What's On

What’s On: May 2017

May brings with it yet more festival fever, including more delights from Wise Words festival, Kent Vegan festival, and a science festival in your local pub. Thinking of having a quiet night in? NOPE.


Out of This World

Friday 5th May

The Gulbenkian

OUT OF THIS WORLD is genre-defying, action-packed theatre. Set within a world of projected film and animation, this is the story of a woman’s woozy descent into the depths of a medically induced coma. Once safely cocooned, her crashed imagination takes over the show – creating a vivid inward cinema in which she reviews her life. But after discovering a shocking truth and with the medical team moving in for the kill, she must escape her subterranean safe house in a very real fight for life.

Canterbury Uncovered

Gong Bath

1st May

Wise Words Festival, Greyfriars Gardens

Wise Words is bringing the first Gong Bath celebration into Canterbury.
Lying down in the magical garden tent, wrapped up in comfy blankets and cocoon our bodies with sonic vibrations. Come and join a celebration of love, towards oneself and all beings.

Agenda Opening Night

8th May

The Pound

An opening night of cocktails in the sunshine overlooking the river at Kent’s premium LGBT+ night. Set in the historic Westgate Towers, Agenda at The Pound is back for 2017 and set for a spring and summer full of luxury LGBT+ events.

Pint of Science Festival

15th - 17th May

Jolly Sailor
75 Northgate. CT1 1BA

Pint of Science is a non-profit organisation that brings some of the most brilliant scientists to your local pub to discuss their latest research and findings with you. You don’t need any prior knowledge, and this is your chance to meet the people responsible for the future of science (and have a pint with them).


Firewatching with Richard Navarro

1st May

Meeting in Greyfriars Gardens

Richard Navarro will lead an audience on a tour of the city visiting the places and people that weave through his latest ‘Firewatching’ sequence of songs.
Alongside Nicholas Thurston on guitar and performer-musician-writer Miriam Gould, be prepared to explore the city through a roaming performance of music and words which amplifies the harmony and humanity found within stories from Canterbury’s past – performed at their actual locations within the city walls.


Songs My Enemy Told Me | Joelle Taylor & Antony

1st May

Chapel, Greyfriars Garden

Joelle is leading a project through which she is running a series of workshops for women through which she aims to enable them to articulate their experiences. These stories and experiences will be used as the grounding for a new poetry collection Songs my Enemy Taught Me scheduled for release in July 2017 on Out-Spoken Press.
Following the performances Editor in chief of OutSpoken Press Anthony Anaxagorou will interview Joelle Taylor about the long research process for her new collection, which has taken her on both a global and personal journey detailing women’s stories of survival and uprising.

For tickets and more information please visit here


4th May

Greyfriars Garden

Analysing sickness, health and what it really means to recover, Helen Seymour admits you into a surreal hospital to create a funny, unique and powerful theatrical experience.

Directed by Hannah Silva, “To Helen Back” blurs the boundaries between spoken word, comedy and performance art. So come on, be on the look-out while Helen sneaks around wards, X-Ray Rooms and cupboards to discover the bizarre, the bemusing and the ba….ah, well that would be telling.


Kent Vegan Festival

7th May

Westgate Hall

The aim of the Kent Vegan Festival is to raise awareness about veganism as a
compassionate, holistic, healthy and intrinsically non-violent way of life. The
events are inclusive and welcoming, with the aim of encouraging all people in their vegan journey. There’ll be music, speakers, poetry and more.




4th May

The Quinn Yurt, Greyfriars Garden

Are you sick of swiping left and right?
Or filling out pointless online questionnaires only to message back and forth with people you are not even sure you want to meet IRL?
Maybe you are sick of dating altogether?
Maybe you are seeing someone but would like to make new friends?

Well, the makers of The Anti-Slam know that the best way to bond is over failure. WORST. DATE. EVER is a night of performances about dates gone wrong, mixed up with silly games for people of all relationship statuses, sexualities and genders. Featuring a fantastic line up of comedians, theatre-makers, spoken word and performance artists.


Sophie Willan: On Record

5th May

Greyfriars Garden, Wise Words Festival

‘On Record’ was one of the breakout comedy shows of Edinburgh Festival 2016.
Join this brilliantly bold and gloriously raucous young powerhouse as she explores who she is today through the eyes of the numerous experts who assessed her growing up whilst she was in care. At 23, Sophie was unexpectedly handed all of her personal records. Now she has developed them into a comedy show.


TRYST: Opening night with artists

6th May

Conquest House

There is a connection between natural places and the importance they hold, like remembering meeting your lover at a particular tree. This connection is found in many celebrations of harvest, may-day rituals and other rural traditions and is the basis of the exhibition TRYST. 

On show will be a selection of otherworldly drawings; symbolic corn & tree sculptures; films featuring renowned folk singer Shirley Collins & sounds from the Tolpuddle Martyrs tree under whose branches the first trade union in England met in 1834; magic lantern slides; recitals of traditional Kentish Folk songs. Also on display will be unexhibited skotographs by the spiritualist Madge Donohoe and drawings by the medium & visionary, Madge Gill.

Henry’s Demons: a dangerous road to recovery

20th May - 2nd July

The Beaney

Henry Cockburn, a highly praised East Kent artist who spent 8 years in mental hospitals after being diagnosed with schizophrenia in 2002, paints original visionary pictures of fiery dragons, imagined cities and dreamlike scenes. Using the experience of mental illness to show it fueling creative achievement, this exhibition inspiringly celebrates recovery: what Henry has done, others can do too.


Drive-In Movie: Dirty Dancing

20th May

The Gulbenkian

Don’t drive-in movies make it feel like summer already?

Get a group of friends or the family together and enjoy watching a classic piece of cinematic history in a ‘drive in’ setting from your car or lounge on one of the deck chairs. 

The Hippopotamus (15) + Q&A with Stephen Fry & filmmakers via satellite

28th May

Curzon Cinema

Q&A via satellite: Join the Curzon for a special Q&A screening of The Hippopotamus with Stephen Fry, cast and filmmakers live by satellite from the Hay Festival. Disgraced poet Ted Wallace (Roger Allam) is summoned to his friends Lord and Lady Logan?s (Matthew Modine & Fiona Shaw) country manor, Swafford Hall, to investigate a series of unexplained miracle healings.

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