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What’s on this week


The Ladykillers, Salisbury Playhouse, to 18 Nov

When Mrs Wilberforce puts a sign in her newsagent’s window advertising ‘A Room to Let’ she’s delighted when the mysterious Professor Marcus proclaims it perfect for rehearsing his unorthodox string quintet. However, she soon discovers that she is not making tea for a motley band of musicians but harbouring a gang of hardened criminals and conmen planning the great King’s Cross Train Robbery! As his masterplan goes off the rails, and the bodies drop onto them, it begins to dawn on the Professor that, in Mrs Wilberforce (and General Gordon, her extraordinary featherless parrot), he may have finally met his match.


Writing Comedy for Beginners, The Pheasant Inn, Salisbury, 6 Nov – 4 Dec

This course will take you from the fundamentals of why we laugh, all the way through to the hidden structure of jokes and sketches.
Magic and Mayhem Festival, Corsham, 7-12 Nov
Welcome to Magic & Mayhem Festival, an intoxicating blend of illusion, glamour, laughter, oddities and imagination. The Nights are dark, but the stage is bright…

Rambert Revealed, South Bank, London, Mon 6 – Sun 12 Nov

Rambert is one of my favourite dance companies so I’m excited about this week-long programme opening up the work of the company through performances, tours and workshops at their studios on London’s South Bank. New additions to this year’s programme include a live drawing session of company rehearsals and a residency from ERRATICA, who will spend a month at Rambert developing a prototype for a new interactive dance film installation. Can’t quite be bothered to go into London for the experience? Rambert Live will livestream of a day in the life of the company, so you can wear your leg warmers and langorously stretch out from the comfort of your sofa.

Rambert, 99 Upper Ground, London SE1, 

The Christmas Fair in the Cotswolds, Daylesford, Kingham, Mon 6 to Wed 8 Nov

Christmas fairs don’t get much more chi-chi than this one at Daylesford, home of all things chic. Who needs Notting Hill, eh? And being Daylesford, there are VIP options which come with gourmet canapés, champagne and complimentary tea, coffee and homemade cakes, with all the money from ticket sales going to the Wellness charity. There’s even a new Seedlings Day Crèche where you can drop your babies and toddlers (4 months to 4 years) and shop unencumbered. And what shopping there is to be had! The whole farm will transform into a pop-up marketplace of over 180 stands, each selling artisan goodies. Clear the credit card, it’s time to reload!



Diamond Masterclass by Shen London, Gidleigh Park Hotel, 7 Nov

Learn about high-end jewellery design and sourcing rare diamonds at this swish event by diamond gurus Shen London hosted by the impossibly luxurious Gidleigh Park. There’s bubbly and lunch and you can bring your own rocks for scrutiny. But I’m thinking new purchases! What with Christmas coming up and diamonds being a girl’s (and woman in her forties’) best friend. And, frankly, Shen’s Goddess Collection, which will be on display in all its glory, has my name on it. You hear that Mr Muddy? £89 per person including a 5-course two Michelin starred lunch.


Stick Man, The Roses Theatre, Tewkesbury, Wed 8 Nov

A sweet, award-winning stage version by Scamp Theatre of Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler’s children’s book where a morning jog sees Stick Man becoming ‘fetch’ for a dog, part of a swan’s nest and, ahhh!, thrown on a fire! Will he ever get home to the family tree? A great mid-week treat toddlers. Show times, 1pm and 4.30pm.


Joan, Salisbury Playhouse, 9-11 Nov

An earthy story of courage, conviction and hope, this play is a refreshing look at Joan of Arc – history’s greatest underdog. Performed by drag king champion Lucy Jane Parkinson, Joan takes the stage as a gutsy gender warrior, dragging up as the men she’s defied. What happens when a disguise soon becomes something a lot more real and you have to fight for who you really are? A fearless solo show, with uproarious songs, exploring what it means to stand out, stand up and stand alone.


Maudie, Salisbury Arts Centre, 9 Nov

Sally Hawkins stars in the true story of 1930s Canadian artist Maud Lewis, who overcame crippling juvenile arthritis to create a distinctive style of folk art. Set against the windswept Canadian Coast line, this tenderly directed biopic focuses on her relationship with her reclusive husband and their life in a tiny cottage in which Maud would paint on any available surface.


Mitch Benn – Don’t Fear the Reaper, Salisbury Arts Centre, 10 Nov

It’s been a morbid time for “the country’s leading musical satirist” (The Times); he’s turned 46 – over the hill by anyone’s standards – his personal life is in turmoil, and his childhood heroes are dropping like flies. At times like these, a man feels the Reaper creeping up on him… But is death anything to fear? And is it really the end? (Yes. Yes, it is, sorry!) Mitch confronts his – and YOUR – mortality with hilarious (and tuneful) consequences. Join him – it’s time you’re not getting back…


Finnish Rooftop Sauna, Queen Elizabeth Roof Terrace, South Bank, Fri 10 Nov – Sat 30 Dec

woman sauna finnish

And now for something completely different. Why not warm up and unwind in a one-of-a-kind Finnish sauna experience in the heart of London? There’s a specially designed Nordic sauna that on the Queen Elizabeth Roof Terrace, combining beautiful Nordic design with a bespoke artistic commission. If 90 degrees celsius is a bit sweaty for you, cool down in the open air (or with cold water buckets – go on, dare you!), while enjoying some stonking views of the Thames below.


London Jazz Festival, Fri 10 – Sun 19 Nov

One of the biggest jazz festivals in the world, with ten jam-packed days of international talent. This year the numbers are dizzying – more than 350 performances in 60 venues with many of the events free.


Kids Arcade Fashion Pop Up, The Bull Hotel, Fairford, Fri 10 Nov, 1pm-3pm

Can’t find cool kidswear? Then get yourself along to this pop-up shopping event at the very lovely Bull Hotel where Kids Arcade are showcasing a super stylish selection of quality British and European online children’s labels. Shopping is so much more fun when you can touch, feel and size things up, especially when it comes to kids’ clothes when I never know what size to get. There’ll be complimentary champagne and nibbles too, so it’s a win, win afternoon. Email:

War Horse, Bristol Hippodrome, to Sat 11 Nov

After young Albert’s beloved horse Joey is sold to the cavalry and shipped over to France during WW1, he sets off on a dangerous mission to find him and bring him home. Be prepared to shed a tear. We’ll be reviewing the show on opening night, so watch this space. Want to know how they created the horses? There’s a 2-hour family workshop on Sat 21 Oct.


Murder Mystery Night Down on the Farm, Cholderton Charlie’s, 11 Nov

Adults only this time ladies, for this fantastic night of Murder Mystery, with a three-course dinner.


Quedgeley Fireworks Display, Fishers Meadow, School Lane, Quedgeley, Sat 11 Nov, from 7pm

No worries if you missed all the fireworks action last weekend, there’s still some crackers lighting up the skies on Saturday 11 November in this hamlet outside Gloucester. Prices to be confirmed. Tel: 01452 721552


Hannah Ryggen, Modern Art Oxford, 11 Nov – 18 Feb 2018I’m always excited when Modern Art Oxford introduces a new exhibition and this one is going to be a corker. Hannah Ryggen was one of Scandinavia’s most outstanding artistic figures of the 20th century, an impassioned artist responding to the socio-political events of her time, from the the rise of fascism and the Nazi occupation of Norway, to nuclear power and media coverage of the Vietnam War. This is the first major presentation of the artist’s work in the UK and surveys her career from early portraiture through to the intricate tapestries that characterised her career from the 1920s onward. Don’t forget that Modern Art Oxford is free entry, and there’s a corker of a cafe on site too.


The Nutcracker, The Roses Theatre, Tewkesbury, Sun 12 Nov

A Christmas season staple, this performance by the Russian National Ballet will transport you to a fairy-tale world where everyone is happy and good triumphs over evil. Not to be missed, especially as it’s the first time the Russian National Ballet has visited The Roses.


Dark Arts, Harry Potter Warner Bros Studios, London until Sun 12 Nov

Harry Potter Warner Bros Studios are brilliant at ringing the changes with their events and for this one the Great Hall will be decorated with over 100 floating pumpkins, just as seen as in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, along with a table laden with a Halloween feast of red apples, pumpkins and cauldrons of lollipops. Kids can also delve into the sinister world of the Dark Art – wand combat techniques and Death Eater duels as well as filmmaking snot, blood and drool. Er, nice!


Messiah at the Tower of London, 10 Nov

A slightly strange combination, but kind of intriguing. First performed in 1742 Handel’s Messiah is one of the most famous works of classical music ever written, and er, The Tower of London is well famous too! Actually, the concert takes place in the intimate Chapel Royal of St Peter ad Vincula within the Tower, a similar sized venue to when the original was performed.


Ghost Tours, Hampton Court, selected dates from 5 Nov – Jan 2018

Want to petrify your kids? Course you do! There are Family Tours on 5 Nov at 6.30 (and also 7 Jan 2018, but seriously I’m not even thinking next year yet!).  It’s a 75-90 minute  walking tour hearing stories of ghostly apparitions and paranormal activity Minimum age is 8 years and a maximum of 3 children per accompanying adult.

Hampton Court Palace, Molesey, East Molesey,

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