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What’s on in Surrey this October? Here’s what…

It's all treat and no tricks in Surrey this month, thanks to a bumper autumn harvest of things to do. From fabulous light exhibits to rib-tickling theatre, Muddy knows what's good.

Ignite light festival at Polesden Lacey, Surrey
The Ignite light festival comes to Polesden Lacey this month. Photo credit: Richard Haughton

COMEDY: Lucy Porter: Be Prepared
■ Farnham Maltings, Farnham ■ Fri 1 Oct
A regular on Would I Lie to You, QI and Impossible, join Lucy Porter for a smile-filled evening pondering the life skills she learnt in Brownies as a youngster and how those lessons have fared her into her adult years.

FESTIVAL: Kew Gardens Autumn Festival: Japan
■ Kew Gardens, Richmond ■ Sat 2 – Sun 31 Oct
This month-long celebration of Japan focuses on the country’s beautiful plants, art and culture. Events will include artistic displays, a Momijigari Trail and a mesmerising soundscape.

FESTIVAL: Korean Arts Festival
■ Rose Theatre, Kingston ■ Sun 3 Oct
To support Kingston Hospital, the Korean Culture and Arts Society is hosting a celebration of Korean dance and music in partnership with The Thames Philharmonic Orchestra and local choirs. Proceeds from the festival will be used to support the elderly care and surgical wards.

Nadiya Hussain will be at this year’s Guilford Book Festival. Photo credit: Chris Terry

FESTIVAL: Guildford Book Festival
■ Locations around Guildford ■ Sun 3 – Tue 26 Oct
It’s that time of year where some of the very best of the literary world descend on Guildford over the month in talks that share insights into their popular novels and books.

■ Brooklands Museum, Weybridge ■ Sun 3 Oct
Almost 21 years to the day since the last ‘classic’ Mini went into production, owners of the popular car will bring their vehicles to this events dedicated to celebrating its fine form. There will also be trade stands to treat yourself to memorabilia and pick up spare parts.

MUSIC: Radio Ga Ga
■ Epsom Playhouse, Epsom ■ Tue 5 Oct
Who doesn’t love a bit of Queen? Dance and sing along with this tribute to one of the most popular bands in modern history in this brand-new show for 2021.

COMEDY: Ian Stirling – Failing Upwards
■ Camberley Theatre, Camberley ■ Wed 6 – Thu 7 Oct
Fan of Love Island? Join the man behind the famous voiceover for the show as he explores his inability to function in the most basic of public settings and that one time a man stole his shoes.

COMEDY: Chris Ramsey: 20/20
■ G Live, Guildford ■ Thu 7 Oct
After being rescheduled three times thanks to Covid, now’s your chance to see popular comedian, podcaster and Strictly Come Dancing contestant Chris Ramsey on his biggest tour yet.

THEATRE: First Time
■ Yvonne Arnaud Theatre, Guildford ■ Thu 7 Oct
Written and performed by critically acclaimed It’s A Sin‘s Nathaniel Hall, First Time takes a heartbreaking but hilarious take on his autobiographical story of growing up HIV positive in a negative world.

Banff Film Festival,
Ocean to Asgard is among the films featuring in the Banff Film Festival. Photo by Jacob Cook

FESTIVAL: Banff Film Festival
■ Dorking Halls, Dorking ■ Thu 7 Oct
Enjoy an evening of short-film magic with a brand-new collection depicting some of the most beautiful and hard-to-reach mountain ranges in the world. Even better – it’s all on the big screen, so you can pretend you’re there!

EXHIBITION: Japan After Hours
■ Kew Gardens, Richmond ■ Fri 8, Sat 9, Fri 15 and Sat 16 Oct
From dance theatre and live music performances to traditional flower arranging and sake sipping, these dedicated evenings to the beauty of Japan has something for everyone intrigued by the wonders of the country.

KIDS THEATRE: Puss in Boots
■ Cranleigh Arts Centre, Cranleigh ■ Sat 9 Oct
If a talking cat, puppets galore and an avalanche of fruit and nuts sounds like your and your little ones’ ideal Saturday afternoon, then you’re in the right place! This show is suitable for over 4s and costs just £10 a ticket.


MARKET: Sunbury Antiques Market
■ Kempton Park Racecourse, Sunbury-on-Thames ■ Tue 12 and Tue 26 Oct
It’s that time of the month again when the best antique sellers in the south congregate to offers lucky, beady-eyed shoppers with vintage goods!

EVENT: Taste of Autumn
■ RHS Garden Wisley, Woking ■ Wed 13 – Sun 17 Oct
Autumn is here and bringing with it a whole host of seasonal produce. Enjoy live cookery demonstrations at Wisley’s kitchen theatre inside RHS Hilltop, and browse seasonal produce and tasty treats from over 30 food stands.

KIDS EVENT: Autumn Treasure Hunt with Percy the Park Keeper
■ Chiswick House and Gardens ■ From Thu 14 Oct
Join Percy for a live theatrical treasure hunt as you help him get his animal friends ready for winter. Bring your wellies and prepare to solve the clues! Extra activities like pumpkin painting can also be added on.

COMEDY: Mock Tudor Comedy Club
■ Riverhouse Barn, Walton-on-Thames ■ Fri 15 Oct
Prepare to get a case of the giggles when you sit down with comedians Jeff Innocent, Roger Monkhouse and Jack Gleadow for a night of good old fashioned adult humour!

KIDS THEATRE: The Tiger Who Came To Tea
■ New Victoria Theatre, Woking ■ Fri 15 – Sun 17 Oct
Based on the book by Judith Kerr, this on-stage adaption follows the story of a very thirsty tiger. This family show is filled with giggles and sing-a-longs galore, perfect for the kiddos!

FESTIVAL: Festival of Crafts 2021
■ Farnham Maltings, Farnham ■ Sat 16 – Sun 17 Oct
Now in its 25th year , this annual two-day festival celebrates all things handmade, perfect to get kickstart that Christmas shopping! Stalls include homewares, jewellery, ceramics, stationery, accessories, furniture, lighting, textiles and print.

EVENT: Jump Sunday 2021
■ Kempton Park Racecourse, Sunbury-on-Thames ■ Sun 17 Oct
It’s the start of the 2021/22 Jump season so don your finest attire and head to Kempton Park for a day of jump racing!


Witches and wizards at Bocketts Farm, Surrey
It’s Witches and Wizards Week at Bocketts Farm Park from Sat 23 Oct. Photo courtesy Bocketts Farm Park.

THEATRE: Priscilla Queen of the Desert: The Musical
■ New Victoria Theatre, Woking ■ Mon 18 – Sat 23 Oct
Boy, we’re glad that musicals are back live. Wigs, heels and glitter at the ready for this on-stage adaption of the Oscar-award winning movie that follows the adventure of three friends who hop aboard a battered old bus bound for the Outback to put on the show of a lifetime.

COMEDY: Ross Noble – Humouroid
■ G Live, Guildford ■ Wed 20 Oct
It took us a couple of seconds to work out what Ross Noble’s latest tour’s title is meant to sound like (ahem!) but don’t let tat put you off nabbing tickets to what is guaranteed to be a hilarious night of comedy.

EXHIBITION: Women’s Support Centre: New Beginnings Art Award 2021
■ The Lightbox, Woking ■ From Wed 20 Oct
This exhibition features work submitted to the Women’s Support Centre, which is open to all women in Surrey prisons or those in contact with the Criminal Justice System.

COMEDY: Katherine Ryan: Missus
■ Dorking Halls ■ Wed 20 Oct
Having accidentally married her first love (!), Katherine has a thing or two to say about her hilarious fresh perspective on life, love, and her thoughts on what it really means to be a ‘missus’.

Sh!tfaced Shakespeare bring their version or Romeo and Juliet to Farnham Maltings.
Sh!tfaced Shakespeare bring their version or Romeo and Juliet to Farnham Maltings. Photo credit: Rah Petherbridge

THEATRE: Sh!tfaced Shakespeare – Romeo and Juliet
■ Farnham Maltings, Farnham ■ Thurs 21 Oct
Sh*t-faced Shakespeare is the hilarious combination of an entirely serious adaptation of a Shakespearean classic, with an entirely sh*t-faced cast member. One actor is selected at random and given four hours to drink before every show. With a gin in one hand, a cup of wine in the other and a flagon of ale in the other… What could possibly go wrong?

EVENT: Ignite at Polesden Lacey
■ Polesden Lacey, Great Bookham ■ Fri 22 Oct – Sun 7 Nov
Set in the Edwardian Gardens of Polesden Lacey, Ignite is a new after-dark experience with a stunning display of lights, lanterns, fire and fantasy galore along an hour-long discovery trail. This is a spectacle not to be missed!

KIDS EVENT: Witches and Wizards Week
■ Bocketts Farm, Fetcham ■ Sat 23 – Sun 31 Oct
It’s a half term week and Halloween extravaganza! The right days of fun include reptile roadshows, slime shows, meet and greet owls, creepy craft corner, an adventure trail and so much more.

EVENT: London Bus Museum’s Transportfest
■ Brooklands Museum, Weybridge ■ Sun 24 Oct
This event for every history and vehicle lover will star a huge bus display from throughout the ages in addition to taxis, military and emergency vehicles. There will also be horse bus rides, heritage bus trips, a collectors’ market, live music and children’s attractions.


Julian Clary and Matthew Kelly star in The Dresser at Richmond Theatre
Julian Clary and Matthew Kelly star in The Dresser at Richmond Theatre

THEATRE: The Dresser
■ Richmond Theatre ■ Tue 26 – Sat 30 Oct
Featuring Julian Clary and Matthew Kelly, The Dresser is set in 1942 in a war-torn provincial theatre where an ageing actor manager is struggling to cling on to his sanity and complete his 227th performance of King Lear.

COMEDY: In Conversation with Phil Tufnell : How Not To Be A Cricketer
■ Yvonne Arnaud Theatre, Guildford ■ Tue 26 Oct
Former England spin-bowler and much-loved broadcaster Phil Tufnell is heading to Guildford has part of the Guildford Book Festival. He is set to discuss the pitfalls of being a professional cricketer including flying Pot Noodles and dodgy haircuts.

KIDS THEATRE: The Smeds and the Smoos
■ Rose Theatre, Kingston ■ Wed 27 – Sun 31 Oct
Based on the book by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler, this show heads to another planet far, far away where Smeds and Smoos can’t be friends. When a young Smed and Smoo fall in love and zoom off into space together, how will their families get them back?

OUTDOORS: Bisley Open Day ** SOLD OUT **
■ Bisley Shooting Ground, Cottesloe Heath, Brookwood ■ Fri 29 Oct
Head into the Surrey countryside for a morning of clay pigeon shooting under the tuition of the professional instructors at Bisley. It’s a chance to try it out. Cost is £99 per person which includes breakfast and Elevenses, tuition, the use of a gun, 75 clays and cartridges. Booking is a must.  

■ New Wimbledon Theatre ■ Fri 29 Oct – Fri 5 Nov
How well portrayed are queer characters in new British playwriting? Do we need more LGBTQ+ stories about ordinary lives, extraordinarily lived? PROUD is a compelling story about loss and love, identity and the need to belong.

The Low Bank Fireworks return to Godstone Farm this year – perfect for little ears.

KIDS EVENT: Low Bang Fireworks
■ Godstone Farm ■ Fri 29 – Sat 30 Oct
As part of Godstone Farm’s half term extravaganza, take your little ones along to their first ever (not too loud!) fireworks shows and prepare for the amazement!

FOOD: Taste of Dorking: A Taste of Mauritius
■ Denbies Wine Estate, Dorking ■ Sat 30 Oct
Gallery Restaurant head chef Naeem Bhunnoo, author of The Cookalong King, has created a menu to guide guests through the cuisine of Mauritius.   Paired with wines of South Africa, what’s not to like!

MARKET: The Jukebox & Retro Fair
■ Chessington Community College ■ Sat 30 – Sun 31 Oct
Now in its 18th year, The Jukebox & Retro Fair is back again with retro homeware and gifts, live music, jive dancing, classic cars, food and drink and so much more!

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