Something for the weekend? Go! editor Darryl Webber suggests 10 things to do in Essex in the coming days
1. It’s the Essex Summer of Art and a series of art trails are taking place throughout the county in the coming weeks. Leigh Art Trail is one of the biggest and runs until Saturday featuring more than 40 artists with work in various venues in the seaside town. The Brentwood Art Trail is also taking place from now until June 30 with more than 50 artists exhibiting in around 20 venues while the Burnham Art Trail starts this Saturday and runs until July 1, featuring a diverse range of artists, many inspired by the local landscape and the town’s sailing tradition.
2. Leigh Folk Festival is the biggest free event of its kind in the country and is happening right now. Dozens of excellent acts will be performing at various venues in the town with particular highlights including legendary folk star Martin Carthy at St Clement’s Church on Saturday night with emerging act You Are Wolf. Look out too for excellent local bands Makwin, The Fancy Dress Party and Deferred Success. The festival runs until Sunday.
3. One of the Bard’s most loved plays gets the Shakespeare in the Park treatment when a Midsummer Night’s Dream comes to Maldon’s Promenade Park on Friday and Saturday. MAC Theatre Company is celebrating its tenth year of putting on open air theatre here and they promise this production will have an Olympic theme. Starts at 7.30pm
4. Top stand up comedy comes to Chelmsford on Friday night when Stewart Lee brings his latest show to the Civic Theatre. Carpet Remnant World documents Lee’s attempts to remain relevant and in touch despite being a middle aged man who spends too much time watching cartoons with his son. Brilliantly funny and very knowing, see Stewart’s show before he takes it on tour.
5. The Colchester Food and Drink Festival comes to the lovely surrounds of Castle Park on Saturday and Sunday with a feast of great food and entertainment. There’ll be a display kitchen featuring cooking demonstrations plus a festival restaurant operated by local chefs.
6. There’s top live music on offer at MAYDAY! Noise Kitten’s collaboration with Libertines’ drummer Gary Powell which returns to hooga, Chelmsford, this Friday night. There’ll be live sets from the Mono Polys, Exiles and Hadleigh Ford with DJ sets from Fei Comodo, Fete and Gigabite to get you dancing into the wee small hours.
7. Lilies On The Land is a theatrical celebration of the remarkable lives and work of the Women’s Land Army of World War Two and is at the Mercury Theatre, Colchester until Saturday. A delightful and often touching play, it looks at the personal journeys of four women who sign up to be Land Girls and the backbreaking work it involves.
8. Farewell Fuzzface! The popular Colchester band are calling it a day with their final ever gig at the town’s Art Centre on Saturday evening. Say goodbye to Ady, Matt, Toby and Mark as they rock the place one last time.
9. With the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee rekindling memories of the punk rock explosion during the Silver Jubilee of 1977, you can see one of that era’s most original and distinctive voices in Essex this weekend. TV Smith, singer with punk group The Adverts, is playing at the Railway Hotel, Southend this Friday in what promises to be an entertaining night.
10. Finally, classic children’s book The Tiger Who Came To Tea comes to the stage at Chelmsford’s Civic Theatre on Friday at 1.30pm and on Saturday at 10.30am and 1.30pm. The story is brought to life in this charming adaptation which features magic, sing-alongs and plenty of surprises… as well as a tea-loving tiger, of course!