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Fun things to see and do across Suffolk and Essex

PUBLISHED: 19:00 27 April 2017 | UPDATED: 09:16 28 April 2017

Beer and Folk Fest, St Peter’'s By The Waterfront, Ipswich, April 28-29. Photo: Dario Vitellini

Beer and Folk Fest, St Peter’'s By The Waterfront, Ipswich, April 28-29. Photo: Dario Vitellini

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From festivals and world record attempts to wildlife fun days and open gardens, what will you do this weekend?

Jose Agudo'’s Silk Road at DanceEast, Jerwood DanceHouse, Ipswich, April 28. Photo: Contributed Jose Agudo'’s Silk Road at DanceEast, Jerwood DanceHouse, Ipswich, April 28. Photo: Contributed

Don’t forget to grab your copy of your weekly What’s on guide for more days out ideas - in the paper every Thursday

Play Something, Lakeside Theatre, University of Essex, April 27, 7.30pm

Two men meet in a club, but their paths keep crossing. Things go from casual to something deeper but how does a non-emotional man become emotional? To tell you their story they ask the DJ to play something to make love to, to split up to... The songs of all of us, it’s the story of everyone who has loved, lost and loved again. Following its acclaimed premiere at the Mercury Theatre in 2016, Stage Write will also be taking the show to the Edinburgh Fringe this summer.

Horse Party, playing their last gig at The Hunter Club, Bury St Edmunds, April 29. Photo: Jeff Higgott Horse Party, playing their last gig at The Hunter Club, Bury St Edmunds, April 29. Photo: Jeff Higgott

Haverhill Beer Weekend, Haverhill Arts Centre, Haverhill, April 28, 5pm-11pm; April 29, 11am-11pm; April 30, 11am-6pm

Run in collaboration with The Nethergate Brewery, based in Clare, this is the chance for beer enthusiasts to try a selection of beers and ciders with a very East Anglian feel. Acoustic singer-songwriter musician Alton Wahlberg will play an evening set along with a number of other musicians at various points throughout the weekend.

Shakin' Stevens, playing the Ipswich Regent April 29, Norwich Theatre Royal May 7 and Cambridge Corn Exchange May 27. Photo: Graham Flack Shakin' Stevens, playing the Ipswich Regent April 29, Norwich Theatre Royal May 7 and Cambridge Corn Exchange May 27. Photo: Graham Flack

Jose Agudo’s Silk Road, DanceEast, Jerwood DanceHouse, Ipswich, April 28, 7.30pm

A celebration of diverse cultures and dances, it’s an exploration of rituals that took place along this ancient trade route across Asia, revealing the lesser-known connection between classical Indian dance and flamenco. A preview performance prior to the world premiere in London.

The Foxglove Trio, The Riverside Centre, Stratford St Andrew, April 28, 8pm

Stacey Kent, The Apex, Bury St Edmunds, April 29. Photo: Contributed Stacey Kent, The Apex, Bury St Edmunds, April 29. Photo: Contributed

The Everyman Folk Club welcomes Cathy Mason, Ffion Mair and Patrick Dean who perform mainly traditional songs from around the British Isles.

Nicholas Meier and Pete Oxley, Stoke-by-Nayland Hotel, Colchester, April 28, 8pm

Fleece Jazz hosts a duo who demonstrate an unique style that’s a blend of Metheny-esque jazz and Turkish inspired world music.

Rubber Wellies, Folk at the Froize, Woodbridge, April 30. Photo: Contributed Rubber Wellies, Folk at the Froize, Woodbridge, April 30. Photo: Contributed

Ipswich Beer and Folk Fest, St Peter’s By The Waterfront, Ipswich, April 28-29, noon-7pm, folk night 8pm-midnight

Organised by Beer & Co there will be a selection of real ales, ciders and summer wines plus a live open mic, pop-up music shop and locally sourced Suffolk street food. The folk night line-ups include BBC Folk Award winner Sam Carter, renowned International Acoustic Music Awards winner Charlie Dore and her long-time collaborator Julian Littman from Steeleye Span, Honey and The Bear and Holly Johnston.

Wisteria at Peppers Farm, Sible Hedingham, April 30. Photo: Contributed Wisteria at Peppers Farm, Sible Hedingham, April 30. Photo: Contributed

Horse Party, The Hunter Club, Bury St Edmunds, April 29, 6-11pm

The band played their first ever gig at the club in 2012. They’d been together only a few weeks, it was all very last minute, less than 10 people watched and their bespectacled guitarist couldn’t remember the words to the songs they’d just written. In the four-and-a-half years since, Horse Party have released a string of critically-acclaimed records, played some memorable gigs and enjoyed sporadic bouts of national and international radio airplay. This Bury Fringe Festival gig is their last. They will be joined by Norwich’s bubblegum-surf-punk four piece Claws, BurySOUND winners indie-grunge trio Tundra, indie-funk-punks Keys and Huckleberry Harrison.

Shakin’ Stevens, Ipswich Regent, April 29, 8pm

The Shires, aka Chrissie Rhodes and Ben Earle, play the Ipswich Regent May 1. Photo: Contributed The Shires, aka Chrissie Rhodes and Ben Earle, play the Ipswich Regent May 1. Photo: Contributed

The Echoes Of Our Times Tour takes its name from the album of the same name. It blends blues, roots, Americana and classic rock as he details stories from his intriguing family history. Expect old favourites too. Read entertainment writer Wayne Savage’s chat with him here.

Wildlife Fun Day, Chelmsford Museum, April 29, 10am-4pm

Snakes, reptiles and spiders are some of the exotic and beautiful wildlife you can get up close and personal with. The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds and the Essex Beekeepers will be there, with the opportunity to undertake wax rubbings and to purchase locally produced honey and candles. You can also handle some of the museum’s fossil collection and take some impressions.

Poet John Hegley headlines International Workers Day at Firstsite, Colchester, May 1. Photo: Contributed Poet John Hegley headlines International Workers Day at Firstsite, Colchester, May 1. Photo: Contributed

Thirteen, Cramphorn Studio, Chelmsford, to April 29, 7.30pm with a 3pm matinee Saturday

Chelmsford Young Generation present a musical about fitting in and standing out. Following his parents’ divorce, pre-teen Evan Goldman is plucked from his fast-paced, New York City life and plopped into a sleepy Indiana town where he has to establish his place in the popularity pecking order

The Peatbog Faeries, The Apex, Bury St Edmunds, May 2. Photo: Contributed The Peatbog Faeries, The Apex, Bury St Edmunds, May 2. Photo: Contributed

Chelmsford Scouts and Guides Gang Show, Civic Theatre, Chelmsford, to April 29, 7.15pm with a 2.15pm matinee Saturday

Chelmsford and District Scout Council present their Diamond Jubilee Gang Show; a mix of song, dance and comedy.

Stacey Kent, The Apex, Bury St Edmunds, April 29, 7.30pm

Dan Walsh, The Cut, Halesworth, May 3. Photo: Johnny Dent Photography Dan Walsh, The Cut, Halesworth, May 3. Photo: Johnny Dent Photography

The acclaimed and Grammy-nominated jazz singer is joined by her quartet of musicians for a new concert, featuring music from her latest album, Tenderly. It sees her return to familiar ground, with her first album of standards and jazz-classics since the release of her breakthrough album of 2003 The Boy Next Door.

Come and Sing, Stowmarket United Reform Church, Stowmarket, April 29, 10am-4pm

Conductor Leslie Olive leads a day of singing Vaughan Williams’ A Sea Symphony.

The Strange Undoing of Prudencia Hart, at Syleham and Wingfield Village Hall April 27 and Haverhill Arts Centre May 3. Photo: Mike Kwasniak The Strange Undoing of Prudencia Hart, at Syleham and Wingfield Village Hall April 27 and Haverhill Arts Centre May 3. Photo: Mike Kwasniak

Ipswich May Day Festival, Alexandra Park, Ipswich, April 30, noon

The Ipswich and District TUC organised event has three stages of live music. The Roger MacKay stage features Reggae Rainbows, the Global Village Stage features Booda French and Soul Gravity and the Unite Stage features Marianne Hyatt. Speakings include SERTUC regional secretary Megan Dobney, Hugo Pierre of Black Lives Matter UK, Paula Peters of Disabled People Against the Cuts plus others from Unison on the NHS and Unite. There will also be rides, stalls and food.

Comedian Andy Parsons, Civic Theatre, Chelmsford, May 3. Photo: Contributed Comedian Andy Parsons, Civic Theatre, Chelmsford, May 3. Photo: Contributed

Beyond The Barricade, Civic Theatre, Chelmsford, April 30, 7.45pm

A cast of past principal performers from Les Miserables recreate original West End and Broadway hits from the likes of The Phantom of the Opera, Jesus Christ Superstar, The Jersey Boys and many others.

The Rubber Wellies, Folk at the Froize, Woodbridge, April 30, 7pm

Singer Imelda May is at Ipswich Regent on May 4. Read my chat with her online soon. Photo: Contributed Singer Imelda May is at Ipswich Regent on May 4. Read my chat with her online soon. Photo: Contributed

Drawing on narratives from curious everyday occurrences, global politics and folk legends, the band’s multi-lingual performances are a mix of musical story-telling, good-time sing-a-longs and fun-filled crowd participation that flip between poignant introspection and carefree raucousness. They’ll be a trio on the night with Harry Bird on guitar and vocals, Kate Theodore on violin and vocals and Christophe Capewell on violin, ukulele and melodica.

National Garden Scheme, Peppers Farm, Sible Hedingham, April 30, 2pm-5pm

A half an acre country garden set high on quiet rural green with farmland views, hedges divide informal borders featuring flowering shrubs, fruit and specimen trees; many grown from seed. An alpine scree and sinks overlook a spring fed pond. The nearby bluebell wood will also be open and home-made teas available.

Craig Bullard with homemade sausage rolls at the Suffolk Food Hall. Picture: Seana Hughes Craig Bullard with homemade sausage rolls at the Suffolk Food Hall. Picture: Seana Hughes

The Shires, Ipswich Regent, May 1, 7pm

The UK’s most successful country act return to Ipswich. Last year saw them play a packed summer festival schedule, with their first headline performance at Glastonbury Festival on the acoustic stage. New album My Universe dropped in September, landing at number three and becoming the fastest-selling UK country album of all time.

International Workers Day, Firstsite, Colchester, May 1, 6.30pm

Acclaimed poet John Hegley headlines the Colchester TUC evening of poetry and song, raising funds for its campaigning work.

Joining him are performance poet Piers Harrison-Reid, who tells stories of love and loss sometimes inspired by his experiences training working the NHS; Polly Haynes and poet and longtime local political activist Mike Harwood.

Philippe Palmer, promoting the event for the trades council, said: “Typically, John has compared his political campaigning to that of William Wordsworth’s in the poem A Lean Towards the Light, where Wordsworth eats his porridge with honey rather than sugar, a small gesture marking his opposition to the slave trade. It will be a great night.”

Sudbury Plant Market, The Quay Theatre, Sudbury, May 1, from 10am

The annual fundraising market has become a firm fixture for plant-lovers over the past 15 years. This year’s event will feature more than 20 specialist nurseries from across East Anglia. Plant donations to The Quay’s plant stall would be very welcome.

And later in the week...

The Peatbog Faeries, The Apex, Bury St Edmunds, May 2, 8pm

They’ve been described as The Orb meeting a ceilidh band in the mind of Irvine Welsh. Hailing from the Isle of Skye, the band draw on a range of influences from traditional jigs and reels through jazz, hip hop, reggae and more to bring traditional Scottish music into the 21st Century.

Tomorrow Is Your Hope, The Garage, Norwich, May 3, 7.45pm

In a utopian productropolis, where emotion is waste, two individuals must escape the city limits and brave a broken world if they wish to be together. Keeper’s Daughter’s new play is being shown for one night only as a work in progress and it’s free to attend.

Dan Walsh, The Cut, Halesworth, May 3, 7.30pm

FolkEast present an evening of finger-picking fun with the masterly banjo-man and friends.The gig coincides with the start of his UK and US tour and launch of his fourth album Verging On The Perpendicular. He will be joined by Jimmy Aldridge and Sid Goldsmith with their take on traditional and original music of the British Isles, heavily influenced by the songs and singers of East Anglia, where they both grew up. This year’s FolkEast Festival runs August 18-20.

The Strange Undoing of Prudencia Hart, Haverhill Arts Centre, May 3, 7.30pm

Eastern Angles Theatre Company’s part live folk-gig, part folk tale, part barn-storming comedy. Prudencia Hart sets off for a folk music conference in the Scottish borders. As the snow descends her journey becomes more magical and the characters more devilish.

Andy Parsons, Civic Theatre, Chelmsford, May 3, 7.45pm

The Time Out, New Zealand International Comedy and Montreal Just For Laughs Comedy Festival award winner is back with new tour Peak Bullsh*t.

Worried about your job? Worried about your family? Worried about yourself? Worried about the health service? Education? Climate change? A Third World War? Worried about worrying? Forget it and have a laugh about it instead; it’s one of the things we do best.

Imelda May, Ipswich Regent, May 4, 7pm; Southend’s Cliffs Pavilion, May 8, 7pm

Her first UK tour in more than three years to promote new album Life, Love, Flesh, Blood. She’s found a new groove exploring blues, soul, gospel, folk, rock, acoustica, drama and balladry on a set of the boldest, most personal and intimately autobiographical songs she’s ever written. Read my chat with her online soon.

World record attempt, Suffolk Food Hall, Wherstead, Ipswich, May 6, 1pm

To celebrate its tenth birthday, the food hall is staging an array of activities from May 1. On May 6, customers are invited to take part in a world record attempt - the most people eating sausage rolls in a single location at the same time.

TV highlights from November 25 to December 1

Sudbury Christmas lights switch-on. When and where to enjoy the entertainment

Hazel O’Connor was a trailblazer for female performers during the 1980s. She reminisces about the friends she made and the battles she’s fought.

Today is Black Friday, a day where shops across the country reduce their prices for 24-hours. We asked people in Ipswich what they thought of the Black Friday deals.

Review: Watch the heartwarming moment where a sad five-year-old is comforted by friends after saying her heart has “shrunk”

SPOILER ALERT: Christmas 2017 soap spoilers for EastEnders, Coronation Street, Emmerdale and Hollyoaks

The Co-op Juniors Theatre Company invite you to follow them down the Yellow Brick Road to Snape Maltings for their 13th Christmas Spectacular.

Police have released online safety advice for shoppers looking for a bargain on Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

Where to see Santa has become a new ‘thing’ with parents seeking out ever more exotic locations to visit the man who makes Christmas magical.

The New Wolsey’s rock’n’roll panto has become a Christmas institution over the past 16 years. Arts editor Andrew Clarke spoke to writer-director Peter Rowe about the process of blending madcap humour with some classic songs

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