3 February-3 March
Returning for 2024 is Kew Gardens’ much-loved Orchid Festival. Drawing inspiration from the unique flora and fauna of Madagascar, 2024’s orchid extravaganza will reflect the island’s lush rainforests, tropical dry forests and over 3,000 miles of coastline. One of the most iconic symbols of the island, the Lovers Baobab, will be recreated in a breathtaking display on the waterlily pond, and visitors will also encounter floral sculptures recreating some of Madagascar’s most iconic wildlife, including ring-tailed lemurs, radiated tortoises and the enigmatic aye-aye, the world’s largest nocturnal primate.
The Hawth Crawley
Join beloved British comedy icon Caroline Quentin for an evening on stage devoted to
horticultural hilarity, love, and the therapeutic power of tending the soil beneath our feet, as
she embarks on a UK tour. The tour is inspired by her delightful upcoming new book ‘Drawn To The Garden’ – a heartwarming and humorous exploration of the joys of gardening, which brings to life Caroline’s passion for plants, vegetables and the simple pleasures of cultivating the earth. Over the years, she has come to realise that gardening, just like life, is a series of baffling failures, but also unplanned successes and happy accidents.
Michael starring Ben
The Hawth Crawley
There will only ever be one Michael Jackson. His music spanned a generation and the legacy of his music continues to this day. Michael starring Ben is the latest smash hit theatre production from renowned producer James Baker and features the UK’s ultimate Michael Jackson tribute star, Ben Bowman, who not only looks and sounds like Michael Jackson, but has honed his routine so impeccably that audiences believe they are watching Michael Jackson himself. With an incredible live band, stunning costumes, and iconic dance routines, Michael starring Ben creates the most authentic, lively and powerful re-creation of the iconic superstar you will see anywhere.
Until 3 March
Hastings Contemporary is staging the first major UK solo exhibition of new and recent works
by Lagos-based artist Nengi Omuku, exploring her profound relationship with the natural world. The Dance of People and the Natural World will not only introduce Nengi’s work to a wider UK audience, but also seeks to broaden the exposure and awareness of the vibrant contemporary Nigerian art scene. Displaying more than ten pieces, the show spans five of Hastings Contemporary’s eight galleries.
May The Toys Be With You
Until 20 April
The Novium Museum
From a galaxy far, far away comes an absolute must-see for fans of Star Wars and the silver screen. One of the UK’s finest collections of vintage Star Wars toys and original cinema posters is now on display in The Novium Museum. May The Toys Be With You is both a celebration of the now highly collectable vintage toy line and of the iconic design work and art of the original Star Wars movies.
Experience the passionate and tragic story of Kenneth MacMillan’s Manon live in cinemas in February 2024. Returning to the Royal Opera House Main Stage, this live cinema event will see the dramatic tale of love and loss broadcast to 976 cinemas in 21 countries across the world. Follow the story of the capricious Manon and experience the best of ballet up close through the stirring music by Jules Massenet and evocative designs by Nicholas Georgiadis that conjure up contrasting worlds both opulent and impoverished.
Brighton Festival has announced its Guest Director for 2024 will be the award-winning Frank Cottrell-Boyce
Brighton Festival was established in 1967 and is the largest annual curated multi-arts festival in England. This year’s festival will take place from 4-26 May and is a celebration of music, theatre, dance, art, film, literature, debate, outdoor and community events in venues and locations across Brighton, Hove and Sussex, with Frank Cottrell-Boyce announced as the Guest Director.
Cottrell-Boyce’s debut children’s novel, Millions, won the CILIP Carnegie Medal, which annually recognises a new and outstanding English-language book for children or young adults. He is also the author of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang Flies Again, Cosmic, Framed, The Astounding Broccoli Boy and his latest novel published by Pan Macmillan, The Wonder Brothers.
Cottrell-Boyce is a judge for the BBC’s 500 Words competition and, along with Danny Boyle, he devised the Opening Ceremony for the London 2012 Olympics. He has written many hit films, including adapting Millions for a critically acclaimed screen version, plus 24 Hour Party People, The Railway Man and Goodbye Christopher Robin. The legendary film critic Roger Ebert referred to Cottrell-Boyce as ‘the most original and versatile screenwriter in the land’.