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Surrey’s best bits: the July what’s on guide

We're fully into the swing of warmer days, the summer holidays are looming and post-pandemic normality is (hopefully) just around the corner. Here's our guide.

COMEDY: Gag House Comedy Superstars
■ Yvonne Arnaud Theatre, Guildford ■ Fri 2 July

The Guildford Fringe Festival kicks off with this comedy gig featuring some of the best in the business. American comedian, writer, and musician Rich Hall is the headline act, alongside Stephen Bailey, Dane Baptiste and Ria Lina. Events continue throughout the month. Click here for the full list.


FOOD: Pop-up restaurant with Oliver Thompson
■ The Limpsfield Cookery School, near Oxted ■ Fri 2 – Sat 3 July

Meat and fish expert chef Ollie takes inspiration from the French region of Provence and uses freshly sourced, top quality ingredients to cook up a culinary delight in the kitchen. The £65 event includes a cocktail, canapés, starter, main and dessert, plus coffee and tea if you can squeeze it in!


MUSIC: Music in the Marketplace
■ Epsom Marketplace ■ Every Friday
and most Sundays until September
With all of us so deprived of live music over the past year, head to Epsom Marketplace every Friday from 5-7pm and most Sundays from 12-2.30pm to enjoy professional and beautiful live performances, from soul to latin.


FESTIVAL: Surrey Hills Artisan Festival
■ Denbies Vineyard, Dorking ■ Sat 3 – Sun 4 July

Head to Denbies to experience the best of the best in local food, drink and arts and crafts. The festival is on from 10am-5pm on both days and tickets are £6 in advance or £7.50 on the gate.


OUTDOOR THEATRE: A Midsummer’s Night Dream
■ Polesden Lacey, Great Bookham ■ Sat 3 – Sun 4 July

Bring your camping chair, a blanket and your favourite non-rustling snacks and settle in for a night of theatre in the open. Pre-booking is essential.


Left Wing Conspiracy Theorist with Dyspraxia, part of the Guildford Fringe Festival

COMEDY: Left Wing Conspiracy Theorist with Dyspraxia
■ The Back Room at the Star Inn, Guildford ■ Mon 5 July

What do learning difficulties, secret societies, left-wing politics, the pandemic and conspiracy theories have in common? They are all part of the solo show from gag-filled comedian and social commentator Don Biswas. Part of the Guildford Fringe Festival.


THEATRE: Absurd Person Singular
■ Yvonne Arnaud Theatre, Guildford ■ Tues 6 – Sat 10 July

Alan Ayckbourn’s comic masterpiece of social climbing in 1970s suburbia fuses a potent mix of farce and black comedy.


ARTS: Guildford Arts Summer Exhibition
■ Mill Studio at Yvonne Arnaud Theatre, Guildford ■ Sat 10 – Thu 22 July

Get a much-needed hit of arts in the flesh with a beautiful display of contemporary paintings, photographs, prints, sculpture, ceramics and glasswork from national and local artists. All the works are available for purchase, too.


MUSIC: Music in the Park
■ Hatchlands Park, East Clandon ■ Sun 11 July

With musical theatre, opera, jazz and pop all on the cards at this outdoor concert, there’s something for every music fan. Located with the stunning backdrop of Hatchlands Park House, proceeds from the event will go to supporting Cherry Trees in East Clandon, which provides short breaks for children and young people with disabilities.


The Woman In Black comes to Yvonne Arnaud Theatre in Guildford. Photo by: Tristram Kenton

KIDS ACTIVITIES: Little Seeds Forest School
■ Gatton Park, near Redhill ■ Mon 12 July

Explore the woodlands with your little ones in beautiful Gatton Park through organised play including mud, fire, dens, woodland crafts and lots of fun! This activity is recommended mostly for 2-5 year olds.


KIDS THEATRE: DIG Theatre for under 5s
■ RHS Garden Wisley ■ Mon 12 – Tue 13 July

Love the theatre and want to pass on the passion to your littlest one? This is a gentle first theatre experience, perfect for the very young from 6 months to 2 years old. The story brings to life a world of growing plants, busy bugs and wriggling worms!


THEATRE: The Woman in Black
■ Yvonne Arnaud Theatre, Guildford ■ Mon 12 – Sat 17 July

Susan Hill’s famous ghost story comes alive in Stephen Mallatratt’s stage adaptation. Starring Antony Eden and Robert Goodale, a lawyer obsessed with a curse that he believes has been cast over him and his family by the spectre of a woman in black engages a sceptical young actor to help him tell his story and exorcise his fear.


COMEDY: Bring Your Own Baby Comedy Club
■ Farnham Maltings ■ Fri 16 July

The comedy show features two acts, plus a compere, but with the friendliest baby environment! The club provides soft flooring, buggy parking and baby changing – and feel free to feed or change a nappy or two during the 75 minute show, you won’t be heckled!


TALKS: The Sunday Times presents ‘Life Lessons’
■ Chiswick House and Gardens ■ Fri 16 – Sun 18 July

Set amongst 60 acres of lush gardens, this weekend is filled with inspiring talks by the likes of Ruby Wax, Prof. Brian Cox, Claudia Winkleman, Simon Reeve, Chris Packham, Dr. Rangan Chatterjee and many more.


KID’S THEATRE: Plays in the Park – David Walliams’ Mr Stink
■ Meadowbank, Dorking ■ Sat 17 July

Join Heartbreak Productions for David Walliams’ best-seller Mr Stink on the outdoor stage! Packed with fun, humour and a heart-warming message, this is perfect for all the family and the perfect sunny weekend activity.


FOOD FESTIVAL: Guildford Cheese and Chilli Festival 2021
■ Shalford Park, near Guildford ■ Fri 16 – Sun 18 July

Well, who doesn’t like cheese? Exactly. In addition to the namesake foods making plenty of appearances, there will also be a karaoke booth, children’s entertainment, a storyteller, circus skills workshops, live music, crazy golf and lots more!


FOOD & DRINK: Biriyani and Bubbles
■ Albury Vineyard, near Shere ■ Sun 18 July

Enjoy a delicious three-course menu of crisp samosas, fresh biriyani and Bombay ice cream from the vineyard’s neighbour, Mandira’s Kitchen. Not your average Sunday lunch but certainly one we are on board with!


ART EXHIBITION: Art and Culture in the Vineyard
■ High Clandon Wine Estate, East Clandon ■ Sun 18 July – Sun 1 Aug

This boutique Surrey wine estate hosts its annual Art & Sculptures exhibition to celebrate the launch of their 2016 vintage Euphoria Cuvée. More than 150 works of art will be on display – mostly by local Surrey artists – in the Glass Barn and grounds. Sales of both art and wine will benefit Cherry Trees charity.


Jekyll and Hyde is a one-woman show by performer Heather-Rose Andrews. It’s part of the Guildford Fringe Festival.

MUSIC: Bye Bye Baby – A Celebration of Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons
■ Epsom Playhouse ■ Tue 20 July

Remember how popular these guys were in 2019? Bye Bye Baby takes you back in time on a musical journey through the career of Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons, whose songs featured in films including The Deer Hunter, Dirty Dancing and Grease.


KIDS ACTIVITIES: Wild Summer Forest School Camp
■ Painshill, near Cobham ■ Tue 20 July – Thu 19 Aug

It’s summer holidays time! Sign your kids up this action-packed camp where they will build dens, light campfires, learn to cook on a fire, track animals, make bow and arrows, climb trees and so much more.


THEATRE: Under the Mask
■ Rose Theatre, Kingston ■ Wed 21 – Sun 25 July

Under the Mask is junior doctor Shaan Sahota’s debut, showing a doctor’s perspective on the Coronavirus pandemic in British hospitals. It puts you into Jaskaran’s shoes, uncovering a remarkable story of fortitude, hope and strength.


THEATRE: Jekyll & Hyde: A One-Woman Show
■ The Back Room at the Star Inn, Guildford  ■ Thurs 22 July

Robert Louis Stevenson’s classic science-horror is reborn, with award-winning performer Heather-Rose Andrews in the titular role. It’s one-woman show about class, terror, and hypocrisy in Victorian London, as the search for self collides with the lure of the sensuous, taking its toll on all around Jekyll & Hyde.


FOOD: The Salt Box – Summer Supper
■ Priory Park, South Nutfield ■ Thu 22 – Fri 23 July
Escape to the woods for a sumptuous summer supper. The menu will feature a selection of seasonal, local and foraged ingredients, all cooked over an open fire and served to you on platter piled high. Yes please!


FESTIVAL: Guildford Beer Festival 2021
■ Guildford Cricket Club, Guildford ■ Fri 23 – Sun 25 July
The eleventh Guildford Beer Festival is here! The event will play host to around 100 cask ales and chilled craft beers sourced from independent and micro-breweries in Surrey, Hampshire, Sussex and Berkshire. The sessions are timed due to covid-19, so be sure to book ahead to avoid disappointment!


OUTDOOR FUN: The Garden Show at Loseley Park
■ Loseley Park, near Guildford ■ Fri 23 – Sun 25 July

Over 200 exhibitors attend this three-day event targeting outdoor lovers and families! Visit Loseley Park’s walled gardens, relax to the sounds of the wandering Jazz Trio, and entertain the kids with the garden show jester, archery, puppet shows, face painting, birds of prey, fete entertainment and a funfair.


FOOD FESTIVAL: The Surrey Food Festival 2021
■ Old Deer Park, Richmond ■ Sat 24 – Sun 25 July

Food lovers, unite! Indulge your taste buds with local businesses selling their top quality goods, watch demonstrations by the pros, and go all out in the taste tents. There’s even a kids zone to keep your little ones entertained.


SPORT: Surrey Slog Half Marathon
■ Holmbury Hill, Dorking ■ Sun 25 July

Keen trail runner or just love to cheer on at the sidelines? The Surrey Slog Half Marathon course is challenging but rewarding, hilly and undulating cross-country route mainly on tracks around Holmbury Hill in the Surrey Hills.


The Australian Shakespeare Company bring A Midsummer Night’s Dream to Kew Gardens from 28 July to 29 Aug.

FAMILY THEATRE: The Three Musketeers
■ Hatchlands Park, East Clandon ■ Tue 27 July

Immersion Theatre invites you to their exciting and action-packed adaption of the classic Three Musketeers story. Cosy up on the lawn of Hatchlands Park with your favourite blankets and cushions, and bring your own nibbles or buy some onsite.


OUTDOOR FUN: Puffing-a-Wey
■ River Wey and Godalming Navigations and Dapdune Wharf ■ Tue 27 July

Come and soak up the atmosphere as the Steam Boat Association of Great Britain comes to Dapdune Wharf to show off their 15 magnificent steam-powered craft. An essential day out for boat lovers!


OUTDOOR THEATRE: A Midsummer Night’s Dream
■ Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew ■ Wed 28 Jul – 29 Aug

This beguiling comedy of enchantment and transformation is brought to life by the Australian Shakespeare Company within a dream-like woodland, filled with feuding fairies, eloping lovers and a hapless troupe of actors.


OUTDOOR THEATRE: A Comedy of Errors
■ Painshill, Cobham ■ Thu 29 July

As part of Painshill’s Summer Series in the Walled Garden, this production follows a servant and master from far off Syracuse who arrive in Ephesus in search of their long-lost twin brothers – and they are soon trapped in a terrifying chain of chaotic events. Doors open at 6pm!


ART: Potter with Shelley – Decoration and Print
■ Cranleigh Arts Centre ■ Thu 29 July

Perfect for fans of the recent The Great Pottery Throwdown on BBC, this workshop explores decorative techniques such as carving, lino cuts, sgraffito and decals and applying them to your thrown and hand built ceramics.


MUSIC: Orphest Music Festival
■ The Orpheus Centre, Godstone ■ Sat 31 July

This family friendly one-day festival with have bands, dedicated kids zone by Circus Rico, arts and crafts, workshops, food stalls and a bar from midday. There will also be an open mic music cabin this year!


THEATRE: The Curious Adventures of Pinocchio
■ Harlequin Theatre, Redhill ■ Sat 31 July

Patrick Lynch from CBeebies pulls all the strings and turns all the pages to bring you the true story of Pinocchio. Crickets, cats, foxes and the famous puppet will come to life, perfect for a family-friendly adventure!


MUSIC: Guildford Jazz in the Garden
■ Yvonne Arnaud Theatre, near Guildford ■ Sat 31 July

Picture yourself in a riverside garden, it’s a summer’s evening, glass of sparkling in hand and some calming jazz playing in the background. Sound good? This can be all yours in Guildford for £20 per ticket.


MUSIC: UB40 Live After Racing
■ Lingfield Park ■ Sat 31 July

Combine a day at the races with an evening of reggae and pop when UB40 come to Lingfield! Who doesn’t love the thought of dancing to ‘Red Red Wine’ as the sun sets?


■ Watts Gallery, Compton ■ Ends Sun 1 Aug

Watts Gallery’s newest sculptural installation is by artist Deborah Davies (Dd) and consists of a series of suspended large-scale willow balls. The art explores the potential of art as an activist tool, referencing ideas of societal prejudice, displacement and loneliness.


SUPPER CLUB: Monthly Dinner Club
■ The White Horse, Hascombe ■ First Thursday of every month

The news is good for fans of the monthly fine dining supper club at The White Horse in Hascombe, which returns on Thurs 3 June. The bad news, tickets sell fast so you’ll have to be speedy if you want to go along to one of these fab evenings. June sold out in hours, but if you’re lucky you might get tickets for the events on the first Thurs in July or August. Head chef Valentino Gentile creates a gorgeous 5-course menu, and a wine flight is available too. Book here.

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