1. FOX, Dead Cannons and Amethysts, Colchester Arts Centre, Church Street, Colchester, tonight, doors 7.30pm. £7, £6 concessions. 01206 500900.

ONE of the town’s most exciting music acts who have already proved their calibre playing with the likes of Depeche Mode and appearing at the prestigious South by South West music conference. There’s some pretty fine support bands on show too!

2. A Bunch of Amateurs, Headgate Theatre, Chapel Street North, Colchester, today and tomorrow, 7.45pm, £12.50, £11. 01206 366000.

Ian Hislop and Nick Newman’s hit comedy sees fading Hollywood action hero Jefferson Steele arriving in England to play King Lear in Stratford, only to find that this is not the birthplace of the Bard, but a sleepy Suffolk village, and instead of Kenneth Branagh and Judi Dench, the cast are amateurs trying to save their theatre from developers.

3. Hairspray, Mercury Theatre, Balkerne Gate, Colchester, until February 3, 7.30pm and 2.30pm (Saturdays). £21.25 to £15 plus concessions. 01206 573948.

It’s the all singing, all dancing musical that’s currently getting everyone stepping up to the beat. Performed by the uber talented Colchester Operatic Society, it’s officially the hottest ticket in town.

4. RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch, Flatford Wildlife Garden, East Bergholt, today and tomorrow, 10.30am. Free but donantions welcome. 01206 391153.

The RSPB wildlife survey is one of the biggest in the country but if you’re bored of your own back garden go and see what the picturesque Flatford Mill has to offer, apart from inspiration for famous painters.

5. Helen Connelly: Live music at The Clock House, Stoneham Street, Coggeshall, tomorrow, 7.30pm. Free. 01376 563242.

One of the brightest young singing stars on the local circuit who after releasing several acclaimed EPs is looking to get 2018 off to a great start. As surely stardom awaits Wivenhoe’s finest, catch her while you still can.