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Local arts and culture planner 2022

Get ahead with gig dates and theatre bookings with your 2022 must-see arts and culture planner for Hampshire and the Isle of Wight

Welcome to your arts and culture planner 2022. Read on for a curated pick of the best live music, exhibitions, film releases and theatre for the year ahead.

There’s an insane amount of exciting stuff on the bill around Hampshire and the Isle of Wight, so we’ve paired it right down to the highlights. Save the date or get in early and book the best seats for the hottest shows now. Happy choosing, culture vultures!

Gigs and festivals

Look out for big hitters from the music world at Chewton Glen in the New Forest this July. We’re talking Tears for Fears, McFly, Olly Murs and Michael Bublé! Before that Sophie Ellis-Bextor’s Kitchen Disco comes to the Anvil, Basingstoke, in March, followed by Jools Holland in May. Also in May, The Killers play St. Mary’s Stadium Southampton. Phew!

Laura Wright Opera Singer Park Proms

The 2021 Isle of Wight Festival returned with a bang and a bloody nose for Liam Gallagher, who apparently fell out of a helicopter after his headline gig. No guarantee of rock ‘n’ roll antics in 2022 but the brilliant Lewis Capaldi, Lionel Richie, Kasabian, Pete Tong and Muse are all confirmed.

Nothing definite yet for the boutique Rhythmtree festival, postponed to 8 – 10 July 2022. But the whopping 120 live acts lined up for 2021 included The Wailers, Badly Drawn Boy and The Skatlatites as headliners, so one to watch.

Another 2021 cancellation hotly anticipated for a 2022 return, Park Proms in Romsey from Friday 26 August. A classical and pop combo, it’ll open with Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra. Also performing are Welsh baritone Aled Jones and the gorgeous English soprano Laura Wright (above).

Acts just confirmed for the always awesome Victorious festival – also 26 – 28 August – include Stereophonics, James and The Sugarbabes. And on the same weekend, there’s Rag ‘n’ Bone Man at CarFest South. What a dilemma!

Art appreciation

In the city, Southampton City Art Gallery will host an open exhibition by local artists and residents. Winning works on the theme ‘what does culture mean to you’ will go on display from 2 July – 10 September.

There will be beautiful local landscapes by W H Allen, too, at his namesake Allen Gallery in Alton, in the exhibition From Dawn to Dusk, from 15 Jan to 19 March.

Film highlights

We’re looking out for a hit list of long awaited blockbuster action movies. In March, Robert Pattinson turns caped crusader, starring alongside Zoë Kravitz as cat woman in The Batman. In May, we’ll finally get to see Top Gun: Maverick, a mere 30 years on from the original. And Jurassic World: Dominion follows shortly after in June.

Fans of The Grand Budapest Hotel should also look out for 2021 Cannes-hit, The French Dispatch at The Spring, Havant on 6 April. Set in the offices of a weekly magazine in a fictional French town it stars Bill Murray, Saoirse Ronan, Willem Dafoe and Tilda Swinton.

Where to watch: Make it a more boutique outing at one of our indie cinemas. We love No. 6 Cinema in Portsmouth, Harbour Lights Southampton, The Everyman Cinema in Winchester, The Commodore Cinema in Ryde, The Palace Cinema in Alton, NightFlix in Bordon. The brand new Living Room Cinema in Liphook is also set to open in early 2022.

Terrific theatre

The Tiger who came to Tea Theatre Royal Winchester arts and culture planner 2022 Hampshire

There’s so much to look forward to all around Hampshire and on the Island theatre-wise. Highlights for littlies include Judith Kerr’s Tiger Who came to Tea (above) in April.

Local heroine Florence Nightingale has her Lesser Known Life and Legacy brought to life by Louise Jordan at The West End Theatre in Aldershot on 9 March.

Also in March, we can’t wait for this adaptation of Mary Shelly’s gothic masterpiece (above). See Frankenstein from 24 to 26 March at The Theatre Royal Winchester.

From 14 – 18 April, The Shanklin Theatre will turn into fifteenth century Paris in a new production of The Hunchback of Notre Dame. In October (19 – 23), Dead Lies at the King’s Theatre Portsmouth is set during a fierce election campaign, with murder, scandal and sexual indiscretion. Standard stuff for politics, really.

Opera buff? There’ll be a modern take on Butterfly’s famous story too at The Mayflower Theatre Southampton on 14 May.

The Russian State Opera bring the emotional opera, Aida, to The Shanklin Theatre on 7 April and The New Theatre Royal Portsmouth on 8 April. Later in the year, The Russian State Ballet and Opera House perform Swan Lake on Sun 27 Nov at The New Theatre Royal Portsmouth and The Nutcracker on 24 November at Anvil Arts, Basingstoke.


Tipped for Oscar nominations, here’s two very different coming of age dramas to look out for this January. Licorice Pizza is a big-hearted story set in 1970s LA. It nostalgically portrays the friendship between a 25-year-old woman and a teenage boy. Closer to home, a semi-autobiographical film written and directed by Kenneth Branagh. Belfast stars Judi Dench and Jamie Dornan and tells the story of a family torn apart by the Troubles.

Soul II Soul play at Portsmouth Guildhall in Feb.

Enjoy art – but find yourself a bit baffled by it? Turn yourself into a buff in an afternoon at Southampton’s God’s House Tower. The one day course on Fri 28 Jan is an Introduction to Art Appreciation. It will tutor how to read landscape paintings, from 17th century Dutch landscapes and works by Constable and Turner to impressionist masterpieces.

At the Willis Museum and Sainsbury Gallery in Basingstoke, artist K. T. Onslow’s depictions of landscape and sky (above), inspired by the landscape in Cliddesden, Hampshire, will feature from 8 Jan – 12 Feb.

Highlights for littlies include Robin’s Winter Adventure at the Ashcroft Arts Centre on Sat 8 Jan, an uplifting tale with puppetry, poetry and music. Later in the month, on Sat 22 and Sun 23, Julia Donaldson’s alien Romeo and Juliet tale, The Smed’s and The Smoo’s is at The Theatre Royal Winchester

Puccini’s Madama Butterfly, starring Korean soprano Elena Dee, is at The King’s Theatre Portsmouth on Sat 19 Feb 2022 (above).

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