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What’s on this week

MON 24 - SUN 30 JULY

Womad, Malmesbury, Wilts, 27-30 July

In the warm blur of the festival season, this celebration of international music, arts and dance stands out. Check out acts including Ladysmith Black Mambazo, listen to Benjamin Zephaniah’s tomes and take a World Rhythm’s workshop, then ditch the worthy stuff and join Steven Moffatt (of Sherlock fame) chatting about Dr Who, check out Matthew Bourne’s new ballet and stuff your face with the Hairy Bikers. Not literally, mind.

Charlton Park, Charlton, Malmesbury, Wilts,

The Emperor’s New Clothes, Lacock Abbey, Fox Talbot Museum and Village, nr Chippenham, 28 July

On Lacock’s beautiful South Lawn, Illyria will bring to life Hans Christian Anderson’s classic story of The Emperor’s New Clothes. A fast and funny family show for all ages.

Summer Fun, Wiltshire Music Centre, 24 July – 18 August
Highlights include a contemporary dance intensive with award-winning Neon Dance Company and Street Theatre, where budding actors can devise a new play in two days. Young rockers will experience playing in a band at Rock It and aspiring composers and songwriters can take part in a three-day course where they’ll write new music based on a folk tale.
Illyria: The Lost World, Marlborough College, 25 July

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s thumping adventure first published in 1912 inspired the likes of King Kong, Godzilla, Alien, Jurassic Park and a host of other much-loved movies.Intrepid explorers travel to an uncharted plateau and find flora and fauna beyond their wildest dreams. Yet, how will they make anyone believe the wonders they have seen actually exist?

The HandleBards: A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Rockley Manor, Marlborough, 26 July

Join the HandleBards in the grounds of beautiful Rockley Manor for their all-male, bicycle-powered production of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Four young lovers find themselves enveloped in the dream-like arms of a magical forest full of sprites, where a feuding Fairy King and Queen are at war over the possession of an Indian boy. A group of amateur actors share the same forest. They’re rehearsing for a play. Fairies and humans collide. Hilarity ensues.

Adult and child cookery course, Lucknam Park, Chippenham, 25-26 July

A half day cookery class with Chef Ben Taylor for a child with accompanying adult. Course runs from 9.30am finishing at approximately 2pm. Suitable for children aged 6-13 keen to learn about using fresh seasonal produce and learning new skills.

Camp Bestival, Dorset, 27-30 July

Argh! I hear you shout. Not Bestival! Go newer, go smaller, go funkier. But I’m afraid I still bow to the beast that is Bestival, or at least the little kitty cat that is Camp Bestival, Bestival’s family-friendly offspring. It’s just over the border in the luscious grounds of Lulworth Castle in Dorset, there’s loads for the kids to do and the bookings are tip top. This year it’s Mark Ronson, Madness and Brian Wilson headlining plus All Saints, Holly Johnson and Leftfield, plus its first big kids show has been announced as School of Rock – The Musical. No wonder it regularly snaps up the coveted title of Best Family Festival. Tip – don’t come without kids. This one really is for them.

Lulworth Castle, Dorset,

Gin Tasting on the Terrace, Bowood Hotel, nr Calne, 28 July

A fabulous summer evening of gin tasting, great food and fab music on the Clubhouse Brasserie Terrace, hopefully in the sunshine. Showcasing a wide range of delicious gins, plus their team of chefs will be cooking some delicious tapas.

Jurrasic Farm, Roves Farm, Swindon, 29 July – 11 Aug

Join the Roves Farm ranger to detect and even discover a brand new species of dinosaur. Go on a tractor ride farm safari through their very own dinosaur territories…

Swindon & Wiltshire Pride Festival, Old Town, Swindon, 29 July

A vibrant, free, family-friendly event in Swindon which celebrates creativity and diversity with fun fairground rides and lots to do for all ages.

Wilton Horse Trials, Wilton House, nr Salisbury, 29-30 July

Held in the Park for many years, the Horse Trials sees top-class riders competing in dressage, show jumping and cross country.

Junior Summer Golf Coaching, Bowood, nr Calne, 31 July – 2 Aug

Junior golf coaching camps aimed at 6–16 years. Fun days of learning all the basics of golf, from the long game, to putting, pitching and chipping, as well as practise on their three hole Academy Course.

Fantastic Beasts, American Museum in Britain, Bath, 27 July

Join them for a monster-filled activity inspired by the 1920s-set film, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. Drop-in, age 3+.

End Of The Road, Tollard Royal, Wilts, 31 August – 3 September

Hopefully it won’t be the end of the road for us as we hurtle into festival season with a new pair of Le Chameu (I wish. How much?) but it is worth checking out this alternative music festival. It’s not a biggie – 11,000 bods tops – and if you like folk, Ameriana and alt. country (can anyone tell me what that is? Not Taylor Swift, then?) this one is for you. They get some good headliners here, we’re talking Bat for Lashes and the like, and this year they’ve got Jesus and Mary Chain (cue mega flashback to sixth form). 4 stages, secret sets, loads of stuff for kids and plenty of peacocks strutting around. It’s got it all, then.

Larmer Tree Gardens, Tollard Royal, Wilts,

Wilderness, Oxfordshire, 3-6 August

Wilderness Festival, OxfordshireBit posh? Then you’ll love Wilderness, which is a lot more genteel than its name suggests. Details are sketchy for this year but 2016’s event in the idyllic 400 acre country estate included a pop-up spa, a Raymond Blanc-cooked gourmet lunch and a croquet tournament. Rock’n’roll! The music bookings are still tbc but tend to be strong – last year the line-up included the weird and wonderful Flaming Lips and Led Zeppelin legend Robert Plant so watch this space.

Cornbury Park, Oxon,

Gifford’s Circus,  The Fox Inn, Barrington, Thurs 20 – Mon 31 July

Described by the Telegraph as “the nation’s most glamorous troupe”, Giffords arrives at the Fox Inn, Barrington this week for this year’s Baroque-inspired show. No need to stuff your handbag with snacks for the interval – they also bring a 60-seat pop-up restaurant, complete with candle-lit communal oak tables.

Around the World in 80 Days, Hamptworth Lodge, Landford, 19-29 July

Based on the novel by Jules Verne, adapted for the stage by Laura Eason, this play takes place in the open air at Hamptworth Lodge.


Animal Magic, Fisherton Mill, Salisbury, to 29 July

An exhibition of wildlife sculptures, paintings and ceramics. 

Marlborough College Summer School, to 5 August

Back for 2017, Marlborough College Summer School has grown beyond compare into one of the largest multi-generational learning experiences of its kind. A huge range of adult and child courses in art, culture and sport.

Salisbury Racecourse Meetings, 15 July – 16 August

Salisbury Racecourse is one of England’s most historic racecourses, racing having taken place at the picturesque downland course since the 16th century. Salisbury stages a number of meetings during the summer months when it successfully combines high quality racing with a friendly and enjoyable day out. Facilities include bars and catering outlets, and a big screen opposite the Stands.

Iford Arts Festival, Iford Manor, Bradford on Avon, to 5 Aug

The internationally renowned Iford Arts Festival (opera, picnic proms and classical cloister concerts) takes place in the exquisite performing spaces of the Cloister and Casita in the Grade 1 Listed Peto garden of Iford Manor, 6 miles outside Bath. Opera is staged in the round and sung in English for a seated audience of 90. More importantly, don’t forget to bring the picnic and the Pimms.

National Trust Big Camp Weekend, dates throughout July and August

Crack out the marshmallows! Fill your hip flask! The National Trust Big Camp Weekends take place in various venues across the south of England, offering you and the nippers chance to sleep al fresco and stargaze amid beautiful surroundings. In Buscot Park in Oxfordshire, you can camp by the River Thames on Sat 15 July, or you can pitch up at    
Hinton Ampner in Hants 29-30 July, or Osterley Park and House and Morden Hall Park  on 21-22 July. None in Wilts that I can find but watch this space!

Dark Side of the Moon: the Fulldome Experience, At-Bristol’s Planetarium, Tue 25 July, dates in August

Sounds like an out of body experience:  4k projectors (no idea what 4K means but more impressive than 1k, eh?) project mesmerising abstract visuals across the full dome along to Pink Floyd’s 1973 album in 5:1 surround sound. There’s a bar too.  16+ Tickets.

Edinburgh Festival Preview Show, The Stable Bar, The Golden Cross, Cirencester, Wed 26 July

It’s The Golden Cross’s last Edinburgh Festival Preview Show and be prepared to work your abs as you laugh through these two comedic turns – funny man, singer, actor and presenter Charlie Barker and full-time singleton and cougar Dana Alexander.

Twelfth Night, Bodleian Quad, Oxford, Tue 25 July to Thu 3 Aug

Loving the sound of this performance in the Bod Quad, which promises to be one of the highlights of Oxford’s summer. Watermill Theatre are celebrating their 50th anniversary with an outdoor production of one of Shakespeare’s funniest comedies, Twelfth Night. Directed by Paul Hart, there’s a post-war, 1920s setting for the play and a fabulous soundtrack of jazz inspired by Duke Ellington, Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong.

Come Fly With Me Summer Stage School, Everyman Theatre, Cheltenham, Mon 31 July to Fri 11 Aug

Got a tween or a teen with ambitions to be the next Ryan Gosling or Emma Stone? Then quick, get them booked into this summer stage school, which will show 11 to 19 year olds the ropes (literally – they’re going to be doing aerial flying!) of musical theatre, including performing songs from musicals like Mary Poppins and Footloose and acting out extracts from shows such as Metamorphosis and Ostrich Boys. And it’s not just for front-of-stage types – the more technically minded can get their hands on the lighting controls or muck in with set design behind the scenes. At the end of the two weeks, there will be a performance on the Everyman’s main stage where you can feel your heart fill with pride.

Places cost £200 and can be booked at the Box Office on 01242 572573 or at

*STOP PRESS The Everyman Theatre Association is offering bursaries to five young people who couldn’t otherwise afford the fees. Those hoping to qualify for one of the places can email to express their interest.

The Roman Baths by torchlight, Roman Baths, to Thurs 31 August

Soak up the atmos of the torchlit Great Bath over the summer – the Roman Baths are open until 10pm. On the first night of the evening opening, you can  and try out various archaeologically themed activities if the mood takes you as part of the national Festival of Archaeology.

Here be Dragons, Victoria Art Gallery, Bath, Sat 22 July-Sun 8 October

Chris Riddell (Ottaline and Goth Girl) and Axel Scheffler (The Gruffalo) to Quentin Blake and Cressida Cowell (How to Train Your Dragon) are just some of the famous illustrators and writers whose magical creatures will be on display in this new exhibition. Eight virtual dragon’s eggs will be hidden around the city for you to find using the gallery’s free app.

Farmfest, Gilcombe Farm, nr Bruton, Fri 28-Sat 29 July

Now in its 12th year, this pocket-sized festival in a few fields just outside Bruton, showcases emerging and established genre-defying artists in seven venues, along with comedy, kids’ discos, chill time workshops and theatrical wig-outs.

Upfest 2017, venues around Bristol, Sat 29-Mon 31 July

Europe’s largest, free, street art and graffiti festival takes place this weekend. Over 300 artists from 30 countries will paint on 30,000 sq ft of surfaces in 35 venues throughout Bedminster & Southville. Plus live entertainment, children’s workshops including Morph making sessions in association with Aardman and an affordable art fair area.

Find more ideas here

Things To DoThis Week

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