The Muddy Guide: Thur 24 – Wed 30 March
The ELO Experience, G Live, Guildford, 29 March
Take yourself back to 1970. Close your eyes (oh, go on, just do it). It’s Birmingham and Jeff Lynne and the Electric Light Orchestra have just come on to the stage. The violins strike up their tune and then Lynne, all mop haired, comes on stage and starts crooning…. ‘Sailing away on the crest of a wave, it’s like magic…’ You’ll probably never get a chance to see the real Lynne and ELO perform, but these guys get a good wrap for being pretty blimin’ good.
G Live, London Road, Guildford, GU1 2AA. Tel: 01483 369350. Tickets: £22. glive.co.uk
The Father, Yvonne Arnaud Theatre, Guildford, 29 Mar – 2 April
‘Kenneth Cranham is … brilliant… is superb… is wonderful’. ‘The Father is a flawless production.’ ‘Florian Zeller’s play is stunning’ ‘It’s brilliant… it makes your brain hum with the unique potential of theatre.’ The Father is said to be the most acclaimed new play of the decade. The accolades don’t come much higher than that people, so it’s my bet this will be one to see. It’s comes direct from the West End, with Kenneth Cranham in the role of Andre, now 80, who has dementia. It’ll speak to anyone who has watched a loved one get lost in diseases such as Alzheimer’s. I think you should probably take a pack of tissues along.
Yvonne Arnaud Theatre, Millbrook, Guildford, Surrey GU1 3UX. Tel: 01483 44 00 00. £23-£34.50
On the Silk Road: Watercolours by Alexander Creswell, Watts Gallery – Artists’ Village, Compton, 24 Mar – 5 June
This is the first exhibition of a series of new paintings by Creswell, created during a journey last year along the Silk Road in central Asia. Featuring 40 paintings, highlights of this exhibition include watercolours of painted inside the city of Khiva in Uzbekistan, a Unesco World Heritage site Khiva. Creswell, whose home and studio are in Surrey, has been a regular visitor to Watts Gallery since his childhood. He exhibits regularly in London, New York, Dubai and Hong Kong.
Watts Gallery and Artists Village, Down Lane, Compton, GU3 1DQ. Tel: 01483 810235. wattsgallery.org.uk
Let it Be, New Victoria Theatre, Woking, until 26 March
Let it be, let it be, let it beeeee, let it be. Whisper words of wisdom… The Beatles are back with a concert jam-packed with more than 40 of their greatest hits. It’s come from the West End and has been getting great reviews. One said it was the closest you’ll get to seeing the Fab Four. So go on, if you’ve always fancied seeing, John, Paul, Ringo and George, this could be your chance. Awwww. Now I’ve got Beatles’ songs going round in my head. Hey Jude, don’t make it bad. Take a sad song… la la la.
New Victoria Theatre, The Ambassadors, Peacocks Centre, Woking, GU21 6GQ, Tel: 0844 871 7645. Tickets: £22.90-£35.90. atgtickets.com
Easter open day, Albury Organic Vineyard, 26 Mar
Any excuse to sip wine… but on Saturday you can take the kids along and all have fun. There are activities for children, including an Easter egg lucky dip, story-telling, colouring, create an Easter scene with stickers, and find the hidden bunnies on the vineyard to win a prize. And for the grown ups, there will be tasting of Albury’s two sparking wines, Albury honey and locally produced chocolate. It’s on from 10am-4pm, but you’ll need to book.
Albury Organic Vineyard, Shere Rd, Albury, GU5 9BW. Tel: 07768 863650. Cost: £5 adults, £2.50 children. alburyvineyard.com
Urban: Celebrating Street Culture, Southbank Centre, 25 March – 10 April
Get down with the kids and find out how city environments inspire people to become athletes and artists at this two-week event in London. Over half the events are free, and there’s something for the whole family. Highlights include breakdancing battles, Hip Hop Karaoke, performances by internationally renowned DJs and dancers and chances to see emerging local talent. Dance companies Uchenna, Birdgang Residency (pictured), ZooNation Youth Dance, B.Supreme and Pineapple, are taking up residence. Basically this will be a massive carnival-style party beside the Thames. If fitness is your thing, get invigorated by urban boot camps, skateboarding workshops, parkour training and guerrilla gardening. There are even events for the under 5s, who can get involved with the quirky dance show Grass. And if you want to earn kudos with your teens, on Tues 5 April, Dirt Rally is being launched on Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC at Southbank Centre Square. Experience Dirt Rally on a fully immersive simulation machine, see over 25 iconic replica rally cars and get to grips with the game on Playstation 4 pods. I can’t wait!
Southbank Centre, Belvedere Rd, London SE1 8XX. Tel: southbankcentre.co.uk
Chenyin Li, Camberley Theatre, 26 March
Since winning the 6th Scottish International Piano Competition in Glasgow, Chenyin Li has established herself as one of the most sought-after young Chinese pianists of her generation. She has collected an impressive array of international first prizes including the European Beethoven Gold Medal and the Campillos International Piano Competition.
Camberley Theatre, Knoll Road, Camberley, GU15 3SY. Tel: 01276 707600. Tickets: £17.50-£19.50 camberleytheatre.biz
Brendan Cole: A Night To Remember, G Live, 26 March
Strictly’s charismatic Kiwi, Brendan Cole is still doing the rounds with his latest show, A Night to Remember. It rolls into Guildford on Saturday, having already dazzled Woking last month. Now on his seventh nationwide tour, Brendan says his show is ‘An evening with style with something for everyone.’ He leads a cast of eight professional dancers, and 14 musicians playing live.
G Live, London Road, Guildford, GU1 2AA. Tel: 01483 369350. Tickets: £32.50-£37.50. glive.co.uk
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. Debbie, editor of Muddy Sussex, went along. You can read her review here. It’s from the writer of the international hit One Man, Two Guvnors, and stars the Olivier Award-winning actor Matthew Kelly (he from Stars in Their Eyes) and Simon Greenall (Alan Partridge). It’s a funny and moving play set in a bread factory in 1975. There are only a couple of days left to catch it though, so be quick.
Yvonne Arnaud Theatre, Millbrook, Guildford, GU1 3UX. Tel: 01483 44 00 00.
Tickets: £23-£34.50. yvonne-arnaud.co.uk
Lee Nelson: Suited and Booted, Epsom Playhouse, 31 March
Lee Nelson is the creation of the comedian Simon Brodkin. He’s the chavvy catch-phrase monger whose Well Good Show has become a BBC3 hit. Now the south London geezer has ditched the garish shell suits and donned a snappy three-piece. The gags are said to be a bit obvious, but it could be a bit of laugh.
Epsom Playhouse, Ashley Avenue, Epsom, KT18 5AL. Tel: 01372 724555. Tickets: £20. epsomplayhouse.co.uk
The Songs of Hollywood: Liza Pulman, Dorking Halls, Wed 30 March
Oh la la la. Liza Pulman, of Fascinating Aïda (remember them? I don’t, but I think they were a bit before I arrived in the UK) brings some Hollywood glamour to Surrey. She’ll take audiences on a musical journey back in time, with songs like ‘As Time Goes By’, ‘Moon River’ and ‘Diamonds are a Girl’s Best Friend’. If that’s your era, then she’s your gal!
Dorking Halls, Reigate Road, Dorking, RH4 1SJ. Tel: 01306 881717. Tickets: £21.50-£23.50. dorkinghalls.co.uk
BOOK IT NOW
Ireland’s Call, Epsom Playhouse, 1 April
Ireland’s Call is a new musical adaptation of the critically acclaimed show Essence of Ireland. Inspired by true events and spanning three decades, it tells the story of one man’s love for his Irish homeland. The story follows the journey of the strong-headed Sean Dempsey, who at the end of World War II leaves behind his childhood sweetheart Cora and his beloved homeland Ireland, in search of a better life in the Big Apple. Apparently it’s a story full of emotional highs and lows, so it might be another one to take the tissues along to. Or perhaps that’s just me. (I did cry when I watched Lightning McQueen when Master 11-and-three-quarters was a toddler.)
Epsom Playhouse, Ashley Avenue, Epsom, Surrey, KT18 5AL. Tel: 01372 724555. Tickets: £21-£23.50. epsomplayhouse.co.uk
Derren Brown: Miracle, New Victoria Theatre, Woking, 25 April
When I worked at The Independent I once overhead one of the big bosses telling another big boss about a night out he’d had seeing Derren Brown followed by a subsequent interview. I think they may even have had dinner. I can’t remember exactly what was said, but I’ve been a little intrigued by Mr Brown ever since. And here he is, coming to Woking, with whatever it is he does. Magic? Illusion? I’m not sure I quite know. The blurb says he’s ‘a dark manipulator of magic and mind control’ – whatever that is, it sounds like it might be good, so you may need to get in quick.
New Victoria Theatre, The Ambassadors, Peacocks Centre, Woking, GU21 6GQ, Tel: 0844 871 7645. atgtickets.com
Kate Rusby, G Live, Guildford, 8 April
Kate Rusby, the gorgeously wistful folk singer, comes to Guildford, bringing with her the cream of British folk musicians. She’ll play some of her much-loved classics as well as songs from her latest album Ghost. This lady headlines festivals. She’s a big name and she’s only in Guildford for one night. Tickets are already selling fast.
G Live, London Road, Guildford, GU1 2AA. Tel: 01483 369350. glive.co.uk
The Bodyguard, New Victoria Theatre, Woking, 29 Mar – Apr 9
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. atgtickets.com