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Gruffalo-press imageThemed activity trails, giant wooden Gruffalo sculptures and a big birthday forest picnic are coming to Bedgebury.

Families in Kent and Sussex are invited into a deep dark wood near their home this year to celebrate The Gruffalo’s 15th anniversary with characters from the world-famous picture books.

From April, visitors can join Mouse on his adventure and explore Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler’s award-winning tale through activity trails in the Pinetum.

The fun-packed partnership kicks off with The Gruffalo activity trails in Bedgebury and 27 other forests across England, which run through to the end of September. In October, The Gruffalo’s Child activity trails take over and will stay in Bedgebury right through the winter until February 2015. Characters from the stories will lead children through the trees with adventure and intrigue, learning about woods and forests as they go.

From June, a giant wooden sculpture of one of the world’s best-loved monsters himself will be hidden in Bedgebury Pinetum. Another 14 of the 7ft tall sculptures will be hidden in forests across England, for families to track down. The 15 Gruffalos will all be different and are currently being individually-carved in a secret woodland location out of three-ton pieces of timber, each carefully-selected from Forestry Commission sites.

Visitors are also invited to gather in Bedgebury with family and friends on Saturday 7 June to celebrate The Gruffalo’s anniversary with a big birthday forest picnic – inspired by an exciting party pack of forest-inspired picnic ideas, activities and bunting, free to download this Spring from the Forestry Commission’s website http://www.forestry.gov.uk/gruffalo.
Daryl Shute from Magic Light Pictures, the brand building and production company responsible for the award-winning animated Gruffalo films commented:

“The Gruffalo encourages followers to explore the real world with imagination, creativity and a true sense of adventure. With emphasis on learning and the great outdoors, Forestry Commission England is the perfect partner, and we’re delighted to be teaming up with them in this anniversary year to launch these exciting new series of trails across the country.”
“The Gruffalo lives in the natural world so a local forest is the perfect place to set out with Mouse on his journey in search of these magnificent new wooden carvings of one of the nation’s favourite children’s picture book characters.”

Sandra Styles from Bedgebury commented:

“There is no better way to celebrate The Gruffalo than within the deep dark wood and forest that he calls home.

“The Gruffalo is a national treasure and so are our forests and this partnership will really help to bring the story to life and celebrate the anniversary in true Gruffalo style.

“All the activities have been carefully positioned at Forestry Commission sites across the country so you are never more than an hour away from a Gruffalo adventure, and we are very excited to be a part of the celebrations with The Gruffalo activity trails and a sculpture at Bedgebury.”

Details of trails and sculpture locations and the forest birthday picnic party pack are available from http://www.forestry.gov.uk/gruffalo. Sign up online to find out more about the exciting year of forest celebrations.

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Girls Aloud Style Workshop
Monday, 8 April, 10am – 3.30pm at The Brook Theatre
A must for all Girls Aloud fans!
To celebrate Girls Aloud’s 2013 arena tour join professional dancer Jay will put wannabe pop stars through their dance paces.
Fun and laughter is guaranteed. Learn a new routine and have the opportunity to perform it to family and friends at the end of the day.

Justin Timberlake Style Workshop
Tuesday, 9 April, 10am – 3.30pm at The Brook Theatre
With a wealth of international hits and music videos under his belt this Justin Timberlake dance style workshop will give wannabe dancers the opportunity to learn the moves to one of his popular tunes.
Learn routines with professional dancer Jay and perform a showcase for family and friends at the end of the day.

Places on each workshop are £14 or book the two workshops together for £24.00, saving £4. Phone the Box Office on 01634 338338 for a booking form.

A look ahead to April at The Central Theatre and The Brook Theatre, Chatham.

Tiddler and other terrific tales
Sunday, 7 April 3pm
The Central Theatre
Tickets £12
Julia Donaldson’s most popular books are bought to life on the stage.

Joe Brown in concert
Friday, 12 April 7.30pm
The Central Theatre
Tickets £26
If you haven’t seen Joe’s talent already, here’s your chance.

Feast of Fiddles
Sunday, 14 April 7.30pm
The Brook Theatre
Tickets £16.50
Celebrating its 20th year, some of the UK’s finest fiddlers bring their own style together.

Comedy Club
Monday, 15 April 8pm
The Brook Theatre
Tickets £10
An evening with some of the best stand-up on the UK circuit.

Screen Classic: Brief Encounter
Monday, 15 April 7.30pm
The Central Theatre
Tickets £7

Let’s Talk Bike
Tuesday, 16 April 7.30pm
The Central Theatre
Tickets £15
TT Champions Ian Hutchinson and Nick Jefferies have won the Isle of Man TT eight times. In this unique show the riders give the inside track on what it’s like to race this exciting and dangerous circuit.

Jazz at The Brook – LD Frazier, New York Gospel singer
Tuesday, 16 April 8pm
The Brook Theatre
Tickets £11

The Girl with No Heart
Wednesday, 17 April 7.45pm
The Brook Theatre
Tickets £7
A delicate, provocative and haunting production bought to life with puppetry and music.

Folk at The Brook – John Kirkpatrick
Thursday, 18 April 8pm
The Brook Theatre
Tickets £10

Sean Lock
Thursday, 18 April 8pm
The Central Theatre
Tickets £21
A hilarious new stand-up show from this popular entertainer.

Cabaret of Curiosities
Friday, 19 April 8pm
The Brook Theatre
Tickets £11

Equator presents South Indian Bharatnatyam Dance
Saturday, 20 April
The Brook Theatre
Tickets £12, concessions available
Dancers bring to life the changing spectacle of traditional Bharatnatyam.

Chas & Dave
Friday, 26 April 7.30pm
The Central Theatre
Tickets £24

To book tickets to any of the shows, phone the box office on 01634 338338 or visit http://www.medwayticketslive.co.uk

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