The Arborealists and Guests featuring Paul Nash, Black Swan Arts, Frome, until Sun 2 Sept
More than just paintings of trees, even if one of them is by one of the UK’s most famous artists, Paul Nash. An art critic once described The Arborealists ‘as a tonic for calm, it works like a dream, the artistic equivalent of the Japanese practice of forest bathing’. So see you there?
Switzerland, Ustinov Studio, Bath, Weds 1 Aug – Sat 1 Sept
Downton Abbey’s Mrs Hughes aka Phyllis Logan, stars as real-life queen of the psychological thriller Patricia Highsmith (The Talented Mr Ripley, The Price of Salt, Strangers on a Train) in guess what? A psychological thriller. Set in 1995, Highsmith is now an ageing, vitriolic, alcoholic, eccentric (she kept snails in her bra), living in the Swiss Alps. When a young man turns up to persuade her to write one more book about master manipulator Tom Ripley, it turns out, he’s on a more sinister mission.
Love’s Labour Lost, Ecos Amphiheatre, Frome, Weds 1 Aug
If you missed this last week at Hestercombe, never fear, you can see it here (one advantage of the same shows doing the rounds in Somerset). This time the Folksy folk perform in a atmospheric stone amphitheatre. The King of Navarre and his lords swear off food, women, and sleep in order to study for three years. Then a princess and her ladies in waiting arrive. Ooh-er.
Gin tasting at The White Hart, Somerton, Fri 3 Aug
I’m always up for downing gin. Pop over the Brockman’s pop up for some free tasters. Fave cocktails include the Brockman’s Bramble with Creme de Mure and Curious Blue with blueberry liqueur, lemon juice and blueberry puree. If you go, do let me know what the gin’s like…
The Tempest, Dunster Castle, Dunster, Weds 1 Aug, Dyrham Park, Bath Fri 3 & Sat 4 Aug
Prospero and daughter exiled on an island with sprite Ariel and brutish Caliban, have the chance to wreak revenge on those who put them there. The all male Lord Chamberlain’s Men perform – the Elizabethan way. Open air theatre.
Valley Fest, Chew Valley Lake, Fri 3–Sun 5 Aug
Small, very family-friendly festival set against the backdrop of the glittering Chew Valley Lake. Live music, live animals (and a hobbyhorse gymkhana), swing boats, a Midnight feast and Michelin-cooked Sunday picnic. We went last year – it was cool.
Paloma Faith at the Glastonbury Extravaganza 2018, Glastonbury Abbey, Sat 4 Aug
Glastonbury Town Band, local singer-songwriter Yazzy – and the fabulous Paloma – followed by fireworks, set against the backdrop of the Abbey’s atmospheric ruins.
Frome on Sea, all over town, Sun 5 Aug
Somerset’s smallest, briefest urban beach complete with deckchairs, sand and donkey rides (you’ll have to imagine the sea). But the live music and the usual hoards of stalls – designer-makers, vintage, food and drink and more – are all real at at this month’s Frome Independent Market.
Dreamboys, Bristol Hippodrome, Sun 5 Aug
Like drooling over muscley men? Nah, me neither.
The Price, Theatre Royal, Bath, Thurs 9–Sat 25 Aug
David Suchet stars in the Arthur Miller play about two estranged brothers, Victor and Walter Franz, who meet in their former childhood home after the death of their father.
Bristol International Balloon Fiesta, Bristol, Thurs 9 – Sun 12 Aug
It’s just a lot of hot air. More balloons than you can shake a stick at. Over 150 from around the world.
Grandmaster Flash, Cheese & Grain, Frome, Fri 10 Aug
The first interactive and visual history of hip hop block party, told by the innovator, pioneer, and one of the creators of hip hop (that’ll be Mr Flash).
The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, The Brewhouse, Taunton, Sat 11 August
‘Course you could stream Sergio Leone’s Spaghetti Western classic and watch on TV but it’ll be so much better on the big screen, don’t you think? Part of their Summer Retro Cinema season. The original Bladerunner‘s on Fri 24 Aug,
The Importance of Being Earnest, Bishop’s Palace, Wells, Sun 12 August
A haaaaandbaaaag?! Sadly that’s all I can remember of Oscar Wilde’s witty script. The Pantaloons put on the show, with a BBQ if you wish.
Get Carter 35mmk, Curzon Cinema & Arts, Clevedon, Thurs 16 Aug
Part of Cinema Rediscovered, Maurice Micklewhite Jr (aka Michael Caine, not many people know that) plays a cold-blooded London gangster on the trail of his brother’s killer through Newcastle’s underbelly. Projected on 35mm as it would have been in 1971.
Hamlet, Dunster Castle, Dunster, Sat 18 Aug
Alas poor Yorrick… and all that from The Three Inch Fools theatre troupe in the grounds of a castle.
Colourscape, The Holburne Museum, Bath, Mon 20–Weds 29 Aug
Music, colour and light in 25 interlinked coloured chambers forming a labyrinth on the front lawn of the museum. Psychedelic, man.
Treasure Island, Bishop’s Palace, Wells, Thurs 23 Aug
Jim Hawkins, Long John Silver, lost treasure, parrots and rum – and whatever you want to drink. Al fresco theatre from Boxtree Productions.
Great Dorset Steam Fair, nr Blandford, Dorset, Thurs 23 –Mon 27 Aug
Over 500 noisy, smelly steam engines; steam-powered fairground organ; two huge fairs and more, over a massive 600 acres: this heritage event has to be seen (and heard) to be believed. Spectacular at night.
The Greatest Showman, Kingsbury Episcopi, Thurs 23 Aug & Woodlands Castle, Taunton, Fri 24 Aug
More open air cinema. Take your own popcorn.
The Giant Flea Market, Bath & West Showground, Shepton Mallet, Sun 26 Aug
This is supposed to be the best in the West for seeking out well-priced vintage, retro and even some antiques, on over 250 stalls.
Warhorse, Glastonbury Abbey, Glastonbury, Mon 27 Aug
Micheal Morpurgo’s book given the Stephen Spielberg treatment. Open air cinema.
Open Farm Day, Newton Farm, Newton St Loe, nr Bath, Mon 27 Aug
Meet these chaps as you find out what it means to be a farmer for the day, with tractor rides, sheep shearing, bee-keeping and do on – plus food, drink and live music.
Open Air cinema at Bristol Zoo Gardens, Bristol, Weds 29 Aug – Sun 2 Sept
Al fresco films in the zoo’s gorgeous gardens. The Shape of Water, Weds 29 Aug, True Romance, Thurs 30 Aug, The Goonies, Fri 31 Aug and The Greatest Showman, Sat 1 & Sun 2 Sept.
Old World vs New World, Averys, Bristol, Weds 29 Aug
The best of the New World wines from the Americas, Australia and New Zealand) up against the best of the Old (Europe) over four, delicious, rounds – with cheese from the Arch House Deli. Wine tasting with Bristols’ oldest wine merchants (they’ve been selling the stuff for 225 years) for everyone from beginners to to connoisseurs.
Found Footage Festival, Arnolfini, Weds 29 Aug
A touring showcase of odd and amusing videos found at garage sales and thrift stores and in warehouses and dumpsters throughout North America.
Michael McIntyre – Work in Progress, Bristol Hippodrome, Thurs 30– Fri 31 Aug
Funny man road tests his gags.