EVENT: DarkFest, Portsmouth, Tue 22 Oct – Sun 11 Nov
Bringing the spooky Halloween season into November and beyond is Portsmouth’s annual DarkFest. Investigating, and celebrating, the creepy and the macabre history of the seafaring city, there’s a programme of theatre productions, panels and discussions about the supernatural allowing you to keep the fear going for a little bit longer.
FESTIVAL: New Forest Food and Drink Week, Mon 29 Oct – Sun 4 Nov
Fresh locally produced food? Organic hand-reared meat? Lots and lots of gin? Errr, sign me up, please! The New Forest Food and Drink comes to a crescendo on the first weekend of November and we couldn’t be happier. With events such as Sway’s Sausage Week and the chance to take afternoon tea in an adorable little-thatched cottage, there’s plenty of gourmet exploring to be done.
FOOD: Glenfiddich Dinner, The Brasserie, Farnborough, Fri 2 Nov
This is one for those who are fond of an unusual tipple. For £100 per person, you’ll be treated to a carefully curated, sumptuous three-course dinner at Aviator’s The Brasserie. With each dish, you will be able to pair it with a glass of a special limited edition Glenfiddich single malt. Each one has been carefully crafted and, after this evening, will no longer be available to buy. Very exclusive.
CULTURE: Live art with Sian Storey, THAT Gallery, Basingstoke, Sat 3 Nov
As much as we love art and beautiful paintings, it can be so easy to forget how much work and talent can go into them. This weekend, remind yourself about just how ruddy talented artists can be as Sian Storey does a live painting event in Basingstoke’s Festival Place gallery. Sian’s well-known for her beautiful nature scenes (just look at those colours!) and you can see exactly how much work goes into the things that hang on your walls.
FILM: Winchester Short Film Festival, Sat 3 Nov – Sat 10 Nov
Cannes? Sundance? Nahhhh, if you’re a fan of film it’s got to be Winchester. With auteurs descending from across the world to present and discuss short features, this is definitely the spot for you culture vultures this week. There are screenings in various locations and include titles such as Meat Juice, Lady (including The Crown’s Amy Doyle) and the fascinating-sounding, Excuse me, I’m looking for the ping-pong table and my girlfriend. You grab the popcorn!
THEATRE: Joanna Lumley – It’s All About Me, Portsmouth Guildhall, Sun 4 Nov
She’s a national treasure, Girl Friday and, of course, the legendary Patsy Stone. Joanna Lumley is heading to Portsmouth this weekend to tell an enthralled audience that it’s all about her on her 30-day tour around the country. As well as getting a chance to glimpse the pragmatic diva, she’s bound to provide some witty insight and fun tales of her years in the biz in her one-woman show.
THEATRE: War Horse at Winchester Cathedral, Wed 7 Nov
War Horse is a moving and heartbreaking tale of a horse (from the Isle of Wight, no less) and his experiences in the Great War. The film, directed by Steven Spielberg and based on the 1982 novel of the same name, is receiving a special screening at Winchester Cathedral to commemorate the centenary since the end of the First World War.
EVENT: Autumn Colour Walk, Furzey Gardens, Minstead, Thu 8 Nov
Ahhh autumn! With its bright colours and changing foliage, there really isn’t anything better than a good autumnal stroll. In fact, Furzey Gardens have a made a whole event out of it. Take this guided tour, led by the head gardener, around the grounds and enjoy all the sights, sounds and smells of this time of year.
THEATRE: Nik Bärtsch’s Ronin, Turner Sims Concert Hall, Fri 9 Nov
You may not have heard of Nik Bärtsch, but along with his ‘zen-funk quartet” Ronin, he’s heading to Southampton this November to share his latest release. So, if you like “dynamic precision, tessellated grooves and balletic minimalism” (yeah, we’re not quite sure either but it sounds pretty fancy and probably well paired with a glass or two of vino) then this is the concert for you.
DANCE: Hofesh Shechter SHOW, Nuffield Southampton Theatre City, Fri 9 – Sat 10 Nov
Internationally acclaimed choreograph Hofesh Shechter brings SHOW to Southampton this weekend. This dance spectacular is a macabre circus act that incorporates wild, tribalesque dance with elements of a rock concert, which sounds like a pretty good night out to us!
THEATRE: Audience with Gazza, Kings Theatre, Fri 9 Nov
Thinking a bit outside the box here, but we quite like the sound of this evening with the infamous Paul Gascgoine. Discussing everything from his football glory days, his personal demons and maybe a bit about *that* particular fishing rod and chicken incident. Even if you’re not a football fan this bound to be an eye-opening evening.
FILM: Southampton Film Week, Fri 9 – 19 Nov
Nine days celebrating cinematographer prowess? It can only mean the 11th annual Southampton Film Week. The programme is filled with screenings, live shows and workshops. One definite highlight is the screening of 1927’s dystopian masterpiece, Metropolis, complete with a live score.
MUSIC: Red Hot Chilli Pipers, The Harlington, Fleet, Sat 10 Nov
And now for something COMPLETELY different. Forget every cover band you’ve seen because The Red Hot Chilli Pipers bring their own blend of …well, bagpipe action to some of our favourite musical classics. Expect bagpipe-jacked renditions of songs by Prodigy, Snow Patrol and, yes, The Red Hot Chilli Peppers. It may not be to everybody’s tastes (or sound levels) but I bet it’ll be something that will leave a lasting impression. Fun fact, apparently Sir Paul McCartney is a big fan.
MUSIC: City of Southampton Orchestra, Sat 10 Nov
To celebrate the centenary of the end of World War I, the City of Southampton Orchestra is hosting a special evening of music that features scores by Elgar, Ravel, Elkington and Vaughan Williams. Each piece has been selected for its relevance to the era (Ravel’s piece was composed specifically for a war-wounded friend) and will provide a thought-provoking evening for reflection, as well as a chance to enjoy the orchestra’s great talent.
COMEDY: Chris Ramsey, Kings Theatre, Sat 10 Nov
This cheeky Sandancer (that’s the term for someone from South Shields, doncha know) is bringing his routine down to Portsmouth for a side-splitting evening. Expect hilarity about Geordie accents, family life and the world around in a rather adorable accent on his “Just Happy To Get Out of the House” tour.
FESTIVAL: Isle of Wight Ukelele Festival, Fri 9 – Sun 11 Nov
Ready to get strumming? You’d better be, because the Isle of Wight is going to be rammed (rammed I tell you!) with ukelele plucking maestros this weekend. As well as some southern-styled bluegrass feels, there are workshops on songwriting, vocals and a host of amazing acts to check out if you pop to the Island this weekend.
SHOPPING: Emsworth Antiques Fair, Sun 11 Nov
If you’re in the vicinity, then swing by Emsworth for their monthly antique fair this weekend. This is the place for a good rummage to find a gem, and who knows you might even get lucky and pick up a previously lost Picasso sketch. Next stop, Sotheby’s!
MUSIC: Seasick Steve, O2 Guildhall Southampton, Mon 12 Nov
Bringing his one-string diddley bow all the way to the south coast of England, Seasick Steve will be entertaining the folks of Southampton for one night only and we’ll be thigh-slapping our way throughout.
THEATRE: Gordon Buchanan – Animal Families and Me, Theatre Royal Winchester, Mon 12 Nov
Presenter Gordon Buchanan is known for his amazing wildlife videography and for presenting BBC’s Animal Family, and is bringing his tales of adorable (and sometimes a bit scary) animals to the stage in Winchester this week. Come listen to him chat about his experiences and globetrotting life.
THEATRE: SIX, Nuffield Southampton Theatre Campus, Tue 13 – Sat 17 Nov
I’ve always been a big fan of the Tudor period and SIX is a cracking retelling of Henry VIII’s marital exploits. Bringing the drama and soap-operaesque tales of Henners’ wives firmly into the 21st century, the cast is heading to Southampton to give you the lowdown on the fickle king – complete with a rocking beat.
THEATRE: Evita, Kings Theatre, Tue 13 – Sat 17 Nov
Don’t cry for me… Southsea? Er, not quite, but the fabulous cast of Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber’s stunning Evita is making its way down to Portsmouth this week. Bringing along with it a star-studded cast, you’ll be able to experience the tale of Eva Perón, wife of former Argentine dictator Juan Perón, with its famous score and beautiful visuals live on stage.
THEATRE: Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, Haymarket, Basingstoke, Wed 14 Nov – 24 Nov
Oooh, we love a bit of feel-good flamboyance and Priscilla is THE epitome of this. Featuring some beloved classics such as It’s Raining Men and Girls Just Wanna Have Fun, the aisles of The Haymarket will be buzzing with this uplifting story.
THEATRE: Queen Extravaganza, Portsmouth Guildhall, Thu 15 Nov
Freddie lives! With the whole world remembering this moustachioed marvel with the release of Bohemian Rhapsody, it couldn’t be a better time for Queen Extravaganza to play Portsmouth Guildhall. This official tribute act (which actually includes Brian May and Roger Taylor themselves) will be playing the greatest hits of the tour de force that is Queen. They will certainly rock you.
EVENT: Winchester Christmas Light Switch on, Thu 15 Nov
It’s beginning to look a lot like…. Christmas. There, I said it. Before you start panicking about the mountain of shopping, wrapping and cooking that’s coming up, head into Winchester for the rather lovely British tradition of the Christmas switch-on in England’s unofficial ‘Christmas Capital’. You’ll be feeling festive before you know it (and I bet there’ll be some mulled wine knocking about too!)
People flock from far and wide to head to Winchester for the Christmas season, and we’re lucky enough to have it right on our doorstep. For the original and, arguably, the best Christmas market in the country make sure you head to the cathedral. Mulled wine in one hand and gingerbread in the other, you can well and truly get the Christmas-feels on. We’re game.