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The Muddy Guide

The Big Issues Exhibition – Watts Gallery – Artists’ Village, Compton – until 26 March

This exhibition showcases art made by participants in the Big Issues outreach programme including prisoners at HMP Send, HMP/YOI Feltham and HMP Bronzefield, as well as young people from Surrey Youth Support Services and other Surrey-based community groups. The Big Issues project was established on the beliefs of G F and Mary Watts in providing Art for All. The Wattses cared about issues still prevalent today such as homelessness, pollution, exploitation and unemployment and they believed that art could transform lives.

Watts Gallery and Artists’ Village, Down Lane, Compton, GU3 1DQ. Tel: 01483 810235.


Cloudbusting: The Music of Kate Bush – The Electric Theatre, Guildford – Fri 10 Mar

Mandy Watson brings the music of Kate Bush to the stage in Guildford in this tribute to the lady herself. The band has been given tons of praise for it’s likeness to the real Kate, so if you’re a fan I don’t think you’ll be disappointed. Tickets are £16. The show starts at 7.30pm

The Electric Theatre, Onslow St, Guildford GU1 4SZ. Tel: 01483 444789.


My Brilliant Friend – Rose Theatre, Kingston – until Sun 2 April

Elena Ferrante’s intense portrait of an all-consuming female friendship in post-war Italy is brought to life for the first time on the Rose Theatre stage. And I’m quite excited to have a trailer right her to show you. Starring Niamh Cusack and Catherine McCormack, it’s in two parts, each about 2.5 hours long, so epic and long this most certainly is. Tickets can be booked for Parts One and Two on the same day, or separate days if you don’t think you can sit still for that long. I’ve got a good feeling about this one.

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


Shirley Valentine – New Victoria Theatre, Woking – March 13-18


We all know the story. Shirley is a Liverpool housewife. Her kids have left home and she makes chips and egg for her husband while talking to the wall. Until one day her best friend offers her a trip to Greece for two weeks. She packs her bags and heads for the sun. Ticket for this are already selling quickly, so if you want to catch it while it’s in Woking, you’d better book now. If you’re closer to Richmond, it’s at the Richmond Theatre from March 20-25. Tickets are £15-£39.50.

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


NT Live: Hedda Gabbler – various venues – Thurs 9 Mar

Just married. Bored already. Hedda longs to be free. There’s no need to book a train ticket to the National Theatre in London as you can see this production of Ibsen’s masterpiece by Ivo van Hove (A View from the Bridge) broadcast live into a cinema near you. It stars the beautiful and super talented Ruth Wilson (Luther, The Affair) in the title role and Rafe Spall (Black Mirror, The Big Short) as Brack. Click here to find a venue near you.


Richard Alston Dance Company – G Live, Guildford – Wed 8 Mar

The brilliant Richard Alston is in Guildford with a mixed programme. In Tangent, associate choreographer Martin Lawrance explores the vivid accents and attack of Tango. Chacony, Alston’s newest dance, is inspired by the powerful Chaconne of Henry Purcell; and Nomadic mixes Asian-influenced traditional Romany singing with the toughness of an urban beat. To explore the interaction between gypsy music and urban sound, Alston has collaborated with the hip hop and contemporary choreographer Ajani Johnson-Goffe.

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


Omid Djalili: Schmuck For a Night – New Victoria Theatre, Woking – Sun 12 Mar


Another week, another comedian. This time it’s award-winning comedian and actor Omid Djalili, who’s known for his intelligent and provocative shows. His stand-up is energetic and captivating, and always entertaining – and his shows frequently sell out so grab tickets if you can. Show starts at 8pm, tickets cost £28.15.

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


Stewart Lee: Content Provider – G Live, Guildford – Thurs 9 & Fri 10 Mar

And here comes another one… After four years writing and performing his TV show Stewart Lee’s Comedy Vehicle, Stewart Lee returns to stand-up with Content Provider, his brand new show. Miserableness and moaning has never been so funny. Tickets are £27. Show starts at 8pm.

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


Surrey Half Marathon – Woking – Sun 12 Mar

Now in its fourth year, the Surrey Half Marathon is a friendly local event run on closed roads around Woking and Guildford, and includes a 2km kids’ challenge. It starts at 9am on Sunday at Woking Leisure Centre, with the little ones heading off at 9.25am. It’s probably too late to enter the race, but there’s an event village with plenty going on including food stalls, kids’ entertainment and playground and shops. And you can cheer on the runners. There are some road closures.

Woking Leisure Centre, Kingfield Road, Woking, GU22 9BA.


Out of Order – Yvonne Arnaud, Theatre – Wed 8 to Sat 11 Mar

Ray Cooney’s Olivier Award-winning comedy returns to the stage, opening at Guildford’s Yvonne Arnaud Theatre before embarking on a national tour. Here’s a teaser for what to expect: when Tory Junior Minister Richard Willey tries to spend the evening with Jane, one of the Opposition’s secretaries, in the Westminster Hotel, things don’t exactly go according to plan – starting with the discovery of a body trapped in the hotel’s only unreliable sash window. Sounds like a goodie to me, and according to national reviews… it’s one not to miss. Tickets are £23 to £34.50.

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


World of Alpines – RHS Wisley Gardens, Woking – Sun 12 March

See the displays of flowering alpine plants and bulbs, including the photogenic crocus carpeting the lawns. Experts will be on had to talk all things alpiney and there will also be a range of alpine plants for sale. It’s on from 10am til 4pm. Normal garden admission applies.

Wisley RHS Gardens, Woking, GU23 6QB. Tel: 0845 260 9000.


A Passionate Woman – Yvonne Arnaud Theatre, Guildford – Tues 14 to Sat 18 Mar

Photo credit: Antony Thompson,

Liza Goddard plays Betty, a passionate, doting mum who finds it hard to accept that her son is leaving home to get married. On the morning of her son’s wedding, Betty retreats to her attic where she relives her long-lost youth and the love affair she had in the 1960s. Surrounded by her memories and ghosts from her past Betty finds herself torn between a husband she never loved, a son about to leave and the man she shared a passionate affair with. Tickets are £21 to £32.50.

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



The Little Welly Goes Wild – Norbury Park – 13 & 14 May

This is THE event for small people and their families, and it sells out waaay in advance every year so here’s your early shout out. It’s an epic obstacle course of 30 individual challenges over 3k of streams, woodland and mud at Norbury Park near Box Hill. The washing won’t be pretty but you’ll have a blast getting muddy. If you miss out on tickets for the Surrey version, there are also events in Oxfordshire and Herts.


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