational historical nonsense consciousness and almost true stories, from monarchical re-enactments to the Clash of the Titans, French asides, Olympic dressage, foreign language misunderstandings, Scandinavian box-sets, make-up and a bit more French.

Confidentially, our favourite routine also happens to be an important psycho-emotional discovery: the cure for fear, which is, rather prosaically but nonetheless very pragmatically: boredom. Explaining through a highly entertaining comparison with the Rock Paper Scissors game using boredom, fear (and... diarrhoea) Eddie insists that boredom cancels out fear, so you cannot be bored and afraid at the same time. Useful in haunted houses, try it yourself!

Meanwhile, audience members can amuse themselves- and have a go at amusing everyone else- by sending Eddie Izzard text messages which will appear up on screens before the show and during the interval. Sexily witty, endlessly fascinating, impeccably made-up, and gloriously downright bloody funny, if you missed him last night, Monsieur Izzard is spoiling us with a second show at Capital FM Arena in Nottingham tonight, ooh la la!

Tickets priced £35 are available for tonight's show, full details are on the Capital FM Arena website here

Tuesday, 9 April 2013

The Professionals On Ice At Capital FM Arena PREVIEW

Photo © Nottingham Confidential
Professional ice skaters Matt Evers and Frankie from smash hit tv show Dancing on Ice wowed Nottingham skaters at Capital FM Arena this week as they gave them a taster of some of their ice dancing tricks, lifts and spins - including the infamously nerve-wrecking head-banger- from their forthcoming Professionals On Ice show on April 27.

One of the show's producers is former Dancing on Ice champion Suzanne Shaw. "I'm the media producer and creative director producer with Matt for the show," she told Nottingham Confidential. "I'm loving doing this side of things and I want to potentially stay away from the front of the camera a little bit more and do more of this kind of thing!"

Photo © Nottingham Confidential

"As the Dancing On Ice Show isn't going out on tour this year, we thought we'd give the audience what they absolutely love which is to see the professionals skate. It's going to be a very different show, full of stunts and with lots of tricks and lots of fast skating together with lots of intimate skating moments and we'll possibly have a live band with us as well. We're also going to hold a competition to give the opportunity to find the next generation of skating stars from different skating teams, solo artists or duos to appear in the second act of our show, so altogether it's going to be jam packed full of family-fun entertainment!"

The Professionals on Ice will also star many other skaters from the current and previous Dancing on Ice series and you can find out more details about the show, including booking and ticket prices, on the Capital FM Arena website here

And you can watch our exclusive Nottingham Confidential footage of Matt Evers And Frankie showing some of their amazing ice dancing tricks- including that awesome head-banger spin- in the video links below!


It's just been announced that pop act Blue will make a special guest appearance at the first Professional On Ice show on Saturday April 27 and will be performing some of their greatest hits together with new single 'Hurt Lovers'.

Thursday, 3 January 2013

Red Hot World Buffet To Open At The Cornerhouse In Nottingham

One hundred and twenty jobs are to be created with the opening of a new Red Hot World Buffet at The Cornerhouse in Nottingham on January 24th.

Originally launched in Nottingham eight years ago, Red Hot World Buffet has expanded to seven restaurants around the country and their new £2.7 million premises at The Cornerhouse complex on Burton Street promises a 'world of escapism' with no rules or limitations, where guests will be able to interact with five-star chefs to design bespoke dishes, all for one set price.

The 500 seater restaurant will lift its specialist chefs' kitchens from behind the scenes to front of house and diners can choose one cuisine or their own combination unique to their taste, as well as helping themselves to the restaurant's famous buffet.

All dishes will be prepared from scratch on-site in preparation zones divided according to cuisine type. Chinese, Japanese and Thai dishes will be cooked with traditional Mongolian sword and shield techniques on a centre-stage unique oriental grill, whilst expert chefs in the Indian kitchen will cook specialities from the North and South of the country. Handmade pasta and dough will be made at the Italian kitchen and diners can also create their ideal gourmet burgers or choose from the eight-metre long sushi counter.

For dessert, diners can choose from the custom built patisserie kitchen where pastries, cakes and desserts will be baked in full view of the restaurant, the unique double chocolate fountain or the cold-stone creamery designed by corporate chef Deepak Bahuguna, where staff will whip up ice cream sundaes according to the diners' tastes.

Directors Helen and Parmjit Dhaliwal said, "Our new restaurant is the first of its kind and will attract people from around the UK, who will flock to Nottingham to witness this milestone in culinary history."
2 comments Monday, 10 December 2012

Chico Opens Christmas Rink At Nottingham's National Ice Centre

Photo © Nottingham Confidential

Nottingham got its Christmas skates on Chico-style today as the singer and Dancing On Ice finalist opened the enchanted starry night sky Christmas Ice Rink at Nottingham's National Ice Centre.

Happily signing people's ice skates, posing for photos and deftly skating around the rink with fans, Chico proved a big hit with Nottingham skaters and you can watch videos of Chico opening the rink in our Nottingham Confidential footage below. "I never skated before I did Dancing on Ice," he told us confidentially, "but I was a huge Torvill and Dean fan and remember being so amazed when I watched their Bolero, so it's wonderful to skate here now in their home town!"

The Christmas rink will run until January 6 2013 and includes a huge six metre tall Christmas tree and thousands of twinkling lights. Other exciting events taking place throughout the Christmas period include a Christmas Skate With the Panthers event on December 13, a Capital FM Christmas Party Night on December 15 and a Christmas Bubble Neon and Foam Party on December 21.

Tickets can be pre-booked for skating sessions and events at the National Ice Centre to guarantee tickets and avoid queuing and full details of prices, including discounts for school groups can be found at,

You can also see lots more colour photos of Chico opening the Christmas ice rink on our Facebook page here

0 comments Sunday, 18 November 2012

Carl Froch Vs Yusaf Mack At Nottingham Capital FM Arena REVIEW

Photo by Lawrence Lustig
Carl Froch retained his IBF World Super-Middleweight title, stopping Yusaf Mack in the third round at Nottingham's Capital FM Arena last night.

The news managed fifth place in BBC Radio 5 Live's sports headlines at midnight, behind qualifying for the US Motor Racing Grand Prix.

It continues to be a mystery as to why the world champion has not received the acclaim his incredible record, including nine consecutive title fights, merits- the introduction of three British Olympians to the audience perhaps providing a reminder of what a spectacular year it has been for Britain's sportsmen and women- but the clinical demolition of the hapless Yusaf Mack sets the Cobra up for a thrilling run of confrontations in 2013 that could cement him as an authentic legend.

Froch's last fight at this venue against Lucien Bute was fought in a ferocious, medieval atmosphere on a warm May night, with the challenger as he was ultimately overturning odds to prevail amidst scenes of relief, astonishment and euphoria.

This time around it was different, Froch now champion, an expectant crowd and a performance as cool and crisp as the November evening.

Delayed slightly by an entertaining light heavyweight bout on the undercard, Froch seemed determined to make up for lost time. After exchanging blows in the first round Mack paid an early visit to the canvas following a Froch left hook with the champion, perhaps remembering some ill-judged pre-fight remarks by the American, taking the opportunity to stand over and snarl at his opponent.

The second round was more even with Mack finding his defence, range and glare, but a pummelling set of body shots in the third culminating in another left to the ribs left the American back on the floor and out for the count.

'Easy! Easy!' roared the Capital FM Arena and indeed Froch seemed barely to be breaking sweat as he embarked on his post fight interviews.

Promoter Eddie Hearn went on to call 2013 the year of the rematch with a three-fight pipeline planned comprised of Bute, Andre Ward and Mikkel Kessler, the latter also rumoured to be staged at Nottingham Forest's City Ground.

If this is indeed to be Froch's farewell to the Capital FM Arena, it could not have been in more emphatic style.


Wednesday, 14 November 2012

IMAX® To Open At Nottingham Cineworld

Christmas will be coming just that little bit earlier for local film fans this year as Nottingham's Cineworld opens an IMAX® on 14th December 2012.

The new IMAX promises to offer cinema goers a uniquely immersive cinematic experience with its patented crystal-clear digital projection on a larger, slightly curved and specially treated IMAX screen together with powerful digital sound.

The screen allows the audience to enjoy blockbusters 'like never before' and will be installed just in time for Nottingham Hobbit fans to enjoy The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey which is released in the UK on December 14th.

Cornerhouse Centre Manager Suzanne Green said, "We're very excited to have the only cinema in the East Midlands with an IMAX screen. The work to install it is creating a real buzz at the venue and we can't wait for cinemagoers to come to Cineworld Nottingham and experience it. We believe it will be the perfect place to watch this year's Christmas blockbusters."

More information can be found at

Thursday, 11 October 2012

Carl Froch And Yusaf Mack Press Conference At Nottingham's Capital FM Arena

Photo © Nottingham Confidential
In a conference suite on the fourth floor of Nottingham's Capital FM Arena, a confident Carl Froch and a quiet but buff-looking Yusaf Mack spoke to the gathered national and local media ahead of Froch's second fight at the Arena this year, but what could also potentially be his last fight in Nottingham on November 17.

"It's not even five months since that epic night here in this very arena against Lucien Bute," began promoter Eddie Hearn, "an unbelievable night, an epic night for British boxing. So we're delighted to bring Carl Froch back to the UK and delighted to welcome the challenger today who's flown over from America, Yusaf Mack."

"I'm happy to get the opportunity, just wanna tell him, you know, come fight time, fight night, that you're going down," said Yusaf Mack, briefly.

"It's fantastic to be back at home," said Carl Froch. "After the Lucien Bute fight and winning the IBF title, I feel like I've rekindled the old flame, it never really burnt out but I feel like I'm back on top of the world, I'm back on great form, great shape, I'm 35 years old but I'm running faster and feeling fitter and feeling stronger...I feel like I'm in the best shape of my life.

"There's only going to be one winner and I'm there to do the business and on the 17th of November, I'll do whatever I need to do to put Yusuf Mack on his back, simple as that. You're talking about me going down, I don't go down, everybody knows that, it's trash talk, I don't want to get involved in that," said Carl Froch  before adding, "but there's only one winner, three times World Champion, eight world title fights on the spin, I'm feeling fit, strong as I ever felt so I'm just looking forward to putting on a great fight for my fans."

Photo © Nottingham Confidential
"The local support is fantastic," Carl Froch told Nottingham Confidential. "We sell out the arena every time I fight and it's a great feeling. I've got a great, great following, even when I fight abroad. But wherever I fight, it's a boxing ring, put it wherever you want, I'm in there, against an opponent with a referee.

"Training is the same for this fight, sparring is always different, sparring partners to try and emulate the opponent but physically, runs, bags, pad work, circuit work, strength and conditioning, I know what I need to do, get myself in peak physical shape and fitness. I've started cycling a little bit, which is a bit different, takes a bit of pressure of the knees and I enjoy it."

And ahead of potentially his last fight here in his home city, does he have a message for Nottingham? "They know what they get with me, they know who I am and what I do, and the place is nearly sold out because I excite when I fight, I entertain, I'm not a boring fighter, I'm the people's champion and I'm looking forward to having another great response."

You can see lots more of the press conference photos on our Facebook page here and watch our Nottingham Confidential footage of the whole conference in the link below.

Carl Froch versus Yusuf Mack takes place at Capital FM Arena on November 17. Full details and ticket prices are available on the Capital FM Arena website here

Sunday, 2 September 2012

48 Hours Of Fashion In Nottingham

Photo by Guy Farrow
This October, Nottingham will be transformed into a fashion runway for two whole days as fabulous events are held all around the city centre to celebrate and showcase both local and national fashion brands and strengthen Nottingham's position as a major fashion centre.

48 Hours of Fashion, organised by the Nottingham Retail Business Improvement District (BID) will take place in the city on Friday 12 October and Saturday 13 October and will feature four main events:

Fashion Shows 
Stunning choreographed model performances styled by Nottingham fashion retailers will be running throughout the day at Broadmarsh Centre and other locations in the city, including the streets of Nottingham, weather permitting.

Style Hub
Stylists will be on hand to chat about Autumn/Winter 2012 collections at the Victoria Centre in a busy styling hub which will include a body scanner for body shape analysis plus free hair and beauty mini makeovers.

The Fashion Ambassadors
Male and female ambassadors will be on the streets of Nottingham throughout the weekend 'working' a gorgeous winter coat for this season and promoting the events direct to the public.

The 48 Hour Wardrobe
Presentations by stylists will show the pick of this season's collections and the perfect capsule wardrobe pieces for the Autumn/Winter 2012 season.

Special fashion offers and retailer-specific events will also take place during the 48 Hours and award-winning fashion photographer Guy Farrow, whose work has appeared in Vogue, GQ and Time and whose clients include Vivienne Westwood and Stella McCartney, has taken promotional photographs for the event of models dressed in top fashion labels around Nottingham and you can watch a video of the fashion shoot in the clip below.

You can keep in touch with all the news about the Nottingham 48 Hours of Fashion event on their Facebook page

Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Lee Child Book Signing At Nottingham Waterstones

With the first Jack Reacher film starring Tom Cruise in the eponymous role coming out later this year on December 26, this is a chance for Nottingham fans to meet his creator, the internationally best-selling thriller writer Lee Child, at Waterstones on September 5th, where he will be signing copies of his new book, A Wanted Man.

Lee Child's books about the ex-military policeman and maverick drifter Jack Reacher have made him a household name with one of his thrillers selling somewhere in the world every twenty seconds and fifty million copies sold to date.

Described as a 'taut new thriller' with 'signature Swiss-watch plotting and heart-thumping suspense', A Wanted Man sees Jack Reacher hitch a ride to Virginia with three strangers- and within minutes it becomes clear they're lying about everything...

Lee Child will be appearing at Nottingham Waterstones on Bridlesmith Gate from 12.30pm on Wednesday September 5th and fans are advised to arrive early to avoid disappointment. A number of signed and reserved copies of 'A Wanted Man' are also available.

You can find out more about Nottingham Waterstones on their website

Friday, 6 July 2012

Nelly VIP Pass And Free Shoes Giveaway!

If you haven't heard of Nelly yet, you will do very soon because Scandanavia's number one online fashion retailer is now launching here in the UK and they're doing it in style...

Founded in 2008, are famous for their creative and generous events and on July 11 Nelly will be holding one of their High Heels parties at Coco Tang in Nottingham.

The first 150 guests to arrive at this free event will choose and receive a FREE PAIR OF HIGH HEELS from Nelly's upcoming collection (yes, you did read that right, FREE SHOES!) The first 100 guests will also receive a free goodie bag from Nelly's sponsors and there will be competitions with more great prizes running throughout the evening.

And what's more, Nottingham Confidential have ten VIP Passes to give away free for the event which will allow you to jump that long shoe-hungry queue and will GUARANTEE you your free pair of high heels! Nelly's parties are renowned for being very, very popular so it's definitely worth getting your hands on one of our free passes and winners will be notified by noon on July 10. *Please note you have to attend the party to receive your free pair of shoes!*

To enter our VIP Pass Draw, simply like our Nottingham Confidential Facebook page and write your name on our wall here or send us a tweet with your name to our Twitter page here

The Nelly High Heels party starts at 9pm on July 11 at Coco Tang on 45 Bridlesmith Gate, Nottingham.

You can find out more about Nelly and check out all their fabulous shoes and clothes at

Friday, 29 June 2012

Torvill And Dean Olympic Flame Gala At Nottingham National Ice Centre REVIEW

Photo © Nottingham Confidential

"How are we Nottingham? This is going to be such a fun experience...You will witness something this are going to say to your children, to your grandchildren, your grandchildren's grandchildren, I always remember, being in the arena, at that moment, when the Olympic torch came in and something very special happened," declared host Robin Cousins, skating deft circles around the National Ice Centre to a cheering, capacity and totally Olympically-psyched Nottingham crowd.

And it was no over-sentimentalised exaggeration of the enormity of this event for Nottingham, starring its own ultimate world-renowned home-grown legends Torvill and Dean, on the site where they started their own Olympic dreams, in front of a home-crowd bursting and ready to pop with local pride. With a cast of hundreds, including multi-coloured-lycra-clad ice-skating teams, pairs, teenagers, kiddiwinks, ice hockey and speed skaters performing to the Hucknall and Linby Mining Community Brass and a shimmering Lace City Chorus all mixed up with a special skating guest appearance by a beaming Rosemary Conley, the gala built up a thrilled and chilled frenzy of excitement for the arrival of the Olympic Torch and The Dance We Were All Waiting For...

Arriving almost exactly on schedule, despite a day of travelling through the region's torrential downpours, thunderstorms and head-numbing humidity, the Olympic torch was brought into the National Ice Centre to a more-welcomely-thunderous and ecstatic reception and transferred to a fit and still very fantastic-looking Torvill and Dean who swept onto the ice with that familiar, elegant and awe-inspiring ease accompanied by a gorgeously-glittering Nottingham Synchronized Skating Academy ensemble.

Photo © Nottingham Confidential
To a very emotionally-rousing and exhilarating soaring musical-score, Tovill and Dean danced with the Olympic Flame across the National Ice Centre in a thrillingly-beautiful, elegant, stylish and very moving routine. Performed, orchestrated and choreographed with fantastic elan, this truly was an extremely special event for Torvill and Dean fans, for the Olympics and for the whole torch flame relay journey but most of all and above all, this was very much Nottingham's moment, when everything came together in an unforgettable and magical event right here in the city where we live.

A spectacle of grace, glamour and great gravitas, both heart-swelling and eye-welling, confidentially, hands down and heads up, this was without doubt the Nottingham event of the year, if not the decade, Torvill and Dean, your home town loves you forever. And if you haven't seen it yet, you can catch the whole amazing routine in our own Nottingham Confidential video footage in the link below.

You can also see lots more photos of the whole Gala event in our photo album on our Facebook page here

Thursday, 7 June 2012

From Notts With Love

Natalie Duncan
Curated by local legend Dean Jackson from BBC Nottingham's long running music show The Beat, From Notts With Love is the first of a series of events celebrating Nottingham's music scene.

Taking place at The Space at Nottingham Contemporary on July 6th, the event is presented by Farmyard and Mantra promotions. Performers include Natalie Duncan who started on the Nottingham open mic scene in 2007 and has gained respect and admiration for her piano playing, stunning vocals and timeless, classic song writing and soulful pop singer-songwriter Nina Smith, one of the most talked about artists on the Nottingham music scene, who has also supported Belinda Carlisle, Finley Quaye and Alicia Dixon.

Nina Smith
Liam Bailey
Liam Bailey, whose initial introduction to the music business came via the late Amy Winehouse who, after meeting him, released his first two EPs on her Lioness Records imprint and is known for co-writing Chase & Status' Top 5 smash Blind Faith feat Liam Bailey will also perform along with Chris McDonald, who has supported Pete Doherty and who makes acoustic guitar music with a folk and soul mix. Other performers will include the soulful vibes of Harleighblu and Tim McDonald, whose music is compared to Rufus Wainwright's epic string-based songwriting with a world music influence.

From Notts With Love is at Nottingham Contemporary on 6 July 2012 7.30pm- 1am. Tickets are £8 in advance and £10 on the door and are available from the Nottingham Contemporary Shop and

Sunday, 27 May 2012

Indonesian Festival 2012

This June, and for the ninth year running, Nottingham will be hosting the largest Indonesian cultural event in the UK and it's FREE.

With the theme of 'Discover the Beauty of Indonesia' the festival is organised by the Indonesian Student Organisation Nottingham and aims to promote the culture of Indonesia. The festival will have thirty-five stalls selling authentic Indonesian food, clothes and souvenirs and visitors will have the opportunity to sample over one hundred types of Indonesian dishes including the colourful steamed cake kue mangkok, and the savoury fishcake delicacy pempek.

The festival will also be hosting traditional Indonesian performances including folk games such as Bakiak Racing, the Bali dance Angklung and also a cracker-eating competition called Lomba Makan Kerupuk where participants have to eat up the crackers that are hanged with strings. There will also be a fashion show showcasing the different types of traditional clothes in Indonesia.

Indofest 2012 will be taking place on Sunday June 10 at Chilwell Olympia Sport Centre, West Entrance Field, University Park at the University of Nottingham
More details about the festival can be found at 
Sunday, 22 April 2012

Torvill And Dean Olympic Flame Gala Event

This June, local legends Torvill and Dean will skate with the Olympic torch in Nottingham in a special gala event at the National Ice Centre and everyone is welcome to apply for the specially issued tickets which will be FREE.

The event will take place on Thursday 28 June with Torvill and Dean taking to the ice in a one-of-a-kind performance of a choreographed dance with the Olympic flame.

The skating pair, who are currently in Nottingham for the Dancing on Ice Tour said, "We couldn't be happier to be a part of the Olympic Torch Relay celebrations in our home town, we've been developing our choreography for the gala and we're very excited to welcome the Olympic Flame to the National Ice Centre, where it all began for us."

City schools can expect invitations to the event next week before tickets are made available to the public, and seating for the gala is unreserved, however people will need to register for a ticket. Registration will commence on May 18 and the tickets will be distributed on a first come basis.
Further details about the gala and the ticket application process will be released closer to the time at
Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Callecia J Brown Fashion Show

This April, Nottingham designer Callecia J Brown held a fashion show at Eschucha entitled 'Desvalido' for her latest collection and gave Nottingham Confidential exclusive backstage access...

Callecia J Brown is a Nottingham fashion label which provides a bespoke service where customers can choose their own fabrics and have a garment designed and made just for them. Collections are also designed seasonally which are sold through independent boutiques around the country and this collection, with its beautifully tailored women and menswear, is designed to showcase the designer's many inspirations. "This collection is a history of me and everything I like" says Callecia, "it has Edwardian, Victorian, 1950s and 1980s themes, as those were the eras where people liked to dress up and fashion was important. I'm very inspired by drawings in old Victorian books and old pictures and I love old films, MGM films, Bette Davis and Joan Crawford films, I love those women, that's how women should be dressing! 

"I was born in Jamaica and I've lived in Nottingham for about eighteen years, I studied at Nottingham Trent University and then did an apprenticeship with a local tailor called Roy Smith where I learned how to do tailoring and how to make hats and corsets. I'm always learning and I love making things, and I've been working full time as a designer for four years now.

"I love Valentino, right from the beginning from the 1970s and I love Vivienne Westwood, she inspires me because I look back in history and try and make things more modern, all my jackets are influenced by something from the Edwardian or Victorian period and she does that as well. A lot of my clients come from word of mouth, about ninety-nine percent and I actually do a lot of wedding dresses and it's like a circle, people tell each other and they come back as well.

Callecia dressing her models
"The fashion scene in Nottingham is not conducive to my type of work, it's very t-shirt orientated, it's very street and someone like me doesn't really fit in to the Nottingham scene so it's very difficult. What I produce, everything comes from design, conception, I make the patterns and I cut out the fabric and make everything, the whole process is me, whereas someone will get an image maybe from the internet, buy a printer and print it onto a t shirt, I just don't think people appreciate or understand that I've created these things, people sometimes ask me if I've bought it all from Japan! But I plan to keep producing beautiful clothes."

You can see more photos from the fashion show and from behind the scenes in our Facebook photo album here and watch footage in our video clips below.

Sunday, 1 April 2012

Evening Workshops At Nottingham Writers' Studio

A new series of evening courses has just been launched by Nottingham Writers' Studio for Spring/Summer 2012 covering both fiction and non-fiction.

Occupy the Cannon starts on April 18th and is a poetry workshop exploring the use of literature to create poetry, run by local poet and creative writing tutor Jane Bluett, Editing Your Prose starts on June 13th and covers various aspects of self-editing and Writing Reviews for Professional Publication starts on May 9th and includes book, movie, theatre, holiday and product reviews.

The courses, which will run on Wednesdays from 7pm to 9pm, cost between £24 and £48 for non-members and last between three and six weeks at the studio in Nottingham's Lace Market.

Full details of all the courses and prices can be found at

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Charity Fashion Show At The Cornerhouse

Next week The Cornerhouse complex will be turning itself into the chicest place to be seen at in Nottingham when it hosts a charity fashion extravaganza on Thursday April 5 with activities taking place on all four floors.

The leisure and entertainment complex has teamed up with John Lewis to showcase all the latest spring trends for men and women with a twist- all the clothes will be modelled by ordinary people, who will be sashaying down the catwalk in aid of Teenage Cancer Trust and Breakthrough Breast Cancer.

The event begins at 6pm with cocktails and canapés and expert beauty and fashion advice available on all four floors of The Cornerhouse, with the Fashion Show itself taking place at 8pm in the Slug and Lettuce. Tickets are priced at £5 and include a glass or fizz, or why not be absolutely fabulous dah-ling, and upgrade to a £10 VIP ticket which will get you a fantastic seat right near all the catwalk action, a free drink and goody bag. All the money raised will go to charity and there is also a chance to enter a prize draw to win £500 worth of John Lewis vouchers and a personal shopping experience.
Tickets are available from Icon Hair and Beauty on the fourth floor of The Cornerhouse or by calling            0115 9240 200      Friday, 16 March 2012

Irvine Welsh Talk At Nottingham Broadway Cinema

Finally published for the first time after nearly two decades, Skagboys, the long-awaited prequel to 20th Century cult classic Trainspotting, is coming out in April and you can hear a talk by its legendary author Irvine Welsh at Nottingham Broadway Cinema on Thursday April 19th.

The event, which is in association with Nottingham Waterstones, begins at 6.30pm and promises to explore Irvine Welsh's amazing body of work as well as further revealing the backstory of Renton, Spud, Tommy, Sick Boy and Begbie through the 1980s.

Skagboys is the first half of the original manuscript for Trainspotting and, opening in the early eighties, reveals how it all went so wrong for the boys. Charting their journey from likely lads to young men addicted to heroin, the novel explores a time of drugs, poverty, AIDS, political strife, a lot of laughs and a little love during a decade which changed Britain forever.
Tickets for the event cost £5 (£3 with a Waterstones loyalty card) and are available from Broadway Cinema box office on             0115 9526600      Wednesday, 11 January 2012

Browns Bar And Brasserie Opening Party

If you've got the post-Christmas blues and are getting withdrawal symptoms from the festive party season, here's another chance for you to dress up in those glad rags and LBDs.

Browns Bar And Brasserie opens on Park Row in Nottingham next month and is celebrating its launch with a Champagne and Cocktail opening party on Thursday 2nd February with complimentary drinks and nibbles served from 6-9pm. After opening its doors for the first time in 1973 in Brighton, Browns has gained a reputation for classic food and signature cocktails served in a stylish environment and caters for breakfast, brunch and dinner as well as afternoon tea with cakes and finger sandwiches.
To register for the opening night party, simply fill in the form at Everyone who registers will also automatically be entered into a prize draw for a chance to win dinner for four and a bottle of champagne.aturday, 10 December 2011

Flashback Vintage Fashion Show At Nottingham Contemporary December 7th 2011

Nottingham Contemporary was the setting for a fabulous and glamorous evening of vintage fashion and music this week as local event organiser Clementine Paro brought together a beautiful selection of Nottingham independent boutiques, designers and vintage clothing specialists.

Featuring stalls, dozens of models parading in a catwalk show, a 50s inspired band and a mesmerising Argentine Tango, the event played to an appreciative and enthusiastic audience in a packed-out Nottingham Contemporary cafe bar.

The fashion show clothes were provided by the very well-established Celia's Vintage Clothing on Derby Road who exclusively specialise in authentic clothing and accessories from Victorian to 1980s fashion, BooBoo Kitty Couture, who offer a bespoke made to measure dress making service inspired by film and sewing patterns from the 40s and 50s and A Vintage Obsession on Goose Gate in Hockley who specialise in designer pieces at great prices and offer a 'made to measure' service. More clothes were also on show by The Collar Worker who create innovative designs that are as far as possible sustainable, Frock studio/shop on Forest Road who design and make vintage inspired dresses that can be bought off the peg or in house, Oxfam D.I.Y from Goose Gate whose clothes are all donated by members of the public and whose proceeds go to overcome poverty and suffering and finally Callecia J. Brown, whose designs are handmade in house in Nottingham and create dynamic silhouettes incorporating femininity with meticulous detail.

Hair styling was provided by Lucille's Locks who create high class vintage styling and other stall holders included the boutique and antiques centre from Hopkinson Gallery and vintage jewellery, handbags and accessories from Eden Bea Vintage who hand-select each item from the 1920-1980 period.

You can watch every single outfit modelled in the fashion show encore video footage below.

Later in the evening, the audience were also treated to a dramatic and seductive tango by Luna y Molino Tango who offer lessons and private lessons in Nottingham and can be contacted at You can confidentially watch one of their dances below....
vember 2011

MissImp: Nottingham's Own Improv Comedy Group

Originally formed all the way back in 1998 as Mission: Improbable, MissImp improv comedy group has morphed and evolved and performed in venues around Nottingham before now settling with a regular residency at The Glee Comedy Club. Describing themselves as 'the evil child of theatre and stand up comedy- unedited, uncensored, from brain to stage with nothing in between' the group follows the Whose Line Is It Anyway? tradition for their performances, taking suggestions from the audience and playing a combination of  improv theatre sports games and making up comedy on the spot in the form of sketches and songs.

Fancy having a go? MissImp also hold a weekly jam session every Thursday at the Hopkinson Gallery where any aspiring comedians can go along, join in and develop their skills within a loose workshop structure, with the chance to also join the regular MissImp team performances.

You can catch the MissImp team at The Glee Club the last Friday of every month or to get more involved you can attend the workshops which are held every Thursday at The Hopkinson Gallery 7.30-9.30pm, tickets £3

More details can be found on the MissImp website
Monday, 31 October 2011

New Art Exhibition At One Thoresby Street Gallery

Recently described as one of the best secret art galleries by The Independent newspaper, One Thoresby Street is located in Sneinton in Nottingham and comprises a collection of artists, galleries, studios and project spaces hosting art exhibitions and events.

Their new exhibition 'An action, event or other thing that occurs or happens again' launches on November 11 in conjunction with The Trade Gallery and The Bonington Gallery at Nottingham Trent University and looks at repetition as a tool for the manipulation and control of the masses and explores the relationship between repetition, sound and image.

The exhibition begins with a performance by artist Francesco Pedraglio who will be exploring repetition in a fictional context using language and the physicality of form and the project also includes a screening of Nam Paik's 'Good Morning Mr Orwell' on November 12 at 6.30pm,  'Perfect Lives' by Robert Ashley launching at The Trade Gallery November 11 and a whole range of talks, performances and music. The project is produced by Candice Jacobs whose work will also be on show alongside fellow artists Bruce Asbestos, Athanasios Argianas, Rachel Coldicutt, Katie Davies, Dani Gal, Young Hae Chang Heavy Industries, Sally O'Reilly, Mark Titchner, Jack Strange and Ruth Proctor.

 Saturday, 15 October 2011

Join TV Stars, Academics And Business Leaders For Debates In Nottingham

Dr Phil Hammond

The University of Nottingham will be hosting a series of Question Time-style debates next week to mark the launch of Impact: The Nottingham Campaign, the biggest fundraising campaign in the University's history.

Everyone is welcome to attend the free debates and join a host of TV stars, academics, students and business leaders including GP and comedian Dr Phil Hammond, award-winning broadcaster and writer Adam Hart-Davis, TV presenter Maggie Philbin and Sky News presenter and former Nottingham University alumnus Jeff Randall.

Pills, potions and prescriptions, or care, community and lifestyle? What works best for health and well-being today? Tuesday 18 October 6.30-8pm
Adam Hart-Davis
This first debate takes place at Nottingham Contemporary and will be chaired by Jeff Randall. Dr Phil Hammond, Dr Mike Stroud, Professor Ian Hall, Dean of Medicine at Nottingham University and Jane Todd, chief executive of Nottingham City Council, will also be taking part and this event is preceded by a networking reception at 5.15pm at the University Park Campus, with a return coach laid on.

What is the role of universities in nurturing talent? Wednesday 19 October 6.30-8pm
The second debate is chaired by Alex Corck-Adelman, president of The University of Nottingham's Students' Union and will be held at Business School South. Former Labour MP Paddy Tipping, Bahram Bekhradnia, director of the Higher Education Policy Institute, Dr Rachel Carr, chief executive of IntoUniversity and David Harris, principal of Nottingham University Samworth Academy will be taking part and this event is preceded by a networking reception at 5pm.

From mind to market: where do good ideas come from? Thursday 20 October 6.30-8pm
Chaired by Professor Martin Binks, Dean of Nottingham University Business School, this debate will be held in the Keighton Auditorium. Adam Hart-Davis, Maggie Philbin, Bruce Savage and Professor Keith Campbell will also be taking part and this event is also preceded by a networking reception at 5pm.
Jeff Randall

All of the debates are open to members of the public with free admission but places must be booked by registering at

Full details about the all the debates can also be found on The Nottingham University website here

Thursday, 6 October 2011

Ghosts And Ghouls Tour At Nottingham's Galleries Of Justice Museum REVIEW

Entering a darkened Galleries of Justice lit by candlelight from moodily-scattered candlebra with organ music playing disconcertedly in the background is spectacle enough and certainly gets you into an unsettled and eerie mood all nice and ready for the Ghost and Ghouls Tour at Nottingham's old Court House and County Gaol, voted the most haunted building in the UK by Fright Nights paranormal investigators. After a bit of a wait in the sinister foyer with our nervously-giggly and very friendly fellow visitors, a costumed character with freakish eyes descends dramatically from a staircase and begins to regale us with the tales and history of the museum and beckons us to follow as we are led through to the courtroom and down to the haunted cells.

A whispy breeze follows you on your journey (confidentially, we recommend you bring a cardie) and it's an intimate and intriguing tour, stylishly and impressively presented, and although only available to over 18s, it's more emotive than spine-chilling, with the odd scare and gory detail thrown in. There are no tacky fairground gimmicks, the stories of the convicts, their imprisonments and executions are told in a way to get your own imagination working, and also presumably to leave room for the genuine haunted sightings and presences that have been experienced in the Museum. Without giving too much away about the tour, it's unnerving, fascinating and disturbing all at the same time and it does make you want to see a ghost pretty badly. The most cynical member of our group proclaimed loudly as we passed though the torture chamber to a small hole where prisoners were measured for coffins 'nothing scares me!' But someone must have been listening- because as we were led back to the courtroom she happily admitted that on the way back something had touched the back of her leg- and there was nobody behind her- yikes!

Thought-provoking, scary and exciting, steeped both in history and sadness, confidentially, whether you are a resident or a visitor, we definitely recommend a tour of the Galleries of Justice should be part of your Nottingham experience.

The Ghosts and Ghouls Tour is available before Hallowe'en and on the first Wednesday of every month at 6.30pm, booking essential. Tickets are priced from £8.95 per person
There are lots of ways to explore the Galleries of Justice Museum with free exhibtions, audio and performance led tours and a themed cafe. Full details are available at

Thursday, 15 September 2011

There's Something Funny HAppening In NottingHAm- The Nottingham Comedy Festival 2011

Nottingham, hold onto your sides because they're in danger of splitting when the fabulous and fantastic feast of fun the Nottingham Comedy Festival hits the town from September 23rd to October 1st.

All kinds of comedy events, from stand-up and improvisation to plays, workshops, musical comedy and films will be happening in venues all around the city including The Glee Club, Jongleurs, The Royal Centre and Nottingham Playhouse, and here are our Nottingham Confidential Top Five Recommendations for the festival:

Isy Suttie
1. ISY SUTTIE After catching her show at Nottingham's Just The Tonic earlier this year, we can confidently and confidentially recommend Isy Suttie's live act. She's a stand-up, story-telling, guitar-strumming troubadour, she's from just down the road in Matlock and most importantly of all she's FUNNY. October 1st at Bunkers Hill courtesy of Magners Funhouse Comedy tickets £7

2. SHAZIA MIRZA We're bigging up the girls this year with the world's premier Muslim stand-up Shazia Mirza who will be performing at Bunkers Hill on September 24th tickets £7

3. FREE LAUGHTER SESSION Apparently one hundred laughs equals ten minutes on the rowing machine so get your full laugh-exercise quota at this one hour session that mixes comedy improvisation games with laughter yoga September 25th at The Canalhouse

Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre
4. IMPROVISATION COMEDY WORKSHOPS If you've always fancied having a try at Whose Line Is It Anyway, you can have a go at this beginners workshop at The Lord Roberts September 24th £3 in advance.

5.SCOTTISH FALSETTO SOCK PUPPET THEATREBringing a new show of of 'songs, sketches and violence', what's not to like about Scottish singing socks? Part of the Bunkers Hill All Dayer September 25th £7 (full day) £5 (half day)

Full details of all the events in the Nottingham Comedy Festival including times, dates and ticket prices can be found on the official website

Thursday, 8 September 2011

Nottinghamshire Pride Extended To Two Day Event

You heard it here first and confidentially, of course- Nottinghamshire Pride, the annual free festival celebrating diversity and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender/transsexual life in Nottinghamshire will be a two day event next year for the very first time!

Running over the weekend of 28th/29th July 2012, the festival will take place on Nottingham's Goose Fair site. The second day of the event will be a more relaxed 'Hangover Day' for those who have partied long and hard the day before with picnics, chill out music and tea and cakes planned.

You can become a member of Pride and see images from this year's Pride event at

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

BAFTA Young Game Designers Workshop At Antenna Nottingham

The BAFTA Young Game Designers Workshop will be held at Antenna on Beck Street in Nottingham on Thursday September 29 at 2pm for young game designers aged 11-16.

First-hand advice will be available from industry expert Pete Collier, the Creative Director at Hogrocket and former Senior Level Designer on Project Gotham Racing 3, who will explain the planning and creative process for new video games and will show new designers how to create their own games.

The workshop is also part of the BAFTA Young Game Designers competition where young designers can submit their ideas for a new video game for a chance to win fantastic prizes including a trophy, games hardware and work experience at a UK games studio and the winners will be announced at the glittering Children's Awards in London in November.

To apply to attend the workshop with your school email with "Nottingham" in the subject line. More details of the workshop can be found on the BAFTA website

Full details of the BAFTA Young Game Designers Competition can be found at

Monday, 5 September 2011

Nottingham Turns Purple!

Nottingham Council House, the Cornerhouse and other key city centre buildings will be illuminated in purple and purple flags will be flown in the castle and Market Square to celebrate Purple Flag week from 19-25 September. Bars and restaurants will have special offers and there will be a 'Purple Carpet' screening of locally made short films at Broadway Cinema. Nottingham is the only city in the East Midlands to win the prestigious Purple Flag Award from the Association of Town Centre Management for being one of the best places in the country to go for a great night out and for its efforts to improve cleanliness and safety. The city will hold the title for another twelve months and is one of only sixteen locations in the UK to have the award.

The success is accredited to a collaborative effort between the Nottingham City Council, Nottinghamshire Police, Nottingham Businesses Against Crime and We Are Nottingham amongst other city centre partners.
Any other local businesses who would like to get involved to help the Purple Flag Award are encouraged to get in touch at

On Friday 23 September there will also be a Twilight Charity Walk in aid of the Street Pastors scheme, a charitable initiative that offers help and support to anyone in need in Nottingham city centre at night. The walk will begin at the left lion in the Market Square at 8pm and a host of musicians and entertainers will lead a route around the city which will take in Nottingham's nightlife and cultural offerings. Everyone is welcome to take part and are invited to wear purple- and comfortable shoes!- for the event.The Twilight Charity Walk has been organised to bring the community together and celebrate Nottingham's vibrant night-time offerings as well as raise money towards the £450 it costs to train and equip each Street Pastor volunteer.

Wednesday, 31 August 2011

New Writers UK Book Festival & Fayre At Nottingham County Hall October 7-8

They say everyone has a book in them, but not everyone can write it, but you could help unleash that inner novel with a a free two-day writers' event coming to Nottingham this October. Aimed at anyone interested in reading or writing books, the New Writers UK Book Festival & Fayre will be held at County Hall in West Bridgford, Nottingham on Friday October 7 from 6pm-10pm and Saturday October 8 from 10am-5pm. 

Guest speakers include former Nottingham Forest goalkeeper Mark Crossley who will be talking about his new autobiography and holding a Q and A and signing session, Mills & Boon author Kate Walker who will talk about writing romantic fiction and Dee Whitehead who played Maggie Calder in Emmerdale.

Dee Whitehead
Other events planned for the festival include a creative writing workshop, advice on writing non-fiction, a storytelling masterclass from Pete Davis from the Storytellers of Nottingham and a talk on Being a Children's Writer from Lucy Daniel Raby, whose screenwriting credits include Angelina Ballerina.

It's a packed programme of events with opportunities to meet authors, hear advice on getting published and visit a range of book stalls and there is also a special creative writing workshop for children aged 7-12. Best of all, with no entrance fee, all of the talks and workshops are free, as is parking, which is available on both days. No booking is required (excluding the children's creative writing session.)

Full details of the event are available on the New Writers UK Website

Saturday, 20 August 2011

Nottingham Robin Hood Beer Festival 2011

Photo courtesy of Nottingham
Robin Hood Beer Festival
Tickets are already on sale for this year's Nottingham Robin Hood Beer Festival which will be taking place from Thursday 13th to Saturday 15th October in the grounds of Nottingham Castle.

The festival already holds the world record for offering the largest selection of real ales and this year plans to beat its own record of 848 different cask beers on sale. As well as as this huge choice of ales, the festival also offers stouts, bitters, milds, porters, ciders, perries and barley and country wines. 

The festival will be open from 11am till 11pm each day and although it is possible to pay for entry at the gate, the organisers advise buying advance tickets to guarantee admission. Tickets, which cost £12.50, can be bought at Nottingham Tourism Centre in Smithy Row as well as through the festival website and will include a 2011 commemorative tankard and ten mini tokens. As no cash will be taken at the bars to help speed up the event, the mini tokens can be used as a payment system to buy drinks and for the first time this year, the festival offers visitors the option to buy their drinks in thirds as as well as half pints.
Photo courtesy of Nottingham
Robin Hood Beer Festival
The festival is also looking for caterers, in particular those offering locally sourced products and anyone who wishes to apply can email Any entertainers who wish to perform can also apply at  If you would like to volunteer to help with the festival, you can contact

More details about the festival can be found on the website

Saturday, 13 August 2011

Pins And Needles Fashion Event At Nottingham Broadway Cinema Sep 3

Booboo Kitty Couture Photo by Samantha Gallagher
Local fashionistas had better start planning their outfits for the Pins and Needles Fashion Exhibition at the Broadway Cinema in Nottingham on the 3rd September which promises to be an 'accessible, unique and interactive event.' But even before then, keep your eyes peeled Nottingham, as 20 VIP passes for the exhibition will be scattered around the city centre!

Ms Moo Make-Up Photo by Miss Rain
Organised by MA fashion student Charly Calpin, the event has free entry for all with a complementary glass of wine and cupcakes from Yummiyummy Cakes for the first forty guests, and begins with a fashion exhibition from 10am-6pm which will display a number of garments and offers visitors the chance to be a fashion critic with a twist. Tickets are available to be filled in with comments on your favourite item which will be entered into a special prize draw. Some garments will also be available for visitors to try on and even dance in.

The event will reopen at 8pm with a fashion show featuring models Bea Sinful and Madi Doyle wearing fashions in both vintage and contemporary styles and live music by Ransom and Joe Slater. Everyone involved, including bespoke dressmakers BooBoo Kitty Couture, Rose Handmade Clothing and make-up artist Ms Moo will be donating their time and are hoping to raise money for Nottinghamshire-based homelessness charity Framework with a charity box available for donations at the venue.

More details of the event can be found on their website

Sunday, 10 July 2011

Random Acts Of Kindness Event In Nottingham July 16

One year ago a small group of people who work in the community development sector in Nottingham came together to do something to encourage local people to treat others better and generally spread compassion, empathy and happiness around the city. They decided to hold a Random Acts of Kindness Event in Nottingham which will take place at St Peters Square in the city centre from 9am-9pm and aims to inspire local residents to do one small thing to make a difference to another person that day.

"Random Acts of Kindness events aren't new but we think this is the first time one has been done in Nottingham," explains a spokesperson from the In Kind group who are organising the 12 hour event. "We're going to spend the day shaking hands, saying hello and smiling at people and hope that we can inspire people to go home and be nicer to their neighbours and partners. There will also be music, cakes, balloons and sweets we'll be giving away for fun too but we do want to emphasize the day is more about giving rather than just freebies! Kindness and happiness are also contagious and have been scientifically proven to be good for us and others, whilst kindness, compassion and altruism are associated with protecting our hearts and healthy immunity and increasing wellbeing and workplace performance."

Confidentially, we're very excited about this event and we will be covering local acts of kindness live on our Twitter account, so feel free to get in touch and tell us what you get up to! For ideas for your own random acts of kindness check out

More information about the Nottingham In Kind group and the event can be found on their website
Sunday, 3 July 2011

Hallowe'en Ghost Hunting Event At Wollaton Hall Nottingham

So Batman may have just left the building, but Wollaton Hall promises to have plenty more fun and games in store. On Saturday 29th October 2011 you can spend the entire evening ghost hunting until 2am at the hall which has recently doubled as Wayne Manor for filming of the new Batman movie The Dark Knight Rises see full article here.

"This is actually very rarely done and only a handful of tours have done it," says Lee Roberts from event organisers Haunted Events UK. "We're very excited because we're the first team to get access to Wollaton Hall past midnight and although we still have tickets available there are only limited places left."

Nottingham residents may be familiar with the hall and park during the daytime, but at night it is a very different place. The rear of the building is supposed to be home to the white lady whilst the most active place for ghost hunters is Room 19. During this event, visitors will have access to all five floors of the hall including the cellars and the top floor ballroom which is only accessible by a 200 step staircase and is usually unseen by the public.

The event includes the opportunity to use all the paranormal equipment and visitors will be guided by local mediums and historians. Ticket prices are £59.95 with group booking discounts available, further details can be found on the website