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What’s on this weekend

FRI 16 - SUN 18 FEB

Murder, Margaret and Me, Salisbury Playhouse, to 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. salisburyplayhouse.com

 

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! rococogarden.org.uk

 

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.

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. everymantheatre.org.uk

 

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. cotswoldfarmpark.co.uk

 

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. english-heritage.org

 

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. monkeyworld.org

 

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?!) cheltenhambid.co.uk

 

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.

kew.org

 

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. lucknampark.co.uk

 

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. woolleygrangehotel.co.uk

 

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. stroudbrewery.co.uk

 

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. bacontheatre.ticketsolve.com

 

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. wiltshiremusic.org

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Things To DoThis Weekend

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