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What’s on: The Muddy Guide

Clare Balding’s Family Afternoon with ‘The Racehorse Who Wouldn’t Gallop’,
at Yvonne Arnaud Theatre, Sat 1 Oct


If you’ve got a son or daughter who loves horses, then this is a fab family event for you. Former jockey and all-round animal lover (she has a gorgeous Tibetan terrier who looks a lot like the one at Muddy Surrey HQ!!), sports journalist extraordinaire and total national treasure, Clare Balding will be in Guildford on Sat 1 Oct talking about her new children’s book, The Racehorse Wouldn’t Gallop (read my review here). Clare will share stories from her childhood, growing up surrounded by animals, give a special reading from the book, and offer advice on working with and caring for animals. She’s exactly the role model I’d love for my horse-mad and animal-loving daughter. But you’ll need to book quickly, because this fab lady is going to sell out. It starts at 3pm, is for kids aged 7+ and tickets are £12, or £20 for a ticket and a signed copy of the book.

Yvonne Arnaud Theatre, Millbrook, Guildford, GU1 3UX. Tel: 01483 44 00 00.


Northern Ballet: Romeo and Juliet, at New Victoria Theatre, Woking, Tues 4 – Sat 8 Oct

Northern Ballet dancers in Romeo and Juliet

Northern Ballet bring Shakespeare’s most popular loves story to life for a whole week at Woking. Jean-Christophe Maillot choreographed his Romeo and Juliet in 1996 (the same years as Baz Luhrmann’s film was released), and the ballet has been performed all over the world but this will be the first UK performance, and the first time a UK Company has performed any of Maillot’s work.  Trust me, it’s gonna be amazing. Tickets are £12-£45.50.

New Victoria Theatre, The Ambassadors, Peacocks Centre, Woking, GU21 6GQ, Tel: 0844 871 7645.


Russell Kane: Right Man, Wrong Age, at G Live, Guildford, Fri 30 Sept


The comedy just keeps on coming…  Are you 16-years-old, yet feel 21? Are you 40, but tragically faking 25? (Er, getting closer…) Or maybe you’re full-on 80 years, with the heart of three oxen and the sex drive of a bonobo chimp. Russell Kane reckons that’s perfectly normal, whichever way round, and more than that, it’s blisteringly-funny  Oh, and whatever age you are or feel, farts will always be funny.

G Live, London Road, Guildford, GU1 2AA. Tel: 01483 369350.


The Australian Ballet: The Sleeping Beauty on screen, at Leatherhead Theatre, Tues 4 Oct


Fairies, a prince and a spell-shattering kiss: David McAllister and The Australian Ballet’s new production of The Sleeping Beauty takes history’s most loved fairy tale into the modern age, with lavish sets and costumes. It’s being screened at 7.30pm. Don’t miss the moment when this majestic Beauty opens her eyes for the very first time. Tickets: £18 adults, £12 children.

The Leatherhead Theatre, 7 Church St, Leatherhead KT22 8DN. Tel: 01372 365141.


Guildford Book Festival, various venues, Sun 9 Oct to Sun 16 Oct


Now in its 27th year the Guildford Book Festival offers bibliophiles the opportunity to get up close and personal with some of their favourite authors. If you fancy yourself a buddy novelist why not sign up to one of the creative writing courses? Grab a literary lunch with award winning novelists Anne Sebba and Elizabeth Buchan or join Anthony Horowitz for a talk on his new whodunnit novel. Heading the line-up of more than 50 events this year are: broadcaster Jeremy Paxman sharing his long-awaited and candid memoir; presenter and comedian Graham Norton discussing his darkly funny debut novel, Holding; chef Rick Stein; popular cookery writer and food blogger, Ella Mills (née Woodward); and Formula 1 favourite Damon Hill, celebrating the 20th anniversary of winning the World Championship. Among the bestselling fiction writers will be Robert Harris, Alison Weir, Anthony Horowitz, S J Parris (above), and Charles Cumming. History is hugely popular at Guildford Book Festival and this year historian John Julius Norwich, will discuss his new book, Four Princes, the colourful story of Henry VIII and his European counterparts, while former Liberal Democrat leader Paddy Ashdown, will reveal the story of a lethal spy triangle in Bordeaux between 1942 and 1944. You can buy a festival pass for £100 or book individual events. For full list of events click here


Surrey Hills Wood Fair, Birtley House Estate, Bramley, Sat 1 & Sun 2 Oct


Now in it’s seventh year, the Surrey Hills Wood Fair is a family day out that celebrates rural living. There will be a range of stalls to browse and buy from as well as great local produce and a variety of refreshment stands, live music, horse and wagon rides, tree climbing and zip wires, animal attractions and kids events.

Birtley House Estate, Guildford, GU5 0LE.


Explore the Wines of South Africa, at Cellar Wines, Ripley, Thurs 6 Oct


It’s pretty well known that I love a glass of wine. I like to think I know my Merlot from my Cab Sav – but I probably don’t. I pretty much always stick to Aussie wines, mainly because they’re so familiar. So I probably should get a bit educated about other wine regions. There’s a whole world out there! Cellar Wines in Ripley is hosting a wine tasting event focussing on the regions in South Africa. Wine expert Pippa Hayward will take you through five wines – both red and white – from up and coming regions like Swartland. I’m told there are small producers making some incredible wines, and they don’t carry a hefty price tag. The tasting will also include a selection of cheeses and artisan biscuits. Tickets are £35 and booking is essential.

Cellar Wines, The Old Cellar, High Street, Ripley, Surrey. GU23 6BB.


Ministry of Sound: Throwback Anthems, at Thorpe Park, Chertsey Sat 1 Oct


A night for thrill-seeking clubers, hosted by the iconic Ministry of Sound. This will be a unique club night like no other, alongside some of the Thorpe Parke’s most famous rides which stay open until 11pm.. Expect nonstop floor-fillers and huge dance anthems, as Ministry of Sound DJs promise the latest tracks until 3am. Doors open 8pm-3am with rides from 8pm-11pm.

Thorpe Park, Staines Rd, Chertsey, Surrey KT16 8PN.


Romesh Ranganathan: Irrational, at New Victoria Theatre, Woking, Sun 2 Oct


Romesh is on a roll, stacking up Edinburgh Festival awards and TV appearances aplenty (Have I Got News For You, Mock the Week and loads more) so if you’re local to Woking, and a stand-up comedy fan, it’s a no-brainer. Tickets £22.65, plus a £2.85 transaction fee. Show starts at 8pm.

New Victoria Theatre, The Ambassadors, Peacocks Centre, Woking, GU21 6GQ, Tel: 0844 871 7645.


London Literary Festival, at the Southbank Centre, London, from Wed 5 Oct to Sun 16 Oct


This festival at Southbank is one is one of the biggest and best in the UK. Alongside ticketed events, the free events include a panel discussion about the life and achievements of David Bowie at The Age of Bowie (7 Oct), and a live DJ set called Friday Tonic which fuses music and images of the future to create a futuristic experience. Headline events include a discussion with acclaimed Canadian writer Margaret Atwood, National Poetry Day and a panel discussion with the novelists shortlisted for this year’s Man Booker Prize.


Good Canary, at Rose Theatre, Kingston, until 8 Oct

Good Canary by Zach Helm at The Rose Theatre Kingston Creatives: Director: John Malkovich Designer: Pierre-Francois Limbosch Lighting Designer: Malcolm Rippeth Sound Designer: Jon Nicholls Cast: Ilan Goodman Harry Lloyd Freya Mavor Sally Rogers Steve John Shepherd Michael Simkins Simon Wilson

I saw this last week, and it was brilliant, so if you get a chance definitely go. (You can read my review here.) It’s directed by John Malkovich and follows the story of Annie and Jack. She’s a bright, outspoken twenty-something, self-destructive and dependent on amphetamines. He is her loyal and loving husband, who has just become the toast of the New York literary scene after the publication of his first novel. Set in New York, Good Canary is a hard-hitting play exploring the spiral of self-destruction and the cost of creativity.

Rose Theatre, 24-26 High Street, Kingston, KT1 1HL. Tel: 020 8174 0090.


Rob Beckett, Dorking Halls, Fri 7 Oct


London Lad, Rob Beckett, is back with his comedy show taking on big issues such as Kit Kats and flatbread! He’s all over the TV, you can’t miss his ginormous smile and likeable personality, which totally own the stage. Definitely a good choice if you want a little giggle about the silly things in life. Show starts at 8pm. Tickets are £16.50.

Dorking Halls, Reigate Road, Dorking, RH4 1SJ. Tel: 01306 881717.


London Restaurant Festival, various venues, London, 1 – 31 Oct


Rack up the plates, here I come with my elasticated pants. The London Restaurant Festival takes place in 350 restaurants across the Smoke, from neighbourhood favourites to Michelin-starred fancy pants eateries, so it’s your perfect excuse to try somewhere new. There are chef-hosted lunches and tasting menus on offer, but I’m particularly loving the sound of the Champagne Gourmet Odysseys – 3 courses in 3 different top restaurants, with Veuve Clicquot paired with each course, travelling between each restaurant on a Routemaster bus. The Festival lasts all month but if you really want to time it perfectly, go in the next week when the London Cocktail Week starts in Shoreditch (Mon 3 – Sun 9 Oct) and see if you can take the challenge to keep the food in front of you in focus.




Reigate Gag House Comedy Club at The Reigate Manor Hotel, 6 Oct


Chortle Award 2016 nominee for Best Compere Laura Lexx (above) hosts this event that will see stand-up comic, writer and speaker Joe Wells take to the stage with his own brand of political comedy, followed by Danny Buckler who made his TV debut with Channel 4’s Danny Does Tricks he then toured with Victoria Wood and was part of the acclaimed London West End Show Victoria Wood and Friends. Tickets are are £12.50 or £23.00 to include food.

Reigate Manor Hotel, Reigate Hill, RH2 9PF. Tel: 0333 666 3366.


Chicago The Musical, at New Victoria Theatre, Woking, Mon 17 – Sat 22 Oct


The multi-award winning musical about the 1920s nightclub singer, a double murderess, a smooth talking laywer and all that jazz comes to the New Victoria Theatre next Month. John Partridge of EastEnders fame leads the fun – he has surprisingly good musical theatre credentials, having starred in Cats, A Chorus Line, Miss Saigon and Starlight Express. Corrie star Hayley Tamaddon makes it a double soapsuds whammy playing Roxy Hart, and EastEnders’ Jessie Wallace brings in the trifecta as Matron ‘Mama’ Morton. A good bet for musicals fans.

New Victoria Theatre, The Ambassadors, Peacocks Centre, Woking, GU21 6GQ, Tel: 0844 871 7645.




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