All that jazz!
It’s the month of May, which means that Jazz on The Pantiles is back for the summer months. Now in its 28th year, this musical event which takes place every Thursday evening attracts hundreds of people to Tunbridge Wells’ historic promenade. Each week a different group takes to the Bandstand to perform live from 7pm while revellers sit and drink or dine to a jazzy sonic backdrop. This staple of the summer calendar, which runs until the end of September and features bands such as The Jive Aces and Project Five, is not to be missed!
Food, glorious food
There’ll be a feast for the senses and of course your tastebuds down on The Pantiles over the weekend of May 11 and 12 thanks to the Pantiles Food Fair taking place. Every year this is a hugely popular event with lots of specialist producers selling their artisan gourmet goods and demos going on with local chefs. With plenty to eat and drink and entertainment to keep the kids happy, this is a perfect day out for all the family.
One of theatre land’s hottest tickets is the new stage production of All About Eve. Based on the 1950 Oscar-winning film of the same name, it stars Gillian Anderson and Lily James, and has been adapted for the stage by the much respected director Ivo van Hove. Featuring music by PJ Harvey, the piece tells the story of aging acting legend Margo Channing (Anderson), whose life and relationships are turned into turmoil by the interference of the upcoming and beautiful Eve (James), who just happens to be Margo’s number one fan… See it live at the National Theatre until May 11 or at the EM Forster Theatre at 7pm on Wednesday May 8. Tickets cost £15, www.emftheatre.com
Pashley Manor in Ticehurst runs its annual Sculpture in Particular event from May 25 to June 1. If you haven’t been before then in brief it showcases around 200 pieces of sculptural work dotted around the beautiful and award-winning gardens and also inside the 16th century manor house. Visitors will also have the opportunity to purchase certain pieces of work. For more details on admission times and prices visit www.pashleymanorgardens.com
Capture the castle
On Friday May 10, all budding snappers can go along to the majestic Bodiam Castle to enjoy an expert lesson in how to take stunning pictures of the historic castle and its breathtaking surrounding landscape. This inspiring visual workshop includes a light lunch and a chance to chat to Bodiam’s resident photographer. Tickets cost £25 per person and can be booked via www.nationaltrust.org.uk
Do your jury service
Trinity embarks upon an incredibly exciting and innovative theatrical project towards the end of this month which is not to be missed. Terror by Ferdinand von Schirach is directed by the theatre’s former Artistic Director John Martin and runs from May 28 to June 16. The premise is that a hijacked plane is heading towards a packed football stadium but a fighter pilot shoots it down and kills 164 people – in order to save 70,000. He’s put on trial and his fate is in the audience’s hands… On every evening at a secret location from 7pm (and with matinées on Saturday and Sundays) this promises to be an incredible immersive piece of theatre. More details on how to book tickets at www.trinitytheatre.net
Book this event…
Over the Bank Holiday weekend (May 4-7) you have a chance to visit the Chiddingstone Castle Literary Festival. Now in its third year, the line-up for 2019 includes Chocolat author Joanne Harris and wine guru Oz Clarke speaking at the event. There are interactive theatre performances, literary talks with authors including Anna Pasternak, Hunter Davies and Sir Anthony Seldon, and wine tastings. On the Tuesday there is a variety of literary workshops aimed at children. For tickets and timings visit
Hole Park in Cranbrook is the perfect place for lovers of flora and fauna at any time of the year thanks to their spectacular horticultural displays. But this time of year it’s the bluebells that are out in all their glory. Enjoy walking through the property’s spectacular wooded areas in order to see the stunning seas of blue flowers. Standard admission fees apply. For more information, go to www.holepark.com
Over the Bank Holiday weekend there’s a series of special Rye International Jazz and Blues Festival concerts at Hever Castle. Kicking things off on Saturday May 25 is Courtney Pine with his Black Notes from The Deep show. Then on Sunday you can see Milos Karadaglic – dubbed the hottest guitarist in the world – perform with a five-piece string ensemble. Finally on Monday you can catch Mica Paris singing songs from Ella Fitzgerald’s songbook with her immensely talented jazz musicians. For more details and tickets visit www.ryejazz.com