Break through your county barriers! Here's the fun stuff to do across 18 Muddy counties over the next week.
Break through your county barriers! Here’s the fun stuff to do across 18 Muddy counties over the next week.
Reginald D Hunter, The Concert Hall Reading, Sat 3 June
If you haven’t come across Reginald D Hunter, where have you been? A regular on 8 Out Of 10 Cats Does Countdown, he is laugh-until-you cry funny, achingly cool and a real go-for-broke comedian. Like all funnymen these days, he loves to ruffle feathers with his searingly honest jibes and is known for dropping the ‘N’ bomb… a lot. See the great man from Georgia perform his hotly-anticipated new show at The Concert Hall reading. Tickets £25. readingarts.com/concert-hall
Colourscape, Waddesdon Manor, 27 May – 4 June
Back for the fourth year but with a brand new stucture created to exactly fit the Aviary Lawn, Colourscape brings its labyrinth of 56 interlinked chambers to Waddesdon, where you can where you can explore intense light, colour and space.Each day there will be different music and dance performances – expect Hurdy-Gurdy (I’m not joking!), panpipes, dance, music from Norway and on the final day a theatre-piece with dance and acoustic costumes.
10.30am-4.30pm, music plays from 11am-3.30pm. waddesdon.org.uk
Love Marlow Festival 2017, 2 – 17 June
Marlow is definitely the Buckinghamshire town du jour, with seemingly endless cool openings, posh boutiques, and festivals on the go. Its LOVE Marlow Festival is really popular locally, with over 60 community activities and promotions including music, sport, workshops and kids’ events. Worth checking out. lovemarlow.co.uk
Strawberry Fair, Midsummer Common, Cambridge, Sat 3 June
A month long event of interactive fun and discovery exploring science and the natural world through art, music, exhibitions and fun activities for all ages. Highlights include a lecture by Prof Robert Winston, a dinosaur dig with a life size T REX and a Sci-Fi Prom featuring music from favourite composers and movies. Headline speaker Lord Winston will give two talks suited to a young and older audience. His ‘My Amazing Body’ lecture takes place on Monday, May 29, and is being billed as a special event for children, exploring our “intricately wired brain to our squeezing, squelching guts and relentlessly pumping heart”. Then, in the evening, the fertility expert will give a keynote lecture for adults on the subject of ‘What Makes us Happy?’
Ely Cathedral, Chapter House, The College, Ely CB7 4DL, elycathedral.org
Fal River Festival, around The Fal River, Fri 26 May – Sun 4 June
This 10-day long festival celebrates the places, people, history, culture, sport & industry that are connected by the river Fal. Now in its 12th year, there are over 150 events from music & drama, the arts & heritage to gig racing, swimming, walking & lots more. It is a not-for-profit festival, which raises huge sums for charity and welcomes more than 100,000 visitors. See the full programme of events at Falriver.co.uk
Cornwall Open Studios, Sat 27 May – Sun 4 June
There are many galleries large and small across Cornwall, where you can see the work of local artists but during this special event, almost 300 Cornish-based artists will open their studios to visitors. Some of these artists may not show in Cornwall at all, giving a unique chance to see their work in their workspace and to meet and talk with working artists around the county. Many artists are also offering workshops throughout the week and if you are looking to buy a piece of art, this is a great opportunity to see a range of work or possibly commission something. Participating studios will display an orange ‘O’ outside, so you know you are welcome to pop in and say hi, though opening times vary, so check the catalogue before making a special visit. Download the catalogue at Openstudioscornwall.co.uk
Plymouth Film Festival & Fringe Festival, Sat 27 May – Sat 3 June
It’s the fourth year for the Plymouth Film Festival and the organisers want it to be the biggest and best yet. Started by a couple of university graduates, it’s a celebration of films, created and curated with the filmmaker in mind and in a short few years, they now attract national and international films. There will be screenings, networking events and a chance to meet the filmmakers. And once the festival closes, in swoops the Fringe Festival just in time for half term, an eclectic and energetic celebration of comedy, drama, dancing and storytelling. There will be over fifty performances at the Theatre Royal, Barbican Theatre and The House, as well as a few surprise locations, to be announced. Get the diaries out, there’s a lot to fit in! For the Festival visit: plymouthfilmfestival.co.uk and for the Fringe, visit theatreroyal.com
Wychwood Music Festival, Cheltenham Racecourse, Fri 2 to Sun 4 June
This family-friendly outing at Cheltenham Racecourse ticks pretty much all the boxes: over 100 bands – including the Buzzcocks, The Levellers, Aswad, Billy Bragg, OMD (staggers backwards at blast from the past) – comedy gigs, real ale, a kids literature festival (!), artisan food, and idyllic camping nestling under the hills of Prestbury. I’m in. wychwoodfestival.com
Guild Crafts Spring Show, Tetbury, Wed 31 May to Sun 11 June
I love a craft show, it’s the perfect antidote to some of the cookie-cutter merchandise you find on the high street, and this showcase of the work of 25 designers from the Guild promises to be a real treat, with original jewellery, ceramics, weaving, book-making, leather-making and basketry all to be admired and drooled over. The Guild members themselves will be on hand to discuss their work and inspiration (and take commissions, so chequebooks at the ready). Among the pieces on show will be jewellery by Su Trindle (I love, love, love her modernist rings pictured above), bespoke furniture by John Jacques and David Ian Smith, woven textiles by Nick Ozanne and Sarah Beadsmoore, leather goods by MacGregor and Michael and calligraphy by Andy Moore. guildcrafts.org.uk
The Ginchester Fête, Winchester, 12 Jun 12 – 3pm
Nestled in the heart of Hampshire, lies a quaint little city with a voracious appetite for gin. Welcome to Ginchester! Following the success of 2016, Cabinet Rooms is bringing their unique event back for World Gin Day on Saturday 10 June 2017. This year, the festival takes place in Winchester’s Medieval Great Hall. cabinetrooms.com
Book tickets for The Hampshire Kids Festival, Sat 12 – Sun 13 Aug
Run by the team behind Stockbridge’s super-successful Trout n’About, think laughter yoga, Juggling Jake, tractor rides, local food and a silent disco… and did I mention the parading camels, Timken and Therese? Give your kids free reign in total safety and kickback with a glass of fizz. This is a friendly, secure, enclosed festival set on a working farm and vineyard deep in rural East Hampshire. Keen on the festie vibe but not the pitching-schlep? Fear not, you can book a pre-erected tent and a babysitter as well should you so wish. I’ll be there, hope you will too. hampshirekids.co.uk
Becoming Henry Moore, Perry Green
It looks as if the weather is going to be good this weekend, and I will be heading back to Perry Green for more Moore. Becoming Henry Moore is a fantastic exhibition that gives an insight into how Henry Moore first had the idea of becoming a sculptor and how his life evolved to become quite starry. The exhibits include work by the people who influenced Moore, including Rodin, Picasso and Michaelangelo. I love the gardens, and the field where spring lambs and sheep wander around the sculptures. You can also imagine the days when world leaders and Hollywood stars used to arrive here to buy work. Last month a brand new visitor centre opened, and it’s completely brilliant, with new cafe and a shop! It’s all designed by Hugh Broughton Architects and is beautifully understated, in keeping with Moore’s preference for frugality. Henry Moore Sculpture Garden
California: Designing Freedom, Design Museum, London, opens Thurs 25 May
We know (or we think we know) about Italian design and Scandinavian design, but this new exhibition looks beyond Europe and asks: How did California come to have such a powerful influence on contemporary design? California: Designing Freedom explores how the ideals of the 1960s counterculture morphed into the tech culture of Silicon Valley, and how ‘Designed in California’ became a global phenomenon. Design Museum
Edwardian Life, Hever Castle, 27 May – 4 June
Roll up! Roll up! All the family can try their hand at traditional games of the period including a coconut shy, tin-can alley, and bean bag race, or enjoy a leisurely game of croquet on the lawn.
National Space Centre, Deep Space, Leicester until Sat 3 June
Take a look deep into space and discover the secrets of our galaxy and beyond. Throughout the week there’s opportunities to take a tour round our hands-on exhibition, travel in the glass lift to the top of the iconic Rocket Tower, join the Mission Commanders for a journey through space and time to create the origins of the Universe in a live musical workshop. Take a seat and get creative making your very own magical star in a jar and top it all off by watching a clip of the landing of astronaut, Thomas Pesquet as he arrived into space. National Space Centre
Twinlakes, Melton Mowbray Sat 27 May – Sun 4 June
For a fun filled day that is sure to get the kids super excited, head to Twin Lakes. Budding superheroes can enrol in the Superhero boot camp and can also take part in the Superhero craft workshop. Big kids will enjoy seeing some of the UK’s top professional extreme sports team, showing off their BMX, scooter and skateboards skills on 28 May. Titan The Robot will be there on 31st May bringing along his comedy, street theatre and music and on 3 June there’s a great line-up of music to entertain you and the mudlets. Twin lakes
I want to be a Dino Explorer, Dinosaur Adventure, Lenwade – Fri 2 – (until 5 Jun)
Are you brave enough to be a Dino Explorer? Let your imagination run wild as your explore the park – discover fossils, tracks and who knows what else… dinosauradventure.co.uk
Blakeney Book Fair, The Quay, Blakeney – Fri 2 Jun
Could there a better setting for a Book Fair? Delve into hoards of old postcards, prints, maps and books – both old and new – between 10am and 5pm. Afterwards, head to The Blakeney Hotel and enjoy a pint by the beautiful Quay.
GTI International 2017, Rockingham Motor circuit, 3-4 June
GTI International is having a 30th Birthday and moving it’s two day event to Rockingham. The weekend is 3/4th June and everyone is invited. Historically a VW and Audi Group event but all cars are welcome. The action is centered around using the National Circuit and also a 1/8th mile timed sprint in front of the grandstand by the inner paddock. Trade stands are there in force (indoor and out) and there is an active club display area with over 45 clubs attending last year. . Camping is available and evening entertainment. It’s a fun event so bring the family.
Rockingham, Mitchell Road, Corby, Northamptonshire, NN17 5AF
Canal Boat Crew Session, The heart of Weedon, 8.30pm, Sun 4 Jun
The Grand Union Canal is just so lovely, so many great canal side walks, and brilliant pubs such as The Narrowboat at Weedon and The Heart of England Hotel. Just down the waterways are or the Navigation or Boat Inn at Stoke Bruerne. As an added incentive on 4 June why not join the group of happy, friendly, musicians and singers wandering up and down the canals in the midlands in June on their hire boat? Each evening they’re hosting a relaxed, all inclusive session of acoustic music in the various pubs and clubs they’re are visiting. Thsi time it’s teh turn of the Heart of England who will act as hosts. Why not along and enjoy yourselves by singing, playing or just listening? Free Entry.
The Heart of England Pub, Weedon, Northamptonshire NN7 4QD
Matisse: Drawing with Scissors, Contains Art, Watchet, Thurs 31 May-Sun 25 June
Matisse used massively oversized scissors to carve out shapes from sheets of paper hand-painted with gouache so bright that his doctors advised him to wear dark glasses. This exhibition of 35 lithographic reproductions of his famous cut outs includes The Snail and the Blue Nudes and is a Hayward Touring exhibition from the Southbank Centre, London. 11am-4pm Weds-Sat and daily during holidays.
Bedlam Fair, central Bath, Sat 3–Sun 4 June
Bath Fringe Festival’s aptly named street performance weekend is an eclectic mix of international outdoor circus, music, acrobatics, theatre and downright bonkersliness (is that a word?) in the city centre – and it’s absolutely free. Click here for the Bedlam programme. The Bath Fringe is on from now until Sun 11 June.
Art & Sculpture in the Vineyard, High Clandon Estate Vineyard, Sun 28 May – Mon 5
Art and wine – what a great combination. If you love both, you won’t want to miss the Art & Sculpture in the Vineyard, at High Clandon Estate Vineyard. And it’s for a good cause too. There will be more than 100 works of art on show in the spectacular gardens and Glass Barn at the vineyard. The event supports Cherry Trees charity in East Clandon which provides respite care for children with learning and physical disabilities), and also marks the launch of High Clandon’s first ever Rosé Cuvée. It is every day from 11am-4pm. The owners, Bruce and Sibylla Tindale, ask for a small donation of £5 per adult to go to Cherry Trees. A percentage of each sale of art and wine will also be donated to Cherry Trees. highclandon.co.uk
Jane Eyre, New Victoria Theatre, Woking Mon 29 May – Sat 3 Jun
Charlotte Brontë’s masterpiece is brought to the stage in a collaboration between the National Theatre and Bristol Old Vic, and it’s coming to Woking. It’s going to be a corker. The touring production was given five stars by The Observer. If you miss it at Woking, it comes to Richmond Theatre from Mon 12 to Sat 17 June. atgtickets.com
Byline festival, Pippingford Park, Ashdown Forest, June 2 -4
Well I’m off to this new journalism festival at Pippingford Park next weekend but the good news is you don’t have to be a hack to come along. Think a journalism-slanted literary festival with debates on free speech, writing workshops plus other fun trappings like comedy and theatre tents, London Ska Festival on location and even a pop-up recreation of Fleet Street’s historic Cheshire Cheese pub! It’s family-friendly, there’s FREE camping, and a spa so you can refresh yourself with more than wet wipes if you stay over. John Cleese is hosting Bad Press Awards ‘The Trashies’ and the Blow Monkeys are headlining in the Red Carpet Lounge. Tickets are currently £110 for the whole festival (Students £65), or £65 for Sat only. Children over 4 get in for £12 and there are discounts for groups of four. bylinefestival.com
Gatwick Goes Wild, Mon 29 May to Mon 5 June
The airport and the Gatwick Greenspace Partnership have teamed up to showcase the surprising plant and wildlife found a few hundred meters from rumbling runways. Free events include a walk along the River Mole to learn about the native plants and animals; an evening stroll to see bat colonies emerging at sunset; a ‘Mammal Mayhem’ session, where you can meet harvest mice and bank voles and a forest school on 3 June. Spaces for each event will be allocated on a first come, first served basis and all children must be accompanied by an adult. To book email [email protected] facebook.com/events
Spring Mischief Festival, The Other Place, Stratford, Wed May 24 – Sat June 17
A playful and provocative month-long festival of new work, including a double-bill of two new plays, including The Earthworks by super talented playwright Tom Morton-Smith who had a huge hit with his debut play Oppenheimer about the father of the atom bomb in 2015 at the RSC and Vaudeville Theatre in London’s West End. It will be directed by the RSC’s Deputy Artistic Director Erica Wyman. There’s also Myth, a terrific collaborative work by innovative playwright Matt Hartley and award-winning director and Complicite Associate Kirsty Housley about a wine-fuelled dinner party that descends into chaos. I’m sure we’ve all had a few of those…! rsc.org.uk, Tel: 01789 403493
War of the Roses Live, Warwick Castle, Sat May 27 – Sun June 4
A new heart pumping, fist thumping live action show recreating the War of the Roses. Pledge your allegiance in an an epic battle for the English Throne! It’s 1455 and the House of Lancaster holds the English throne. King Henry VI’s crown is challenged by the House of York. The rival houses clash in battle and the bloody war that ensues was to last over 30 years. warwick-castle.com
The Hippy Motors Convoy, Calne, Fri 2 – Sun 4 June
The 7th annual Hippy Motors Convoy at Blackland Lakes, with good family camping, good entertainment and good people. Are you flower power enough? hippymotors.co.uk
Salisbury International Arts Festival, 26 May – 10 June
This is a biggie, and NOT to be missed. An extensive film programme, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in Salisbury Cathedral, a pub quiz for kids, magical outdoor theatre, yada yada…Edinburgh Fest, eat your heart out. www.salisburyfestival.co.uk