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What’s on this weekend


Swindon Fringe 2018, to Sun 15 April

‘The Swinge’ is back and this year there are even more fabulous comedians, fun family shows, exciting workshops, and live music courtesy of The Groovy Pig Music Festival. Catch a slick modern drama, a semi-autobiographical account of one woman’s struggles with PTSD, a look at money troubles in the modern world, even a play about Alzheimer’s. They’ll chuck a couple of clowns and magicians in to lighten the mood cos, y’know, you might just need it. Plus live music, spoken word and drama and improv workshops. swindonfringe


Hamlet, Salisbury Playhouse, Thu 12 to Sat 14 April


Presented by Salisbury Playhouse’s exhilarating Youth Theatre, Stage 65, the young cast explodes the classic text with exciting projection design, digital technology and their unique ensemble style to present a fresh and modern take on this iconic play. 


Cotswolds Decorative Antiques & Art Fair, Westonbirt School, Tetbury, Fri 13 – Sun 15 April

Roll up, roll up, as the Fair rolls into town! Set in the gorgeously charming Westonbirt School, this is your chance to snoop out some real gems, whether you’re a collector (I wish), interior designer or just on the hunt for unusual accessories for your cool rural boudoir (that’s more like it.) A cut above other vintage fairs, dealers from all over the UK and Europe will be selling Mid-Century Modern, eye-catching Art Deco, contemporary sculpture, industrial chic, painted furniture, portraits and glamorous jewellery…need I go on? They’ve got some pretty cool retro arm candy too. Now you’re talking… Tickets to the Fair are £5 but you can get a FREE TICKET HERE. Open Friday – Sunday 11am-5pm.


Singalonga Beauty and the Beast, Everyman Theatre, Cheltenham, Fri 13 April, 7pm

Bit irresistible this, especially if you’ve got an all-singing, all-dancing mudlet who drives her brothers mad by her constant ‘performances’. What better opportunity for such a child to binge on some Disney classics, while dressed up as her (or his) favourite character?


London Astrobeat Orchestra, The Marshall Rooms, Stroud, Fri 13 April, 8-11pm

band check shirts guitars drums hats

A funky, hypnotic, groovy outfit, don’t miss this gig at Stroud’s buzziest music venue by the “African Talking Heads”. In the words of World Headquarters: “This is Talking Heads – Stop Making Sense delivered live and with a degree of raw, cosmic, human energy that will totally, utterly and completely blow your wig off.” Right then, better book us some tickets. 


Fritillaries, Cricklade, Sat 14 to Sat 28 April

Calling all flower lovers – now is the time to see the rare Snakes Head Fritillaries in flower in North Meadow. It’s why people come to Cricklade, dontcha know? crickladeinbloom


MET Opera: Verdi’s Luisa Miller, Salisbury, Sat 14 April

Starring Sonya Yoncheva as a peasant girl Luisa opposite Piotr Beczala as Rodolfo in Verdi’s tragedy about a young woman who sacrifices her own happiness in an attempt to save her father’s life.


Miranda Carter – New Paintings, Malmesbury, Sat 14 to Fri 27 April

A collection of new paintings by Wiltshire artist Miranda Carter. Miranda paints intuitively creating balance and capturing atmosphere in her paintings with layers of mixed media.


Zero Day Jazz, Stroud Brewery, Thrupp, near Stroud, Sat 14 April, 7.30-10pm

Bristol artists Jim Blomfield (keys) and Alex Taylor (violin) will be entertaining with their repertoire of classic jazz inspired by the masters.


Larmer Tree Wedding Fair, Larmer Tree Gardens, Tollard Royal, nr Salisbury, Sun 15 April

Nestled in the heart of the Cranborne Chase, look no further for the most magical setting for the most perfect wedding…in which case you’d better hot foot it to the Larmer Tree Wedding Fair and take a shifty for yourself. Originally created by Pitt Rivers in 1880, they were the first privately owned gardens to be opened to the public, and boast a tip top collection of ornate buildings to get hitched in, whether you’ve a bijou dozen or a whopping hundred guests rocking up. It’s Pimm’s, deck chairs and garden games in summer or mulled cider and roast venison in deepest winter, here. Either way, chat to their professional wedding planners and chefs and meet a selection of recommended suppliers, peacocks, and free-flying Macaws.

Tudor Gentry and Falconry Displays, Berkeley Castle, Sun 15 April

two women in Tudor dress

Henry VIII will be paying a visit to the castle no doubt with a wife or two and royal entourage in tow. Admire their stature, watch them dance and then pop outside for a spot of falconry with impressive wing spans.


The Big Batsford Bunny Hunt, Batsford Arboretum. Moreton-in-Marsh, Sun 15 April

A brilliant way to get your offspring around this lovely arboretum and garden offering, it’s only £2.50 per child, you don’t have to book and they’ll be running around tiring themselves out looking for prizes meaning you can relax afterwards in the garden terrace café.


Till Debt Us Do Part, Swindon, Sun 15 April

How to make friends with debt without jumping into bed with it. Award-winning poet Tina Sederholm gets real about money in this unflinching but comic plunge into the nether regions of debt as she wakes up amongst rumpled credit card receipts and a pile of rejection letters, in the embrace of an offer she couldn’t resist. How did she get here, and more importantly, how is she going to get out? Yikes! swindonfringe


Easter Bunny Hop, Bradford on Avon, Sun 15 April

A folk-filled Easter special with storytellers, Morris dancing and a Bunny Band.


Stroud Yoga and Vegan Festival, Marling School, Stroud, Sun 15 April, 9.15am-4.30pm

women doing yoga

The first-ever Yoga and Vegan festival is rolling into Stroud on Sunday in the gorgeous grounds of Marling School. There are loads and loads of yoga sessions with an incredible roll call of teachers, including Rachel Mellish of Stroud Yoga Space and Jay from The Yoga Glow. There’ll be lots of yummy vegan and raw vegan food to enjoy, too, goodies to buy and also talks on mental health. The entry fee is only £5 (£8 on the door) and gives you access to all yoga sessions, stalls, workshops. Free entry for children under 14 years. Bring your mat!


Spring Festival, Cotswold Farm Park, Guiting Power, near Cheltenham, until Sun 15 April

two cute bunnies rabbits

Your Easter holiday saviour is here! Everyone’s favourite farm is getting into the spirit of spring over the school holidays with a special ‘hopstacle’ course and a treasure hunt around the park with a prize for every child. There will also be craft activities and a puppet show, as well as all of the usual Farm Park fun – stroking bunnies and holding chicks, bottle feeding the lambs twice daily, lambing and the opportunity to feed the greedy goats.


Easter at Roves Farm, Sevenhampton, until Sun 15 April

Get stuck into daily activities including bottle feeding super-cute and cuddly critters, egg collecting, animal racing, hand feeding and generally hanging out with kids and chicks of the pygmy varieties. There’s craft and tractor rides too.


Easter Holiday Fun at STEAM Museum, Swindon, until Sun 15 April

Loads of activities to keep the Mudlets busy this holiday, plus there are two news exhibitions opening, ‘The Art of Publicity’ and ‘The GWR Publicity Machine’
Living with Nature’s Design, The Guild at 51, Cheltenham, until Sun 15 April

handmade chest of drawers

If you’re on the prowl for one-off, original interiors finds, then this is your mecca. Among the goodies will be furniture designer-makers Kristian Pettifor and David Ian Smith’s table, chest of drawers and lighting, and sheer linen textile panels printed and painted with patterns inspired by ripples and reflections in nature by the very talented Jenny Bicât.


Penguins, Salisbury Arts Centre, Mon 16 April

A co-production between Birmingham Repertory Theatre, Cahoots NI and Prime Theatre, based on the true story of Roy and Silo, two male chinstrap penguins who lived at New York’s Central Zoo; together they hatched an abandoned egg and raised a chick.

‘Chef’s Table’ in the Green Room,Whatley Manor Hotel & Spa, Easton Grey, near Malmesbury, Fri 20 April

We’ve been lucky enough to have a snoop around the brand new Green Room at Whatley – and it’s pretty special. Take a seat at the ‘Chef’s Table’ and the super-talented chef will chop, fry and cook up some culinary magic right in front of you. First up is Thai Night, hosted by chef Craig Lunn, followed by a Taste of India with talented chef Nikesh Patel who will whip up six-courses of curried loveliness followed by a screening of The Lion with Dev Patel and Nicole Kidman in Whatley’s very own cinema. The chef’ll bring you desserts there, too.


Second World War Operational Base Afternoon, Buscot and Coleshill Estates, Coleshill, Sun 13 May

Descend into darkness and imagine life as a sabateur exploring the secret underground replica bunker on this family-friendly open afternoon. Learn all about Churchill’s Secret Army, which was based at Coleshill. See the displays and quiz the volunteers about the lives of the Auxiliers, their training and bravery. nationaltrust



Ed Byrne: Spoiler Alert, Salisbury, 1 May

Ed says: I originally intended to call the show, “I’ll Millennial You in a Minute”, but my promoter considered the title, “off-puttingly baffling”. That’s my own chainsaw in the photo, by the way. Is life that bad or have we good reason to complain about it? Are we filled with righteous anger at a world gone wrong or are we all just a bunch of whiny little brats? In short, are we spoiled? Come and watch as Byrne takes this question, turns it upside down and shakes it until the funny falls out. Go on, spoil yourself. cityhallsalisbury


Learn to Bake Bread, Harts Barn Cookery School, Longhope, Fri 4 May, 10am-3pm

There’s nothing like the smell and taste of freshly baked bread and if you’ve baked it yourself, how satisfying is that! But if you’re anything like me and your bread-making skills are a bit hit and miss (er, mainly miss), this day-long course will see you rising (see what I did there) to the next level as you master making a sandwich loaf, seeded rolls, soda bread, tear and share bread, pittas and pizza bases.


Giffords Circus, Fennells Farm, Stroud, Fri 4 to Mon 14 May

two women red velvet hats and jackets

Photography by Gemma Hall

The annual outing of England’s most glamorous and wonderfully quirky circus has come round again, kicking off at its Stroud home – where a spanking new big top has already gone up with Giffords in lights and sumptuous red velvet and chandelier interiors. The theme this year is My Beautiful Circus to celebrate 250 years since the very first circus near Westminster Bridge in London started the magic in 1768. After Stroud, the troupe head to Sudeley Castle from Thu 17 to Mon 21 May and Daylesford Organic Farm near Kingham from Thu 24 May to Mon 4 June. See full list of dates here.


Pretty Woman, The Lost Cinema at Westonbirt House, Sat 5 May

I never tire of this rag-to-riches love story between lonely businessman Richard Gere and LA prostitute Julia Roberts. Especially the bit when Roberts goes back to the snooty fashion boutique with all her purchases to tell them they made a big mistake snubbing her. And, if the weather holds, where better to watch it than alfresco in the stunning grounds of Westonbirt House?


Lechlade Festival, Highworth, Fri 25 to Sun 27 May

With Scouting for Girls, glam-rock band Doctor and the Medics and punk-rock outfit From the Jam headlining, this May Bank Holiday music fest is NOT TO BE MISSED! There are even more things to do for kids this year, a bigger and better comedy stage and so many amazing acts across loads of genres, I could write an essay. Which I won’t do, but will just mention that Hendrix-esque duo The Roscoes Wild Child are flying in from LA again this year and The Missy Malone and Burlesque Review will also be returning. Tickets are selling fast with live-in vehicle pitches nearly sold out, so get your tickets NOW.

Find more ideas here

Things To DoThis Weekend

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