Chelmsford Museum is giving visitors the chance to see two works by Grayson Perry with a special connection to the county. ‘Mad Kid’s Bedroom Wall Pot’ and a ‘Julie Tile’ have been loaned to the museum over the coming months, and together they give a fascinating insight into the development of the Turner Prize winner’s style.
‘Mad Kid’s Bedroom Wall Pot’ was created by Grayson Perry in 1996. The classically-shaped pot takes the viewer into the bedroom of an unhappy teenager, featuring a poem by the artist which ends with the lines ‘I was a mad kid and now I ain’t. I got out ‘coz I could paint’. The techniques used, including intricate glazing, photo-transfer and designs marked into the clay are typical of his work from this period.
The ‘Julie Tile’ was made almost 20 years later and is one of the pieces created for ‘A House for Essex’, one of Grayson Perry’s most ambitious projects to date. The holiday house in Wrabness is a shrine to Julie Cope, a fictional Essex every-woman, telling the story of her life through its decoration. The tile is one of hundreds made to adorn this extraordinary building overlooking the Stour estuary, designed in collaboration with FAT Architecture.
Councillor Marie Goldman, Deputy Leader of Chelmsford City Council says residents have a unique opportunity to see these works by one of Britain’s most-loved artists: “Our local museum is here to bring visitors the very best of our city’s heritage and its collections and exhibitions are completely free. Grayson Perry’s work is in demand around the world – don’t miss out on the chance to see pieces of such relevance to Chelmsford.”
The two pieces will be displayed in the ceramics gallery along with ‘The Chelmsford Sissies’, a pot which tells the fictional story of English Civil War soldiers forced to parade through the streets of the city dressed as women.
Chief curator Dr Mark Curteis says Chelmsford Museum is keen to feature Perry’s work whenever there’s an opportunity to do so: “We know how lucky we are having a true star of the art world and such a brilliant social commentator growing up in the city. When our new galleries were unveiled last summer, visitors had the chance to see the iconic dress Grayson wore when he won the Turner Prize. New loans of these key pieces will now take its place, giving residents a fresh understanding of his work.”
The ‘Julie Tile’ has been loaned to Chelmsford Museum by the Victoria Miro Gallery until the summer and ‘Mad Kid’s Bedroom Wall Pot’ is on loan from the Crafts Council until the end of the year.
Please note that CHP will be carrying out line marking to the entrance to the Old Croft Close car park this Friday 31st January. This is to prevent restrictive parking occurring which has been blocking access to the car park for residents.
Peter Pan ticket sales flying high as next year’s panto is announced
Peter Pan opens at Chelmsford’s Civic Theatre this Friday with more than 80% of
tickets already sold for the 62 performances of its five-week run. The theatre’s annual
co-production with One From The Heart is the biggest festive show in the city and this
year’s swashbuckling tale is on course to match the success of 2018’s pantomime,
which was the most attended in the theatre’s history.
There are starring roles for local boys and girls, with the roles of John and Michael Darling and
most of the Juvenile Chorus played by young people who auditioned earlier in the year.
Regulars to the Civic’s annual panto may also recognise key members of the cast – Caitlin
Rutter who plays both Tinker Bell and Mrs Darling starred as Cinderella last year; David
McKechnie (Captain Hook/Mr Darling) appeared as Fleshcreep in Jack and the Beanstalk three
years ago; and Liam Ross-Mills who plays Peter Pan has been the Civic Theatre’s leading man
once before, in Aladdin in 2015.
As you would expect, this magical production, which runs from Friday 29 November until
Sunday 5 January, is full of flying, fairy dust and fearful villains. Producer Daryl Back says it’s a
vintage year for her theatre company: “One From The Heart has been producing the Civic
Theatre pantomime for 12 years now and Peter Pan was the very first story we told back in
2007. As you would expect, we’ve drawn on all of the experience we’ve had entertaining
Chelmsford for over a decade and this year’s version of JM Barrie’s story is even bigger and
better. It’s also a real pleasure to have so many younger roles in this tale of everlasting
childhood, which has allowed us to find and develop local talent alongside our professional
Although certain showings sell out months in advance, there are some tickets left and from
Friday 29 November, panto fans will also be able to book tickets for next year’s extravaganza.
Sleeping Beauty is the next story to cast its spell on the Civic Theatre, featuring Princess Rose
and wicked fairy Carabosse. Chelmsford City Theatres’ artistic director Ian Knowles is expecting
tickets to be snapped up as soon as they go on sale: “We love the annual panto here at the
Civic – it’s the biggest and most joyful show we produce. We couldn’t do it without the loyal
support of our local audiences and we hope they’ll make a date for this bewitching fairy-tale in
Tickets for Peter Pan can be reserved by calling the box office on 01245 606505 or online at
www.chelmsford.gov.uk/theatres. Sleeping Beauty tickets go on sale on Friday 29 November
and can be booked in person at the theatre or on 01245 606505.