What’s on this month in Somerset
PUBLISHED: 15:41 30 January 2019
Here’s Somerset Life’s top picks for shows, exhibitions and events in February
Jason Manford, Bath Forum
Friday, February 1
Due to popular demand, comedy superstar Jason Manford has announced 31 extra dates to his already gigantic live tour Muddle Class, and now visits the Bath Forum for one night only in February. Muddle Class is Jason’s first comedy tour since the hugely successful First World Problems in 2013/14, and performances are likely to sell out quickly. The show begins at 7.30pm and tickets are £27.50 plus booking fee.
The show may not be suitable for under-13s.
The Elves and the Shoemaker, Tacchi-Morris Arts Centre in Taunton
Sunday, February 3
Popular Devon-based theatre company Above Bounds has been delighting audiences this New Year with its theatrical retelling of this classic Brothers Grimm story. It’s a magical, heart warming and interactive show for three to seven-year-olds and their families, which features original music, mischievous puppets and lots of laughs, and it visits Taunton’s Tacchi-Morris Arts Centre as part of a South West tour.
The show begins at 2pm, with tickets for adults £9, children £7 and family tickets £26.
Dave Gorman, Bristol Hippodrome
Tuesday, February 5
The man behind hit TV show Modern Life Is Goodish as well as Are You Dave Gorman? and Googlewhack Adventure is returning to Bristol. Dave Gorman wowed Bristol audiences with his new show With Great Powerpoint Comes Great Responsibilitypoint last year, and he’s back for a second date at The Bristol Hippodrome. As the title suggests, Dave is bringing his laptop and projector screen with him so expect the ‘King of Powerpoint comedy’ (according to The Guardian) to provide mirth-inducing analysis of those parts of life you’ve never stopped to think about before. Show begins at 8pm, tickets are £31.65.
Exhibition On Screen: Young Picasso, Curzon Cinema in Clevedon
Tuesday, February 5
Clevedon’s Curzon Cinema is a wonderful venue in which to watch this fascinating film about the early life of Pablo Picasso, one of the greatest artists of all time. It is one of very few films to look at the artist as a young man – his upbringing and the formative experiences that led to his extraordinary achievements. Young Picasso visits Malaga, Barcelona and Paris and explores their influence on Picasso, focusing on specific artworks from these early years. Screening from 7.30pm. Tickets are £12, with concessions £10.
Arts Society Mendip talk, Bath and West Showground
Tuesday, February 5
The Arts Society Mendip hosts another fascinating lecture at the Bath and West Showground. Entitled Dante’s Divine Comedy – ‘Otherworld’ images, Botticelli to Blake, cultural historian Patsy Erskin-Hill will reveal how Dante’s unique visions of hell, heaven and purgatory have provided such a rich seam of inspiration for more than 700 years. The lecture begins at 11am and is free for members and their guests.
Mark Thomas: Check-Up – Our NHS at 70, Tobacco Factory in Bristol
Following another sell-out Fringe run in August to critical acclaim and a sell-out run at London’s Arcola Theatre, Mark Thomas brings his now famous style of theatre, comedy, investigative journalism and reportage to Bristol’s Tobacco Factory. Mark is 54, the NHS is 70, and the UK national average life expectancy is 84. If Mark makes it to 84, the NHS will be 100. What will they both look like? Based on a series of residencies and interviews with leading experts in and on the NHS, Mark uses his own demise to explore the state we’re in, what’s going wrong in our NHS, how it can go right, and what the future might hold for us all. For ages 16 and over. Show begins at 8pm, with tickets priced £17 and £13 for concessions.
The Russian State Ballet, Bristol Hippodrome
Russia’s acclaimed ballet company returns to the UK accompanied by the Orchestra of Siberia and conducted by Anatoly Tchepurnoi. On a 23-venue tour from January to March they will perform six of the world’s most popular ballets – Cinderella, Giselle, La Fille Mal Gardée, Snow Maiden, Swan Lake and The Nutcracker. Bristol’s Hippodrome will be treated to Giselle (February 7, 7.30pm), The Nutcracker (February 8, 7.30pm) and Swan Lake (February 9, 2.30pm and 7.30pm). The Russian State Ballet of Siberia comprises over 40 dancers and 30 musicians and its productions merge traditional and digital worlds with an imaginative staging set against an ever-changing colourful backdrop with magical special effects. Tickets from £13, with discounts for theatre card members.
Fun Lovin’ Criminals, Bristol O2 Academy
Friday, February 8
The multi-platinum-selling New York trio are still going strong almost three decades on from debut single Scooby Snacks and have announced a headline UK and European tour to celebrate the release of their new album Another Mimosa. Frontman Huey Morgan and his band bring their unique blend of rock ‘n’ roll, funk, blues, soul, hip hop, jazz and latin to Bristol Academy for one night only, so tickets are bound to be in high demand. Doors open at 6.30pm, tickets are from £28.65.
Martin Kemp takes Bridgwater ‘Back to the 80s’, Blake Hall
Friday, February 8
Following a string of rapturously-received shows around the country last year, Spandau Ballet legend and TV personality Martin Kemp will be back on the decks and playing all the best hits from the 80s at Blake Hall in Bridgwater. Doors open at 8pm, tickets cost £19.50 including booking fee.
An Evening With Sir Michael Parkinson, Strode Theatre
Monday, February 11
A wonderfully entertaining evening awaits at Strode Theatre, which celebrates the life and career of a man who has interviewed more than 2,000 of the most important cultural figures of the 20th and 21st centuries. In conversation with his son Mike and showing highlights from the Parkinson archive, An Evening with Sir Michael Parkinson is a unique opportunity to get an intimate, entertaining and informative look at his remarkable journey from a pit village in Yorkshire to the top of those famous stairs whilst reliving the best moments from his career in TV entertainment. Show begins at 7:30pm, with tickets £25.
Trio Sōra, various venues
Concerts in the West’s 2019 season of mini classical and baroque chamber music tours launches in spectacular fashion with Trio Sora, a French piano trio comprising three passionate young musicians who are definitely ones to watch on the European classical music scene. Founded in 2015 at the Paris Conservatoire by Pauline Chenais (piano), Magdalena Geka (violin) and Angèle Legasa (cello), Trio Sora has already soared to fame in just three years. The trio will be performing Clara Schumann’s Piano Trio in G minor, Op 17; Brahms’ Piano Trio No 1 in B major, Op 8; and Robert Schumann’s Märchenerzählungen (Fairy Tales) Op 132. They will perform at Ilminster Arts Centre in the Meeting House on February 15 at 8pm and The Dance House in Crewkerne on February 16 at 7.30pm.
Tickets for both evenings are £15, or £5 for students.
Lau, Cheese and Grain in Frome
Sunday, February 17
Scottish folk pioneers Lau visit Frome’s Cheese and Grain as they return with their first new music since 2015’s The Bell That Never Rang. Among their new songs is Scapa Flow 1919, written for the BBC Radio Ballads series around the experience of the stranded German sailors leading up to the scuttling of the Grand Fleet at the end of the First World War. Lau’s new music is a mesmeric marriage of acoustic and electronic folk, and their fresh theatrical ideas promise a memorable live performance at Frome’s premiere music venue. Tickets are £20 each. The performance begins at 7.30pm.
On Paper: from the Arts Council Collection, Victoria Art Gallery in Bath
Up until Sunday, February 17
All the artworks in this fascinating exhibition at Bath’s Victoria Art Gallery are made from paper, used as a material in its own right rather than merely a surface to be painted or drawn upon. Among the leading artists featured are Damien Hirst, Roy Lichtenstein, Bridget Riley, Gillian Ayres and Eduardo Paolozzi. Included are large three-dimensional objects constructed from paper such as Karla Black’s delicate and sensuous hanging structures and Brian Griffiths’ giant cardboard computer. Other artists, such as Roger Ackling and Cornelia Parker, have made art from burnt, torn and cut paper. Entry costs £4.50, with concessions available and free entry for under-16s.
Somerset Chamber Choir concert, Kings College Chapel in Taunton
Sunday, February 17
A candlelit Kings College Chapel in Taunton will provide a hauntingly beautiful setting for this performance of Rachmaninov’s All-night Vigil. Interspersed with evocative poetry readings and enhanced by projected iconography and lighting, it promises to be a performance to live long in the memory. With conductor/violinist Richard Laing and pianist Anita D’Attellis. The performance begins at 4pm. Tickets from £7.50 are available from Taunton Visitor Centre.
Weston-super-Mare Literary Festival, Blackhay Theatre and Weston Museum
From Friday, February 22
This week-long festival will feature an exciting line-up of authors and events covering the entire gamut of literary genres, including talks, workshops and panel discussions at the Blakehay Theatre and Weston Museum. There is also a short story writing competition (entries to be received by February 1 and be a maximum of 800 words – visit wsm-tc.gov.uk for more information). You can buy tickets for the 18 different events online by visiting the Literary Festival Facebook page or via the Blakehay Theatre box office.
Portishead Vegan Fair, Somerset Hall in Portishead
Saturday, February 23
Celebrate plant-based living at the Portishead Vegan Fair, with an array of hot food to try, foodie treats to take home, clothing, accessories and beauty products on sale, plus much more. Upstairs in the hall, visitors can enjoy a series of vegan-related talks and cookery demonstrations. The fair runs from 10am-4pm, and entry is £2.
Snowdrop Celebration Weekend at The Bishop’s Palace, Wells
Following last year’s successful inauguration, when around 1500 visitors came to enjoy the carpets of snowdrops, the Snowdrop Celebration returns to the Bishop’s Palace in Wells. A Snowdrop Walk guide shows visitors the best route through the gardens to experience the moat banks carpeted with snowdrops and the arboretum full of spectacular different varieties. There will also be a selection of craft and plant stalls in the Stable Yard Room, with art, gifts and, of course, a selection of common and rare varieties of snowdrops on offer to buy and take home to your own garden. From 10am to 4pm. Entry is included with standard admission.
Zemlinsky String Quartet – Dvořák In America, Octagon Theatre in Yeovil
Wednesday, February 27
The Zemlinsky String Quartet, the residential ensemble of the Czech Chamber Music Society in 2016/17, has become a much lauded example of the Czech string quartet tradition and is the perfect ensemble to perform the work of celebrated composer Antonín Leopold Dvorák. Performing at Yeovil’s Octagon Theatre, the quartet will play Mozart’s Quartet K.428 and Smetana’s Quartet No.1 From My Life, as well as Dvorák’s Quartet in F Op.96 American.
Tickets are £14 for adults, concessions £12.50 and students/children £10.
Nish Kumar, Bath Forum
Wednesday, February 27
Due to overwhelming public demand, host of BBC Two’s The Mash Report, Nish Kumar has extended his nationwide tour into 2019 to include Yeovil, Bristol and February’s show at the Bath Forum. Called It’s In Your Nature To Destroy Yourselves, Nish’s show promises to explore mankind’s capacity for self-destruction in his inimitable no-frills style.
Recently hailed by The Times as ‘one of the best young comedians we have’, tickets for Nish’s shows are sure to be in high demand, so booking in advance is advised. Show begins at 7.30pm, tickets from £22.50.