The essential Kent Diary for February

Simon Callow reads from Dickens and Hellebores at Hadlow

The essential Kent Diary for February

Out and about

A fun day out with Thomas

11, 12, 18, 19 Feb

Tickets: Contact venue

01580 765155

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Kent & East Sussex Railway, Tenterden

Familes are invited to come and meet everyone’s favourite steam engine and some of his best friends, including carriages Annie and Clarabel. There will also be a fun-packed activity programme on offer.

Hellebores on show

16, 18, 19, 25, 26 Feb

Tickets: Contact venue

01732 853211

Broadview Gardens, Hadlow College, Tonbridge

Guided tours offering visitors the chance to see the national collection of Hellebores and a 100-metre display of snowdrops will also be staged throughout February.

Entertainment and music

From Bond with Love 7

4 Feb

Tickets: �10

01732 450175

The Stag, Sevenoaks

Every Bond theme, performed by six beautiful girls, accompanied by an eight-piece orchestra. Guaranteed to leave you ‘shaken but not stirred’.

Simon Callow reads from Dickens

5 Feb

Tickets: �14

Tel: 01227 769075

The Gulbenkian, Canterbury

Having played Dickens himself in an episode of Doctor Who, who better than to read extracts from this ‘anti-establishment’ novelist, commentator, activist and crusader. Far from dating, Dickens’ work lives on and is now more relevant than ever before. Don’t miss this opportunity to see some of his works delivered in Callow’s own inimitable style.

The Dickens Bicentenary Show

7 Feb

Tickets: �5

Tel: 01634 890421

Britannia Theatre, Dickens World,

The Band of the Corps of the Royal Engineers will kick off proceedings and will perform a concert of music as played during Dickens’ childhood in Chatham. They will be followed by a performance of Election of a Parish Beadle, and to close will be the premiere of The Kettle and the Pot and the Cricket of the Hearth. See also Dickens at 200, page xxx.

All the Single Ladies

7, 8, 9,10, 11Feb

Tickets: �12 to �29.50

08448 717 620

The Churchill Theatre, Bromley

The course of true love never did run smooth. Three women, three stories, three lives, one problem – The L word. Expect lies, deceit, red faces, regrets, hangovers and revenge! Stars Leslie Ash.

American Anthems on Route 66

8 Feb

Tickets: �19, �21

01892 530613/01892 532072

Assembly Hall, Tunbridge Wells

A road like no other, Route 66 has been a touchstone for legendary singers and bands from all different ages, and this musical embraces all of them. Expect a fantastic slice of Americana, and some the US’s biggest hits like Livin’ on a Prayer, Walking in Memphis and, of course, Born in the USA.

Fairport Convention

10 Feb

Tickets: �18, �20

01892 530613/01892 532072

Assembly Hall, Tunbridge Wells

Considered to be the originators and pioneering performers of British folk-rock music, Fairport Convention are still one of the most entertaining bands on the gig circuit today. Sure to be a sell-out, so book in advance.

Chinese State Circus: Yin Yang

20, 21, 22 Feb

Tickets: �14 to �26

Tel: 08448 717 620

The Churchill Theatre, Bromley

From gravity-defying gymnastics to the body manipulations of the hand-balancer; from the leaping, rolling somersaulting repertoire of the hoop divers to the physical power of the Shaolin Warriors, this production will dazzle, thrill and amaze any audience.

Buddy Holly – A Legend Reborn

23 Feb

Tickets: �22.50

01322 220000

The Orchard Theatre, Dartford

Fresh from an appearance at London’s O2, a music legend is coming to Kent.  Starring Marc Robinson and special guests, the Fortt Brothers, this is a splendid slice of toe-tapping rock’n’roll nostalgia.

From Morn to Midnight

26 Feb

Tickets: Contact box office

01227 769075

Canterbury Cathedral, Canterbury

Staged in the Crypt of the cathedral, the University of Kent Chamber Choir will be performing on the evening. Book your tickets through The Gulbenkian box office.

Unique events

Journey to the Throne

8, 9, 10, 11 Feb

Tickets: �12

01732 450175

The Stag, Sevenoaks

This February marks the Diamond Jubilee of the Queen's Accession the Throne. Journey to the Throne is a celebration of that event, telling the story through dance, drama, music and photography. Participants in this event have been drawn from across the district.

Mr Fezziwig’s Ball

11 Feb

Tickets: �15 per person

01634 890421

Britannia Theatre, Dickens World, Chatham

The grandiose Mr Fezziwigs Ball marks the end of a week of festivities dedicated to the 200th anniversary of Charles Dickens. Guests can dress in either Victorian garb or modern-day clothes, and they can also participate in some the popular dances of Dickens’ day. Don’t worry if you don’t know the moves, there will be helpers available to talk you through the steps.

Curator’s Choice

13 Feb

Tickets: (members exclusive event) �20

0870 333 1183

Down House, Downe

Member of English Heritage? If the answer is yes, then join Down House property curator Annie Kemkaran-Smith at the home of Charles Darwin for a special tour of the house and a more detailed look at the collection. Light refreshments are included.

Chris Packham Goes Totally Wild

13 Feb

Tickets: �16

Tel: 01227 769075

The Gulbenkian, Canterbury

Charismatic wildlife TV presenter Chris Packham will be showing his latest collection of images from the wild and the wilderness. Expect the weird, wonderful and, of course, the wild all up close and personal.

Hot Chocolate and the Valentine Lovers Party

10 Feb

Tickets: �25 (in advance); �30 (on the door)

01634 890421

Britannia Theatre, Dickens World, Chatham

The kings of love and legends from the world of disco, the one and only Hot Chocolate will be taking to the stage to unleash some of their biggest hits, including It Started with a Kiss and Sexy Thing

If you do 5 things this month …

1 A fun day out with Thomas, KESR

2 Simon Callow reads Dickens, The Gulbenkian, Canterbury

3 Buddy Holly – A Legend Reborn, The Orchard Theatre, Dartford

4 Chinese State Circus: Yin Yang,  The Churchill, Bromley

5 Hellebores on show, Broadview Gardens, Hadlow College, Tonbridge

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