What's on in pictures

Apples and Angels, Wassail Theatre, Burrow Hill

SOMERSET theatre company Wassail launched its new “community” play, Apples and Angels, at the evocative and atmospheric setting of Burrow Hill. It’s headed for a major production in Yeovil in the future. It’s a magical journey through folklore and legend, orchards and expectations, disappointment and regeneration.  In some ways it helps to be an old…

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Grease, Bristol Hippodrome

LIKE most people, I first came upon Grease when the now legendary film starring John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John arrived like a bursting meteor of energy in 1978. Big impression as it made, I never expected to find it gathering big audiences in the theatre, well over half of whom were not even born when…

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Wells (Somerset) to the world

MANY of the speakers at this year’s Wells Festival of Literature, from 15th to 23rd October, are literally or metaphorically at home in Somerset but the event has a world-wide reach, not only via the internet but also in the home countries of the festival competition entrants. Somerset is the base or inspiration for speakers…

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Woodlice, Wiltshire, chemical weapons and the scandalous Windsors

MERE Literary Festival is back this year, from 11th to 15th October, after the 2020 Covid cancellation, and the programme has talks and events for all ages and tastes. From a child’s delight in tiny woodlice to the horrors of chemical weapons, from the fascinating secrets of Deepest Wiltshire to the very public scandals that…

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Bringing back beavers

THE latest talk in the Help Our Planet series at the Marine Theatre, Lyme Regis, focuses on the return of beavers to English rivers for the first time in many centuries. Rewilder, farmer and conservationist Derek Gow’s HOP talk, on Tuesday 12th October at 7pm, is called Bringing Back the Beaver and its Pals. Gow has…

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Crossing paths at Sturminster

STURMINSTER Newton’s adventurous Rural Redemption Theatre Company is staging a new play, A Woodland Plot at  at Stour Connect Centre, Stour View Close, from 30th September to 2nd October. Written and directed by Craig White, the play focuses on Sam and Malcolm, who both love woodlands for very different reasons. When their paths cross, dark…

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Great Taste 2021 awards

THREE outstanding meat products from the South West have received the coveted three stars in the newly announced 2021 Great Taste Awards. The world’s leading food award scheme attracts entries from around the world. This year 14,113 different products, from 108 countries, were judged at the Gillingham HQ of organisers the Guild of Fine Food,…

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Acis and Galatea. Iford Arts, Bradford-on-Avon

IT would be hard to imagine a more perfect setting for baroque opera than the Italianate cloister in the beautiful Harold Peto-designed gardens of Iford Manor near Bradford-on-Avon. Over the years, the cloister and the gardens were the setting for operas from every period, jazz, folk and world music, picnic proms and more. It was…

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Unsettling Landscapes at St Barbe gallery

LYMINGTON’s St Barbe Museum & Art Gallery hosts an inspiring and intriguing autumn exhibition, Unsettling Landscapes: The Art of the Eerie, co-curated by natural history writer and environmental thinker Robert Macfarlane, continuing until 4th January. With work by some of the most important artists of the past 100 years, the exhibition explores eerie representations of…

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The morning after the night before

EVERY story starts somewhere …  It’s the early hours of the morning and Danny is the last straggler at Laura’s party. The flat’s in a mess. And so are they. David Eldridge’s acclaimed National Theatre hit Beginning comes to Bath Theatre Royal from Friday 24th September to Saturday 2nd October. Beginning, originally directed by Polly…

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The story of cider

CIDERMAKING has been at the heart of country life for hundreds of years. But the fascinating story of how this drink came into existence and why it became so deeply rooted in the nation’s psyche has never been told. In his new book, Cider Country – How an Ancient Craft Became a Way of Life,…

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Busy as a beaver

… a walk along the River Otter   WE can’t fly anywhere and all our favourite places in Scotland are booked up into 2022, so it’s day trips for us this summer. When we read about guided walks to see beavers on the River Otter, we booked up for one immediately. The best holiday we…

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Books for curious young minds

BATH Children’s Literature Festival, from Friday 24th September to Sunday 3rd October, is bringing a stellar line-up of favourite and new writers to the city, including Cressida Cowell, Sue Hendra and Paul Linnet, Sophie Dahl, Chris Smith and Greg James, Jasbinder Bilan, Stephen and Anita Mangan,  Adam Kay and Joe Wicks – plus workshops, activities and…

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Somerset artists open their studios

MORE than 300 members of Somerset Art Works are taking part in this year’s Somerset Open Studios, running from 18th September to 3rd October. With work in more 200 studios and spaces, it will be one of the largest Open Studios events to date. Visitors have the opportunity to go behind the scenes and meet…

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Thomas J Price at Hauser & Wirth

LONDON-based sculptor Thomas J Price is having his inaugural exhibition at Hauser & Wirth Somerset in the autumn, but before that he will be artist-in-residence at the gallery this summer. Price has rapidly become one of the most important British contemporary sculptors of his generation, subverting stereotypical representations of figures we value in society and…

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Audiences return to Wiltshire Music Centre

LIVE audiences return to Wiltshire Music Centre at Bradford-on-Avon with a new autumn-winter season of concerts. With one of the finest acoustics outside of London, the WMC is renowned for its diverse programme of classical, folk, jazz and world music, family shows and community concerts, and more recently to its successful foray into livestreaming.e. Classical…

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Nick Cave live at Poole

POOLE’s Lighthouse arts centre has scored a notable  success for music fans with a date on Nick Cave’s autumn tour. The constantly innovating and sometimes controversial musician is performing with Warren Ellis. In their first tour as a duo, Cave and Ellis will play 20 shows across the UK in September and October, following the…

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Tenebrae at Dorchester

TENEBRAE, one of the world’s leading chamber choirs comes to Dorchester’s St Mary’s Church on Wednesday 6th October,  at 7.30pm with a concert that explors the poignant repertoire of repentence expressed in music. The choir, directed by its founder Nigel Short, will be joined for Drop, Drop Slow Tears, by the saxophonist Christian Forshaw. The…

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Upwey date for Concerts in the West

UPWEY’s late medieval parish church of St Laurence, near the village’s famous Wishing Well, is a new venue for Concerts in the West, when flautist Emma Halnan and the Eblana String Trio end their four-concert tour on Sunday 3rd October. The group will be playing an imaginative mixture of quartets by Mozart, Beethoven, Viotti and…

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Three stars for Capreolus products

WEST Dorset artisan charcuterie producers Capreolus have once again received a list of two and three stars in this year’s Great Taste Awards, including the prestigious three stars for Wild Venison Chorizo and Dorset Soft Salami. David and Karen Richards, who have been creating delicious artisan charcuterie since 2009, also received three two-star awards for…

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Nick Andrew finds a gap in the market

WILTSHIRE artist Nick Andrew, whose watercolours and drawings of London squares delighted his fans a few years ago, has been spending time in Salisbury Market and the results are on show in A Gap in the Market, at Fisherton Mill in the city. The drawings explore the activity, movement and transitory nature of Salisbury market…

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Dance tales of darkest Soho

THE new dance theatre creation by choreographer and storyteller Matthew Bourne will be coming to Poole’s Lighthouse arts centre and Bath Theatre Royal in November as part of its world premiere tour. Bourne’s New Adventures company is bringing The Midnight Bell, described as “intoxicating tales from darkest Soho,” to Poole from Thursday 4th – Saturday…

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A festival for curious youngsters

BATH Children’s Literature Festival, a celebration of story-telling, illustrations and books for “curious young minds” returns this year with a starry line-up, from Friday 24th September to Sunday 3rd October. Speakers include the Children’s Laureate, Cressida Cowell, fitness star Joe Wicks, Dapo Adeola, Sue Hendra and Paul Linnet, Sophie Dahl, Irish comedian David O’Doherty, Chris…

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Grant for Ratty at sanctuary

SOUTH Somerset District Council has awarded Ferne Animal Sanctuary a community grant of £950 as part of a £2,950 project to reintroduce water voles – the beloved “Ratty” of Wind in the Willows – to the sanctuary. Water voles are endangered in the United Kingdom and urgent action is needed to ensure the long-term survival…

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Poet and artist show together

DORSET poet Catherine Simmonds and artist Rachel Sargent have a second joint exhibition, from 29th September to 5th October at Shaftesbury Arts Centre. The Plymouth gallery, in Hyde Park Road, will show Far West – A Cornish Coastline, following artist residencies at Cape Cornwall, where, Rachel says, “we delved into the rich natural history of that…

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Friends booking open for BridLit 2021

THERE is a full programme of leading authors for this year’s Bridport Literary Festival, with plenty of excitement to brighten the darkest of November days. Last year’s event, cut short because of Covid restrictions, was one of the few literary festivals in the country to go ahead. This year, the organisers are pulling out all…

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