Outing Guide (April 20 – April 26)


The Times’ Victoria Roberts offers a roundup of this week’s local events and activities…

This year, the Music at Malling festival offers a symbolic fusion of tradition and novelty, with the creation of six “companion” pieces to the six Brandenburg concertos by JS Bach.

Commissioned by festival director Thomas Kemp and performed alongside the ‘original’ concertos, each new piece is a ‘response’ to one of the Bachs by a British composer.

“It’s fantastic that we can once again bring people together in the iconic setting of Malling Abbey to hear the Brandenburg concertos – some of the most famous and influential music ever written – alongside new backing pieces. “, Mr. Kemp said.

The project had been conceived as a contribution to the 300th anniversary of the Brandenburg Concertos, in 2021, but was postponed due to the pandemic.

However, with the festival performances taking place in the 1960s chapel – built from the fabric of the 900-year-old abbey – the setting is a feature of the program that is not dependent on an anniversary.

“The combination of old and new in the Abbey buildings and between the Six Brandenburgs and the Six Commissions makes for a truly fascinating and challenging programme,” he said.

“The new works are written by a fascinating cross-section of composers working in the UK.”

The new pieces are ‘Sequel’ by Brian Elias, ‘The Malling Diamond’ by Michael Price, ‘Illumination’ by Deborah Pritchard, ‘Concerto Grosso’ by Daniel Kidane, ‘Bach Shadows’ by Joseph Phibbs and ‘Gold and Precious Silver’ by Stevie Wishart.

Eventbrite tickets for all three concerts on Saturday, April 23 at noon, 2:30 p.m., and 4:30 p.m.

On stage and on screen

WATCHING on screens and stages large and small, The Times of Tunbridge Wells presents a selected guide for the week ahead.

Experience climate change, mass unemployment, “economic pandemics” and “the rise of global fascism” through the deceptively slow but inexorable delivery pace of comic Reginald D Hunter…and shudder – or laugh. At The Assembly Hall tonight [Wednesday, April 20], at 20 hours. 18 and over only.

The National Theater’s next ‘live screening’ is Shakespeare’s ‘Henry V’, starring Kit Harington as the newly anointed king, dragging England into a bloody war with France. Trinity Theater on Thursday, April 21 at 7 p.m.

Trinity Theater has “An Evening with Gill Sims” this Friday [April 22] at 20 hours. [See the Times interview with Gill, on page 28.]

At the EM Forster Theater (Tonbridge School), Comedy Nights is back, with the UK Comedy Awards, Edinburgh Fringe and University of Kent graduate Laura Lexx appearing ‘Live at the Apollo’ and on ‘Mock the Week “. She’s backed by Michael Odewale, who appeared on “Mock the Week.” Friday, April 22 at 7:30 p.m. 16 years and over.

Riffing on the slogan ‘Take back control’, political comedian Nish Kumar presents his show ‘Your Power, Your Control’ at The Assembly Hall on Sunday [April 24]. Hopefully no one will throw buns, but if you want to know what happened when someone did, you can read the Times interview with Nish on February 9.

Meanwhile, the character of Dr Watson takes the stage at the Trinity Theater on Sunday night, recounting old storylines – oh, a long play indeed – that still darkens London in 1894. Trinity Theater on Sunday April 24 at 7pm.

“Cyrano” de Bergerac lends his inner beauty and poetry to a more handsome man in Roxanne’s court, in this 2021 film starring “Game of Thrones” Peter Dinklage. Trinity Theater tonight [Wednesday, April 20] at 20 hours.

Pine Grove Pictures premieres feel-good musical film ‘Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again’ this Friday [April 22] at the Crowborough Community Centre. The bar opens at 7 p.m. and the movie starts at 8 p.m.

The inspiration changes the lives of the boys at a fictional 1950s New England boarding school and their teacher John Keating – played by Robin Williams in tragic mode. ‘Dead Poets Society’ at Rusthall Community Cinema on Saturday [April 23]. Doors open at 7 p.m.


With one of the best live music scenes in the Southeast, here’s a roundup of some of the best bands and artists performing this week

You might wish you were here (i.e. in the Assembly Hall) tomorrow night [Thursday, April 21] at 7:30 p.m., for the Pink-Floyd-backed “Think Floyd” tribute band, whose show will feature the rock band’s classic catalog, including “Dark Side of the Moon,” “Wish You Were Here,” “The Wall”, “Mind Yourself” and more.

After a breakdown that led to experimentation and, ultimately, creation, new music from Tunbridge Wells musician Isaac Holman arrives at The Forum, the picture of which he had on his wall while composing. Solo act Baby Dave, Friday April 22 at 7:30 p.m. 16 years and over unless accompanied by an adult.

If you’ve had a rough week and want to spend your Friday night Lost in Music, this is exactly the show at The Assembly Hall, music straight from the heart of 1970s disco, with Donna Summer, Gloria Gaynor, Earth, Wind & Fire, Sister Sledge, Chic and more. April 22 at 7:30 p.m.

On at The Gray Lady is the five-piece band Into the Blue, performing the full gamut of genres, from disco and pop, to rock, reggae and ballads, with professional power and refinement. Friday, April 22 at 7:30 p.m.

The Vestry Hall, Cranbrook, will vibrate to the sound of the sirens of The People Versus, a duo of singer-songwriters from Exeter, promising an ABC of anthems, ballads and charm. Friday April 22. Doors open at 7 p.m.

This Saturday [April 23] at 7:30 p.m. comes the delayed appearance of Beardyman, composer and multi-instrumentalist of beatboxing and live looping. Originally slated to appear in October, festival season favorite Beardyman heralds warmer weather at the Forum at the edge of the Common. 16 years and over.

Grammy-winning American hip-hop stars Arrested Development are finally playing their delayed concert at The Forum this Friday [April 22] at 7:30 p.m. New tickets released for this date. Supported by Lees. 16 years and over unless accompanied by an adult.

Family fun

Whether your family is young or old, large or small, there’s plenty to do indoors and outdoors in the coming week, plus some active ideas.

Mindfulness and yoga trainer Lisa Whitehouse is starting weekly parent/carer and baby guided walks at Bedgbury Pinetum, starting next Tuesday, April 26. Not suitable for toddlers or older children. Tickets £10 from Eventbrite, which includes parking in Bedgbury.

Comedy Club 4 Kids is an afternoon suitable for children and families, where the comedians of the circuit present their work to people over six years old. No line-up was available at the time of writing. At the Trinity Theater on Saturday April 23 at 2 p.m.

The Spa Valley Railway is running this weekend, with departures from Tunbridge Wells West (April 23-24). All-day tickets for families and children at spavalleyrailway.co.uk. The Murder Mystery and Fish ‘n’ Chip Supper service departs at 6:15 p.m. on Saturdays.

The Enchanted Forest at Groombridge Place is now open for general admission Wednesday through Sunday (10 a.m. to 5 p.m.), featuring Crusoe’s World, Plank Walk, Fort, Teepees, Canal Walk, and River Boat. The giant chess set is open, but the gardens are being renovated. Birds of prey exhibitions at 12 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. The treetop walkway and swing sets have been removed following a winter safety check.

Hever Castle’s ‘tulip celebrations’ continue until Sunday [April 24]with tours of the garden at 11:30 a.m. and a special opening of the 25-acre Woodland Walk.

The West Kent Social Circle meets at the Hollywood Bowl this Sunday [April 24], to gather new members for seaside trips, escape room challenges, quizzes, dining out, walks, mini-golf and more. Meetings are held on weekends and the second and fourth Tuesdays of the month. Schedule on Facebook.


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