What’s On With The Times

    Hairy Maclary

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    SEVEN DAYS OF SOCIAL ACTIVITIES AT A GLANCE

    >> Wednesday
    Watch artists at work in the extensive, stunning grounds of Riverhill Himalayan Gardens at their special Art In The Garden event. Or why not have a go yourself at doing some landscape painting and make the most of the experts on hand to advise and guide you? Normal entrance prices of £5.75 for children and £7.75 for adults apply. www.riverhillhimalayangardens.co.uk

    If you love classic cars then head to Chiddingstone Castle this morning, which is holding a Best In the West Kent Veteran Car Club Run from 10am – 12.30pm.

    Funny Money continues all week until Saturday at the Oast Theatre in Tonbridge. It’s a classic, fast-paced farce written by king of this theatrical genre, Ray Cooney, that’ll have audiences giggling all the way through. For tickets and further information visit: www.oasttheatre.com

    Get Out of My Space (Gooms) is a production company set up by former pupils at Skinners’ School and they will be performing their new theatre offering, Hymns, over the next three nights at the Beacon. The story focuses around four friends who meet in the pub after the funeral of their best friend, but the wake soon turns into a fascinating discourse that ranges from football to cars and girls. Tickets cost £10, £7 for students and can be upgraded by £5 to include food. Visit www.facebook.com/goomsproductions

    >> Thursday
    Children’s favourite scruffy dog Hairy Maclary, who is the star of a series of successful books about his crazy antics with four-legged chums Hercules Morse, Bottomley Potts and Schnitzel Von Krumm, comes to the Assembly Hall at 1.30pm. Bringing the amusing books brilliantly to life, this is a show that will appeal to all ages thanks to its lively canine characters and mix of music and mayhem. Tickets cost £9 per child and £10 per adult. For more information visit www.assemblyhalltheatre.co.uk

    Leefest: The Neverland music festival kicks off tonight at a secret location near Tunbridge Wells. This is the tenth anniversary of the now famous festival, which started off as a secret garden gig hosted by Lee Denny in his parents’ garden. This year’s event is bigger than ever, with acts such as Everything Everything, Lianne La Havas and Tunbridge Wells’ very own The Bay Rays performing – see here for our exclusive interview with the band. For more info visit www.leefest.org

    Soak up the summer sun with a trip to Jazz on the Pantiles. This week sees the lively Latin outfift Quinto taking to the bandstand.

    >> Friday
    Tonight the St John’s three-day Beer, Cider and Music Festival kicks off. Youth will play on Friday night and Alex Wallace (of Sunday Sessions at The Forum) is DJ-ing on Saturday. On Sunday afternoon, a number of Forum artists and bands will play so keep your fingers crossed for sunshine!

    Chilled in a Field Festival

    Festival fever continues over the weekend with family friendly Chilled in a Field happening at the Hop Farm. Geared towards families having fun out in the sun, there’ll be lots of cool music from the likes of Secret Sessions and The Egg, plus glitter wrestling, glamping, free family theatre shows and hot showers! To book tickets visit www.chilledinafieldfestival.co.uk

    Can’t stand the thought of standing in a – possibly – muddy field in order to appreciate music? Then head along to the Spa hotel this evening at 8pm as their resident jazz singer Lesley Alexander will be performing some classic numbers to ease you into the weekend. For more information visit www.spahotel.co.uk

    >> Saturday
    From 12 noon today The Mark Cross Inn Garden Party takes place, running right up until midnight. As well as musicians including Nate Austin and Paul Day playing throughout the day, there will also be a Pimm’s and cocktail tent, a barbecue and face painting for the children who will love dashing about the pub’s glorious garden. Entrance is free. See www.themarkcross.co.uk

    At 7.30pm the Changeling Theatre company will put on a performance of All’s Well That Ends Well at Tonbridge Castle. One of Shakespeare’s lesser-known plays, it’s the tale of Bertram and Helen, who were brought up together as son and ward of a countess. Helen, however, has fallen in love with her ‘brother’ but he, given her ward status, considers her to be lower class. Will her love be requited? Book tickets, priced from £20, to find out. www.changeling-theatre.com

    Stand-up fans will be pleased to hear the Mercure hotel in Pembury is hosting a Comedy Night from 7.30pm. Guests will enjoy a two-course meal followed by an evening of laughs courtesy of Gerry K, Jason Simmons and Del Strain & MC Emmanuel. Put on by Jokers Comedy, the evening costs £25 per person. For more information visit www.mercuretunbridgewells.co.uk

    >> Sunday
    Throughout the school holidays Penshurst Place will be hosting a season of Summer Sundays. There will be a variety of events happening, including live storytelling sessions performed by Aardvark Productions at 2pm each Sunday and stunning falconry displays by the Hawking Centre. Keen gardeners can discover all about the house’s grand grounds courtesy of an exhibition in the Old Coach House. See www.penshurstplace.com

    The Forum’s Unfest Sessions have become a Sunday staple over the past few months. If you haven’t been then head along today and experience the sociable mix of poetry readings, table tennis, music and good food on offer. www.twforum.co.uk

    The Vintage Fair continues on The Pantiles today, so if you love to rock a little retro chic or to unearth a unique buy for your home then make sure you’re browsing some of its inspiring stalls.

    >> Monday
    Haysden Park in Tonbridge offers 64 hectares of large parkland with fishing, sailing and boating. It’s also had a £50,000 children’s playground and picnic area created which now gives it all the attributes for a top day out that won’t break the bank. For more information visit www.tmbc.co.uk

    Alice Through the Looking Glass

    Trinity Theatre has two good films on offer today. Starring Johnny Depp, Helena Bonham Carter, Anne Hathaway and Stephen Fry, Alice Through the Looking Glass is a colourful reworking of Lewis Carroll’s classic children’s novel, which sees Alice trying to save the Mad Hatter and Wonderland from a terrible fate by travelling through time. Tickets cost from £6 and the screening is at 5pm.

    Miles Ahead

    The second film is Miles Ahead, a biopic of the legendary jazz musician Miles Davis which stars, but has also been produced and directed by, actor Don Cheadle. It’s garnered lots of very positive praise from critics and music fans alike and also stars Ewan McGregor. Showing is at 8pm and tickets are priced from £9.50. www.trinitytheatre.net

    >> Tuesday
    The Trail of The Tudors six-mile bike ride will take you on a traffic-free route from Tonbridge Castle to the magnificent Penshurst Place via parts of the River Medway along the way. It’s a brilliant day out for keen cyclists of all ages. To download the map go to www.explorekent.org

    Revelling in Flowers is a drop-in session which runs from 11am to 2.30pm today. Taking place on the field by the skate park in Grosvenor and Hilbert Park – or in the new Hub if wet – visitors can learn how to press flowers and create fancy floral displays.

    Dedicated fishermen will enjoy the challenge set by Bewl Water’s Golden Trout Competition. One lucky angler could win £2,500 if they manage to catch the specially tagged golden trout that’s been released into the reservoir. Although it may sound fairly easy, there are over 27,000 other fish to wade through so best of luck! A day’s fishing starts at £12 and boat hire costs £18. For more information visit www.bewlwater.co.uk

    Taylor Talbot Gallery in Tonbridge holds collaborative workshops for fledging artists and enables them to use their services and resources. They are holding a private view this evening so pop along if you’re interested in working with them or would just like to enjoy the artwork on offer.

    PICK OF THE WEEK

    National Trust Bodiam Castle
    Knights and Princesses Academy July 27 – August 25

    Knights and Princesses Academy

    How will you fare on the training to become a knight or princess of Bodiam Castle? Every Wednesday and Thursday from July 27 – August 25 there will be sessions at 11.30am, 12.30pm, 2pm & 3pm. In the 45-minute academy you’ll receive all the training you need from sword fighting for the knights to dancing and deportment for the princesses. You will also get to try on some pieces from our costume and armour collection.

    www.nationaltrust.org.uk/bodiam-castle