Going Out Guide February 2 – February 8, 2022

Olympian Louis Smith

THIS COMING week sees the start of a busy tribute music scene coming to Tunbridge Wells, kicking off with a timely testament to rock opera legend Meat Loaf.

‘Hits out of Hell’, featuring Dead Ringer for the American rocker, Craig Halford, is on at the Assembly Hall on Saturday, February 5.

The show was booked long before the singer passed away on January 20, but is sure to be a great tribute to the much-loved star, especially as Mr Halford is an already established performer, having brought his singing and impersonation to Stars in Their Eyes and The Last Leg as well as many tour audiences.

A day earlier, fans of Wham have the chance of seeing Rob Lamberti as George Michael, in his tribute to the former Wham star who died at the end of 2016.

It has also been 20 years since Queen star Freddie Mercury left the stage, but ‘Killer Queen’ have kept the band’s flame alive. Fronting the tribute band, Patrick Myers not only bears a ‘spooky’ physical resemblance to Freddie Mercury, but also his voice and range have earned him a number one hit single as Freddie Mercury, on Fat Boy Slim’s record ‘The Real Life’.

Killer Queen are appearing at the Assembly Hall next week [February 9], and following on from that on [February 10] will be a tribute to the King himself as singer and musician Ben Portsmouth comes to town after becoming the first non-US artist to be crowned ‘Worldwide Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist’ in Memphis.

Here’s a glimpse of where to go and what else to do over the next seven days…


On Stage & Screen

LOOKING at screens and stages big and small, The Times of Tunbridge Wells presents a selected guide to the week ahead.

Trinity Theatre has two comedy shows this week, starting with socio-political comic Simon Evans reflecting on his world being turned upside down, in ‘The Work of the Devil’. Friday, February 4 at 8pm.

If you prefer your comedy slightly less intense, the Comedy Club is back on, also at the Trinity Theatre, presenting a double bill of Eshaan Akbar, who has a past life in in banking, wealth management and public policy to mine for his comedy – and Laura Lexx, who once wrote a twitter thread (about Jürgen Klopp) so viral that she turned it into a book. Saturday, 5 February, 8pm.

On the silver screen this week, there is just time to catch a terrifying mini-season being shown by the Odeon, with ‘Scream’ (18) (matinées and evening showing) and ‘Friday the 13th’ (18) (evening showings), both ending after Thursday, February 3. The also disturbing but lower-rated ‘Nightmare Alley’ (15) also finishes that day. Thank goodness for ‘West Side Story’ (12A), because we’re not sure how much more our poor nerves can take!


Going Live

WITH ONE of the best live music scenes in the South East, here is a round-up of some of the best bands and acts performing this week.

The Royal Tunbridge Wells Symphony Orchestra is back on stage for the first time since last autumn, and the occasion is a big one: its 100th birthday. The ‘civic’ theme will see it play pieces spanning the gamut of social class, from Aaron Copland’s ‘Fanfare for the Common Man’ to Edward Elgar’s Symphony No.2 in E flat (Op.63), which the composer dedicated to the memory of King Edward VII after the monarch’s death in 1910. Assembly Hall on Sunday, February 6 at 3pm.

Tribute junkies are in for a treat this week, whatever their musical taste.

If your hankering is for sunny, nostalgic music, your magic spell is the Bee Gees Entertainer Show, making some ‘Bee Gees Magic’ at the Assembly Hall on Wednesday, 2 February at 7:30pm.

For a more soulful nostalgia, Soul Street Productions’ nine-piece band and entertainers offer Temptations indeed, featuring music from greats Aretha Franklin, Marvin Gaye, James Brown, Sam Cooke, Ray Charles and The Temptations. Assembly Hall on Thursday, 3 February at 7:30pm.

‘Hits out of Hell’ Meat Loaf tribute act (profiled above) Saturday, February 5 and Rob Lamberti as George Michael on Fabruary 4.

Ronnie Scott’s All Stars are presenting a new show at the E.M. Forster Theatre (Tonbridge School), telling the story of legendary jazz club Ronnie Scott’s, featuring live jazz with narration, archive video footage and photos. Thursday, February 3 at 7:30pm

The Forum has its own slate of tributes, with The Cureheads standing in for The Cure and Siouxsie & The Budgiees standing in for Siouxsie & The Banshees on Friday, February 4 at 7:30pm.


Family Fun

WHETHER your family is young or old, big or small, there’s plenty to do both indoor and outdoor over the coming week, and active ideas too.

Half term is coming up, when the littluns may feel a bit left out of all the school-age activities. For a little treat beforehand, the Twirlywoos Live event will have your toddlers and preschoolers twisting in their seats in sync with the puppets on stage. Age one and older. Thursday and Friday, February 5-6 at the E.M. Forster Theatre, Tonbridge School, at 2:30pm.

Enjoy a ‘bring and browse’ at the Little Monsters Swop Shop. New children’s books donated by WHSmith, old books donated by… you! (No donation necessary to choose a book and receive a sticker.) Little Monster Swop Shop, Royal Victoria Place

The Comedy Club 4 Kids de-fangs stand-ups and sketch acts for a family audience. From age 6. This week, the acts are sharp dresser Ada Campe, double act Shelf and Matt Green, who seems to have done a lot of things for career reasons. Sunday, February 6 at the E.M. Forster Theatre, Tonbridge School, at 2:30pm.

Parkrun is an international weekly community event, free to enter, whether running the 5K or walking it. Dunorlan Park, Saturdays, 9am. Register at parkrun.org.

For a slower pace, try guided mindful walks at Bedgebury Pinetum, Thursday, January 27, 11.15-12.15pm. These are organised by yoga guru Lisa White. Tickets available from lisawhitehouse.co.uk

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