What’s on April 2017


Spring has sprung, it’s Easter eggs galore and we’re ready for some Bank Holiday action!

Get going this month – there’s plenty to do both inside and out. For inspiration on where to find the action, check out our Futon Company What’s On guide and see what’s happening this April where you live…

The Tomb@ Ancient Egyptian Burial
The Tomb comes to the National Museum of Scotland, Edinburgh Old Town from now until 3rd September 2017. It was constructed in the great city of Thebes shortly after the reign of Tutankhamen for the Chief of Police and his wife. It was looted and reused several times, leaving behind a collection of beautiful objects from various eras. These are on display at the exhibition alongside objects found in nearby tombs, giving a sense of how burial in ancient Egypt changed over time. The tomb’s final use occurred shortly after the Roman conquest of Egypt, when it was sealed intact with the remarkable burials of an entire family.

Funny Girl
Hot on the heels of a record breaking, critically acclaimed West End run, this “utterly irresistible” (The Sunday Times) new production of Funny Girl comes to the Edinburgh Playhouse from 18th-22nd April 2017.

Monkey Business
This family-friendly exhibition at the National Museum of Scotland, Edinburgh Old Town, runs from now until 23rd April and explores the world of primates, from the tiny mouse lemur to the mighty gorilla. More than just monkeys, this extraordinary exhibition explores the diversity of the species, examining their key characteristics and how they have evolved and adapted over time.


Wedding Showcase
Come along to Chiswick House & Garden on Saturday 22nd April from 11am-4pm and join in with the very first wedding showcase, dedicated to inspiring the wedding of your dreams. This interactive and exciting showcase includes a bridal fashion boutique, mouth-watering wedding catering, decadent wedding cakes, floral designers, paper goods gurus, photographers, stylists and much more. Entry to the show is free. All guests who pre-register for the showcase qualify for a gorgeous goody bag of treats and entry into a prize draw to win four tickets to see the Chiswick House & Garden open air cinema this summer.

River Thames Discovery Workshop
Pull on your wellies and get digging, dipping and spotting by the Thames with the experts at Chiswick Pier. A workshop for the over 5s and their families is set to take place on April 11th from 10am-midday on the river Thames. This is an excellent opportunity to get children in contact with nature over the half-term holiday, and to get them thinking about their local environment. £8 for adults and £5 for children. To book your place call 020 8742 2713 or go to head to the website.

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.


Andy Warhol at The Whitworth
Andy Warhol’s work will be showing at The Whitworth as part of its Artists Room exhibitions which will display the sharp, critical opinions of an artist known to many primarily as an art salesman, purveyor of product and celebrant of capitalism. Supported by the Arts Council, Art Fund and Creative Scotland, the exhibition is drawn from Artists Rooms, a collection of international modern and contemporary art owned by National Galleries of Scotland and Tate on behalf of the public. From now until 16th April at Whitworth Art Gallery.

Corrie Locations by Tram Tour
Here’s a Coronation Street tram journey that thankfully doesn’t end with it falling off a viaduct! Starting off at Ashton-under-Lyne Metrolink station, this all-day tram tour will take in many of the show’s iconic locations and sites in the Manchester area, including Richard Hillman’s watery grave, Weatherfield Registry Office, Cropper Corner, St Christopher’s wedding venue and much more. Friday 4th April, tour starts at 10.30am. Meet at Ashton-under-Lyne Metrolink station, Peel Street. £12.

Bat Out of Hell The Musical
Following Strat, who has fallen in love with the daughter of the despotic Falco, this new musical is a high-octane rock’n’roll adventure that tears through over 20 years of Stenman’s hits including I’d do anything for love, dead ringer for love and it’s all coming back to me now. Showing from now until 29th April at Manchester Opera House.


Easter Weekend at Blenheim Palace
Come along to Blenheim Palace from 14th-17th April for an abundance of themed fun in the Pleasure Gardens this Easter. Join the Easter Bunny at the vintage fun fair which has a helter skelter, chair o’places, mini swinging chairs, game stalls, a clown and butterfly stilt walkers, offering lots of fun for younger visitors. Families can also enjoy Punch & Judy shows, face painting, circus workshops and balloon modelling across the four days, as well as an Easter trail with tasty treats to be won.

Spring Jousting Tournament
Come along to the South Lawn between 29th April-1st May for a mighty jousting tournament featuring The Knights of Royal England. The weekend will be packed with action and entertainment, including falconry displays, archery, puppet shows, jesters and knights on horseback charging in with the traditional tilt, and battling on foot with the mighty mace and quarter staff.

Yamato Drummers
Following their hugely successful tour in 2015, the Yamoto Drummers are back in the UK by popular demand. Their acclaimed performances of Japanese Taiko drumming and music have captivated audiences of over 6 million people in 53 countries across the globe. In a brand new show, the drummers challenge and push themselves to their absolute limits. Yamoto will leave audiences exhilarated by this visually spectacular, high energy and explosive show. At New Theatre Oxford on 25th April 2017.

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.


Handel’s Messiah
Bristol Proms takes a well-earned rest in 2016 after three years of ground-breaking and accessible classical work. But for those keen not to miss the spirit of the week-long event, Bristol Old Vic has announced the return of Handel’s Messiah – which took the audiences by storm on the last night of Bristol Proms 2013. It is the theatre’s latest collaboration with two world class partners, The English Concert and its Artistic Director Harry Bicket. 6-9th April 2017.

Bespoked is a UK based public event promoting the international talents of independent bicycle makers and designers of the bicycle world. This is the place for the public, industry and press to meet independent makers and designers of everything bicycle. At Brunel’s Old Station, BS1 6QH from 7-9th April 2017.

Lace in Fashion
Designer pieces and those worn by royalty rub shoulders at Bath Fashion Museum – just a 15 minute train journey from Bristol. On show from now until January 2018.

Warrior Treasures:  Saxon Gold from the Staffordshire Hoard at Bristol Museum & Art Gallery
Set within a mysterious forest enter Warrior Treasures to be captivated by a dazzling collection of gold, silver and semi-precious gems from Anglo-Saxon weaponry. Damaged and fragmentary, these superbly crafted fittings were discarded, but who buried them? And did they intend to come back for them? The collection is part of the Staffordshire Hoard, considered one of the most significant Anglo-Saxon finds. It almost certainly represents the spoils of war, fought in an ancient kingdom during the 7th century AD. On show now until 23rd April 2017.


The Place is Here
A free entry exhibition at Nottingham Contemporary, The Place is Here takes its starting point from a pivotal decade in British politics and culture – the 1980s. Spanning painting, sculpture, photography, film and archives, it brings together a wide range of works by more than 30 artists and collectives. The questions they ask – about identity, representation and what culture is for – remain vital today. Open until 30th April.

Lone Wolf of the Skies
Lone Wolf of the Skies – The Life of Albert Ball VC, DSO & Two Bard, MC remembers the life of Captain Albert Ball. Born and bred in Nottingham, Albert joined the Sherwood Foresters when war broke out in 1914 and later transferred to the Royal Flying Corps. One of Nottingham’s most decorated servicemen and flying ace of the First World War, he was just 20 years old when he was killed in action on May 7th 1917. The exhibition explores his life from start to finish though the objects that he owned. The exhibition seeks to commemorate the Centenary of Albert’s death and pay homage to him and examine the legacy which he left behind. Open until 17th July at Nottingham Castle.

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.


The Chester Antiques, Collectors and Vintage Fair
The Northgate Arena has hosted an established and respected Antiques and Collectors Fair for many years now, and is a favourite with traders from across the UK. With 120+ tables of exemplary variety, this fair will have the perfect pieces to complement your home, collection or wardrobe in a fantastic day out in the magnificent city of Chester. Enjoy a hot meal or snack in the on-site cafe after your shopping. 29th April from 9am-5.30pm.

Moana Film Screening
Come along to The Grosvenor Museum, Chester on 6th, 10th or 15th April at 11am for a free screening of Disney’s Moana. An adventurous teenager sails out on a daring mission to save her people. During her journey, Moana meets the once-mighty demigod Maui, who guides her in her quest to become a master way-finder. Along the voyage, they battle the treacherous ocean encountering 50ft crabs and coconut armoured pirates.

Friday Night Comedy with Peter Bush
Friday Night Comedy brings the very best comedians from the UK and beyond to Alexander’s Live in the heart of Chester. The only weekly comedy night in the city, Friday Night Comedy will keep the laughs coming thick and fast week after week. For each show they provide four brilliant comedians hand-picked to give you the best night out for the lowest possible price. There are also amazing food and drink offers exclusive to Friday Night Comedy customers so you can have a great night out without breaking the bank.


Tom Hollander, last seen playing a villainous right-hand man in The Night Manager, returns in the much-hyped West End transfer of Tom Stoppard’s play Travesties at the Apollo Theatre. Tickets from £24.25. Showing now until 29th April 2017.

Secret Cinema: Moulin Rouge
The secret cinema is back! As ever, the full details are under wraps but, true to Secret Cinema form, it’s sure to be one hell of an experience. Secret Cinema takes place in Central London from now until 30th April 2017.

David Hockney at The Tate
In the footfall of his 80th Birthday, Britain’s most stylish man and our finest living art export, David Hockney, is getting the no-holds-barred greatest hits treatment, says Grazia. His retrospective is an all-killer, no-filler, a circumspect summation of his genius with painting, photography, film and print. For beginners, this is entry-level materials for the story of modern art. For diehards, it’ll be just amazing to see it all in one place. At Tate Britain from now until 29th May.


Guided Walking Tour
Meet every Saturday and Thursday from April to September 2017 at the Tourist Information Centre in the Corn Exchange and learn all about the historic spa town of Royal Tunbridge Wells in a one hour guided stroll through the Pantiles and the historic heart of the town. Visit King Charles and the Martyr Church, paid for by public subscription, and see the original lodging houses in the village area of the town. Discover the town’s 400 year history and hear about the famous visitors – from Queen Anne to Samuel Pepys – who made Tunbridge Wells the place in which to see and be seen.

Tulip Festival
In late April/early May, Pashley Manor’s spectacular Tulip Festival sees this garden, on the border of Sussex and Kent, carpeted with over 30,000 tulips, creating stunning scenes for visitors to enjoy. Over one hundred varieties of tulip are planted in colour-themed garden ‘rooms’. Visitors can wander from elegant displays of white lily flowers and palest cream classic tulips planted around an old brick terrace, to the open space of sweeping herbaceous borders covered in a riot of reds and oranges surrounded by tendrils of bronze fennel. Or they can view the romantic soft pink peony blooms cloistered between red brick walls and pleached pear trees. £10.50 per person. Open 10am-5pm daily from 21st April-6th May 2017.

Capturing on Collodian
Photographer Sean Hawkey has worked across the world documenting lives and diverse communities. His work as a photojournalist has led him to evaluate the impact of the photograph on the story of people’s lives. For his exhibition at Tunbridge Wells Museum and Art Gallery, open from now until 20th May, Hawkey has chosen to work with the Victorian wet plate collodian process to make his images. Using an original camera and lens from the 1870s, he captures portraits of people which have an intense, ethereal beauty to them. Free admission.


Britain in the Fifties:  Design and Aspiration
Come along and see a vision of the country from 60 years ago as The Council House, Armada Way explores the history of post-war design in this nationally touring exhibition organised by Compton Verney. The 1950s was a time when Britain emerged from a period of austerity and rationing after the Second World War. Following the ground-breaking Festival of Britain 1951, design played a crucial role in shaping our ‘Brave New World.’ As Britain began to modernise itself and became more prosperous, it led the world with the equality and innovation of its decorative and applied arts. Leading artists became household names and good design became affordable. Runs until 3rd June 2017.

Wild About Plymouth: Snapping Nature
Join the Wild About Plymouth team for a session of nature photography – find out how to capture plants and insects in their natural habitat and be inspired by nature to take the perfect photograph. The reservoir is home to all sorts of bugs and greenery and is something of a haven in the inner city. So come along and capture something really special. The event is suitable for all ages and admission is free. 11th April from 2-3.30pm.

Robin Hood – Easter Panto
Plymouth Pavillions are thrilled to announce that the hilarious Easter pantomime for April 2017 is Robin Hood. Join our heroes Robin Hood and Maid Marion in this swashbuckling, arrow slinging, tights wearing comedy adventure! With an all-star cast, including Britain’s Got Talent winner George Sampson as Robin Hood, children’s TV favourite Dani Harmer from CBBC’s Tracy Beaker and Strictly Come Dancing as Maid Marion and X Factor runner up Andy Abraham as the wicked sheriff of Nottingham. 12th April 2017.


David Bowie Tribute
Paul Anthony performs Bowie numbers like no other tribute act. Spend a night singing along to Bowie songs and enjoy a three course sit-down meal at Best Western Atlantic Hotel and Sapori Restaurant Chelmsford on 21st April. £35 per person, dining starts at 8pm. Call or email today to reserve your space 01245 268 168 or

Easter Bunny Trail
Come along to Danbury Country Park on 13th April and follow an Easter themed trail through the park. Have fun painting a hens egg, meet the Easter Bunny. Each child will get a chocolate egg and the chance to take photos with the Bunny. Lots of fun for all the family.

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.


Cambridge Literary Festival
“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness,” quote this year’s festival organisers. It’s against this backdrop that the Festival celebrates the place art, culture and discussion can play in transforming lives, uniting communities and enriching society. Taking place at venues across Cambridge from 18th-23rd April, highlights include Sebastian Barry, Magi Hambling, Harriet Harman, Tom Kerridge, Jo Malone and Jacqueline Wilson. Book at


Northern Ballet presents Casanova on 4-8th April at Norwich Theatre Royal. An original scenario by Ian Kelly and Kenneth Tindall, adapted from Ian Kelly’s biography of Casanova, which seeks to unmask the legendary author and womaniser.

Moss Banks Productions presents a Victorian thriller by Patrick Hamilton showing at Maddermarket Theatre from 5th-7th April. Jack Manningham is slowly, deliberately, driving his wife Bella insane. Her only tether to reality is a gaslight mounted on her wall, which fades up and down suspiciously. On the brink of madness, Bella is introduced to former detective Rough, who believes Jack to be a thief and a murderer. With only a memory and the testimony of an allegedly mad woman, Rough attempts to prove Bella’s sanity, not only to those around her, but also to herself.

Small Stories:  At Home in a Doll’s House
Take a peak behind closed doors and discover the small stories of the tiny inhabitants of the V&A Museum of Childhood’s most treasured doll’s houses. At Norwich Castle from now until 25th June.


Shaping the Body
This major exhibition looks at how body shape has changed over the past 500 years through diet, culture, 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 choices we make and the consequences of our lifestyle. York Castle Museum’s extensive collection of costume, 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. Meet the people who have pushed their bodies to the limits to gain the look they crave and find out about the dangerous fashions such as extra tight corsets, high heels and even poisonous dresses! This thought-provoking and fascinating exhibition will challenge the notion of the perfect body. From now until 25th January 2018.

National Railway Museum
A new exhibition trail by Geraldine Pilgrim Performance. From Agatha Christie’s The Girl on the Train, the railways have provided us with the perfect setting for a thrilling crime story. Come along for a brand new Mystery on the Rails Season between now and 3rd September to uncover the special place railways have in mystery and detective fiction, solve the mystery of The Missing Passenger and discover a wealth of real-life tales of audacious robberies, petty thefts and notorious criminals.

York Farmers Market
York’s monthly Farmers Market celebrates the best of local produce, including meat, eggs, bread and oils as well as selling non-food gifts including pottery and woolen 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.


Vanessa Bell
Vanessa Bell was at the centre of that compelling group of writers, artists and creative thinkers known as the Bloomsbury Set. She was the sister of novelist Virginia Woolf, and her lovers and children have created a small biographical industry around their lives and affairs, telling of Bell’s open marriage and the various relationships she and her husband enjoyed. She was also a painter and one who was unusually interested in the new art being produced on the Continent in the early 20th century. Her work shows awareness of post-Impressionism, Matisse, Picasso and even abstract painting. The exhibition at Dulwich Picture Gallery running from now until June 4th focuses on the years before the 1920s. Bell’s work, as represented here, says critic Philip Hensher, focuses on still lives and landscapes.

Sussex Modernism: Retreat and Rebellion
If you think of the veritable hotbeds of European modernism a century ago, says critic Philip Hensher, Paris and Berlin spring to mind. According to this exhibition, however, we should really add Sussex to the list. That’s right: Sussex. It’s time to put aside preconceptions of a county of quaint hamlets, rolling hills and seaside retreats, as many major artists flocked there in the early 20th century – Henry Moore, Paul Nash and more. The exhibition has been organised by nine of Sussex’s galleries and museums, upon whose collections it draws, however, it boasts several compelling works by artists who set up radical communities across the county. The show features luminaries from many cultural fields spanning artists and architects, writers, musicians and economists. Showing at Two Temple Place, London until April 23rd.

Robots Exhibition
The Science Museum’s new Robots exhibition tells the evolution of our little metal friends, from 16th century mechanical monks to R2-D2 and beyond. 1010020101212 (says ES Magazine 3rd March) – apparently that’s robot for “come down”… Tickets £15. From now until 3rd September.

Diana: Her Fashion Story
The late Princess Diana’s iconic outfits will be on display at Kensington Palace, from now until 24th February 2019. Twenty years on from her death, Diana: Her Fashion Story, will walk 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, channeled through one woman.


Bite Size Museum Talks
Pop up guided tours, short talks and closer looks at stories from Brighton Museum & Art Gallery’s eclectic collections, led by Royal Pavillion & Museums staff and volunteers from now until 25th April.

Art Groups for Adults
Pick up some tips on drawing and painting in a relaxed and friendly workshop at Hove Museum on 4th April. £3 per person, basic drawing materials provided.

Brighton Marathon
The Brighton Marathon is one of the UK’s favourite 26.2 milers. With a stunning backdrop of the sea in one of the country’s most vibrant cities, the race gets bigger and better every year. Renowned for its buzzing atmosphere and roaring crowd support, the course winds through the city. Taking place this year on April 9th.


Film Season at Yvonne Arnaud Theatre
Featuring a selection of award-winning performances and cinematic highlights from last year, the Season includes screenings of La La Land, Manchester by the Sea, Lion, Jackie, Fences, Moonlight, Hidden Figures, The Eagle Huntress, Loving and I and Daniel Blake. From 3rd-7th April 2017.

Purple Rain: A Celebration of Prince
Purple Rain are a world class celebration of the life, legacy and music of Prince. This full 8-piece live band delivers a non-stop, hit packed show spanning more than two hours. Complete with backing singer, horn section, keys and Jimi Love as the unsurpassed Prince. Following sell-out shows across the UK, the band come to Guildford on April 10th.

Guildford Farmers Market
Held on the first Tuesday of every month.  While the High Street Setts are being repaired, the Farmers Market will relocate to the Leapale Road Surface Car Park. 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.


Feast of Fiddles
Feast of Fiddles embarks on its 24th annual spring tour in 2017 and the brand that has been variously likened to ‘a group of teachers’ or ‘Bellowhead with bus passes’ doesn’t seem to be slowing down. A band of musical friends that puts on a show of huge dynamic range performed with passion, joy and a liberal dose of fun comes to Exeter Corn Exchange on 9th April.

Shakespeare in a Week
The youth department of Tree Shadow Theatre Productions, Saplings Youth Theatre, will be running a Shakespeare in a Week project during the Easter holidays from 3rd-7th April, with a final performance in the Cygnet Theatre at 6pm on the Friday.

Italian for Foodies
After last year’s successful event, which presented the delicious food from Puglia, Italian for Foodies presents A Taste of Sardinia, which boasts food from the region. Chefs will present guests with a series of typical and homemade delicacies which are commonly eaten on the astounding Mediterranean Island. At Sidwell’s Community Centre on 7th April.


Crafting at Ally Pally
This event offers the perfect chance to top up on your craft stash and learn new techniques. Held on 8th and 9th April, the Show features over 50 craft retailers selling all manner of craft goodies.

As part of the LAUNCH programme to give more professional theater opportunities to young people, Jacksons Lane present Extremism, part of the National Theatre’s festival of plays for young people, Connections. Extremism, by Anders Lustgarten, watches a class react when a student is taken out of the room by his teacher – and the police. A microcosm of our battle between tolerance and fear in a multi-faith society. 8th April at Jacksons Lane, Highgate.

Springfest German Bier Festival comes to Ally Pally on 14th April 2017.


Encounters with the Tudors
Immerse yourself in the stories of Henry VIII’s magnificent Hampton Court Palace through a series of up-close encounters with the people who created history. You may even see the King himself! Thursdays-Mondays from 7th April to 28th August.

Jazz at The Rose
Kingston University free lunchtime jazz continues with talented jazz pianist Meredith White, who brings a wide range of repertoire and styles to the classic jazz piano trio format delivered with a depth of expression and creativity. Meredith is joined by drummer Paul Cavaciuti and bassist Dave Jones, each bandleaders in their own right, who complement and support while bringing a unique voice to their roles. Held at the Rose Cafe until June 2017.

Absolute Bowie
There will only ever be one David Bowie, he was unique in every way and an inspiration to millions. Absolute Bowie, Europe’s finest David Bowie Tribute, continues to celebrate the life and music of the Starman with a spectacular show uniting Bowie fans across the UK. At Nell’s Jazz and Blues in London on 8th April.