The Muddy Guide
Hampton Court Palace Festival, 9-23 June
The Hampton Court Palace Festival kicks off this month with a series of open-air concerts in the palace’s iconic Tudor courtyard. It’s a star-studded lineup peeps, and I reckon you’ll need to book ahead. Although I happen to know there are still a few tickets floating around for the earlier shows, including Anastacia tonight (June 9). Jools Holland and his Rhythm & Blues Orchestra are on Fri 10 June, Van Morrison on Tues 14 June, Tom Jones on Wed 15 and Thurs 16 June, Caro Emerald on Fri 17 June, George Benson on Sat 18 June, Art Garfunkel on Sun 22 June. And on Thurs 23 June, in a Tribute and Celebration of the Queens 90th Birthday is the gorgeous Welsh songbird Katherine Jenkins.
Hampton Court Palace, East Molesey, Kt8 9AU. Tickets: £45-£70. hamptoncourtpalacefestival.com
Chaplin: The Charlie Chaplin Story, at the Rhoda McGaw Theatre, Woking, Tues 14 June
This musical play tells the story of the first true British icon of cinema from when he was a young boy in Victorian Vaudeville London to the glitz of early Hollywood. Featuring an all-star West End cast, including Steven Arnold, from Corrie, and Rachael Wood, from Emmerdale, we’ll follow Chaplin through his early career, his showbiz ambitions and his often fractious relationship with his mother, his family and his first love.
Rhoda McGaw Theatre, The Ambassadors, Peacocks Centre, Woking, GU21 6GQ. Tickets: £15.40-£31.40. Tel: 0844 871 7645. atgtickets.com
In the Mood (Five Star Swing), at Painshill, Cobham, Fri 10 June
Get your party shoes on and your dance moves ready for an old-fashioned night of jazz and swing in the gorgeous setting of the Painshill conservatory. Head back in time with music by the acclaimed Five Star Swing Band, and they’ll be playing songs by the jazz greats Glenn Miller, Benny Goodman, Sinatra and Ella Fitzgerald. You can bring along a picnic, which you can enjoy in the gardens outside the conservatory (if you’re brave enough). But all bevvies must be purchased from the bar. So don’t try sneaking your hip flask in! This is a fundraising event, with all proceeds going towards the restoration of Painshill.
Painshill, Portsmouth Road, Cobham KT11 1JE. Tickets: £18. Tel: 01932 868113. painshill.co.uk
Virginia Ironside: Growing Old Disgracefully, at Camberley Theatre, Thur 16 June
‘Welcome to the blue rinse mountains of Virginia,’ screams the PR line for this show. I’m not even sure what that means, but the show by Britain’s best-loved agony aunt sounds like a lot of fun. She’ll tell you that unlimited free drugs, grandchildren and sex make being aged in your seventies, the best years of your life.
Camberley Theatre, Knoll Road, Camberley, GU15 3SY. Tel: 01276 707600. Tickets: £10-£15 camberleytheatre.biz
The Dire Straits Experience, at G Live, Guildford, Fri 10 June
It’s been more than 35 years since the opening lines of Sultans of Swing were first crooned out by Mark Knopfler and the rest of the fresh faced boys. And – here’s another fact – it’s been 20 years since the group disbanded. Can that really be true? Apparently it is. But they left a tidy catalogue of great rock songs. And while Mark Knopfler isn’t part of The Dire Straits Experience, saxophonist Chris White and drummer Chris Whitten are continuing the Dire Straits journey.
G Live, London Road, Guildford, GU1 2AA. Tel: 01483 369350. Tickets: £24. glive.co.uk
Globe screening: The Merchant of Venice, at Leatherhead Theatre, Fri 10 June
If you missed it the first time, here’s another chance to catch The Globe’s 2015 production of The Merchant of Venice, with Jonathan Pryce in the role of Shylock. This was considered one of Shakespeare’s most poetically dazzling and morally ambivalent plays.
The Leatherhead Theatre, 7 Church St, Leatherhead KT22 8DN. Tel: 01372 365141. Tickets: £15-£17. theleatherheadtheatre.org
Magna Carta Giant Puppet Promenade and Picnic, at Runnymede National Trust, Sun 12 June
It was the 800th anniversary of the Magna Carta last year – so cause for celebration. This year it’s the 801st anniversary, and, er, cause for celebration all over again! It’ll be a family day of children’s crafts, guided walks and a free children’s trail, with a promenade of giant puppets as well as performances of music, mime and dance. If you’re looking for something to do with the kiddies, and you want them to learn a bit of a history, I reckon this is the answer.
Runnymede National Trust, Windsor Rd, Old Windsor, SL4 2JL. Tel:0844 2491895. The event is free, but National Trust admission applies. nationaltrust.org.uk
BOOK IT NOW
An Evening at the Races with The Corrs, Epsom Downs Racecourse, Thur 30 June
I went to the Epsom Derby last week, and had a fabulous day out with the family and some friends. But an evening at the races, sans kids, sounds like an even better proposition. Add a bit of musak and you’ve just backed a winner. This evening race meet at Epsom Downs is followed by a performance from The Corrs. They returned last year after a 10 year hiatus, with their album White Light going into the UK charts at number 11, followed by a sold-out arena tour. Gates open at 4pm, the first race is at 6pm and the last race is at 8.55pm.
Epsom Downs Racecourse, Epsom Downs KT18 5LQ. Tel: 01372 477 747. epsom.thejockeyclub.co.uk
The Proclaimers, at New Victoria Theatre, Woking, Sun 19 June
If they’re good enough for David Tennant, they’re good enough for me. The hunky Mr Tennant says they’re his favourite band of all time. Scottish twin brothers Craig and Charlie Reid walk 500 miles… or perhaps not. That might be a bit much. But you’ll hear this song and other classics, such as ‘I’m Gonna Be’, ‘Sunshine on Leith’, ‘I’m On My Way’ and ‘Letter from America’. Book now though, because there only in Woking for one night.
New Victoria Theatre, The Ambassadors, Peacocks Centre, Woking, GU21 6GQ. Tel: 0844 871 7645. Tickets: £32.65. atgtickets.com