The Muddy guide: Thur 25 Feb – Wed 2 March
Madame Butterfly, Dorking Halls, 5 March
The highly acclaimed Russian State Opera brings Madame Butterfly to Dorking Halls, accompanied by a full live orchestra. Set in Japan at the turn of the century, this much loved tale tells the story of a doomed love affair between an American naval officer and his young Japanese bride, whose self-sacrifice and defiance of her family leads to heartbreak. The set and costumes promise to be beautiful. The cast includes local boy, Zack Ewington, who attends Stagecoach Theatre Arts in Dorking, as Madam Butterfly’s son. It is sung in Italian.
Rambert – The Three Dancers plus other works, New Victoria Theatre, Woking, 3-5 March
Dance lovers are in for a treat as the highly renowned national dance company Rambert comes to Woking with two new works and a world premiere. The triple bill by female choreographers will include the world premiere of Hydragyrum by Patricia Okenwa, Didy Veldman’s Picasso-inspired The 3 Dancers and Shobana Jeyasingh’s Terra Incognita. Book your tickets now, it’s going to be brilliant.
Poetry in Beauty: The Pre-Raphaelite Art of Marie Spartali Stillman,
Watts Gallery, Compton, 1 Mar – 5 June
Marie Spartali Stillman was the leading female artist working within the British Pre-Raphaelite circle, and this retrospective exhibition features stunning landscapes, delicate portraits and detailed subject paintings, many of which have not been exhibited since the artist’s lifetime. The exhibition is on until 5 June.
Cranleigh Literature Festiveal, Cranleigh Arts Centre, 1-5 March
If you love Shakespeare, plays, poetry and reading then check out the events at the Cranleigh Literature Festival. The line-up for the five-day event includes Roald Dahl storytelling by The Guildford Shakespeare Company, Daisy White’s Pop-up bookshop Book-tique and An Evening with Sunny Ormonde, of Radio 4’s The Archers. The event opens with a launch party on March 1, where writer-in-residence, Daisy White, will present an extract from her latest book, followed by a screening of the 2015 adventure biographical film, A Walk in the Woods, starring Robert Redford as travel writer Bill Bryson who takes his old friend (Nick Nolte) for a hike along the 2,000-mile Appalachian Trail, from Georgia to Maine.
Jongleurs Comedy, Epsom Playhouse, 27 Feb
If you fancy a night of giggles, you could do worse than Jongleurs. The UK’s number one comedy company returns to Epsom with Aussie comic Damian Clark, the intelligent and charming Keith Farnan (above), Ellie Taylor, a presenter on BBC3’s Snog, Marry, Avoid?, and the quick-witted Dominic Holland. Just don’t be late, and avoid the front row!!
Epsom Playhouse, Ashley Ave, Epsom, KT18 5AL. epsomplayhouse.co.uk
Craig Ogden, Camberley Theatre, 25 Feb
A household name to listeners of Classic FM and Radio 3, and with a string of number one albums to his name, the Australian-born guitarist Craig Ogden is – I’m told – one of the most exciting artists of his generation. He studied guitar from the age of seven and percussion from the age of 13. His latest album Craig Ogden and Friends released in June 2015 also topped the number one spot in the classical charts.
Hetty Feather, Rose Theatre Kingston, 24-28 Feb
This looks like it’ll be tonnes of fun and it’s been getting amazing reviews, so it’s sure to be a goodie. From the best-selling author Jacqueline Wilson, the tale of plucky Hetty Feather is brought to life on stage in this Olivier Award nominated production. With beautiful storytelling, original songs and live music, spectacular circus and a huge heart – this is a terrific adventure story and the perfect treat for the
whole family, from age 7 and up.
Rose Theatre, 24-26 High St, Kingston, KT1 1HL. rosetheatrekingston.org
Shadowlands, Yvonne Arnaud Theatre, until 25 Feb
I saw this on Monday, 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.
Yvonne Arnaud Theatre, Millbrook, Guildford GU1 3UX. yvonne-arnaud.co.uk
Priscilla Queen of the Desert, New Victoria Theatre Woking, until Sat 27 Feb
There’s only a couple of days to catch this hit musical, which promises a flamboyant joy ride back to the Nineties. Based on the Aussie film, it’s the story of three friends who camp it up on a road trip across the Australian Outback. Darren Day is fab into the role of Tick, and Adam Bailey as the flirty and flamboyant Felicia. There is dazzling array of outrageous costumes and a hit parade of dance floor favourites including Say a Little Prayer, I Will Survive, Go West, Hot Stuff and Always on My Mind. Expect brash humour, glitz, glam and sequins. Read my review here.
New Victoria Theatre, Woking. atgtickets.com