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What's on this month in Somerset

PUBLISHED: 17:13 01 August 2019 | UPDATED: 17:13 01 August 2019

A spectacular burlesque performance at Komedia Bath

A spectacular burlesque performance at Komedia Bath


Here's Somerset Life's top picks for shows, exhibitions and events in August

Wild Hares and Hummingbirds Exhibition, Museum of Somerset

Throughout August

Visitors to the Museum of Somerset in Taunton can discover more about the county's animals, plants and birds in a playful new exhibition opening this summer. Based on the book Wild Hares and Hummingbirds: The Natural History of an English Village by the naturalist Stephen Moss, the exhibition runs until 26 October. Throughout the summer holidays the museum will be running 'Wildlife Wednesdays' with weekly themed activities for families while there is also a display of artworks by the printmaker Jackie Curtis celebrating the landscapes and wildlife of the Somerset Levels. Entry to the exhibition is £3 for adults, £2 for children; Wednesday sessions are £2 per child. Opening times are Monday-Saturday, 10am-5pm.


RE-FORMATION Exhibition, Heritage Courtyard Gallery and Studios in Wells

Throughout August

Heritage Courtyard Gallery and Studios in Wells have curated a fine art exhibition, entitled RE-FORMATION, which is showing at the Bishops Palace from 22 July-6 October. Heritage Courtyard Gallery and Studios are dedicated to supporting West Country artists and this wonderfully varied summer exhibition includes an wealth of talent, drawn from artists of all ages from across the county and beyond, some of whom have returned to making art in later life. Concerts, talks, panel discussions, workshops and a private view on 10 August form part of the exhibition. From 10am-6pm, included in standard admission (£9 adults, £4 children, £21 families).


Valley Fest

August 2-4

Now in its fifth year, Valley Fest's line-up has always included some big names as well as plenty of rising stars. And this year promises to be no different with Basement Jaxx heading the bill. This popular weekender on a working organic farm, surrounded by the rolling Mendip hills, also showcases the region's finest produce, from charcuterie to cheddars and ciders to sausages. It is a perfect event for food lovers, first-time festival goers, plus young and maturing families. No long treks across site and plenty of activities for everyone. The packed programme will include talks, tastings and workshops galore plus more street food than you can shake a stick at. Reasonably-priced tapas will be served in the iconic tipis, cooked by Annie Coplestone of The Monmouth Table, Moro, River Cottage and River Café fame. Adult camping tickets are £135, with children's tickets from £5.40 to £54.


Outcider Festival

August 2-4

Outcider Festival, the alternative music and cider gathering held at Fernhill Farm in Compton Martin just outside Bristol, returns for its sixth consecutive year. This 500-capacity event boasts an eclectic line-up including Alabama 3, Beans On Toast, The Bar Stool Preachers, Back To The Planet, The Wood Burning Savages and Captain Accident & The Disasters, with festival favourites Skimmity Hitchers bringing the Sunday night to a close. Other eccentric attractions include ciderobics, punk rock karaoke, outdoor skittles and Ladies Day on the Sunday. Day and weekend tickets are available from £25.


Creative Coverage Exhibition, Ilminster Arts Centre

Until August 24

A selection of prominent contemporary artists will show their work in a major exhibition in Somerset this summer.

Paintings, textiles, sculpture and ceramics by eight prominent contemporary artists will feature in the Creative Coverage Exhibition at Ilminster Arts Centre this summer.

The show will feature local landscapes by Joanna Commings from Wells, abstract paintings by Angie Kenber from Bristol, textiles by Margaret Jones from West Sussex, botanical watercolours by Mary-Clare Cornwallis from Scotland, Susan Thomson from Devon and Pat Regnart from Somerset, landscapes by Caz Scott from Dorset as well as bronze and ceramic sculptures by Liz Watts from Wiltshire.

The gallery is open from 9.30am-4.30pm Monday-Friday and 9.30am-2.30pm Saturday; entrance is free.


No Limits Photographic Exhibition, College Green in Bristol

August 1-28

Active Ageing Bristol is behind a free outdoor exhibition at College Green, which will be an inspiring photographic celebration of active living. Images by writer, photographer and broadcaster Alex Rotas will depict champion athletes who are still competing, winning medals and breaking records well into their 'retirement' years.

The oldest athlete featured in the No Limits exhibition is Man Kaur, still competing internationally as a shot putter at 103. Viewing is free and because the eco-friendly display system is fitted with solar lighting can be seen at any time.


Taunton Flower Show

August 3-4

You don't need to be a gardening enthusiast to appreciate the many delights the show has to offer, though if you are, there's plenty for those with green fingers.

The show is packed with entertainment to discover from a range of bands and singers in the Festival Village or while discovering culinary delights at Fountain Green. There's even an inflatable bar and a fantastic Food Hall full of artisan food to taste and buy.


Exmoor Explorer

Sunday, August 4

This long-running non-competitive mountain bike event has keen cyclists returning year after year because of its fabulous organisation, friendly team and most of all stunning scenery. Riders can choose the 20-mile route or extra 10/15-mile extensions - all of which wind through the glorious scenery of Exmoor National Park. A memorable if exhausting day for adults and older children alike. Entrance is £35.


The Weston-Super-Mare Vegan Fair

Sunday, August 4, 10am-4pm

Following the success of last year, the Vegan Fair will return to Weston-Super-Mare's Tropicana this summer. In a celebration of all things plant-based, visitors can expect delicious food and drink, ethical clothing brands, cruelty-free cosmetics and eco-friendly household products. Alongside a host of traders, there will be a programme of talks and cookery demonstrations on stage, as well as some special guests too. Entry is £2 and under 14s can attend for free.


Outdoor Theatre at The Bishop's Palace

August 4 & 16

This summer, let yourself be entertained in the picturesque surroundings of the Bishop's Palace in Wells with two fabulous outdoor theatre performances. On August 4, Boxtree Productions perform The Legend of King Arthur on the South Lawn, a tale of medieval folklore to match the 13th-century backdrop of the Great Hall. To finish the season, join Heartbreak Productions on 16 August for an adaptation of Emily Bronte's Wuthering Heights, a haunting tale of two restless souls as wild and untamed as the bleak Yorkshire moors. Both productions begin at 6:30pm and audiences are invited to bring a picnic blanket or low-backed seating along with their own picnic and drinks. The performances will take place regardless of the weather, so do dress appropriately! Tickets are from £14 for adults, £9 for children, and £40 for families.


The Argument, Theatre Royal in Bath

August 7-24

The summer season at Bath's Theatre Royal continues with a darkly funny new comedy by best-selling novelist William Boyd about the complexities of relationships. The cast includes Felicity Kendal (The Good Life, Hay Fever) and Rupert Vansittart (Game of Thrones, Gentleman Jack), with Christopher Luscombe (Nell Gwynn, winner of the 2016 Olivier Award for Best New Comedy) directing. Tickets are from £27 with Monday-Saturday evening performances at 7.30pm and Thursday and Saturday matinees at 2.30pm.



Saturday, August 10, 10am-4pm

The award-winning eat:Festivals makes a stop at Portishead this month, with plenty of local food and drink businesses showcasing their produce for visitors to sample and buy. As well as traders, there'll be live entertainment, cookery demonstrations and music to enjoy. Entry is free.


Much Ado About Nothing, Barrington Court

Friday, August 16

As part of a summer programme of open air theatre at National Trust properties in south Somerset, Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing comes to Barrington Court, near Ilminster, courtesy of musical troupe Three Inch Fools. Quarrels, deceptions and a frustratingly stupid man called Dogberry are all part of this rapid fire and inventive comedy. Audience members are invited to bring rugs, chairs and picnic, but watch out, the actors have been known to snaffle a sandwich or two! Performances start at 7pm, with tickets priced £15 for adults and £8 for children.


We The Animals, Curzon cinema in Clevedon

Sunday, August 18

Part of a packed summer programme, The Curzon cinema in Clevedon's Special showing is We The Animals, based on the celebrated Justin Torres novel. It is a visceral coming-of-age story propelled by nuanced performances from its astounding cast - including three talented, young first-time actors - and stunning animated sequences. Drawing from his documentary background, director Jeremiah Zagar creates an immersive portrait of working-class family life and brotherhood. From 7.30pm, tickets are £7.80 or £5.50 for under 25s. Concessions are also available.


Moby Dick, Tobacco Factory Theatres in Bristol

August 18-26

In August, Tobacco Factory Theatres co-presents an immersive promenade performance of Moby Dick on board Brunel's SS Great Britain. Masters of site-specific theatre Darkstuff Productions bring their critically acclaimed re-imagining of the journey in pursuit of the legendary white whale to this iconic Bristol attraction. Tickets from £12, with £10 tickets available for 16-26-year-olds.


Burnham Model Railway Show

August 24-25

The Burnham-on-Sea & District Model Railway Club will be holding their next show during the August bank holiday weekend from 10am-4pm at King Alfred School in Highbridge. There will be at least 15 layouts covering a range of different scales, as well as an ever-popular Lego layout. Adults £5, family £10.


Mendip Ramblers Walking Festival

August 24-26

This year Mendip Ramblers' annual free walking festival will be based in Shepton Mallet over the August Bank Holiday weekend. On each day there will be three morning walks, ranging from approximately 3 to 11 miles, starting at 10am, and a shorter 3 to 4-mile walk, starting at 1.30pm. New and inexperienced walkers, children with their families, and non-Ramblers are all welcome. Tea and cake will be available after each walk. Walks will start from Shepton Mallet Leisure Centre with ample free parking nearby.


Town and Country Exhibition, Ilminster Arts Centre

From August 27

Two award-winning wildlife artists from the Forest of Dean are returning to Ilminster Arts Centre with Town & Country, an exhibition that explores the beauty and wonder of the British countryside. Graphic designer Chris Sinden and award-winning artist Jackie Cox last exhibited in Ilminster in 2017, but visitors to the Arts Centre will know their work because Chris' greetings cards and Jackie's hand-painted silk scarves are stocked in the craft shop. Chris captures wildlife subjects using linocuts, while

Jackie works in coloured pencils and scraperboard. The exhibition is open Monday- Friday 9.30am-4.30pm, and Saturday 9.30am-2.30pm. Admission is free.


The Ministry Of Burlesque: Cabaret, Bath Komedia

Friday, August 30

Fusing the wild, weird and witty traditions of circus, cabaret and burlesque, the Ministry of Burlesque's Cabaret brings its bold and daring variety performance to Bath Komedia. Enjoy a myriad of musical comedy masters, provocative prima donnas and enigmatic exotic dancers. Show begins at 8pm. Tickets are £20, with concessions (£13), student (£9), and meal deal (£30.50) tickets available. Suitable for ages 18 and over.


CLICK HERE to see more festivals taking place in Somerset this month.


Contact Catherine.Courtenay@archant.co.uk or Elizabeth.Hartland@archant.co.uk to let us know about events happening in and around Somerset.

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