New Forest East



By Julian Lewis

Southern Daily Echo – 31 October 2009

Like so many other Totton residents, I do not always make the most of some of our excellent facilities. So it was good to make amends when District Councillor Miranda Whitehead encouraged me to attend Around the World In 80 Days, staged at the Hanger Farm Arts Centre by Ringwood-based touring theatre company Forest Forge earlier this month.

This was a marvellously professional production – humorous, musical and all the more remarkable by having as many as 18 parts played by just three first-rate actors. I, and both my two companions, had a great evening out. Only one thing detracted from the evening: the relatively numbers in the audience. I am not able to say whether this was because of the lure of the Big City on a Friday night, a lack of awareness of what Hanger Farm has to offer for a very modest cost, or a simple indifference to the arts.

The first and last of these cannot, I suppose, be helped. But if you have not yet been to an event at the superbly converted Hanger Farm site, do make the effort at least once: it will be surprising if you fail to be impressed.

Hanger Farm is owned by Totton and Eling Town Council but is run effectively and economically by Totton College as one of its many services to our community. It has a website which gives full details of all the many treats on offer.

Yet the best schemes around can succeed only when the community makes-the most of them. Hanger Farm deserves our full support: we should be proud of it.