10 reasons to love April in Hampshire

BIRDSONG 2013 Tour Company 6 credit Jack Ladenburg

BIRDSONG 2013 Tour Company 6 credit Jack Ladenburg - Credit: Archant

We’ve scoured the county to bring you the top events taking place this month. Compiled by Charlotte Tomlinson-White


Theatre Royal Winchester is marking the 100th anniversary of World War I with a production of Sebastian Faulkes’ novel. In pre-war France, Englishman Stephen Wraysford embarks on an affair with the beautiful Isabelle Azaire. As war breaks out, Stephen clings to the memory of Isabelle and the idyll of his former life.

When: April 28 – May 3, 7.30pm (matinees Wednesday 1.30pm & Saturday 2.30pm)

Where: Theatre Royal Winchester, 21 Jewry Street, Winchester, SO23 8SB, 01962 840440, www.theatre-royal-winchester.co.uk


Ship to Shore

Ship to Shore: Art and the Lure of the Sea features paintings, films, photography, sculpture, prints and archival objects evoking the vastness of oceans, the romance of sea travel and ship-to-shore communications.

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When: Until May 4

Where: John Hansard Gallery, Highfield Avenue, Southampton, SO17 1BJ, 02380 592158, www.hansardgallery.org.uk and SeaCity Museum, Havelock Road, Southampton, SO14 7FY, 02380 833007, www.seacitymuseum.co.uk


Nature’s Art

Award-winning watercolour artist Ali Lindley, and internationally renowned acrylic artist Daphne Ellman, will once again be exhibiting a brand new collection of work at the Sir Harold Hillier Gardens. Showcasing their individual styles, Inspired By Nature features a diverse collection of exciting 2D and 3D work and welcomes guest artist, the internationally acclaimed sculptor Paul Harvey, whose work is in the royal collection. Don’t miss this feast of colour, design, fluidity and raw talent.

When: Until April 21.

Where: Sir Harold Hillier Gardens, Jermyns Lane, Romsey, SO51 0QA, 01794 369318, www3.hants.gov.uk/hilliergardens


Easter Fun

Hone your best detection skills and hunt out the nature-themed clues on this Easter trail which takes you around Foxbury Common and towards a Cadbury ‘egghead’! Meet Jimmy (the miniature New Forest pony), decorate Easter bunny biscuits and bonnets, and learn how to make a den. Then enjoy toasted marshmallows around the campfire or tuck into the on-site BBQ. With buggy access, families can enjoy walking through the heathland site.

When: April 20 & 21

Where: Foxbury Common, 01794 344020, www.nationaltrust.org.uk/new-forest-northern-commons


Newlyns’ Relaunch

To honour their 10 year anniversary, Newlyns Farm Shop, Cafe and Cookery School are re-launching with a larger refurbished farm shop café, including a new alfresco patio garden, and a new and improved play area. They are also boasting a renovated farm shop with an extended butchery department and a brand new delicatessen counter that stocks an extensive range of cooked meats and cheeses.

When: Open daily, closed bank holidays, times vary, see website for details

Where: Lodge Farm, North Warnborough, Hook, RG29 1HA, 01256 704128, www.newlyns-farmshop.co.uk


Ginfully Yours

Where does the line blur between real life and persona? Between self destruction and having a good time? Between a gin too few and a gin too many? Join infamous dark cabaret misfit Joe Black for an evening that explores a career in wearing makeup, a tendency towards bad behaviour, and losing your late teens to the confusing world of variety performance. Expect songs, stories and sing-a-longs.

When: April 20, 7.30pm

Where: Wedgewood Rooms, 147B Albert Road, Southsea, PO4 0JW, 02392 863911, www.wedgewood-rooms.co.uk


Sooty and Sweep

Izzy Wizzy let’s get busy! Guaranteed to delight the whole family with giggles for Sooty fans both old and new, expect a spectacular mix of magic, music and mess in this fabulous new show. The nation’s favourite bear will be joined by Sweep, Soo and Sooty’s TV Partner Richard Cadell - who will be trying to keep Sooty out of trouble! Don’t forget to meet Richard and Sooty after the show!

When: April 19, 11am & 2.30pm

Where: The Kings Theatre, Albert Road, Southsea, Portsmouth, PO5 2QJ, 02392 828282, www.kings-southsea.com


Milford on Sea Food Week

Food lovers can’t afford to miss this fantastic event. Promising to be bigger and better than last year, the week-long celebration will once again be endorsing the village as a ‘Foodie Haven by the Sea!’ With over 100 events organized, there is something for everyone. Enjoy demonstrations from Michelin Starred Chefs, culinary master classes and tips from an artisan cheese maker. Plus, bid to win a dinner party for four with washing up included!

When: April 7 – 13

Where: Milford on Sea, www.milfordonseafoodweek.org


The Count

Following sell-out performances join Swing Unlimited All Stars Big Band for a fabulous tribute to Count Bassie and his big band. Featuring a collaboration between musicians past and present within the Swing Unlimited Big Band Group, it promises to be an evening of great entertainment and great music, with favourites such as April in Paris and Lester Leaps In, alongside new material.

When: April 26, 7.30pm

Where: The Haymarket, Wote Street, Basingstoke, RG21 7NW, 01256 844244, www.anvilarts.org.uk


Blooming Marvellous A truly magical life-size knitted garden is blooming at Gosport Gallery. Over 2,500 knitters and crocheters worked with participatory visual artist Pauline Stanley to create the garden, which is complete with knitted flowers and insects, a garden shed and mouth-watering picnic. Plus, join in and help the garden grow at one of their informal Sit’n’Knit drop-in sessions (Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays from 10am to 3pm). You can even take part in a ‘Knitathon’ on May 3 from 10am to 4pm.

When: March 15 to May 17

Where: Gosport Gallery, Walpole Road, Gosport, PO12 1NS, 0845 603 5631, www3.hants.gov.uk/gosport-gallery