What the Butler Saw, Theatre Royal, Bath, Mon 27 March – Sat 1 April
Joe Orton completed his famous, subversive, farce only weeks before he was murdered by his lover Kenneth Halliwell in 1967 at the age of 34 and he actually never saw the play performed. Considered totally shocking when it was first staged in 1969, it tells the tale of Dr Prentice (Rufus Hound), a sex-obsessed psychiatrist in a private clinic, who’s attempting to interview and seduce a prospective secretary when his nymphomaniac wife, an over eager hospital inspector and a dim-witted policeman turn up.
1920s Jazz Age: Fashion & Photographs, The American Museum in Britain, Claverton, nr Bath, Sat 18 March-Sun 29 Oct
Flapper dresses, gold lame coats and lots of other garb from Roaring Twenties in the US of A on display (you can even try some stuff on and take a selfie), with candid photos of early 20th century celebrity by James Abbe. Visit this Saturday and you can learn to dance the Charleston – and if you dress in 1920s costume you’ll get free entry.
Just a brief one this week as the Muddy Half Term Guide is so flipping bumper…
Millfield School in Street is pretty amazing. It not only produces more Olympians than any other school in the UK (six went to Rio with Team GB, which was more than the entire Pakistan delegation apparently) but it also boasts the nationally recognised Atkinson Gallery, which holds major contemporary art exhibitions open to the public. Andy Warhol, Sir Antony Caro and Dame Elisabeth Frink have all exhibited here. It’s your archetypal white cube gallery, all high ceilings and big expanses of white, white walls.
Stick Man, The Brewhouse, Taunton, Fri 4-Sat 5 Nov
You wouldn’t think a show about a stick would be much cop but the story of the Stick Man who’s carried away from his family by a playful dog after going for a morning jog, and has all sorts of adventures on his way back home, is poignant and funny. The trio of actors from Scamp Theatre use everything from umbrellas to rubber beach rings to turn Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler’s famous book into a brilliant kids’ show.
Grayson Perry – Typical Man in a Dress, Colston Hall, Bristol, Weds 2 Nov
Only five dates on this quiet, unassuming man’s one-off UK live theatre tour – and one of them’s just up the road. An intelligent evening of laughs, discussion, insight and costume changes are promised from the artist, writer, presenter and Turner Prize winner who asks, whilst wearing a frock, ‘what is masculinity and what can it become?’ And guess what?
It’s safe to peer above the parapet, here comes the bumper Muddy Half Term guide to what’s on in Somerset. It might be coming up to Halloween but not everything involves a pumpkin – we’ve got a Shark in the Park and hip-hopping dwarves, too
Stornoway, Komedia, Bath, Thurs 6 Oct
The alternative indie-folk band who loved Zorbing are at the Komedia with their new album Bonxie. Clever clogs PhD in ornithology Dr Brian Briggs used his love for the natural world to good effect, apparently he recorded the calls of 20 different species of birds to appear in this album of folk and electronica.
Quartz Festival, Queens College, Taunton, Weds 5-Sat 15 Oct
Art, music, theatre, puppetry, comedy, literature at Queen’s College but this is no student showcase – Michael Morpurgo, the Treorchy Male Choir, James Pearson, Milton Jones and The Chicago Blues Brothers are all on the bill.
An Elephant in the Garden, The Brewhouse, Taunton, Weds 5 October
Just seen that are putting on a production of An Elephant in the Garden – a friend saw it at the Bristol Old Vic earlier in the year and said it was brilliant. Based on Michael Morpurgo’s book of the same name, it’s the story of Elizabeth, a teenage girl growing up in wartime Dresden who flees the advancing Russians with her mum – and an elephant (as you do).
Rory Kinnear (Hamlet, Othello, James Bond) is Mack the Knife in this new production of Bertolt Brecht and Kurt Weill’s landmark musical, screened live from the stage of the National Theatre. Enjoy the wonderful music, filthy language and immoral behaviour at a cinema near you.