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The Muddy Guide: Thur 17 – Wed 23 March

Not all Contemporary Art is Rubbish! The Ingram Collection, The Lightbox, Woking,
until 10 April

Whats17LightEmma Vidal b. 1992, Untitled (Moon Child), 2014, Charcoal ∏ The Artist

Untitled (Moon Child), 2014, in charcoal, by Emma Vidal

A chance to feast your eyes on some of the most recent acquisitions in Chris Ingram’s unique private collection of Modern British and Contemporary. This will feature new works by up-and-comong artists, fresh from uni, or made at the beginning of their artistic careers. It will include works by emerging and established contemporary artists such as Haroon Mirza, Suki Chan, Emma Vidal, Liseth Amaya, Miroslav Pomichal and Mark McWilliams. A will be Mismatched Couple by Miroslav Pomichal. Chris Ingram first bought a piece by Miroslav Pomichal at his 2014 Wimbledon MFA degree.

The Lightbox, Chobham Road, Woking GU21 4AA. Tel:


James Martin – Plates, Mates & Automobiles, Fairfield Halls, Croydon, Thurs 17 March


After a decade hosting BBC1’s Saturday Kitchen James Martin dropped something of a bombshell last week when he announced he was leaving the show. If you’re bereft at this news, you can see the superchef and housewive’s favourite in the flesh at Fairfield Halls in Croydon. His show will be a fast-paced interactive and high-tech extravaganza, says the promo gumph. I think that means he’ll do live cooking demonstrations. And who knows, it may even involve a live chicken. Although I hope not.

Fairfield Halls, Park Lane, Croydon, CR9 1DG. Tel: 020



Beyond the Barricade, Epsom Playhouse, Fri 18 March

Whats17Beyond The Barricade

If musical theatre is what gets your heart racing, then this is the show for you. Recreating original West End and Broadway hit songs, this musical theatre concert stars past performers from Les Miserables, Andy Reiss, David Fawcett, Katie Leeming and Rebecca Vere, with their own ensemble of talented musicians. Songs from The Phantom of the Opera, Jesus Christ Superstar, The Jersey Boys, The Lion King, Blood Brothers, Miss Saigon and many others, climaxing with a spectacular finale from, of course, Les Miserables!

Epsom Playhouse, Ashley Avenue, Epsom, Surrey, KT18 5AL. Tel: 01372 724555. Tickets: £18.


Painting Water and Reflections in Watercolour, Painshill, Sat 19 – Sun 20 March


I’ve always wanted to learn how to paint. It’s something I’ve mentally earmarked for my retirement –painting, bellydancing and exotic travel, though perhaps not all at the same time. However now I’ve discovered these two-day workshops at the beautiful 18th Century landscape garden, Painshill, in Cobham, I may get the brushes out sooner. This weekend of watercolour painting is under the tutelage of Surrey-based watercolour artist, Jane Anderson Wood, who will guide you through composition, colour preparation for painting and how to paint water and reflections. It’s not one for complete beginners to watercolour, so that counts me out for this one. It costs £120 for the two days and that includes a light lunch. The workshop runs from 10am-3.30pm, and booking is essential.

Painshill, Portsmouth Rd, Cobham KT11 1JE. Tel: 01932 868 113. Bookings here.


Beryl, Rose Theatre, Kingston, 8-19 March


I flagged this up last week, but there are still a couple of nights left to see this show if you haven’t yet. It’s had a lot of attention from the national press, so odds on it’ll be a goodie. British actress Maxine Peake’s stage-writing debut, Beryl, is about the life of sporting legend Beryl Burton, a tenacious Yorkshire woman who overcame serious illness and defied social expectation to become one of Britain’s best cyclists of all time. She dominated the sport throughout the 1950s, 60s and 70s, becoming five-time world champion and best British all-rounder for 25 consecutive years. Beryl was determined to make her mark on the world. And she did. Book your tickets now, this is a heartwarming story that is certain to inspire.

Rose Theatre, 24-26 High Street, Kingston, KT1 1HL. Tel: 020 8174 0090.
Tickets £8-£26.50.


Earth Hour: Family Open Day, WWF Living Planet, Woking, Sat 19 March


Join in the WWF Earth Hour celebrations at a free family open day at the WWF Living Planet Centre in Woking. There will be face painting, lantern-making workshops, music from local group Sour Kix, plus a special appearance by Polly Panda. You’ll get that warm fuzzy feeling from knowing you’re teaching your kids about our planet, and they’ll be entertained at the same time. Win – win! You can take the celebrations further by joining millions of people around the world in switching off lights and having your dinner by candlelight for this year’s Earth Hour at 8.30pm.

The Living Planet Centre, Brewery Road, Woking, GU21 4LL.


Hairspray, New Victoria Theatre Woking, 15-19 March

Whats10Hairspray. Credit Ellie Kurttz (2).jpg

You can’t go wrong with this one. It’s a fun feel-good musical, with plenty of body and a lot of lift. It’s Baltimore, 1962, and Tracy Turnblad, a girl with big hair and an even bigger heart is on a mission to follow her dreams and dance her way on to TV. Soon she’s found fame and has attracted the attention of the local heartthrob Link Larkin. And she’s fighting for equality. Benidorm‘s Tony Maudsley is in it, as well as Claire Sweeney, Brenda Edwards, of X Factor and Chicago fame, and Freya Sutton as Tracy.

New Victoria Theatre, The Ambassadors, Peacocks Centre, Woking, GU21 6GQ, Tel:0844 871 7645.
Tickets: £21.40-£52.40.


Toast, Yvonne Arnaud Theatre, Guildford, 21-26 March


Toast has had huge critical acclaim in London, and before that was in New York, so this is going to be good. From the writer of the international hit One Man, Two Guvnors, Richard Bean’s brilliantly observed drama Toast stars the Olivier Award-winning actor Matthew Kelly and Simon Greenall (Alan Partridge). It’s a funny and moving play set in a bread factory in 1975. But when a crisis hits, the men have more to lose than just their wages…

Yvonne Arnaud Theatre, Millbrook, Guildford, Surrey GU1 3UX. Tel: 01483 44 00 00.
Tickets: £23-£34.50.



The Bodyguard, New Victoria Theatre, Woking, 29 Mar – Apr 9

Bodyguard4. Photo by Uli Weber

Alexandra Burke channels her inner Whitney as the West End’s The Bodyguard musical heads to Woking as part of its UK tour. It’s a long run at 11 days so they’re obviously expecting demand to be high, so if you want to watch Alexandra belting out  So Emotional, One Moment in Time, Saving All My Love, I’m Your Baby Tonight, I Have Nothing, I Wanna Dance With Somebody and I Will Always Love You, while she smooches with her bodyguard paramour (strangely channelling Eric Cantona don’t you think?), this is your chance. BTW, be careful when you book, la Burke is only performing on evenings, the matinees are Zoe Birkett’s gig.

New Victoria Theatre, The Ambassadors, Peacocks Centre, Woking, GU21 6GQ, Tel: 0844 871 7645. Tickets: £18.50-£52.50.


Rapunzel, Epsom Playhouse, 29 March

Whats17Rapunzel cast

A tongue-in-cheek retelling of that favourite fairy tale about the possessive witch, her naive young daughter with the incredibly long hair, and the tentative young man who also happens to be a prince.  The story and lyrics are by the creators of Friends, and while Jennifer Aniston isn’t in the title role, it promises to be quirky and fun. And will have your daughter refusing trips to the hairdresser for the next six months. This is the eighth stop on a UK tour that ends at Camberley Theatre on 17 April.

Epsom Playhouse, Ashley Avenue, Epsom, Surrey, KT18 5AL. Tel: 01372 724555. Tickets: £9-£10.50.
Camberley Theatre, Knoll Road, Camberley, GU15 3SY. Tel: 01276 707600. Tickets: £12-£14.


Shadowlands, Fairfield Halls, Croydon, 5-9 April

Shadow2Stephen Boxer and Amanda Ryan CREDIT Jack Ladenburg

I saw this when it was in Guildford, and it’s utterly fabulous. It’s a superb story – moving, poignant and beautifully told – about the unlikely romance between C S Lewis, a middle-aged Oxford don and the author of the Narnia stories, and Joy Davidman, an outspoken and divorced American poet. Stephen Boxer (Humans, The Iron Lady) is brilliant as Lewis, convincingly capturing his emotional shyness and then slowly revealing his unfolding emotions as he comes to realise first his admiration and eventually his deep love for Joy, played with intelligence and wit by Amanda Ryan. You can read my review here.

Fairfield Halls, Park Lane, Croydon, CR9 1DG. Tel: 020 8688 9291.
Tickets: £19.50-£29.50.


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