RACES: New Year’s Day at Cheltenham Racecourse, 1 Jan
Delay dry January till the 2nd, have a few glasses of Champers and bring the kids! There’ll be live music, racing and free family entertainment in the Fun Zone including appearances from Madagascar’s Alex the Lion and Skipper the Penguin. Under 18s go free.
EXHIBITION: A History of Fashion in 100 Objects, Fashion Museum, Bath, ongoing
This major display celebrates fashion from the 1600s through to the present day with 100 brilliant garments from the museum’s collections and the personal stories behind them including pieces from Bath’s Georgian heyday and big shot designers like Christian Dior. Alongside there’ll be a display of ten shoe moments throughout history and a children’s exhibition on historical fashion looks.
PANTO: Aladdin, The Roses, Tewksbury, until 4 Jan
A great local venue for Aladdin, if you’ve enjoyed the arts centre’s previous pantos it’s the same creative team behind the production this year, with Ben Eagle reprising his role as Widow Twankey.
FLOWERS: Floristry Course, Daylesford Organic Farm, various dates
Fancy a go at floristry? The gorgeous Cotswolds farm is hosting a beginners workshop with its expert team where you’ll create hand tied bouquets and learn all the tips’n’tricks from understanding tints, tones and shades and enhancing your arrangements with colours and textures. The workshop will also include a guided tour of the organic Cutting Garden.
MARKET: Cotswold Decorative Antique and Arts Fair, Westonbirt School, Tetbury, 3 – 5 Jan
Here you’ll find a variety of collectables, quirky furnishings, interiors, art, textiles and jewellery from 45+ exhibitors in the The Great Hall, Orangery and adjoining rooms of Westonbirt House. No worries if you don’t want to splash the cash on a collectible, there’ll be items starting from £20.
CONCERT: Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra New Years Strauss Gala, Cheltenham Town Hall, Cheltenham, 4 Jan
The New Year Strauss Gala returns to the Town Hall with a programme of waltzes, marches and arias by the Waltz King and his contemporaries. Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra will be joined by guest soprano Soraya Mafi.
PANTO: Cinderella and brunch at The Ivy, Cheltenham, 5 Jan
Fancy a slap-up brunch with your panto? Oh yes you do! The Ivy Montpellier Brasserie is hosting a special character brunch with Cinderella themed cocktails and the cast of Everyman Theatre’s traditional family panto (running until 12 Jan). A ticket also includes a matinee performance.
SKATE: Ice Skating, Gloucester Quays, until 5 Jan
Get yer skates on! Now in it’s third year, the large open-air ice rink in Orchard Square will be open until 5 Jan.
SCREENING: National Theatre Live, Bacon Theatre, 5 & 26 Jan
I love NT Live, I think it’s such a great way to bring top notch theatre to the sticks (for a fraction of the price too!). Bacon Theatre has a couple of screenings this month starting with Phoebe Waller-Bridges’ brilliantly dark and satirical one woman show Fleabag (5 Jan), followed by All My Sons (above), starring Phillip Pullman and Academy Award-winner Sally Field (26 Jan).
SKATE: BUMP roller disco, Millennium Square, Bristol, until 5 Jan
Don’t fancy the ice? Lace up your roller skates at the Christmas pop-up Bump roller disco, with a Disco Ball Bar, Pepe Nero pizzas, bratwursts, Yorkshire pud wraps and crepes and more.
COMEDY: Jimmy Carr, Bristol Hippodrome, 10 Jan
Jimmy Carr brings his boundary-pushing comedy to Bristol with his brand new show Terribly Funny which is promising to throw PC jokes out the window… you’ve been warned.
WORKSHOPS: NewBreweryArts, Cirencester, various dates
Ready to ger crafty? NewBreweryArts always hosts an awesome selection of workshops and classes, with some great options lined up for the new year. We’re mainlining make your own silver stacking rings (10 Jan), Modern Calligraphy (11 Jan) and Print and Play with Stencils (25 Jan). Full line up here.
THEATRE: A Christmas Carol, Barn Theatre, Cirencester, until 11 Jan
Dickens’s classic Christmas novel kicks off 2020’s theatre offering at this awesome local theatre set in a former ’40s Nissen hut. Make sure you check out the new restaurant and piano bar, Teatro, next door for a pre-show stuffing.
EXHIBITION: Through the Looking Glass and What Alice Found There, Fox Talbot Museum at Lacock, until 12 Jan
Artist Maggie Taylor exhibited at the National Trust venue back in 2008 and has returned to the exhibition space with her new collection of digital artwork inspired by Lewis Carroll’s famous children’s books.
WILDLIFE: Wild Winter, Slimebridge Wetland Centre, Slimebridge, 18 – 19 Jan
The WWT nature reserve will be celebrating winter wildlife over this weekender with activities including birdwatching for beginners, screenings and special walks.
SUPPER CLUB: Thai supper club, Daylesford Farm, 18 Jan
Daylesford’s first supper club of the year will be hosted by the farm’s resident Thai chef Kuttiya Nimcean (CV: the super-groovy Chiva Som in Thailand). Menu TBC.
THEATRE: The Croft, Everyman Theatre, Cheltenham, 22 – 25 Jan
Gwen Taylor (Barbara, A Bit Of A Do) stars in this brand new production about two women who are haunted by the past as they stay at a former Crofters Hut in the remote Scottish Highlands.
THEATRE: The Importance of Being Earnest, Barn Theatre, Cirencester, 23 Jan – 15 Feb
Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest returns to the Barn Theatre after a successful 2019 run, but with a twist – the show only has two actors who’ll be playing all the parts. Bound to be brilliant and hilarious.
THEATRE: The Wind in the Willows, Everyman Theatre, Cheltenham, 24 – 25 Jan
Rain or Shine Theatre Company inject a little humour into the adventures of Ratty, Toad and co. in this comic retelling of Kenneth Grahame’s classic children’s book.
If you’re thinking of taking part in Veganuary (but what about the cheese?!) then The Subscription Rooms is hosting Stroud’s third vegan Fair with local traders selling plant-based food, ethical clothing and household products.
COMEDY: Sam Avery, Cheltenham Town Hall, Cheltenham Town Hall, 25 Jan
Award-winning comedian and bestselling author of The Learner Parent, Sam Avery, is popping up in Chelt with his new show Toddlergeddon 2020 where he’ll be discussing how to raise toddlers with more attitude than Kanye West, if it’s possible to negotiate with a pre-schooler and all those other parent problems. Looks like a goodie.
OPEN DAY: Home Farm, Huntley, 26 Jan
The National Garden Scheme sees over 3,500 private gardens in England and Wales open for charity – adults pay but children go free. This is brilliant for two reasons: firstly, you can indulge in a bit of real-life garden porn (begone Right Move), and you can pick up clever border design ideas while sending a few quid to highly worthy charities such as MacMillan. In our ‘hood this month you can visit pretty Home Farm with its exceptional views and 1km walking trail through woods and fields.
MUSICAL: Six The Musical, Everyman Theatre, Cheltenham, 27 Jan- 1 Feb
I can’t wait to see this! Nominated for five Olivier awards, including Best New Musical, this retelling of Tudor history turns Henry VIII’s is wives into popstars. A dead cert for a brilliant night out with your girl posse.
SCREENINGS: Barnsley House, Cirencester, until 28 Jan (Wed & Sun)
WALK: Structure and form: winter garden tour, Dyrham Park, until 29 Feb
Until the end of Feb the National Trust will be running totally free guided walks around the stunning ancient deer park and 17th century house and gardens, as well as advice on the best winter plants for your garden.
Peter Pan Goes Wrong, Alexandra Palace, Fri 13 Dec – Sun 5 Jan
Assuredly NOT a panto, this West End production (it showed at the Apollo Theatre in 2015 & 2016) comes to Ally Pally, promising a riotous spin on JM Berries’s classic tale. From the creators of award-winning The Play That Goes Wrong and The Comedy About A Bank Robbery. alexandrapalace.com
A Christmas Carol, The Old Vic, Sat 23 Nov – Sat 18 Jan
This production of festive classic A Christmas Carol staged by The Old Vic’s artistic director Matthew Warchus had such great reviews that it’s returning for round three. It’s adapted by Jack Thorne, co-writer of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. oldvictheatre.com
Goldilocks and the Three Bears, London Palladium, Sat 7 Dec – Sun 12 Jan
This is like fantasy panto casting. I mean, seriously, does it get better than this? Paul O’Grady, Julian Clary, Nigel Havers, Gary Wilmot and – well who cares about the rest, I’m sold. lwtheatres.co.uk
Cinderella, The Hexagon, Sat 7 Dec – Sun 5 Jan
Just over the Berks border in Reading, CBeebies’ Justin Fletcher, aka Mr Tumble, returns to The Hexagon stage (he received raving reviews for Aladdin last year btw) to star in Cinderella. readingarts.com
Dick Whittington and his Cat, Hackney Empire, Sat 23 Nov – Sun 5 Jan
The unashamed home of Panto has chosen Dick Whittington and his Cat for this year’s festive offering. Olivier award-winner and panto dame extraordinaire Clive Rowe stars in his 13th panto for the theatre alongside Hamilton’s Tarinn Callender in the leading role. hackneyempire.co.uk
Mama Mia! A brand new (and, quite frankly, must-see) exhibition is coming to The O2, London this month – ABBA: Super Troupers is a journey through the Swedish band’s career and will feature personal items and artefacts never seen before in the UK (until 21 Aug 2020).
Another newbie is Tutankhamun – Treasures of the Golden Pharaoh at the Saatchi Gallery. One of the biggest cultural events in the winter calendar, the exhibit features 150+ original artefacts found in the Pharaoh’s tomb that was unearthed in 1922 (until 3 May).
Other exhibitions worth a snoop are Vogue fashion and portrait photographer Tim Walker‘s enchanting, fantastical, frankly insane collection of work at the V&A (until 8 March); William Blake at Tate Britain, with the visionary painter and poets work blown up to enormous scale using digital technology (until 2 Feb 2020); Into the Night: Cabarets & Clubs in Modern Art at the Barbican – a history of cabarets, clubs, dancefloors and party spaces that inspired artists from the 1880s to the 1960s (until 19 Jan).