Family fun, music, theatre, dance and days out across Suffolk and Essex this weekend

Mr Bloom's Nursery Live. Photo: Paul Clapp

Mr Bloom's Nursery Live. Photo: Paul Clapp - Credit: Archant

Looking for days out, with or without children, this weekend? Here we bring you our weekly round up of days out ideas.

We have theatre shows, bird walks and even conservation work parties.

For more what’s on news, see here

Shobana Jeyasingh, DanceEast, Jerwood DanceHouse, Ipswich, 7.30pm, Friday, February 24

The choreographer visits the dance house for the first time with her new full-length work, Material Men Redux.

Hip hop and classical Indian dance couldn’t be more different but her virtuoso dancers – Sooraj Subramaniam and Shailesh Bahoran - share a history rooted in the dark realities of colonial migration and plantation labour.


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The piece includes a film by Simon Daw featuring archive photographic material and historic texts. The score by acclaimed Australian composer Elena Kats-Chernin is played live on stage by The Smith Quartet.

The Russian State Ballet and Orchestra of Siberia, The Ipswich Regent, until Saturday, February 25

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The acclaimed company returns with a trio of performances, starting with La Fille mal gardée; a gentle tale of love thwarted, unrequited and found centred around a farm boy and flirty farmer’s daughter who find inventive ways to avoid her mother.

Next is The Nutcracker, perhaps the most famous of fantasy ballets. Set on Christmas Eve, toy dolls spring to life as the Mouse King and his mouse army battle with the Nutcracker Prince.

The tour ends with the romantic Swan Lake, as black tulled temptress Odile sets out to steal the Prince away from the swan queen Odette

Mr Bloom’s Nursery Live, West Cliff Theatre, Clacton, Friday, February 24

Calling all Tiddlers - and their mums. CBeebies star Mr Bloom and his veggie friends are getting ready for a royal visit and need a hand getting the allotment ready in time.

Mr Bloom, aka Ben Faulks, says: “I know all of the Tiddlers out there like watching Mr Bloom on the television, but this is the first time they will be able to come and see me and the veggies in their very own live show. I am so excited, so are The Veggies, Colin is packing his suitcase already.”

Music in Felixstowe, Felixstowe Ferry Sailing Club, 7.30pm, Friday, February 24

Charles Hart, librettist and co-creator of Andrew Lloyd-Webber’s Phantom of the Opera, narrates the next concert which features The Soldier’s Tale with music by Stravinsky and Façade by Edith Sitwell with music by William Walton.

Hart will be joined by local actor Emily Bennett and supported by musicians Kenneth Sillito and Gary Kettel and Anna Noakes.

The Soldier’s Tale is based on a Russian folk story about a solldier who trades his fiddle to the devil for untold riches. Façade is a series of poems.

The Bob Dylan Story, The Fisher Theatre, Bungay, 7.30pm, Friday, February 24

New multimedia show recreating classic hits from The Times They Are A-Changin’, Blowin’ In The Wind and Mr Tambourine Man through to Like A Rolling Stone, Subterranean Homesick Blues, Lay Lady Lay, Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door and many more while telling the tales behind them.

“We wanted to give Dylan’s many fans the opportunity to hear the songs as they remember them, all in one sitting” explains Bill Lennon, who plays the main man in the show.

“Although many of Dylan’s songs were hits for other artists, from Hendrix’s All Along The Watchtower right up to Adele’s Make You Feel My Love, we remain true to the original versions. We are confident the show will have people digging out their old vinyl to sustain the nostalgia just that little bit longer.”

Fairport Convention, The Apex, Bury St Emunds, Friday, February 24

The folk-rock heroes mark 50 years of performances and the release of 50:50@50 which features new original songs and live recordings of various fan favourites. Opening the concerts will be BBC TV’s The Voice 2014 runner up Sally Barker, formerly of all-girl folk group, The Poozies.

Bird Identification and Song Walk, Lackford Lakes, 11am-4pm, Saturday, February 25

Guided walk with Suffolk Wildlife Trust bird expert Paul Holness to identify early spring birds by both sound and sight. Bring or borrow binoculars. Booking essential.

The BBC Big Band, Royal Hospital School, Holbrook, 7pm, February 25

Widely regarded as one of the world’s leading and most versatile orchestras, the band perform music inspired by some of the legends of the genre including Frank Sinatra, Booby Darin and Matt Monro.

It will feature singer Matthew Ford, a regular performer with the Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Orchestra and Grammy-nominated John Wilson Orchestra.

Under the direction of long-standing conductor Barry Forgie, the band has recently performed with stars such as George Benson, Van Morrison and Georgie Fame.

Superglu fundraiser, The Hunter Club, Bury St Edmunds, 6pm-11pm, Saturday, February 25

Invited to play at the world-famous American music festival SXSW in March, they need your help raising funds for visas and travel.

SuperGlu regularly receive airplay on Radio One, Radio X and 6music and last year headlined stages at Reading, Leeds and Latitude.

The festival has helped launch the careers of acts like The White Stripes, The Flaming Lips and Amy Winehouse.

Also playing on the night are Janet Street Slaughter, Siah, The Catch and Blue Mean Eyes.

RedFaces, John Peel Centre, Stowmarket, 7.30pm, Saturday, February 25

Fans include John Kennedy and Jo Good at XFM, Steve Lamacq on BBC6 Music, BBC Introducing locally and Huw Stephens on Radio 1. Drawing influences from the 1950s to the present day, they are becoming one of the most talked about upcoming bands in the country. Support comes from Fick as Fieves and Fortunato.

Kent DuChaine, Beccles Public Hall, 6.30pm, Saturday, February 25

The delta blues singer and guitarist performs with support from local band Owl and Wolves.

Cantus Firmus Choir, St John the Baptist, Ipswich, 7.30pm, Saturday, February 25

Hosted by Mark Lowther, former BBC Radio Three producer and presenter; now Vicar of Aldeburgh. The choir will be accompanied by Cantus Firmus Orchestra and St John’s Primary School Choir will also be taking part.

The centre-piece of the concert will be Vivaldi’s Gloria. The wide ranging programme will also include pieces from Handel’s Messiah.

Stowmarket Chorale, United Reform Church, Stowmarket, 7pm, Saturday, February 25

Members will be singing Ahoy! by Alexander L’Estrange together with children from Rougham, Finborough and South Lee Schools plus Sea Pictures by Edward Elgar.

60s Hits and Laughter Show 4, The Apex, Bury St Edmunds, Saturday, February 25

Legendary 1960s acts The Swingin’ Blue Jeans and The Marmalade on the same show combined with anecdotes, memories and comedy and more, plus East Anglian Pirate Radio Station memories on a large video screen and Suffolk’s biggest 5-4-3-2-1 60s Pop Quiz, with prizes.

Behn Quartet, Cut Arts Centre, Halesworth, 3pm, Sunday, February 26

The London-based string ensemble, comprised of players from England, the Netherlands, New Zealand and Wales, perform Haydn’s String Quartet Op.64, No.5 The Lark, Szymanowski’s String Quartet No.1 in C major and Beethoven’s String Quartet Op.59, No.1 Razumovsky.

The performance is part of this year’s Halesworth Arts Festival spring concerts series.

Conservation Work Party, Brightwell Barn, Thorpe Morieux, near Bury St Edmunds, 8.30am-12.30pm, Sunday, February 26

Get into the outdoors and spend a few hours doing some practical conservation work. It is a great way to meet people, see parts of Bull’s Wood reserve you wouldn’t normally see, learn new skills and get some exercise.

And later in the week:

Johan Lofving, The Cramphorn Theatre, Chelmsford, 1pm, Wednesday, March 1

Do you know what a Theorbo is? With its very long neck and large size, it’s easy to spot in any ensemble. Developed in the late 16th Century in Florence, the Italian name is tiorba, but the English found that too foreign and anglicized it to theorbo.

Find out more from Lofving at this free lunchtime concert.

Clown Gathering UK, Seagull Theatre, Lowestoft, 7.30pm, Wednesday, March 1 and Thursday, March 2

A variety of clown comedy described as a tempestuous and tantalizing treasure trove of theatrical treats featuring an international cavalcade of clowns, fools, jokers and wondrous wits.

Anything Goes, Civic Theatre, Chelmsford, 7.30pm, 3pm matinee Tuesday, February 28 to Saturday, March 4

CAODS take on one of the greatest musicals of all time, featuring Cole Porter’s delightful, delicious and de-lovely score.

When the SS American heads out to sea, etiquette and convention go out the portholes as three unlikely pairs set off on the course to true love.

Invincible, Cambridge Arts Theatre, 7.45pm nightly plus 2.30pm Wednesday, March 1 to Saturday, March 4

Torben Betts’ tale of middleclass Londoners Emily and Oliver who are forced to move north, where they clash with their new neighbours Dawn and Alan over an evening of olives, anchovies, Karl Marx and abstract art, class and culture.

Giselle, Theatre Royal, Bury St Edmunds, Thursday, March 2 to Saturday, March 4

Featuring a full Corps de Ballet of 24 international dancers along with the critically acclaimed principal dancers, Ballet Theatre UK return with this haunting classic set to music by Adolphe Adam.

Considered to be one of the jewels in the crown of the romantic repertoire, young, sickly peasant girl Giselle falls in love with the handsome Prince Albrecht with tragic consequences.

• For the latest entertainment news and interviews follow @WhatsonWayne on Twitter and check out our bumper What’s On event guide and arts and culture section in the paper every Thursday.

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