New Open-Air Theatre To Open in Epsom
Just a stone’s throw from London and set amidst rolling lavender fields, the Lavender Open-Air Theatre will open for its inaugural summer season this July in Epsom.The 250-seat open air theatre will be home for an annual season of plays and musicals with a truly elegant backdrop.
Based at Mayfield Lavender ,139 Reigate Road, Epsom, KT17 3DW, in Surrey, the theatre has been co-founded by director Joe McNeice (producer/director of ‘DIVA: Live From Hell!’), Mayfield owner Brendan Maye and Jonathan Muir. The inaugural season will open with Irving Berlin’s classic musical ‘Annie Get Your Gun’ from July 17, with music and lyrics by Irving Berlin, original book by Herbert and Dorothy Fields as revised by Peter Stone, with new direction and choreography by Simon Hardwick (‘My Fair Lady’).
The launch of the theatre will see the completion of a significant investment into the Epsom site, which already boasts a coffee bar, shop, and a full service glasshouse restaurant due to open alongside the theatre this summer.
“This will be more than just a visit to a theatre,” commented Joe McNeice, “Audiences will be able to grab a picnic to enjoy among the blossoming rows of lavender as the sun begins to set, before taking their seats in our covered auditorium to watch a show under the stars.”
Since opening in 2006, the Mayfield Lavender Farm in Banstead has grown into a major summer destination for tourists and locals in South London, and this year the team are opening the gates to a theatre at their sister location in Epsom.
Lavender Theatre Artistic Director Joe McNeice worked behind the scenes at London’s immersive ‘Great Gatsby’, and was Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre’s Visitor Services Manager until 2022, after graduating from the University of York in 2018.
“The whole place looks incredible, just walking about the site is a real treat for all the senses,” McNeice added, “so our shows have to compliment their surroundings and match the sophistication that the natural landscape has set for us.”
Speaking of his plans for ‘Annie Get Your Gun’, Simon Hardwick said: “The show will be a rip-roaring staging of the well known Broadway musical in a very raw and kinetic production that evokes the energy of Buffalo Bill’s original touring celebrations of the Wild West. The Lavender Theatre will be a dream destination; an environment in which to enjoy a West End-standard production under a hazy summer sky.”
The theatre, privately funded and managed by Lavender Productions Ltd., will produce its own shows with plans to see the summer season expand year on year with diverse and engaging programming.
McNeice said: “With no public funding or grants to help us achieve this mammoth project, we are relying solely on our Box Office income to build the Lavender Theatre into a profitable business, but we believe that creating a new producing theatre, a proper landmark location for the arts in Surrey, is something worth the investment, for both the local community and the wider industry.
“I’m really passionate about developing new shows, particularly musicals. The location is perfect because it’s actually very close to London, but far enough away to have its own identity, which will give us the opportunity to develop work without the vast expense and pressure that comes with opening new shows in the capital. It’s an incredibly exciting opportunity. There’s a lot to be said for Zone 6!”
Tickets for the inaugural season are on sale today at lavendertheatre.com.
Casting for ‘Annie Get Your Gun’ and news of other events in the inaugural Lavender Theatre season will be announced soon.
Harlequins set to host the world’s biggest club rugby event
Harlequins are hosting the UK’s biggest club rugby event on March 4 as the Club’s Men and Women’s teams take on Exeter Chiefs
Harlequins have announced that Big Game 14 is back! This year is set to be bigger than ever with both Harlequins Men and Women playing a massive double header against Exeter Chiefs.
This will be the first time ever that the Club will hold a double header of this type at the Big Game and with both teams renowned for their physical, attacking style of play, it promises to be a mouth-watering day of rugby and spectacular entertainment for all the family.
Harlequins can also confirm that headline music act Faithless will perform a DJ set starring Sister Bliss at the home of English rugby. Faithless, the creators of the iconic international hit ‘Insomnia’ will headline the event with a performance from star DJ Sister Bliss between the Women’s Allianz Premier 15s match and the Men’s Gallagher Premiership matches at Twickenham Stadium.
Founded in 1994, Faithless are best known for their huge international hits Insomnia, God is a DJ, We Come 1, Take the Long Way Home and Salva Mea. They have released seven studio albums, selling over 15 million records worldwide. Faithless’ debut album Reverence has now been certified gold in 22 countries, and they have multiple awards including a European Grammy for Best International Dance Band and UK’s Muzik magazine’s award for the Best Live Act. Faithless are in short icons of the dance music scene for three decades.
Commenting on Harlequins Women’s top of the table clash with Exeter at the event, Head Coach Amy Turner said: “It’s great to confirm the new date for our double header against Exeter. Big Game is synonymous with the Harlequins name and I know the team are excited for the Women’s third consecutive year in such a huge moment for the Club.
“We couldn’t ask for better opposition for this double header. We are a team that values the Harlequins Way of playing and bringing a brand of rugby that both represent our DNA and entertains our supporters. Exeter are playoff contenders and will offer us a stern test in what will be a pivitol clash in the build up to the Premier 15s playoffs, which will help make this Big Game a spectacle for all to enjoy.”
Harlequins Men’s winger Josh Bassett said: “Big Game has always been one of those events in the Gallagher Premiership that you want to be involved in, including as an opposition player when I was at Wasps.
“Playing in front of 80,000 fans for your club at the home of English rugby is something that usually only happens if you reach a Premiership final. To be able to take that and add all the amazing party vibes and an incredible atmosphere around the ground is special and I am very excited to play in my first Big Game in March.
“As a family man myself, I am a little jealous that I won’t be able take my little family around the fairground for free before enjoying a great bit of rugby at the home of English rugby. But I’m excited to step onto the pitch and soak up the atmosphere on the day and fight for the win.
“Most importantly Exeter Chiefs are tough opposition, but the games between Quins and the Chiefs over the last few years have all been hugely entertaining, high-scoring affairs. From the 20/21 final, last year’s end-of-season fanfare of a game and a nail-biting finish earlier this season have all been incredible examples of entertaining rugby to keep you on the edge of your seat.
“Add into the mix a music act as big as Faithless and a double header with Harlequins Women in a top of the table Allianz Premier 15s clash, and it’s a recipe for an event day you wouldn’t want to miss as a rugby fan.”
General sale tickets are available to buy today, priced from just £35 for Adults and £25 for Under 18’s. You can buy them here!
A jam packed day of family fun and entertainment is planned for what is the highlight of the regular season across the Gallagher Premiership. Please see below for the notable key times below:
- Saturday, March 4
- 12:30 Twickenham Stadium open with free funfair ride, food and beverage open all day
- 14:30 Harlequins Women vs Exeter Chiefs Women
- 16:45 Major music act Faithless perform live on the pitch!
- 17:15 Harlequins Men vs Exeter Chiefs Men
- Post-match The Stoop will be open for supporters in the Chris Robshaw Bar
Today, the theme of the event also been revealed – ‘Light it Up’. Building on the hugely popular ‘Fire & Ice’ themed Big Game 13 event, supporters can again expect a spectacular array of glowing and sparkling activities to entertain them across the day, including:
- A stadium light show spectacular
- Free fairground rides for all the family
- A series of light based art installations to dazzle
The special edition Big Game 14 kit is already on sale and is proving popular with supporters with very strong initial sales. The Harlequins Foundation receive £5 for every Adult shirt sold to support local community initiatives. You can buy the kit here
The event is expected to be extremely popular and the Club are excited to share further news about the event in the coming weeks, notably announcing the major entertainment act next month.
Tenors Unlimited Competition
Number one selling classical vocal trio Tenors Unlimited, the ‘Rat Pack of Opera’ welcomes new member Patrick Smyth “In Concert Celebrating 20 Years” at Epsom Playhouse, Epsom, Surrey, on Saturday 18 February 7.30pm – with local choir Berrylands Belles
It will be the first time Patrick has performed with the group. He will be replacing Scott Ciscon, who has emigrated to Australia with his family.
Jem Sharples from Tenors Unlimited says “What a great 20 years it has been with memories to last more than one lifetime. We wish Scott all the best with his exciting new adventure. We are thrilled to announce we have Patrick Smyth, a great talent joining us to fill Scott’s sizeable shoes. He’s been touring with “Strictly The Professionals” show. He has a brilliant voice and it will be a privilege to perform with him.” Two members of the group live in Surrey – Jem in Surbiton and Paul Martin in Cobham.
Patrick says “What a great opportunity to sing with Tenors Unlimited in their 20th anniversary show – I’m super excited! I feel a bit nervous stepping into Scott’s shoes, but I’m looking forward to singing with the guys and having lots of fun on stage.”
Tenors Unlimited has performed all round the world at top venues such as the Royal Albert Hall, The Royal Festival Hall and Wembley Stadium, alongside such notables as Sting, Lionel Richie, Katherine Jenkins, Beyoncé, Hayley Westenra, Simply Red and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra to name a few. For 20 years, Tenors Unlimited has been entertaining audiences worldwide using talents honed in their previous solo careers in opera and theatre. They bring their own blend of wit, humour, charm and vocal arrangements to their performances.
See footage of their performances https://www.tenorsunlimited.com/media
To book tickets, visit www.tenorsunlimited.com/tour
Regarded as the original classical crossover ‘man band’, their show will take you on a wonderful musical journey through some of the best loved songs made famous by other ‘icons of song’, such as Pavarotti, Lanza, Sting, Bublé and Freddie Mercury. The group’s wide ranging repertoire includes the ever popular classics, “The Pearl Fisher’s Duet” and “Nessun Dorma” mixed with crooner and pop favourites. These include “Barcelona”, “Recipe For Love”, “Nella Fantasia” and “Everything” as well as songs written by the group themselves.
About The Berrylands Belles Choir
The choir was started over five years ago by a few mums whose children attended Grand Avenue Primary School, Surbiton . Bec Gresson from the choir says “At the first rehearsal I expected a few mums to turn up so I was delighted to find about 40 mums all keen to sing.” The choir now has 50 members and performs twice every term and organise a charity fundraising concert in the summer. It has raised money for charities such as Momentum, Kingston Hospital and Parkinson’s UK. The choir enjoys singing many different styles of music – from traditional choral pieces to contemporary choral works. “We enjoy making up choreography for our uptempo pop songs too!” says Bev.
About Tenors Unlimited
In 2020 the group won The Broadway World Best Touring Show Award in the USA where they tour annually. The group has also had a number one selling single in the UK with “Who is He”? in aid of The Salvation Army.
Tenors Unlimited came together 20 years ago to bring their own special combination of popular opera, musical theatre, iconic classical and original songs to the world and redefine the perception of a ‘tenor’ in the 21st century. The group sang at the memorial service for football legend Sir Bobby Robson and sang live at Wembley Stadium at the FA Cup final.
To win 2 tickets to see Tenors Unlimited at Epsom Playhouse on Saturday 18th Feb simply answer the following question…
Q: Which tenor featured on Perfect Symphony with Ed Sheeran?
Write your answers in the comments below. Winner will be picked at random on Valentine’s Day Tuesday 14th Feb at 5pm…….GOOD LUCK
Note: Don’t panic if you can’t see your answer straight away. Your answer will not be visible until admin approves your comment…..
Surrey Police Virtual Recruitment Session
Anyone thinking of starting a career in Surrey Police’s Contact and Deployment department can get involved in Surrey Police virtual recruitment session to find out more.
Whether it is working in their Contact Centre answering emergency calls, in the Force Control Room deploying their police officers, or as part of the Police Counter Team – being that first friendly face greeting people coming into their stations – the Contact and Deployment department is an integral part of Surrey Police.
The hour-long virtual event is taking place on Wednesday, 25 January at 6:30pm.
So, if you or any of your family or friends may be interested, share the link below and come and join Surrey Police for an informative evening!
The virtual session will be an opportunity to meet the police and ask any questions about the recruitment process, the entry requirements, training or progression.
Register here to get yourself a place at the virtual event: https://bit.ly/SurreyPoliceVirtual
Are You Looking For A Job In Surrey? If so visit our Jobs Board…..CLICK HERE
Brooklands Museum announces 2023 event calendar
Brooklands Museum has officially launched its 2023 events programme, which is packed full of key favourites and some brand-new events.
Back for 2023 on its rightful day, New Year’s Classic Gathering kicks off the year with a huge-display of vehicles from every era and following its success this year, Easter Classic Gathering has earned itself a spot in the calendar before the other staple, the Members’ Summer Classic and Autojumble make its return at the end of July.
Celebrating the variety of designs and styles from countries across the world, Brooklands Museum will be hosting event days for vehicles from specific nations, including the all-new French Day on 13th August, which will showcase classic marques from across the Channel. Perennial favourites, Italian Car Day on 29th April and American Day on 3rd September will return alongside a bigger and better German Day to be held on 1st October, that will embrace elements of Oktoberfest. The previously known British Marques Day is now Best of British on 7th May, suitably being held on the weekend of the Coronation of King Charles III. Celebrating all things British, even Paddington Bear will be making a special guest appearance. Each event will be complimented with tasty food and drink from the country of origin.
Brooklands’ Double 12 weekend will see the Mercedes Benz World track packed with action on Saturday 17th June, and a nostalgic trip back to the hey-day of Brooklands, with Brooklands Relived on Sunday 18th June. Featuring race starts on the Finishing Straight and Test Hill ascents, alongside vintage themed music, costume and food, combining to revive the spirit of Brooklands’ past and deliver a corker of weekend.
Introducing a new event for all generations to enjoy, Working Vehicle Day on 8th July will appeal to the kid in us all, as the site will be filled with working machines such as tractors, mobile cranes, airfield vehicles and more. Some of the less frequently seen parts of Brooklands Museum’s collection will be on display as well as lots of visiting vehicles. The much-loved Emergency Services Day on 17th September is back once again, giving everyone a chance to thank the everyday heroes of our country, with PAW Patrol’s Skye, Chase and Marshall coming back to say hello.
And lastly, all the usual favourites including Mini Day on 26th March, Motorcycle Day on 2nd July and Autumn Motorsport Day 8th October are in the diary alongside London Bus Museum’s three popular events – Spring Gathering, 16th April, On The Buses, 25th June and Transportfest, 22nd October.
As ever, school holidays will be packed with fun activities for families to enjoy with costumed actors back in action, recounting the stories of Brooklands’ legendary pioneers.
Halloween Walks in Epsom & Ewell
Once again local historian David Brooks will be hold 3 Halloween Walks around Epsom & Ewell. David knowledge of local history is second to none and what he doesn’t know is not worth knowing. On these walks you will hear about local witch, the ghostly coach, highwaymen and others who won’t go away. There are 2 walks in Ewell and 1 walk in Epsom. Booking is required. Both walks are listed below with dates, times and booking details.
Halloween Walk on the Dark side in Ewell
29th & 31st October 5pm to 6.30pm and 7.30pm to 9pm
Discover the darker side of Ewell’s history with a guided tour around its historic heart. Visit graveyards and crime scenes if you dare. Hear tales of local folk who won’t stay dead, ghostly coach crashes and exploding gunpowder mills Discover the story of Joan Butts, Ewell’s witch.
Are you brave enough to dare to tread where the Resurrection Men once stood whilst you learn about their grisly trade? Experience for yourself what it was like to be imprisoned in Ewell’s 18th century jail—be careful you don’t get left behind.
Cost £5 per person. Please meet in the foyer of Bourne Hall.
If there is high demand for places an additional walk will be offered other days Numbers are limited: to reserve your place please
Contact David Brooks—
Telephone 020 8394 1734 (Mon-Fri only)
Email: [email protected],
A walk around Epsom at Halloween
Sunday 30 October 5pm to 6.30pm and 7.30pm to 9pm
A walk around Epsom to visit some of the towns haunted buildings at Halloween.
From pubs, flats, B&Bs and great houses some gone and some still standing.
Hear tales of Lords and Ladies, highwaymen, teachers, nurses and policemen. Those who have pasted over but may not have yet left!
Cost £5 per person. Meet at the Clock Tower Epsom.
If there is high demand for places additional walks will be offered on other days Numbers are limited: to reserve your place please
Contact David Brooks—
Telephone 020 8394 1734 (Mon-Fri only)
Email: [email protected],
Latest From Chris Grayling MP
I am writing with a reminder about a couple of local things.
A few people have asked me why I do not address national issues in these emails except where there is useful information to provide. I know that many people want to discuss those issues with me, and I am always willing to do so if they contact me directly. But these emails are designed to be informative about local matters, and go to everyone who wants them, regardless of political persuasion, and I do not want to change their local focus even at times when there are significant events at a national level.
Firstly, a reminder that the Charity Volunteer Fair, which was postponed because of the sad death of Her Majesty the Queen, is being held between 4pm and 6.30pm this Friday, 21st October at the Dell Centre, St Giles Church, Park Lane, Ashtead, KT21 1EJ.
More than 20 charities will be there, and there will be a wide range of volunteering opportunities. So please do come along. If you can’t make it but are interested in volunteering, please let me know and I will steer you towards the right opportunities.
Epsom Methodist Church – Warm Wednesdays
Epsom Methodist Church is launching a programme of Warm Wednesdays for the winter if people are struggling with their bills and need a place to go and warm up and get some company. The events will be held every Wednesday from November 2nd until the end of February. From 9am – 2pm there will be complimentary hot drinks served in their café, from 12.30 – 2pm there will be Hot and tasty soup and a roll, from 2pm onwards complimentary hot drinks and homemade cakes, and from 3pm – 6pm a family after-school club with space for homework, story time, games, films and a free hot meal for all.
The church is in Ashley Road, Epsom, KT18 5AQ. People are welcome just to drop in.
Epsom & Ewell Energy Efficiency Programme
And finally thank you to everyone who has supported the Epsom and Ewell Energy Efficiency Programme. The appeal has already raised more than £12,000. If you do not need the £400 Government contribution towards bills this winter, please do donate it to the programme and help those locally who are already struggling with higher bills make their homes more energy efficient.
Details of how to give are at https://www.justgiving.com/campaign/epsom-ewell-energy-support-scheme
With best wishes
Email: [email protected]
Constituency Office: 01372 271 036
Address: 212 Barnett Wood Lane, Ashtead, Surrey, KT21 2DB
October Half Term Fun
This October Half Term there is plenty going on across Surrey and South West London. Below are just a few ideas for you.
Quiz Trail is a new fun educational trail currently around Cheam, Carshalton and Epsom but also available in east Sussex and Kent if you want to travel or visiting friends and family.
Quiz Trails bring together everything you’d want from a visit … or to explore your home town in a fresh new way. An interesting route to see the best parts including some hidden alleyways and paths you might never have discovered – pointing out highlights of things you might have missed – plus a take-home souvenir to read more about the stories of the town at your leisure. For More Info CLICK HERE
The Horton is a magnificent new destination for creative arts, heritage and events, created within an iconic and historically significant chapel space. This Half Term they have an array of activities including a Halloween Family Disc. Booking advised for all events. For More Details CLICK HERE
Dinosaur Adventure Live, Join our intrepid rangers on a quest to recover the data crystal, restore power to the island and save the Dinosaurs!
Stomp, Roar and Swish your tail as we introduce you to some of the most incredible species ever to have lived on planet Earth. An unforgettable jurassic experience for all the family to enjoy. Learn their history with our amazing dino facts, meet our beautiful baby dinosaurs and even feed them, but watch out…. You could be on the menu. For More Details CLICK HERE
At Code Ninjas Epsom (Epsom), kids learn to code by building their very own video games. Our flexible coding programs for kids make it easy on parents with convenient drop-in hours on weeknights and weekends. This Half Term they are running 3 camps covering Modding With Minecraft, Stop Motion Animation and Intro to Roblox Development For More Details Click Link
Halloween Maize Maze
Are you brave enough to enter?! Whats that behind you? Watch out you might not make it out alive!
With a Maze full of the spooky and the creepy, ghosts and ghouls lurking in the shadows and witches bubbling cauldrons causing mischief and magic, Once you have done the maze there is also Pick Your Own Pumpkin on site at the Picking Patch. For More Details CLICK HERE
Deadliest plants and bugs
Discover how clever creepy-crawlies and super-smart plants fight back with a week of fun family activities at RHS Garden Wisley. Meet all kinds of critters, big and small, find out about wild and wacky plants and get stuck in with craft and planting workshops, storytelling, a family garden trail and more! For More Info CLICK HERE
Sutton Biodiversity Team
The Biodiversity Team
works for the London Borough of Sutton to manage and enhance nature reserves and green spaces for nature and people. They run a wide array of education events, walks and talks to inform, educate and enthuse people about the wildlife under their nose. This Half Term they have 2 events Magic Potions Halloween Trail and Bat Walk at Beddington Park For More Details CLICK HERE
Surrey History Centre
This half term Surrey History Centre in Woking is inviting you to make a peg soldier, a paper poppy and a white peace dove. Which you will be able to colour in.There will also be colouring in. For Dates and More Details CLICK HERE
Brookland Museum, Air Heads
Join Brooklands Museum for ‘Air Heads’ this October half term as they explore the history of aviation at Brooklands with a wide range of activities.
Build a Paper Aircraft Family Workshop, Pedal Planes & Cars, NEW Activity Trail, Costume Characters plus take an exhilarating trip up Test Hill and along the steep banking of the race track with the Brooklands car rides team.
You can also jump aboard one of London Bus Museum’s vintage buses for a relaxing ride out and around Brooklands. For More Details CLICK HERE
It’s Hobble’ween Hobbledown this Half Term with bug brunches, dragons, potions and explosions. Make sure you don’t get lost in the Wicked Willow Maze. Warning lookout for The Skibblers who will be up to their old tricks. For More Info CLICK HER
Take a look at our Events Calendar for more events including Halloween and History Walks, Shows, Concerts, Market, Kids Museum Club and lots more CLICK HERE
Do you have an event you would like us to promote? If so email [email protected]
Epsom Jazz Club
Epsom Jazz Club, formed earlier this year, is gaining a reputation of a slice of the Soho Jazz scene in the heart of Epsom, Surrey. Featuring headline acts that normally perform at Ronnie Scotts and other such venues.
For More Information Make Sure To Follow Epsom Jazz Club Social Media Pages;