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What’s On In Essex This February?

sophie mccartney


The Big Life

big life tameka empson (mrs aphrodite)

16 February-30 March

Stratford East

Stratford East have announced the cast and creative team for its revival of hit Windrush Ska musical The Big Life, with book by Paul Sirett and Tameka Empson, lyrics by Paul Sirett, and music by Paul Joseph. Tinuke Craig directs Tameka Empson reprising her role as Mrs Aphrodite from the original production. The Big Life is a joyful and uplifting musical where the story of Shakespeare’s Love’s Labour’s Lost meets that of the Windrush generation in a fun-packed Ska musical that’ll have you dancing in your seats.



11 February


The Royal Opera House: Manon is an adaptation of Abbé Prévost’s novel that embodies Kenneth MacMillan at his best, his acute insight into human psychology and his mastery of narrative choreography finding full expression in the impassioned duets of the central couple, visceral and urgent in their desire.bThe heroine’s struggle to escape poverty make Manon one of the most dramatic and devastating of ballets, emphasized by Nicholas Georgiadis’ evocative designs that reflect the juxtaposition between Manon’s impoverished origins and the lavish world she longs to inhabit.



6 February

Curzon Colchester

Jules’ (Nathan Stewart-Jarrett) life and career as a drag queen is destroyed by a homophobic attack. But after a chance encounter with his attacker, the deeply closeted Preston (George Mackay), he is presented with the opportunity to exact revenge. Unrecognisable out of his wig and make-up, Jules infiltrates Preston’s life and in doing so discovers the lines of seduction, revenge and power are blurred.


Sophie McCartney

sophie mccartney

24 February

Charter Hall

Join award-winning comedian Sophie McCartney as she ventures into the perilous world of parenthood in this rollicking new stand-up show set to test pelvic floor muscles to the max(i) pad. Best known for her wickedly accurate insights into adulting, Sophie thought by the time she became a ‘proper’ grown up (someone who likes olives) life would all be figured out. How very wrong she was.


Colour 2

colour 2

Until 4 May

Beecroft Art Gallery

This exhibition explores the use of colour within painting, sculpture and sound. The power of colour has fascinated psychologists, philosophers, chemists and artists for hundreds of years, with certain colours long being associated with class, status and authority within many cultures. The emotion colour can evoke within us has encouraged many artists to consider

the way they are using colour and why.

Open Exhibition

chelmsford museum

Until 25 February

Chelmsford Museum

The 4th Biennial Open Art exhibition at Chelmsford Museum is open now. After a submission process, led by the Friends of Chelmsford Museum, you will be able to see the skills and creativity from the local community. The varied subject matter tells the different stories of people across the city. While the quality of the works, and the breadth of styles demonstrate the vibrancy and artistic potential of Chelmsford – both amateur and professional.

Not by half

Three very different events for younger ones this February half term


audley end

10-18 February

Join characters from the past for historical hijinks and hands on shenanigans at Audley End this half term. Join their resident archaeologists and explore the Roman period through ancient finds, and learn about their tools and the techniques to uncover life 2,000 years ago.



24 February

Join your favourite Milkshake! friends on holiday with Dora, Pip and Posy, Blue from Blues Clues and You!, Milo, Milkshake! Monkey plus two of your Milkshake! presenters for an all-new adventure. Pack your bags and jump aboard the Milkshake! train as they go on an all singing, all dancing holiday together. It’s a family show not to be missed!



19-23 February

Looking for something a bit different to do during half term? Join Cirdan Sailing Trust on an adventure around the East Coast of England on board their 22m boat Faramir. Leaving from and returning to North Fambridge, you will have an experience like no other as you become a member of the crew for the week and explore the sheltered rivers and coast line. Becoming a member of the crew, not only will you take a full and active role learning to sail a large yacht, but also develop confidence and resilience all whilst meeting new friends.

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Picture of Mark Kebble

Mark Kebble

Mark's career in journalism started in 2001 when he landed a role on a small lifestyle magazine in Angel, North London. Soon enough, the magazine was purchased by a larger organisation and Mark found himself promoted to editor at the tender age of 23. He later became group editor, working on magazines for Angel, Crouch End, Muswell Hill and Highgate. He was also involved in a launch in Hadley Wood and a major new group website, later becoming Group Hub Editor. In 2021, Mark joined Zest Media Group and oversaw the launch of many Absolutely titles across the UK. To date, Mark has launched in Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Hertfordshire, Sussex, Essex, Yorkshire and Cheshire. When he does have some free time, Mark is also the Chairman of an amateur football club in Surrey and is also a fully qualified FA football coach.
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