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Muddy Guide: Thurs 23 Feb-Weds 1 March

Films, exhibitions and theatre: where it’s at this week in Somerset…

History through a lens, Victoria Art Gallery, Bath, Sat 25 Feb-Weds 10 May

SARAJEVO-1993: In the dangerous suburb of Dobrinja Meliha Vareshanovic walks proudly and defiantly to work during the siege of Sarajevo. Her message to the watching gunmen who surround her city is simple, “you will never defeat us.”

75 iconic photos that have changed perception of world events, selected  from photojournalism and documentary photography. You’ll probably recognise some of them – Nelson Mandela in his cell on Robben Island, for example. But while many were originally accompanied by columns of text, here the Incite Project treats them as works of art. Powerful stuff.

Film Awards Weekend, The Brewhouse, Taunton, Fri 24-Sun 26 Feb

If you’re not strutting down the red carpet at this year’s Oscars on Saturday night, you might want to catch up on some of the nominated – and other critically acclaimed  – films of the year a little closer to home. Films over the Awards Weekend include Jackie (one the most important and tragic moments in US history through the eyes of the iconic First Lady), Arrival (mysterious spacecraft land on earth and only an elite team can prevent global warfare – gulp) and Martin Scorsese’s Silence (Christian missionaries travel to Japan to in search of their missing mentor. It’s Liam Neeson – say no more).

Abigail’s Party, Theatre Royal, Bath, Weds 1-Sat 11 March

Join the drinks party from hell: Bev’s just about to put Donna Summer on the turntable and hand round the little cheesy-pineapple ones.  Mike Leigh’s classic satire, first performed 40 years ago,  is still hilarious, poignant and horribly compelling. Amanda Abbington (Sherlock, and Mr Selfridge) is Bev and Ben Caplan (Call the Midwife) is Laurence. Abigail of course, is never seen.

Silent Cinema Film School, Hauser & Wirth, Bruton, Weds 1 March-Sun 14 May

Do you know any 14-19 year-olds who’d like to make and star in a film?  H&W and the Youth Cinema Foundation are looking for actors, a director of photography, a designer, a film editor and a writer to create and perform in a short film to be screened with a live musical accompaniment (piano coming up out of the ground?) at the Silent Cinema Festival 12-14 May.  It could be the start of something big: recent graduates of Arthaus (H&W’s youth group) and the YCF are currently appearing in BBC TV dramas, feature films and have won places at drama school and with the National Youth Theatre. Places are limited. For more information, call Debbie Hillyerd on 01749 814572 or email [email protected].

Westway Cinema, Frome, open from Fri 24 Feb

It’s all a bit cinematic this week: the beloved independent Westway Cinema reopens this week after extensive refurbishment and now boasts three screens. The cinema, run by the owners of the little Ritz cinema in Burnham-on-Sea, will be showing all the latest releases for £4 (no, that’s not a typo), there’s a licensed bar and in an intermission between the trailers and the film, they’ll even be bringing out the ice cream cart. Lots of good places to eat in Frome if you want to make an afternoon or evening of it. Super cool Sam’s Kitchen Deli and pizzaria Castello are just around the corner.


Matthew Bourne’s The Red Shoes, Bristol Hippodrome, Tues 4-Sat 8 April

Photo: Johan Persson

Based on the Powell & Pressburger 1948 film of the same name and the Hans Christian Anderson fairytale, this is Matthew Bourne’s take on the story of a ballerina forced to choose between ambition and lurve. The show wowed audiences at Sadler’s Wells before Christmas and tickets are going fast, so book now. I’ll be there.

Susan Calman, Macmillan Theatre, Sat 1 April

The ubiquitous (QI, HIGNFY, The News Quiz and Mock the Week) pint-sized Scottish stand up, writer and actress  is on tour and apart from a gig at the Bristol Hippodrome earlier this month, this is her only West Country show. 16+ only.


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