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Reader Treats Just For You!

This weekend

Fri 15 - Sun 17 Feb

FAMILY: The Great Brick Safari, RHS Garden Wisley, Sat 26 Jan – Sun 3 Mar

legoIf 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.

THEATRE: The Shadow Factory, NST City, Weds 30 Jan – Sat 2 March

The Shadow Factory returns by popular demand, after rave reviews in all the nationals. The story, which is based in Southampton itself, explores the landscape of this Hampshire city during one of its most difficult times. The city has been bombed by the Germans, leaving a trail of destruction in its wake but shows the spirit of those who live and work there continues to be strong.

CULTURE: Leonard da Vinci: A Life in Drawing, Southampton Art Gallery, Fri 1 Feb – Mon 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.

THEATRE: The Full Monty, Mayflower Theatre, Southampton, Mon 11 – Sat 16 Feb

Full Monty SouthamptonYou 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.

POP UP: KemptonBranson Pop Up, KemptonBranson HQ, Fri 15 Feb

The new season can only mean one thing – new clothes! KemptonBranson is bringing two worlds together with its brand new collection, #whentownmeetsbeach. Think ankle boots and jeans, trainers and scarves. Get there quick and get all the good stuff!

KemptonBranson Pop Up

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

Joan Collins Anvil ArtsThe 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

Chinese Lantern Electric WoodsRobin 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

Joe Black

Joe Black

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.


THEATRE: Glengarry Glen Ross, New Victoria Theatre, Woking, Thurs 14 – Sat 16 Feb

COFFEE IS FOR CLOSERS! If you know that line you’ll be mad to miss the stage performance of Glengarry Glen Ross, this weekend in nearby Guildford. Starring Nigel Harman and Mark Benton and following a sell-out run in the West End, you’ll be squirming in your seats at the darkened world of sales.


EXHIBITION: A Royal Wedding: The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, Windsor Castlenow –  Sun 17 Feb

Meghan Merkle wedding dress andPrince Harry's military uniform on display in Windsor Castle

It was the wedding of 2018. Complete with 5m veils, hand-embroidered flowers from the entire Commonwealth and a rather memorable sermon from Pastor Curry. Make sure you don’t miss the very last chance to see the now-iconic wedding dress worn by Meghan Markle this weekend.


THEATRE: Rob Lowe, Stories I Only Tell my Friends: Live, Brighton Dome, Sat 16 Feb 


Quick! Quick! Get yourself a ticket for an evening with the rather dashing Brat Pack alum, Rob Lowe. He’s bringing his memories and anecdotes of a long career in Hollywood to Brighton, and he’s going to tell us everythinggggg!

Find more ideas here

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The Urban Guide to the Countryside - Hampshire & Isle of Wight