General Election 2015: How to get away from it all in the run up to 7 May

Even the keenest politico needs the odd break. Mollie Goodfellow offers an alternative arts calendar for between now and the big day

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Indy Politics

This may be the most important election since 1945 – according to at least one pundit – but as the campaign wears on most of us will need a break from politics. Our calendar of diversions is the antidote to the deluge of polls, pundits and political rhetoric. From the London Marathon to the Cambridge Literary Festival and the new season of Game of Thrones, it’s a timely reminder that there’s life beyond the ballot box.

1 April-22 May: Americans at Duxford Air Museum tour

Learn all about the US presence at Duxford during the Second World War by taking a tour of the newly restored American Air Museum at Imperial War Museum Duxford.

4–19 April: Edinburgh International Science Festival

One of Europe’s largest science festivals. Visitors can learn about the human brain, global catastrophes  and much more.

11 April: The Grand National, Aintree Racecourse (Getty)

5 April: Mad Men final season

Don Draper is back in the award-winning drama.

6 April: Joe’s Southern Kitchen, 300 Kentish Town Road, London

North London gets a new fried chicken hot spot as the Covent Garden staple opens an outpost in Kentish Town, NW5.

8-9 April: Adam’s Apple, York Theatre Royal

German theatre group Landesbühnen Sachsen and dance performance group bodytalk join forces in this tale of a well-meaning pastor who encounters a neo-Nazi.

9 April: Sentenced to Life

Clive James returns to poetry with a book containing 39 deeply personal works. Interview, Arts & Books

17 April: Dark Horse, selected cinemas

9 April: The Pleasure of Reading, Edited by Antonia Fraser & Victoria Gray

A collection of 43 authors reflect on reading and the books that caught their imaginations.

10 April: Woman in Gold, cinemas everywhere

Helen Mirren plays Maria  Altmann, a Jewish survivor of the Second World War who takes legal action to reclaim  family art works looted by the Nazis.

10 April: John Wick, cinemas everywhere

Keanu Reeves returns to his action movie roots as a retired assassin lured back into  the killing game.

11 April: The Grand National, Aintree Racecourse

The biggest horse race of the year.

12 April: Game of Thrones

Season 5 of the cult TV show that became a worldwide hit.

12 April: Veep

Season 4 of the  US political comedy gives viewers a chance to catch up with former Senator Selina Meyer.

9 April: Sentenced to Life (Tom Pilston)

13-24 April: Ben Howard, various dates and venues

Soulful pop star Ben Howard tours his new album I Forget Where We Were.

15-19 April: Cambridge Literary Festival

A celebration of books and writing.

15 April-30 June: Dylan Moran, various venues

The Irish funnyman, best known for his sitcom Black Books, begins a new stand-up tour.

16 April-31 August: Alice’s Adventures Underground, The Vaults of Waterloo, London

An audience of 56 see an intimate version of the children’s classic. 

16 April: A Decent Ride, Irvine Welsh

The Trainspotting author’s new novel stars a drug-dealing taxi driver called Terry “Juice” Lawson.

17 April: Dark Horse, selected cinemas

This Sundance-award winning documentary tells the story of Dream Alliance, a horse born and bred on an allotment in a South Wales mining village.

20 April: Sound & Colour by the Alabama Shakes

The American rock band release a 12-track album featuring the single “Don’t Wanna Fight”.

25-26 April: Vogue Festival 2015 (PA)

20 April: Fashion Revolution Day: Who Made my Clothes?, at Somerset House

Two years after the collapse of the Rana Plaza garment factory in Bangladesh, a panel of fashion and business women ask if the clothing industry has really changed.

22-25 April: Wuthering Heights, Mayflower Theatre, Southampton

This Northern Ballet production of Emily Brontë’s classic novel features a live score by Academy Award nominee Claude-Michel Schönberg.

23 April: The Field of the Cloth of Gold, Magnus Mills

The Booker nominee’s new novel concerns an idyllic settlement that loses its innocence.

23 April: Avengers: Age of Ultron, cinemas everywhere

The Avengers battle the villainous Ultron. 

24 April: The Falling, various cinemas

Acclaimed drama about two best friends at an all-girls school starring Maisie Williams from Game of Thrones.

24-26 April: Wenlock Poetry Festival

Poet Carol Ann Duffy and  author Michael Rosen are among the guests at this  Shropshire festival.

24-26 April: Sherlocked convention, London

A celebration of Arthur Conan Doyle’s complicated sleuth.

25-26 April: Vogue Festival 2015

A chance to see the cream of British and international fashion.

29 April - 4 May: Cheltenham Jazz Festival (PA)

25 April, 2 and 3 May: Judy’s Vintage Kilo Sales, London, Leeds and Oxford

Vintage wares priced and sold according to their weight.

26 April: London Marathon

Watch thousands of runners test themselves on a 26.2 mile course.

27–29 April: Rachel Parris: Live in Vegas, Soho Theatre

Parris brings her celebrated comedy show to London.

27 April: Montage of Heck DVD release

Film-maker Brett Morgen used unseen footage of rocker Kurt Cobain to create this documentary about his life and untimely death.

28 April: Blur’s The Magic Whip

Britpop veterans return with a new album.

29 April-4 May: Cheltenham Jazz Festival

Headliners include Rumer and Gilles Peterson.

26 April: London Marathon (Getty)

30 April-3 May: London Coffee Festival

Baristas and caffeine fiends  discover the latest coffee trends.

1 May: Far From the Madding Crowd, various cinemas

Reboot of the Thomas Hardy classic featuring Carey Mulligan as Bathsheba.

1–4 May: Isle of Arts Festival

Four days of arts, music, comedy and literature.

7 May: Buy Me the Sky by Xinran

The remarkable stories of men and women raised under China’s one-child policy.

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