The Kent Life Diary For March

All the best in music, theatre and events in Kent and London...<br/><br/>.


Verdict28 Mar to 2 AprTickets: Varies0844 871 7627Churchill Theatre, BromleyAn all-star cast takes to the Churchill’s boards to present Agatha Christie’s Verdict. Leading the ensemble is Monarch of the Glen’s Dawn Steele, and playing alongside her are Strictly contestant Ali Bastian, Harry Potter actor Matthew Lewis, Drop the Dead Donkey’s Robert Duncan, Dixon of Dock Green’s Peter Byrne and 1960’s teen idol Mark Wynter. A who’s who of popular entertainment all combine to bring the undisputed Queen of Crime’s compelling tale to life.

See How They Run 1 to 5 MarTickets: �7.50 to �17.5001892 678678Trinity Theatre, Tunbridge WellsVicars, both real and bogus, pepper this farcical tale. When vicar’s wife and former actress Penelope Toop meets up with one of her former leading men, they decide to re-enact one of their greatest scenes, which has hilarious consequences for the residents of Morton-cum-Middlewick’s vicarage. Uncomplicated humour that will have you rolling in the aisles.Dacia Maraini’s Hurried Steps 8 MarTickets: Free01892 530613 or 01892 532072Assembly Hall, Tunbridge WellsHurried Footsteps is a translation of the Italian production Passi Affrettati and tells the stories of women from around the world. The play was originally created for Amnesty International to raise awareness of violence against women and girls. The hour-long play will be followed by a frank discussion involving the audience and a panel of local fieldworkers and experts. Tickets are free, so it is important that you book early, and there will be collection for a local womens’ refuge.A Dish of Tea18, 19 MarTickets: Varies01233 213000Eastwell Manor Country House Hotel and Spa, AshfordEastwell Manor makes a splendid backdrop for two performances of a play adapted from James Boswell’s A Life of Doctor Johnson and A Journal of a Tour of the Hebrides. The play has been adapted by Max Stafford-Clark, Russell Barr and Ian Redford – the latter two also take a variety of roles in the production – and is a perfect vehicle to bring to life one of the most colourful figures of the 18th century.Corrie! Until 5 MarTickets: VariesTel: 08448 717620Churchill Theatre, BromleyThe nation’s longest-running soap arrives in Kent, and the Manchester cobbles will be laid on the stage at the Churchill. Enjoy the atmosphere and relive all your favourite melodramatic moments – from tram crashes to romance and murder. Coronation Street legend Ken Morley, who played Reg Holdsworth, is the narrator of this tribute show as an added bonus for theatregoers.

Out & About

NGS Open Day12, 26, 27 MarchTickets: Varies01233 620773Godinton House, AshfordMarch marks the launch of the first of a series of open days at Godinton, where you can explore the tranquil gardens as well as sample a slice of home-made cake and a cuppa (27 March). There will also be two workshops, The Cutting Garden (12 March) and Spring Propagation (26 March), run by head gardener Viv Hunt and Fiona Abrahams, a lecturer at Hadlow College.

Ghostly Walks and Talks   Until 27 AprilTickets: Varies01634 823815The Historic Dockyard, ChathamInterested in things that go bump in the night? Like the spooky and the supernatural? If you answered ‘yes’ to these questions, then there is only one place you should be going, and that’s the Historic Dockyard Chatham. The popular Ghostly Walks and Talks are back, and they take place every Wednesday. The minimum age for these events is 13 years and teenagers must be accompanied by an adult. For the younger ghost hunters, they can hear spooky stories and creepy tales in the Ropery once a month, on 18 March and 15 April, one of the most eerie and atmospheric places on the dockyard. Dare you brave one of these ghostly tours?

Most Read

Kent Game & Equine Festival26, 27 MarTickets: �6 to �2601749 813899Kent Showground, Detling, MaidstoneShow visitors can celebrate everything that is wonderful about a countryside style of life, from fishing and shooting, to traditional crafts and locally produced food. Attractions this year include international showjumpers Graham and Tina Fletcher in the Supreme Equine Arena, a native stallion parade and a sports and competition stallion parade, along with a fast-paced, frenetic Pony Club Horse & Hound show jumping challenge. There will also be appearances of racing ferrets and expert local chefs, demonstrating their craft. There will also be plenty of have-a-go-style activities as well. A fun day out for all the family, whatever the weather.

Lambing Weekend 12 to 13 MarTickets: �2 to �100500 551 434Hadlow CollegeSpring is going to be sprung, if Produced in Kent and Hadlow College have anything to do with it. Presenting the best produce the Garden of England has, giving you plenty of time to stick your larder full of Easter treats. There will also be a dedicated craft marquee showcasing , among other delights, Romney Marsh Wools, jewellery and other crafts, and, of course, get a glimpse of some of the college’s newborn lambs and meet the goats, pigs and llamas as well, ride on a tractor and see wonderful birds of prey displays. 

Garden, Food & Craft Show 22 to 25 AprTickets: �5 to �1601892 890000Bewl WaterA four-day craft food and garden show is on offer over the Easter weekend. The show will be focusing on allotment and kitchen gardens, grow-your-own organic approaches, and conservation. And for the younger green-fingered members of your party, Peppa Pig will be popping in.

Films at the Theatre

Herne Bay Little Theatre4, 11, 18, 25 MarTickets: �401227 366004Herne Bay Little Theatre, Herne BayFed up with the rubbish Hollywood is churning out at the moment? Well, the Herne Bay Little Theatre has a remedy for your predicament. For four Fridays in March, it is showing a classic film from a time when movie stars were untouchable, mysterious, and glamorous, oh, and pretty funny as well. On the agenda is The 39 Steps, Singin’ in the Rain, Monsieur Hulot’s Holiday and The Third Man. And it’s a lot cheaper than your local multiplex!


A celebration of Bach5 MarTickets: �10 Students and children half-price01304 620404 (The Sandwich Bookshop) and 01227 763965 (Crowthers of Canterbury)St Mary’s Arts Centre, SandwichThe inaugural concert in a brand new series is an all-Bach affair. The concert will be conducted by Ashley Solomon, head of Historical Performance at the Royal College of Music. The programme will feature some of Bach’s most famous works, including The Magnificat, and the ever-popular Brandenburg Concerto No.4. A celebratory glass of wine will be included in the price of a ticket, and on this occasion of the first-ever concert, there will be a free whisky tasting after the evening’s events. 

Unique Events

Vintage Fair  9 MarTickets: �6.50 01892 549665 Love Is BoutiqueDavid Salomons, SouthboroughVintage dealers from all over the south will descend on Salomon’s to take part in Magpies Fabulous Vintage Fair, presented by Love Is (see also p36). Expect an evening of glamour and gorgeousness, with more than hint of retro. Probably wise to get your ticket in advance and don’t miss out on an opportunity to bag yourself a beautiful frock!Business Show Spectacular  30 MarchTickets: Free01732 450175The Stag, SevenoaksThe perfect show for networking, and a chance to learn about new products, professional services and training available in the local area. After last year’s success, organisers have once again raised the profile of the show and secured big-ticket sponsors.


Carmen22 to 26 MarTickets: contact venue01892 822006Judi Dench Theatre, Kent College PemburyAlways ambitious in their productions, the pupils and staff at Kent College Pembury will be raising the bar once again by staging the much-loved opera Carmen in its entirety. So much more than just a musical, it will be performed as a full-scale opera, and the stars of the production will be supported by an orchestra made up of pupils and professional musicians.

London Life

Syd Barrett: Art & Letters 18 Mar to 10 Apr Idea Generation GalleryFor more information and to be added to the guest list for the private view on 17 March 77496850A pioneering songwriter with the earliest incarnation of prog-rock protagonists, the legendary Pink Floyd, Syd Barrett was always creative and one of his first loves and abiding passions was painting. This exhibition offers a very rare insight into this enigmatic of individuals, including previously unseen photographs of Syd’s childhood holidays, as well as personal love notes written during the early days of the Floyd and some previously unseen photographs of the Floyd’s formative years. Get a valuable insight into this creative, passionate, dynamic, but often private individual, whose songs were the soundtrack of a the psychedelic hothouse of the 1960s. A book, Barrett, The Definitive Visual Companion, published 18 March by Essential Works ( will accompany the exhibition.Ideal Home Show 11 to 27 MarTickets: VariesTel: 0844 415 4144Earls CourtThe UK’s best-loved home event is making its annual return to London and Kent Life has 10 pairs of tickets for 10 lucky readers to win. This year’s show includes the Ideal Show Homes, a series of three full-scale properties that demonstrate different concepts in homes from refurbs to new build. Celebs pencilled in to host parts of the show include Suzi Perry, Diarmuid Gavin and Fiona Phillips.


Kent Life and the Ideal Home Show are offering the chance to win one of 10 pairs of tickets. To be in with a chance to WIN, simply answer the question below:Q: How long has the Ideal Home Show been running?Send your answers in via post to: Ideal Home Show Ticket Competition, Kent Life, Baskerville Place28 Teville Road, Worthing, West Sussex BN11 1UGYou can also send your answers in by email, with ‘Ideal Home Show Ticket Competition’ in the subject line to: sure you include your name, address and daytime tel no.        *Terms and conditions1. Offer is only open to UK residents2. Complimentary tickets are valid for one day only, on any one day of the show between 11 and 27 March 2011 at London’s Earls Court 3. Tickets are non transferable