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This month

Stuff to do in January, aside from compiling lists of New Year’s resolutions and going to the last knockings of the Christmas pantos and shows.  I’ll be adding to this guide regularly and, if you think there’s something I’ve missed, please drop me a line:   x

Hetty Feather, Theatre Royal, Bath, Tues 9–Sat 13 Jan

Photo: Helen Murray

Hetty escapes from the Foundling Hospital and searches for her real mother via the squirrel house, circus and the scary streets of Victorian London.  The Olivier-nominated show is, of course, based on Bath-born Jacqueline Wilson’s famous book.

Sunset Boulevard, Bristol Hippodrome, Bristol, Tues 9–Sat 13 Jan

When the show was on at the London Coliseum, Ria Jones regularly received standing ovations for her portrayal of aging silent movie star Norma Desmond. So Andrew Lloyd Webber’s award-winning musical version of the Billy Wilder masterpiece, now on its UK tour, must be pretty darned good.

Pianohood, Ustinov Studio, Bath, Weds 10 & Thurs 11 Jan

Will Pickvance’s one-man show weaving music and stories about late-night piano sessions with his father,  Schubert cocktail parties and Elvis impersonators.

The Transports – a Tale of Exile and Migration, The Octagon, Yeovil, Fri 12 Jan

The cream of the contemporary folk scene – the Young’uns, Nancy Kerr, Faustus, Rachel McShane (formerly of Bellowhead), Greg Russell – and narrator Matthew Crampton will transport you in this ballad opera about the first batch of convicts to be sent to Botany Bay in the 1780s.

Antiques and Collector’s Fair, Bath and West, Shepton Mallet, Sat 13 & Sun 14 Jan

Who knows what you’ll discover amongst the plethora of antiques/vintage/junk on over 600 stands.  Go early to beat the London dealers.

Entertainment in Bath, Victoria Art Gallery, Bath, Sat 13 Jan–Weds 14 March

From the sleazy to the sophisticated, a look at What Was On in Bath, from its Georgian heyday right through to the present day.

The Russian State Ballet of Siberia, Bristol Hippodrome, Mon 15–Weds 17 Jan

Three classics – The Nutcracker, Cinderella and Swan Lake – from one of Russia’s leading ballet companies, accompanied by The Orchestra of the Russian State Ballet.

Blood Brothers, Theatre Royal Bath, Tues 16 – Sat 20 Jan

Lyn ‘I’d like to teach the world to sing’ Paul is Mrs Johnstone in the new tour of Willy Russell’s powerful, award-winning musical about the twin boys separated at birth and reunited later on by a twist of fate.

The Post, cinemas around Somerset, from Friday 19 Jan

Stephen Spielberg’s political thriller – Meryl Streep as Washington Post proprietor Kay Graham and Tom Hanks as editor Ben Bradlee expose the US government’s lies about the Vietnam War, back in the days when the media was trusted.

The land we live in – the land we left behind, Hauser & Wirth Somerset, Bruton, Sat 20–Mon 7 May (private view, open to all, Fri 19 Jan)

Photo courtesy of Laure Prouvost and Grizedale Arts

More than 50 international artists and creatives explore society’s relationship to the rural, from the 1500s to the present day – with exhibitions, performance art, talks and even a spot of goat milking squeezed in for good measure.

Frozen sing-a-long, The Brewhouse, Taunton, Sat 20 Jan

If you can tolerate Let it Go one more time (or have earplugs), then dress your small people up as Snow Queens, reindeers and snowmen and pop yourselves along to this sing-a-long version of the Disney fillum.

Griff Rhys Jones: Where was I? McMillan Theatre, Bridgwater, Sat 20 Jan

british comedians cambridge footlights

Veteran comic tells stories, anecdotes, reminiscences and outright lies. Can’t make it? Catch him at Bristol’s The Redgrave Theatre on Sat 27 Jan and Yeovil’s The Octagon on Sat 10 Feb.

Cézanne – Portraits of a Life, The Brewhouse, Taunton, Tues 23 Jan

This major international exhibition bringing together over 50 of Paul Cézanne’s portraits opened at the Musée d’Orsay Paris, is on at the National Portrait Gallery London until 11 Feb and will then be winging its way over to the National Galley of Art Washington DC. But you can see it here – alongside interviews with curators and experts and more.

Ed Byrne: Spoiler Alert, The McMillan Theatre, Bridgwater, Tues 23 Jan

He’s sold out in at the Cheese & Grain in Frome but there are still tickets available here and at The Octagon on Tues 30 Jan.

Slapstick Festival 2018, venues around Bristol, Thurs 25–Sun 28 Jan

The Kagools

A four-day celebration of slapstick, silent and classic screen clowning with 25 events, 27 special guests (including Jo Brand, Lucy Porter, Lee Mack, Ade Edmonson, Nigel Planer, The Kagools…) and 36 musicians at the Arnolfini, Watershed, Colston Hall and Bristol Old Vic.

Arrival, The Brewhouse, Taunton, Thurs 25 Jan

The UK Abba Fan Club have consistently voted this lot the most authentic and best of all the Abba tribute shows, so I’m guessing they must be right on the money, money, money.

The Levelling, Hauser & Wirth Somerset, Bruton, Sat 27 Jan

The powerful drama about the Somerset floods comes to Bruton as part of the gallery’s ‘The Land We Live in’ programme.  Also showing, a showcase of short films from the Harvest Film Festival organised by arts and environmental charity Common Ground.

Parkruns, venues around Somerset, Sat 27 Jan

While the urge to get fitter is still with you – a 5k park run maybe? Every Saturday morning around the UK – free, open to all and you don’t even have to actually run. Find your nearest parkrun.

Midnight Skyracer, Ustinov Studio, Bath, Sat 27 Jan

female bluegrass band Fire

Girl power bluegrass from the all women Midnight Skyracers. Founded by twin sisters Charlotte and Laura Carrivick, the band play hard driving trad and modern songs from their debut album Fire.

Murmurations, Avalon Marshes, Sat 27 & Sun 28 Jan

The guided tours are all booked up but there’s no reason why you shouldn’t mosey on over to the marshes anyway, to witness this truly amazing spectacular.  Call the Starling Hotline 07866 554142 to find out where they roosted the night before (it’s not guaranteed but they often return to the same place) then head over an hour before dusk.  Lunch before or warm up afterwards at The Sheppy.

Tango Moderno, Theatre Royal, Bath, Mon 29 Jan – Sat 3 Feb

Photo Manuel Harlan

Strictly Come Dancing faves, former World Champions, West End stars, etc, etc, Vincent Simone and Flavia Cacace make out to music, er, I mean dance the tango.

A Passage to India, Bristol Old Vic, Bristol, Tues 30 Jan –Sat 3 Feb

Photo Idil Sukan

The advice was harsh but clear, and Aziz ignored it. Now he lies in jail on a charge of sexual assault. Forster’s masterpiece poses a question more urgent today than ever: how can we love one another in a world divided by culture and belief? Multi award-winning ensemble simple8 transport us to Imperial India with original music played live on stage by legendary composer Kuljit Bhamra.

Wicked, Bristol Hippodrome, Weds 31 Jan–Sat 3 March

Photo: Matt Crockett

The untold story of the Witches of Oz – or how two sorcery students became the Wicked Witch of the West (boo, hiss) and Glinda the Good.


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