1. Classic Horror Nights: Frankenstein and The Monster From Hell plus Q&A with Madeline Smith, Colchester Arts Centre, Church Street, Colchester, Thursday, doors 7pm. Pay What You Can. 01206 500900.

She liked her appearance so much at the Colchester venue last year, James Bond girl Madeline Smith has decided to return.

With family in the area, there’s a local link but there’s also the charm of watching an old horror classic she starred in, with Colchester composer Jason Frederick keeping her company. Unmissable.

2. Colchester Real Ale and Cider Festival, Colchester Arts Centre, Church Street, Colchester, until tomorrow, 12pm to 11pm. Free until 3pm, £3 afterwards. 01206 500900.

We’re all here for the beer, and a little bit of live music courtesy of retro rockers The Occupants tomorrow night, as this popular festival, celebrating the mighty ale, and cider, comes to a close.

3. Europe After the Rain, Mercury Studio Theatre, Colchester, until June 9, 8pm and 3pm Thursday and Saturdays. £16. 01206 573948.

New writing has been one of the feathers in the Mercury’s theatrical cap this season and following on from the brilliant Pieces of String, why not have a look at Oliver Bennett’s debut, which won the Mercury Playwriting Prize last year.

4. Brightlingsea Regatta and Fireworks, Brightlingsea Waterfront, Waterside and Western Promenade, Brightlingsea, tomorrow and Sunday, from 10am. Free. 07534 388249.

For those who like messing about in boats, or like watching people mess about boats, head off to the Colne estuary town for plenty of fun on and off the water.

5. East Bergholt Open Gardens, various venues, from 11am. Sunday, Entry £7 for 18 gardens. 01206 298692.

The summer calendar wouldn’t be the same with a smattering of Open Gardens and what better place than where John Constable made his reputation and living. With around 14 to choose from, this bi-annual event all proceeds go to St. Marys Church.