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Muddy guide Thurs 29 Sept-Weds 5 Oct

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). Catch it if you can…

Bath Children’s Literary Festival, venues across Bath,  Sat 1-Sun 9 Oct

2016_posterThe largest dedicated children’s book festival in Europe is in Somerset. Now in its 10th year, the Bath Children’s Literature Festival simply aims to entertain kids and to enthuse them about reading. To that end, there are over 80 public, ticketed events with big names like David Walliams, Liz Pichon, astronaut Chris Hadfield, Chris Riddell, Sir Chris Hoy, Michael Morpurgo, Malorie Blackman and Simon Mayo – and masses of other stuff too. You can have a gander at the entire programme here.

Louise Bourgeois, Hauser & Wirth, Bruton, Sun 2 Oct-Sun 1 Jan


My blue sky, 1989-2003

People, we don’t have to go up to London to get the biggest names in international art, just pop yourself over to Hauser & Wirth. Their winter show ‘Turning Inwards’, is a solo exhibition of sculpture and works on paper by the French-American artist Louise Bourgeois, one of the most influential artists of the 20th and 21st centuries.  At 15 she was studying maths at the Sorbonne, in 1982 at 71 she was the first woman ever to have a retrospective at New York’s MOMA and she was still producing brilliant works at 96.  Her work is symbolic and highly personal.   There’s a complementary exhibition of portraits of the artist by Alex Van Gelder on view in the Implement Shed.

Val McDermid at The Manor Hotel, Yeovil, Fri 30 Sept

valbymimsymollerBest-selling crime novelist Val McDermid will be discussing her career and introducing (and signing copies) of her latest title Out of Bounds – just foretaste of the upcoming Yeovil Literary Festival.

The Manor Hotel, Hendford, Yeovil, BA20 1TG.

The Big Draw Festival, Sat 1-Mon 31 Oct

color-866057_1280The Big Draw is the world’s biggest drawing festival – for anyone who loves to draw as well and for those who think they can’t. There are free events internationally, united by a common theme, which this year is The STEAM Powered Big Draw Festival, bringing together Science, Technology, Art, Engineering and Maths.  Hauser & Wirth’s Big Draw event is this Saturday. You can find other events near you here.

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, cinemas across Somerset, Fri 29 Sept


Tim Burton’s take on the best-selling novel of the same name. Jake’s grandfather leaves him some clues to an ancient mystery which lead him to Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. Each child has a strange ability or peculiarity (I’m getting the boy with the cap).  But they have enemies too and only Jake (and his peculiarity) can save them.

Bubble Rush, Longrun Meadow, Taunton, Sun 2 Oct

getimageIt’s frothy, man! You won’t be able to escape being covered in coloured bubbles at Longrun Meadow this Sunday – but then that’s the point at this St Margaret Hospice’s charity run.  High-powered foam cannons will be covering participants throughout the route. It’s less than 5k and it’s not timed, and tickets (£25 adults/£15 child) include a t-shirt, medal and goody bag. Register online or at the venue an hour before the start of the race (1pm and 2pm slots available).

The Frome Independent, Frome town centre, Sun 2 Oct

eastwestphotographers_fromeindependent_august15-286-carouselIt’s the first Sunday of the month so it’s the wonderful Frome Independent market. The town will be buzzing as people browse all the independent makers and producers, vintage and delicious food and drink stalls – will you there?

Flying solo, The Brewhouse, Taunton, Fri 30 Sept

flying-main‘Urgent and exhilarating’ is how The Brewhouse describes this one-woman, semi-autobiographical show set around the London Marathon. It’s about family, survival, guilt and self-delusion – and there are plenty of tips on how to run your perfect marathon.

Vintage and retro fair,  Town Hall, Wells, Sat 1 Oct

vintage-1216720_1280Everything vintage from clothes to collectibles and everything in between – plus a few artisan makers with a vintage vibe at this regular vintage fair.

Free taster sessions, Pauline Quirke Academy of Performing Arts, Taunton, Saturdays

cover-2A new theatre academy set up by one of TV’s best-loved stars has just opened in Taunton – and it’s offering free taster mornings on Saturdays for kids aged 4-18. Pauline Quirke founded the Academy 10 years ago; now there are 100 throughout the UK. Future sit-com stars, thesps and Act-ors can learn the skills and disciplines of performing in musical theatre, comedy and drama as well TV. It all happens at the Richard Huish College.

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The Urban Guide to the Countryside - Somerset