What’s on this month in Somerset
PUBLISHED: 15:22 01 October 2018 | UPDATED: 16:24 05 October 2018
Robert Viglasky Photography
Here’s Somerset Life’s top picks for shows, exhibitions and events in October
New Moon exhibition, Bristol Guild Gallery
Up until October 6
New Moon, an eclectic and talented group of local artists, are returning for their fourth exhibition in the lovely Guild Gallery, Bristol, presenting a wide variety of media and styles. Come, wander and enjoy. All items are for sale at very reasonable prices and the artists are on hand to discuss their work in textiles, oils, ceramics and more. Open Monday to Saturday 10am to 5pm. Entry is free.
Touching The Void, Bristol Old Vic
Up until October 6
Tom Morris (Swallows & Amazons, War Horse) directs the first stage version of Touching the Void at Bristol’s Old Vic. This production marks the 30th anniversary of the publication of Joe Simpson’s best-selling memoir, charting his battle back from the brink of death on the treacherous Siula Grande Mountain.
Alongside this struggle is the appalling dilemma of his climbing partner Simon Yates, perched on an unstable snow-cliff, clinging onto the rope tying him to the severely injured Joe. Unable to recover Joe from the void, Simon is faced with the agonising decision to cut the rope that binds them… From 7.30pm, with selected Thursday and Saturday matinees at 2.30pm. Tickets from £7.50
Mark Kermode, St George’s in Bristol
Monday, October 1
Adored film critic Mark Kermode recounts aspects of his hilarious, self-deprecating, blissfully nostalgic memoir How Does It Feel: A Life Of Musical Misadventures at St George’s in Bristol. It charts his riotous attempts to become a popstar, telling the story of how a spotty kid from North London, who built an electric guitar at school, wound up recording an album at the legendary Sun Studios in Memphis. It follows Mark’s haphazard musical career, from inauspicious beginnings in 1970s church halls and youth clubs to performing live at the Royal Albert Hall, via a mercifully short-lived stint in musical theatre and stand-up comedy. From 8pm, tickets are £15 or £12 for concessions.
Maths, Music, Beauty and Harmony, Millfield School
Thursday, October 4
A fascinating talk by maths enrichment speaker Ben Sparks at Millfield’s Science Lecture Theatre in Street explores the correlation between mathematical and musical skill. Ben explains why there are 12 chromatic notes in an octave; why some harmonies sound ‘beautiful’ and others not; and whether this is an arbitrary opinion, or something more fundamental. He’ll also review how on earth One Direction got so popular. From 7.15pm, entry is free.
Castle Cary Choir concert, The Charltons Community Centre
Friday, October 5
The Castle Cary Choir will perform alongside talented guitarist Tom Toomey. Drinks and snacks will be available, as well as a raffle. Tickets are £8 or £4 for under 16s. Available at the post office in Charlton Adam, on the door or from Moyra on 01458 223094.
Parlour Games, Theatre Shop in Clevedon
October 5 & 6
Bristol’s The Wardrobe Theatre are bringing their fantastically fun history comedy to Clevedon’s Theatre Shop. Parlour Games is a right royal romp through British history, exploring politics, passion and parlour games. Described as a cross-dressing comedy for all those with a taste for Victoria’s Sponge and who enjoy playing with their Prince Albert, expect clowning, cream cakes and jokes aplenty in this new show that asks why Britain refuses to play by continental rules. Evening performances at 7.30pm, Saturday matinees at 2pm. Tickets from £12.
Austentatious, Octagon Theatre in Yeovil
Saturday, October 6
Yeovil’s Octagon Theatre hosts a unique evening of improvised comedy theatre as comedy troupe Austentatious come to town. Billed as an ‘improvised Jane Austen novel’, no two shows on the tour are ever the same, with the cast conjuring up a brand new, riotously funny, ‘lost’ Jane Austen novel based on nothing more than a title suggested by the audience. Previous ‘lost’ masterpieces have included Sixth Sense & Sensibility, Double 0 Darcy and Mansfield Shark. Performed in period costume with live musical accompaniment, this is a Regency treat guaranteed to delight Austen novices and die-hard fans alike. From 8pm, tickets are £17.50 with concessions £16.
Coming of Age, Ilminster Arts Centre
Phat Qwarters – a quilting group founded in Yeovil in September 2000 – will celebrate ‘coming of age’ this October with a retrospective group exhibition, held at Ilminster Arts Centre. The works by the five quilters – Chris Waddleton, Elaine Buckley, Joan Dawson, Marion Mountjoy-Row and Stella Hammond – explore new materials and techniques, such as painting, burning, and embroidery. In addition to the exhibition, members of the group will demonstrate practical quilting techniques in the Gallery on Thursdays throughout the show. The gallery is open from 9.30am to 4.30pm Monday to Friday and from 9.30am to 2.30pm on Saturday. Admission is free.
Scott Matthews, Komedia Bath
Wednesday, October 10, 7.30pm
Scott Matthews returns to Bath to perform his career-defining masterpiece, The Great Untold, live and stripped-back at Komedia. Influenced by the likes of Paul Simon, Tim Buckley, Nick Drake and John Martyn, Matthews’ songs are breathtaking in their beauty and audacious in their simplicity. The Wolverhampton-born singer-songwriter’s show promises an evening of ethereal bluesy acoustica. From 7.30pm, tickets £15 in advance.
Beautiful Thing, Tobacco Factory Theatre in Bristol
Tobacco Factory Theatres’ major in-house production for the autumn season is urban fairytale Beautiful Thing. In the play’s 25th anniversary year, Mike Tweddle will direct this story of teenagers Ste and Jamie, growing up on a South London housing estate and tentatively forging a romance that challenges and changes the lives of those around them. Tickets are from £12, with the show beginning at 7.30pm. There are matinee performances on Saturdays and occasional Thursdays too.
This nationally renowned festival allows its audience experience and enjoy remarkable live music first hand in some of the most remote, beautiful – and culturally underserved – corners of England. Each October arts centres, village halls, churches, country houses and sometimes even railway stations and indoor markets across 1,200 square miles of Dartmoor and Exmoor spring to life with inspirational performances, talks, exhibitions, schools workshops and masterclasses. Over a quarter of tickets cost £12 or less and there are plenty of “Live for Five” tickets available for children and students aged 30 and under.
Ocean Film Festival, Victoria Rooms in Bristol
October 13 & 20
The Ocean Film Festival World Tour is bringing two nights of seafaring adventure to Bristol’s Victoria Rooms this autumn, with a collection of new ocean-themed films, featuring big wave surfers, unlikely ocean rowers and other characters who have dedicated their lives to the sea’s salt spray. Expect mind-blowing marine life and spectacular footage from hidden depths of the planet – all on the big screen! From 7pm, tickets are £14 or £12 for concessions.
Brent Knoll Bazaar Farmers’ Market & Parish Café, Brent Knoll Parish Hall
Saturday, October 13
Browse stalls at Brent Knoll Parish Hall filled with locally produced fare, homemade cards, jewellery, children’s games and toys, local crafts, textiles, books, bric-a-brac, plus much more. They’ll also be a raffle and refreshments available at the Parish Café. From 10am-12pm, free entry.
Nish Kumar: It’s In Your Nature to Destroy Yourselves, Cheese & Grain in Frome
Sunday, October 14
Nish Kumar, star of BBC 2’s The Mash Report and Comedy Central’s Joel & Nish Vs The World is heading out on tour and is stopping at Frome’s Cheese & Grain. One of the best young comedians on the circuit will be performing his new show It’s In Your Nature To Destroy Yourselves – comedic ponderings on our potential to create an apocalypse, combined with his own unique brand of incisive, political satire. Nish’s show is not to be missed. From 7.30pm, tickets are £22.
Benedict Allen, various venues in Somerset
Sunday, October 14
Adventurer Benedict Allen is taking his Ultimate Explorer show on a UK theatre tour, visiting four Somerset venues along the way, including Bridgwater’s McMillan Theatre on 14 October, from 7.30pm. The show relives his most recent adventure – a solo expedition to Papua New Guinea, during which he filmed his journey to visit a community he had befriended thirty years earlier. Benedict’s other dates in Somerset are Frome’s Cheese & Grain on October 26, the Octagon in Yeovil on October 27 and Bristol’s 1532 performing arts theatre on October 28.
Royal Ballet: Mayerling (live), Curzon Clevedon
Monday, October 15, 7.15pm
Clevedon’s Curzon cinema is showing an enthralling live screening of the Royal Ballet’s Mayerling, a classic of the Royal Ballet repertory. Kenneth MacMillan choreographed a complex work around the psychologically tormented heir to the Habsburg Empire, Crown Prince Rudolf. Bursting with intensity, madness and passion, the ballet proves that sometimes the truth is more scandalous than fiction. From 7.15pm, tickets are priced £14.50 or £12.50 for concessions.
Rosie Kay Dance Company: MK ULTRA, Strode Theatre
Tuesday, October 16
Rosie Kay Dance Company will bring their stunning artistry and thrilling physical story-telling to Strode Theatre this October. A thrilling show exploring the conspiracy of mind control hidden in plain sight, MK ULTRA is a dazzling collaboration between choreographer Rosie Kay and filmmaker Adam Curtis.£15.50 or £12.50 for concessions.
Wednesday, October 17
The great 1923 gothic silent movie, “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” is to be shown on the big screen in the atmospheric space of Wells Cathedral, England’s first Gothic cathedral. The musical accompaniment to the film will be improvised on the Cathedral’s great organ by David Bednall, one of Europe’s finest improvisers. Tickets start from £10.
Journey Though Conflict: From Then Until Now, Clifton Cathedral
Thursday, October 18
This powerful event, commemorating the centenary of the end of the First World War, combines music, art, poetry and prose to encourage people to seek peace and reconciliation. It charts the experiences of servicemen and women in conflicts from the First and Second World Wars and the Troubles in Northern Ireland to recent campaigns, including Iraq and Afghanistan. Read more here.
Bruton Decorative Antiques Fair 2018 invites visitors to step back inside after a long hot summer when it takes over the Haynes International Motor Museum in Sparkford. Following the popular launch in 2016, and now a firm fixture in Bruton’s social calendar, the third Bruton Decorative Antiques Fair will feature some exciting new exhibitors ready to inspire your home decorating for the autumn and winter. The fair is open all weekend from 11am to 5pm. Tickets are free on advance application.
Drake White, Bristol Thekla
Saturday, October 20
Rising country singer Drake White and his band the Big Fire visit Bristol’s Thekla this autumn as part of their UK tour. The Alabamian has well and truly established himself on the British country music scene, with his headline show in London last year selling out in 30 minutes. Expect an entertaining evening of foot-stomping country music at its finest. Door open at 6pm, tickets are £17.
Brent Knoll Harvest Supper
Saturday, October 20
It’s Harvest Supper time again! The Brent Knoll annual Harvest Supper will be held in the Parish Hall, starting at 7.15pm. Music this year is provided by The Fabulous Top Mix, playing a wonderful selection of music from the 60s, 70s and beyond. Admission is by ticket only so book early to avoid disappointment. Tickets cost £15, including supper and a complimentary glass of cider or fruit juice, and are available from Eddie Fuller on 01278 760308.
Exmoor Dining Club, Luttrell Arms in Dunster
Wednesday, October 24
Top chefs are supporting Exmoor National Park by holding special lunchtime and evening events celebrating their use of local produce and raising funds to help keep Exmoor special. As part of this series of events, celebrate Hunter’s Moon at the Luttrell Arms Hotel in Dunster with a three-course dinner in the 2 AA Rosette Psalter’s Restaurant, experiencing this rare celestial event with Exmoor Stargazers in the Secret Garden from 5.30pm. Tickets are £35 per person, which includes a £5 donation to Caremoor.
‘From Minehead to the Stars’ – the life of Sir Arthur Clarke, Beach Hotel in Minehead
Wednesday October 24
Dr. Cherrie Temple, will talk about Minehead’s famous son, Sir Arthur C Clarke, as part of the ENP Dark Skies Festival 2018. The talk starts at 7pm and tickets cost £5 or £3 for Friends of Minehead Museum. Tickets must be purchased in advance from the museum or via email – firstname.lastname@example.org.
Abandoman, The Hen and Chicken Studio in Bristol
Friday, October 26
The Hen and Chicken Studio in Bristol will see Ireland’s finest hip-hop musical comedian Rob Broderick (aka Abandoman) perform his new show Pirate Radio ahead of his Edinburgh Fringe Festival appearance. Using his trademark blend of audience interaction and razor-sharp improvisation, Rob will take you on a magical journey, transforming the audience’s likes, loathes and daydreams into hit songs and captivating tales. Doors open 7.45pm, tickets are £15.
The History and Heritage on the Levels Exhibition, Othery Village Hall
October 26 & 27
At 7pm on Friday, October 26 visitors can attend a lecture led by internationally acclaimed genealogist, historian and author Janet Few about witchcraft in the 17th century. The exhibition and lecture is free of charge. From 11am-5pm on both days.
The Fine Cheese Co. at Milsom Place, Bath
Saturday, October 27
The Fine Cheese Co. is once again gathering the finest cheeses and cheesemakers from the UK and Ireland for another of their unmissable artisan cheese festivals. The day-long event takes place in an ideal setting for meeting and greeting the makers behind some of your favourite cheeses, as well as giving you the opportunity to discover new ones. Open 10am-5pm, free entry.
The Feeling, O2 Academy in Bristol
Tuesday, October 30
The Feeling will be performing their celebrated million-selling album Twelve Stops And Home in full across the UK this October, 12 years after its release to critical acclaim. It’s the band’s first tour for over two years, and Bristol’s O2 Academy welcomes them on 18 October. Doors open at 7pm, and tickets are £28.65 or £80 for a VIP ‘meet and greet’ package.