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The Muddy Guide: 5-11 Jan

RSC Live: The Tempest – various venues – Wed Jan 11


Wow, wow and wow. Simon Russell Beale returns to the RSC after 20 years to play Prospero in this groundbreaking family production of Shakespeare’s The Tempest at the RSC, and it’s being broadcast live to cinemas on Wed 11 Jan. The Tempest’s tale of Prospero, a magician able to control the very elements and bend nature to his will is being produced in partnership with Intel – you read that right – using advanced technology in a bold reimagining of the play, so the mind fair boggles but it sounds like the perfect introdution to Shakespeare for young theatregoers and their families. To find a venue, click here. And if you want to see it live, it’s at in Stratford until Jan 21, and at the Barbican Theatre in London from 30 June-18 Aug.

Royal Shakespeare Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon.


Polesden Lacey’s Winter Garden – Polesden Lacey, near Dorking

Family visitors in winter, at Polesden Lacey, Surrey.

Polesden Lacey is home to one of the first ever winter gardens, designed by the late English botanist Graham Stuart Thomas. So this is a good time to visit. The garden is bright with colour in winter, with beds of yellow aconites beneath Persian ironwood trees.

Polesden Lacey, Great Bookham, near Dorking, RH5 6BD.


Ukulele Taster Session – Farnham Maltings – Thur 5 Jan


Ever wanted to play the ukulele? Of course you have. Drop into the Maltings on Thur 5 Jan, any time between 10am and 1pm for a ukulele taster session where there will be a selection of ‘ukes’ to ‘try before you buy’ and experts on hand to give advice and answer any questions. We will also have a number of ukuleles for sale. It’s in the East Wing Dance Studio, and best of all, it’s free.

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


Aladdin – Yvonne Arnaud Theatre, Guildford – until Sun 8 Jan


If you haven’t had a chance to catch a panto yet, this is your last chance. Aladdin is at the Yvonne Arnaud Theatre until Jan 8. So, go back to that magical world of genies and flying carpets in this action-packed panto. Janie Dee is the Genie, and she’s joined by Kit Hesketh-Harvey as the ultimate Panto villain Abanazar and Emma Thornett as Aladdin. Eagle Radio’s Peter Gordon dons the fabulous frocks as the Panto dame, Widow Twankey, and film star Ray Griffiths takes on the role of PC Pongo. It promises to be a goodie. Tickets: £20-£28.50.

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

Ice skating – Somerset House, London – until Jan 15

London’s most famous rink is in the historic courtyard at Somerset House and it’s only open for a week or so longer. A tie up with Fornum & Mason means you can have champagne or hot chocolate, truffles, fondue and blinis in an Alpine-themed lodge or shop for presents in a pop-up arcade. There are also skating club nights with DJs. You can even book a guide to help you out on the ice!

Somerset House, The Strand, London, WC2R 1LA.


Winter Walk at Hatchlands Park, East Clandon


Hatchlands Park is one of the largest country estates in the green belt. Pick up a map from Reception and head off on one of the waymarked walks through the park, then warm up with a coffee from at the Kitchen Café.

Hatchlands Park, East Wing Hatchlands, East Clandon, Guildford GU4 7RT. Tel: 01483 222482.

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