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What’s on this week


Orfeo ed Erudice, Longborough Opera Festival, Tue 1 August

The festival’s final hurrah, Orfeo ed Euridice, is its Young Artist Production for 2017, and is a new production directed by Maria Jagusz. Based on the tale of Orpheus, one of the most famous and beloved Greek myths, it features some of Gluck’s best known pieces of music including the Dance of the Blessed Spirits and Che farò senza Euridice. The grounds, not far from Moreton-in-Marsh, are glorious, so dress up in your glad rags, pack a picnic or pre-order a hamper or, why the hell not, just dine in The Coach House Restaurant (see the menu here, £45 per person for a three-course meal) or Valley Buffet (£35 per person), and enjoy the show. Glyndebourne, eat your heart out.

Midsummer Night’s Dream, Tuckwell Amphitheatre, Cheltenham, Wed 2 August

This magical, amphitheatre tucked away in the woods next to a brook in the grounds of Dean Close School hosts the critically-acclaimed Pantaloons Theatre Company who tell Shakespeare’s timeless comic tale in their own distinctive and anarchic style.

Top Gun / Dirty Dancing, Salisbury Cathedral, 3-4 Aug

Sit down under the stars to watch Top Gun or Dirty Dancing in this outdoor cinema event at Salisbury Cathedral.

Fieldview, Chippenham, Wilts, 3-6 August

God, I love this one. Its non-profit ethos, the fact that it can be run solely on chip fat and solar power, the smell of burning joss sticks…takes me right back to my uni days. Sorry, back on track…if you can’t face the magnitude of size or price of Bestival, Latitude or Cornbury Park, Fieldview is a small but perfectly formed bundle of summer festival loveliness. Now in its tenth year, you won’t find Madness or Mark Ronson, celebrity chef feasts or pop-up spas here but there is plenty for the kids to get stuck into, it is small enough so you can stage dive into the mosh pits and you might even stumble across the next Ben Howard or Mouse Outfit. Workshops for littlies include jewellery making, treasure hunts and circus skills, with yoga and Tai Chi for you (helps the hangover, I’m told). So load up the happy campers and head down to Chippenham this August. It’s in a secret location, so shhh….

At a secret location near Chippenham, Wilts,

Wilderness, Cornbury Park, Oxfordshire, Thu 3 to Sun 6 August

Wilderness Festival, Oxfordshire

Bit posh? Then you’ll love Wilderness, which is a lot more genteel than its name suggests. This year’s bash at the idyllic 400 acre country estate includes an outpost of Petersham Nurseries, a long-table banquet cooked by Ottolenghi and talks hosted by Tate Britain and School Of Life. Rock’n’roll! Music-wise, be sure to catch disco diva ne plus ultra Grace Jones – always an utter mentalist when playing live.

The Festival of British Eventing, Gatcombe Park, Minchinhampton, Fri 4 to Sun 6 August

As well as a weekend of top-class eventing at Princess Anne’s gaff, there will also be a fun dog show, a ‘have-a-go’ dog agility competition and a shopping village. Get your poshest green wellies on and a headscarf wouldn’t go amiss either, you never know who you’ll bump into.

Top Gun, Egypt Mill, Nailsworth, Fri 4 August

Get yourself down to Egypt Mill’s gorgeous gardens to watch Tom Cruise in this classic from 1986 (which was before we all realised how strange Cruise was and felt like we could fancy him). A new venture for the Mill, you can drift up to the barbecue for a bite to eat and a drink. Book tickets in advance, only £8.

Valley Fest, Chew Magna, Somerset, Fri 4 to Sun 6 August

This is the festival where the spectacular views over the Chew Valley Lake (you’d never guess you were just nine miles outside Bristol) are given a run for their money by the delish organic food, sizzling music and atmosphere on the shore. Set on an organic farm in Chew Magna, north Somerset, Valley Fest, now in its third year, was set up by farmer Luke Hasell in memory and celebration of his parents’ zest for life and love of good food, and it takes place on a community farm growing and selling organic food. Food is bighere and you could just sit and stuff your face, but there’s too much else going on for that. The live music lineup includes Argentian-Swedish indie troubadour José González, legendary London and festival clubnighters White Wedding, popsters Goan Dogs and a psychedelic orchestra. There’s no kids’ area as such, but plenty for them to do from training a sheepdog and foraging to DJ-ing and arts and crafts.

The Mikado, Manor Farm, Corsley, 5 Aug

An evening of outdoor frolics and open air theatre with optional supper served by serfs and wenches. Apparently. In the town of Titipu flirting has been made illegal.  The penalty, by order of The Mikado, is death.  Too bad then that the main culprit is the Lord High Executioner Ko-Ko, who wishes to marry his beautiful young ward Yum-Yum, and who has no intention of executing himself.  Can the itinerant musician Nanki-Poo be persuaded to be executed in his place? And what would happen if anyone should dare to tell the Mikado that an execution had taken place when in fact it hadn’t…? ,

Bowood Proms Weekend, Bowood House, 5-6 Aug

Classic Ibiza Concert- the Urban Soul Orchestra and DJ Goldierocks will be bringing some of the biggest dance tracks from the last 20 years to life at Bowood House and Gardens on Saturday. A chill-out set gets the open-air classical dance party started. As the sun goes down, the vocalists and USO’s dynamic musicians will ramp things up for the evening to break into festive-club mode with accompanying lasers.

Great British Prom- music from the home nations will ring out across the Capability Brown parkland. The National Symphony Orchestra, led by world famous conductor Anthony Inglis, will pave the way and be joined live on stage by renowned artists such as soprano Philippa Healey, Classical Brit Award-winning Welsh vocal group Only Men Aloud and The Band of the Home Counties Pipes & Drums. A spectacular fireworks finale will be choreographed to the music.

Jurassic Farm, Roves Farm, Swindon, to 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…

Young Chefs Cookery Course, Devizes, dates in Aug
These Mini Chefs and Young chefs courses are designed to give your youngster a firm foundation that will provide them with the skills and knowledge they need to grow into competent and confident cooks. They are also lots of fun and they will bring home the results of the session to share with the family. Yum.

Salisbury Racecourse Meetings, to 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.

Summer Fun, Wiltshire Music Centre, to 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.

Alice, Oxford University Parks, to 19 Aug

More from quirky Oxford theatre company Creation. This time they invite you to fall down a rabbit hole in the green gorgeousness of University Parks for a family-friendly production of Lewis Carroll’s Alice. This particular wonderland is in a Big Top so inclement weather be damned!

Hands on History, Old Wardour Castle, nr Tisbury, to 31 Aug

Join the Hands on History Crew for a summer of fun-filled kids’ events. There’s something to see and do every day of the school holidays with castle building and have a go archery, and more hands-on fun than ever before.

Giffords Circus, to Sun 24 Sept

This year the inimitable Giffords Circus is recreating a 17th-century Spanish court and putting on a candle-lit international gymnastic show with dancing horses, a live band and everyone’s favourite clown Tweedy. It kicks off on Friday 12 May at the circus’s home ground of Fennells Farm near Stroud, then tours Gloucs, Oxon and London until landing bang smack in Wilts from 24 August for 2 weeks. Worth booking early, this one.

Come Fly With Me Summer Stage School, Everyman Theatre, Cheltenham, 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

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