ANYONE who has enjoyed the classic War Horse at the New Victoria Theatre will be pleased to hear that another stage adaptation of Michael Morpurgo’s work will feature in the Woking venue’s autumn programme.

The upcoming season hosts a feast of drama, dance, musicals and laugh-out-loud comedy entertainment, and among the early shows will be Morpurgo’s Private Peaceful (8-9 October). The play traces the life of Private Tommo Peaceful, a young First World War soldier awaiting the firing squad at dawn.

On a lighter note, Fame The Musical and Jersey Boys are the musical highlights of the season. Keith Jack, Mica Paris and Jorgie Porter all star in Fame the Musical, based on the 1980 hit film, coming to Woking (1-6 October). Jersey Boys, winner of 57 major awards worldwide, is back with those sweet, era-defining songs by Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons including Sherry, Walk Like A Man and Beggin’ (16-27 October).

For all the details, see the 16 August edition

SPECIALLY created for hen nights, birthday parties and girls’ nights out with friends, The Dreamboys are heading back to Surrey on Friday 24 August.

With special guest appearances on TV shows such as The X Factor, Britain’s Got Talent, Celebrity Big Brother, Loose Women, This Morning, Geordie Shore and The Only Way Is Essex, the boys now have celebrity status, and they’ll be putting it to use in a two-hour show at Guildford’s G Live on Friday 24 August.

CBEEBIES favourites Bing, Sula, Coco and Pando are heading for G Live in Guildford on Saturday 31 August and Friday 1 September in their first ever stage show, Bing Live!

Young fans can watch as they learn how to tell stories by pretending, dressing-up and singing songs. Flop and Amma are there to help, but in this magical world of make-believe things don’t always go according to plan.

The crew from the top-rated show for pre-schoolers are brought to life by magical puppetry and the event is directed by Will Tuckett, guest principal character artist of the Royal Ballet, whose production of Wind in the Willows won an Olivier Award for Best Entertainment.

SHAKESPEARE’S Twelfth Night will be given a 1960s makeover when Oxford Shakespeare Players bring the play to the Mill Studio at the Yvonne Arnaud Theatre in Guildford from August 29 to September 1.

Viola survives a shipwreck and washes up on the shores of Illyria. She quickly becomes embroiled in a story of romance, trickery and disguise when she enters Duke Orsino’s service and starts carrying lovelorn messages to the Countess Olivia. The ensuing story raises contemporary questions of family, love, gender, desire and madness.

This new adaptation sets the play among the late ’60s, with the strange world of Illyria incarnated from the fleeting, giddy and fantastical atmosphere of the counterculture.

ELIZA & The Bear are back with a revitalised sound, a fresh new single Real Friends and a second full-length album to be released later this year.

After being tipped for success back in 2013, it’s taken a while for the London outfit to find their feet.

After a sold-out UK arena tour with Paramore, main stage appearances at the Reading and Leeds Festivals, Boardmasters, V Festival and Zane Lowe making It Gets Cold his “hottest record in the world” on radio, the band’s eponymous debut album reached the UK Top 40 in 2016.

However, the band’s sound moved and they found themselves at a creative crossroads.

“We decided to take the bull by the horns and use a period of uncertainty to our absolute advantage,” says vocalist and guitarist James Kellegher. Helped by song placements on national adverts for Bulmers and Burberry, the band are back on a new label (Be-Known Music) and ready to start again. Eliza & the Bear’s re-emergence includes a show at the Boileroom in Guildford on Sunday 26 August.

By the way, there is no Eliza – they named themselves after a poetry collection.

START your weekend in style with VIP tickets to an outdoor screening of cinematic smash hit The Greatest Showman.

To celebrate Kia Motors (UK) Ltd announcing its sponsorship of popular outdoor cinema company, The Luna Cinema, the News & Mail is offering the chance for three lucky readers to win a pair of premium tickets to attend a sold-out evening screening of The Greatest Showman on Friday 17 August in the grounds of Guildford Cathedral.

Win VIP tickets to sold-out outdoor screening of The Greatest Showman

The tickets include a chair in a special Kia VIP area and a complimentary drink at the Luna bar. Those lucky enough to win will also receive an exclusive Kia blanket so they can cuddle up and enjoy the film amid the stunning setting.

Visitors to The Luna Cinema should also visit the Kia stand to see the new Kia Sportage and the all-new Kia Ceed.

Entry to the event is from 7pm, with the film starting at 8.30pm.

To enter please answer the following question correctly. Which of the following Kia models will be on display at The Luna Cinema this summer?

  1. Sportage
  2. Picanto
  3. Rio

Email your answer, along with your name and daytime contact number, to editor@wokingnewsandmail.org. Please put ‘Luna Cinema competition’ in the subject line. Entries must arrive by 9am on Thursday 9 August, when the winners will be drawn. Winners will be contacted with ticket details by The Luna Cinema. Good luck!

For more chances to win other VIP tickets, pick up the News & Mail’s 9 August edition.


  • Entrants must be 18 or over
  • Entrants must live in the UK
  • Competition winner must have a UK address
  • The prize is 2 tickets per person
  • The competition winner will be sent details on ticket collection
  • No exchanges or refunds can be made on the prize
  • Should the prize not be available, the provider remains the right to provide an alternative prize of equivalent value

THE National Theatre’s award-winning production of War Horse has come to Woking and is truly an epic production not to be missed.

Based on the novel by former children’s laureate Michael Morpurgo, it tells the woeful tale of young Albert and his beloved horse Joey who is sold to an army officer and shipped off to France to the First World War and subsequent carnage of the trenches. Young Albert can’t bear to see Joey go, and so enlists himself to fight at the tender age of 16, in his quest to find Joey and bring him home.

Enthralling work of the Handspring Puppet Company is inspiring

Part of the magic of the production comes from the inspired work of the Handspring Puppet Company, who bring the animal stars to life. We first meet Joey as a young foal, and every twitch of an ear and swoosh of his tail proves so enthralling that you aren’t for one minute distracted by the puppeteers expertly managing every movement. We were transfixed at how they somehow managed to make structures constructed from a wooden framework and translucent fabric appear just like real horses; noble and strong.  The goose puppet was so lifelike and had us in stitches as it chased around the farmyard.

Transported to the horrors of life at war, there is great drama as the horses rear up and we feel as though they are galloping towards the audience. A relatively simple set is the perfect backdrop for the dramatic lighting, blasts of machine gun fire and explosions which bring the sounds, fear and terror of war home. The sight of horses and soldiers falling to the ground and a tank rolling darkly across the stage left the audience spellbound. And the trudging of the horses in the mud, struggling to pull the hospital cart brilliantly captures the dreadful waste and futility of war.

War Horse is powerful and beautiful, capturing the enduring relationship between humans and animals, and the horror of war.  The cast and puppeteers are outstanding, no surprise that the show ended to raucous enthusiastic applause.


Vicky Sullivan

WHEN it came to researching his starring role in War Horse, Thomas Dennis gave it his all.

The actor already had experience of horses but trekked across France and Belgium to find out just what his character Albert Narracott would have faced back in the First World War.

“Albert is definitely one of the biggest challenges I’ve had to face so far as an actor, alongside Christopher in The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time,” he explains.

War Horse is at the New Victoria Theatre, Woking, now and runs until Saturday 18 August.

For the full story, buy the 2 August edition

EXPERIENCE the summer of love at in Surrey on Saturday 11 August in a tribute show to the US festival that changed the world.

The Janis Joplin and Friends in the Woodstock Experience will be at G Live in Guildford, offering three days of peace and love in one show.

For the full story, buy the 2 August edition

THE Weirdos may well have been the first punk band to form in Los Angeles, although it may have been The Zeros or The Dils.

In any case, John Denney’s outfit are still going strong and head for the UK this week to play at the Rebellion Festival in Blackpool, but before they head home the five-piece will put in an appearance at the Holroyd Arms in Guildford on Friday 10 August.

Expect to hear classics such as We Got The Neutron Bomb, Skateboards To Hell and Life of Crime.