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The Muddy Guide – 22-28 Sept

To She or Not to She, at the Mill Theatre, Yvonne Arnaud Theatre, Guildford, Fri 30 & Sat 1 Oct


Armed with The Complete Works of William Shakespeare, some rudimentary feminism and a lot of questions, Emma Bentley wants to find out exactly why she can’t play Shakespeares men. Why not Hamlet? Or Macbeth? Or Iago? Or even just a downright Fool? And not just on stage but in real life! Expect warmth, laughs and awkward truths from this semi autobiographical production. Tickets: £15.

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


Gary Delaney: There’s Something About Gary, at Dorking Halls, Fri 23 Sept


According to Gary Delaney a good joke should be like a drunk Glaswegian; short and punchy. He’s brilliant with 140 characters, but it’s the 17 years on the circuit and a regular spot on Mock The Week that really says it all. Oh, and as the partner of the brilliant Sarah Millican, he is without doubt British comedy royalty. This one’s a sure thing for a great night of laughs. Tickets: £16.50.

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


Thread: A Festival of Textiles, at Farnham Maltings, Fri 25 & Sat 26 Sept


Be still my beating heart. I have a thing for fabric and textiles, so a whole festival devoted to such a thing is right up my street. I’m not brilliant at sewing, I must confess, but it doesn’t stop me hoarding reams of beautiful fabrics. At the Festival of Textiles, there will be market place where you’ll find artisan fabrics, dressmaking fabrics and patterns, as well as haberdashery and lifestyle products from designers and makers working with weave, print, and embroidery. There will aso be expert talks, workshops, and demonstrations by local guilds, plus exhibitions of contemporary textile work. See you there.

Farnham Maltings, Bridge Square, Farnham, GU9 7QR. Tel: 01252 745444.


The Time Machine: An Invention, at the Rhoda McGaw Theatre, Woking, Wed 28 Sept


This year marks 150 years since the birth of H.G. Wells, one of the nation’s greatest science fiction writers and public intellectuals. His move to Woking in 1895 inspired some of his greatest works, including The War of the Worlds. The Ambassadors, in Woking are presenting a series of performances, films and talk as part of the ‘Wells in Woking’ programme, a celebration of Woking’s connection with the writer. In this one man-play though, Well’s sci-fi classic The Time Machine, published in 1895, is bought to life. It’s performed by Robert Lloyd Parry. Tickets: £14.85

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


Royal Ballet Live: Norma, various venues, Mon 26 Sept


Bellini’s bel canto masterpiece Norma had its premiere at La Scala, Milan, on Boxing Day 1831. This new production of Norma is The Royal Opera’s first in nearly 30 years. Àlex Ollé, of the Catalan collective La Fura dels Baus, is directing, alongside the creative team behind his acclaimed production of Oedipe. They give Norma a contemporary setting against a backdrop of a cruel civil war, and focus on the opera’s exploration of the conflict between an individual’s own desires and those of her society – and of religion as a force for unity and for destruction. It’s at the Royal Opera House until 8 Oct, and broadcast live on Mon 26 Sept.


Cranleigh Food and Music Festival, Sat Sept 24


Another foodie festival – this one in Cranleigh. Food, drink and music is what this one’s all about – with a pop up food stalls dotted along the high street selling local produce and delicious treats. The Cranleigh Arts Centre will also be filled with food stalls, as well as demos, including from 2008 MasterChef quarter-finalist Daniel Britten (above) from Guildford. Entry is £1, and it’s on from 10am-4.30pm. Musicians will play in local cafes, and on the common and in shops.


Joan Collins: Unscripted, at G Live, Guildford, Thurs 22 Sept


This grand dame of Hollywood will share stories and secrets from her life and career as once of the world’s most glamorous and intriguing actresses. There’s a question and answer session. Dame Joanie says every show is different, so if you liked her in Salford you can come again in Guildford. And if you didn’t? “Stay at home and watch Corrie,” she says.

G Live, London Road, Guildford, GU1 2AA. Tel: 01483 369350. Tickets: £26-£40.50.


National Theatre Live: The Threepenny Opera, various venues, Thurs 22 Sept


‘A snarling sexy beast of a show,’ is what The Independent has to say about this production. They had me at snarling. Rory Kinnear is Mack the Knife in this dark comedy set in London’s East End. It’s not for those of a sensitive disposition, they speil warns it ‘contains filthy language and immoral behaviour’. Directed by Rufus Norris, it’s being broadcast live to on Thurs 22 Sept. Click here to find a venue near you.


Dalloway, in the Mill Studio at Yvonne Arnaud Theatre, Guildford, Thurs 22 & Fri 23 Sept


Dalloway has been betting excellent reviews,  The Thurs show is already almost fully booked. Adapted from the novel by Virginia Woolf, it’s set in the 1920s after the war detailing a day in the life of Clarissa Dalloway. Rebecca Vaughan in the title role, is said to be ‘simply sublime’. But be quick, because it was booking up quickly.

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





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


I love Clare Balding. She was amazing in Rio (that’s got to be the BEST. JOB. EVER.). She’s already a best-selling author, and she absolutely lives up to her name as a national treasure. Frankly, I’d quite like to have a drink with her down the pub. So it’s quite possible you’ll find me stalking her after her show in Guildford on Sat 1 Oct, where she’ll be talking about her new children’s book, The Racehorse Wouldn’t Gallop. 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.


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.

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 (above) for a talk on his new whodunnit novel. You can buy a festival pass for £100 or book individual events.

Katie Melua, at G Live, Guildford, Wed 23 Nov


Looking ahead to this one, but it’ll be popular, so book quickly. The multi award-winning recording artist Katie is joined on stage by the 23-piece Gori Women’s Choir, in this special winter concert series. They will perform new material from Melua’s forthcoming recording project as well as a selection of classic songs from her six album catalogue. Tickets: £22.50-£40.50.

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

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.

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