1A Brave Face, Mercury Theatre, Balkerne Gate, Colchester, today, 2.30pm and 7.30pm. £24 to £12. 01206 573948.

The internationally acclaimed Vamos full mask theatre company make a more than welcome return to the Mercury with a new show that was partly made and inspired by former soldiers based in the town.

A Brave Face explores post traumatic stress in the military, an unseen and often unrecognised injury of war.

211th Winter Ale Festival, Colchester Arts Centre, Church Street, Colchester, until tomorrow, noon to 11pm. Free until 3pm, £3 afterwards. 01206 500900.

Bigger and better than ever, this year the festival will have more than 150 real ales from all over East Anglia plus real cider and perry. Tomorrow there’s the added bonus of live music from everyone’s favourite bluegrass, folk, and rock and pop covers band, Bijoux Toots.

3Blair Hughes-Stanton: The Wood-Engravings, North House Gallery, The Walls, Manningtree, until March 3, 10am. Free. 01206 392717.

Another chance to see the remarkable work of one of the leading lights of the English wood graving revival in the 20th century thanks to daughter Penny, who runs the gallery. This show is an attempt at a comprehensive survey of his work, which includes the three dozen or so of his personal engravings.

4TWM Live presents Shiners, Tundra and Broken Strangers, Three Wise Monkeys, High Street, Colchester, tonight, 9pm. £4 on the door. 01206 543014.

Those bright young things of the Colchester music scene, Off The Wall, are back with hard hitting riffs and a new name, Broken Strangers. They’re supporting East London Brit Wave band, Shiners and Sudbury garage punk outfit, Tundra.

5The Rat Pack: Swingin’ At The Sands, Mercury Theatre, Balkerne Gate, Colchester, tomorrow, 7.30pm. £22. 01206 573948.

Take West End Singers, a dash of comedy and some of the greatest songs ever written and it’s got to be The Rat Pack Tribute Show, ‘Swingin’ At The Sands’.

And it is!