Where to go and what to do this April. More will be added throughout the month and if there’s something cool I’ve missed out, let me know. Got kids to entertain? Have a gander at our Easter Holiday Survival kit.
Frome Independent Market, around Frome, Sun 1 April
Only an April Fool would miss out on one of the best street markets – designer-makers, vintage, food and drink, music – not just in the West Country but the south of England, nay the UK (can you tell I’m a fan?).
Mells Daffodil Festival, Mells, nr Frome Mon 2 April
World famous dancer and choreographer Carlos Acosta *swoon *, who just happens to live in the locale, will be opening this year’s celebrations – one of the best village fairs in Somerset.
The Carole King Musical, Bristol Hippodrome, Tues 3 – Sat 7 April
The very rich tapestry of the singer-songwriter’s life and work.
Macbeth ROH Live Screening, The Brewhouse Taunton and other cinemas around Somerset, Weds 4 April
Verdi was so inspired by Shakespeare’s tragedy, calling it ‘one of the greatest creations of man’, that he created his own version. Remember the story? Man overhears three witches saying that he’ll become the King of Scotland and, with the help of his pushy wife, decides to make sure the prophecy comes true. It doesn’t go well. Find a cinema near you. More live screenings this month include the National Theatre’s Julius Caesar (Fri 6 April) and Royal Shakespeare Company’s Macbeth (Weds 11 April).
Mary Stuart, Theatre Royal Bath, Weds 4 – Sat 14 April
The brilliant Juliet Stevenson (Truly, Madly Deeply; Bend it Like Beckham) and Lia Williams (Wallis Simpson in The Crown) toss a coin to decide who will play Mary Queen of Scots and who will play Elizabeth I at each performance of Friedrich Schiller’s play.
The Fabulous La Voix, Komedia Bath, Fri 6 April
Britain’s Got Talent and Ab Fab movie’s La Voix take big divas – Tina Turner, Shirley Bassey, Liza Minnelli, Cher – and makes ’em her own.
Kim Wilde: Here Come the Aliens, Westlands, Yeovil, Fri 6 April
The kid’s not in America, she’s in Somerset.
Vegan market, Cheese & Grain, Frome Sat 7 April
Plant-based food, drink, clothes, gifts and cruelty-free cosmetics at the first of a regular vegan market – always on the first Sat of the month.
Mediaeval Falconry Day, Bishop’s Palace, Wells, Sat 7 April
Fantastic flying displays, info and majestic birds, plus all their Easter stuff.
Open Source Salon with Gill Meller, Hauser & Wirth Somerset, Bruton, Thurs 12 April
Chef, award-winning author and food writer – and part of the River Cottage team – Gill Meller talks food and then you all get to eat a delicious meal at the Roth Bar & Grill.
James Wilton: Last Man Standing, The Tropicana, Weston-super-mare, Fri 13 April
Contemporary dance inspired by martial arts, break dancing and capoeira to a soundtrack of rock music.
Dr Phil Hammond: Happy Birthday NHS? Merlin Theatre, Frome, Sun 15 April
TV presenter, stand up, journo, campaigner, author and NHS doctor Phil Hammond looks back to the start of the NHS and forward to the future.
Lady Boys of Bangkok ‘Wonder Women Tour‘, The Brewhouse, Taunton, Tues 17 April
Get your sequins and feathers on and brace yourselves – the world famous Lady Boys of Bangkok are coming to lil’ ol’ Taunton! This celebration of the Lady Boys’ style icons will be dazzling high-energy and outrageously diamanté studded fun! Bring it on!
A View from the Bridge, Tobacco Factory, Bristol, Weds 18 April – Sat 12 May
Arthur Miller’s powerful drama set in working class Brooklyn in the 1950s. Decent hardworking man Eddie Carbone’s raised his niece Catherine like a daughter. When his wife’s cousins arrive from Italy, he’s happy to take them in. But then Catherine falls for one of them. And Eddie doesn’t like it. At all. We’ll be reviewing; watch this space.
A feast of tales: dinner and stories, Levant, Castle Cary, Fri 20 April
Previous winner of UK Young Storyteller of the Year Rachel Rose Reid, touring the South West with her mediaeval epic Silence, stops off in Somerset to do her stuff : a story before dinner and in between courses of Middle Eastern inspired grub at this candlelit restaurant in an Arts & Crafts house.
Paperjam, Andelli Art gallery, nr Wells, Sat 21 April– 4 May
Not something stuck in the printer but beautiful works on paper at this small but perfectly formed gallery. Private view, from 6-8pm on Sat 21 April.
The Anatomy of an Orchestra, Colston Hall, Bristol, Sat 21 April
Part concert, part installation – walk amongst an orchestra, directed by critically acclaimed Charles Hazlewood, spread across four levels of the atrium, as it plays The Four Sections by American composer Steve Reich. Free.
Romeo & Juliet, the egg, Bath, Sat 21 & Sun 22 April
Star-crossed lovers, warring families blah, blah, blah. Box Clever theatre have retained Shakespeare’s language and adapted the play to be more accessible for kids aged 10+. Five performances with a relaxed show on Fri morning.
CSF Wrestling Showdown, Komedia, Bath, Sun 22 April
Never let it be said that Muddy isn’t inclusive. 12 top wrestlers from the Combat Sports Federation go head to head for some high-flying, bone-crunching wrestling.
Sherlock Holmes: the Final Curtain, Theatre Royal Bath, Weds 25 April–Say 5 May
Sherlock is in retirement on the South Coast when Mary Watston, wife of his former associate Dr John Watson tracks him down to solve a new mystery and confront his own demons. Well-known thesps Robert Powell and Liza Goddard star in this world premier.
The Whale, Ustinov Studio, Bath, Thurs 26 April – 2 June
UK premiere of multi-award-winning, fiercely funny off-Broadway play: Shuler Hensley puts on a fat suit to plays 600lb Charlie, a reclusive online writing instructor trying to reconnect with his sharp-tongued daughter.
Ministry of Burlesque, Komedia Bath, Fri 27 April
This is the Komedia’s regular bi-monthly cabaret evening with comedy masters, provocative prima donnas, glittering enigmatic exotic dancers and daring acrobats. This month Alexandra Hofgartner is one of the artistes slipping on her leotard and taking to the trapeze.
Sparkford Hall Open Day, Sparkford, nr Yeovil, Sat 28 April
By day, circus workshops, bouncy castles, an ice cream bike, food, live music and groovy DJs, magicians, a fully licensed bar, llamas (natch), free Prosecco – and the chance to meet all sorts of biz who help make Sparkford Hall a fab venue for parties, weddings and other celebrations. By night, on Fri 27 and Sat 28 , a pop-up restaurant in a candlelit yurt, with an 8-course feast inspired by the legendary Silk Road.
Dangerous Day for Dads, Mill on the Brue, Bruton, Sat 28 April
Calling all dads (and uncles, grandads, godfathers…). Spend the day on the assault courses, zip wires, high ropes at Somerset’s best outdoor activity centre. You do have to bring a kid (aged 8+) along too. Also happening Sat 12 May, 9 June, 28 July and 22 September.
Tulip Colour Weeks, Forde Abbey, near Chard, Sat 28 April – Sun 13 May
A helluva lot of tulips – around 40,000 – in all their blooming glory in the gorgeous gardens of this ancient Abbey (unusual plants for sale in the garden nursery and a cafe to boot).
Bath Comedy Festival, various venues around Bath, until Sun 15 April
The festival’s 10th anniversary, with the likes of Jon Richardson, Helen Lederer, Zoe Lyons, Simon Evans, Henning Wehn, Simon Day, Mark Steel, Arthur Smith, Rachel Parris – and more.
Agnes Colander, Ustinov Studio, Bath, until Sat 14 April
Lost play by Victorian master is world premiered in Bath. Sir Trevor Nunn directs this comedy about love, sexual attraction and independence written by Harley Granville Barker.
Bath Society of Artists Annual Open Exhibition 2018, Victoria Art Gallery, Bath, until Sat 12 May
The prestigious Society opens its doors to non-members exhibiting their work – all of it’s for sale.
Grayson Perry: The Vanity of Small Differences, Bristol Museum & Art Gallery, until Sun 24 June
Six large tapestries by the Turner-prize winning artist, follow the socially mobile life of fictional character Tim Rackwell and explore the Brits’ fascination with taste and class.
Sawdust and Sequins, Royal West of England Academy, Bath, until Sun 3 June
Roll up! Roll up! 250 years of circus with historic and contemporary art, inspired by the magic, thrills and spills of the Big Top.