What’s On this weekend
FRI 21 - SUN 23 JULY
Bear Hunt, Roves Farm, Swindon, to 18 July
Hop on a tractor ride to swish, splosh, squelch and tiptoe on this Bear Hunt. Bringing the classic story to life on the farm, with the chance to meet their very own friendly bear.
Michael McIntyre – Work in Progress, Wyvern Theatre, Swindon, 19 July
The Welsh funny man is in town for three intimate sets prior to his massive, sold-out, worldwide tour – so quick, book now! It’s not often you get the chance to see him up close and personal. Don’t bring any minors though – there may be some, er, swearing and adult content.
The Full Bronte, Blackwell’s Bookshop, Oxford, Mon 17 – Weds 19 July
A theatrical homage to the legendary literary sisters, this Creation Theatre production melds comedy, storytelling, music and games and has been described by one critic as “the anarchic love child of French & Saunders and Hinge & Bracket”. Wowzers. Catch it in Oxford following its sell-out run in Edinburgh and on national tour. (If you’re on hols then worry not, it returns 24-26 Aug.)
Ashmolean After Hours, Oxford, Fri 21 July
Too busy working to find time to visit museums? Yep, me too. But hey, we’re in luck: every so often, the clever Ashmolean throws open its doors from 7- 10.30 pm. giving you the opportunity to see the collections after hours. This month, you can enjoy the current exhibition, Raphael: The Drawings (there’s an evening talk on Raphael too) and, of course, there’s music and bars serving food and drink.
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.
The Third Policeman, Ogbourne Maizey, 21 July
An Irish Alice in Wonderland? A trippy Father Ted? This bonkers comic adventure is not to be missed! See the Muddy review.
Sci-Fi Southwest, Trowbridge, 22 July
Sci-Fi returns to Trowbridge for a fantastic 3rd year, celebrating all things science fiction. This year they have added Sci-fi After Dark with a screening of the Rocky Horror Picture Show.
Stratton Festival, Swindon, 22 July
The plans for this years festival are well under way and the festival promises to be a jam packed event for everyone to enjoy.
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.
Cogges Beer & Cider Festival, Cogges Manor Farm, Witney, Oxon, Fri 21- Sun 23 July
Ultra-local booze from within a 30 mile radius will be served up at Cogges Beer & Cider Festival. The action takes place in the 17th century barns, complete with Morris Dancers (let’s hope they don’t drink’n’dance) and there’s a bouncy castle to keep the kids happy while you quaff those hops.
Dinosaur World, Banbury Museum, Sat 22 July – 9 Sept
This is a summer hols saviour if you have little ones who love dinosaurs. At Banbury Museum they can create their own dinosaur lands, creature, masks and fossil collages and even a hatching dino baby. It’s on Saturdays and every day during the Oxon school holidays, with two daily sessions: 10:30am – 12:30pm or 2pm – 4pm.
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!
The Magic Flute, Longborough Opera Festival, Sat 15, Sun 16, Thu 20 & Sat 22 July
The Longborough Festival Opera, the small country opera house that punches above its weight, continues its summer season with Mozart’s The Magic Flute. With RSC and Royal Opera House designer Ruth Paton, innovative director Thomas Guthrie and maestro conductor Anthony Negus on board, this promises to be a very special production. 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.
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, womad.co.uk