What's on this month in Somerset
PUBLISHED: 13:45 31 May 2019 | UPDATED: 13:45 31 May 2019
Here's Somerset Life's top picks for shows, exhibitions and events in June
Simon Faithfull exhibition, Hestercombe
A new exhibition at Hestercombe Gallery, Cheddon Fitzpaine, by artist Simon Faithfull brings together a series of his works which allow gallery visitors to orientate themselves in relation to places across the planet. Created in response to Hestercombe and its gardens, the solo exhibition Elsewhen includes: a huge earth cutting which shows the speed that the earth's surface is moving at that particular latitude; drawings on the gallery windows, which show places across the earth on the exact compass bearing that the viewer is looking out; A Garden of Time - drawings of plants from across the world which form an imaginary garden. Entrance prices are £12.50 for adults, £6.25 for children and free for under-fives. The gallery is open every day from 11am-5pm.
Society of Graphic Fine Art Exhibition, Bishop's Palace
The Bishop's Palace Exhibition Room hosts a new show, SGFA 100, which showcases the works of members of the Society of Graphic Fine Art, and celebrates the society's 100th anniversary this year. Entrance to the exhibition is included in standard admission to the palace and gardens, which are open from 10am-6pm.
Kevin Jones exhibition, Wells & Mendip Museum
Artist Kevin Jones returns to the Wells & Mendip Museum with his new exhibition Free Structure after a popular show there last year. His work, often in pastel, conte crayon, charcoal, ballpoint pen, marker or graphite, is full of improvisation and expressionism, yet can be complex and thought provoking, with the use of multiple-image compositions. His influences include the human form, geometry, urban and coastal landscapes and music. The museum is open 10am-5pm Monday-Saturday. Admission costs £3 for adults and £1 for children.
Muse, Ashton Gate Stadium in Bristol
Wednesday, June 5, 5pm
Multi-platinum, Grammy award-winning rock icons Muse headline their first ever stadium show in the West Country, appearing for one night at Bristol's Ashton Gate Stadium as part of their Simulation Theory world tour. Muse have been heralded around the world for their incendiary and groundbreaking live shows and this tour promises to be no exception. Tickets available from £49.50.
The Ilminster Midsummer Experience has been running since 2008 and is firmly established as a major tourist attraction. There are numerous events, many of which are free, covering the arts, music, exhibitions, markets, as well as a family dog show and much more. The Classic Vehicle Show on 9 June attracts more than 200 vintage vehicles, while many visitors come to see the famous Ilminster Flag Festival that runs throughout June, with more than 100 flags across the town celebrating its businesses and organisations.
Open Farm Sunday, Langford Lakes
Sunday, June 9, 11am-4pm
Langford Lakes Christmas Tree Farm is taking part in Open Farm Sunday, the farming industry's national open day, and is opening its plantation up to visitors from 11am-4pm. People can explore the plantation and see the trees mid-growth, when they are a pale green colour, stroll through the woods and bring a picnic to enjoy by the lakes. There will be a free activity trail, refreshments and craft activities for children as well as a craft fair.
The Kingcombe Group, Ilminster Arts Centre
The natural beauty and unspoilt rural landscapes of West Dorset are the inspiration behind the latest exhibition at Ilminster Arts Centre. The Kingcombe Group comprises 11 textile artists who meet and stitch at Kingcombe, a study centre and nature reserve managed by the Dorset Wildlife Trust. Their eponymous exhibition at Ilminster's Arts Centre is sure to be of interest to Somerset's many keen embroiderers and stitchers, and to those from further afield. Set amid winding country lanes, delightful rivers and countryside, the Kingcombe Centre is a place of inspiration. This exhibition offers visitors a chance to see the different ways in which one magical place - its lanes, hedgerows, woodlands, wildlife and flowers - can nurture and inform the creative imagination. The arts centre is open Monday-Friday 9.30am-4.30pm and Saturday 9.30am-2.30pm, and entrance is free.
Chris Slade Timeline, Bath Komedia
Thursday, June 13, 7pm
Legendary drummer Chris Slade is heading to Komedia for a special one-off fundraising gig in aid of Dorothy House Hospice Care and Bath Rugby Foundation. Fifty years on from his debut with Tom Jones, Chris has since performed with many other musical greats, including AC/DC, Manfred Mann, Paul Rodgers, Gary Moore and Asia. Early bird tickets are available at £20, with standard advanced tickets £25 and on-the-door prices of £27. Ages 14 and over (under-16s must be accompanied by an adult).
The bucolic North Somerset villages of Barrow Gurney and Flax Bourton near Bristol are the locations for a varied and intimate festival featuring opera to music hall and poetry to comedy. A wide selection of fine food and local fare, as well as wine tastings, cookery demonstrations and kids theatre, will ensure the festival has something for everyone. Tickets are available for individual events, from £7.50.
The festival celebrates its fifth year this summer and will once again take over the grounds of The Bishop's Palace in Wells. The 14 acres of RHS partner gardens will be at their best, with parterres filled with the scent of roses and dramatic borders aflame with summer colour, all set amongst the medieval ramparts of the ancient Palace and its famous well pools. There will be a range of stalls, including nurseries with rare and specialist plants, food and drink, garden gadgets and tools, sculpture, outdoor seating and paints, and many more. Some of the stalls will also be hosting hands-on demonstrations. There will be live music and a range of garden-themed talks, as well as a chance to join head gardener James Cross and his team for a special Gardeners' Question Time. Tickets are £9 for adults and £4 children, with under-fives free. The gardens are open from 10am to 6pm.
Saturday, June 15, 9am-5.30pm
The unique and enjoyable event that is the National Refuse Championships takes place at Beach Lawns, Weston-super-Mare. There is always something for the whole family with food stalls, live music, a fun fair, a kids' zone, cider bar and, of course, the races! Thirty-two drivers and loaders from across the UK race against the clock in a test of strength and stamina; loading wheelie bins with sandbags before pushing them into awaiting refuse vehicles and racing to the finish line. The event is free for the whole family.
Silver Street Sessions: Southern Belle, Cotleigh Brewery in Wiveliscombe
Saturday, June 15, 8pm
Southern Belle will perform a selection of old time songs and dance tunes originating from the Appalachian Mountain. Tickets are £10 for adults and £8 for concessions.
Sunday, June 16
Wedmore village is gearing up for a repeat of last year's successful cycling event. The Wedmore 40 30 has four routes to choose from: 12, 30, 40 and 70 miles. The 12-mile route is a local fun ride, the 30-mile cycle goes across the Somerset Levels and the 40-mile route is a hilly cycle across the Mendips. Cyclists seeking a bigger challenge can embark on the 70-mile route which incorporates both the Mendips and the Levels. As the event is being held on Father's Day, children aged 16 and under can take part for free, as long as they are accompanied by an adult family member. All routes start from Wedmore playing fields. The event will raise money for Weston Hospicecare and Friends of St Mary's Church, Wedmore.
Shrouds of the Somme, Wessex Pavilion at the Bath and West Showground
Thursday, June 20
Shrouds of the Somme in the new Wessex Pavilion at the Bath and West Showground is a unique exhibition and talk that chronicles the unfathomable losses of life during the Battle of the Somme in 1916. Somerset artist Rob Heard has written a book on the theme as well as created thousands of shrouded 6in-high effigies to represent the fallen soldiers, 3,000 of which will be on display in the Main Ring. Tickets priced at £29.95 include a two-course evening meal (there are limited tickets available for just the talk at £12.50). The talk begins at 7.15pm, followed by a Q&A with Rob and supper. Rob will also be signing copies of his book, Shrouds of the Somme.
Mad Dog McRea, Bath Komedia
Thursday, June 20, 7.30pm
West Country favourites Mad Dog Mcrea will be taking to Komedia's stage with their unique mix of infectious folk, rock, gypsy jazz and bluegrass. They'll be accompanied for their first Bath show for two years by local legends The Skimmity Hitchers. From self-penned songs of adventure, drinking, love and life, to traditional songs of gypsies, fairies and legless pirates, Mad Dog's music never fails to capture an audience. The show has been rescheduled from 12 April. Tickets are £16.50. Under-16s must be accompanied by an adult.
John Law Re-Creations Quartet, Ilminster Arts Centre
Friday, June 21
One of the UK's most original jazz pianists returns to Ilminster Arts Centre with a new line-up for an evening of jazz, pop and classical music. Gifted maverick musician John Law is joined by Sam Crockatt on sax, James Agg on double bass and Billy Weir on drums, with the quartet's repertoire including jazz classics from Thelonious Monk, Miles Davis, George Gershwin, as well as well-known tunes from the likes of Pink Floyd, the Beatles, Radiohead and Adele and interpretations of classical pieces such as Kyrie from Rossini's Petite Messe Solennelle and Satie's Gymnopédie. Advance booking is recommended. The concert begins at 8pm, with tickets costing £15 (a pre-show supper at 7pm is also £15 and must be pre-booked).
June 21-23, 10.30am-3pm
Held in the courtyard of Lytes Cary Manor, the craft market showcases a variety of products that have been crafted by local artists. Entry is free to the market.
Dogfest, Ashton Court in Bristol
June 22 & 23
Now in its sixth year, Dogfest includes expert talks, dog displays, educational sessions and have-ago activities, all geared towards celebrating the bond between people and dogs and promoting animal welfare. TV presenter Clare Balding will lead the Great Dog Walk and chat to people around the course and she'll also award prizes for the Fun Dog Show. The whole event has a festival atmosphere with activities for children and a choice of food, drink and shopping.
The Secret Garden, Dunster Castle
Saturday, June 22, 7pm
Throughout the summer, Chapterhouse Theatre Company will be bringing memorable performances of six classic stories to some of the UK and Ireland's most beautiful outdoor venues, including a one-night performance of enchanting tale The Secret Garden within the picturesque grounds of Dunster Castle. Join young Mary Lennox on a journey of discovery as she is sent to her uncle's house in the countryside, where mysteries and secrets lurk round every corner. As she makes new friends and encounters magical creatures, Mary has one burning question: where is her uncle's secret garden, and where has he hidden the key? Bring your own deckchairs or blankets for the performance. Tickets are £16 for adults and £11 for children, with family tickets also available.
Cilla and the Shades of the 60s, Playhouse Theatre in Weston-Super-Mare
Tuesday, June 25, 7.30pm
Victoria Jones plays the late, great Cilla and, together with sixties vocal group, The Shades, takes audiences on a poptastic musical journey through the life and career of the legendary Cilla Black.