This course is currently sold out. We do sometimes get cancellations – if you would like to be added to the waiting list, please contact us.
Join us for the GreenMatthews Midwinter Getaway – a relaxing weekend of fun and festivities in the sumptuous surroundings of Halsway Manor with hosts Chris Green and Sophie Matthews.
GreenMatthews are well-known for their touring Christmas shows such as A Brief History of Christmas, A Christmas Carol and Midwinter Revels. On Saturday night there will be a performance of their new show Witty Ditties.
This weekend holiday is an opportunity to get up close and personal with Chris and Sophie and enjoy a weekend of music and merrymaking.
The Midwinter Getaway is very much about fun and relaxation, rather than Halsway’s usual intensive workshop-type weekends. With good food and good company, the house is the perfect place to gather with old friends and meet new ones. Free time will be an important part of the weekend, giving you the opportunity to explore the surrounding area or simply relax by the log fire with a glass of something warming.
If you play an instrument (to any level) then please do bring it along. If you don’t play, bring a voice, and if you’re not comfortable with either, please bring an appreciative pair of ears or a pair of dancing feet. There’ll be feasting, drinking, carolling and storytelling as well as a wintry walk across the beautiful Quantock Hills (the oldest area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in the UK).
Who is it for?
The GreenMatthews Midwinter Getaway is for anyone who fancies a relaxing weekend at the Manor without the pressure of an intense timetable. You can recover from Christmas, recharge for the New Year, or simply enjoy a welcome break with good company.
Chris Green and Sophie Matthews are modern-day balladeers, specialising in telling stories through song.
GreenMatthews are firm believers in the age-old power of narrative song to delight contemporary audiences. Taking their cue from ancient troubadour tradition, they are 21st-century wandering players. They tour throughout the UK and Europe. Their music and tales are rooted in the past, but their performances are entirely of the 21st century – immediate and accessible to modern audiences.
Born into a musical family in Coventry, Chris began playing guitar at the age of eight and piano from the age of nine, and plays most things with fretted strings or keys. Largely self-taught, he’s worked in a variety of musical genres including folk, theatre and early music. He’s a regular musician at Shakespeare’s Globe and was also one of the musicians on BBC’s Poldark, appearing in series 1 and 2.
He also writes and composes, having adapted The Wind in the Willows (2017), and A Christmas Carol: In Concert (2018). His solo album Switched-On Playford, fuses 17th-century dance music with electronica, using a blend of early instruments, synths and loops. His latest commission from English Heritage is a live score for the 1922 silent film Nosferatu which will be touring in Autumn 2023.
Sophie began playing flute at the age of ten but is known best as one of the foremost players of the English border bagpipe in the UK. She plays a variety of early woodwind instruments such as shawm, rauschpfeife and recorder. She’s one of a handful of British players of the baroque musette, an 18th century French bagpipe similar to the Northumbrian smallpipes. Sophie is a superb interpreter of narrative song with a clear, pure and unaffected soprano voice. When not touring with GreenMatthews, Sophie is an accredited lecturer for The Arts Society, lecturing on Music in Art. Sophie also makes instruments (she made her own baroque oboe) and works with respected luthier Tony Millyard on his flutes. As a musician Sophie plays with The Oxford Waits as well as the respected early music collective Piva.