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This week

Cressida Cowell, The Octagon, Yeovil, Mon 25 Sept

How to Train Your Dragon author launches her first new project in 18 years – The Wizards of Once – and gives tips on how to become and an author or illustrator and tells how the Dragon books made it to the big screen. This is a just a taster of the events that will be coming up in the Yeovil Literary Festival next month (Thurs 26–Sun 29 October).

My Cousin Rachel, Westlands, Yeovil,  Tues 26 Sept

Recently widowed Rachel rocks up to her dead husband’s rambling Cornish estate to which she may or may not have a claim and sets her sights on the current incumbent – who starts to wonder if she had a hand in her husband’s death. Rachel Weisz is shimmering and scheming as the ‘did she or didn’t she?’ villainess in this film adaptation of Daphne Du Maurier’s 1951 thriller.

Grayson Perry: The Most Popular Art Exhibition Ever! Arnolfini, Bristol, Weds 27 Sept–Sun 24 Dec

Did you see Channel 4’s programme about Grayson Perry touring the UK searching for inspiration to create his Leave and Remain pots? Well, you can see the pots themselves now. The pots, along with 24 other artworks dealing with masculinity, class, politics, sex, religion, popularity and art, Brexit and ‘Divided Britain’, are all on display in a major exhibition transferring from the Serpentine Gallery. There’s a programme of events to go with.

Feast Taunton, The Castle Hotel & Castle Green, Taunton, Fri 29 Sept–Sun 1 Oct

meat dish

A week-end festival celebrating West Country food and drink. Top notch nosh from top chefs Michael Caines, Josh Eggleton, Emily Watkins, Dominic Chapman and Jude Kereama – plus a host of demos, talks and workshops from other experts in their fields (in the case of foraging expert Greg Power, literally). Stuff to occupy kids, too.

Wild Air Run, Blaise Castle, Bristol, Sat 30 Sept

Europe’s longest inflatable slide – 60m long, 8m high and four lanes wide – is coming to Bristol as part of a giant inflatable 5k obstacle course at Blaise Castle. Suitable for 7+


Somerset Arts Week Festival 2017, various venues across Somerset, Sat 23 Sept–Sun 8 Oct

Malcolm Ashman at Andelli Art

350 artists showcasing their work – much around the theme ‘Prospect’ – in 120 venues as part of the county’s largest festival of visual arts. You’ll find art in some of Somerset’s most stunning gardens, bookshops, scrapyards, tithe barns, pubs … as well as galleries. Cavaliero Finn’s ‘Essence of Home’ in an uninhabited Georgian Manor House (venue 88) caught my eye.   The Colony Room Club Somerset at the Bruton Art Factory returns as the official Festival Club. Plan your arty trail around the county with the Festival programme.

The Real Thing, Theatre Royal, Bath Mon 18–Sat 30 Sept

DJ Hathaway, I mean, Laurence Fox stars as Henry in Tom Stoppard’s play about infidelity. Henry, the best playwright of his generation and married to Charlotte who’s appearing in his play about a marriage on the verge of collapse. Her leading man, Max, is married to Annie. Life starts to imitate art when Henry’s affair with Annie (keeping up?) threatens his own marriage – but are they really in love? Is it the real thing?

The Caretaker, Bristol Old Vic, Bristol, Fri 9–Sat 30 Sept

Photo: Idil Sukan

Patrice Naiambana, Jonathan Livingstone and David Judge in Pinter’s classic about what happens when a homeless man is taken in by two brothers.

Stewart Geddes, Atkinson Gallery, Street, Mon 4 Sept–Weds 11 Oct

It’s the President of the Royal West of England Academy’s turn in the spotlight at the Atkinson Gallery this month. The man himself will be on hand in the gallery on Sat 23 Sept at 3pm to talk you through his work – the one above is called Oi Oi.


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The Urban Guide to the Countryside - Somerset