What’s on this weekend
FRI 2 - SUN 4 MARCH
Snowdrop season, Painswick Rococo Gardens, Painswick, throughout Feb
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
Snowdrops at Newark Park, near Wotton-under-Edge, from Sat 3 Feb
The Tudor hunting lodge reopens its doors after its winter rest in time for the spectacular snowdrop display in the grounds. Sooo pretty. nationaltrust.org.uk/newark-park
Wicked, Bristol Hippodrome, to Sat 3 March
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.
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.
The Royal Ballet: A Winter’s Tale (live stream), Bradford on Avon, 28 Feb
Shakespeare’s tale of love and loss becomes compelling dance drama in choreographer Christopher Wheeldon’s ballet adaptation, with music by Joby Talbot. wiltshiremusic.org.uk
Iford Arts Young Artists’ Opera Showcase, Bradford on Avon, 28 Feb
The programme includes the opening scene from The Marriage of Figaro, a selection of bel canto arias and songs by Sondheim and Bernstein including Glitter and be gay, in anticipation of Iford Arts’ 2018 production of Candide. Musical Director Oliver Gooch is joined by two of the finest young singers who performed in Iford’s 2017 opera season. wiltshiremusic.org.uk
Variety Night: Grayson Perry, Sir Michael Parkinson, Gareth Malone, New Theatre Oxford, Weds 28 Feb
Perry, Parkinson and Malone. The most unlikely boyband ever? A new firm of solicitors? Actually, the artist, the interviewer and the choirmaster are appearing together, in conversation, on stage for this charity fundraiser. What on earth will they talk about? We’re promised ‘laughs, discussion, insight and costume changes’ (presumably the latter from Perry rather than Parkinson).
Stan and Mable and the Race for Space, Bradford on Avon, 3 March
A whole carnival of animals escape from the School for Wild and Dangerous Animals in search of a safe place to call home. This show features a brand-new illustrated story by Jason Chapman and original music by children’s composer Paul Rissmann. wiltshiremusic.org.uk
That’ll Be The Day, Swindon, 3 March
The UK’s premier Rock & Roll production returns with another brand new show. Highly acclaimed for its stunning LIVE entertainment value, That’ll Be The Day is an outstanding celebration for all true fans of the golden era of popular music. This latest production features a fantastic new-line-up of smash hits spanning the 50s, 60s & 70s, plus more side-splitting comic sketches, all performed live on-stage. swindontheatres.co.uk
21st Century Abstracts, Salisbury, 3-31 March
Artist John Munro describes his pictures, with their zinging colours and powerful paerns, as truly modern works of art which appeal to ‘the bravest of the brave art buyers’, adding that abstract art tends to be purchased by people who are innovative, forward-looking, enterprising and optimistic. See for yourself! fishertonmill.co.uk
Pre-Cheltenham Festival Ball & Auction, The Hollow Bottom, Guiting Power, near Cheltenham, Sat 3 Mar
The Hollow Bottom is the pub to head to for Cheltenham Race Week if you want to avoid the craziness of the Spa town but still imbibe the fun of the races, and this ball is just the thing to get you out of the gate. A night of champagne and canapés, dinner and wine, cheese and port, magic from Andy Cole and dancing to The Shy-Teds. Only £75 and it’s all in aid of Help Chloe Live. Tel: 01451 850392, hollowbottom.com
Book ahead for…
Wychwood Festival, Cheltenham Racecourse, Glos, Fri 1 to Sun 3 June
This three-day shindig is on its 14th outing and this year is once again promising a cornucopia of live music alongside comedy, workshops, kids’ fun and real ale. Pitch a tent (or grab yourself a luxury tepee) and stay for the whole weekend or just book in for a day. Previous acts have included the Buzzcocks, Billy Bragg, The Levellers, OMD and The Strypes, so expect quality music and a kid-friendly, chilled-out vibe. wychwoodfestival.com
Book now for more of our fave festivals with our Muddy Festivals heads up !
Kids’ Easter Drama Workshop, Cheltenham Playhouse, Cheltenham, Tue 3 to Fri 6 April
If you’ve got a budding actor of primary school age and are wondering how to stimulate their genius (or, er, just entertain them over Easter), can I recommend this fab-sounding workshop! No auditions required (phew), kids will be put through their dramatic paces playing theatre games, telling stories, creating characters and learning songs, which will culminate in a performance on the Friday on the main stage in full costume with song and dance in front of an audience! It’s first come first served, so get yourself a place quick. Here’s the link.