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What’s On

AUGUST 2019

Some of the cool stuff happening this month in Somerset and ever so slightly beyond. Watch this space as we will be adding to this guide throughout August.

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AL FRESCO THEATRE: A Midsummer’s Night Dream, Dyrham Park, nr Bath, Fri 2 & Sat 3 Aug

Men in dresses. The Lord Chamberlain’s Men (the name of Shakespeare’s original troupe of travelling players), put on full Elizabethan costume for an al fresco story of warring lovers, meddling fairies and a man who sports a donkey’s head.

nationaltrust.org.uk/dyrhampark

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FASHION: Summer Sale, Waller & Wood, Bath, Fri 2 – Sun 4 Aug

Art to wear: unique hand-painted, vibrantly coloured silk dresses, shirts, coats, shawls, scarves, bags and cushions from Carole Waller.  Visit her shop on Abbey Green (just by the Abbey, natch) or buy online, using the code ‘summersale19’ for a 25% discount.

carolewaller.co.uk

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FESTIVAL: Valley Fest, Chew Valley, Fri 2 – Sun 4 Aug

Organic food, eclectic music and all round good times in an idyllic location on the banks of the Chew Valley lake just south of Bristol, with Basement Jaxx (DJ Set), Razorlight and Tom Odell on the bill. 

valleyfest.co.uk

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GIN: Terrace Takeover, Abbey Hotel, Bath, Fri 2 Aug

Tanqueray gin with Franklin & Sons tonic: samples, mini masterclasses and G&T’s two for £10 in the hotel’s rather cool Art Bar. Hic.

abbeyhotel.co.uk

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AL FRESCO THEATRE: Pride and Prejudice, Somerset Rural Life Museum, Glastonbury, Sun 4 Aug

You know the story. Go take a picnic and watch the show in the museum’s atmospheric courtyard.

swheritage.org.uk

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ART: On the Horizon, ArtBar, Abbey Hotel, Bath,  Mon 5 Aug (Private View) – Mon 30 Sept

Do not adjust your set. This is one of 12 images of Bath by graphic artist Georgina Morgan (ArtBar Winner’s Award), designed to be viewed through 3D glasses. Part of an art exhibition of work by 10 2019 graduates from Bath Spa University. Sounds fun.

abbeyhotel.com

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THEATRE: The Argument, Theatre Royal Bath, Weds 7 – Sat 24 Aug

Felicity Kendal (The Good Life, etc) and Rupert Vansittart (most recently in Gentleman Jack) star in William Boyd’s comedy about how arguments can provide a catalyst for brutal honesty (ouch!) in relationships.

theatreroyal.org.uk

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FESTIVAL: Boardmasters, Watergate Bay, Newquay, Weds 7 – Sun 11 Aug

surfer

Beach side sun (hopefully), surf and music. International surfing comp,  Florence and the Machine, Dizzie Rascal and Franz Ferdinand headlining on the stages above the cliffs of Watergate Bay, and Wellbeing area at Zennor Haven.

boardmasters.com

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FOOD: Just Desserts, Steve James’ pop-up,  Eastfield, Tintinhull,  Thurs 8 August

No starters, no mains, just canapes and then seven – yes, seven – decadent desserts on the menu at award-winning chef’s latest pop-up restaurant. Are you up for it? £20/pp and BYOB.

Tickets

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MUSIC: Matt Carter Septet, Ilminster Arts Centre, Fri 9 Aug

Super-talented young musicians already making names for themselves on the UK jazz circuit. Matt Carter, still studying jazz piano at the Royal Academy, has performed with the likes of Joss Stone and Mica Paris;  trumpeter Alexandra Ridout won the BBC Young Musician Jazz Award 2016 (aged 17) and was British Jazz Awards ‘Rising Star’ in 2018.

themeetinghouse.org.uk

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FESTIVAL: ArcTanGent, Fernhill Farm, Compton Martin, Thurs 15 – Sat 17 Aug

‘A haven of progressive metal across a spectrum of all things heavy.’ Ooh er….

arctangent.co.uk

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FESTIVAL: Beautiful Days, Escot Park, Devon, Fri 16 – Sun 18 Aug

The Levellers’ independent family music festival with seven stages, amazing site art installations, comedy, theatre and huge kids area. Music-wise: Skunk Anansie, Ziggy Marley, The Stranglers, The Levellers (natch) and more.

beautifuldays.org

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AL FRESCO THEATRE: Moby Dick, SS Great Britain, Bristol,  Sun 18 – Mon 26 Aug

What a great idea:  an immersive promenade performance of Moby Dick on board Brunel’s famous ship.

tobaccofactorytheatres.com

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FAMILY: Halsway Summer Fete, Halsway Manor, nr Crowcombe, Taunton, Sun 18 Aug

Get yourself in a knot around the Halsway Maypole, watch demos of traditional crafts (smocking, basket weaving, felting), nosh on local grub and enjoy lots of folk music and dance at The National Centre for Folk Arts.

halswaymanor.org.uk

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THEATRE: The Three Musketeers, Bristol Old Vic, Thurs 22 – Sat 24 Aug

Photo Mark Dawson Photography

Armed only with a baguette and his horse, D’Artagnan travels to Paris to become a Musketeer. Four actors, 30 characters from Exeter-based physical comedy theatre company Le Navet Bete.

bristololdvic.org.uk

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FESTIVAL: Watchet Music Festival, Watchet, Fri 23 – Sun 25 Aug

The Lightning Seeds, Embrace, Sophie Ellis-Bextor, Reverand & The Makers, Peter Hook and The Light headline at this West Somerset music fest.

watchetfestival.co.uk

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EVENT: FriendsFest, Blaise Castle Estate, Bristol, Fri 23 Aug – Sun 1 Sept

monicas apartment in Friends TV show

Could you BE any more excited to discover that Comedy Central’s FriendsFest, a celebration of all things Friends, is returning to the UK as part of a 25th anniversary tour?  You (or your teens) can completely immerse yourself in every aspect of the show: hang out Monica, Ross and Joey and Chandler’s apartments; relive classic Friends’ moments, eat themed nosh and watch fave episodes on an open air screen.

Tickets

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FAMILY: Bowlore Medieval Weekend, Bishop’s Palace, Wells, Sat 24 – Mon 26 Aug

Get out your longbow or sword and join in Medieval high jinx.

bishopspalace.org.uk

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FOOD & DRINK: Summer Garden Party, The Swan, Wedmore, Sun 25 Aug

Pop-up bar, food stalls and music in the gardens of this former Georgian coaching inn turned relaxed foodie pub.

theswanwedmore.com

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FAMILY: Open Farm Day, Newton Farm, Newton St Looe, nr Bath, Mon 26 Aug

All the fun of the farm: farm tours, tractor trailor rides, sheep shearing, music and food.

newtonfarmfoods.co.uk

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THEATRE: The Life I Lead,  Theatre Royal, Tues 27 – Sat 31 Aug

Photo Piers Foley

Catch funny man Miles Jupp (The News Quiz, The Thick Of It, not forgetting Balamory) in the life story of David Tomlinson, star of Mary Poppins and Bedknobs and Broomsticks, before it heads up to the West End.

theatreroyal.org.uk

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FOOD: A-Mezze-ing Evening,  Steve James’ pop-up restaurant, Eastfield, Tintinhull,  Thurs 29 Aug

Can’t decide what to have on a menu? Have it all at this feast of sharing dishes including rosemary sweet and salty candied nuts, balsamic and thyme roasted grapes, beetroot hummus, lamb koftas, edaname and spring onion tortilla and charcuterie. Desserts: cardamom and rosewater poached pears and Persian love cake. £20 p/p. BYOB.

Tickets

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FESTIVAL: End of the Road, Larmer Tree Gardens, near Blandford, Fri 29 Aug – Sun 1 Sept

Small but perfectly formed, this alternative music festival is perfect for anyone who balks at massive crowds and loves a bit of folk, Americana and alt country.

endoftheroadfestival.com

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FESTIVAL: The Downs, Clifton Down, Bristol, Sat 31 Aug & Sun 1 Sept

Bristol’s largest one-day fest with Ms Lauryn Hill, Grace Jones, Neneh Cherry, Madness ….

thedownsbristol.com

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CONTINUING

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ART: RE-FORMATION, Heritage Courtyard Gallery & Studios and The Bishop’s Palace, Wells,  until Sun 6 October

Clockwise from top left: Georgina glass sculptures by Carole Waller; Plastic Angel by Heather Wallace; The Negligible Things Beneath your Feet by Martin Cody; Jazz Garden by Rod Walker

The acclaimed art gallery is showcasing 25 of Somerset and the West Country’s finest contemporary artists and makers in ‘Re-formation’, an exhibition of painting, drawing, ceramics, moving image, collage, textiles, installation, print making, glass, mosaic and more.  Also on the bill, a talk by renowned print maker and mural artist Philippa Threlfall, a panel-led discussion hosted by sculptor Martin Cody, an evening reception and a concert by Jenny Bliss and Yair Avidor with The Amphion Consort. Should keep everyone busy.

heritagecourtyardstudio.com

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FAMILY: Stone Age Summer, Cheddar Gorge & Caves, until Sat 1 Sept

Relive the Stone Age in Somerset’s pre-historic caves. Learn about Cheddar Man, Britain’s oldest most complete skeleton discovered in Gough’s Cave. Discover the story of early man via the Dreamhunters multimedia experience. Dress up as Stone Age person, make thumb clay pots and brass rubbings of a woolly mammoth. See original artefacts and meet a hunter-gatherer.

cheddargorge.co.uk

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ART: May Contain Seeds Two, East Lambrook Manor Gardens, nr South Petherton,  until Sat 14 Sept

Wild Teasels and sky

Super Somerset garden sculptor Chris Kamp’s work, inspired by the humble hedgerow – cow parsleys, teasels, grasses, wild roses and ferns – as well as flowers like rudbeckia and allium, in amongst the real thing. Simply stunning.

eastlambrook.com

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EXHIBITION: Wild Hares and Hummingbirds, Museum of Somerset, until Sat 26 Oct

Discover the county’s animals, plants and birds in this family-friendly exhibition based on the book of the same name by Stephen Moss, one of Britain’s leading natural history writers, broadcasters and wildlife television producers, and illustrator Stephanie Cole.

swheritage.org.uk

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See also our Summer holiday guide

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