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Muddy Guide: Thurs 13-Weds 19 Oct

Wells Festival of Literature, Bishop’s Palace, Wells, Fri 14- Sat 22 October


Talks and events in a big marquee in the grounds of the Bishop’s Palace.  Famous names include Frank Gardener, Vince Cable, Lauren Child,  Deborah Moggach, Colin Thubron, Prue Leith (in conversation with festival patron Caroline Waldegrave – they used to work together at Leith’s Cookery School), Lady Antonia Fraser,  Peter Snow, Matthew Parris, Virginia Ironside and poet Lemm Sissay.  You can rub shoulders with the Duchess of Cornwall if the fancy takes you – she’ll be at the Festival on Friday 21 Oct. You can see a full programme here.  Some of the local restaurants are offering a 10% discount on evening meals during the festival.

National Chocolate Week, Mon 10-Sun 16 Oct


Scoff as much as you like, guilt-free,  in support of National Chocolate Week – or learn how to make the stuff. Congresbury-based company The Chocolate Tart are running a Retro Chocolate workshop on Tues 18 Oct, where you’ll learn how to make sea salted caramel truffles, orangettes with hazelnut decorations, peanut butter cups and chocolate covered peppermint creams. They’ll also show you how to gift wrap it all up with ribbons an’ all – but hey, who are we kidding?

Omid Djalil, The Octagon, Yeovil, Mon 17 Oct 

omid-djalili-2016Award-winning British/Iranian comedian and actor and star of Dickensian, Lucky Man and Going Forward is on a nationwide tour with adult material that some people may possibly find offensive – so book your tickets here. Suitable for 16+.

Giselle by Akram Khan, Bristol Hippodrome, Tues 18-Sat 22 Oct

cesar-corrales-in-akram-khans-giselle-c-laurent-liotardo_800x534Iconic romantic ballet updated to a stark contemporary setting with migrant workers, the super-rich and an electro-orchestral score. Choreographed by innovative dancer/choreographer Akram Khan, set and costumes by Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon Academy-Award winner Tim Yip and rave reviews all round since it premiered a couple of months ago in Manchester.

Bristol Hippodrome

Gangsta Granny, The Playhouse, Weston-super-Mare, Weds 19-Sat 22 Oct

Birmingham Stage Company presents Gangsta Granny by David Walliams. CAST Gilly Tompkins - Granny Ashley Cousins - Ben Laura Girling - Mum Ben Martin - Dad Umar Malik - Raj Alison Fitzjohn - Matron Richard James - Doctor Louise Bailey - Queen & Female Undestudy Aaron Thiara - Male Understudy CREATIVE TEAM Adapter and Director - Neal Foster Designer - Jackie Trousdale Lighting Designer - Jason Taylor Composer - Jak Poore Sound Designer - Nick Sagar Choreographers - Paul Chantry & Rae Piper of Chantry Dance Company Production Manager - Adrian Littlejohns

You’ve read David Walliams’ book, you’ve seen it on TV – now enjoy the story of Ben and his cabbage cooking, jewel-nicking Gangsta Granny live on stage. This Birmingham Stage Company production is touring the UK before transferring to the West End next year.

Bruton Decorative Antiques Fair, Haynes Motor Museum, Sparkford, Fri 14- Sun 16 October


I’ve got my eye on these fabulous chairs which will be amongst the plethora, plethora I tell you, of furniture, paintings, jewellery, ornaments, bibelots and other objects of desire on sale at the very first Bruton Decorative Antiques Fair.  You can get a free ticket here.

A Night at the Opera in 1946, Bridgwater Arts Centre, Bridgwater, Sat 15 Oct

4391473764_41bc9bd6d5_oGet on your vintage togs, put your hair up into a Victory Roll, draw stocking seams up  up the back of your legs and totter over to the opera, 1940s style. As part of the BAC’s 70th birthday celebs, they’re recreating the Centre’s very first performance, authentically styled from 1946, with fizz, canapes and an aria or ten from singers from the renowned Garsington Opera.

Mavis Sparkle, the egg, Bath, Fri 14-Sun 16 Oct

676x400-fitandcropMavis has got a magician for a Dad and a stargazer for a Mum so expect magic, illusion, animation and laughter when she sets off on a journey to see the Northern Lights. Suitable for 4+



Music in the Marquee, The Red Lion, Babcary, Thurs 20 Oct


Music, conversation and your requests:  two of Ronnie Scott’s greats – Pete Long on sax/clarinet and James Pearson on piano (that’s him above) – will be over in the don’t-worry-it’s-heated Marquee at the Red Lion in Babcary next weekend. You can eat in the restaurant from 6pm before the show starts at 8pm. Tickets £17.50.

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