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What's on this month in Somerset

PUBLISHED: 17:13 01 January 2020 | UPDATED: 16:26 08 January 2020

Buddy – The Buddy Holly Story at Yeovil’s Octagon Theatre

Buddy - The Buddy Holly Story at Yeovil's Octagon Theatre


Here's Somerset Life's top picks for shows, events and all other kinds of festive fun in January


7 January 

Art Society Mendip Talk

The society's fascinating programme of guest lectures continues with Kicking and Screaming: a brief history of post war art. Art historian Linda Smith visits Strode Theatre in Street to review the key developments in British art in the post-war era. Free entry, members and guests welcome. From 11am.




2-25 January

Open Prizewinners' Exhibition

Eight prizewinning artists return to Ilminster Arts Centre to take part in a special group exhibition celebrating their success in last year's Ilminster Open Competition. The exhibition includes work by Devon-based artist Elaine Dixon, who won the top prize with her enigmatic charcoal drawing Party Time, and Sam Dodd, who won the coveted People's Choice Award with her stunning painting Kingfisher. The gallery is open Monday-Friday from 9.30am-4.30pm and Saturday from 9.30am-2.30pm; admission is free.



From 25 January 

Hauser & Wirth Exhibitions

Hauser & Wirth is showing two fascinating exhibitions in Bruton until 4 May, both of which are deeply rooted in the Somerset community and landscape. Don McCullin's exhibition, The Stillness of Life, will be solely focused on landscape photography, including images from around his home in Batcombe and the wider countryside. Not Vital is a Swiss artist who is installing a series of sculptures and installations, entitled SCRATCH, drawing on the relationship between art, landscape and human perception. Open Tuesday-Sunday from 10am-4pm.




12 January

Cinema Obscura Film Society - Green Book

Wiveliscombe's film society is showing Peter Farrelly's Oscar-winning film Green Book at the town's primary school in January. This bittersweet tale focuses on a working class Italian-American bouncer who becomes a driver for an African American classical pianist in the American South during the 1960s. From 7.30pm. Tickets are £5 or season membership for seven films is £22.



17 January

Sounds Of The 70s Live With Johnnie Walker

Following the success of Tony Blackburn's Sounds of the '60s live tour, legendary DJ Johnnie Walker takes BBC Radio 2's popular Sounds of the '70s radio show on the road in 2020, visiting Weston-super-Mare's Playhouse Theatre. The show will be hosted by Walker, who will offer his personal stories and memories from the 1970s, and will feature a live band and singers who will perform an array of classic hits from throughout the decade. Tickets start at £33, doors from 7pm.



18 January

Burns Supper Celebrations 

Fans of Robert Burns, the famous Scottish bard, will be able to celebrate his life and work at Cadbury House in Congressbury, which will be putting on its annual Burns Night celebrations. Guests will be served a traditional meal of haggis, neeps, tatties and whisky, and be entertained by the sounds of the 12-piece City of Bristol pipe and drummers. Revellers can then dance the night away until 1am. Tickets are £37 per person.



24 January

Joe Brown's 60th Anniversary Tour

Legendary musician Joe Brown celebrates 60 years in the business with a staggering 78-date live tour, including one night at Weston-super-Mare's Playhouse Theatre. Combining timeless classics, rockabilly, gospel, country, bluegrass, and rock 'n' roll with Joe's effervescent delivery and humorous reminiscences, this sensational show is a musical journey not to be missed. 

From 7.30pm, tickets from £32.



30 January

Sound Of The Sirens

Exeter-based band Sound of the Sirens bring their unique blend of folk and rock back to Taunton's Brewhouse, which they sold out in 2017. After playing some of the UK's biggest music festivals last year, duo Abbe Martin and Hannah Wood are returning to the more intimate venues that suit their exquisite harmonies. From 7.30pm, tickets from £14.




15-18 January

Living Spit's Swan Lake

Part of Blakehay Theatre's Dance Dynamic season, Living Spit and Theatre Orchard have teamed up to bring what they believe is the smallest and funniest ballet ever performed to Weston-super-Mare. From 7.30pm, tickets are from £11.50. 



16-18 January

Buddy - The Buddy Holly Story 

The world's most successful rock & roll musical Buddy - The Buddy Holly Story has wowed audiences in the West End, Broadway and around the world for 30 years. It visits Yeovil's Octagon Theatre this month. Various performances from 2.30-7.30pm. Limited tickets from £24, with concessions available.



23-25 January

Mark Thomas - 50 Things About Us

Heading to the Bridgwater Arts Centre on 23 January and Bristol's Tobacco Factory on 24-25 February, comedian Mark Thomas picks through the myths, facts and figures of our national identities with his trademark mix of storytelling, stand-up and subversion. Both shows from 8pm. Bridgwater tickets £18 or £13 for concessions; Bristol tickets from £13.50.

bridgwaterartscentre.  cloudvenue.co.uk or




Throughout January 

Africa State Of Mind Exhibition

Running until 1 March, Africa State of Mind is a new group photography exhibition at the Royal West of England Academy, Bristol, that gathers together the work of an emergent generation of photographers from across the African continent. With artworks by 15 artists from 10 different countries, the exhibition explores Africa as a state of mind as much as a physical location. Open Tuesday-Saturday, 10am- 5.30pm; Sunday, 11am-5pm. Entrance costs £7.95 for adults, £6.75 for concessions, with under-18s free (book in advance to save £1 on your admission).



Throughout January

Peter Brown: Bath Is It Exhibition

An exhibition of more than 100 new oil paintings and drawings by the popular Bath-based artist Peter Brown is showing at the Victoria Art Gallery until 2 February, Peter Brown: Bath Is It will celebrate the streets and green places of Bath, along with views of Glastonbury Festival, and more far-flung places painted by the artist on his travels, including New York, Havana and Hôi An. Humorous diary entries will provide a fascinating insight into the working processes of an artist who is widely acclaimed as one of Britain's best plein air painters. Open daily from 10.30am-5pm. Adult entry from £4.50, children under 18 free, concessions available.



3 January


Rock n Roll stalwarts Showaddywaddy sold more than 20 million records since they formed in Leicester in the 1970s and visit Bath's Komedia on their 40th anniversary tour. Their dynamic live show features all their biggest hits, including Under The Moon Of Love, Blue Moon and Pretty Little Angel Eyes. Doors open 7pm, tickets are £25.



Until 5 January

Candace Bahouth Exhibition

Not only can you find the traditional collections of Rembrandt and Matisse at the Holburne Museum in Bath, a new exhibition explores the modern art of Candace Bahouth, marking the emergence of The Holburne as a destination for lovers of contemporary art. Bahouth's vibrant, witty and uplifting collection has been described as 'a riot of colour, pattern and mosaic'. The Holbourne is open daily from 10am-5pm. Entry costs from £11, with concessions from £5.50, and under-18s free. 

Free entry also on Wednesdays from 3-5pm.holbourne.org


From 15 January 

The Book of Mormon 

Broadway's smash-hit musical from the creators of South Park is coming to The Bristol Hippodrome for a five-week run. The Tony, Olivier and Grammy award-winning show written by Trey Parker and Matt Stone, as well as Frozen co-writer Robert Lopez, follows a pair of Mormon boys sent on a mission far away from their home in Salt Lake City. Tickets from £13. Evening shows begin at 7.30pm, with additional Friday and Saturday matinees at 2.30pm.



20-25 January

God Of Carnage

Yasmina Reza's Tony Award-winning play God of Carnage, starring Downton Abbey's Elizabeth McGovern, comes to the Theatre Royal Bath prior to a West End run. This ruthlessly comic study of middle-class parenting by the author of Art also stars Nigel Lindsay, Samantha Spiro and Simon Paisley Day. Evening performances start at 7.30pm, with Wednesday and Saturday matinees at 2.30pm. Seated tickets from £26.25, standing tickets, standbys and concessions available.



22 January

Rolling Funder Slapstick Fundraiser

Five stand-out stand-up comedians will be on the bill of a fundraiser at The Forum in Bath, to help the UK's biggest celebration of silent screen and classic comedy - Slapstick - to begin hosting events in the city. The event stars Omid Djalili, Jon Richardson, Count Arthur Strong, Lucy Porter and Angela Barnes and will be the first the Bristol-based festival has held in neighbouring Bath. From 7.30pm. Tickets from £22.50.



23-26 January

Slapstick Festival

Bristol's Old Vic and Redgrave Theatre host a weekend of eclectic comedy events following two evenings of archival silent comedy at the Watershed. The festival features appearances from Harry Hill, Barry Cryer, Rob Brydon, Tim Brooke-Taylor and many more. Programme times and prices vary, with festival passes also available.



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