Going Out Guide (May 11 – May 17)

Co-founder of Pickering - Polly Taylor

Rock veterans to take to the stage to help military heroes

Two hundred tour dates in one year is a hard slog, but the seven members of the Rock for Heroes group are on the road to donating £2.5million to military charity Help the Heroes.

The Assembly Hall in Tunbridge Wells is one of those dates this July, and every milestone on the way counts, according to director Paul Finch.

“It’s a very long goal, but we have just gone past about £50,000, and every time we hit another £10,000, we get another certificate from Help for Heroes,” he told the Times.

“Originally, we were the Live Aid Experience. We always wanted to channel money to good causes,” he explained.

“We’ve all got family in the military, and we were going through a name change just as we made contact with Help for Heroes, so we called ourselves Rock for Heroes.”

“There was a pause (in touring and fundraising) in 2020-1, but now we’re back. Sadly, Help for Heroes really suffered over those years. Its main income is from charity collection buckets.

“We’ve got 200 touring dates this year, up and down the country.”

The Rock for Heroes show features Paul and his six band-mates, rocking to classic rock songs from Bon Jovi, Prince, The Eagles, and more.

“It’s not just a rock show; it’s also an entertainment show. We break that fourth wall,” he said.

Due to regulations, tickets (£25) do not include donations to Help for Heroes, but audiences can make donations in the collection buckets at the end of the show.

Rock for Heroes at The Assembly Hall on Thursday, July 7 at 7:30pm.


On Stage & Screen

Fresh from the West End, the improvised musical ‘Showstoppers’ brings a talented cast – ready for any and all requests the audience can throw at them – to Trinity Theatre for a two-night run (May 12-13) from this Thursday. Performances at 8pm. (See p22 for more…)

Controversialist Stewart Lee is on at The Assembly Hall this Thursday [May 12] at 7:30pm, with a double bill of two hour-long comedy sets, ‘Snowflake’ and ‘Tornado’.

Trinity Theatre screens Northern Ballet’s production of ‘Merlin’, filmed in November 2021. Sunday, May 15 at 2:30pm.

‘Ali & Ava’ (15) are the unlikely couple at the heart of this film drama, both struggling to shed baggage from past relationships. Trinity Theatre, tonight [Wednesday] at 8pm.

Maurice Flitwick is one man who doesn’t suffer from impostor syndrome, as he bluffs his way into the 1976 British Open despite never having played a single round of golf, in ‘Phantom of the Open’ (12A). Trinity Theatre, on May 17 at 8pm.

It’s a battle of behemoths at the Odeon this week, with Marvel’s ‘Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness’ (12A) appearing in the same theatre of operations as ‘Downton Abbey:


Going Live

Local impresario Paul Dunton brings East Sussex band Wild Horse’s special style of indie rock from ‘BBC Introducing’ and RadioX to The Forum. They co-headline with youthsome foursome Another Day, whose freestyle trampoline athlete member, Louis, is always ready to pull flips onstage. Friday [May 13] at 7:30pm. Age 16 and older unless accompanied by an adult.

Cranfest darling Samuel Ashton brings his soulful blues voice back to Cranbrook village this Friday [May 13], appearing at The Hive at 7-10pm. No need to book.

Royal Tunbridge Wells Orpheus Male Voice Choir is fund-raising for Tunbridge Wells Dementia-Friendly Community this Saturday (May 14) at 7:30pm. The Bennett Memorial Junior Choir are guest performers, for a programme including musicals, popular classics and traditional pieces. Trinity Theatre.

Mellow folk is on at St Dunstan’s Church, Cranbrook, this Saturday [May 14] as Show of Hands tours the UK this spring and summer. Doors at 7pm. Tickets from WeGotTickets.com

Singer-singwriter Rachel Croft’s ringing, resonant voice and music are an atmospheric choice for Sunday night [May 15] at Trinity Theatre at 7pm. Part of the ‘Breathing Room’ series.

The Grey Lady hosts Soul Kitchen this Sunday [May 15] from 12 noon to 10pm. Hosted by Tracey Shaw and John Browne.

Island Records-signed trio Noisy bring a ‘go mental’ Friday-night attitude to Monday night [May 16] at The Forum, as part of their UK tour. Touring with them is summery pop and hip-hop influenced rapper Barny Fletcher.


Family Fun

Craft in Focus’ four-day spring craft fair starts this Thursday [May 12] at Hever Castle, running until Sunday, with 180 exhibitors spanning a range of top UK artists and designer makers. Free entry to craft fair with a Gardens ticket. Grounds open at 9:30am. Craft fair closes at 5:30pm and grounds at 6pm.

It’s a busy weekend on the Spa Valley Railway, with the Kent Gin train steaming between Tunbridge Wells West and Eridge at 2:45pm on Saturday. Serving canapés with three local gins on the way, with ice and fruit garnish. Branded gin glass included in £35 ticket. Age 18 and older.

There are no age restrictions on Sunday’s Afternoon Tea Train, departing at 2:45pm on Sunday. Table for two £80, or table for four £160.

Saturday and Sunday are also the last chance to see the Sir Keith Park locomotive until 2023, as he puffs off for an overhaul. Steaming between Tunbridge Wells West and Eridge.

Meanwhile, at The Pantiles, the annual Food Festival is in full swing on Saturday and Sunday, with over 40 different food and drink stalls and live cooking demos and live music. Taking place on May 14 10am-5pm and May 15 10am-4pm.

There is still time to join in with Moving Memory Dance Theatre Company’s dance workshops at Royal Victoria Place (RVP), aimed at anyone who wants to socialise with new people while getting moving. No previous experience required, but comfortable clothing and trainers encouraged. Fridays 1-3pm until May 27, when the workshops culminate in a ‘flashmob’. Meet outside RVP Customer Services office on Level 1. No booking required.


Share this article

Recommended articles


Please enter a search term below.

Subscribe To Our Newsletter