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

Feel the love for where you live this month and check out what’s on locally with our Futon Company What’s On Guide…


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.

Giant Lanterns of China
The Giant Lanterns of China are illuminating Edinburgh Zoo this winter. Over 450 dazzling giant lanterns will transform the unusual setting of Edinburgh Zoo into an avenue of spectacular works of art. The awe-inspiring lanterns create a beautifully lit, nocturnal trail throughout the Zoo, focusing on the themes of China, Edinburgh Zoo and The Royal Zoological Society of Scotland’s worldwide conservation work. Showing until 25th February.

Scotland’s Early Silver
This stunning exhibition explores the impact of silver during the first millennium AD. Discover the story of Scotland’s early silver and how this precious metal helped to shape the first kingdom of Scotland. Today gold is more valuable than silver but in the first millennium AD silver was the most powerful material in Scotland. Scotland’s earliest silver arrived with the Roman army and had a lasting impact on local society, quickly becoming associated with prestige and power. The exhibition follows three years of research by The Glenmorangie Company. Showing until 25th February at the National Museum of Scotland, Edinburgh Old Town.


Camellia Show 2018
Come and admire the rare and historic Camellias in the Grade 1 listed conservatory of Chiswick House & Gardens, a gorgeous array of blooms: pink, red, white and striped. Visit the collection of 33 different varieties, many of which are descended from the original planting in 1828. Showing from 22nd February until 25th March.

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 around 25 top producers from around the country.

La Petite Soiree
Roll up, roll up for the first family friendly show from the team behind the cheeky acrobatic cabaret. Showing at London’s Aldwych Theatre on February 3rd.

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.

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.

Dance like you’ve never danced before! Flashdance – The Musical tells the inspiring and unforgettable story of 18 year old Alex, a welder by day and flashdancer by night, who dreams of going to the prestigious Shipley Dance Academy and becoming a professional dancer. When a romance complicates her ambitions, she harnesses it to drive her dream. Based on the Paramount Pictures film, this is an inspiring musical about the power of holding onto your dream and love against all the odds. Showing 12th to 17th February at the Palace Theatre.

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 4th February until 15th April at People’s History Museum.

Engaging with art is an emotional experience – our immersion into a performance, sculpture, painting or piece of music can touch us beyond words. So as artists embrace digital technologies as raw material for making art, how can they transcend the artificial to provide new perspectives on human emotion and relationships? This exhibition draws on an international selection of artworks that bring us to the touch-point between human beings and being digital. Each of the artworks touches us in some way, emotionally and sometimes physically, providing points of connectivity between human and machine that speaks to our curiosity about how we both will co-exist and form relationships in the future. Showing at Pier Eight, The Lowry, Salford until 25th February.

Chinese New Year Celebration
Enjoy a traditional Double Guan Yin Chinese Lion dance accompanied by a drummer, and tuck in to some delicious Chinese street food from a variety of stalls in the Great Court at Blenheim Palace on 17th February in celebration of Chinese New Year.

Oxfordshire Mind Comedy Gala
Celebrate the 50th anniversary of Oxfordshire Mind with an evening of gut-wrenchingly brilliant comedy featuring Rachel Parris, Ivo Graham, James Acaster and more, at the Old Fire Station from 7.30-9.30pm on February 17th.

Victorian Passions and Pursuits
This new exhibition, on display at Blenheim Palace from 10th February 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.

Neil Murison at the RWA
A solo exhibition by artist Neil Murison at The Royal West of England. Neil’s work is strongly based in nature. He keeps sketchbooks and takes endless photographs on his travels and is never short of source material. Each trip prompts its own response and becomes responsible for a series of paintings which reflect the memory of that experience. The exhibition runs from 6th February until 4th March and Neil will give an informal talk on 10th February.

Wild Bristol Talk at Bristol Zoo
Local award-winning wildlife photographer Sam Hobson shares stories and pictures of his personal discovery of wildlife in Bristol; from otters in the city centre to the famous peregrines of the Avon Gorge and a close relationship he built with a family of urban foxes. 6th February at Bristol Zoo.

Interior Design Taster Workshop
Looking to redecorate or renovate your home in 2018? Kickstart your project with a taster workshop run by Zoe from Stylemongers of Bristol. Join a small group in the heart of Bristol’s creative quarter for a fun and productive day full of practical exercises which explore a range of popular decorating styles, and learn how to emulate and bring them to life. The event will take place at Hamilton House on 10th February.

A Russian Spectacular
This exciting concert is not to be missed, with the Nottingham Trent University Choir and English Pro Musical performing a collection of the most spectacular Russian classics. Featuring Tchaikovsky, Glinka and Borodin, this event is taking place as part of Nottingham’s Albert Hall International Music Series. 10th February from 7.30-10pm.

The Poisonous Pantomime
This is an adults-only pantomime based murder mystery, set in a small town cursed to live in a perpetual panto. An interactive event, the more you get involved, the better you will enjoy it.  Includes hidden clues, scenes happening all around you, realistic suspect behaviour, puzzles to solve, suspects to quiz, and interactive and immersive elements. 27th February at Colwick Hall Hotel.

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.

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.

Techne: Creating Art
In partnership with the University of Chester, this exhibition includes both modern and traditional processes, providing a little something for many different artistic tastes. Showing now until 4th February in Exhibition Gallery Two and Grosvenor Museum.

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.

The British Museum
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.

Harry Potter: A History of Magic
The British Library marks 20 years since the publication of Harry Potter and The Philosopher’s Stone with a spellbinding exhibition combining items from JK Rowling’s archives and the medieval artefacts that inspired her, such as Nicholas Flamel’s tombstone and a depiction of a potions class from the 1491 Ortus Sanitatis. Until February 29th 2018.

La Petite Soiree
Roll up, roll up for the first family friendly show from the team behind the cheeky acrobatic cabaret. Showing at London’s Aldwych Theatre on February 3rd.

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.

Taize Workshop
This cappella singing workshop will be a nourishing opportunity to learn and sing beautiful, uplifting, sacred songs, by ear, amid the magical presence of candle light. All ages and abilities welcome. The workshop is run by Delia Rosenboom at Burrswood Health & Wellbeing, Groombridge.

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 9th February to 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, 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.

Paul Weller: A Kind Revolution
2017 is the 40th anniversary of Paul Weller’s first album, In the City, which he released with The Jam in 1977. Weller has marked this by releasing a new studio album which is set to tour the UK and will come to Plymouth Pavillions on February 20th.

Plymouth Film Showcase Exhibition
From new filmmakers to new ideas about documentary, animation and the presentation of archive footage, this exhibition is showing at Peninsula Arts Gallery, Plymouth University from now until 17th February.

The Importance of Being Ernest
Oscar Wilde’s renowned play makes a welcome visit to Plymouth society in this wonderfully witty, deliciously decadent and classic revival from The Original Theatre Company at Theatre Royal on 13th to 17th February.

Academy of Ancient Music
Part of the 30th anniversary M&G Classical Concert Series will take place at Civic Theatre on 10th February featuring Bach and Vivaldi, with a pre-concert talk to ticket holders.

The Rocket Man
Entertainers are proud to present The Rocket Man – a tribute to Multi Grammy award-winning legend Sir Elton John. Visit the Civic Theatre on 8th February for a musical journey, charting the rise to fame of one of the biggest selling artistes of all time.

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 now until December, from 10am-4pm.

e-Luminate Festival
e-Luminate is a contemporary arts festival for a city at the forefront of scientific and technological research. The event offers a unique opportunity for residents and visitors to discover the richness and diversity of Cambridge’s iconic buildings and public spaces in a new light. Light collides with the imagination of participants, connecting science, technology and arts through a series of installations, activities, talks and concerts. 9th to 14th February across Cambridge.

Safeguards Against Witchcraft Exhibition
An exploration of Cambridgeshire customs and beliefs around protecting the home from malevolent magic. Part of the Museum of Cambridge’s Tracing Traditions Project, it presents some of the most interesting objects from the museum. The exhibition is open until 19th February.

Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour
Experience an 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. 28th February at Cambridge Corn Exchange.

Radical Russia Exhibition
The Sainsbury Centre is hosting two major exhibitions to mark the centenary of the Russian Revolution that will contrast art, life and culture before and after the Revolution. One is Radical Russia, the other Royal Faberge. Radical Russia focuses on a very different artistic movement that was taking shape in Russia alongside Faberge. Russia developed its own avant-garde, and the revolutionary year of 1917 gave a dramatic impetus to the Russian movement, providing a radical political dimension to the way in which Russian culture developed. Running until 11th February.

‘Royal Faberge’ Exhibition
Although many of Russian jewellery Carl Faberge’s objets d’art were melted down in Russia after the Bolshevik Revolution, a treasure trove of pieces commissioned by Edward VII survived, and are being displayed in all their glory at the Sainsbury Centre, Norwich from now until 11th February.

Great British Beer Festival
The Great British Beer Festival Winter offers a wide range of real ale in all styles, plus beers from around the world, real cider and perry. Taking place at The Halls, St Andrews Plain 20th to 24th February.

Sheer Folly – Fanciful Buildings of Britain
This exhibition by Ed Kluz – featuring collages, oil paintings and prints – celebrates curious and fantastical buildings throughout the UK, including a summerhouse in the shape of a pineapple. On display at Yorkshire Sculpture Park from now until 25th February.

Wolf Hall comes to York
Barley Hall’s ‘Power & Glory’ Exhibition is now home to some of the most beautiful costumes from the smash hit BBC series, Wolf Hall. Adapted from the international bestseller by Hilary Mantel, Wolf Hall chronicles the rise of Thomas Cromwell, son of a humble blacksmith, who becomes the right hand man of the most powerful man in England, Henry VIII. Explore the complex relationships of court life in Tudor England, where love, lust and politics mixed together creating chaos for the nation. Discover how Cromwell’s machinations allowed for the annulment of one of Henry’s marriages, leading to the English church’s divorce from Rome. At Barley Hall until 31st March 2018.

The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe
Carla Mendonca is the White Witch in Sally Cookson’s enchanting adaption of this magic-inspired play. Showing at the West Yorkshire Playhouse, Leeds until January 27th.

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 including 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.

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.

Diana: Her Fashion Story
Twenty years on from her death, Diana: Her Fashion Story, walks through her wardrobe as a starting point for analysing the arresting grip the princess held on popular culture. Few knew so instinctively how to harness the power of visual image. Diana made stars of her wedding dress designers David and Elizabeth Emanuel, then her favourite portraitist, Mario Testino, and hairdresser Sam Knight. No one has used power dressing as quite the armour Diana did. So an exhibition of her clothes is not really about fashion at all. It’s about a very specific female energy and power to connect on every level, channelled through one woman. The Exhibition is open now at Kensington Palace until 24th February 2019.

La Petite Soiree
Roll up, roll up for the first family friendly show from the team behind the cheeky acrobatic cabaret. Showing at London’s Aldwych Theatre on February 3rd.

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.

Le Cluck Factor
Le Cluck Factor returns to The Old Market, Hove, from 3rd February. Think a quirkier version of Britain’s Got Talent combined with The X Factor and you have the Mother Hen of all variety shows. Judged by local impresarios Tori Bond, Suzi Tyhurst and Wayne Bruce, the evening will guarantee laughter from beginning to end and will leave you squawking for more. It promises an exciting and eclectic line-up of local artists of every variety including music, magic, dancing and more. Donations will be made to Teenage Cancer Trust.

Gluck: Art & Identity
This major exhibition explores the life and work of the 20th century artist Gluck (1895-1978), who is now also recognised as a trailblazer of gender fluidity. Born Hannah Gluckstein into a wealthy Jewish family, Gluck attended art school in London and ran away to Cornwall with fellow students during the first World War. The artist mixed with the Newlyn School of painters and adopted the name Gluck. The exhibition is open now until 11th March at Brighton Museum & Art Gallery.

MyCharleston Dance Classes
MyCharleston run fun and sociable adult Charleston dance classes and workshops which are accessible to anyone who has ever wanted to dance. With 6 weekly courses and regular workshops in the best studios in Brighton, Hove, Worthing, Lewes and Portslade, you will be heel flicking and toe tapping to release your inner flapper and dapper in no time! Course suitable for all ages and levels. The sessions are energetic, liberating and full of humour. Various dates and venues.

Film Season
It’s all about films this month as Guildford’s Yvonne Arnaud Theatre swaps stage for screen to present Film Season from 12th to 17th February. The schedule includes screenings of Wonder, Battle of the Sexes, Murder on the Orient Express, Loving Vincent, Victoria & Abdul, Goodbye Christopher Robin, Surbicon, North by Northwest, The Party, The Death of Stalin, Breathe, Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool, Earth: One Amazing Day and Call Me By Your Name.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Vegan Life Live
The team behind Vegan Life – the UK’s premier vegan magazine – invites you to embrace plant-based living with a two day event at Alexandra Palace on 10th and 11th February. Showcasing a wealth of information for both newbie vegans and veterans alike, Vegan Life will shine a spotlight on current trends, focusing on food, clothing, cosmetics, household products and drinks.

Almost Aladdin
With an over-the-top director, a cast of prima donnas and an unruly backstage team, what could possibly go wrong? Almost Aladdin combines a backstage comedy of inflated egos and an entire pantomime in the second act with Mathew Dickinson Productions’ usual mix of song, dance and slapstick comedy in a show suitable for the entire family. Showing at Manor Drive Methodist Church 14th-16th February.

La Petite Soiree
Roll up, roll up for the first family friendly show from the team behind the cheeky acrobatic cabaret. Showing at London’s Aldwych Theatre on February 3rd.

Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
Vaughan Williams’ hypnotic Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis is a work of sublime beauty, setting the scene for Elgar’s great masterpiece; his Cello Concerto, coloured with emotion, anguish and passion. Dvorak provides an explosive finish to the concert with his powerful yet poignant ‘From the New World’ symphony. 3rd February at the Rose Theatre.

Exhibition: Kingston Characters
A quirky and unique collection of stitched textile portraits of Kingston’s local and colourful characters. In an explosion of colour, pattern and texture, local artist Ruth Blackford has created a charming and idiosyncratic gallery of portraits celebrating this wonderfully diverse community. Traders, residents, buskers, students and people of prominence are included. Her clever and sensitive use of fabrics needs to be seen to be believed. On show in the first floor foyer at the Rose Theatre from now until 3rd March.

Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde
Quadrophenia star Phil Daniels plays the dichotomised character in an adaptation of Robert Louis Stephenson’s classic Gothic thriller about a gifted doctor who unleashes his inner evil. Directed by Kate Saxon and adapted by Tony award-winning playwright David Edgar. At the Rose Theatre 9th to 17th February.