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This week

Art, Theatre Royal, Bath, Mon 7–Sat 12 May

Photo: John Swannell

Loved this play when it came out (I was a babe in arms, obvs) and I wasn’t the only one – Yasmina Reza’s comedy about friendship, prejudice and tolerance has won every award going and become one of the most successful plays ever. In this production: Nigel Havers, Denis Lawson and Stephen Tompkinson (currently in BBC 1’s The Split).


Simonsbath Festival, Simonsbath, Exmoor, Mon 7 May – Thurs 21 June

Music, art, walks and talks on Exmoor over six weeks from May Day to Midsummer.


Family Day, Mill on the Brue, Bruton, Mon 7 May

Every member of the family aged 8 + welcome to tackle assault courses, whizz down zip wires and scramble up climbing walls – or just run around – at this fab outdoor activity centre.


Mayfest, venues around Bristol, Thurs 10–Sun 20 May

box man

Give me your love. Weds 16–Sat 19 May, Tobacco Factory

Bristol’s unique international festival of contemporary theatre, with a broad range of unusual, playful and ambitious work from leading theatre makers from Bristol, the UK and beyond.


Made in Somerset, The White Hart, Thurs 10 May

Tea Green Ceylon shopper

Jewellery, ceramics, luxurious leather and organic skincare from 30 Somerset designer-makers and artisan producers. Sold in support of Etatu, a local charity aiming to educate and improve life for children Msambweni, Kenya.


Bath Festival, various venues around the city, Fri May 11–Sun 27 May

Photo Matt Crockett

Seventeen day multi-arts festival in the festival’s 70th year (happy birthday!). Names include Robert Webb, Ben Okri, Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Professor Green, Lionel Shriver, Ruth Jones….Huge family friendly street extravaganza – from electro-swing to cheerleading to Chinese shadow-puppetry – on Fri 18 May. See the full programme.


Wedmore Arts Festival, venues around Wedmore, Fri 11–Sat 19 May

From the big to the small: an arts festival in miniature with music, drama, comedy, literature etc with Radio 4’s Jeremy Hardy, jazzer Clare Teal, naturalist Simon King and Mr M. Eavis, of course.


Somerset Day, various venues around Somerset, Fri 11 May

In honour of King Alfred the Great’s routing of the Vikings from his stronghold in the Somerset marshes in May 878 … lots of local events around the county, many of them involving tea and cake.


Blowzabella, Halsway Manor, nr Crowcombe, Sat 12 May

Photo Lieve Boussauw

International folk legends celebrate 4o years with a concert, picnic and a dance in the Quantocks.


Somerset Garden Day, gardens around Somerset, including yours, Sun May 13

Fingers crossed for a sunny day. Get out into the garden, maybe ask friends over. Take a pic of yourself wearing a floral crown – you could nab yourself a £500 garden voucher.



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The Urban Guide to the Countryside - Somerset