Weald Of Kent Handmade Fair, Penshurst Place, 29 Apr – 1 May
Boasting exquisite Kentish craft items, and lots of demonstrations on how to hand-make them yourself, this is a special family-friendly day out with everything from terrier racing to stone carving. There’s gorgeous plants and accessories for the garden, luxury food and drink stalls, and activities designed for the little ones too. And a live performance from popular harmony group, The Haywood Sisters, who sing delightful do-wop type tunes.
Chiddingstone Castle Festival 2017, 30 Apr – 2 May
Love a good read? Chiddingstone Castle are holding three days of fascinating talks and performances from celebrated authors, poets, actors and theatrical groups as well as the launch of two new books. It’s a cool, quirky local literary festival if ever I saw one.
The Studio Group Commission, Turner Contemporary, Margate, 19 – 31 May
Who doesn’t love a stroll round an exhibition to make us feel cultural and leisurely? The Turner Contemporary have presented a major new commission, ‘The Three Graces’ by Kashif Nadim Chaudry for the Sunley Gallery. This commission has been selected and made in collaboration with Turner Contemporary’s Studio Group, a group of local artists and makers.
Jools Holland, Orchard Theatre, Tues 02 May
Back by popular demand, Jools returns to The Orchard Theatre to dazzle audiences across the UK with his unforgettable Rhythm & Blues Orchestra and their exuberant live performances.
Remembering Fred, Margate Winter Gardens, 3 May
Get ready to step back in time and relive special moments from the career of dancing extraordinaire, Fred Astaire. Starring Strictly Come Dancing’s Janette Manrara and Aljaz Skorjanec the Remembering Fred tour will take you on a magical journey of dance, live music and entertainment supported by special appearances from various celebrity guests. They along with other dancers will be performing the golden age of Hollywood’s most celebrated song and dance routines.
4 poofs and a piano, Maidstone Music Rooms, Sat 6 May
After some time away from the limelight the camp house band from the BAFTAs and comedy award-winning Friday Night with Jonathan Ross, 4 Poofs and a Piano bring their unique blend of humour and superb vocals to the stage.
Motors By The Moat, Leeds Castle, 6 – 7 May
Motors by the Moat is the ultimate weekend for anyone with a passion for cars. Get up close to hundreds of vintage, high performance and classic cars from around the world including a World War Two themed section. Perfect for petrol heads young or old (there’s look-a-like Lightning McQueen and Mater from Disney’s Cars plus a Batmobile). Use it as a means to get rid of the husband/kids for a few hours while you sip something bubbly on a picnic blanket…
Ginger Is The New Black, Hazlitt Theatre, Maidstone, Fri 19 May
Following his sell out run at Edinburgh Fringe last year, join James Wilson-Taylor for a musical history of the redhead as he attempts to end the bullying and rebrand gingers for good. Can he make Ed Sheeran less boring ? (Hey leave off our Teddy)… Can he turn Ron Weasley into a sex symbol? And why do people think he’s a vampire? James, a semi-finalist in the Musical Comedy Awards 2016, is definitely a comedian on the rise – watch this space (and watch this show)!
Martin Kemp, Hazlitt Theatre, Maidstone, Fri 19 May
You’re indestructible, Always believe in, because you are, Gold! Ah, sorry, just couldn’t help myself. As if we need an introduction, but anyway, here’s Spandau Ballet’s Martin Kemp, 80s musical legend who has spent recent years appearing on our screens as the villainous Steve Owen in Eastenders and sometimes TV presenter. In this up close night Martin will be discussing his life in the public eye and answering audience questions. True.
A Regular Little Houdini, EM Forster Theatre, Tonbridge School, Wed 3 May
A fab story of a dockworker’s son, smitten with Harry Houdini, dreams of a life of magic, and his relentless ambition brings him face to face with the world’s greatest showman.
A Judgement In Stone, Assembly Hall Theatre, Tunbridge Wells, Mon 15 – Sat 20 May
Ooooh, I love a Ruth Rendell mystery… So when I spotted the Assembly Hall Theatre was getting this brilliant stage adaptation of thriller A Judgement in Stone, I was excited, having read some pretty good reviews of this classic whodunit and seen the impressive cast list… See you there with my bumper pack of Maltesers.
Paw Patrol, Kent Life, Maidstone, 14 May
Are your kids a fan of TV show Paw Patrol? Well… they are making their debut at Kent Life family farm. Chase & Marshall, two of the stars of the show, will be appearing at intervals throughout the day.
Tulip Celebrations, Hever Castle & Gardens, 24 Apr – 7 May
All this exceptionally mild has brought on the festival of flowers early at Hever this year. So be quick to catch them by wandering through the grounds, outside the Castle, in the Tudor Garden and throughout the Italian Garden. Be uplifted by 7000 tulip bulbs proudly standing to attention and providing a visual feast of spring colour.
Rent, Assembly Hall Theatre, Tunbridge Wells, Tue 23 – Sat 27 May
Don’t you just love it when West End theatre comes right to your doorstep? If you’re like me (love the London shows but don’t have the time or finances to be trekking into the Big Smoke too often) then you won’t want to miss this award-winning (a Pulitzer no less) high-kicking, all-singing, all-dancing rock musical when it comes to Tunbridge Wells this month. Twenty years old but still as fresh and perky as all the characters’ derrieres in this new anniversary production of Jonathan Larson’s famous rock musical, based on Puccini’s La Bohème, the show is in the midst of a highly successful tour and you can read the Muddy Review here before you book.
Japanese Night In Association With Wagamamas, Maidstone Museum & Bentlif Art, 25 May
I recently discovered these quirky evening events taking place at the museum in Maidstone, called Museum Lates. This one is a tasting of Japanese food, beer, juices and sake from cuisine masters Wagamama, and includes a bit about the history of culinary art in this stunning country. Book a slot between 6pm and 9pm and join museum curators for an insight into Japanese culture through their collection, including a look at tea ceremony wares.
Adult Cooking Curry Class, Bore Place, Thurs 25 May
Using local seasonal ingredients, learn how to create versions of curries from around the world, including saag paneer, dal, veal curry and a vegetable wat. Classes are arranged so you work in small groups to create the delicious curries, some for sharing at lunch others to take home to enjoy. The course fee includes all ingredients, lunch and refreshments. Starts at 9.30am for a cup of tea/coffee, ready for a 10am start. Mouth-watering, much?
Cider Festival, Tonbridge Old Fire Station, Tonbridge, Thurs 25 – Sun 28 May
With free entry and more than 30 ciders from across Kent & Sussex (as well as further afield) to sample this sounds like yet another cool pop up coming to the revamped fire station venue. There’ll be food by Brisket + Barrel and live music too. Cider is so back in business.