THEATRE: Avenue Q, Kings Theatre, Portsmouth, Fri 25 Jan – Sat 2 Feb
Who said puppets were just for kids? The celebrated and award-winning show Avenue Q is coming to the Kings Theatre this month and is rammed to the rafters with super naughty jokes and plenty of puppet fun.
FAMILY: The Great Brick Safari, RHS Garden Wisley, Sat 26 Jan – Sun 3 Mar
If you go down to the woods today… make sure not to step on any Lego. The landscape of RHS Garden Wisley, is transformed for the next month with the addition of some rather unusual statues. With gorillas and all manner of creatures in the medium of brick, The Great Brick Safari is a chance to get some fresh air and amuse the kids at the same time.
CULTURE: Leonard da Vinci: A Life in Drawing, Southampton Art Gallery, 1 Feb – 6 May
One of the original greats, Da Vinci was famed for his artistry and vision, much of it years ahead of its time. His work and legacy are heading to Southampton with a special exhibition of 12 of his drawings, each one representing a big part of his life’s work.
FAMILY: Guildhall Games Fest, Portsmouth Guildhall, Sat 2 Feb
Geek alert! If you have a slight soft spot for Mario Kart or all things superhero-y, then a visit to the Guildhall Games Fest is a must. With board games, video games and a whole lot of people dressed up, it’s bound to be bonkers and win you some brownie points from the kids.
DANCE: Anton & Erin, Mayflower Theatre, Southampton, Sun 3 Feb
Get ready to shimmy, as dance’s best-loved couple hot-steps their way onto the stage at the Mayflower. With stunning choreography, from a range of West End shows, it’s almost enough to get you on your feet… well, almost.
WORKSHOP: Health & Wellbeing Day, The Point, Eastleigh, Sun 3 Feb
January may be over, but if you’re still well and truly on the health-kick wagon then swing The Point this weekend for their Health & Wellbeing Day. With taster sessions of everything from Feldenkrais (that’s an exercise all based on posture) and Barre Fusion, you could find your next favourite hobby, or even just feel a bit smug you’ve not spent Sunday hiding under the covers.
CULTURE: Chinese New Year Extravaganza, Portsmouth Guildhall, Sun 3 Feb
Celebrate the Year of the Pig with the Chinese New Year celebrations at Portsmouth Guildhall this week. With traditional dance, amazing costumes and probably the odd dragon or two, it’s a good excuse to party like it’s 2019.
ACTIVITY: Handstand Workshop, Elite Bodyworks, Basingstoke, Sun 3 Feb
Personally, I struggle to touch my toes, so the thought of doing a handstand is far beyond my reach. However, this weekend in Basingstoke under the tutelage of Kuba Jursza, he’ll have you walking on your hands in no time. Helping with posture and balance, he’ll guide you through and have your new party trick perfected in a heartbeat.
SHOPPING: Vintage Kilo Sale, Southampton, Sun 3 Feb
If you fancy a good old rummage around this weekend, then check out the ever-popular vintage kilo sale as it returns to Southampton. Here you can sift through retro garb, hunting for hidden gems and pay for what the whole lot weighs. A bit of patience is required with this one.
FOOD & DRINK: Winchester Cocktail Week 2019, Mon 4 – Sun 10 Feb
A week celebrating all things cocktail? Where do I sign up? Winchester’s Cocktail Week is a gem of the calendar and gets all the local outfits involved. From super special concoctions at The Ivy and a class all about Bombay Sapphire ‘Activation’ (yep, no idea but it sounds fun) this is a super cultural excuse to have a drink or three.
THEATRE: The Girl On The Train, Mayflower Theatre, Tues 5 – Sat 9 Feb
Oh, why hello, Samantha Womack. Fancy seeing you here. The Girl On The Train has won international acclaim since it was first released as a novel and has all the elements of a jolly good thriller/mystery. Watch as the world of Rachel Watson untangles as a woman she has secretly been watching (errr, ok then Rachel…) disappears and she finds herself a witness to a potential crime.
TALK: Dan Snow: An Evening With the ‘History Guy’, Princes Hall, Aldershot, Wed 6 Feb
Fancy an evening of history with a rather handsome gent? If that’s the case, then lets head back a few millennia with Mr Dan Snow. As a TV presenter and avid historian, Dan is known for delivering fascinating facts and insight into bygone eras, and will explain what’s its like to be the ‘History Guy’.
COMEDY: Tom Lucy, The Spring Arts Centre, Havant, Mon 11 Feb
One of the stars of Comedy Central’s epic Roast Battle, Tom Lucy is heading to Havant bringing his tongue in cheek style of comedy to a Hampshire audience. As well as his scathing view on life, he also holds the title of being one of the youngest comedians on the professional circuit.
THEATRE: The Full Monty, Mayflower Theatre, Southampton, Mon 11 – Sat 16 Feb
You can leave your hat on! Well, it is frightfully chilly at the moment, but things will definitely be hotting up as The Full Monty heads to Southampton this week. What else is there to say except its a heart-warming story about the trials and tribulations of making ends meet, with some added err… nudity. Starring Hollyoaks old schoolers Gary Lucy, James Redmond, Kai Owen and Dinnerladies, Andrew Dunn, this is bound to be full-frontally fab.
CULTURE: The Darktown Valentine’s Cabaret, Aspex Gallery Gunwharf, Portsmouth, Thurs 14 Feb
An alternative spin to the day of red roses and boxes of chocolates, as Portsmouth’s Aspex Gallery holds an evening of poetry, music, film and Art Bingo. Performers on the night include illustrator Jonny Hannah (also known as Monsieur McHulot) and his band of King Toad, Dog in a Dress and The Queen of Darktown. Definitely a quirky one.
FOOD & DRINK: Free Prosecco Afternoon Tea, Rosebourne Garden Centre, Weyhill, Thurs 14 Feb
If you want an extra bit of fancy in your Valentine’s Day, then pop to the rather lovely Rosebourne for their special Valentine’s Afternoon Tea. Not only can you use it as an excuse to eat cake (though, do we really need an excuse) each tea comes with two free glasses of prosecco. Be still my beating heart!
POP UP: KemptonBranson Pop Up, KemptonBranson HQ, Fri 15 Feb
New season can only mean one thing – new clothes! KemptonBranson are bringing two worlds together with their brand new collection, #whentownmeetsbeach. Think ankle boots and jeans, trainers and scarves. Get there quick and get all the good stuff!
COMEDY: Jacqui Squallows’ Valentines Show, Woods Kitchen, Ventnor, Fri 15 Feb
Valentines? Meh. Galentines? You what? Enter Jacqui Swallows with her one-woman show (and a 5-course meal), She’s Got 99 Problems, But Your S*** Ain’t One. This blistering self-help comedy show will help you sort the wheat from the plastic roses and provide a spot of entertainment that cuts through the schmaltz.
THEATRE: Joan Collins – Unscripted, The Anvil Arts, Basingstoke, Fri 15 Feb
The epitome of glam, Joan Collins is gliding into Basingstoke this weekend for an evening of stories and (hopefully salacious) secrets from her decades’ long career. There’s also a chance to ask the Dynasty star a question, so make it a good one!
FAMILY: Spirit of the Orient – Electric Woods, Robin Hill, Fri 15 – Sat 23 Feb
Robin Hill may not be completely back open after the winter season just yet, but it’s opening its gates for a special celebration of light and Chinese Culture as the Electric Woods get a Spirit of the Orient makeover. Things to watch out for are the 12-metre long dragon procession, Chinese street food stalls and digital dancing lion show.
THEATRE: Joe Black’s House of Burlesque, Kings Theatre Portsmouth, Sat 16 Feb
For those with a darker sense of humour and fun, Joe Black’s House of Burlesque is one not to be missed. Joe’s irreverent (and sometimes toe-curling comedy) will have you stifling the guiltiest of giggles, and his band of burlesque performers will you have you agog in a sea of nipple tassels and sequins. Be warned though, I once attended and half the audience left at the interval because it was so rude (in a good way though!)
HERITAGE: Snowdrop Sunday at Chawton House, Sun 17 Feb
For a slightly more wholesome (if a tiny bit chilly) experience, then visit Chawton House this weekend to admire the rather lovely carpets of snowdrops that signal the end of winter. Snowdrop Sunday is a big event across the UK and nowhere is more beautiful to spend it than the Elizabethan powerhouse that is Chawton.
DANCE: Matthew Bourne’s Swan Lake, Mayflower Theatre, Tues 19 – Sat 23 Feb
Our Muddy ed-in-chief adores Matthew Bourne, and she really rated Swan Lake when it visited near Muddy HQ last year. This retelling of the classic ballet love story is super sharp, super slick and a brilliant gateway production for those who don’t know how to lace a pair of satin slippers.
THEATRE: The Shy Manifesto, Portsmouth Guildhall, Wed 20 Feb
In Portsmouth’s newest performance space, The Guildhall Studio, The Shy Manifesto is all about our understated hero Callum and his quest for self-restraint. Celebrating the introverts, the quiet ones and the ones who ‘just don’t like to make a fuss’, it stars Theo Ancient (from Harry Potter and the Cursed Child) for a nice mid-week culture break.
FOOD & DRINK: Cookery class with Masterchef winner Shelina Permalloo, The Myers Touch, Winchester, Wed 20 Feb
What happens when you take one whizzy kitchen design showroom and add in a celebrated Masterchef winner, local restaurateur and eager audience? If you’re curious then swing by The Myers Touch in Winchester where Shelina Permalloo will be sharing her secrets for fantastic dishes and you get to eat all the food too. Yay!
MUSIC: Peter Andre, O2 Guildhall, Southampton, Sat 23 Feb
It’s 90s throwback time and the Ozzie who adorned many a teenage girl’s walls (ahem) is visiting Southampton to bring a bit of Insania (that’ll never get old) to Hants. Mr Andre will be chirping out tunes such as Mysterious Girl, Flava plus a few new ones as well.
WORKSHOP: Talk on Colour with Farrow & Ball, The Myers Touch, Winchester, Tues 26 Feb
When is a colour not just a colour? When it’s a Farrow & Ball colour, of course! The experts from the iconic British brand will be nipping into Winchester to chat about what makes a room really stand out when picking paint and will help you to choose between Lamp Room Grey, Manor House Grey or my favourite, Arsenic, for your walls.
THEATRE: KIN, The Point, Eastleigh, Thurs 28 Feb – Fri 1 March
Tumbling, twirling, whizzing and whirling, the 5-piece circus troupe, Barely Methodical Troupe, bring all the fun and spectacle of the big top with a huge dose of theatrical emotion. Definitely not one to miss.
WORKSHOP: Silver Earring Workshop, Queen Charlotte Inn, Andover – Thurs 28 Feb
Slip down to Andover to create not one, but two, pairs of ear candy by your own fair hand. Fiona from Jewellery Moves will guide you through exactly what you need to do to make your very own handmade silver earrings.
FAMILY: Nick Sharratt’s Right Royal Drawalong, The Berry Theatre, Sat 20 April
If you think his artwork is super familiar, you would be right. Nick Sharrat’s illustrations have adorned the front covers of Dame Jacqueline Wilson’s classic books such as Tracy Beaker and The Suitcase Kid, as well as many more authors. This special event at The Berry Theatre gives kids a chance to draw with Nick, learn his techniques and come up with their very own magical creations.
FESTIVAL: Dogstival, Pylwell Park, Sat 18- Sun 19 May
Forget big bands and glowsticks – doggie treats and squeaky toys are where it’s at. Tipped to be the best day of a dog’s life, Dogstival is a brand new event for 2019 that is set to entertain your four-legged friends as much as you in the Spring. With food and drink, activities, a vintage fair and celeb guest host, Chris Packham, this is bound to be a woofing outrageous event.
FESTIVAL: Isle of Wight Festival, Newport, Thurs 14 – Sun 16 June
Now in its 50th year, the Isle of Wight festival returns to kick off the summer season of the festival calendar. With huge acts planned such as Biffy Clyro, Bastille, Lily Allen and Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds, it’s bound to be bigger and better than ever in this milestone year.