COMEDY: Zoe Lyons, Merlin Theatre, Frome, Fri 1 Feb
Comedian takes a break from Mock the Week, The News Quiz, Just a Minute et al to bring her razor sharp one-liners to Frome.
ART: Leonardo da Vinci: A Life in Drawing, Bristol Museum & Art Gallery, Fri 1 Feb – Mon 6 May
On the 500th anniversary of the death of artist, scientist, inventor and thinker Leonardo da Vinci, drawings from the Royal Collection are going on display at 12 galleries around the UK simultaneously – including the Bristol Museum & Art Gallery. Awesome.
FOOD: Exmoor Food Fest, around Exmoor, Fri 1 – Thurs 28 Feb
Eat your way around some of the region’s best pubs, restaurants and cafes, with special deals on two and three course meals throughout the month. We like the sound of the special five-course tasting menu at award-winning Duende in Wiveliscombe, where Olivier Certain – Chef of the Year 2017 whilst at Clavelshay Barn – joins owner Tim Zekki in the kitchen. Also available from Thurs 7 Feb, 2 courses a la carte £17.50 and 3 courses £21, just quote ExFF19 when booking.
GARDENS: East Lambrook Festival of Snowdrops, East Lambrook, from Fri 1 Feb
120 different varieties of snowdrops (you thought there was just the one?) at the Grade I listed cottage garden created by 20th-century plants woman and gardening writer Margery Fish. Talks and tours of interesting snowdrops on various dates throughout February (see their website). Teashop too.
WELLBEING: Feel good February, venues around Bath, Fri 1 – Sun 10 Feb
A 10-day programme of health and wellbeing events, activities and offers around the city, including a rooftop Aquasana at Thermae Bath Spa, free one-hour bathing sessions at the Cross Baths, an evening with Natura Bissé at No. 15 Great Pulteney, a circular countryside walk (with tea and cake) from Newton Farm Shop in Newton St Loe (Tues 15 Feb) and a ‘Feel-Good’ wine tasting event at wine bar Le Vignoble.
SHOPPING: The Pop-up Eco Supermarket, Odcombe Village Hall, Odcombe, nr Yeovil, Sat 2 Feb
Go along for the bakery, dairy, butchers, fruit and veg, store cupboard, washing stuff, toiletries, pets, gifts, knife sharpening, repair experts – or just to ogle local celeb Hermione Norris (Cold Feet, Luther, Spooks) opening the event.
FILM: Sing-a-long The Greatest Showman, Theatre Royal Bath, Sun 3 Feb
Dress up, sing – and dance – along with Hugh, Zac and Rebecca in the hit musical based on the life of circus man PT Barnum.
CHINESE NEW YEAR: The Year of the Pig, Bristol Museum & Art Gallery, Sat 2 & Sun 3 Feb
The Year of the Pig begins on Mon 4 Feb but celebrations start off here with trad and contemporary dance, music, crafts for all the family.
THEATRE: Fame the Musical, Theatre Royal Bath, Mon 4 – Sat 9 Feb
Fame! I’m gonna live for-ev-errrrr! The show follows the lives of a group of talented young kids at the New York High School for Performing Arts with plenty of angst and some cracking song and dance numbers along the way. Keith Jack, Mica Paris and Jorgie Porter star in this 30th anniversary tour. We’re seeing this next week, so watch this space for our review.
MUSIC: Kaiser Chiefs, Bath Pavilion, Tues 5 Feb
Yes, it really is the indie rock band.
WINE: Southern French Wines, Averys, Bristol, Weds 6 Feb
Eight wines each paired with cheeses from the Arch House Deli at one of the UK’s oldest wine merchants.
THEATRE: Blue Door, Ustinov Studio, Bath, Thurs 7 Feb – Sat 9 March
It’s a Wonderful Life meets A Christmas Carol in the 1990s US. When African-American prof of mathematics Lewis (Ray Fearon) refuses to join a Million Man March (African-Americans marches in Washington DC in the mid-90s), his wife leaves him. Plunged into turmoil, his imagination conjures up three generations of ancestors (all Fehinti Balogun) creating a snapshot of more than 100 years of US history.
THEATRE: Rachel – a play in full mask, Strode Theatre, Fri 8 Feb
Shockingly, a recent survey showed that 1 in 20 people in the UK didn’t believe the Holocaust actually happened. Scary. Here’s the moving real life story of Holocaust survivor Rachel Levy, now in her 80s, recreated in a full mask production. Suitable for 10+
MUSIC: Musical Youth, Colston Hall Foyer, Bristol, Sat 9 Feb
Now Musical Middle Age, the British Jamaican reggae band are passing the dutchie and other reggae classics up in Bristol.
FOOD: British Dal Festival, around Bristol, Sun 10 – Sun 17 Feb
Keep your finger on the pulse with a celebration of dal and other dishes of beans, peas, lentils and similar small or round oval things. Feasts, food, markets, talks and a dal trail around Bristol eateries each with special dal dishes on the menu.
THEATRE: A Comedy about a Bank Robbery, Bristol Hippodrome Tues 12 – Sat 16 Feb
It’s on in the West End but you can see the touring company’s production of the fast and furious comedy caper set in 1958 Minneapolis here. From the same team behind hugely successful The Play That Goes Wrong. Read our review.
THEATRE: Noel Coward’s A Song at Twilight, Theatre Royal Bath, Weds 13 – Sat 23 Feb
Famous author Sir Hugo Latymer (Simon Callow), rude and haughty in his old age, awaits the arrival of old flame Carlotta Gray (Jane Asher). But what does she want? Expect secrets, regrets and bantz (aka witty repartee).
COMEDY: Richard Herring’s Leicester Square Theatre Podcast, Komedia, Bath, Fri 15 Feb
The Podfather brings his award-winning (many and various including Chortle Internet Award 2018) podcast to Bath.
CABARET & DANCE: Kai Hoffman and her Kombo, Westlands, Yeovil, Sat 16 Feb
Kor! Dancing shoes on for a night of swing jazz and jive with American Kai and her band. She’s recorded with Ray Gelato and The Giants, sung with the Jive Aces and had an eight-year vintage night residency at Ronnie Scott’s.
THEATRE: Chinese New Year Extravaganza, The Octagon, Yeovil, Tues 19 Feb
Chinese performing arts, including the auspicious Lion Dance, acrobatics, kung fu, 15-metre long Dragon Dance and contortionists * wince* .
KIDS: Tom Gates, Bristol Hippodrome, Weds 20 – Sat 23 Feb
Liz Pichon’s famous Tom Gates tries to keep out of trouble but guess what, things keep on going wrong. All the fave characters from the books (14 now and over 5 million copies sold worldwide) in a show put together by the Gangsta Granny and Horrible Histories team, so should be excellent. Suitable 5 – 12.
Beauty, Mindfulness & Wellness, Whatley Manor, Malmesbury, Weds 20 Feb
Spend a whole day dedicated to bettering your body and your mind. Includes a Pilates session, advice from natural cosmetics Natura Bissé experts and mindfulness guru Katie Sheen, founder of Soul Nutrition. Oh, and a delicious, healthy (natch) lunch.
FILM: Mike Leigh Festival, Electric Palace, Bridport, Thurs 21 – Sun 24 Feb
Gritty London comes to the bucolic West Country. Mike Leigh Festival and Dorset, an unlikely combo, but the man himself will be answering Q&As at the end of each screening over the four-day film fest. Seven films: Naked, Secrets and Lies, All or Nothing, Vera Drake, Peterloo, Meantime and High Hopes.
JAZZ: Zoë Schwarz Blue Commotion, Ilminster Arts Centre, Ilminster, Fri 22 Feb
The music of Ray Charles, Nina Simone, Billie Holiday, Koko Taylor, Willie Dixon (and some of their own stuff) from vocalist Zoë Schwarz (Ronnie Scott’s, 606 Club, Isle of Wight festival etc) and world-class guitarist Rob Kora. Supper too, they say.
FOOD: Pop up at Eastfield, Tintinhull, nr Yeovil, Sat 23 Feb
Somerset super chef (and future Masterchef Professional contender) Steve James is running a series of pop-up restaurants at Eastfield Farm, each evening with a different theme. This time it’s comfort food but not a baked bean in sight. Menu includes whisky glazed beef ribs, pink peppercorn and rosemary roasted pork belly and caramelised white chocolate and raspberry doughnuts. £48. Next few dates include: Butlers in the Buff * snigger * on Fri 29 March, Mother’s Day roast on Sun 31 March and Asian fusion evening on Sat 13 April.
GARDENS: Snowdrop Celebration Weekend, Bishop’s Palace, Wells, Sat 23 & Sun 24 Feb
Not had enough snowdrops yet? Lots more around the grounds of the Bishop’s Palace, with common and rare snowdrops to buy.
THEATRE: Sherlock Holmes: the Sign of Four, The Brewhouse, Taunton, Mon 25 & Tues 26 Feb
Someone in your family taking GCSE English Lit? This play’s a set text. Mary Morstan arrives at 221B Baker Street to ask for help finding her missing father. Soon Sherlock and Watson are up to their necks in murder, corruption and stolen jewels. See our interview with Luke Barton, who plays Sherlock.
THEATRE: Kinky Boots, Bristol Hippodrome, Mon 25 Feb – Sat 9 March
Struggling family shoe business is saved by a drag queen’s need for a size 14, with songs by Cyndi Lauper.
DANCE: Balletboyz: Them/Us, The Octagon, Yeovil, Tues 26 Feb
Internationally acclaimed and innovative all-male (and I mean all male) dance company.
TALK: An evening with Tracey Thorn, Christ Church, Bath, Weds Feb 27
The singer-song writer (Everything but the Girl, Marine Girls) talks about her new book Another Planet: a Teenager in Suburbia (ticket includes a copy).
THEATRE: Wise Children, Bristol Old Vic, until Sat 16 Feb
Twin chorus girls Nora and Dora Chance celebrate their 75th birthday; their father Melchior Hazard is 100 on the same day. Expect show girls and Shakespeare, sex and scandal, music, mischief and mistaken identity – and butterflies by the thousand – in this adaptation of Angela Carter’s last great novel. Read our review.