First of May – Two Sussex Events

On Tuesday, 1st of May, there will be two very special events related to The Old Weird Albion – one early in the morning, and one in the evening. Here’s information on both, albeit in reverse order:

The Old Weird Albion
Justin Hopper, Sharron Kraus, Geraldine Mitchell, Peter Pick
7:30pm Tues., 1st of May
Gluck Studio, Chantry House, Steyning, W. Sussex
Advance booking essential, ring Steyning Bookshop: 01903 812062
Further information from Steyning Bookshop

Sharron Kraus and I will perform ‘Chanctonbury Rings’, a full-length collaborative piece combining texts and live music, based on a chapter from The Old Weird Albion. It’s a moving and highly evocative work that immerses the audience in the sounds and spectres of a mist-shrouded Chanctonbury Ring – the ancient hill fort that stands atop the South Downs above Steyning. Irish poet Geraldine Mitchell (Mountains for Breakfast; Patrick Kavanagh Award-winner) will give her first-ever UK reading. Experimental musician Peter Pick of Meshmass will perform solo soprano saxophone works.

The venue for this intimate performance is the studio of the late, legendary artist Gluck; Chantry House is also the former home of the iconic Irish poet WB Yeats, who composed some of the most important poetry of the 20th century within it.

The £8 ticket price includes the performances as well as wine, nibbles and a discount on purchases of The Old Weird Albion. Space is limited, so please book in advance to avoid disappointment. Reserve your place in person at Steyning Bookshop or by phoning them: 01903 812062.

Steyning is easily reached via the A283 (leaving the A27 at Shoreham) and there is plenty of public parking close to Chantry House. It can be reached on public transit via a bus or short taxi ride from Shoreham-by-Sea station. Check out the location of Chantry House on Google Maps.


Welcoming The May
Justin Hopper, Sharron Kraus, Adam Ranger and more
7:30/8am (approx.) Tues., 1st of May
Chanctonbury Ring, South Downs, W. Sussex

Every year on the 1st of May, the Chanctonbury Ring Morris Men perform the traditional ‘Dancing in the May’ at this ancient and spiritual site. After their dance ends, we will pick up where they leave off with readings, music and invocations to welcome the summer, to celebrate Beltane, to honor your favorite of the day’s many Saints… etc…

The Morris Men begin at 7am – by 8am I’d imagine we’ll begin with our Beltane invocation from Adam Ranger of the Anderida Gorsedd Druids. After other invocations and readings (TBD), Sharron and I will perform stripped-down versions of place-relevant sections of our piece Chanctonbury Rings, which we will perform in full that evening in Steyning.

Afterwards we’ll retreat to Steyning and perhaps gather again for breakfast at the Sussex Produce Co. or another local eatery.

As this is an Iron Age hill, used for spiritual purposes by successive waves of invaders for more than 3,000 years, there is, of course, a Car Park. Here’s it’s location on Google Maps:

From there it’s a sometimes steep 20-30 minute walk up the side to the Ring. Please be weather aware, use sensible footwear and don’t try anything funny if you have trouble ascending the Down. We will assemble at the top, as some of us will go in time to attend the Morris Men’s dance (as I suggest you do, too!).

Contact me with any questions or just to let me know you’re coming: juddy [dot] hopper [at] google [dot] com

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