21+ Amazing Things to Discover this April

21+ Amazing Things to Discover this April in SW London and Surrey

Spring blooms, theatre for the family, new music fests and art exhibitions…

Main image: Hampton Court Palace Tulip Festival – Photo by Richard Lea-Hair © Historic Royal Palaces

See Spring blooms

1 Blossom Open Day

Gatton Park, 7 April

Enjoy Gatton Park in bloom including the young cherry trees funded by the Japanese Embassy as part of the Sakura Cherry Trees Project. There are tours, activities and themed children’s crafts linked to the 25th anniversary of the restoration of the Japanese garden.

2 Hampton Court
Palace Tulip Festival

15 April – 6 May

Henry VIII’s famous home will burst into colour with over 100,000 bulbs at the annual Hampton Court Palace Tulip Festival. There is a dramatic array of colours, patterns and specially designed planting schemes to explore.

3 Birdsong Walk

WWT London Wetland Centre, Barnes, 16, 17, 23, 24 and 30 April

Arrive before opening hours to enjoy the uplifting tunes and captivating calls of the birds at the London Wetlands. The experienced guide will help you learn to identify and appreciate the unique songs of various bird species.

4 Capturing Spring
Photography Workshop

Claremont Landscape Garden, 20 April

On this photo walk, learn how to capture the colourful landscapes creatively, the quick moving fluffy ducklings sharply and the colourful blossoms of spring. You will learn more about aperture, composition and shutter speed, and will finish the photo walk with a lovely set of spring images. All photography levels welcome.

Image: Springtime at Claremont. National Trust Images

Theatre in April

1 Three Billy Goats Gruff

Polka Theatre, Wimbledon, 29 March – 21 April

Featuring beautiful puppetry and live music, join the adventurer billy goats as they dare to cross the bridge to the other side, but the troll is determined this is his land.

2 An Officer and A Gentleman the Musical

New Wimbledon Theatre, 1-6 April

This timeless story of love, courage, and redemption tells of Zack, a fearless young officer candidate, and the captivating Paula, whose fiery spirit matches his own. Their encounters ignite a spark that transcends boundaries, awakening a passionate love that defies all odds.

© Marc Brenner

3 Love Steps

Omnibus Theatre, Clapham, 3-20 Apri

Love Steps is a fusion of poetry, dance and music, following a Black woman’s journey to finding love.

4 Easter Panto: Beauty
& the Beast

Dorking Halls, 5 April

A great family panto, with Belle, who longs for romance and adventure, a bad-mannered prince who is transformed into a beast to teach him a lesson and a good fairy who makes both their dreams come true.

5 The Adventures of the
Little Red Hen

The Exchange, Twickenham, 12-14 April

An energetic adaptation of this much-loved story, featuring brilliant puppetry, live music and unforgettable comedy.

6 The Glass Menagerie

Rose Theatre, Kingston, 17 April – 4 May

Starring Geraldine Somerville (Gosford Park) as Amanda, Tennessee Williams’ semi-autobiographical masterpiece explores, love, loyalty and family.

7 Richmond Opera:

Normansfield Theatre, Teddington, 19-21 April

Handel’s Semele, a dramatic tale of love, human ambition, and divine retribution, will be performed by Richmond Opera’s ensemble and Baroque Orchestra, promising an evening of captivating music and drama.

8 Minority Report

Lyric Hammersmith, 19 April – 18 May

In 2050, neuroscientist Dame Julia Anderton is about to launch the next phase of her pioneering Pre-Crime programme, detaining people for crimes before they are committed. But when Julia is accused of pre-murder, she’s in a race against time to save herself from her own system. This thrilling adaptation of Philip K Dick’s iconic story challenges our beliefs about justice and freewill in a real-time chase through London of the future.

9 Peppa Pig’s Fun Day Out

Richmond Theatre, 20-21 April

Join Peppa along with her family and friends as they go to the zoo, then the beach for a special party. It’s going to be an exciting and fun packed day. Packed full of songs, dances and muddy puddles.

10 Sleuth

Yvonne Arnaud Theatre, Guildford, 23-27 April

This dark, psychological ‘thriller about thrillers’ makes for an intriguing study of human conflict, jealousy, and manipulation. Proving to be far more than a ‘whodunnit’, it promises to baffle even the most proficient sleuth.

11 Consent

Coward Studio, Teddington Theatre Club, 30 April – 4 May

Friends Ed and Tim take opposing briefs in a sexual assault case. The key witness is a woman whose life seems a world away from theirs. At home though the barristers’ own lives start to unravel in a frenzy of betrayals and recrimination.

More fab things to do:

Music in April

1 Cara Dillon: Coming

Landmark Arts Centre, 5 April

Born from a collection of poems and the remarkable album that followed, this acclaimed live production sees Irish singer Cara Dillon skilfully interweave her new material with a carefully curated selection of her beloved classics.

2 The Speakeasy Party:
Bad Girls Groove

Ram Jam Records, Kingston, 6 April

Covering artists like Aretha Franklin and Chic right up to modern soul stars like Jill Scott, Joss Stone and Snarky Puppy, Bad Girls Groove also write, record and perform their own original music. They’ll be performing their music selection at Ram Jam.

3 The Sutton Psych Fest

Sound Lounge, Sutton, 13 April

The first ever Sutton Psychedelic Festival will be featuring live performances from Hollow Hand, Emma Tricca, Large Plants, Bobby Lee, Joe Harvey Whyte and DJ sets from The Hanging Stars.

4 Paloma Faith

Eventim Apollo, 17 April

Widely beloved pop star Paloma Faith will be kicking off her UK tour this April in support of her sixth studio album, The Glorification of Sadness. She will be coming to London’s Eventim Apollo on 17th April.

5 Crazy World of
Arthur Brown

Eel Pie Club, Twickenham, 18 April

Best known for his flamboyant theatrical performances and powerful, wide-ranging vocals, Arthur Brown has been a major influence on a wide range of musicians. He is considered a pioneer of shock rock and progressive rock as well as his influence on heavy metal. He and his band will be performing at Eel Pie Club on 18 April.

See what’s on at your local theatres:

Art & Culture in March

1 Jay Bernard, Far
From the Start, 202

Studio Voltaire, Clapham, Until 7 April

Stemming from a combination of research and personal experience, Bernard has responded to the Clapham South Deep Level Shelter as a point of diffusion after the arrival of the HMT Empire Windrush in 1948. The Windrush narrative has become a unified story of early post-war mass migration. In this work, the deep-level shelter becomes the opposite: a site of dispersal, alternatives and forgotten details that sit behind the familiar narrative.

2 Creative Flow: Kingston, Art and The River

Kingston Museum, Until 13 April

Last chance to see! The exhibition showcases the role of the River Thames as a major source of creative inspiration in Kingston from the 17th century to the present – a history that includes Turner and the Pre-Raphaelites.

Kingston Bridge from Charter Quay, Christopher Glanville, © 2001

3 Danger and
Desire – The Seductive Power of Orchids

RHS Garden Wisley, Until 1 May

As symbols of mystery, desire, danger and wealth, orchids have inspired countless works of art, literature, film and fashion. Discover beautiful botanical artworks and rare books from the RHS collections, and find out how our different perceptions of orchids have evolved at this exhibition.