Doncopolitan presents Nightlife at the Museum

Words: Vicky Prior

Photography: Vision

Doncopolitan is bringing the magic of a weekend to a weeknight with their Nightlife experience at Doncaster Museum and Art Gallery. The event will take place as part of Doncopolitan Crawl on Tuesday 23rd of July. Visitors are recommended to attend from 8pm.

Club culture hits Doncaster Museum with Doncopolitan’s first pop-up bar, serving special gin and tonics infused with five-leaf ginseng. The ginseng was grown locally at Bentley Urban Farm. The G and T’s will be available for £3.50 while the rest of the night out is free.

You can’t have a club night without a DJ and we’ve brought local underground house phenomenon Vision. I spoke to member Lewis who told me a bit about Vision’s background and why they enjoy working with Rachel Horne and Doncopolitan.

‘Vision is Doncaster’s leading underground house music event, bringing the best in rising talent and in-demand artists from across the UK. Vision saw the launch at Vintage, Silver Street back in 2017 which then lead the brand to take on venues: Huellas, Tiki, Mañana, Secrets, Bijou and most recently CAST all of which have been sell-out events. The brand consists of DJs, promoters, graphic designers, content creators and entrepreneurs that work as a collective. Creativeness and out-of-the-box thinking allowed Vision to continuously host exclusive and unique shows within its hometown of Doncaster, permitting a cultural social society to form alongside music consumers.

We will be providing DJ sets with a journey through underground house music in mind that span over the years, inspiring us to be where we are today. Also spreading awareness of our culture and how much impact we’re having within Doncaster positively and socially.

The reason we wanted to be involved came from Rachel’s passion and drive towards culture within Doncaster. She has given us a lot over the past year and we love working with her. To get us involved in this is great and also provides a platform to people formally see who we are and what goes on behind our brand Vision.’

Also performing on the night will be Ryan Harsten of Urban Conceptz, part of the Cast Associate Programme. Ryan explained as an artist and performer I’m inspired by a plethora of things. I’m inspired by things that make me uncomfortable, ideas that make me nervous and projects that have true risk and integrity. Things that push me out of my comfort zone, things that challenge me and cause me to evolve.

I’m an artist that thrives on improvisation, impulse and instinct. I react. I feel. I immerse. I’m involved with the Doncopolitan  Crawl because I want to support the arts in Doncaster. I want to meet other performers, artists, creatives and people, and see places and spaces I’m aware unaware of. I’m excited to support this event going forward and pushing the movement, culture and community in an upward direction for Doncaster.’

If this sounds like your cup of (g and) tea, come along to Doncaster Museum and Art Gallery from 8pm on Tuesday 23rd of July. If your out in town from 5pm, check our website for info on other events that make up this year’s Doncopolitan Crawl.

Doncopolitan Crawl

Explore life on the front line of austerity at Doncopolitan HQ

Words: Vicky Prior

Photography: Jim Mortram


You couldn’t have a Doncopolitan Crawl without a big event at Doncopolitan HQ. Happily, the team has pulled out all the stops and created a stunning photography exhibition entitled On Earth To Make The Numbers Up. The exhibition features work from Jim Mortram and Broth Tarn, with 13 Women providing live music.

The exhibition title comes from a book by Evelyn Haythorne about her life in Doncaster in the 1940s and 50s. Haythorne’s book gave a unique insight into working-class life, something which both Broth Tarn and Jim Mortram have continued in their photography work. 

Jim Mortram has built a national profile on his photographs of everyday life for people living in poverty brought about by the Government’s austerity measures. I asked him about his inspiration and he told me;

‘Honestly, two things inspire me, Austerity and the repercussions of such a brutal, chosen policy, from day one has been the singular causation for my picking up a camera, an audio recorder and getting out into my community to document their testimony and experiences and two, those in my community (Just you any other community around the UK) that have been hardest hit, their endurance OF Austerity. 

I feel honoured to be a conduit for these stories, to take them to any town, city within the UK, Doncaster is no exception, I’ve found that the North of the UK to have been much more receptive to these stories.’

Putting his money where his mouth is, Mortram will be selling limited edition signed prints of his photographs, but rather than collecting the profits himself, all proceeds are going to Doncaster Food Bank.

Barnsley based Broth Tarn takes his photos using a 35mm camera. His brooding shots of the female figures in his life brought him media attention and we are delighted to be hosting an exhibition of his work in Doncaster.

Rounding off the night will be music by 13 Women (who are actually three blokes). They informed me ‘Our music is red with purple flashes. We want to play the Crawl because we know a good thing when we see it. We like folk art and this Crawl is very that.’ Check out their YouTube video below to find out what they sound like.

This exhibition is free to enter and takes place on Tuesday 23rd of July, from 5pm, as part of the Doncopolitan Crawl.

Gallop down to The Jam Horse for a night of horsing around.

Words: Vicky Prior

Photography: The Jam Horse & Madame Zucchini

Since opening last year, The Jam Horse has become a Scot Lane institution. I’m often to be found in there having a coffee or just generally skiving off my work for Doncopolitan! On Tuesday 23rd of July, as part of Doncopolitan Crawl, The Jam Horse is staying open late to host an art exhibition by Cara McHugh, with entertainment from Madame Zucchini.

Cara McHugh is a local Doncaster artist who is holding her first major exhibition. Her comical horse illustrations are sure to delight Jam Horse customers. I spoke to Cara how to find out what inspires her and how she got started in illustration.

‘What inspired me to do these horses was my mum. I was ill and was bed bound and feeling very low. My mum suggested to do some drawings and get creative to help. She suggested I draw something to do with Doncaster. I thought about it and as I live near the racecourse I thought of drawing a horse race. But I also liked the idea of none of the horses racing. I wanted to have them all racing differently. I started having fun with the drawing. This helped me feel a lot better being stuck in my bed. The drawings are not perfect, but I don’t want to change them as it reminds me of a time when being creative helped me through feeling low. After doing the race I started adding a ladies day of things I have seen at the race course.’

Sheffield based cabaret act Madame Zucchini will be putting on a show for children outside the shop. She performs with a variety of vegetable based characters, including Beyonce Butternut and Darth Tater. Apart from making sure none of her cast end up in a Jam Horse chutney, Madame Zucchini will be offering a variety of children’s activities. She says ‘Vegetables had always been a part of my life, as my father was a fruit and veg merchant in the fens, and my mother loved glamour & the quirky.

Doncaster is always great to visit, and Doncopolitan are right up my street; as they are all about what’s local, sustainable, creative and joyous.’

Rachel Whittaker, proprietor of The Jam Horse who adores anything horsey, is very excited to be hosting Cara McHugh’s exhibition. She says ‘Doncaster’s cultural offerings are increasing by the day. We want to support this movement as much as we can. It showcases what Doncaster businesses have to offer and gives an opportunity to residents to join in cultural and artistic activities.’

These events form part of Doncopolitan Crawl, a series of cultural experiences taking place in Doncaster town centre on Tuesday 23rd of July between 5pm and 9pm.

All Eyes On Culture

Words: Rachel Horne

Photography: Various Businesses

“Artists Thrive Together. They manifest ideas, share, advocate and grow culture. So if you want to know where culture is in Doncaster, find an artist, musician, writer, poet, dancer or activist. Support their projects, dance at their gigs, learn the words to their songs and sing it back to them when they are on stage. Doing any of these things will literally change the lives of the artists or creator and, in that moment where you are celebrating their art, you are in fact making culture happen.”

from Art In Action, issue 30

Doncopolitan Crawl is an alternative evening event taking place on Tuesday 23rd July from 5pm onwards. In partnership with DMBC, Cast, Frenchgate, The Point, local businesses and now Arts Council England, it is a free night out for Doncastrians aimed at celebrating some of the many creatives we’ve featured in the pages of the mag. One thing we’ve learnt over the years is that it can be really difficult for artists to develop and fund what they do. Arts Council England is helping us to commission artists to develop their amazing ideas and share them at Doncopolitan Crawl.

Here’s a taste of what’s happening:

Doncopolitan Pop-Up Shop
the Frenchgate Centre

Based in the former Garage Shoes unit near Debenhams you’ll be able to purchase prints, cards and original artworks from artists that have graced the pages of the magazine.

Art at the Deli & Mamma Wheatley’s Yarn Bomb @Scicluna’s

Doncaster’s favourite deli Scicluna’s is hosting an exhibition of artwork by Penny Cawley and outside there will be a huge yarn bomb featuring hand knitted and crocheted items from Mamma Wheatley’s and music from Laura Kelly.

“New Beginnings” at C-View

At Doncaster’s former Art College there will be a mixed media visual art show featuring the work of BA Fine Art and Craft students and lecturers from Doncaster College. Resident artists studios will also be open.

“On Earth To Make the Numbers Up” Photography Exhibition
Doncopolitan Studios

Based on the name of the book by Doncaster writer Evelyn Haythorne, first published in 1987 (although currently out of print) the exhibit charts Evelyn’s life growing up in Doncaster in the 1940s and 50s. This exhibition will feature contemporary photography from Broth Tarn, a Barnsley based 35mm photographer, and the nationally acclaimed photographer Jim Mortram who has featured on the front of British Photo Journal for his work that documents the lives of people living on the front line of austerity.

Broxholme Lane Block Party

Many residents love the splash of street art and colour that has started to appear in the town centre. You’ll be excited to hear that SPZero76 will be painting again on Broxholme Lane as part of our Block Party with other phenomenal creative pioneers such as FiveFive, and Breaking Beats.

Cara McHugh
The Jam Horse, Scot Lane

Cara McHugh is an emerging visual artist and illustrator who will be showing her comical horse themed illustration for the first time at the Jam Horse. Madame Zucchini will be on site providing child friendly activities.   

Katy Carr & Helen C. Stark
Dreambakes, Priory Walk

Katy Carr featured in issue 6 of Doncopolitan – she’s a London-based folk musician and singer songwriter keen to collaborate and perform in Doncaster due to our strong Eastern European community and her dual Polish/English heritage. Katy’s previous albums have explored themes such as the Polish Partisansduring the Second World War and songs such as Mala have had over 398,870 views on Youtube. She’s even been described as the ‘Polish Bjork’. Helen C. Stark is an extremely talented illustrator who specialises in brush calligraphy and will be running a drop-in workshop on the night while the fabulous Pinch and Pull will be outside serving some delicious nosh.


“Silent Style” – Fret by Fret

Make-up artist Rebecca Gathercole has designed a make-up look inspired by the art and drawings of Imogen Carline who we have featured in past issues of Doncopolitan. Instagram influencer and model Lindsay Marie McGlone, along with photographer Shane Peagram are collaborating with Rebecca to create a photographic series on display at Fret by Fret on Priory Walk. Imogen will also be showcasing work on the night with live blues music from her dad Frank Carline and Al and The Geriatrics.

“The Geranium Project”
13 Scott Lane

Visual artist Ian Latham will be showcasing his Arts Council England supported mixed media installation. Recent MA student graduates Andrea Berry, Lisa Goodwin and Amie Frost will be showing work alongside.

Wonky Planet Take Over featuring Fluid/ity at Cast

Wonky Planet and Doncopolitan have been working together for the last 4 years developing a space for exploratory music and performance art to develop.. If you are making edgy, experimental work in Doncaster Wonky Planet is the place to collaborate and share what you do.

Nightlife Museum

We’re collaborating with Doncaster Museum to bring elements of club culture into the Museum. From 8pm onwards you’ll be able to grab a drink from our pop-up bar, listen to house music from our friends at Vision and see a special performance from Cast Associate Artist Ryan Harsten also known as Urban Concept and Melt Trip.

Alongside this incredible array of creative talent we have a wonderful production team helping and supporting the event. This includes Gemma White, Claire Boswell, Jo McQuade (DMBC), Danny McMillan, Joe Powell, Vicky Prior, Beth Prior (Doncopolitan) and Rosie Clark at Cast.

Wonky Planet And Fluidity’s Takeover

Wonky Planet and Fluidity are taking over CAST, are you brave enough to join them?

Words: Vicky Prior

Photography: Fluid/ity & Wonky Planet

Another day, another fascinating look at one of the events that make up Doncopolitan Crawl. In part 6 of our blog series, we are going to a Doncaster institution to interview some bonafide Donny celebrities taking part in an avant-garde musical experiment.


If you venture into CAST on the 23rd of July, you’ll enter an unorthodox club night. Music pioneers Wonky Planet are releasing a new album Animal Bitrate which they will be performing on the night. To add some extra glamour, the wonderful Bipolar Abdul will be bringing her troupe of drag kings and queens from Doncaster’s popular Fluidity nights to dance alongside Wonky Planet. I was keen to find out what inspired Bipolar Abdul in her performance art, and this is what she had to say:

‘It took me a long time but now I’m incredibly inspired by the North and especially Doncaster. It’s pushed me to be exactly what Doncaster is missing and to embrace the fact we have a chance to start our own regional drag. I love being part of the Crawl cos all other obscure subcultures have been exposed and pushed together to really showcase the spectrum of creativity the not so grimm Donny has to show.’


As for Wonky Planet, their work defies description, so I thought it best to let Craig, one of their musicians, do it for me, ‘We are a South Yorkshire based trio, myself, Tim and Frankie, risen from the foundry ashes of wonk-prog outfit Mangabros. We forge our twisted monstrous sound from dismantled modular synths, rewired electronic toys, theremins and junkyard percussion, fed through a crooked mile of guitar pedals and FX. We’ve mostly dropped the vocals and narratives this time round to have much more fun with sonic exploration. Here at last, is dance music for the chronic wallflowers who daren’t dance.’

Intrigued (and a little bewildered), I asked Craig what inspired him and what it meant to be part of the Doncopolitan Crawl. His answer made a bit more sense to me, ‘Pulselovers is a musical project which takes inspiration from half forgotten TV themes, 70s German electronic music and radiophonic experimentalism. In the studio, this takes the form of uncomplicated rhythms and drones which are accompanied by simple melodies. When performing live, a more improvisational approach is taken incorporating tape loops, found sounds and a multitude of gadgets and effects.


It’s a great honour to be asked to perform as part of the Doncopolitan Crawl. Donny has a great tradition of underground music and I’m proud to be playing a small part in its development.’


In conclusion, I’m not entirely sure what is going to happen at CAST on the 23rd, but it’s bound to be an interesting experience.


All events as part of Doncopolitan Crawl are free, and take place on Tuesday, 23rd July from 5pm till 9pm.