Jump into January! What’s on this month
Fresh theatre, comedy, owls in illuminated woodland, burlesque and more - here's what's on around Hampshire and the Isle of Wight this January
XMAS: Portsmouth on Ice, Guildhall Square, Portsmouth, until Sun 9 Jan 2022
Get your skates on! It’s the last few days of this brrr-illiant pop-up ice rink outside The Guildhall, with push-along penguins for the littlies and show-stopping turns from the talented skate marshalls.
KIDS: Science Dino-mite, Winchester Science Centre, until Sun 16 Jan
Go dino-crazy at the Winchester Science Centre. Turn them into mini paleontologists digging for buried bones in the Dino Dig. A free Science Theatre Science Dino-mite show explores the differences between the many types of dinosaurs that roamed the Earth. And there’s a chance to hold real and replica dinosaur teeth and claws in the Fossil Festival. Roarsome!
DRINK: The Westy Beer Festival, The West End Centre, Aldershot, Thurs 6 – Sat 8 Jan
Not doing dry January this year? ‘Hop’ down to Aldershot’s West End Centre for the annual Westy Beer Festival. Take your pick from over 50 real ales and ciders from brilliant independent breweries. Afterwards, warm up with hot food and live music. Cheers!
KIDS: Robin’s Winter Adventure, Ashcroft Arts Centre, Fareham, Sat 8 Jan
An uplifting tale for January if ever there was one. Robin’s Winter Adventure tells the story of a young boy facing his fears on an incredible journey with a feathered friend. Perfect for littlies age 3+, the adventure is brought to life with puppetry, poetry and music. Sweet.
COMEDY: Ed Byrne – If I’m Honest, New Theatre Royal Portsmouth, Wed 12 Jan
This January, Ed Byrne is at The New Theatre Royal Portsmouth (Wed 12) and The Shanklin Theatre (Sat 22 Jan). In his new show – If I’m Honest – he’ll be taking along hard look at himself to work out if he has ANY traits worth passing on to his children.
EXHIBITION: The Wasp Spider and the Garden Tiger, Andover Museum, Thurs 13 Jan – Sun 27 Feb
This brilliant new free exhibition looks at the legacy of the 18th century naturalist Gilbert White. The pioneering naturalist carried out a 25-year study of the plants and animals at his Selborne home in Hampshire. Used by modern day naturalists, it has helped map environmental change over time. Drawing on White’s findings, this new exhibition at the Andover Museum will illustrate the impact climate change has on plants, animals and insects.
VISIT: Winter Woodland Lights at The Hawk Conservancy Trust, near Andover, Fri 14 – Sun 30 Jan
A great antidote to January blues, the Hawk Conservancy Trust’s woodland will be lit up with colourful illuminations. And of course, the chance to watch a live owl display. Sounds like a hoot!
KIDS: Be a Chorister for an Afternoon, Winchester Cathedral, Sat 22 Jan
Got a son that sings like an angel? Open to any boy in Year 3 who would like to learn more about life as a Chorister at Winchester Cathedral, at this brilliant open event they’ll spend the afternoon singing with the Cathedral’s Music Director. There’s also the chance to visit the Organ Loft, try on a cassock and sing Evensong with the current choristers and meet the team who look after them at The Pilgrims’ School.
COMEDY: Lucy Porter – Be Prepared, Forest Arts, New Milton, Sat 22 Jan
Muddy can relate to Lucy Porter. At Brownies, she thought she’d be prepared for anything as long as she had her emergency 10p for a phone box and knew how to tie a Fisherman’s knot. Like Lucy, we weren’t really ready for the big bad world either. But we’re fully prepared to hear the funny and relatable anecdotes from this brilliant TV and Radio 4 regular. Salute!
WORKSHOP: The Art of Tease, The Ashcroft Arts Centre, Fareham, Sat 22 Jan
Immerse yourself in the wonderful world of Burlesque with the Hundred Watt Club. This 1.5 hour workshop is geared to building and expressing confidence using classic techniques such as the shimmy and the bump ‘n’ grind… Sashay away, ladies!
KIDS: The Smeds and The Smoos, Theatre Royal Winchester, Sat 22 – Sun 23 Jan
On a far-off planet, Smeds and Smoos can’t be friends. But in true Romeo and Juliet style a young Smed and Smoo do fall in love. Julia Donaldson’s gorgeous tale is adapted for the stage by the Tall Stories theatre group, on at The Theatre Royal Winchester this January.
VISIT: The Last Train, The Isle of Wight Steam Railway, Havenstreet, Sun 23 Jan
All aboard the W24 Calbourne steam engine and the newly-restored Ryde Pier Tram. A wonderfully nostalgic day out for Islanders, The Last Train event celebrates the 51st anniversary of The Isle of Wight Steam Railway’s move from Newport to Havenstreet. If you fancy a real Sunday romp you can ‘Walk the Line’, too. The walk recreates the last train ride from Newport following the former trackbed to Wootton, then on by steam train to Havenstreet.
OUTDOORS: Wake-up in the Woods – Sunday Yoga and Brunch, Queen Elizabeth Country Park, near Petersfield, Sun 23 Jan
A great start to any January wellness regime, book a spot on this Sunday morning of yoga and brunch at Queen Elizabeth Country Park. Held in the new QEP woodland centre (no soggy mats if the weather isn’t kind), the 75 minute class is followed by a nutritious brunch.
THEATRE: The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, The Mayflower Theatre Southampton, Sat 25 – Wed 29 Jan
Based on the best-selling novel, this award-winning production started out at the National Theatre and had a lengthy run in the West End. Now coming to the Mayflower this January, Sherlock Holmes and detective fanatic Christopher Curren discovers his neighbour’s dog has been killed – and sets about trying to solve the mystery.
THEATRE: The Ballard of Mulan, The Spring, Havant, Mon 27 Jan
Woman, warrior, legend. Meet the real heroine that inspired Disney’s Mulan in this theatrical search for identity in a violent world. British-Chinese actress Michelle Yim’s third solo-show commission, this under-the-radar production at The Spring will be followed by a post-show chat in the Gallery.
LITERATURE: Pride & Prejudice Day, online via Zoom from Jane Austen’s House, Chawton, Fri 28 Jan
“They walked on, without knowing in what direction. There was too much to be thought, and felt, and said, for attention to any other objects.” The ultimate classic, Pride & Prejudice was published over 200 years ago on 28 January 1813. Join fans from around the world in the first annual celebration of it’s publication with a day of online chat and events: the Virtual Book Club, The Bennet Sisters’ (Virtual) guide to Jane Austen’s House and the virtual ‘Pride & Prejudice’ Tour.
WORKSHOP: Introduction to Art Appreciation, God’s House Tower, Southampton, Fri 28 Jan
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. This Introduction to Art Appreciation will tutor how to read landscape paintings, from 17th century Dutch landscapes and works by Constable and Turner to impressionist masterpieces.