What’s on in Essex this december

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Open Exhibition

Until 25 February

Chelmsford Museum

Chelmsford Museum has been part of the fabric of Chelmsford since 1835. Over the years (since 1930 at Oaklands), many hundreds of artists have displayed their work at the museum including John Nash R.A., John Bratby R.A., Alan and Elizabeth Sorrell, Beryl Cooke and Grayson Perry. Now you have the opportunity to show your artistic talents at a show which anybody living within the Chelmsford City area can enter. The show is promoted by The Friends of Chelmsford Museum and you can now download an entry form, as well as the rules of the exhibition and submissions.




10 December

Charter Hall
shalamar jeffrey daniel carolyn griffey and howard hewett 1
Shalamar – Jeffrey Daniel, Carolyn Griffey and Howard Hewett

R&B and soul music sensations, Shalamar, are heading to Colchester as part of their UK tour to celebrate the 40th anniversary of their seminal album ‘Friends’. On tour the band, which comprises Howard Hewett, Jeffrey Daniel and Carolyn Griffey, will perform the entire platinum-selling album live for the first time in their history, with hits including ‘A Night To Remember’, ‘Friends’, ‘There It Is’ and ‘I Can Make You Feel Good’.



Lucy Harwood

2 December-14 April, 2024

lucy harwood flowers in the garden at benton end courtesy of philip mould and company london

Immerse yourself in the life and work of local artist Lucy Harwood (1893–1972).

Featuring over 100 bold and beautiful paintings – including landscapes, still life and portraiture – step into a world where colour and energy collide, as Harwood’s artworks command the space, their vibrancy and confidence.



It’s A Wonderful Life

4 December

Brentwood Theatre
its a wonderful life 802e81

Considered to be one of the greatest films of all time, It’s A Wonderful Life was nominated for five Academy Awards including Best Picture when it was released in 1946. Produced and directed by Frank Capra, the film stars James Stewart as George Bailey, a man who has given up his personal dreams, in order to help others in his community, and whose thoughts of suicide on Christmas Eve brings about the intervention of his guardian angel, Clarence (Henry Travers).



Leona Lewis

2 December

Cliffs Pavilion
leona lewis cred ga fullner
Leona Lewis – Photo cred Ga Fullner

Record-breaking global sensation Leona Lewis comes to Southend as part of her major UK tour for Christmas 2023. Leona’s evening of Christmas classics and greatest hits follows the release of Christmas, With Love Always, the special repackaged release of her 2013 studio album Christmas, With Love. The album is perhaps best known for its lead single ‘One More Sleep’, an original song which saw Leona break the record for the most Top 5 hits for a British female solo artist.



Nature Competition


Essex Wildlife Trust

Photography is a truly special way of allowing people to connect with nature. It is at the heart of inspiring a county full of people to experience, care about and protect our wildlife and wild places for the future. With such a diverse county at our fingertips, there’s definitely no shortage of places and wildlife to amaze. Visit the website to find out more about how you can get involved with your own snapshots of Essex’s natural world


It’s in front of you

A round up of Essex pantos heading your way


9-31 December, Cliffs Pavilion

peter pan

Join Peter Pan and the characters you know and love this Christmas in this swashbuckling J M Barrie adventure. Starring comedian Joe Pasquale as Smee, broadcaster and barrister Rob Rinder as Captain Hook, dame extraordinaire David Robbins as Mrs. Smee, this family treat will include all your favourites from Neverland including Wendy (Michelle Francis), Tinkerbell (Ciara Ford), John and Michael Darling.



Until 14 January, Mercury Theatre

sleeping beauty

The magical world of Sleeping Beauty is brought to life in this spectacular, fun-filled, family pantomime, led by Mercury’s award winning duo Dale Superville and ‘the best Dame in the country’ (British Theatre) Antony Stuart-Hicks. Once upon a time in Colchesteria, Princess Luna is turning 18, but all celebrations have been banned by her wicked Aunt Carabosse, who is determined to stop Luna from taking her rightful place as Queen. Carabosse tricks her niece into pricking her finger on a spinning wheel needle, cursing her to everlasting sleep. Only true love’s kiss can break the curse and wake the princess.



1 December-7 January, Chelmsford Theatre

jack and beanstalk

This traditional pantomime of a classic adventure story promises to enthral and excite audiences of all ages. Meet hapless Jack, his mother the dame and their beloved cow as they discover a handful of magic beans and a larger-than-life beanstalk that is inhabited by a ferocious giant. Fee, Fie, Foe, Fum, you’ll want to join in with all this fun! Don’t miss your chance to see this much loved pantomime with outstanding sing-along songs, glitzy costumes, hilarious jokes, amazing dance routines and a huge helping of magic.


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