What’s on this month in Somerset
PUBLISHED: 12:58 30 November 2018 | UPDATED: 12:58 30 November 2018
Here’s Somerset Life’s top picks for shows, exhibitions and events in December
A Christmas Carol, Bristol Old Vic
What could be more Christmassy than A Christmas Carol? This enchanting Bristol Old Vic adaptation of Charles Dickens’ timeless tale promises to be a festive feast for all the family with a brilliant cast bringing Scrooge, Tiny Tim and Bob Cratchit to life. Shows begin at 10am, 2pm, 4pm and 7pm, with tickets priced from £7.50. For ages seven and over.
Christmas celebrations at Clarks Village
As well as being open every day between now and Christmas Eve, Clarks Village has a whole host of free events to get you in the festive spirit. On selected Saturdays, expect live performances on the streets of Clarks Village, as well your favourite pantomime characters paying a visit on December 15 and 16 and Father Christmas on December 22. The irresistible glitz and glamour of the 1920s will be coming to Clarks on December 6, 7 and 8, with live jazz and Christmas cocktails available.
Christmas Collection, Ilminster Arts Centre
Up until December 21
Ilminster Arts Centre’s annual Christmas Collection returns with another enticing selection of locally crafted jewellery, textiles, toys, decorative art and home accessories that make perfect gifts. Featured makers include Tim Lee (glassware), Jo Eddleston (decorative fused jewellery and decorations), Lizzie Oliva-Knight (hats), Nicola Werner (ceramics); Sylvia Adams (photography), woollen scarves and throws (Jackie Williams), Andy the Penman, Sarah Finch (teddy bears), Sarah Harmer (felted pictures).
The arts centre is open weekdays 9.30am-4.30pm and Saturdays 9.30am-2.30pm, with free admission.
Handel’s Messiah , St Mary’s Church, Bridgwater
Saturday, December 1
Handel’s masterpiece – always a popular work at Christmas – will be performed at St Mary’s Church, Bridgwater, by the Bridgwater Choral Society with soloists Fiona Mackay, alto, Nicola Wydenbach, soprano, Guy Withers, tenor, and Jevan MacAuley, bass. The concert begins at 7.30pm, with tickets costing £12 or £10 for friends of Bridgwater Choral Society. Entrance for under-16s is free.
Shoppers are invited to the farm shop for a free festive fair to help kick off the countdown to Christmas. There will be food tastings on the Saturday from 9am until 4pm, where you can try some of Rumwell’s fantastic produce. A craft fair will run alongside it, and will be back on Sunday from 10am until 3pm, providing the perfect chance to find that extra special Christmas gift. Father Christmas will also be in attendance on both days. Booking is essential if you wish to see Father Christmas and will cost £6.50 per child. The farm shop is also running a Christmas carvery on December 7 and 13.
Santa South West Christmas Village, Bath and West Showground
Santa South West Christmas Village is coming to the Bath and West Showground. This magical Christmas experience with a wide range of activities to suit all ages will be held each Thursday to Sunday between 1-16 December. With a real indoor ice rink, Christmas market, enchanted grotto, fairground and panto with Mother Goose in the theatre, you will need more than one visit to experience it all! Entry costs £1 per person and parking is free.
Krater Comedy Special, Komedia in Bath
December 1, 6-8, 14-15, 20, 22, 31
Komedia in Bath is hosting a series of fantastic Krater Christmas Specials throughout December, each with an all-star comedy line-up, an indulgent three-course festive meal and a late-night disco. The stage will be graced by dozens of comedians and comperes including Laura Lexx, Mark Nelson, Sally Anne Hayward, Markus Birdman and Andrew Bird. Doors open at 6pm for diners, with the shows starting at 8.30pm. Christmas meal and show tickets cost £54, tickets for the show only are £22.
The Nutcracker, Curzon Cinema in Clevedon
December 3, 9, 16
The Nutcracker has long been a delightful way to discover the enchantment of ballet and makes for a wonderful seasonal treat for all the family. Performed by the Royal Ballet, Tchaikovsky’s much-loved classic will be shown live at Clevedon’s Curzon Cinema via satellite on Monday 3 December at 7.15pm, Sunday 9 December at 2pm and Sunday 16 December at 1pm. Each performance is 150 minutes long and tickets are from £10.
Maddy Prior, St George’s, Bristol
Tuesday, December 4
Queen of folk Maddy Prior once again joins up with the Carnival Band during the festive season for a unique celebratory show, Carols & Capers, which they take to St George’s, Bristol, in December. They mix renaissance, modern and ethnic instruments with a refreshing cavalier attitude and plenty of humour, putting their inimitable stamp on a range of familiar and not-so-familiar festive fare.
Doors open at 7pm and tickets cost £24.50 in the central stalls or £21.50 in the side stalls and gallery.
Rock Choir, The White Hart in Weston in Gordano
Thursday, December 6
Rock Choir will be performing at a festive market celebrating the best in handmade, Somerset products, food items and gifts. Forty members of the Somerset-based choir, which performed at BBC Proms in the Park earlier this year, will be at The White Hart in Weston in Gordano to entertain shoppers. The White Hart is running a series of festive markets in its all-weather garden and tepee, including 13 and 20 December. Each market will run from 6-9pm and admission is free.
Christmas at the Palace, Bishop’s Palace in Wells
The Bishop’s Palace in Wells will be transformed into a magical winter wonderland with a range of seasonal events to delight young and old alike. The Medieval Undercroft will be resplendent in seasonal blooms courtesy of the palace’s Winter Flower Festival, with the entire interior illuminated. There will be a festive photography competition and a family trail, taking visitors through the palace and gardens, leading to a traditional nativity scene at the end. Father Christmas will take up residence in the Long Gallery and there will be Christmas carols in the Chapel as well as a performance of A Christmas Carol by the Wells Theatre Company. All activities except for the Father Christmas visits are included in standard admission. Father Christmas tickets are £5 per child, who must be accompanied by an adult.
Aladdin, Octagon Theatre in Yeovil
From December 7
Pantomine season is in full swing in Yeovil from December 7 as Aladdin takes over the Octagon Theatre until early January. This magical production promises to enthral and entertain all ages in equal measure. With daily performances, except December 10, 17 and 25, ranging from 10am-6.30pm. It’s advised to book early to avoid disappointment.
Cinderella, Bristol Hippodrome
From December 8
Strictly sensation, comedian, king of pantomime and musical theatre star Brian Conley and celebrity style guru and television presenter Gok Wan star in the Fairy Godmother of all pantomimes – Cinderella at The Bristol Hippodrome. There are various performances through much of December, starting at 1pm, 2pm, 5pm and 7pm and tickets for each cost from £12.
Saturday, December 8
This open day invites you down to not only see this amazing lock along the Kennet & Avon Canal, but be privy to some behind the scenes improvements. There will also be plenty to keep little ones entertained, wildlife talks, bat box crafting and a display of historical photos of the lock and canal in Bath. The event runs from 10am-4pm and is free.
Christingle Service, St Michael’s on Broad Street, Bath
Sunday, December 9
A fully inclusive service with Walcot State Choir, followed by mulled wine and mince pies. A retiring collection will be made in aid of Bath Mencap. The service will begin at 6.30pm.
Bristol Bad Film Club Presents: Bad Elves at Komedia Bath
Monday, December 10
After the near sell-out success of their debut screening at Komedia earlier this year, Bristol Bad Film Club return to Bath with festive, horror cult classic ELVES. All of the organisation’s profits will go to Action for Children to support vulnerable young people this Christmas. The screening will start at 7.30pm and tickets cost £8.
The Snow Baby, The Brewhouse in Taunton
Soap Soup Theatre presents a magical children’s theatre show at Taunton’s Brewhouse, with beautiful puppetry, imaginative storytelling and music that will give you goosebumps. It’s a gentle show exploring family, love and loss, with lots of music, confetti and funny bits for the whole family to enjoy. There are three 50-minute performances daily, from 10am to 1.30pm (with two on the final day), and tickets cost £8.50. Group discounts are available.
Peter Pan, Theatre Royal Bath
From December 13
Star of stage, screen and musical theatre Paul Nicholas plays Captain Hook in the Theatre Royal Bath’s swashbuckling Christmas treat Peter Pan. Complete with CGI graphics, acrobatic flying and much more, it promises to be an astounding production of one of children’s literature’s best-loved classics. Running until January 13, there will be daily performances at either 2pm and 7pm or 1pm and 5pm. Gallery and standby seats are £9, with other tickets from £19.50, including some concessions.
“Sailing around the world”, St George’s in Hinton
Saturday, December 15
The Friends of Our Church Hinton St George welcome Peter Forbes to St George’s in Hinton for a fascinating talk covering his interesting experiences and challenges faced during his long voyage around the world. Doors open 5.30pm and the talk begins at 6pm. Tickets cost £8 on the door (£7.50 in advance) and include rum punch and light refreshments. For more information, contact Nigel Hayler on 01460 271218.
Sing For Somerset, Wells Cathedral
Saturday, December 15
Somerset Community Foundation invites you to join them for their wonderful Sing for Somerset Christmas carol service in Wells Cathedral on December 15 at 7pm. It includes a festive mix of traditional and contemporary music conducted by Laurence Blyth, featuring the Mid-Somerset Orchestra, Somerset Voices choir and organist Matthew Redman. Carol sheets will be provided for all to join in the festivities. Admission is free, no tickets are required and doors will open at 6.15pm. The retiring collection will benefit the work of the foundation.
eat:Christmas, Italian Gardens in Weston-super-Mare
Saturday, December 15
The team behind eat:Festivals are pulling on their elf ears and heating up the braziers for their first festive festival this December. We are reliably told not to expect a German market homage though - this will be a distinctly Somerset event. There will be a large outdoor market filled with festive food and drink in the Italian Gardens in Weston-super-Mare with a fantastic range of entertainment all day, including sea shanties from The Steepholmers; carols from Weston Brass Band and the magnificent Renewal Gospel Choir; street entertainers and snow machines. Thachers will be on hand with mulled cider and Santa has promised to make an appearance too. Dog friendly, full accessible and 100% single-use plastic free, it runs from 9am-4pm.
The CBeebies Christmas Show: Thumbelina, Strode Theatre
Saturday, December 15
Laugh and sing along with your favourite CBeebies stars and be part of a fabulous interactive show for all the family at the Studio at Strode Theatre. CBeebies’ favourite personalities are lined up to star in this unique adaptation of the original Hans Christian Andersen tale, Thumbelina. The show starts at 2pm and tickets cost £9 for adults and £7 for under 16s.
Belshazzar’s Feast, David Hall in South Petherton
Saturday, December 15
The BBC Folk Award-winning duo travel to the David Hall in South Petherton with their celebrated Christmas show that mixes traditional folk, seasonal material, as well as classical, pop and music hall, all topped off with audience participation and lashings of wry humour. Comprising Paul Sartin (of Bellowhead and Faustus) and Paul Hutchinson (of Hoover The Dog) Belshazzar’s Feast always send audiences home with smiles on their faces. Show begins at 8pm, with tickets priced £15.
Somerset Farmers’ Market Christmas Special, Cheese and Grain in Frome
Sunday, December 23
Frome’s Cheese and Grain is the venue for this perfectly timed farmers market, just two days before Christmas. The indoor market, full to bursting with a huge variety of vegetables, meats, cheeses and bread, as well as many innovative food businesses, is guaranteed to be bustling whatever the weather. There’s a cafe on site and live music too. From 10am-2pm. Admission is free.