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The Muddy Guide: What’s on 10 – 17 March, 2016

Coppélia, Epsom Playhouse, 17 March


Coppélia was the first ballet I ever saw, so it will always be a favourite for me. A lively production by the Vienna Festival Ballet, it’s infused with old-world charm. Coppélia will appeal to audiences of all ages with its captivating story of an eccentric toymaker and his beloved doll. The colourful costumes, lively characters and beautiful music combine to create a magical and comical classic.

Epsom Playhouse, Ashley Avenue, Epsom, KT18 5AL. Tel: 01372 742555.
Tickets: £22.


The Great Gatsby, Fairfield Halls, Croydon, Fri 11 & Sat 12 March


Who doesn’t love a bit of flapper decadence, and especially that involving a certain Mr Jay Gatsby and Mrs Daisy Buchanan. I sometimes think I was born in the wrong era. But this new stage production – commissioned to mark the 90th anniversary of F Scott Fitzgerald’s novel — will recreate the sights, sound and feel of America’s Roaring Twenties and take your right there. It’s been adapted by Stephen Sharkey who says: “It’s like a cocktail-fuelled ride in a fast car, moving through Fitzgerald’s great story of doomed love and a decadent decade, heading towards its final, inevitable crash.” I’m so there.

Fairfield Halls, Park Lane, Croydon, CR9 1DG. Tel: 020 8688 9291. Tickets £18.50-£21.50.


Chocolate Fair, Denbies Wine Estate, Dorking Sun 13 March


Chocolate lovers behold, I have the perfect day out just for you. And the best thing, it’s at Denbies Wine Estate, so a good English Chardonnay isn’t far away either. Indulge your passion for the brown stuff, and discover a world of premium chocolates hand-crafted by skilled chocolatiers. There will be a host of chocolate-related stalls, selling and showcasing handmade chocolates, truffles, fudge, marshmallow and more. Enjoy browsing, sampling and buying some of the most amazing chocolates the UK has to offer. Entry is free, and the chocolate fair runs from 10am-4pm.

Denbies Wine Estate, Bradley Lane, Dorking, RH5 6AA. Tel: 01306 742002.


Beryl, Rose Theatre, Kingston, 8-19 March


This one has been attracting 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, opened yesterday at the Rose Theatre. It’s 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.


Moscow State Circus, G Live, Guildford, Sat 12 March

Moscow State Circus aerial act. Photo by Paul Barker

The circus is in town. But this is not just any circus. This the Moscow State Circus, with it’s latest production, based on the beloved Russian tale The Flower with Seven Colours by Valentin Petrovich Katayev. Enter the wondrous and mysterious enchanted garden of Professor Wacko and his crazy sidekick Natalia Mezentceva, where lovable buffoons will guide you through the story, granting wishes to the beautiful Zhenya who is surrounded by flying, back-flipping, juggling, wire-walking and roller-skating performers.

G Live, London Road, Guildford, GU1 2AA. Tel: 01483 369350. Tickets: £19.50-£27.50.


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.


The Last Tango, New Victoria Theatre, Woking, until Sat

Whats3TangoVincent Simone and Flavia Cacace - The Whats3Last Tango - credit Manuel Harlan...-1


There are still a couple of nights to catch Argentine tango supremos Flavia Cacace and Vincent Simone in The Last Tango. It’s a gorgeous show – a soft and subtle love story told through dance and song. I was at the opening night; read my review here. But book quickly, tickets are selling out quickly and this literally is the couple’s last tango like, ever. The former Strictly dancers are hanging up their dancing shoes and calling it a day. These two have been dancing together for 20 years, and in case you’ve not seen them on telly, they really are amazing.

New Victoria Theatre, The Ambassadors, Peacocks Centre, Woking, GU21 6GQ, Tel:0844 871 7645.
Tickets: 23.40-£59.40.

Michael Rosen’s The Big Write, The Discover Centre, London, Sat 5 – Fri 11 March


Obviously a bit of a schlep getting over to East London, but I thought this was well worth a mention if you fancied a day out because there are just so many stars from the world of children’s literature turning up for this nine day event. Michael Rosen has curated an extraordinary line up for The Big Write which kicked off on World Book Day and runs until Friday 11 March at Discover Children’s Story Centre and venues around Stratford. He’ll be joined by some of our most exciting children’s authors, illustrators, poets, musicians and artists in a packed programme of events, performances and workshops. Authors taking part include Chris Riddell (A Great Big Cuddle) A F Harrold (Fizzlebert Stump) and Sam Lloyd (Calm Down Boris) plus loads more. There’s lots of things for the littlies too, including meet the picture book characters Maisy and Kipper.

The Big Write is based at the Discover Children’s Story Centre, 383-387 High Street, Stratford, E15 4QZ. For tickets and more information, visit the Discover Centre’s website

Surrey Half Marathon, Woking, Sun 13 March


Now in its third 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. Some roads will be closed. Click here for a more details.

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



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 Proclaimers, Fairfield Halls, Croydon, 26 June


If they’re good enough for David Tennant, they’re good enough for me. The hunky Mr Tennant says they’re his favourite band of all time, and I reckon this is one gig that’ll sell out quickly. Scottish twin brothers Craig and Charlie Reid walk 500 miles… or perhaps not. That might be a bit much. But you’ll hear this song and other classics, such as ‘I’m Gonna Be’, ‘Sunshine on Leith’, ‘I’m On My Way’ and ‘Letter from America’.

Fairfield Halls, Concert Hall, Fairfield Halls, Park Lane, Croydon, CR9 1DG. Tel: 020 8688 9291. Tickets: £32.50.

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