The Muddy Guide: What’s on, Thurs 18 – Weds 24 Feb
Unravel… A Festival of Knitting, Farnham Maltings, 19-21 Feb
Get your sticks out girls, cos we’re going to get knitting. Unravel returns to Farnham Maltings for its eighth year, bringing with it knitting and crochet experts from the UK and around the world. There will be talks, workshops and masterclasses with experts who will let you in on their secrets to help hone your own knitting skills. Finnish designer Veera Valimaki, the woman behind the designs of Rain Knitwear, is among the big knitters (see what I did there!). Day tickets are £7 in advance or £9 on the door. Advance bookings can be made here for Fri, here for Sat and here for Sun.
Farnham Maltings, Bridge Square, Farnham GU9 7QR. Tel: 01252 745. farnhammaltings.com
A Night of Food & Agony with Jay Rayner, Rose Theatre, Kingston, 23 Feb
You’ll need to get in quick, as this one is sure to sell out. The MasterChef judge, restaurant critic and sometime jazz pianist examines our love affair with lousy reviews, has a rant about his most hated restaurant fads, and spills the beans on some of his most excruciating nights out. Then, Jay reveals his talents as a musician performing tunes with a quartet of top flight musicians, taking on tunes from the Great American food and drink songbook including hits by Johnny Mercer, Harold Arlen, Blossom Dearie and Dave Frishberg.
Creative Writing Classes, Polesden Lacey, 24 Feb-23 March
Get your creative juices flowing at this writing workshop by author Ruth Brandt, using the gorgeous setting of this Edwardian house and its history as inspiration. The theme for the first workshop on Feb 24 is ‘Writing Inspired by Art’, followed by ‘Memoir Writing’, ‘Writing Historical Fiction’, ‘Writing Inspired by Photography’ and ‘Writing Inspired by Music. The classes will be on Wednesday mornings 10.30am-1pm. Sessions are £25 each, and booking is essential.
Polesden Lacey, Great Bookham, Nr Dorking, RH5. Tel: 0844 2491895. nationaltrust.org.uk
Jason Donovan: Ten Good Reasons & Greatest Hits Tour, G Live, Guildford, Feb 27 + May 10
Be prepared for a full-on cheese fest when ole Scott from Neighbours rolls into town. He’ll be churning out songs from his 1989 album (yup, 1989, you read that right!) Ten Good Reasons. It was the biggest-selling album in the UK that year so you’ll remember plenty of the songs. Think ‘Too Many Broken Hearts’, ‘Especially for You’ and ‘Sealed with a Kiss’. Last year’s X Factor contestants Mon Amie are in support. Shows have been selling out quickly, but there are a few tickets left so get in quick if you want to see the Aussie crooner.
Brothers in Art, Drawings by Watts and Leighton, Watts Gallery, ends 19 Feb
There’s still time to catch the Brothers in Art exhibition at Watts Gallery which brings together the finest drawings of GF Watts and Frederic Leighton for the first time. The pair were friends for 40 years, and although both were celebrated painters, drawing was the skill they most admired in each other. The exhibition includes some never-before-seen masterpieces. It ends on Friday, so you’ll have to be quick.
Watts Gallery, Down Lane, Compton, GU3 1DQ. wattsgallery.org.uk
Christian O’Connell: You’ve Ruined My Morning… and Other Fan Mail, Dorking Halls, Feb 26
Another early prod for one that’s selling out fast. The OC is stomping on his home turf for this show, being a local Dorking lad and all. As a radio breakfast show presenter for 16 years, he’s won many awards. But, he’s also collected many death threats, hate mail and abusive complaints along the way and in this show he’s getting them all off his chest.
Exhibition on Screen: Renoir – Revered and Reviled, Leatherhead Theatre, 16 Feb
Exhibition on Screen brings blockbuster art exhibitions from galleries around the world to cinemas, giving art lovers the chance to enjoy the works of some of history’s greatest ever painters on the big screen. This film – based on the collection of 181 Renoirs at the Barnes Foundation in Philadelphia – examines the change in direction he took when he grew tired of impressionist paintings, and why it provokes such extreme reactions right up to today.
John Constable: Observing the Weather, The Lightbox, Woking, until 8 May
The exhibition only opened on Saturday, so there is plenty of time to get yourself there. It gives an in-depth examination of Constable’s fascination with weather and its ability to change a landscape – both in mood and physical appearance. The works range in medium from pen and ink studies, to watercolour and oil sketches that were meant for his own personal use, and of course, finished pieces that were meant for display.
The Lightbox, Chobham Road, Woking, GU21 4AA. thelightbox.org.uk