Muddy Guide Thurs 6-Weds 12 October
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. There’s also visual arts exhibition, curated by Paul Newman (not the one with the sauce), where 40 south-west artists will be selling their work. You can download the full programme here.
Wells Food Festival, Wells, Sun 9 Oct
Go with lots of bags and an empty stomach. Browse over 100 food producers (selling everything from edible seaweed to some curiously delicious concoctions involving grapefruit vodka) and 20 street food vendors. They’ll be filling the Market Square, Bishop’s Green, along the moat and recreation ground and elsewhere this Sunday.From 10.30am-4.30pm. There will be food and drink-related talks and info too.
FEAST, Andelli Art, Wells Sat 8-Sat 29 Oct
If you tire of buying and eating food (is that even possible?), head over to the Heritage Courtyard Studios where you can see an exhibition of mouth-watering art from 2oth century and contemporary artists.
Stepping Out, Theatre Royal, Bath, Weds 12-Sat 22 Oct
Amanda Holden gets up from her judge’s seat and takes to the stage – will you give her a big, fat ‘yes’? In this musical comedy, seven women and one man, each with a story to tell, attempt to tap their troubles away at a weekly dancing class and then find themselves putting on a show. Angela Griffin, Tamzin Outhwaite, Tracy- Ann Oberman and Nicola Stephenson are some of the other tappers. The show, directed by Olivier-award winning Maria Friedman, opens here in Somerset before a short UK tour and then a transfer to the West End – so see it here first.
Fungal Foray, Hestercombe House & Gardens, nr Taunton, Sun Oct 9
Apparently a warm, damp Autumn is one of the best times to go foraging for wild mushrooms but you’ve really got to know what you’re looking for. Michael Jordon, mycologist and author of Mushroom Magic (get it the right way round), is on hand at Hestercombe to show you what’s safe to pick and eat and where to find them (tip: don’t always look down).
The Boy Who Climbed into the Moon, the egg, Bath, Fri 7-Sun 9 Oct
I’ve taken the Muddies to see Exeter-based Theatre Alibi’s shows at the Theatre Royal’s dedicated children’s theatre before. Both the company, which combine puppetry, animation and film with live performers, and the intimate, almost-in-the-round venue are excellent. This show’s based on the book by award-winning author David Almond (Skellig) and is about a boy who believes that the moon is a great hole in the sky.
West Somerset Steam Gala, Bishops Lydeard, Thurs 6-Sun 9 October
Train buffs and small children will love this weekend of steam, with trains running between Bishops Lydeard and Minehead, a model railway and the Quantock Brewery to refresh. If your kids loved The Railway Children, this could be a good trip out?