Our Guide To What’s Happening Across The UK In April 2018!

Venture outside with a spring in your step! April’s the month for getting out and about, wherever you live. Check out what’s on locally with our Futon Company What’s On Guide…


The Wonder Stuff & Ned’s Atomic Dustbin
It’s been 27 years since these Stourbridge legends shared a stage, so they’ve decided to reunite for a one-off, 12-date co-headliner tour for 2018. With millions of records sold between them, this is one not to miss. Coming to O2 Ritz on 7th April.

This gripping adaptation directed by Associate Artistic Director Matthew Xia, with Shane Zaza (Happy Valley) playing Victor Frankenstein, by playwright April de Angelis, marks 200 years since the publication of Mary Shelley’s famous Gothic horror. Showing at the Royal Exchange Theatre 9th-14th April.

The House of Kings & Queens
Documentary photographer Lee Price explores life as a member of the LGBT+ community in Sierra Leone, where homosexuality remains illegal and people face persecution for revealing their true identities. Providing a glimmer of hope to the community is a young transgender woman who offers her home – The House of Kings & Queens – to those in need, providing a sanctuary for visitors to be amongst those who understand and accept them. Powerful images on display from now until 15th April at People’s History Museum.


Puppet Animation Festival
This annual Festival takes place across Scotland every Easter, bringing 140 puppet performances, workshops and animated film screenings no matter where you live in Scotland. From Stornoway on the Isle of Lewis to the most Southernly tip of Dumfries and Galloway, and everywhere in between, the Festival visits school halls, community centres and theatres across Scotland to bring the performing arts and film to children and families. The Festival runs from now until 14th April.

Wildlife Photographer of the Year
Visit the National Museum of Scotland between now and April 29th for an atmospheric display of 100 awe-inspiring images which present the incredible diversity and fragility of life on Earth in a new and spectacular way. This is the most prestigious photography event of its kind, attracting tens of thousands of entries from photographers worldwide. On loan from the National History Museum in London, this world-renowned touring exhibition features acclaimed photographs displayed on large-format, backlit panels, bringing you face-to-face with some of nature’s most astonishing sights. Showing until April 29th.

Emil Nolde
Nolde was one of the greatest German expressionists, and a supreme colourist. His fate and survival of the Nazis is the subject of a great novel by Siegfried Lenz, and his exhibition at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art showcases his work in bulk. Running until October 21st.

Edinburgh’s 101 Objects
Discover the rich history of Edinburgh through 101 of its most treasured objects. To celebrate the year of History, Heritage and Archaeology, this unique visitor experience will bring Edinburgh’s vibrant past to life. The city-wide attraction is a first for Edinburgh, with 50 partners, including city institutions, attractions, universities, galleries and local pubs, coming together to each showcase their precious objects in celebration of 1,000 years of Scotland’s capital city. Seven themes provide a thread running through the Edinburgh’s 101 journey through time: Building a City; Faith & Nation; City of Innovation; Arts & Performance; Everyday Life; On the Dark Side and Books, Words & Ideas. Running  until April 2018 in various locations across the city.


Wedding Showcase
Experience Chiswick House & Gardens as you’ve never seen it before, dressed and sparkling in 2018’s key wedding trends and designs. Taking place on April 7th, this is a must-have experience for all brides and grooms to be!

Abba: Super Troupers
Come on a musical journey with Swedish pop sensation ABBA as they take over 1970s Britain in this one of a kind exhibition. Led by a personal tour guide and the voice of narrator Jarvis Cocker, a Southbank Centre guide will take you through nine immersive rooms exploring the music, lyrics and lives of one of the world’s most unforgettable bands. Approximate run time 60 minutes. Open until April 29th.

Chiswick Food Market
Open every Sunday come rain or shine from 10am to midday at Dukes Meadows Trust Pavilion Car Park W4 2RX, the market is a social enterprise, and proceeds made from running it are used to improve and maintain both the local meadows and the surrounding riverside area. Features 25 top producers from around the country.

Charles II:  Art & Power
After over a decade of austere Cromwellian rule, the restoration of the monarchy in 1660 led to a resurgence of the arts in England. The court of Charles II became the centre for the patronage of leading artists and the collecting of great works of art, which served not only as decoration for the royal apartments but also as a means of glorifying the restored monarchy and reinforcing the position of Charles II as King. This exhibition exploring the captivating world of the opulent Restoration court is on display at The Queen’s Gallery, Buckingham Palace until 13th May.

Demons Land
The Old Fire Station Gallery hosts a selection of work from Demons Land: A Poem Come True from 17th April. This multimedia art installation tells the story of an island, deep underneath the unknown world, in which a poem comes uncannily, horribly true. It features large-scale history paintings, strange denatured sculptures, and mesmeric landscapes. The heart of the exhibition is a film, which will be screened 17th April, 8th and 18th May. Demons Land is based on Edmund Spenser’s The Fairie Queene, a violent, beautiful, hallucinogenic work written in the service of religious fundamentalism and cultural genocide. A poem of idealism, temptation, ravishing gorgeousness; a poem of coercion and prevention.

Victorian Passions and Pursuits
This new exhibition, on display at Blenheim Palace from now until 16th April, will transport visitors back in time to the Victorian era when Sir Winston Churchill was a child at the Palace.  Tour the State Rooms and explore how the Palace and its collections were presented during Victorian times.  Learn how the huge fleet of servants managed the running of one of the most formal stately homes in the land, and hear the stories of the Palace’s inhabitants during this exciting period of our history.

Ashmolean Museum
Contained in a gorgeous building across from the Randolph Hotel, the Ashmolean has paintings, coins, musical instruments and antiques, statues of deities and a must see Egyptian exhibition.  Open every day.  Free admission.


Colston Hall Record Fair
You’ll find everything in the Hall from £1 bargains to expensive rarities, and dealers specialising in most genres of music form the fifties to the present day. 7th April at Colston Hall.

The Band at Bristol Hippodrome
David Pugh & Dafydd Rogers and Take That have announced that the UK Tour of Tim Firth’s new musical, The Band, with the music of Take That, will have a major UK tour, coming to Bristol Hippodrome from 17th-28th April. The Band is a new musical about what it’s like to grow up with a boyband. For five 16 year old friends in 1992, the band is everything. 25 years on, we are reunited with the group of friends, now 40-something women, as they try once more to fulfil their dream of meeting their heroes.

No Man’s Land Exhibition
No Man’s Land offers rarely-seen female perspectives on the First World War, featuring images taken by women who worked as nurses, ambulance drivers, and official photographers, as well as contemporary artists directly inspired by the conflict. Featuring photographs by three women of the epoch, alongside three women making work a century later. Showing at Bristol Cathedral from 6th April to 1st July.


ncf Comedy Award Winning £1 Night
The £1 Comedy Night features a mix of established acts trying new material and new acts. All for just £1. You never know what you’re going to get but it’s always a great laugh. Canalhouse Bar in Nottingham on 11th and 25th April from 8pm.

Ultimate ‘90s Party
Dance the night away to tunes of the ‘90s at Holiday Inn Nottingham Derby on 28th April.

ExLibrus Charity Masked Book Sale 2018
Charity Book Sale in aid of NNRF and Hayward House. Brilliant book bargains! Books rescued and masks worn. Family friendly. Cakes! Taking place from 10am-6pm on 28th and 29th April at ExLibris in Nottingham.

Cave Tours
Take a tour to experience the caves at Nottingham Castle for yourself, learning on the way the gruesome tales of Roger Mortimer, King David II of Scotland, or you may be able to take a tour with Robin Hood himself… With some of the caves dating back to medieval times, the tour is strenuous with LOTS of steep steps. However, for those who wish to descend through hundreds of years the tour is a must. Tours last approximately 30-40 minutes. Costs £5 per person plus normal castle entry. Tours run all year round.


Chester Craft Beer Festival
Beer Heroes are hosting Chester Craft Beer Festival on 21st April, with 10 local breweries showcasing over 80 different types of the very best of their craft beer and cider. The festival will also welcome some great artisan food vendors along with live music and DJs.

Maelstrom Art Installation
Maelstrom, a public artwork by artist David Cotterrell, will acknowledge Chester’s evolving relationship with water and provide an excuse to stop and stare; to encourage alternative viewpoints and to reward urban curiosity and contemplation. Showing at the Chester Centre from now until 27th October 2018.

Unexpected Elegance:  Female Fashion from the 1970s
The 1970s are often called ‘the decade that taste forgot’ but the dresses in this small exhibition at Chester Costume Gallery running now until 1st July 2019, show that this was far from true. From minis to midis and maxis, in fabrics ranging from cotton and corduroy to polyester and fake leopard-skin, with designs by Ossie Clark, Givenchy and Zandra Rhodes, this celebrates some of the more subtle pleasures of 1970s fashion.


Charmed Lives in Greece
Showing now until July 15th at the British Museum, this exhibition focuses on the friendship of the artists Niko Ghika and John Craxton, and the writer Patrick Leigh Fermor. Their shared love of Greece was fundamental to their work, as they embraced its sights, sounds, colours and people. Cultural figures of the 20th century, these three met at the end of WW2, becoming lifelong friends, spending much of their subsequent lives in Greece. Their time here was to shape each other’s works for the rest of their lives. The exhibition brings together their artworks, photographs, letters and personal possessions. Living with gods, peoples, places and worlds beyond Beliefs in spiritual beings and worlds beyond nature are characteristic of all human societies. By looking at how people believe through objects of faith, this exhibition at the British Museum provides a perspective on what makes believing a vital part of human behaviour. This exhibition is a collaboration between the Museum, the BBC and Penguin Books. It is open now until 8th April.

Charles II: Art & Power
After over a decade of austere Cromwellian rule, the restoration of the monarchy in 1660 led to a resurgence of the arts in England.  The court of Charles II became the centre for the patronage of leading artists and the collecting of great works of art, which served not only as decoration for the royal apartments but also as a means of glorifying the restored monarchy and reinforcing the position of Charles II as king.  An exhibition exploring the captivating world of the opulent Restoration court is on display at The Queen’s Gallery, Buckingham Palace until 13th May.


Royal Tunbridge Wells Choral Society
Assembly Hall Theatre presents the RTWCS with the Salomon Orchestra, conducted by Rebecca Miller. Programme includes Bernstein’s Chichester Psalms, Rutter’s Magnificat and Stravinsky’s Symphony of Psalms. 29th April.

Seasons of Change: The Story of Fegans
The story of Fegans, the children’s charity.  Deeply moved by the plight of destitute boys in London in the 1860s, James Fegan set up a society to provide desperately needed housing and schooling.  In 1870 he founded the charity that set up homes for children which brought shelter, care and hope. His story and that of the children in his care became intertwined with the history of child migration from Britain to the Empire in the late 1800s and early 1900s, with many boys being sent to live in Canada. This exhibition, showing now until 2nd June at Tunbridge Wells Museum & Art Gallery, tells Fegan’s 148 year long story through the historic archive held at the Museum.

Tunbridge Wells Farmers’ Market
Held outside the Town Hall, located centrally in the heart of the town, this Farmers’ Market provides a good source of local, fresh food. It is held on the 2nd and 4th Saturday of each month from 9am to 2pm.


Marvellous Maritime
Get the family hooked on Plymouth’s marvellous maritime heritage in this interactive workshop at the Mayflower Museum on May 4th. Friends from the National Marine Aquarium will join in the fun for a morning of activities that will dive deep into our oceans and explore their history.

The Band of HM Royal Marines
Fresh from performing to sell out audiences at the Royal Albert Hall, the Royal Marines Band Plymouth return home to offer their South-West audiences a taste of their famous London show. The band will perform works and solos featured at the Mountbatten Festival of Music, including routines from the world renowned Corps of Drums, as this spectacular production is brought to life in the Pavilions area. The brand promises a first class and unforgettable evening of quintessential band repertoire. Plymouth Pavilions on 28th April.

Spring Foraging Course
Dartmoor is one of the most beautiful places in the UK with not many roads but plenty of wild food and clean growing environments for the freshest tasting plants we find anywhere. This foraging course, taking place 27th and 28th April, begins at The Cleave Inn in Lustleight at 12pm. It starts there with a 30 minute introduction on what to look for and a brief of the general countryside codes and how they relate to foragers. After the talk a 2-3 hour walk in the local area will take place, around the woods, fields and hedgerows, identifying the different edible and poisonous plants, flowers and mushrooms.


Kate Rusby
Of all the stars in Folk Music’s wondrous firmament, few shine as brightly as Yorkshire’s Kate Rusby. A career which spans over 25 years in music showcases her as one of the finest interpreters of traditional folk songs and one of our most emotive songwriters. She comes to perform at the Civic Theatre on 6th April from 7.45pm.

Northern Chamber Orchestra
Part of the 30th anniversary M&G classical concert series, this celebratory performance is set to take place on 7th April, 7pm at the Civic Theatre. Features the Australian guitarist Craig Ogden, in a performance of two guitar concertos; the Rodrigo Concierto de Aranjuez, and the newly commissioned guitar concerto by Andy Scott, written specifically for Craig.

Farmers & Crafts Market
Set in the beautiful surroundings of the Stables Visitor Centre at Hylands House, the wonderful Farmers & Crafts Market features a growing number of craft stalls and local farmers who are passionate about food. They sell a range of specialist foods including organic, locally grown seasonal vegetables, fine sausages and bacon, homemade cakes, fudge and pastries, pies and fantastic cheeses, homemade Indian foods and spices, locally grown plants and sweets and candyfloss for children. Held the first Sunday of every month from 10am-4pm.


Cambridge Literary Festival
From poetry to politics, fiction to finance, history to hip-hop and comedy to current affairs, Cambridge Literary Festival brings an eclectic mix of today’s best writers, thinkers and speakers to Cambridge all year round. This year’s festival is set to take place 13th-15th April at venues across Cambridge.

Tez Ilyas: Testify
Armed with his trademark cheek and uncompromising approach, the star of BBC Radio 4’s Tez Talks and BBC2’s Live at the BBC, TEZ ILYAS, presents his slick, smart and typically subversive new stand-up show on a nationwide tour. Described by The Guardian as “a mischievous show with serious intent – Ilyas has the slickness of U.S comics, and the gags to back it up.” 21st April at Junction.

Banff Mountain Film Festival
Experience the most extraordinary collection of short films from the world’s most prestigious mountain Film Festival. Follow the expeditions of some of today’s most incredible adventurers, see amazing footage of adrenalin packed action sports and be inspired by thought-provoking pieces shot from the far flung corners of the globe. 20th April at Cambridge Corn Exchange.


Makers Month
Visit The Forum until 7th April to meet arts and crafts people from across Norfolk, eager to show you how to knit, sew, crochet, spin, weave, print, embroider, quilt, draw, paint, sculpt and even whittle. As well as opportunities to try out some of the skills for free, there’s a programme of bookable workshops, fascinating talks and open exhibitions. Everyone is welcome and entrance is free.

Jesmyn Ward – UAE Spring Literary Festival 2018
Jesmyn Ward is the author of various novels, including Salvage the Bones, which won the 2011 National Book Award and Sing, Unburied, Sing, which won the 2017 National Book Award. She’ll be speaking at the University of East Anglia on 25th April.

WOW – Women of the World Festival
WOW is a global festival movement that celebrates women and girls, and looks at the obstacles that stop them from achieving their potential. Now WOW is coming to Norwich. The festival will run from 27th-29th April and will feature talks, debates, music, activism, mentoring, pop-ups and performance, as well as celebrating women and girls and taking a frank look at what prevents them from achieving their potential. At OPEN Norwich.


Yorkshire’s Jurassic World
Take an epic journey back through 150 million years of Yorkshire to discover lost giants and the changing worlds they inhibited in this brand new major exhibition at Yorkshire Museum & Gardens. From the depths of the deepest sea to the ancient coasts and tropical shallows, meet the dinosaurs and sea dragons that once roamed our vast and ever-changing landscapes. From now until 31st January 2020.

Shaping the Body
This major new exhibition looks at how body shape has changed over the past 500 years through culture, diet, fashion and lifestyle. From 18th century bum rolls, through to the Victorian hour glass figure, the punks of the 70s and the perms of the 80s, see how our bodies have been shaped and designed through the choices we make and the consequences of our lifestyle. York Museum Trust’s extensive collection of costumes, social history, archaeology and art will highlight how the perfect height and weight have fluctuated in different periods and how economic circumstances and cultural ideas impact on fashion. Open now until 31st January 2019.

Medieval York:  Capital of the North
From the fifth century, for a thousand years, the north of England was ruled by York. Yorkshire Museum presents an exhibition of its permanent collection of the region’s greatest surviving treasures, exploring how York became England’s second city and how its fortunes rose and fell with its ties to the Crown and the Church. As the capital of regional, royal power, commerce, art, conflict and wealth across the Anglican, Viking, Norman, Medieval and Tudor periods, discover how the most powerful people in the world once ruled from within York’s City Walls. Open now until 6th June.

York Famers Market
York’s monthly Famers Market celebrates the best of local produce, including meat, eggs, bread and oils as well as selling non-food gifts like pottery and woollen goodies. The Farmers Market joins the city’s regular market at the Shambles on the last Friday of every month. Fresh goods sold here are grown, reared, caught, brewed, pickled, baked, smoked or processed by the stallholders within a 40-mile radius of York.


The Paper Cinema’s Macbeth
Immerse yourself on a journey through rugged Scottish landscapes and encounter storms, betrayal and a murderous plot. Shakespeare’s tragedy is vividly told with illustration, masterful puppetry and a live score.  Watch a captivating silent film created before your eyes. Hand drawn puppets collide with music, Foley and cinematic projection to create epic battle scenes and intricate characters. Showing at Battersea Arts Centre until 4th April.

Venn Street Market
Held on a cobbled alleyway by Clapham Common, this market is a sight for sore eyes. Here you’ll find The Portland Scallop Co bringing seafood from Dorset, organic Suffolk mushroom pates at Pate Moi and Venn Street Flowers selling stunning arrangements. According to Elle Decoration, Vivienne Westwood buys her honey here, so it has fashion credentials too! Saturday mornings.

Charles II: Art & Power
After over a decade of austere Cromwellian rule, the restoration of the monarchy in 1660 led to a resurgence of the arts in England. The court of Charles II became the centre for the patronage of leading artists and the collecting of great works of art, which served not only as decoration for the royal apartments but also as a means of glorifying the restored monarchy and reinforcing the position of Charles II as king. This exhibition exploring the captivating world of the opulent Restoration court is on display at The Queen’s Gallery, Buckingham Palace until 13th May.


Brighton Beach Comic Con
The Brighton Beach Comic Con lands at The Grand Hotel, Brighton on 7th April, right bank in the middle of the Easter holidays! The event will be a one-day pop culture celebration with an international line-up of comic book guests, film guests, attractions, Q&As, fun and more!

Flashdance – The Musical  is the inspiring and unforgettable story of Alex, a determined welder who dreams of becoming a professional dancer. When a romance complicates her ambitions, she harnesses it to drive her dream of attending Shipley Dance Academy. Prepare to be blown away by an astonishing musical spectacle with phenomenal choreography to this iconic score. 9th-14th April at Theatre Royal.

Storytelling for Families
Come along as a family to Borde Hill Garden from 4th-14th April and share creative time inspired by stories from around the world. Sessions at 11am, 12.30pm and 2pm.

Pavilion Tales
Join the team at the Royal Pavilion in the magnificent Music Room for secrets, stories and unexpected histories in a series of regular pop-up talks. Running 5th-12th and 19th-26th April.


Mozart’s Marriage of Figaro
English Touring Opera presents an energetic new production of one of the world’s most beloved operas, Mozart’s classic comedy on 4th April at G Live. During the course of one eventful day, Figaro and Susanna must overcome every obstacle put in their way by Count Almaviva and his cronies before they can finally be united as man and wife.

Hellfire Comedy Club
Rock up to Hellfire Comedy Club to be entertained by some of the hottest up-and-coming comedians. With a range of comedy styles, these emerging acts are fresh from the London circuit and give you a great opportunity to see some new stand-up talent at G Live. 26th April.

Guildford Farmers Market
Held on the first Tuesday of every month on the famous High Street. Buy high quality, fresh, local produce directly from over 50 local farmers and producers. Try the best seasonal produce and ask questions about growing, rearing, manufacture and cooking methods. Enjoy the freshest meat, fish, cheese, eggs, fruit and vegetables and breads.


Exeter’s Fine Art: Modern
This diverse selection features two works by the British Pop Art movement artists Brian Rice which are shown for the first time, having been gifted to the Royal Albert Memorial Museum through the Art Fund. Other works include Barbara Hepworth’s remarkable figurative drawing Preparation, Leighton Hall Woolatt’s Post Eleven Speaking and Patrick Heron’s Two Vermillions, Green and Purple in Red. Open now until 29th April.

George Shaw: My Back to Nature
This series of new paintings and drawings was created by Turner Prize nominee George Shaw whilst in residence at the National Gallery as the Rootstein Hopkins Associate Artist. George had unrestricted access to explore the collection when the gallery was closed.  Inspired by woodland scenes in the collection, these new works resonate with the artists’s experience of walking in the forest near his home town as a teenager. He was inspired by the mythological woodland landscapes of artists including Titian and Poussin. This exhibition is accompanied by the loan of two of the works that inspired Shaw during his National Gallery residency, a rare opportunity to view works by Piero del Pollaiuolo and Nicolas Poussin outside London. Showing at the Royal Albert Memorial Museum from now until 8th April.

Keeping up Appearances
On the Home Front during the First World War, women were encouraged to maintain a positive outlook and to dress well, especially when men returned from posts overseas. This exhibition will showcase a selection of pretty, decorative accessories worn for days out or evening occasions. Part of a four year programme commemorating the First World War led by the Imperial War Museum, this small changing display focuses on the impact of the war on the South West. On display at Royal Albert Memorial Museum & Art Gallery from now until 20th May.



Crafting at Ally Pally
Formerly known as the Big Stamp and Scrapbooking Show, the newly christened Crafting at Ally Pally event has been bringing in the crowds for over 20 years. It’s back for 2018 on 7th and 8th April offering a wide selection of exhibitors and best selling brands, lots of top branded bargains, the latest card making and scrapbooking trends, inspirational demos and more.

Country Living Spring Fair 2018
Celebrate the delights of the new season with an inspiring day out at the Country Living Spring Fair. Discover handmade items by wonderfully creative British craftspeople and up-and-coming designers, and a mouth-watering array of artisan food and drink. Plus – our exciting fresh line-up includes Four Live Stages with talks and workshops on subjects from cookery and crafting to gardening and wellbeing. 26th-29th April.

Club De Fromage on Ice: Classic Dance
Club De Fromage returns to Ally Pally on April 21st with Classic Dance theme and the best tunes to dance to on the ice.


European Poetry Festival 2018
This event is a celebration of contemporary literary and avant-garde European poetry, with poets from over a dozen nations presenting new works, performances and readings. Showcasing the dynamic energy and innovation so defining of 21st European poetry, this is an amazing opportunity to see some of the most exciting contemporary poets from all over Europe. 5th April at the Rose Theatre.

Much Ado About Nothing
The Rose Theatre presents a new stage adaptation of Shakespeare’s masterpiece Much Ado About Nothing, a co-production with Granville & Parham Productions and Antic Face, starring actress and TV presenter Mel Giedroyc. 13th April until 6th May.

Prudential RideLondon
The world’s greatest festival of cycling returns to Kingston on 29th July. Kingston town centre will be open for business as usual with a jam packed, family friendly festival for everyone. RideLondon is the world’s greatest cycling festival taking place across the capital and into Surrey combining the world’s best professional cyclists with amateurs who’ll once again be raising millions for good causes.