From Boycie to Burlesque here is our top ten essential guide to events taking place this weekend across Derbyshire and beyond.
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Chesterfield: The Pomegranate Theatre is getting into the festive spirit on Sunday as TaleGate Theatre present an adaptation of Nicholas Allan’s much loved book Father Christmas Needs A Wee. The perfect combination of wit, fantastic tunes and extra sparkle makes for a fabulously funny and brilliantly bouncy musical. A cautionary Christmas tale, at every house St Nick eats and drinks the tasty treats left out for him. But he’s forgotten to do something rather important—he really, really, really needs to use the toilet. Shows at 11am and 2pm, tickets cost £11.50/£13.50 via www.chesterfieldtheatres.co.uk or 01246 345222.
Heanor: If the weather allows for a walk and some fresh air this weekend, why not add a creative task along the way? Join the Derbyshire County Council countryside service at Shipley Country Park on Sunday for an introductory workshop to the art of mosaics, 12.30-4pm. Let the experts guide you to create a piece of artwork you can take home. Equipment and materials will be provided for the session, which is suitable for anyone aged over 16 and able to use hand tools. Booking and pre-payment are essential, £20 per person, call 01773 719961 or go online to www.derbyshire.gov.uk/countrysideevents.
Buxton: Best known for his role as Boycie in the BBC’s Only Fools and Horses, John Challis is one of the nation’s greatest comic actors.
On Friday night, he invites you to an intimate evening at the Pavilion Arts Centre, Buxton, where he will be sharing anecdotes from his dazzling career, Del-ving into secrets from the Only Fools set and his work and friendships with some of the biggest names in showbusiness—including The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Olivier Reed and George Best. The show starts at 7.30pm, and tickets cost £17.50 via www.buxtonoperahouse.org.uk or 01298 72190. Challis will be signing books after the show.
Buxton: Having worked with Bruce Springsteen, Neil Young, Lou Reed and Ringo Starr, American guitarist and songwriter Nils Lofgren is a go-to guy for rock’s elite. Admired for his musicianship in supporting roles, his solo work has garnered praise from Bono, Sting, Willie Nelson and Bonnie Raitt. His latest release is Face the Music, a 45-year career retrospective which shows a unique talent, celebrated by those in the know, though not always by commercial success. Catch a rare opportunity to see him live at Buxton Opera House on Friday, 7.30pm. Tickets £36/£46.75 via 01298 72190 or www.buxtonoperahouse.org.uk.
Nottingham: The world’s favourite international air hostess, comedian Pam Ann has landed back in the UK with a new show for 2015. The queen of the sky’s caustic wit knows no boundaries, so fasten your seat belts and prepare for take-off at the Playhouse on Saturday. It’s guaranteed to be a turbulent, chuckle-fuelled flight. Hilarious, often shocking and politically incorrect, Pam Ann keeps things lively and nail bitingly unpredictable as she takes off her pristine white gloves and delivers an unrelenting barrage of “shoot-from-the-lip” observations. Show starts 8pm, tickets £22-£28 via www.nottingham playhouse.co.uk or 0115 9419419.
Buxton: Now established as a global phenomenon, An Evening of Burlesque has brought the tasteful titillation of early 20th century vaudeville theatre back into the mainstream. At Buxton Opera House on Saturday, see some of the biggest burlesque stars from around the world come together for a thrilling show packed with couture costumes, porcelain cheek and fun-filled cabaret routines. Performances start at 7.30pm and tickets cost £23-£25.50 from www.buxtonoperahouse.org.uk or 01298 72190. Admission is restricted to over-18s only.
Chatsworth: The season of goodwill is already in full swing at Chatsworth, with the estate’s Christmas market running until November 29: 10am to 5.30pm on weekdays, and 6pm on weekends. The event is packed with more than 100 stalls selling gifts and decorations, seasonal produce and clothing—something for all the family. Away from the shopping, soak up the good cheer with mulled cider, gourmet street food and musical entertainment. For admission details see www.chatsworth.org. The decorations are a sight to behold, with many grown or made on the estate. If you want to know how it was done, then Sheffield Botanical Gardens is hosting a talk by the Chatsworth Glasshouse manager on Tuesday, 10am. See www.sbg.org.uk/listings.
Edwinstowe: Nottinghamshire County Council has big plans this winter, with seasonal activities taking place at most of its civic centres, libraries and parks. This Saturday, add a rustic touch to your home or garden decorations by weaving a willow angel in a one-off workshop at Sherwood Forest Country Park, 10.30am to 12.30pm. Children under 16 must be accompanied by an adult, and all materials are included for £15 per participant. Call 01623 823202 to book. For younger ones, head to Rufford Abbey Country Park where Santa’s grotto and trail opens on Saturday, 11am to 4pm, then every weekends until Christmas. £5 per child, including gift.
Nottingham: Prepare for the arrival of Star Wars: The Force Awakens with a hyperspace journey through composer John Williams’ iconic orchestral scores for episodes I-VI of the saga. Michael Seal conducts the world renowned City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra at Nottingham’s Royal Concert Hall on Monday, 7.30pm. From the heroic opening titles to the clashing lightsabers of Obi-Wan and Darth Vader, experience the thrill of the music that defined Star Wars’ greatest scenes. Phantom Menace voice actor Marc Silk—thankfully not Jar Jar Binks—will narrate the story as costumed characters will invade the stage. Cheer on pod racers at the flag parade, fly through the asteroid field in the Millennium Falcon, shed a tear for Anakin and Padmé or chill out with a cosmic cocktail to the sound of the cantina band. Tickets cost £15.50-£36.50, available from www.trch.co.uk or 0115 9895555. Perfect for Padawan. Do. Or do not. There is no try.
Nottingham: Having landed their sixth consecutive number one album with the powerful The Day Is My Enemy, and straight off the back of two sold out shows at Alexandra Palace, The Prodigy are closing the year in style. Their final run of live shows for 2015 starts at the Capital FM Arena on Tuesday. In a bill which is certain to remind the 1990s’ jilted generation of their rebellious youth, support comes from hip-hop’s incendiary elder statesmen Public Enemy. Neither group has ever shied away from provocative messages and beats, so don’t expect them to have mellowed with age. Standard tickets cost £30.80/£44.24, with hospitality included from £92.50. See www.capitalfmarena.com or call 0843 373 3000 to book.