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The Muddy Guide: Thurs 18-Weds 24 Feb

Wondering what to do and where to go over the coming week? I’m assuming you’ve already got your tickets for the bagpipe workshop at Halsway Manor but here are a few other ideas…

Grayson Perry: The Vanity of Small Differences, Victoria Art Gallery in Bath until 10 April

Expulsion From Number 8 Eden Close_2012

Expulsion From Number 8 Eden Close, 2012. Image © Grayson Perry, photography © Stephen White

The UK’s most famous transvestite potter Grayson Perry travelled the country exploring the taste of Britain’s different social classes as part of the Channel 4 series All in the best possible taste. He turned his findings into these six large-scale tapestries, charting the ‘class journey’ of the young Tim Rakewell, now on display at Bath’s Victoria Art Gallery.

Tues-Sat 10am-5pm, Sun 1.30-5pm. £4. Victoria Art Gallery, Bridge Street, Bath, BA2 4AT. Tel 01225 477233.

Les Liaisons Dangereuses, Cinema at The Brewhouse in Taunton, Sat 20 Feb

Les Liaisons Dangereuses 2

Come and see the merciless Marquise de Merteuil and Vicomte de Valmont toy with the hearts and reputations of others at the new state-of-the-art cinema facility at The Brewhouse. It opens its doors for the very first time next Saturday with the screening of the Donmar Warehouse’s new production of Les Liaisons Dangereuses, starring Dominic West, Elaine Cassidy and Janet McTeer.

7.30pm. Tickets £10. The Brewhouse, Coal Orchard, Taunton, Somerset TA1 1JL. Tel 01823283244.

Ikuko Iwamoto at the Sidcot Arts Centre, Sidcot School, until Sat 20 Feb

sidcotAward-winning ceramicist Ikuko Iwamoto peered down an observational microscope to study sea urchins and sea anenomes as inspiration for her intricate and beautiful porcelain sculptures now on display at the Sidcot Arts Centre. Jenni Dutton and Ingrid Hesling’s exhibition of stitched artworks exploring the mother/child relationship and Colin Moody’s photos are also on show.

Thurs & Fri 11am-5.30, Sat 10am-4pm. Free. Sidcot Arts Centre, Sidcot School, Oakridge Lane, Winscombe BA25 1PD. Tel 01934 843102.

Exmoor Food Fest, all over Exmoor throughout Feb

pk2a0649-edit-1Eat and drink your way across Exmoor this Feb with the area’s best pubs and restaurants offering 2 courses for £10, 3 courses for £15 as part of the month-long Exmoor Food Fest. All you have to do is select one of the participating restaurants and download a voucher.  There are events, too – gin tasting at The Culbone on 20 Feb took my fancy.

‘Wish you were here?’ Hestercombe House, near Taunton, until Sun 28 Feb

Event_listing_imageTake a mini crash course in modern art at Hestercombe with a stroll around Jeremy Cooper’s collection of original postcard-sized artworks by famous artists from the 1960s onwards. Look out for David Hockney, Mark Wallinger, Richard Long, Rachel Whiteread, Gilbert & George, Gavin Turk, Yoko Ono and Andy Warhol *pause for breath*.  Reward yourself afterwards with lunch or a coffee in the rather nice Stables Kitchen.

11am-4pm daily. Free with admission to Hestercombe House & Gardens, Cheddon Fitzpaine, Taunton, TA2 8LG. Tel 01823

Subodh Gupta, Hauser & Wirth, Bruton until 2 May


Touch, Trace, Taste, Truth (side-view), 2015 © Subodh Gupta Courtesy Hauser & Wirth and the artist

‘Invisible reality’ is a major solo exhibition of new and recent sculptures, installations and paintings at Hauser & Wirth by New Delhi-based artist Subodh Gupta. The exhibition includes this hand-hammered sculpture ‘Touch’  representing a giant cooking pot, a cascade of aluminum utensils and a reassembled traditional wood and terracotta house from Southern India.

10am-5pm, Tues-Sun. Free but donation to Somerset Wildlife Trust welcome. Hauser & Wirth, Durslade Farm, Dropping Lane, Bruton,  BA10 9NL. Tel 01749 814 06 Hauser & Wirth Somerset.

Nicholas McCarthy, Ilminster Arts Centre, Fri 19 Feb


Nicholas McCarthy plays a left hand only repertoire at the Ilminster Arts Centre as part of the 2016 Concerts in the West season. I’ve heard him play on Radio 4 and believe me,  he’s brilliant.  He was born without a right hand, only started playing the piano when he was 14 and he’s the only one-handed pianist ever to graduate from the Royal College of Music in its 130 year history. Enjoy a pre-show supper at The Meeting House and then listen to a programme which includes Rachmaninov, Strauss, Puccini, Chopin and Gershwin.

8pm, £15 (£28 with pre-show supper at 7pm,  must pre-book) Ilminster Arts Centre, The Meeting House, East Street, Ilminster TA19 0AN. Tel 01460 54973.

Snowdrop weekends, Forde Abbey in Chard, every weekend in Feb


Forde Abbey snowdrops from the Park GardenTip toe through the snowdrops in the grounds of historic house Forde Abbey this weekend? To me a snowdrop’s a snowdrop but apparently in amongst the thousands and thousands growing here, there are rarer varieties like galanthus atkinsii (hint: look in the rock garden). You can spend some money in the gift shop and have a cuppa in the tearoom but the house itself is closed and it’s too early for the famous fountain to be switched on.

10am-3.30p. £5 in the honesty box, children under 15 free. Forde Abbey, Chard, TA20 4LU. Tel 01460 22031.

Hero’s welcome, Theatre Royal Bath, Fri 19 Feb

Image 25

Decorated war hero Murray returns to his home town but no one seems very pleased to see him back, in Alan Ayckbourn’s latest and 79th (!!) play, the world premier production of Hero’s welcome at the Theatre Royal Bath.

8pm. Tickets £17.50-£33.50. Theatre Royal Bath, Sawclose, Bath, BA1 1ET. Tel 01225 448844.

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