Fortunate to have wide range of culture in city - Chichester Observer

I think it was Harold Wilson who first coined the phrase "A week is a long time in politics". Well it certainly was for me last week as I started the week as Parliamentary Private Secretary (PPS) to the Defence Secretary and ended as the PPS to the Home Secretary, Sajid Javid. The Home Office is a busy department and it will be interesting to learn more about our police and crime, national security, and immigration and border control.

This weekend I had a wonderful time immersing myself in our City’s history and culture. In such turbulent times both home and abroad it is good to be reminded that our cultural connections unify us and deepen our sense of community.

Following a Saturday school visit to Westbourne House, I went to the Novium Museum to check out their latest exhibit: Hollywood Rome. This exhibit is tying in with our annual celebration of the City’s long history in Roman Week. Keep an eye out as all the events are starting this Sunday (25th May). Over the week celebrating our Roman City, there will be a huge range of activities including re-enactments in Priory Park which attracted 2,000 visitors last year. As well as, Family Activities at the Novium; where you can make your own Roman pot or create your own mosaic, and for the adults there’s an evening of wine tasting on Thursday night!

The next stop was Pallant House, home to one of the best collections of modern British art in the country. One big name piece they have there is ‘Roman Standard’ by Tracey Emin. The small bird was her first public art project and is a tribute to the famous Liver Bird from my home town, Liverpool.  I also really enjoyed seeing Harold Gilman’s work, which was a first for me.

Saturday evening, we finally got to see Chichester’s hit play, Shadowlands at the Festival Theatre. It’s the very moving story of how CS Lewis, famous author of the Narnia novels and devout Christian, found love later in his life with a New Yorker called Joy who loved his writings. I'm a huge Downton Abbey fan so the chance to see Hugh Bonneville in the starring role was not to be missed and the entire performance was magnificent.

We are extremely fortunate to have such a wide range of high-quality cultural events on offer in our district. My friend visiting from London was amazed and thought the gallery and the theatre were on a par with the capital… but we know it’s better!