Grease is the word…and you can join in when Sing-a-long-a Grease comes to the New Victoria Theatre, Woking, on Tuesday (28 May).

Basically a screening of the classic film starring John Travolta and Olivia Newton John, the show aims to get the audience up and singing along to all the hits that made it one of the most successful movie musicals of all time.

The evening will begin with the host leading a vocal warm-up before the movie – and fancy dress is very much encouraged…

RUSSELL Kane has added an extra run of dates to his new tour The Fast and the Curious, which is good news for comedy fans in Woking as he’s now heading to the New Victoria Theatre on Thursday 30 May.

The award-winning comic, presenter, actor, social media star, author and scriptwriter’s most recent appearances include his hit TV show BBC Three’s Stupid Man, Smart Phone, BBC podcast Evil Genius, JOE podcast Boys Don’t Cry (which returned for a second series in February), BBC Two’s Live At The Apollo and BBC One’s Michael McIntyre’s Big Show.

ACTION MAN – Russell Kane will be in Woking for an evening of high-energy comedy

Russell also recently took part in the return of Celebrity Apprentice for Comic Relief, which was broadcast on BBC One in March in the run up to Red Nose Day.

He is also well known for his viral Facebook Kaneing videos, which have garnered hundreds of thousands of views.

AFTER  training for six months to achieve the Expedition section of the DofE Award, covering navigation, cooking skills and emergency aid, 46 Explorer scouts aged 14 to 18 from the five units in Woking,  together with 22 leaders, made their way to Brecon for a weekend of fun and challenging hikes over the May bank holiday.

Top of the World: A triumphant team of scouts pause to celebrate on a Brecon peak

Having arrived at their campsite in Llangorse, near Brecon, at around 11pm on the Friday, the Scouts pitched camp and bedded down for the night, ready for an early start.  Despite low temperatures and snow on the top of the mountains, Scouts in teams of four or five completed high-level walks, including Pen y Fan and Waun Fach.

Three teams of Explorer Scouts completed their three-day Expedition, covering a distance of about 50 kilometres, walking from Talgarth, around Waun Fach to Crickhowell and Talybont, then back up to Llangors.

During the weekend, two other teams of younger Explorers completed a two-day, 25-kilometre Expedition, walking from Crickhowell, following part of the Beacons Way to Cwmdu and back to Llangorse Lake.

Another team take a quick break to catch their breath

En route the Scouts had to complete their chosen projects, on subjects such as the effect of tourism on the paths, historic buildings and the effects rivers and lakes have on the community. One team carried out their project on the local thoughts of Brexit.

The Expedition was the final part of their Chief Scout’s Award and the Duke of Edinburgh Scheme’s Bronze and Silver Expedition section.

Another group of five Explorers completed a gruelling three-day Expedition as part of their official practice for the Queen’s Scout and DofE Gold Awards, covering around 25km a day in the wildest parts of the Black Mountains. They will now go on to complete a four-day Expedition on Dartmoor in August.

The Expedition section enables the Scouts to gain confidence. “It was a super and fun weekend for all the Scouts,” said Brian Pinto, Explorer Scout Commissioner for Woking. “The terrain was much more challenging than the Surrey Hills and their training in the last two terms certainly paid off, putting their navigation skills to the test.”

TWO entrepreneurs who built notable careers in the entertainment industry have relocated part of their business from West Byfleet to Woking town centre, as part of their new company’s expansion.

Sir Howard Panter and Dame Rosemary Squire have spent more than two decades running their former global business, Ambassador Theatre Group, from the town.

Dame Rosemary Squire and Sir Howard Panter, whose new venture of Trafalgar Entertainment has seen significant growth.

Their new business venture, Trafalgar Entertainment, is following a similar path and has moved into Export House in Wolsey Walk.

A live entertainment business, the company has seen significant growth since it was established in 2017. It originally operated from its West End venue of Trafalgar Studios, and has since opened two offices, in The Strand in London and in West Byfleet.

The company has gone on to acquire Trafalgar Releasing, formerly Picturehouse Entertainment, and Stagecoach Performing Arts.

Rosemary Squire, executive chairman and joint chief executive of Trafalgar Entertainment, said: “Howard and I live in Surrey and have based our work here and in London for over two decades.

“When we founded ATG, the New Victoria Theatre and Ambassadors Cinemas at the Peacocks Centre in Woking became our very first regional venues. We later established our head office in the town centre.”

Rosemary, who was made an OBE for services to theatre in 2007, added: “When we started Trafalgar Entertainment in 2017, with so many new colleagues also based in Surrey, we always knew we’d love to have a presence in Woking again. Now of course, we’ve been able to bring our colleagues from Stagecoach Performing Arts along with us, which is a really exciting development and it feels like a homecoming for us all.

“We have two wonderful contemporary office spaces in London and Woking which are great platforms for our future growth. We’re truly delighted with our new home at Export House and we’re looking forward to working alongside the other companies in the building.”

For the full story get the 16 May edition of the News & Mail

A POP star and a soap star will join forces for Rock of Ages, which visits the New Victoria Theatre, Woking, from Tuesday 21 May until Saturday 25 May.

Antony Costa, who rose to fame in the noughties as a member of the boyband Blue, will play Stacee Jaxx, while Kevin Kennedy, best known for his portrayal of Curly Watts in Coronation Street, will play Dennis.

LETTING RIP – Rock of Ages brings a lively slice of LA life to the New Victoria Theatre

Rock of Ages, which has also been made into a Hollywood movie, is a hilarious LA love story featuring rock ‘n’ roll debauchery – as well as 25 classic rock anthems including We Built This City, The Final Countdown and I Want To Know What Love Is.

The show will also feature Zoe Birkett, the highest-placed female contestant in ITV’s Pop Idol in 2002.

WOKING has been declared the best place to live in Britain, according to an online tool.

Woking is the best place to live in the UK according to Hillarys online tool

The town scored 100% with criteria such as average salary (£31,000) employment (83.6%) and average life expectancy (83).

The only other town in Surrey to appear is Kingston upon Thames, scoring 75%.

Tara Hall, from Hillarys, said: “Every town or city has its merits and its downfalls, but it’s interesting to see how those look when you assign them an actual rating.

“Of course, there are aspects of a city or town that can’t be measured in numbers, like history and culture, and I’m sure that long-term residents of these lower-ranking places might disagree with what we’ve found.”

The full list can be seen by visiting www.hillarys.co.uk/static/hot-or-not/.

* DOES Woking deserve its place at the top of this list? Are there towns or cities that should be included? Send your views to editor@wokingnewsandmail.org

For the full story get the 9 May edition of the News & Mail

EAST meets West at Woking’s newest eatery Wrapchic, which was opened by the Mayor of Woking,  Cllr Will Forster in Woking town centre’s Peacocks Shopping Centre.

The outlet has brought Indian street food together with an easy to eat Mexican format and is one of 32 franchised outlets across the UK, of which Woking’s, owned by Sarika Grover, is the newest.

New Wrapchic owner Sarika Grover with, from left, Mahesh Raikar, Managing Director and founder of Wrapchic, her husband Vishal Grover, and the Mayor of Woking Cllr Will Forster

Mrs Grover, who lives in Guildford, says: “Every time I came to the Peacocks shopping mall I thought there was something missing – there was a McDonalds and a Chinese eatery but there wasn’t enough hot food on offer. Also, when I looked at the local demographic it was primarily a mix of Asian and Western people so I thought that Wrapchic would be a good idea.”

Wrapchic was opened in the food court area of the shopping centre on Friday 26th in a flourish of traditional Indian drums since when Mrs Grover says: “We’ve been really well received. It is casual food to eat on the go.”

A mother of teenagers, her son 18 and daughter 13, Mrs Grover explains: “Young people don’t want to sit down to eat in a formal restaurant. All our food is fresh, nothing is frozen and the fillings are familiar Indian food but served in a wrap, burrito or pannini.”

She adds: “I have visited the mall quite often in the past so I’m very pleased to be here but I would like to open another franchise.”

MOCK combat experts from across the world are taking part in European championship games in Woking this weekend.

Players from countries including the UK, France, Holland, Denmark and the US will be facing each other in the town’s Laser Quest arena.

Phill ‘Trixx’ Ellis, third left, with one of his Laser Quest teams

Staff from the company’s Woking branch are among the best on the planet and will be members of the 15 teams taking part.

Laser Quest involves players wearing vests covered with infra-red sensors as they score points by hitting opponents’ targets with laser guns, while avoiding being shot themselves. Play takes place in multi-level, maze-like arenas filled with theatrical fog and featuring strobe lights, ramps, catwalks and windows.

The championships, with teams of six, begin on Saturday morning and end with the final on Sunday afternoon. The players will be competing in friendly combat games on Friday evening.

Laser Quest area operations manager Phil Ellis, known as Trixx on the laser quest circuit, will be taking part following his completion of the London Marathon last Sunday.

“The championships are open to all players in the world, and we are all looking forward to it. The Woking arena was chosen because of its large size and layout and we are going to put on one hell of a party,” he said.

For the full story get the 2 May edition of the News & Mail

SEXY, sassy and strong…Moll Flanders is an extraordinary woman with an extraordinary life and she’s about to be brought to life on stage by WAOS (Woking Amateur Operatic Society).

Based on Daniel Defoe’s novel, their production of Moll Flanders tells how she is taken away from her mother, is married five times, a baronet’s mistress, a plantation owner and a professional thief.

Woking Amateur Operatic Society turn their attention to the extraordinary life and times of Moll Flanders

Her adventures go from rags to riches, from Colchester to the USA, and back to England, via Bath, Liverpool and London, and a few prisons in between. And if this was not enough, there is a goodly selection of larger than life characters waiting to be brought to the stage.

Moll Flanders will be at the Rhoda McGaw Theatre, Woking, from Tuesday 7 May until Saturday 11 May. It will be directed by Martine Young, with musical direction by Ian Peters and choreography by Elizabeth Loveder.

A WOKING mum who started the “Couch to 5K” challenge back in September, is taking on the London Marathon this weekend.

Sarah Roberts will run the 26.2 miles in aid of the Down’s Syndrome Association, and says her son Oscar is her inspiration.

Marathon mum Sarah Roberts wearing her official Down’s Syndrome Association running gear.

“It goes without saying I’m doing this for Oscar. But I’m also doing this for all the children and adults who happen to have Down’s syndrome and their families to raise awareness and show others that anyone of us can do anything, if we set our mind to it. If you see me, I’ll be the one at the back, shovelling as many jelly babies I can down my throat to get me through it!”

Sarah is keen to point out that she is not a natural runner, but has been upping her mileage week-by-week and was overjoyed when she found out she had secured a place on the Down’s Syndrome Association’s #Team21.

“My son Oscar is now six years old and when he was born, we found out he had Down’s syndrome. It came as a huge shock. I worried so much at first and I remember, when he was around 8 months old feeling this overwhelming need to write things down.

Sarah slows down to take a quick selfie while out training

“I started a blog which I named ‘Don’t Be Sorry’ – because I quickly realised there really was nothing to be sorry about – and I found sharing our experiences online was not only helping me but seemed to be reaching out to others too. Over the years our following across social media has grown and we now have close to 40,000 people following our story.”

Back in 2017, Sarah posted about asking the medical profession to use the word ‘chance’ instead of ‘risk’ when explaining the results of 12-week tests. The post generated almost 3,000 comments and more than 6,000 shares.

“I have never attempted anything this tough before, but I’ve actually really enjoyed the training and I’m hoping it gives other people hope, that if this sleep deprived, kinda chubby mum of three can do it… so can anyone!”

Sarah takes on the Virgin London Marathon on Sunday 28th April and can be sponsored here.


For the full story get the 2 May edition of the News & Mail