What's on this month in Somerset
PUBLISHED: 16:10 28 March 2019 | UPDATED: 12:43 09 April 2019
Here’s Somerset Life’s top picks for shows, exhibitions and events in April
CLICK HERE for events happening during the Easter half-term holidays in Somerset.
Sharmanka Travelling Circus and Louise Bourgeois prints, Victoria Art Gallery in Bath
Visitors to the Victoria Art Gallery in Bath can see two exhibitions displayed side-by-side this spring. The Hayward Gallery’s touring exhibition of Louise Bourgeois prints will showcase prints by the influential artist, who is perhaps best known for her giant spider sculptures. Sharmanka Travelling Circus is a mechanical theatre that will delight visitors of all ages. Both shows run until May 7, 2019. There will be a free family activity, Big Top Bonanza, on 17 April, where children can create a theatrical picture fit for the Big Top (10.30am-12.30pm and 1.30-3.30pm). Usual admission charges of £5 for adults and £4.50 for concessions apply (under-18s are free).
Rejoice exhibition, Bishop’s Palace in Wells
A new art exhibition at The Bishop’s Palace this spring promises to captivate art and nature lovers alike. Rejoice, is a collection of joyful works from Wells-based artist Suzanne Welch. The show is exhibited in the medieval palace and celebrates the beauty of The Bishop’s Palace Gardens, where Suzanne has spent many hours studying the colours and patterns of nature, and will act as a mirror to some of the fantastic views outside the palace. Suzanne’s work celebrates the vibrancy of the changing seasons and has been sold to art collectors internationally. Entrance to the exhibition is included in the price of entry. The exhibition runs until May 5.
Sculpture exhibition, David Simon Contemporary in Castle Cary
Until April 27
The first solo sculpture exhibition at David Simon Contemporary’s new gallery in Castle Cary sees a retrospective collection of bronze sculptures by Dr Margaret Lovell. This eminent, internationally acclaimed sculptor has brought together a retrospective collection of contemporary head forms, which she first developed in the 1960s, demonstrating the diverse range of her stylistic approach within this oeuvre. The gallery is open Monday to Saturday 10am to 6pm (closed Wednesday and Sunday). Entrance is free.
Arts Society Mendip talk
Tuesday, April 2, 11am
The Arts Society Mendip hosts another fascinating talk at the Bath and West Showground. Entitled As Good as Gold, Tate Modern lecturer Alexandra Epps will talk on gold’s significance and symbolism in art history. The talk, which begins at 11am, is free to both members and guests alike.
Saba Douglas-Hamilton’s A Life With Elephants, Cheese & Grain in Frome
Wednesday, April 3, 7pm
Leading elephant conservationist Saba Douglas-Hamilton is touring the UK in April with A Life with Elephants, following her hugely popular 2017 tour. Saba will captivate audiences with stories of her life and work in Kenya, where she lives with her husband and three children, growing up among elephants and later working with some of the most endangered wildlife on the planet. Whilst sharing remarkable tales from her childhood in the Great Rift Valley, highlights from her decade as a BBC wildlife presenter, and the adventure of raising her own children in the wild, her underlying message emphasises the role each of us can play in protecting the natural world. Tickets are £22.50 or £18.50 for concessions, with doors opening at 7pm.
A Wild Life evening with Martin Hughes-Games, McMillan Theatre in Bridgwater
Thursday, April 4, 7.30pm
Television wildlife presenter, and Somerset obsessive, Martin Hughes-Games gives an entertaining and informative behind-the-scenes account of his 30 years filming wildlife around the world. Tickets cost £18 and the evening is in aid of Secret World Wildlife Rescue.
The Solid Silver Sixties Show, Playhouse Theatre in Weston-Super-Mare
Thursday, April 4, 7.30pm
The successful multi-artist touring show will once again play to audiences up and down the UK as it has done for a record-breaking 34 years. The Solid Silver Sixties Show will visit Weston-super-Mare’s Playhouse Theatre for one night only during what could be its last ever tour. Celebrating the original package shows of the 1960s, where fans would see a raft of artists performing their hits on one incredible bill, the Solid Silver Sixties Show has performed to over a million people since its first tour in 1985. This year promises to be as popular as ever, with Peter Noone of Herman’s Hermits, Brian Poole of The Tremeloes, Dave Berry and Vanity Fare all taking to the same stage. Tickets are from £32.50.
A4Art Exhibition and Auction for Save the Children, Atkinson Gallery in Street
With all proceeds going to Save the Children, the A4Art exhibition is free and open to all to view more than 200 pieces of original art created by professional artists, celebrities and talented amateurs. All with one thing in common- the A4 format. Silent bidding for artwork will run throughout the exhibition and from 6pm on Saturday, April 6 there will be live bidding on a selection of work, (accompanied by drinks and nibbles).
Bootleg Blondie, Bath Komedia
Friday, April 5, 7pm
The one and only Debbie Harry and Blondie tribute band is back with a bang at Komedia Bath. Lead vocalist Debbie Harris has the looks, voice and attitude of her namesake and heroine and is just as outrageous on stage. The fact that Bootleg Blondie have the honour of being mentioned on Blondie’s 11th album Pollinator means they are the real deal, and promise a performance not to be missed. Advance tickets are £16. For ages 14 and over (under 16s must be accompanied by an adult).
Welsh National Opera Spring season, Bristol Hippodrome
The Welsh National Opera visits Bristol’s Hippodrome for four spellbinding operatic performances this spring. On 10 April they will perform Verdi’s Un ballo in maschera at 7.30pm; on 11 and 13 April it’s Mozart’s The Magic Flute at 7.15pm and 3pm respectively; and on 12 April the WNO revives it’s critically acclaimed production of Donizetti’s Roberto Devereux at 7.30pm. Each evening opera features a pre-performance talk 90 minutes before the opera begins. Tickets for each performance from £15.
All About Eve, Brewhouse Theatre in Taunton
Thursday, April 11, 7pm
Gillian Anderson (X-Files, NT Live: A Streetcar Named Desire) and Lily James (Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again) lead a stella cast in All About Eve, broadcast live to cinemas from the West End in London. Showing at Taunton’s Brewhouse Theatre, this new production, from one of the world’s most innovative theatre directors, Ivo van Hove, lifts the curtain on a world of jealousy and ambition and asks why our fascination with celebrity, youth and identity never seems to get old. Featuring music from double Mercury Prize-winner PJ Harvey. Tickets are from £19 or £11 for concessions.
David Gower: On The Front Foot, McMillan Theatre in Bridgwater
Friday, April 12, 7.30pm
Often described as one of the most stylish left-handed batsmen of all time, legendary former English cricket captain David Gower will be visiting Bridgwater’s McMillan Theatre to share his thoughts on 2019’s Cricket World Cup and The Ashes, both of which are being battled out on UK soil. This is your chance to hear from the Sky Sports Cricket lead anchor before anyone else in 2019, a year that has every potential to be one of the most memorable for the history of the game. Expect tales from captaining his national team to victory in the Ashes to flying that notorious Tiger Moth over Queensland. Tickets are £20, the evening begins at 7.30pm
Saturday, April 13
Working alongside Langport Town Council, the Langport Vintage Market is steadily becoming one of the greatest vintage markets in the South West. If eclectic, vintage clothing, trinkets, crafts and other bits and pieces are your bag, this is place for you. The market is held on the second Saturday of each month between April and December, 10am-4pm.
Medieval Falconry at The Bishop’s Palace
Saturday, April 13, 10am-4pm
If you’re looking for a day out with a difference, then don’t miss The Bishop’s Palace’s Medieval Falconry Day. Held on the South Lawn, against the stunning backdrop of the medieval Great Hall, Tony from Raptorcare will entertain crowds with a day of fantastic flying displays, fascinating information and beautiful birds. Aimed at visitors of all ages, the day will illustrate how these birds would have been used in medieval times and why. There will also be a chance to handle some of the birds. The 14 acres of gardens will also be open, with a family Easter egg trail and Dragon’s Lair Play Area - perfect entertainment for younger visitors. Included in standard admission.
The NEAT Gin Afternoon Tea with Adam Woodyatt, Cadbury House
Saturday, April 13, 2pm
Adam Woodyatt, aka Eastenders’ Ian Beale, will be paying a visit to Cadbury House in Congresbury. At a special afternoon tea, Adam will chat about his gin journey while guests will be served a number of drinks using the soap opera star’s NEAT Gin, which he and his wife Beverley have developed just under the last two years. Tickets cost £21.95. To book a space call 01934 834343 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
iD-artists present ‘New Work’, Heritage Courtyard Gallery in Wells
An exhibition of exceptional contemporary work from this group of professional inter-disciplinary artists, including Gail Mason, Tina Hill, Stephanie Wooster, Vicki Campbell and Sara Parsons who continue to push the boundaries of painting, sculpture, textile art, sculpture mosaics and printmaking. The exhibition is open daily from 10am-5pm and there’s a chance to meet the artists on Saturdays from 11am-2pm.
Our Country’s Good, Tobacco Factory Theatre in Bristol
From April 17
The critically acclaimed Our Country’s Good by Timberlake Wertenbaker is the latest in a long line of captivating Tobacco Factory Theatres’ productions, and cunningly redresses ideas about the morality of crime and punishment. Based on The Playmaker by Thomas Keneally, it tells the true story of the first convict colony in Australia, and is fearlessly bold, witty and thought-provoking. Wertenbaker’s masterpiece questions the meaning of ‘civilised’ society as we know it and who has the right to determine and shape its future. Evening shows 7.30pm, Thursday and Saturday matinees at 2pm. Tickets are from £12.
The Time Machine, Mumblecrust Theatre in Clevedon
This brilliant new family show and re-imagining of HG Wells’ thrilling sci-fi classic will be performed at the Theatre Shop’s Mumblecrust Theatre in Clevedon, and features lashings of humour, award-winning puppetry, music and storytelling. The show, which won Best Children’s Show at the Brighton Fringe, is a world premiere and the first instalment of Shoplifting, the Theatre Shop’s Artist Development Scheme.
Performances at 2pm and 5pm, tickets are £5. Recommended for children aged 4 and over.
This ever-popular outdoor film festival returns to The Bishop’s Palace for a two-night screening of The Kid Who Would Be King, a family fantasy action-adventure film about a band of young kids embarking on an epic quest to thwart a medieval menace. With scenes filmed at Glastonbury Abbey, Chalice Well and Glastonbury Tor, locals will enjoy spotting familiar locations linked to the Arthurian legends. The drawbridge will open at 6.30pm, with a hog roast and drinks available on the croquet lawn. The film will finish no later than 11.30pm. This spectacular event always sells out quickly so early booking is advised. Tickets are £25 each to include food and drink. Bring your own blanket or seating and an umbrella as the show will go on whatever the weather.
Nikki Iles trio and guests, Ilminster Arts Centre
Friday, April 26
Pianist Nikki Iles and her band are joined by Karen Sharp and Stan Sulzmann, two of the UK’s top tenor sax players, for this much anticipated performance at Ilminster’s arts centre, the Meeting Room. Tickets are £17 (or £32 including a pre-show supper). Supper is from 7pm, the performance from 8pm.
Saturday, April 27
The popular Bridgwater Food & Drink Festival returns and locals and visitors can expect delicious food and drink, craft stalls, entertainment, demonstrations from local chefs and children’s rides. The event, sponsored by Bridgwater Town Team, will take place in the Town Hall, Angel Place and the town centre from 9.30am-3pm.
Rat Pack Live, Octagon Theatre in Yeovil
Saturday April 27, 7.30pm
Yeovil’s Octagon Theatre presents a memorable evening of big band swing, showcasing the songs of three unforgettable frontmen. Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Sammy Davis Jnr were the definition of cool during their Fifties and Sixties Vegas heyday and they return in spirit with all the razzamatazz of their original live shows. This brilliant production revives all-time-favourites such as New York, New York, That’s Amore, My Way and That’s Life, so come and experience one of the most authentic tribute acts around. Tickets are £26.85.
The Wurzels, Cadbury House
Saturday, April 27
West Country favourites The Wurzels will be making their long-awaited return to Cadbury House. The legendary band will be performing their popular West Country classics, such as I am a Cider Drinker, Blackbird, I’ve Got a Brand New Combine Harvester and Drink Up Thy Zider, within the stunning setting of the luxury four-star hotel in Congresbury. In keeping with the regional theme, the night will also include a delicious hog roast and specialist local guest ciders for visitors to enjoy. The show begins at 6.30pm, with a disco until 1am. Tickets for over-18s only cost £25 and include food but early booking is advised.
Expect a wonderful week of entertainment at Wedmore Arts Festival with a line-up including comedian Simon Evans, Gabrielle Blackman of DIY SOS and foreign correspondent Kate Adie. The festival even has its own exclusive offering for children with The Tallulah Swirls Puppet Theatre and ‘The Trials and Tribulations of a Natural History Presenter’ presented by The One Show’s Mike Dilger.