Mon 20 - Sun 26 May
THEATRE: Anthony Horowitz’s Mindgame, The Haymarket, Basingstoke, Mon 20 – Wed 22 May
If you’re a fan of theatre that will leave you scratching your head, Anthony Horowitz’s (Foyle’s War, New Blood, Alex Rider, and Sherlock Holmes novels House of Silk and Moriarty) West End show, Mindgame, will certainly leave you feeling perplexed this week. Follow the tale of a true crime writer, Mark Styler as he meets killers and those who are equally – if not as obviously – dangerous.
MUSIC: Lauran Hibberd, Southampton Joiners, Tue 21 May
Lauran Hibberd, born and raised on the Isle of Wight has been making a name for herself of late. Tipped by top Radio 1 DJs to be the next big thing, this week she plays an intimate show just over the water from her home county.
DANCE: AUTOBIOGRAPHY by Wayne McGregor, New Theatre Royal, Portsmouth, Tues 21 May
Wayne McGregor has had a 25-year career manipulating and orchestrating tales through dance. Now, with all that experience under his belt, plus some artistic collaboration from the best of music, lighting and production, his latest show AUTOBIOGRAPHY, takes a look at what it means to create a life-story. Dipping into his ‘archives’ this show will cover movement, music and even science, with excellent choreography from all of his eras.
COMEDY: Deborah Frances-White: The Guilty Feminist, The Mayflower Theatre, Southampton, Wed 22 May
Best mate of Fleabag and podcaster extraordinaire, Deborah Frances-White heads to Southampton along with her panel of witty and insightful guests. Discussing what it means to be a 21st-century feminist, this live version of her Guilty Feminist podcast will have you laughing and nodding your head this week.
THEATRE: Made In Dagenham, Winchester Theatre Royal, Wed 22 – Sat 25 May
Based on the 2010 film of the same name, Made in Dagenham comes to Winchester Theatre Royal courtesy of the Winchester Musicals and Opera society this week. Follow the feel-good story about girl power and the true-life events of the Ford sewing machinists strike of 1968.
MUSIC: Marti Pellow, The Shanklin Theatre, Fri 24 May
The former Wet Wet Wet lead man, Marti Pellow skips across the Solent this week for a one-night-only affair in Shanklin. Still handsome and still singing, Islanders can enjoy the strains of his solo career before he heads off to perform at Glastonbury later this Summer.
FESTIVAL: East Cowes 2019, Fri 24 – Mon 27 May
Loved by Queen Victoria (and Muddy obviously, as well), East Cowes is getting all 19th-century this Bank Holiday weekend with its Bicentennial Anniversary. The weekend is packed with one of the biggest events the town has seen for many years complete with Grand Procession, Victorian fancy dress, historic walks, Victorian market and much much more.
THEATRE: The Handlebards: Much Ado About Nothing, Furzey Gardens, Minstead, Sat 25 May
As if remembering all the words to a Shakespeare play isn’t enough, try doing it while riding a bike. That’s exactly what The Handlebards (Love that name!) are doing this weekend with their production of Much Ado About Nothing in Furzey Gardens. While ol’ William may not have known what a bicycle was, I bet he’d be suitably impressed. Grab a ticket for £16 (kids go free), plus a picnic blanket and enjoy this al fresco theatre experience.
OUTDOORS: New Forest Spring Polo Tournament, Brockenhurst, Sat 25 May
Also outdoors this weekend is the New Forest Spring Polo Tournament. Whether you’re up to speed with your chukkas or knowledge is limited to Jilly Cooper titbits, this super relaxed event is ideal for all the family and a great excuse to sip fizz in the outdoors.
FOOD & DRINK: The Seafood Chef: Mediterranean, The Kitchen @ Chewton Glen, Sat 25 May
Take your culinary skills up a notch this weekend and learn to cook seafood as they do on the continent. This full-day course at The Kitchen will get you out of your comfort zone and preparing fish and seafood like a master. With dishes such as shellfish stew with Sardinian fregola and crab linguine on the cooking roster, we’re hungry just reading it. Places cost £195pp.
EXHIBITION: Sculpture at Beaulieu, Sat 25 May – Sun 24 July
While Beaulieu is pretty rammed with amazing things to check out normally, all you culture vultures are about to get another excuse to visit. Launching this Saturday, Sculpture at Beaulieu turns this family attraction into a fabulous al fresco gallery for fine art with a whopping 350 works to take a look at. Even if you spent a minute at looking at each one that would take you well over five hours, so it’s a good job it’s running until July.
MUSIC: Dave Pearce 90’s Dance Anthems Night, Ventnor Winter Gardens, Sat 25 May
While you may have retired your glow-sticks and whistles many moons ago, everybody loves an excuse for some 90s nostalgia. Radio 1 veteran, Dave Pearce does just that this weekend, bringing a whole load of rhythm to the Island with his 90s dance anthem show. Reach for the lasers…
FESTIVAL: Mudeford Seafood Festival, Mudeford, Dorset, Sat 25 – Mon 27 May
Forks at the ready everybody! It’s time to hop over the border to Dorset for the inaugural Mudeford Seafood Festival and in fishing terms, it’s a WHOPPER! With celeb’ guests including chefs Rustie Lee and Brian Turner CBE, Hampshire legend Fred Dineage, plus stalls, demonstrations and family events – this is tipped to be the perfect foodie extravaganza for the Bank Holiday Weekend, celebrating some of the best of the talent from the local area and some amazing produce. What’s even better is its completely and utterly free. Wohoo!
OUTDOORS: Bee Trail, Hinton Ampner, Alresford, Sat 25 May – Sun 2 Jun
We’re buzzing (sorry!) about this family-friendly event at Hinton Ampner this week. Running throughout the half-term hols you can take the kids to follow the bees’ trail around the spectacular gardens of this National Trust property.
FOOD & DRINK: English Wine Week at The Purefoy Arms, Basingstoke, Sat 25 May – Sun 2 Jun
English wine is definitely having a moment, and even has its very own week (surely every day is wine day?) In honour of this celebration of English plonk, chef patron of The Purefoy Arms, Gordon Stott has created a special 9-course menu to be accompanied with a wine flight featuring wine from Hampshire’s very own Hattingley Valley, Andover’s Chalk Down and Chapel Down in Kent. To partake it costs £59.95 per person, with an additional charge for the wine flight.
FESTIVAL: South Central Festival, Cosham, Sat 25 – Sun 26 May
Fancy getting down with the kids? Well, this weekend all the movers and shakers will be heading to the King George Playing Fields in Cosham for the new South Central Festival. The line-up is huge with big names such as Craig David, Andy C, Sean Paul, Boy George and err…Paul Chuckle. A brilliant mix of new and more retro stars for your Bank Holiday weekend, plus you have the Monday to recuperate. Weekend tickets cost £69.95+booking fee or £44.50+ booking fee on the door.
FOOD & DRINK: British Street Food Awards: Southern Heat, Gunwharf Quays, Portsmouth, Sat 25 – Mon 27 May
If you fancy a little bit of something, but not quite sure what, then head along to the south’s regional heats for the British Street Food Awards this weekend in Gunwharf. With top outfits including Filipino cuisine maestros Turo Turo and Dolly a converted Citroen 2Cv aka the world’s smallest food truck, you’ll be able to give each competitor a real thorough check before they head to the finals in London this September.
FOOD & DRINK: The Watership Down Inn Beer Festival, Freefolk, Sat 25 – Mon 27 May
For a family-friendly event with plenty of beer on tap, then check out Muddy fave The Watership Down Inn this weekend for their annual Beer Festival. Not only is it completely free to attend but they have fantastic local booze (including a specially created cocktail from their neighbour, Bombay Sapphire Distillery), amazing food and plenty of activities for the kids.
KIDS & FAMILY: Steampunk, Bursledon Brickworks, Sun 26 May
This weekend sees the odd and obscure head to Burlesdon Brickworks for a celebration of Steampunk. Steampunk is, essentially, a counter-culture that mixes crazy engineering, sci-fi vibes, Victorian dress-up with the power of steam. Supported by the Gosport Steampunk Society, this is bound to be a curious but amusing event. Tickets are £7 for adults and £4 for kids.
THEATRE: Toyah Wilcox, Theatre Royal Winchester, Sun 26 May
Musician, actress, presenter, author… you get the idea, Toyah Wilcox has certainly had one heck of a career. With forty years of music under her belt, she brings along an electronic orchestra to Winchester this weekend for a night packed with her hits.