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The Muddy Guide: Thurs 10-Weds 16 March

Shepton Mallet Antiques & Collectors Fair, Shepton Mallet, Fri 11-Sun 13 March

tinsignsElbow London dealers out of the way at the Bath & West Showground this weekend. The International Antiques & Collectors Fair (IACF) is one of the West Country’s main antiques events with around 600 stands in four halls and over 30 shopping booths selling junk – oops, I mean high quality objets from yesteryear. No need to panic if you run out of cash; they’ve thoughtfully provided bureau de change and cash withdrawal facilities inside (but you’ll need ID to withdraw more than £100).

12am-5pm Fri (£10, allows entry over whole weekend); 9am-5pm Sat (£5); 10am-4pm Sun (£5). Accompanied under 16s free. Royal Bath & West Showground, Shepton Mallet, BA4 6QN. IACF Tel 01636 702 326.

Falling, Theatre Alibi, Tacchi-Morris Centre, Taunton, Thurs 10 March

Jordan Whyte as Claire by Steve Tanner

Photo: Steve Tanner

One rainy weekday evening Claire and her teenage daughter Alice are making tea together but when Alice pops out to the shed, she falls down a sinkhole that’s opened up on the lawn. One of the UK’s leading touring companies, Theatre Alibi, comes to the Tacchi-Morris Arts Centre to explore what happens when life is – literally – undermined.

7.30pm, £12/£10 concs. Tacchi-Morris Arts Centre, School Road, Taunton. TA2 8PD. Tel 01823 414141.

Science busking, Roman Baths, Bath, Sat 12 March

Heritage Open Week in Bath. October 2014. Photographer Freia Turland m:07875514528

Photo: Freia Turland

The Roman Baths, one of the best preserved Roman remains in the world, are on our doorstep but have you ever been there?  If you have kids, this might be the weekend to go, as they’re holding a science busking (great name) event as part of British Science Week (11-20 March) this Saturday. Kids can discover how the Romans used science and technology to create spectacular buildings and objects from large engineering feats to small daily objects. Hands-on activity tables demonstrate how aquaducts and hypocausts (Roman water heating) worked plus they can explore the bones and coins found at the Baths. Search for other science-based events near you on the British Science Week 2016 website.

2pm-5pm. Free with normal admission (£15 adult/£9.50 children). Roman Baths, Roman Baths, Abbey Church Yard, Bath, BA1 1LZ. Tel 01225 477785.

Creative coverage, The Brewhouse, Taunton, until Mon 25 April

Spring Collection 1

Self-contained man, Moira Purver

Feeling arty farty and passing by The Brewhouse? Pop in and check out their new exhibition of five Creative Coverage artists, each of whom has a connection to the South West. The exhibition includes this bronze by award-winning Dorset-based sculptor Moira Purver. You can meet some of the artists in person 1.30pm-3.30pm on Weds 16 March.

Generally 10am-4pm Mon-Fri; 12am-4pm Sat (tho times vary if there’s a performance on). Free. The Brewhouse, Coal Orchard, Taunton, Somerset TA1 1JL. Tel 01823283244.

Figaro Forever, Welsh National Opera, Bristol Hippodrome, Tues 15-Fri 19 March


Figaro gets a divorce. Photo: Richard Hubert Smith

Figaro here, Figaro there…at the Bristol Hippodrome this coming week, as it happens. The Welsh National Opera’s spring trilogy Figaro Forever, which opened to rave reviews in Cardiff in last month, starts with Rossini’s feelgood The Barber of Seville (7.15pm Tues 15 and Friday 18 March), continues with Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro (7.00pm, Weds 16 and Sat 19 March) and ends with Elena Langer’s brand new Figaro gets a divorce, set in a bleak 1930s Europe (7.15pm, Thurs 17 March). Sung in English.

From £11.40. Bristol Hippodrome, St Augustine’s Parade, Bristol BS1 4UZ.

Steaming along the North Somerset coast, West Somerset Railway, Thurs 10-Sun 13 March


Photo: Geof Sheppard

If SDJR 7F No. 53809 and BR Standard 4MT Tank No. 80072 mean anything to you (nope? Me neither) then you’ve probably already bought your ticket to the West Somerset Spring Steam Gala. Everybody else, how do you fancy hopping on and off steam trains along the North Somerset coast this weekend? You can stop off for a walk along the pebbly Blue Anchor Bay (there’s a cafe on the front) or visit the quaint harbour town of Watchet (check out award-winning cider pub Pebbles Tavern and the Chives cafe & deli). Trains will run between Bishop’s Lydeard and Minehead with 8 stops along the way.

£28 adult/£14 child; £76 family ticket. West Somerset Railway, The Railway Station, Minehead, TA24 5BG. Tel 01643 704996.

All that Fall, Bristol Old Vic, Tues 8-Sat 12 March

All That Fall - Samuel Beckett - Out of Joint - 4 March 2016 Mrs Rooney - Brid Brennan Christie - Frank Laverty Mr Tyler - Gary Lilburn Mr Slocumb - Ciaran McIntyre Tommy - Killian Burke Mr Barrell - Frank Laverty Miss Fitt - Tara Flynn Mr Rooney - Gary Lilburn Jerry - Tara Flynn Writer - Samuel Beckett Director - Max Stafford-Clark Sound Designer - Dyfan Jones Production Manager - Andy Reader Stage Manager - Sally McKenna Producer - Martin Derbyshire

Photo: Robert Workman

Put on a blindfold and enjoy a rare live ‘sonic experience’ at the Bristol Old Vic Paintshop. Max Stafford-Clark directs Samuel Beckett’s one-act radio play, adapted for live performance and with surround sound, charting the bawdy, unpredictable journey of elderly Maddy Rooney as she travels to surprise her husband on his birthday.  Post-show discussion with Max S-C Tues 8 March.

8pm, 2.30pm (Weds matinee). £17/£15 conc. Ages 14+. Bristol Old Vic, King Street, Bristol, BS1 4EDTel 0117 987 7877.

Banger racing, Smeatharpe, Sun 13 March


You’ll need your satnav to find this disused airfield just over the border in Devon. Beat up old cars screech around on three, one, or no wheels; expect shunting and multiple pile-ups.  In between races, chainsaws and hammers cut out twisted metal and bash out the dents in time for the next race. Not everyone’s cup of char and a bit tacky but somehow strangely exhilarating. Stock cars and stock rods too. Take ear defenders if you don’t like noise (it’s deafening).

£14 adult/£5 kids, tho’ free with voucher on website/£36 family. Smeatharpe Stadium, EX14 9RF.

Kung Fu Panda 3, cinemas throughout Somerset, Fri 11 March

kung-fu-panda-3Keep the kids quiet for 1 hour 35 mins as dumpling obsessed Po faces two epic but different threats in his legendary adventures of awesomeness: one supernatural and the other closer to home. With the voice talent of Jack Black, Bryan Cranston, Angelina Jolie and Dustin Hoffman.


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The Urban Guide to the Countryside - Somerset