Ride the dragon

IF you haven’t signed up to take to the water, never fear — you can still head along to Coate Water this Sunday and enjoy the spectacle of dragon boat racing.

The event gets under way at 10am with a number of teams competing for the trophy and raising money for good causes.

As well as the racing, there will be entertainment, refreshments and stalls selling everything from doggy treats to jewellery to handmade arts and crafts.

For more information visit www.swindondragonboat.org.uk or just pop along to Coate and soak up the fun!

Royal harpist is on fire

ROYAL harpist Claire Jones, and her drummer/percussionist husband Chris Marshall, are bringing their latest show Hands of Fire to Swindon tonight.

Bringing the harp and the drums together is a master stroke from the two musicians, creating a duet played out in front of a multimedia screen with full on lighting and production.

The duo are releasing a new album, This Love, on Friday, July 28, and are about to embark on a 90-date arena tour.

Chris plays Narimba drums, vibraphone and a variety or drums from around world.

He is a sought after musician for West End shows, both for playing and composing.

He has written music for television including advertisements such as the jewellery company Clogau, who made the royal couple’s wedding rings.

Claire is now the face of Clogau Gold of Wales and she was invited to perform at William and Kate’s wedding at Buckingham Palace.

She was official harpist to The Prince of Wales.

At 21 years old, she was invited for an audition with Prince Charles and was swiftly appointed to the role.

“He came up and stood a foot away from the harp,” laughs the 30-year-old. “I gave it my best.

“I felt quite relaxed when I played for him.

“I performed for royalty and him two or three times a month, sometimes for private functions and I did one-on-one performances for the Queen.

“Performing for the Queen was nerve wracking.

“All I thought was: ‘I will never get that again in my life’. You pinch yourself.”

Tickets to Hands of Fire at Swindon’s Arts Centre tonight from 7.30pm are £15 from 01793 524481 or visit swindontheatres.co.uk.

They have only just begun in Oxford

HEAD over to Oxford tomorrow to see The Carpenters Story, a highly acclaimed concert-style production celebrating the music of one of the most successful pop duos in music history.

First created back in 1986 by its founder Phil Aldridge, The Carpenters Story was one of the UK’s very first tribute-style shows of its kind.

Now, more than three decades later, the show has stood the test of time, having entertained sell-out audiences throughout Europe and the rest of the world.

Aclaimed international star Claire Furley remains unsurpassed in her uncanny representation of Karen Carpenter. Her stunning vocal harmonies, combined with state of the art video projection and lavish musical arrangements, will take you on an incredible journey through the uniqueness that truly was The Carpenters.

The show features all the timeless classics, including Superstar, (They Long To Be) Close To You, We’ve Only Just Begun, Yesterday Once More, Top of the World, Please Mr Postman, Rainy Days and Mondays, and many more!

Tickets are £25.40 to £27.40 from atgtickets.com/venues/new-theatre-oxford.

  • Children can enjoy swapping Lego cards at East Wichel CP School and Nursery's summer family fun day on Saturday from 1-4pm.

With 140 of the cards, given out with purchases at Sainsbury's of over £10, there are sure to be some you haven't got yet! 

The school, in Staldon Road, Swindon SN1 7AG, is delighted that Sainsbury's has lent display boxes filled with cards for the event.