Arts: What's on in October

Take a look at what's coming up this October at Ashcroft Arts Centre in Fareham Forest Arts Centre in New Milton, the West End Centre in Aldershot and The Arc, Winchester.

Ashcroft Arts Centre, Fareham

Coming up in October at Hampshire Cultural Trust’s Ashcroft Arts Centre in Fareham is an exciting mix of music, inspiring workshops and a strong offering for children at half term and for Halloween.

L-R: Megson; half term and Halloween; Alfie Moore


The customary diverse range of music at Ashcroft is in evidence as ever this month and audiences can enjoy gigs as varied as rock, folk, Americana and indie. The month kicks off with the popular Ashcroft Presents session, welcoming local favourites The Outlaw Orchestra and Castle Royals (6 October). The Outlaw Orchestra are a three-piece band from Southampton, offering a hell-raising, foot-stamping rock ‘n’ roll Saturday night! Award-winning Megson (7 October) combine an infectious mix of heavenly vocals, lush harmonies and driving rhythm guitars in this truly unique night of folk music. Having rampaged across the UK and Europe with their Southern soul, rock ‘n’ roll, R&B and gospel in a sell-out tour, Jim Jones All Stars are now back on a further 15-date UK tour, kicking off here at Ashcroft on 13 October. The Andy Grant Band (14 October) are a classic rock era three piece mixed with a 21stCentury edge and always present an unmissable evening. Fans of indie will be delighted by The Dunwells (18 October). The prolific singer-songwriters from Leeds mix indie with folk and Americana and have toured extensively in USA, Europe and the UK. They have supported Mumford and Sons, Tom Jones, Scouting for Girls, Brian Adams and Elbow. Finally this month we are delighted to offer you Imar (21 October) – the BBC Radio 2 Folk award winners – Irish/Max/Scottish quintet - and arguably Glasgow’s hottest folk property.


The comedy offering at Ashcroft this month is the incomparable Alfie Moore (27 October). This ever-popular comic brings a new stand-up comedy Work in Progress show to Ashcroft Arts ahead of recording Series 8 of his critically acclaimed BBC Radio 4 show It’s a Fair Cop.

Fun Palaces

Fun Palaces returns to Ashcroft Arts on 7 October – bringing a weekend of fun to Fareham. There will be a variety of free activities for all ages including: Stage Combat, drama games, textiles, singing for wellbeing, a magic show for kids, arts and crafts and creative writing.

Half term

Half term at Ashcroft is full of spooky fun. Children who join in the Spooky Moves Dance in a Day (25 October) can invite parents along at 3pm for their final street dance showcase. The Spooky Stitches Textile Workshop (25 October) offers young people the opportunity to explore texture and colour with Halloween themed pieces. At the Spooky Stop Motion Animation Workshop (26 October), participants will be working together to create their own characters through collage, then create a storyboard, and finally animate and voice their characters in a unique animation piece. Finally, on the 27 October, young people aged 6-11 can book onto an afternoon of spooky fun at the Spooktacular Halloween Party – incorporating arts and crafts, games and an opportunity to learn the monster mash!


It’s another strong month for workshops at Ashcroft, kicking off with the popular Paint and Sip session on the 13 October. Participants can learn how to paint and draw over a cup of tea/coffee or glass or wine in our fun and relaxed evening session. Another art opportunity presents itself in the Watercolour for Wellbeing workshop (14 October) – a beginner’s workshop exploring the wonderful medium of watercolour. Budding authors can join in the Edit Your Writing workshop on 19 October, appropriate for committed writers aged 16+ writing fiction, drama, short stories or non-fiction. Finally, Halloween isn’t just for the children - adults can join in one or both of two workshops - Wicked Witches (20 October) or Halloween Flower Arrangement (28 October). You can make your very own needle-felted wicked witch or combine seasonal flowers to create an interesting and unusual Halloween arrangement using a pumpkin as a container.

More information about Ashcroft Arts Centre and the programme of events and activities is available at

The Arc, Winchester

Coming up in October at Hampshire Cultural Trust’s The Arc in Winchester is an exciting selection of inspiring exhibitions, a strong music selection, high profile comedy, a poetry festival, theatre and a packed half term and Halloween offering. Below are some of the top picks from The Arc’s upcoming October programme.

L-R: Alice in Wonderland; Georgia O’Keeffe; Rachel Fairburn


Georgia O’Keeffe – Memories of Drawings (throughout October - 15 November)

This exhibition of 21 exquisite photogravure prints of major drawings by Georgia O’Keeffe is a rare chance to see her work in person outside the US and comes to The Arc courtesy of Hayward Gallery Touring. One of the most important artists in 20th-century Modernist American art, O’Keeffe broke new ground for women artists. While best known as a painter, drawing was central to O’Keeffe’s practice and this exhibition explores this technique in depth. The 21 drawings featured in this exhibition were made between 1915 and 1963, spanning the period when O’Keeffe established herself as a major figure in American Modernism.

Winchester Art Club – City Space (throughout October to 12 November)

The popular free gallery space at The Arc is hosting works by the Winchester Art Club. Members include painters, printmakers, sculptors, woodcarvers and more, so this is always guaranteed to be a an excitingly diverse show.


The usual diverse range of music at The Arc is in evidence as ever this month and audiences can enjoy sounds as varied as Gypsy laments, jazz, folk and 1920s horror-inspired soundtracks! The month kicks off with the popular Acoustic Café session, welcoming songwriting favourites Megan Dixon Hood, Dreuw and Southbound (6 October). Megan Dixon Hood fuses passionate environmentalism and a deep love for folklore and mythology and promises an evening of ‘ethereal songs and stories that seep from dark enchanted woods’. The Budapest Café Orchestra (8 October) always sell out venues across HCT, with audiences loving their blistering barrage of traditional folk and gypsy flavoured music. Ten Steps (18 October) is a collaboration between Brooklyn’s celebrated hammered dulcimer player Max ZT, and the Black Country/Tokyo’s dark, sophisticated gem - singer/songwriter/poet Dan Whitehouse. Together the two stand-out musicians interweave spoken word with music and song, and draw on a shared belief in the healing power of music. Cape Town-born pianist/composer Philips Clouts brings The Philip Clouts Trio (21 October) to Winchester, mixing the joyful passion of Caribbean calypso, the bluesy melodies of Middle Eastern praise songs, the exuberant sway of Cuban dance music and the tuneful essence of Gospel – while honouring jazz heroes such as Bill Evans, Keith Jarrett, and Charles Lloyd. Triple Scots Trad music Award nominees Gnoss (27 October) signature sound is a rich tapestry of acoustic layers, outstanding musicianship, deep traditional roots and contemporary compositional flair. Finally, with something completely different to anything else on offer, we have Nosferatu: A Symphony of Horrors (28 October). Composer Chris Green has put a brand-new live score to a 1920s horror film masterpiece, just in time for Halloween!

Winchester Poetry Festival:

From 13-15 October, readers, writers, poetry-lovers and the poetry-curious are invited to join in as the Winchester Poetry Festival returns for 2023! There are 22 events on offer and featured poets include multi-award winner Daljit Nagra; legendary Welsh poet and activist Menna Elfyn; prolific performance poet Luke Wright; prize-winning poet Zaffar Kunial; sci-fi verse novelist Harry Josephine Giles and critically acclaimed poet and biographer Matthew Hollis.


Rachel Fairburn (5 October) kicks off the month in style, with her new tour: Showgirl. Rachel is co-host of International smash hit podcast All Killa No Filla and can be seen on Alan Davies: As Yet Untitled (Dave), Richard Osman’s House of Games (BBC) and Russell Howard Hour Life Lesson (Sky). Another star of TV and Edinburgh Comedy Award Best newcomer nominee is Helen Bauer: Grand Supreme Darling Princess ( 12 October). Helen brings a show all about the women in her life, from her mother to her best friend and that one girl who was mean in 2008. Finally there is a fantastic line-up at the October Barnstormers (20 October) with Robyn Perkyns, Dan Antopolski and Joe Wells.

The ‘new King of Comedy’ (Evening Standard) John Kearns brings us his show The Varnishing Days on 14 September. Seen as a comedian’s comedian, this cult gagster brings legions of fans to his shows, not least due to his hilarious stint on Taskmaster.

Half term and Halloween:

It’s going to be a haunted half term at The Arc this October with many spooky sessions to choose between. Team up with fellow Halloween lovers to Create a Giant Cardboard Haunted House (23 October). For more craft experiences, participants can explore the limits of their creativity with Handprint monsters (24-26 October), Paper Bat Garlands (25 October), Mini Scarecrows (25-28 October) and Spooky Lanterns (26-28 October). If you still haven’t decided what to wear at Halloween, then you can take part in the After School Art – Make a Mask ready for Trick or Treating (31 October). Halloween isn’t just for children, though, and adults can join in the seasonal fun with a Thursday Afternoon Craft session: Fabric Pumpkins (12 October).


Children and adults alike can experience fabulous theatre this October at The Arc with Alice in Wonderland and Casting the Runes (both on 29 October). Theatre company Box Tale Soup bring both of these productions to The Arc – a trip into Lewis Carroll’s Wonderland with Alice, and a chilling new adaptation of M.R. James’ classic ghost stories featuring remarkable puppetry and a haunting soundtrack.

More information about The Arc and the full programme of events and activities is available at

Forest Arts Centre, New Milton

Highlights from the October programme at Forest Arts Centre include an excitingly diverse music programme with choices ranging from folk and blues to classical, a burlesque night and workshop and fun sessions for Halloween and half term.

L-R: Hundred Watt Club; Connor Selby; Half Term Super Mario Bros Camp

Music at Forest Arts:

Green Room Live is back for October with Megan Dixon Hood , Lucas Raye and Dreuw (5 October). Megan Dixon Hood takes inspiration from folklore, mythology, nature, and human beings and explores alternative genres, her music hinting at the fairytale world of Florence + the Machine and AURORA. Jinder plays Forest Arts on the 7 October, with support from PJM. Jinder is a UK based singer/songwriter. His songs have appeared in hit movies and have been recorded by many other artists, featured on a No.1 album and in a West End musical.

Classical music makes an appearance this month at Forest, with Simeon Walker in our Concert Pitch show (11 October). Prolific UK-based pianist & composer Simeon Walker has quickly emerged as a leading light in the burgeoning Modern Classical scene, regularly performing and touring across the UK and Europe.

Folk lovers will be happy this month with some treats in store. Jacob and Drinkwater (13 October) are a South-west based duo who have been called ‘stand out new folk’ by BBC6 Music. For those who love the folk revival of the 1960s and the music of the cult band Pentangle, Clive Carroll (19 October) is bringing the music of John Renbourn to Forest Arts.

Connor Selby (20 October) is a rising British star in the traditions of Eric Clapton and Peter Green, who has already performed with his band at Wembley Stadium, at the behest of The Who. Connor creates an exciting and soulful blend of hard-hitting blues and emotional songwriting. He won the Young Artist of the Year at the UK Blues Awards three years running in 2020, 2021 and 2022.

Finally, Tongue Fu (27 October) are accompanying poets, writers and storytellers on the stage – one of the UK’s leading spoken word and music shows for over a decade, Tongue Fu is led by poet, musician and founder, Chris Redmond (BBC Radio 1, 2 and 4 and Sky Arts).


The Hundred Watt Clubis back on the 14 October. This is one of the longest-running and most highly esteemed burlesque and cabaret shows in the UK – audiences should prepare to be teased by the cream of the glittering burlesque scene and look forward to a risqué evening of entertainment. For those who want to take it one step further, we can offer Figure Drawing with Hundred Watt Club on the same day – an afternoon of figure drawing with a stunning show-person from the evening’s show.


The Forest Arts Comedy Club (12 October) will bring the usual talented selection of hand-picked comedians, selected by viral sensation MC Joe Wells. This month we have award-winning Charlie Bowers with his deadpan musings and Greg Winfield with a set packed full of punchlines and lightning fast interactions. Greg has supported Russell Howard, Nish Kumar, Jon Richardson, Fern Brady and Paul McCaffrey to name a few and has written for BBC’s ‘Mock the Week’ and Comedy Central’s ‘Roast Battle’.

Halloween and half term:

Halloween arrives early at Forest Arts, with a sustainable Costume Swap Party (14 October). This is free to attend and participants will be encouraged to either swap costumes for something new, or to breathe new life into old ones.

Over half term, there is plenty to choose from. On the 25 October, children aged 5-13 can take part in the Creative Camp: Super Mario Bros, where they can join in a morning full of crafts based on the computer animated adventure. You can even watch the filmthe same day. On the 26 October join Berkshire Printmakers for the Creative Camps: Halloween T-shirt printing - create your own spooky t-shirt to scare your friends. Finally, the Halloween Disco(28 October) offers lots of fun Halloween themed dances and activities and includes free face-painting.

More information about Forest Arts Centre and the programme of events and activities is available at

West End Centre, Aldershot

L-R: Half Term Crafting; Siobhan Miller; John Kearns

Coming up at the West End Centre in Aldershot this October is a riveting and diverse mix of high-profile and local music, great comedy acts and fun activities for half term. Read on for highlights of the October programme.


The music on offer at the West End Centre this month ranges from folk and blues to ambient and heavy rock.

One of Scotland’s most celebrated folk singer-songwriters, Siobhan Miller (6 October) kicks off the month with an evening of stunning vocals and lyrical songs. The West End Centre’s Public Address unsigned music night is back in October with VLMV, Hedge, Druzhok and Rila’s Edge (7 October). VLMV (pronounced ALMA) blends post-rock, ambient and contemporary classical music and has been described by Lauren Laverne (BBC6 Music) as “a beam of light through a dark, cold night”. Singer and bouzouki player Daoirí Farrell (12 October) holds two prestigious BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards. He has toured and played festivals across the world as well as touring the UK with the all-star Transatlantic Session.

Atomic Rooster(13 October)are one of early heavy rock’s lost pearls. They were formed from the ashes of the The Crazy World of Arthur Brown in 1969. Their debut gig was at the Lyceum in London (supported by Deep Purple) and their first self-titled album was released in February 1970. This is a rare chance to see them live in Aldershot. Brave Rival(20 October) are the South East’s rip-roaring rock and blues Machine. Drawing influence from the likes of John Mayer, Aretha Franklin, Heart, Fleetwood Mac, Led Zeppelin and Tedeschi Trucks, Brave Rival offer a fresh take on a sound you will already know and love.

Clive Carroll (21 October) plays the music of John Renbourn, for those who followed the folk revival of the 1960s and loved the music of the cult band Pentangle.

Jasta 11 Presents: Rews (27 October) is an evening of pop/rock which is infectiously energetic and empowering. To date, REWS have amassed over 10 million streams and their music is continually championed by a number of international DJs on BBC Radio 1, Kerrang! Radio, Radio X, InterFM (Japan) and Radio Freccia (Italy).

Finally, the folk force of Gnoss will be playing on 28 October, their sound a rich tapestry of acoustic layers, outstanding musicianship, deep traditional roots and contemporary compositional flair.


The new show from John Kearns: The Varnishing Days lands at the West End Centre on 5 October. Double Edinburgh comedy award winner and cult stand-up comedian to the stars, John Kearns, can always be relied upon to provide a heart-stopping evening of hilarity and he is already close to selling out.The next session of the West End Centre comedy club - Heckler’s October (12 October) is packed with high quality acts – Markus Birdman, Masai Graham and Bulgarian comedian Martin Durchov will be gracing the stage.

Half term and Halloween:

The October half term holiday brings plenty of crafting fun to the West End Centre - with both Halloween and Christmas making an appearance on the craft table. Children can join the Drop in Craft table (23 October) or take part in many fun activities on the 24 October, including a Mini Matisse Halloween Paper Cut, Clay Christmas decorations 3+, Clay Christmas decorations 8+ and a fun Halloween Buttons session.

More information about West End Centre and the programme of events and activities is available at

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Hampshire Cultural Trust

From museums to galleries to arts centres, we manage and support attractions across the county, welcoming over 740,000 people each year. Our charitable purpose is changing lives through culture.
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