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What’s on February


Murder, Margaret and Me, Salisbury Playhouse, 1-24 Feb

Agatha Christie and Margaret Rutherford, two of our greatest and most celebrated national treasures, should never have been friends. But they were. Their paths crossed when they found themselves at the heart of one of British cinema’s most successful franchises. However, the Miss Marple films almost didn’t get made. Murder, Margaret and Me is a story of friendship in the long-lost world of the silver screen. As Agatha and Margaret play tug of war with Marple, Agatha (being a woman who wasn’t without a secret or two herself) unearths the shocking truth buried in Margaret’s past.


Snowdrop season, Painswick Rococo Gardens, Painswick, throughout Feb

blanket of snowdrops tree trunks

Always cheery to see these white jewels popping up and if you really want to feast on the first sign of spring, head to the Rococo Gardens where you’ll also be treated to hellebores, cyclamen and wood anemone. The café is fab with homemade lunches and cakes that are incredibly hard to resist. You have been warned!


Wiltshire Pop Up Restaurant Night – A Game Feast, Broad Chalke, Fri 2 Feb

Check out The Cellar & Pantry Pop Up Restaurant for something special. After the success of the first Game Feast, they are back with another three course, gamey (of course) meal. Book now.


Robbie Williams’ tribute, The Cricklade Club, Cricklade, Sat 3 Feb

The amazing March Hopkins rocks up as Robbie Williams this Saturday night with a starlit backdrop, no less. Tickets in advance or on the door, so don’t get Old Before (You) Die, Let (Him) Entertain You. Sorry. thecrickladeclub


Suggs – Life in the Realm of Madness, City Hall Salisbury, Sat 3 Feb

Due to huge popular demand, after his first tour-de-force, smash hit, one-man show, ‘My Life Story’, Suggs is treading the boards again. If the first show was about how on Earth he got there, Suggs: A Life in the Realm of Madness is about the surprises that awaited him when he did.


Tango Moderno, Theatre Royal, Bath, to Sat 3 Feb

Photo Manuel Harlan

Strictly Come Dancing faves, former World Champions, West End stars, etc, etc, Vincent Simone and Flavia Cacace make out to music, er, I mean dance the tango.


Snowdrops at Newark Park, near Wotton-under-Edge, from Sat 3 Feb

close up of a snowdrop

The Tudor hunting lodge reopens its doors after its winter rest in time for the spectacular snowdrop display in the grounds. Sooo pretty.


A Passage to India, Bristol Old Vic, Bristol, to Sat 3 Feb

Photo Idil Sukan

The advice was harsh but clear, and Aziz ignored it. Now he lies in jail on a charge of sexual assault. Forster’s masterpiece poses a question more urgent today than ever: how can we love one another in a world divided by culture and belief? Multi award-winning ensemble simple8 transport us to Imperial India with original music played live on stage by legendary composer Kuljit Bhamra.


Wicked, Bristol Hippodrome, to Sat 3 March

Photo: Matt Crockett

The untold story of the Witches of Oz – or how two sorcery students became the Wicked Witch of the West (boo, hiss) and Glinda the Good.


Land, Sea and Sky, Chapel Arts, Cheltenham, to Sat 24 Feb

Master of pastels Michael Norman, local landscape painter Kim Jarvis and wildlife artist Jackie Cox are just three of the artists in the latest exhibition at Cheltenham’s alternative gallery.


Flashdance: The Musical, Everyman Theatre, Cheltenham, to Sat 3 Feb

Poster for Flashdance

A fabulous stage version of the brilliant 1983 film, this will make you feel hot with nostalgia and leave you with What a Feeling ringing in your ears. Read the Muddy review


Wine-Tasting Experience, Three Choirs Vineyard, near Gloucester, throughout Feb, Tuesdays to Fridays, 10:30am

woman drinking wine

Apparently mid-week skives are good for you (read all about it here), and moderate wine drinking is too of course, so hello, do this for your health. A bit of a tour, some wine quaffing and a light lunch. That’ll cheer up February nicely thank you.


The Malthouse Collective first floor opening, Stroud, from Fri 2 Feb

upstairs gallery space at Malthouse Collective

Stroud’s eclectic interiors emporium is about to double in size, so hide your credit cards! Already an irresistible retail proposition (my husband is now limiting my visits), a new second floor will offer even more goodies including art, comic books, toys and an Audio Attic, which sounds like perfect husband bait to help me keep my Malthouse habit going.


Hotsteppas, The Marshall Rooms, Stroud, Fri 2 Feb, 8-11pm

This Bristol eight-piece will warm up your winter soul. Splicing trad reggae with modern dub, funk and Latin sounds, you can check them out here and here. Good, aren’t they? Don’t miss them live.


Snowdrops at Newark Park, near Wotton-under-Edge, from Sat 3 Feb

The Tudor hunting lodge reopens its doors after its winter rest in time for the spectacular snowdrop display in the grounds. Sooo pretty.


Counter Heritage: Stroud’s Alternative Histories, Wild Boar Gin Lounge, Centre for Science and Art, Stroud, Sat 3 Feb, 10am-1am

There are a lot of key words here piquing my interest – counter, heritage, alternative, GIN. A 15-hour relay of talks, walks, tours and performances, it feels like anything could happen here with music, poetry, dancing and art all poised to entertain you.


The Tristan Watson and Patsy Gamble Jazz Trio, Stroud Brewery, Thrupp, Sat 3 Feb, 7.30-10pm

Live music at Stroud Brewery woman with saxaphone

Get into a jazz groove with this local offering who will be playing a collection of Latin numbers and bluesy jazz in the salubrious surroundings of the wonderful Stroud Brewery.


Yin Yoga for Self Love, The Yoga Glow, Stroud Yoga Space, Stroud, Sun 4 Feb, 10.30am-12.30pm

Jay The Yoga Glow chlld pose

A special heart-themed session with the amazing Jay, aka The Yoga Glow, whose workshops always leave you glowing. In this one, the heart is the star of the show with a practice that will stimulate it and the meridians that help us love and be loved. The perfect pre-Valentine’s Day primer.


Sunday Shoot, Calcot Manor, near Tetbury, Sun 4 Feb, 10-11.30am

If yoga’s not your thing, how about a spot of clay pigeon shooting, what ho?! Roaming around the gorgeous grounds of Calcot, you’ll have 50 clays to take aim at before finishing at 11.30am just in time for a pre-prandial sherry before lunch in The Gumstool Inn with its cosy fire. Sunday nirvana.


Meet the Author: Tom Chesshyre, Calcot Manor, near Tetbury, Mon 5 Feb, 12pm for 12.30pm

Tom Chesshyre book From Source to Sea

The Times’ deputy travel editor visits Gloucestershire’s most chichi hotel to discuss his new book From Source to Sea, an account of his journey from the source of the Thames in a meadow near Cirencester all along the length of the river to London. Along the way he meets fishermen and boat builders, river police and down and outs, is a guest at a Hindu water ceremony, sleeps in a shepherd’s hut and parties on houseboats by Tower Bridge. Literature, lunch and lovely wine – that’ll sort out any Monday blues. £29.50, tel: 01666 890391,


Sushi course, Devizes, 7 Feb

Take a journey through the art of cooking sticky sushi rice, plus learn Japanese-tastic knife skills to help you make different types of beautiful looking sushi. This is your chance to find out how easy it s once you know the tips. Um, we’ll see…


Tim Vine: Sunset Milk Idiot, Wyvern Theatre, Swindon, 7-8 Feb

Hey people! It’s Tim Vine back on tour, telling lots of silly new jokes, showing off new homemade props, singing some new daft ditties, and all with the appearance of confidence. The following subjects will be touched upon briefly: pixie football, ice cream and nibble feeders. Come along, sit down, and laugh. The quantity won’t let up. This is comedy without a message. What an odd person. What a lot of nonsense. What else is he going to do? ‘Sunsets are in the sky, milk’s nice, and I’m an idiot.’


Imagine Children’s Festival, Southbank Centre, Weds 7 Feb – Sun 18 Feb

12 days of jam-packed half-term fun in this brilliant annual festival by kids for kids. Aimed at 0-12 year olds, there’s a mind-boggling array of activities and events, including a whole clutch of free possibilities in The Clore Ballroom, Roald Dahl’s Revolting Rhymes, dance-theatre Tidy Up, Fun DMC, Bedtime stories, plus debut authors comedian Harry Hill and Radio One’s Greg James.


Quartet, Everyman Theatre, Cheltenham, Thu 8 to Sat 17

4 actors in Quartet stage play

This charming tale of a group of ageing opera singers who live in a retirement home in Kent brings to mind a cross between The Real Marigold Hotel and Private Lives. And, in fact, one of the all-star cast did star in the former, EastEnders‘ Paul Nicholas. He’s joined by Coronation Street’s Wendi Peters, Sue Holderness (Only Fools and Horses) and Drop the Dead Donkey’s Jeff Rawle for a comedy of manners about the chaos and hilarity that unfolds when rumours emerge in the home that a celebrity is coming to take up residence. Newish Everyman CEO Mark Goucher (he joined last year) puts on his production hat for this Ronald Harwood play which will go on a UK tour after its Cheltenham debut.


The Woodentops, The Marshall Rooms, Stroud, Fri 9 Feb, 8-11pm

band members of The Woodentops

The cult indie band formed in 1983 still sounds as good as ever and its singles, including Good Thing, will bring back sweet memories if you’re a certain vintage.


Pop-Up Restaurant, Miserden Nursery, Miserden, Fri 9 & Sat 10 Feb

plate of food

This month it’s the turn of Ruben Leon-Acosta to titillate the taste buds at Gloucestershire’s most atmospheric supper club as the Cuban chef launches the first of his Cotswold pop-up dining events Nomada. He learned his craft in Cuba, Thailand, Vietnam and Morocco, has cooked with Michelin-starred chefs, did a stint at Ottolenghi and loves rustling up rustic dishes with a Thai twist. The evening will be kicking off with a Projito, a Prosecco Mojito with lemongrass – yum! – then it’s BYO for a feast of consommé with prawn & lemongrass relish to start, a main of Thai red curry with chicken, jasmine rice & a Monks offering, and for dessert, rice caramel with sesame seeds & peanuts. Don’t mull it over too long, tickets are going fast!


MET Opera: Donizetti’s L’Elisir D’Amore, Salisbury, 10 Feb

This live screening of Donizetti’s comic gem, staged by Bartlett Sher and conducted by Domingo Hindoyan, stars Pretty Yende as the spirited Adina, with Matthew Polenzani as Nemorino, the simple peasant who falls in love with her. Domingo Hindoyan makes his company debut conducting. salisburyartscentre


Lambing, Cotswold Farm Park, Guiting Power, near Cheltenham, Sat 10 Feb to Sun 15 April

lambs in a barn

The cutest signs of spring will be appearing on Adam Henson’s beautiful farm just in time for half term. Open-dated tickets mean you can book in then choose a day when the sun’s out (if we get one, fingers crossed!), but if we don’t there’s a new Animal Barn to cosy up in.


A Taste of the Past, Stonehenge, Sat 10 Feb – Mon 19 Feb

Stonehenge is regarded as a British cultural icon, and is one of the most famous landmarks in the UK, but have you ever wondered how the food was prepared for the people who worked there many years ago? Take an historical trip and join Neolithic cooks for an exciting look at the food that fed the builders of Stonehenge.


Kid 4 a quid, Monkey World, nr Wareham, 10-18 Feb

Calling all kids! Yes, you big ones too. Bring a present for the primates and kids get in for only £1.


Light Up Cheltenham, various locations around Cheltenham, Sat 10 to Sun 18 Feb

drummers lit up on stairs

Photography Chris Maines Beasley

Half-term week will see buildings around the Regency spa town lit up in a two-colour theme, which on Valentine’s Day will switch to smoochy red. The event kicks off at 5pm on Sat 10 with street theatre drumming group Spark! putting on a percussion extravaganza in the new public space in The Brewery Quarter next to Cosy Club. Then at 6.15pm the Cheltenham Community Choir will perform near The Queen’s Hotel. Floodlights will be seen on The Municipal Offices, The Queen’s Hotel, Boots, the Brewery Quarter and the Town Hall, with plans afoot  to try to light the new John Lewis building on the High Street too. (Perhaps that will hurry up its completion date – how long can we wait?!)


Orchid Festival, Kew Gardens, London, 10 Feb – 11 March

Things are going totally tropical this month at London’s gorgeous Kew Gardens. Their annual orchid festival takes in Insta-friendly displays of the vibrant Thai blooms, Thai street food and musical performances, workshops on how to grow these notoriously tricky flowers and Thai afternoon tea at The Botanical restaurant. King prawn, lemongrass and coriander tartlet followed by Thai sticky coconut cream rice with mango salsa? Yes please.


The Little Mix Experience, Swindon, 11 Feb

If you’re a fan of one of X Factor’s finest exports you’re sure to L.O.V.E. The Little Mix Experience. Four hugely talented girls pay tribute to one of the UK’s finest girl bands. With breathtaking dance moves, replica costumes and some of the finest vocals in the UK, this is a high-energy show from beginning to end.


Valentine’s Tea, Lucknam Park, 12-18 Feb

Where better to indulge in a traditional English afternoon tea than at Lucknam Park Hotel, an 18th century Palladian mansion set amidst 500 glorious acres of beautiful gardens and unspoilt parkland? Bring your loved one and cosy up in their elegant Drawing Room or Library and enjoy the stunning views of the estate.


Half term fun, Woolley Grange, Bradford on Avon, 12-25 Feb

Stay at Woolley during Feb half-term and you can enjoy the hotel at its best. The Woolley Bears Den is humming with activities for the littlies and there’s fun programme for older children too. So kick back and enjoy a real break.


The Gingerbread Man, Salisbury Playhouse, 13-14 Feb

Imagine being born in an oven and the first person you meet wants to dunk you in his tea. Come and see the adventure of the deliciously smelling Gingerbread Man and meet the bravest biscuit of all times. Stuff and Nonsense apply their usual brilliance with a mix of puppetry, live action, great music, humour and a stunning staging of this well-loved classic tale.


Rebecca Ferguson, City Hall Salisbury, Wed 14 Feb

The X Factor star gained fame back in 2010 and she has gone from strength to strength, now wending her way to Wilts for a veeeerrrrry special night.


Theatre Fest West: Whey Down South, Salisbury, 14 Feb

Join a theatrical quest to preserve the age old tradition of cheese rolling and fight the looming influence of big money. Will the community band together, or will it crumble like a finely aged cheddar? Jenny stands at the top of the hill. Her legs shake, her top lip trembles. The decline before her beckons. The wind pushes at her back. This is her time, the hill her arena. Will Jenny defy the expectations of friends and family, risking severe bodily harm (and probable legal action) to save the Little Curdlington Cheese-Rolling?


Valentine’s Day Special, Harts Barn Cookery School, Wed 14 Feb, 6:30pm

Chocolate, oysters, Prosecco – let’s hit those aphrodisiacs hard! Another alternative to the candlelit dining option, making chocolate truffles together sounds much more fun. And when you’re done, you can relax over some fresh oysters and a glass of Prosecco, before you head home loved up with chocolates in hand.


Banff Mountain Film Festival, Swindon, 15 Feb

Experience an evening of extraordinary short films from the world’s most prestigious mountain film festival. Follow the expeditions of some of today’s most incredible adventurers, see amazing footage of adrenaline packed action sports and be inspired by thought-provoking pieces shot from the far flung corners of the globe.


Point of Echoes, Trowbridge, 16 Feb

The year is 1978, isolated from the mainland, Eric Valentine and Bernard Humphries have been stationed at Echo Point lighthouse, somewhere off the coast of England. The unlikely strangers have just begun to lay down foundations for this odd working relationship when the uncanny occurs. Point of Echoes is a haunting tale of love, death and monsters, blending the tones of a Wes Anderson movie with the eerie dread of The Twilight Zone. trowbridgearts


Stroud Brewery Pop-Up Bar, Market House, Minchinhampton, Fri 16 Feb, 5-11pm

Grab a takeaway and head over to Minch where Stroud Brewery will be laying on drinks and hosting a mellow night of live music and ale, which might be just what the doctor ordered come the end of half-term week.


Voodoo Room: Celebrating Jimi Henrix, Eric Claptom & Cream, Bacon Theatre, Cheltenham, Sat 17 Feb, 7.30pm

This fab trio have toured with the likes of Massive Attach and Stevie Winwood, and belt out the classics from the classics, including Hey JoeSunshine of Your LifeLayla and Purple Haze. Go touch the sky for the night.


Calne Wedding Fair, 17-18 Feb

Two days of pure organza, mother-of-the bride hell. Or heaven, depending on how you see it. calneweddingfair


Cara Dillon, Bradford on Avon, 17 Feb

A captivating show with one of the finest exponents of Irish song, Cara Dillon will be performing
material from her new album Wanderer, a collection of beautiful and melancholic songs which she performs with cut-glass clarity.


Birdsong, Everyman Theatre, Cheltenham, Mon 19 to Sat 24 Feb

soldiers on stage Birdsong

A mesmerising story of love and courage, this stage version of Sebastian Faulks’s novel about the Great War is a sell-out sensation. Not. To. Be. Missed. We at Muddy can’t wait to see it, so watch out for the Muddy review.


Some Mother’s Do ‘Ave ‘Em, Swindon, 21-24 Feb

Everyone’s favourite 1970s classic TV comedy, Some Mothers Do ‘Ave ‘Em is back with Joe Pasquale starring as the loveable accident-prone Frank Spencer, Sarah Earnshaw as his wife Betty and Susie Blake as his disapproving Mother-in-Law, Mrs Fisher.


The Great Train Robbery, Salisbury Playhouse, 22 Feb

It’s 1963: the heist of the century is underway. Signals are scrambled, phone lines cut and millions of pounds in cash – stolen. Five days later the first clues are found, the gang is busted and the rest is history. But what about the ones that got away? In this version of events, the anonymous four were women, hired to clean the robbers’ hide-out. After all, in 1963 who would suspect a woman?


RNT Live: Cat On A Hot Tin Roof, Salisbury, 22 Feb

Benedict Andrews’ thrilling revival of Tennessee Williams’ twentieth century masterpiece stars Sienna Miller alongside Jack O’Connell and Colm Meaney. On a steamy night in Mississippi, a Southern family gather at their cotton plantation to celebrate Big Daddy’s birthday. The scorching heat is almost as oppressive as the lies they tell. Brick and Maggie dance round the secrets and sexual tensions that threaten to destroy their marriage. With the future of the family at stake, which version of the truth is real – and which will win out?


Devizes Festival of Winter Ales, 23-24 Feb

Photo by Wil Stewart on Unsplash

A delicious celebration of bespoke, warming winter ales and ciders, with live music and Street Festival style entertainment.


The Slimline Shufflers, The Wheatsheaf, Chilton Foliat, 23 Feb

Catch this 3-piece rhythm n’ blues band at The Wheatsheaf, Muddy’s latest fave pub/venue.


Murder Mystery Evening, Stanton Manor, 24 Feb

The former judges of Strict Lee’s Come Dancing Show are having a VIP Dinner to celebrate the relaunch of the famous show after five years off the air. They have had just a one off Reunion Show and ratings were through the roof. The network wants them back but at what cost……surely not murder?


The Royal Ballet: A Winter’s Tale (live stream), Bradford on Avon, 28 Feb

Shakespeare’s tale of love and loss becomes compelling dance drama in choreographer Christopher Wheeldon’s ballet adaptation, with music by Joby Talbot.


Iford Arts Young Artists’ Opera Showcase, Bradford on Avon, 28 Feb

The programme includes the opening scene from The Marriage of Figaro, a selection of bel canto arias and songs by Sondheim and Bernstein including Glitter and be gay, in anticipation of Iford Arts’ 2018 production of Candide. Musical Director Oliver Gooch is joined by two of the finest young singers who performed in Iford’s 2017 opera season.


Variety Night: Grayson Perry, Sir Michael Parkinson, Gareth Malone, New Theatre Oxford, Weds 28 Feb

Perry, Parkinson and Malone. The most unlikely boyband ever? A new firm of solicitors? Actually, the artist, the interviewer and the choirmaster are appearing together, in conversation, on stage for this charity fundraiser. What on earth will they talk about? We’re promised ‘laughs, discussion, insight and costume changes’ (presumably the latter from Perry rather than Parkinson).


Stan and Mable and the Race for Space, Bradford on Avon, 3 March

A whole carnival of animals escape from the School for Wild and Dangerous Animals in search of a safe place to call home. This show features a brand-new illustrated story by Jason Chapman and original music by children’s composer Paul Rissmann.


That’ll Be The Day, Swindon, 3 March

The UK’s premier Rock & Roll production returns with another brand new show. Highly acclaimed for its stunning LIVE entertainment value, That’ll Be The Day is an outstanding celebration for all true fans of the golden era of popular music. This latest production features a fantastic new-line-up of smash hits spanning the 50s, 60s & 70s, plus more side-splitting comic sketches, all performed live on-stage.


21st Century Abstracts, Salisbury, 3-31 March

Artist John Munro describes his pictures, with their zinging colours and powerful paerns, as truly modern works of art which appeal to ‘the bravest of the brave art buyers’, adding that abstract art tends to be purchased by people who are innovative, forward-looking, enterprising and optimistic. See for yourself!


Pre-Cheltenham Festival Ball & Auction, The Hollow Bottom, Guiting Power, near Cheltenham, Sat 3 Mar

woman jumping in air blue sky The Hollow Bottom is the pub to head to for Cheltenham Race Week if you want to avoid the craziness of the Spa town but still imbibe the fun of the races, and this ball is just the thing to get you out of the gate. A night of champagne and canapés, dinner and wine, cheese and port, magic from Andy Cole and dancing to The Shy-Teds. Only £75 and it’s all in aid of Help Chloe Live. Tel: 01451 850392,


Book ahead for…

Wychwood Festival, Cheltenham Racecourse, Glos, Fri 1 to Sun 3 June

This three-day shindig is on its 14th outing and this year is once again promising a cornucopia of live music alongside comedy, workshops, kids’ fun and real ale. Pitch a tent (or grab yourself a luxury tepee) and stay for the whole weekend or just book in for a day. Previous acts have included the Buzzcocks, Billy Bragg, The Levellers, OMD and The Strypes, so expect quality music and a kid-friendly, chilled-out vibe.

Book now for more of our fave festivals with our Muddy Festivals heads up !

Easter at Lucknam Park Hotel & Spa, dates in April 
Escape for a weekend filled with fun and adventure – the ultimate family break with games, activities and 500 acres of parkland right at your fingertips. Join them for their yearly Easter egg hunt through the estate, indulge in fine food and relax in the award-winning spa. Um, yes please.

Kids’ Easter Drama Workshop, Cheltenham Playhouse, Cheltenham, Tue 3 to Fri 6 April

If you’ve got a budding actor of primary school age and are wondering how to stimulate their genius (or, er, just entertain them over Easter), can I recommend this fab-sounding workshop! No auditions required (phew), kids will be put through their dramatic paces playing theatre games, telling stories, creating characters and learning songs, which will culminate in a performance on the Friday on the main stage in full costume with song and dance in front of an audience! It’s first come first served, so get yourself a place quick. Here’s the link.

Find more ideas here

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