Essential Kent diary for February 2016

PUBLISHED: 11:59 22 January 2016 | UPDATED: 12:09 22 January 2016

What to do in Kent this month

What to do in Kent this month

copyright@ 2014 Christine Bird

From theatre to live music, tea dances to burlesque, there is so much to do in Kent during February, so check out our guide to what’s on in Kent February 2016

Into the Trenches until 21 Feb

A century after Sir Winston Churchill served at the Front in the First World War, this exhibition explores his early military career, from cavalry charges to the trenches and beyond. Tickets: Contact venue; normal admission charges apply. 01732 868381. Chartwell, Westerham. Satnav: TN16 1PS

POW family trail until 21 Feb

Discover how Churchill escaped as a POW during the Boer War. Follow in his footsteps and decide how you would escape capture. Tickets: Contact venue. 01732 868381. Chartwell, Westerham. Satnav: TN16 1PS

They shall grow not old until 26 Feb

A commemorative exhibition that brings to life thoughts and feelings of soldiers who served in the trenches during the First World War. Tickets: Contact venue; normal admission charges apply. 01732 868381. Chartwell, Westerham. Satnav: TN16 1PS

International garden photographer of the year exhibition until 28 Feb

See a collection of imagery from this year’s international exhibition. Tickets: Contact venue; normal admission charges apply. 01580 710700. Sissinghurst Castle and Gardens, nr Cranbrook. Satnav: TN17 2AB

Classic Rock ShowClassic Rock Show

Classic Rock Show 1 and 17 Feb

From the extraordinary opening sounds of Led Zeppelin’s Whole Lotta Love to Queen’s powerhouse anthem I Want It All via a detour down AC/DC’s ‘Highway To Hell’ and everything in between, this show will rock you to your core. Tickets: £23.50 to £33.50 (Leas Cliff Hall); £23.50 to £33.50 (Orchard Theatre). 0844 871 3015 (Leas Cliff Hall); 01322 220000 (Orchard Theatre). Leas Cliff Hall, Folkestone (1 Feb); Orchard Theatre, Dartford (17 Feb). Satnav: CT20 2DZ (Leas Cliff Hall); DA1 1ED (Orchard Theatre)

The 39 Steps, The Orchard TheatreThe 39 Steps, The Orchard Theatre

The 39 Steps 1 to 6 Feb

Four actors, 130 characters all packed into 100 fun-packed minutes. Based on Alfred Hitchcock’s 1935 movie and John Buchan’s 1914 spy thriller The Thirty Nine Steps and adapted for the stage by Patrick Barlow, the show will be celebrating 10 years, hence the tour around the UK. Tickets: £15 to £28. 01322 220000. The Orchard Theatre, Dartford. Satnav: DA1 1ED

Marlowe Young Musician 2 Feb

Come and hear the musical stars of tomorrow today. The performers will be accompanied by the Kent Concert Orchestra. Tickets: £14.50; £16.50. 01227 787787. The Marlowe Theatre, Canterbury. Satnav: CT1 2AS

Masterful Melodies 3 Feb

Brilliant young Israeli conductor-pianist Lahav Shani takes to the stage for Mozart’s piano concerto (no 20, K466) and Mahler’s First Symphony. Tickets: 11 to £34. 01227 787787. The Marlowe Theatre, Canterbury. Satnav: CT1 2AS

Anton and Erin 4 Feb

The nation’s favourite Strictly couple returns with a dazzling new show, featuring sensational choreography and world-class dancers. Tickets: £32 to £49.50. 01227 787787. The Marlowe Theatre, Canterbury. Satnav: CT1 2AS

Mark Thomas: Trespass 5 Feb

Fondly referred to by the Metropolitan Police as ’general rabble-rouser’ and ‘alleged comedian’, Mark Thomas’s new show carries on from where his previous show 100 Acts of Minor Dissent left off. He combines his usual mix of theatre, stand up, activism and a dash of journalism. Tickets: £13 to £16. 01892 678 678. Trinity Theatre, Tunbridge Wells. Satnav: TN1 1JP

Stewart Lee 5 Feb

The show is a work in progress, which will eventually form the material for the fourth series of the triple BAFTA-nominated Stewart Lee’s Comedy Vehicle. Lee will explore new subjects, try out brand new material and will also cut and add sections… catch it live now. Tickets: £21. 01892 530613. Assembly Hall Theatre, Tunbridge Wells. Satnav: TN1 2LU

Time To Talk To Jane 5 Feb

A one-woman show, based on real-life experiences, giving an unexpected insight into the highs and lows of living with bulimia. Tickets: £12.50. 01227 787787. The Marlowe Studio, Canterbury. Satnav: CT1 2AS

Build It Live! (Andrew Wall photography)Build It Live! (Andrew Wall photography)

Build It Live! 6 and 7 Feb

Find out all you need to know about adding space, light and value to your existing home, taking on a renovation project or building your own dream home. Highlights at this year’s show include The Naked House, Find a Builder, Real-Life Projects, and many, many more. It’s your one-stop-shop for all things building-related. Tickets: £12. Glow, Bluewater, Greenhithe. Satnav: DA9 9ST

Reader competition

Win a pair of tickets to for Build It Live! Kent Life has teamed up with Build It Live! to give readers the chance to win a pair of tickets for the show. We have five pairs to give away, so if you’re planning a ‘project’ for 2016, this is a fantastic opportunity to capitalise on the expertise and know-how that will be on show during the event. Now in it’s third year, Build It Live! is a one-stop-shop to add space, light and value to your existing property or help you build your own dream home. To enter, all you have to do is answer this simple question:

Build it Live! is now in it’s… a) Third year. b) 30th year. c) 300th year

The first five correct entries drawn will win a pair of tickets to the show. If you are confident of your answer, then all you have to do is pop it on a postcard or a piece of paper and send it to Build It Live! Competition, The Editor, Kent Life, Kent House, 81 Station Road, Ashford TN23 1PP. Alternatively, you can email in your answer to, with Build It Live! Competition in the subject line. Don’t forget to include your name, address and a contact telephone number with every entry. The closing date of the competition is: 1 February 2016. The editor’s decision is final. Any entries received after the closing date will not be eligible for entry. Travel to and from the show, plus any other expenses incurred are not included in the prize. The prize is one of five pairs of tickets for the Build It Live! Show at Glow, Bluewater. Normal Archant competition rules apply.

Johnny CashJohnny Cash

The Johnny Cash Roadshow 6 Feb

The only tribute show to be endorsed by the Cash family. This show captures what it was really like to be at a concert by the Man in Black. Tickets: £21. 01227 787787. The Marlowe Theatre, Canterbury. Satnav: CT1 2AS

Lee Hurst 6 Feb

One of Britain’s most-loved comedians is back with an all-new show for 2016. After more than 20 years ago as a circuit comic and one of the best telly warm-up men in the business, Lee has become a regular on comedy panel shows. Tickets: £14.50; £16. 01303 760750. The Quarterhouse, Folkestone. Satnav: CT20 1BN

Royal Philharmonic Orchestra 6 Feb

Join the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra for an evening of outstanding classical music. Led by the orchestra’s permanent associate conductor Grzegorz Nowak, the orchestra will delight Kent audiences with a selection of familiar classics that have topped the Classic FM Ultimate Hall of Fame. Tickets: £11 to £33.50. 0844 871 3015. Leas Cliff Hall, Folkestone. Satnav: CT20 2DZ

Simon & GarfunkelSimon & Garfunkel

The Simon & Garfunkel Story 6 Feb

Utilising huge projection photos and original film footage, this 50th anniversary celebration show also features a full live band performing hit after hit, including Mrs Robinson, Cecilia, Bridge Over Troubled Water, Homeward Bound and many, many more. Tickets: £17.50; £16 (concs). 01843 292795. Theatre Royal, Margate. Satnav: CT9 1PW

The Dublin Legends 7 Feb

The Dublin Legends, Sean Cannon, Eamonn Campbell, Paul Watchorn and Gerry O’Connor, have more than 60 years’ performing with the Dubliners between them. They will continue to play all the classic songs and ballads known the world over, including Whiskey In The Jar, Dirty Old Town, Molly Malone, and many more. Tickets: From £23.50. 08448 717 620. Churchill Theatre, Bromley. Satnav: BR1 1HA

Tom Stade: You’re Welcome 7 Feb

The UK has taken this Canadian comedian to its heart. Candid and alluring, Tom muses on life’s oddities and revels in his own perpetual shortcomings. Expect some uncompromising humour, mischief and heaps of inspired improvisation. Tickets: £17. 01227 769075. The Gulbenkian, Canterbury. Satnav: CT2 7NB

Footloose (Garry Lake photography)Footloose (Garry Lake photography)

Footloose: The Musical 8 to 13 Feb

Based on the 1984 film starring Kevin Bacon, Footloose: The Musical tells the story of city boy Ren, played by Gareth Gates, who has to move to a rural backwater in America where dancing is banned. All hell breaks loose as Ren shimmies up and down and drags the whole town to its feet. Tickets: £20 to £32. 01322 220000. Orchard Theatre, Dartford. Satnav: DA1 1ED

Derren Brown: Miracle 8 to 13 Feb

The master of psychological illusion returns with his most provocative show yet. Tickets: £43.50; £48. 01227 787787. The Marlowe Theatre, Canterbury. Satnav: CT1 2AS

The Perfect Murder 8 to 13 Feb

EastEnders’ favourites Shane Richie and Jessie Wallace star on stage together for the very first time in Peter James’ critically acclaimed stage hit. Victor Smiley and his wife Joan have been married for a long time. But their marriage has reached crisis point; and Victor has decided there’s only one way to get Joan out of his life forever…. but he’s about to get a nasty surprise. Tickets: £15 to £37.90. 08448 717 620. Churchill Theatre, Bromley. Satnav: BR1 1HA

Folie à Deux 10 Feb

Insanity, electricity and love collide in a sonic voyage into the shared psychosis of ‘folie a deux’. It’s a collaboration between British composer Emily Hall and Icelandic writer Sjon (lyricist to Bjork). Tickets: £13. 01227 787787. The Marlowe Studio, Canterbury. Satnav: CT1 2AS

An Evening of BurlesqueAn Evening of Burlesque

An Evening of Burlesque 12 Feb

An Evening of Burlesque embarks on its sixth sizzling year of touring the UK with a spectacle promises will stretch the limits of the imagination further than ever before. For over-18s only, the production promises sultry vocals, breathtaking choreography, mischief, magic, frivolity and fun. Stars such as Isabella Bliss, Scarlett Belle, The Folly Mixtures, Miss Felixy Splits and a whole host of others will make this a night to remember. Tickets: From £22. 0844 858 6656. Britannia Theatre, Dickens World, Chatham. Satnav: ME4 4LL

Back to Bacharach 13 Feb

The show celebrates the magical music of Burt Bacharach, one of the most accomplished popular composers of the 20th century, who, together with Hal David, penned some of the most memorable and iconic hits of all time. A live 10-piece band accompanies the singers. Tickets: £22.50 to £25.40. 0844 871 3015. Leas Cliff Hall, Folkestone. Satnav: CT20 2DZ

Jackson Live in Concert 13 Feb

Jackson Live in Concert sees a long-time fan and hugely talented performer, along with his band, recreate the Michael Jackson experience with stunning renditions of many of the Peter Pan of Pop’s most memorable songs. Tickets: £20.50; £19; £15.50 (child). 01843 292795. Margate Winter Gardens, Margate. Satnav: CT9 1HX

Laid Bare Cabaret 13 Feb

The sell-out cabaret returns with a Valentine’s burlesque special! Catch Canterbury’s hottest cabaret show, featuring a variety of acts including international burlesque artists Kitty Bang Bang and Eliza DeLite, with the hilarious Lloyd Hollett as compere. Tickets: £16. 01227 787787. The Marlowe Studio, Canterbury. Satnav: CT1 2AS

Lonely Hearts Dance Club 13 Feb

Dust off your dancing shoes and get in the mood for love by putting your best foot forward. The Ray Collins Hot Club will be playing a swinging selection of rip-roaring tunes. Tickets: £12. 01843 295887. The Ballroom, Dreamland, Margate. Satnav: CT9 1XJ

Rob NewmanRob Newman

Rob Newman 13 Feb

After volunteering for a brain-imaging experiment meant to locate the part of the brain that lights up when you’re in love, Rob emerges with more questions than answers. Join him as he tries to make sense of it all. The production includes a specially constructed MRI-hat that will record Robert’s real-time brain activity throughout the show. Tickets: £15; £12 (student). 01227 769075. The Gulbenkian, Canterbury. Satnav: CT2 7NB

Winter crafts 13 to 21 Feb

Have fun outside with a winter activity pack, including some of the most popular ‘50 things…’ activities and other games. Inside, warm up with storytelling, traditional games and crafts. Tickets: Normal admission charges apply, small cost for some activities. 01732 810378. Ightham Mote, Sevenoaks. Satnav: TN15 0NT

Brendan Cole 14 Feb

Strictly Come Dancing’s Brendan Cole will dazzle audiences across the UK with his latest show A Night to Remember. Brendan, who is one of Strictly’s most charismatic choreographers and performers, will host throughout as he leads his cast on a journey of music and dance in a spectacular night of theatrical entertainment. Tickets: From £26. 08448 717 620. Churchill Theatre, Bromley. Satnav: BR1 1HA

Valentine’s Evening Dinner 14 Feb

Pop into the cosy setting of Hythe Light Railway Tea Room for a romantic three-course evening meal with a difference with your beloved. Advance booking is essential. Tickets: Contact venue. 01797 362353. Romney Hythe & Dymchurch Railway, Ashford. Satnav: TN28 8PL

Valentine Tea Dance 14 Feb

Put on your dancing shoes and come and waltz away the afternoon. Glide to graceful ballroom, and strut your stuff to the vibrancy of Latin American rhythms. Tickets: £5. 01843 482004. Mama Feelgoods Boutique Café and Events, Quex Park, Birchington. Satnav: CT7 0BH

Mister Maker at The Orchard TheatreMister Maker at The Orchard Theatre

Mister Maker 15 to 16 Feb

Calling all Mini-Makers! Come and join your ultimate arts and crafts hero Mister Maker for his first-ever live theatre tour. There’ll be singing, dancing and some amazing arty creations. Tickets: £11 (child); £14.50 (adult); £46 (family ticket). 01322 220000. The Orchard Theatre, Dartford. Satnav: DA1 1ED

Winter Walk (NT/ John Millar)Winter Walk (NT/ John Millar)

Family winter walk 15 Feb

Monday 15 February, 11.30am, 12.30pm, 1.30pm and 2.30pm. Join us for a guided family walk at Knole. Learn more about this ancient parkland, discover the secrets of its past and see how many deer you can spot. Tickets: Free. 01732 462100. Knole Park, Sevenoaks. Satnav: TN15 0RP

Fairport Convention 2015Fairport Convention 2015

Fairport Convention 16 and 17 Feb

One of the world’s most beloved folk bands returns to Kent. This year’s Winter Tour will feature a mix of long-established Fairport faves, as well as some new material from the group’s most recent studio album Myths And Heroes. Tickets: £22. 01227 769075. The Gulbenkian, Canterbury. Satnav: CT2 7NB

Morgan & West’s Spectacular Magic Show 17 Feb

Time-travelling magicians with a box full of bafflement and impossibility! Mixing some brain-busting illusion and good old-fashioned tomfoolery, this is a show for all the family, where magic and silliness abound. Tickets: £9. 01227 787787. The Marlowe Studio, Canterbury. Satnav: CT1 2AS

The Bodyguard 17 to 27 Feb

The award-winning musical based on the blockbuster film. Featuring a host of Whitney Houston’s greatest hits, including Queen of the Night, Saving All My Love, I Wanna Dance With Somebody and one of the greatest hits of all time I Will Always Love You. Tickets: £28 to £54. 01227 787787. The Marlowe Theatre, Canterbury. Satnav: CT1 2AS

The Tap-Dancing Mermaid 19 Feb

A magical story about a tippetty-top tap dancer. Recommended for children aged three plus. Tickets: £8. 01227 787787. The Marlowe Studio, Canterbury. Satnav: CT1 2AS

Simply The Best Divas 20 Feb

Come celebrate the talents of some of the world’s most talented divas and their biggest hits. Expect your favourite classics such as Like A Virgin, Single Ladies, Rolling in the Deep, Spinning Around, Chain Reaction, If I Could Turn Back Time, and many more. Tickets: From £20. 08448 717 620. Churchill Theatre, Bromley. Satnav: BR1 1HA

Blood BrothersBlood Brothers

Blood Brothers 22 to 27 Feb

Written by Willy Russell, Blood Brothers tells the captivating and moving tale of twins who, separated at birth, grow up on opposite sides of the tracks, only to meet again with fateful consequences. Tickets: From £17.50. 08448 717 620. Churchill Theatre, Bromley. Satnav: BR1 1HA

The Remarkable Tale of Oliver Twist 25 Feb

Everyone has heard of the small boy who dares to ask for more, but do you know the original story of Oliver Twist? Packed full of surprises for a modern audience, Red Earth’s adaptation of Charles Dickens’s masterpiece recreates a colourful cast of larger-than-life characters on stage. Presented in the style of Victorian music hall, with speciality acts and variety entertainments, Red Earth’s production brings Oliver’s story vividly to life for children and grown-ups. Seized by Fagin, saved by Brownlow, snatched back by Fagin and once again retrieved, this boy’s tale of suspense and dark deeds is told with high spirits and great good humour. Tickets: £10, concs £8, family of four £30, schools £7.50 and teachers go free. 01843 292795. Theatre Royal, Margate. Satnav: CT9 1PW

Get in touch

Do you have an event or performance that you would like to see featured in Kent Life’s Diary pages, the most comprehensive coverage in the county? To avoid disappointment, please bear in mind that we work six to eight weeks ahead of the calendar. Send your information and hi-resolution images to: Don’t forget to include the dates, ticket prices, address and contact details.

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