What’s On With The Times

Dirty Dancing

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>> Wednesday

The Tonbridge Philharmonic Orchestra is starting its new season by offering a free trial rehearsal at 7.45pm at Tonbridge School for anyone wishing to participate in its choir or orchestra.

So if you fancy exercising your vocal chords or displaying your musicianship within the orchestra, which has just celebrated its 70th anniversary, visit its website at www.tonphil.org.uk/joinus

Carmen is on at the Assembly Hall at 7.30pm, and this particular performance of Georges Bizet’s famously fiery production is being put on by the Russian State Opera. As well as a brilliant cast who will bring this passionate plot of betrayal, jealousy and doomed romance to life, there will be a live orchestra performing with more than 30 talented musicians. Tickets cost £32 with concessions at £29. To book visit www.assemblyhalltheatre.co.uk

Alternatively, you could catch Dinosaur Park (The Jurassic Parody) which is on at the EM Forster Theatre in Tonbridge at 7.30pm. The performance is brought to you by Superbolt Theatre, which has just finished a successful run of this tale about a family and their feuds in London and the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. To book tickets, which cost £12, go to www.boxoffice.tonbridge-school.co.uk

Local author SD Sykes will be talking about her particular style of 14th-century crime writing at Waterstone’s in Tunbridge Wells from 7pm. She will be joined by fellow historical crime writer Antonia Hodgson, who will also be discussing her passion for prose. For more information please visit www.sdsykes.co.uk or pop into the bookshop where staff will be happy to help.

>> Thursday
From 10am this morning the Kent High Weald Partnership will be hosting its Reedy For Action event at Dunorlan Park. Running until 3pm, it will see volunteers will aiming to tidy up and improve the conditions in the park’s beautiful lake. All tools, training and hot drinks will be provided for those willing to come along and help out. Suitable dress and footwear are advised. For more details visit www.khwp.org.uk

At Trinity Theatre there will be a screening of the National Theatre’s production of Terence Rattigan’s The Deep Blue Sea. This play has become somewhat of a cult classic and is set in west London in 1952. Starring Peaky Blinders’ Helen McCrory and The Musketeers’ Tom Burke, it is the powerful tale of a young woman whose life dramatically unravels after a failed suicide attempt and dangerous extra marital love affair. Tickets cost from £17. To book visit www.trinitytheatre.net

Another cultural offering to treat yourself to is Puccini’s Turnadot on Sydney Harbour which is being screened at the Odeon cinema in Tunbridge Wells at 7pm. This final opera from the 19th-century composer was specially written for the Handa Opera in Sydney, which boasts an impressive external stage, and tells the story of a manipulative yet beautiful princess who challenges her many would-be lovers to a series of riddles which must be answered – or they face death. Chen Shi-Zheng directs. For ticket information visit www.odeon.co.uk

Katrina Burnett – 45 years at Finchcocks, The Goudhurst Church Room. Since 1970, Richard and Katrina Burnett have turned Finchcocks into a world renowned museum of musical instruments, which contained one of the greatest collections of pianos, harpsichords and other historical musical instruments.  In addition, they hosted numerous concerts and other musical events.  Now that the museum has closed, Katrina will tell us what it achieved and play music from its key moments. Members can go for free; others pay £5 at the door. For more details, contact: Quentin Rappoport  (01580 893430), or Clare Benfield  (01580 211517).

>> Friday
For an evening with a difference, make sure you attend ‘The tongue that Shakespeare spoke‘ at the EM Forster Theatre. Hosted by Professor of linguistics David Crystal and his actor son Ben, it’s a fascinating insight into the dynamics of the English language. Professor Crystal will be specifically focusing on Shakespeare’s work and how its meaning and delivery has altered over the centuries. Tickets to this unique event cost £12 and can be booked at www.boxoffice.tonbridge-school.co.uk

Camper Van

Into vintage cars and alfresco eating? Then this weekend’s Chill-n-Grill event at the Hop Farm in Paddock Wood will be right up your street. Based on the relaxed ethos of the Volkswagen family, it’s basically three days of hanging out and browsing around cool, iconic vehicles including Beetles, Camper Vans and Porsches. Visitors will also have an opportunity to chat to experts and chill out with some tasty food and local beer. Tickets cost from £17.50. For more information visit chill-n-grill.co.uk

The Oast Theatre begins its new season today with two productions from The Oast Youth Theatre, both presenting a portrait of a community’s response to the 1998 murder of Matthew Shepard, a young gay man from Laramie, Wyoming. Both plays are challenging and provocative, both for those performing in them as for the audiences. For more information visit oastyouth.co.uk/laramietickets

>> Saturday
From midday until 4pm today there will be a special Ukuleles gig happening on the bandstand in The Pantiles. Maggie Lou Hannah is staging the concert in aid of the Anthony Nolan charity, which helps saves the lives of people with blood cancers and blood disorders. Maggie Lou has just celebrated her fifth year anniversary of being cancer-free since her transplant was carried out and hopes that as many people as possible will support the event, which also features seven local groups. See www.justgiving.com/fundraising/maggielou-hannah

Popular BBC comic Russell Kane comes to the Assembly Hall at 8pm with his latest show Right Man, Wrong Age. As usual, Kane presents a sharp and brilliantly observant outlook on life and all its quirky foibles. The comedian – who has appeared on BBC Three’s Live from the Electric and ITV’s I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here! – was the first to win the Edinburgh Comedy Award and Melbourne Comedy Festival Barry Award in the same year. For tickets go to www.assemblyhalltheatre.co.uk

Over at the Mercure Hotel in Pembury, there will be an Abba Loves Charity event. Brought to you by one of the country’s leading Abba tribute acts, it aims to raise money for Breast Cancer Care and provide a lively night of entertainment. Cost: £35 per person, per ticket. To book email events@mercuretunbridgewells.co.uk

>> Sunday
The Pantiles Market is on again today. So if you want to stock up on seasonal, regional or gourmet goods and unique buys for your home then make sure you pop along to this twice-monthly event, which sees specialist producers and independent businesses gather together from all over the area.


Today at Bewl Water Bart’s Bash is taking place. This global sailing race happens at hundreds of venues across the world, with thousands of keen sailors and their different types of boats joining in the fundraising fun. The event has been running for the past three years in memory of Andrew ‘Bart’ Simpson, MBE, a double Olympic medallist who sadly died while training for the America’s Cup in 2013. As a result, the Andrew Simpson Foundation was set up to give everyone the chance to sail. For more information visit www.bewlwater.co.uk and www.bartsbash.com

The English Beat, featuring the band’s original frontman Dave Wakeling, perform at The Forum. Fans of the popular late 70s-early 80s Two-Tone group will enjoy hearing their much-loved hits – which include Hands Off… She’s Mine and Mirror in the Bathroom – as well as a raft of new recordings. For tickets and additional information visit www.twforum.co.uk

>> Monday
The Hop Walks continue all this week at Scotney Castle. So if you’re a beer buff, or have an interest in local history, then this is a great way to spend a couple of hours as you’ll get to see how this National Trust property picks its hops, dries and stores them. Each two-hour session finishes with a sampling of Scotney Ale. They run from 11.30am-1.30pm and 2-4pm. For further information visit www.nationaltrust.org.uk/scotney

The Street Photographer exhibition by Andrew Mason continues all this week at Trinity. All the images are shot in black and white and capture both personal, poignant moments and more public ones, which makes for a fascinating insight into human behaviour. For more information visit www.trinitytheatre.net

The Tonbridge Folk Club meets tonight at Ye Olde Chequers pub at 8pm. As usual, any keen singers and musicians are welcome to come along and join in. Steve Turner will be providing the main musical entertainment.

>> Tuesday
Grunts & Grapples is the new exhibition at the Tunbridge Wells Museum. Running until January 14, it has been curated by historian Kerry Purcell and showcases the golden age of British wrestling, which ran from the 1950s to 1990s. Profiling famous names such as Big Daddy and Giant Haystacks, and with all kinds of nostalgic posters, photos and memorabilia, it promises to be an enjoyable display. Open Tuesdays to Saturdays during usual museum opening hours.

Maggie's Plan

Maggie’s Plan is on at Trinity at 2pm and 8pm. Starring Ethan Hawke, Julianne Moore and Greta Gerwig, it’s an offbeat comedy set in New York which centres around Maggie and her various ‘plans’ for creating perfect relationships. How they pan out in the real world is another thing, though… Tickets are priced from £9.50.

Big Outdoor Cinema
Bewl Water
Friday Sept 16-Sunday Sept 18

Dirty Dancing

Starting tonight with that celluloid classic Dirty Dancing, moviegoers can also watch Shutter Island tomorrow and Back to the Future on Sunday – whilst taking in the beautiful surroundings of Bewl.

Gates open at 6.30pm and tickets cost £11 per film. Special ticket and meal deals are available from the Boat House Bistro and One Warwick Park. To find out more information visit www.bewlwater.co.uk/whats-on

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