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This month


The back-to-school month is serving up a whole lot of fun…

End Of The Road, Tollard Royal, Wiltshire, Fri 1 to Sun 3 Sept

Hopefully it won’t be the end of the road for us as we hurtle into festival season with a new pair of Le Chameau (I wish, how much?), but it is worth checking out this alternative music festival. It’s not a biggie – 11,000 bods tops – and if you like folk, Ameriana and alt country (can anyone tell me what that is? Not Taylor Swift, then?), this one is for you. They get some good headliners here, we’re talking Bat for Lashes and the like, and this year Jesus and Mary Chain (cue mega flashback to sixth form) are playing. Four stages, secret sets, loads of stuff for kids and plenty of peacocks strutting around, it’s got it all.

Journey by Melanie Cormack-Hicks, Chapel Arts, Cheltenham, Fri 1 to Sun 24 Sept

The first solo show by this local artist with a talent for intense landscapes will include smaller works produced outdoors as well as her larger, studio-based pieces. Open fields, woods and the River Severn provide local inspiration, while the countryside of Devon and Scotland also draw her eye.

Moreton-in-Marsh Show, Sat 2 Sept

Summer’s still going strong and the Moreton in Marsh Show is as good a reason as any to stay outdoors and enjoy some wholesome countryside fun. This agricultural show has dancing diggers, children and pony fancy dress, terrier racing and a grand parade of the Sheldon Bosley Knight Livestock. All in one of the Cotswold’s prettiest villages.

Guild Crafts Chipping Campden, Town Hall, Chipping Campden, Sat 2 to Fri 8 Sept

Get your fill of crafts including bookbinding by Ursula Jeakins, ceramics by Janine Roper, textiles by Liz Lippiatt and calligraphy by Andy Moore, among many other exhibits with the makers popping in for live demonstrations.

Tetbury Classic Car Show, Sir William Romney’s School, Tetbury, Sun 3 Sept, 10am-4pm

Another weekend, another classic car show, which personally I never tire of. If only we still had cars that looked as good as Sean Connery’s James Bond on the road. Other entertainment includes balloon banging (ooh, err), a mini steam tractor ride, a jazz band and some local culinary delights from Hobbs House Bakery, Plenty! Pastry, Bath Soft Cheese Co and Twisted Cider. Who says you can’t have fun in the countryside?

Westbury-on-Severn Summer Show, Sun 3 Sept

The fun kicks off at noon with the fancy dress competition with an under the sea theme, so dust off those mermaid and octopus outfits and put yourself in line for a prize. There’ll also be circus skills to try out, Japanese drummers to zone out to and the flower and produce show in the parish hall where you can get a load of some interesting fruit and veg formations.

Natural Wine Tasting, The Grape Escape, Cheltenham, Mon 4 Sept

Even wine is getting in on the clean-eating bandwagon now, but is it just a cool, hipster fad or something that is here to say. Phil Barnet from Les Caves de Pyrene, the UK’s biggest importer of organic, biodynamic and natural wines will kick off the debate with a great flight of wines in tow. Healthy wine, now I like the sound of that.

Wolf’s Cove: Rebuilding a Model Village, Snowshill Manor and Garden, Mon 4 & 28 Sept

A chance to learn about the little world the eccentric architect owner of Snowshill Charles Wade created in the manor’s gardens and to watch the Snowshill team rebuild it.

Three Cane Whale, Roses Theatre, Tewkesbury, Tue 5 Sept

Folk music lovers get this in your diary! A Bristol-based trio, Three Cane Whale’s debut album made it into Cerys Matthews top five fave modern folk albums and their third album was named by The Telegraph as one of the best folk music albums of 2016. As The Observer puts it, when they play “the aroma of muddy leaves and old nettles is almost tangible”. In a good way people.

Pretty Woman & Moulin Rouge, Cowley Manor, near Cheltenham, Wed 6 & Sat 9 Sept

Bring a blanket and a deck chair (or for an extra £4 you can pre-book one or a beanbag, and you get popcorn thrown in) and cosy up poolside to enjoy one (or both, you film buff, you) of these classics that serve up a good story, good frocks and good tunes in the romantic grounds of Cowley Manor.

Giffords Circus, Stratton Meadows, Cirencester, Thu 7 to Mon 18 Sept

A candle-lit international gymnastic show with dancing horses, a live band, everyone’s favourite clown Tweedy and a side helping of psychedelic madness, there’s still time to catch the inimitable Giffords Circus which this year visits the Spanish court of the 17th century.

Antony and Cleopatra, the RST, Stratford, until Thu 7 Sept 

Shakespeare’s tragic love story between hot-headed Egyptian queen Cleopatra, played here by a luminous Josette Simon, and Antony Byrne’s Roman general Mark Antony. It’s directed by Iqbal Khan with music composed by award-winning Birmingham singer-songwriter Laura Mvula., Tel:01789 403493

Cycling Festival, Cheltenham, Sat 9 Sept

Marking the arrival of the penultimate stage of the Tour of Britain in Cheltenham, this celebration of cycling will bring a festival vibe to the town centre with a street market, race village, bike trail and the main event – 120 elite cyclists bombing down the Prom to the finish line at Imperial Gardens.

Brewery Tour & Tasting, Corinium Ales, Cirencester, Sat 9 Sept

Stephen Shepherd Photography

As well as its usual Saturday Brewery Tour, this Saturday at Corninium Ales as part of Cheltenham and Gloucester Beer Week, you’ll also be able to join a tasting session, with generous portions of beers to quaff. And you get a branded pint glass to take home with you.

The Brutalist Playground, The Edge, Bath, until Sat 9 Sept

Part sculpture, part architecture, all play! Artist Simon Terrell and 2015 Turner Prize winners Assemble have worked with RIBA curators to recreate abstract concrete playgrounds that were found in post-war housing estates throughout the UK. Free admission but book here to guarantee you’ll have a go.

The Roy Orbison Story, Roses Theatre, Tewkesbury, Sat 9 Sept

The unmissable Barry Steele morphs into the existential Elvis that was Roy Orbison in this show celebrating the musical legacy of The Big O and The Traveling Wilburys. Steele is so good, it’s as if Orbison has come back to life.

Vice Versa, The Swan, Stratford, until Sat Sept 9

An entertaining new farce ‘lovingly ripped off ‘from the Roman comedies of Plutus by playwright Phil Porter (2014’s WWW1 drama The Christmas Truce & 2013’s very funny A Mad World My Masters).  A clever servant and a pair of wronged young lovers team up to bamboozle Trump-like pompous general. Felix Hayes is fantastic as the bombastic General Braggadocio, playing his servant, Dexter, is the wonderfully charismatic Sophia Nomvetewhose credits include The Colour Purple (Menier Chocolate Factory) and As You Like It (Shakespeare’s Globe). ‘Allo ‘Allo star Kim Hartman makes her RSC debut as ‘a lady of the night’ called Climax. Read Muddy Warwickshire editor Catherine’s review here.

RSC’s Rome Series: Julius Caesar, RST, Stratford, until Sat 9 Sept 

The well-received Julius Caesar runs in rep side-by-side with Antony and Cleopatra–the first double-bill in the RSC’s four-play Rome series. Titus Andronicus and Coriolanus will complete the quartet of Shakespeare’s most political and bloody thrillers in June and September. Season director Angus Jackson brought the brilliant atom bomb drama Oppenheimer, and Don Quixote, to the RSC stage.  He’s directing Julius Caesar, which has strong performances by Andrew Woodall as Caesar, Alex Waldmann as Brutus, James Corrigan’s Mark Antony and Martin Hutson’ as Cassius.

Frampton Country Fair, Manor Farm The Green, Frampton on Severn, Sun 10 Sept

The seeds were sown for this country fair in the pretty village of Frampton in the 1970s and is still properly old-school with a blessing kicking off proceedings, which include lurcher/longdog coursing, inter-hunt relays, parade of the hounds, an aerobatic display, falconry and a parachute jump by Jump4Heroes. And that’s just in the main ring. Elsewhere, there is a farmers’ market, dog shows, shooting events and food and drink stalls.

Wait Until Dark, Everyman Theatre, Cheltenham, Tue 12 to Sat 16 Sept

Get ready to feel the fear! Set in London in the 1960s, this thriller by Dial M For Murder author Frederick Knott, follows the story of Suzy, a blind woman alone in her apartment plunged in darkness with the phone line cut dead and murderous visitors. I’m hiding under my seat already…

Back to School for Grown Ups, The Guild at 51, Cheltenham, Tue 12 Sept to Sun 5 Nov

Remember the pleasure of buying lots of new things for the start of school term, that lovely smell of leather and pleasingly neat stationery before it all got mucked up in your bag? Well this exhibition will take you back to those halcyon days with exquisite handmade leather goods, books and pens – which are all for sale.

National Theatre Live: Yerma, Bacon Theatre, Cheltenham, Thu 14 Sept

This radical production of Lorca’s powerful masterpiece about a woman in her thirties desperate to conceive is utterly compelling and was a sell-out at the Young Vic. Starring Billie Piper, the former child star (do you remember Scratchy & Co.?!) who’s grown up into a seriously credible actress (Doctor Who, Secret Diary Of A Call Girl, Penny Dreadful), her “earth-quaking” performance (The Guardian) won her an Olivier award, so this is would be something of a mid-week cultural treat.

Crazy Bird Comedy Club, The Malthouse Bar & Kitchen, Stroud, Thu 14 Sept

Good food and belly laughs guaranteed at this comedy night at The Malthouse. Fill your face from 5-7.30pm and then enjoy the wit of Belfast boy Ryan McFonnell, Kiwi comic Richard Lindesay and headliner Mark Palmer, the South African funny man who mines married life, babysitting, airport madness and technology for his laughs.

Some Guys Have All The Luck: The Rod Stewart Story, Everyman Theatre, Cheltenham, Mon 18 Sept

Come on, admit it, Rod Stewart is a guilty pleasure. Who can’t resist swaying along to Maggie May, Sailing and the classic Da Ya Think I’m Sexy? (You do? Thanks very much.) From street busker to rock god, follow the life of the blond-haired icon brilliantly portrayed by Paul Metcalfe.

The Hobgoblin Cheltenham Comedy Festival, Everyman Theatre, Cheltenham, Mon 18 to Sat 23 Sept

It’s the laughter festival! And there are more comedians than you can shake a stick at in this week-long giggle fest. From Lee Nelson to Alan Davies, book yourself in and give your abs a happy workout.

An Evening With Orhan Pamuk, Pittville Pump Room, Cheltenham, Tue 19 Sept

The great Nobel Laureate Orhan Pamuk is rocking up at the Pittville Pump Room on Tuesday for this tasty pre-Cheltenham Literature Festival event. Broadcaster Mark Lawson will be talking to the Turkish novelist about his latest book The Red Haired Woman, copies of which the literary great will be signing afterwards. The Sunday Times literary editor Andrew Holgate and the Literature Festival team will also be sharing their picks from the Festival line-up. From 7-9pm, £10 a ticket,

Summer Celebrations with Champagne & Raymond Blanc, Le Manoir aux Quat’ Saisons, Wed 20 Sept

yellow building with chimney surrounded by purple and yellow flowers and bushes

An evening at Le Manoir, you say? Well, if you insist. Everybody loves Raymond, after all (geddit?). The super-chef is joined by David Hesketh, from Laurent-Perrier – who sounds like someone we urgently need to network with – as the devilish duo host an evening of gastronomic delights paired with the finest fizz. The proceedings commence with canapés – well, of course – ahead of a five-course summer dinner, including coffee and petits fours, in the most beautiful, 5 star surroundings you could imagine. Of course such luxury comes at a price, with this clocking in at £235 per head. Early Christmas present perhaps? Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons, Great Milton, Oxon,

Lido Cinema Club, Sandford Park Lido, Cheltenham, Wed 20 to Fri 22 Sept

I know what you’re thinking, bit cold for al fresco cinema, but this luxury screening courtesy of Cult Screens at the spectacular 1930s lido is a bit special. There are double beanbags to cuddle up in (bring a couple of blankets and you’ll be super toasty), craft beer on tap, as well as cocktails, wine and fresh popcorn. So, what’s showing? On Wednesday, it’s Fight Club, Thursday, Back To The Future and Friday, Grease, which you can sing along to, silently.

Giffords Circus, Fennels Farm, Stroud, Thu 21 to Sun 24 Sept

Last chance to see this candle-lit international gymnastic show with dancing horses, a live band, everyone’s favourite clown Tweedy and a side helping of psychedelic madness, as Giffords returns home to complete its 2017 tour that takes them to a 17th-century Spanish court.

Tosca and Madama Butterfly by the Russian State Opera, Everyman Theatre, Cheltenham, Fri 22 & Sat 23 Sept

The extraordinary force that is the Russian State Opera comes to the Everyman to put on two stonking performances. First up is Puccini’s Tosca, a heartrending melodrama of love, politics and murder in Rome. The following night is Puccini’s favourite opera Madama Butterfly, another tearjerker following the story of a doomed love affair between an American naval officer and his young Japanese bride.

Dire Streets, Roses Theatre, Tewkesbury, Fri 22 Sept

This tribute band of the 1980s mega hit machine that was Dire Straits is so good you’ll feel like you’re in a time warp. Soft rock heaven for die-hard fans and even if you were a bit lukewarm at the time, it’s hard not to get carried away by the likes of Walk Of Life and Money For Nothing.

Baby Blues, Everyman Studio Theatre, Cheltenham, Fri 22 & Sat 23 Sept

Postnatal depression isn’t the easiest of topics to tackle, so hats off to the Arts Council England for funding this production by Forthright Theatre, which takes the audience on a strange, funny and emotionally powerful journey of two couples embroiled in the world of postnatal depression. And the soundtrack? The blues, of course. Tickets £5 and the performance will be followed by a question and answer session. Tel: 01242 572573, 

Swindon Beerfest, Sat 23 Sept

Buzzing with live ompha music, steins of real German ale, sumptuous sausages and pretzels all served by traditionally dressed mädchens. Um, should I go on…?

Whitney: Queen Of The Night, Rose Theatre, Tewkesbury, Sat 23 Sept

A celebration of the powerhouse singer Whitney Houston, this award-winning production will hit you where it hurts on the emotional front – I Will Always Love You never fails to set me off.

Dreamboats and Petticoats, Swindon, Mon 25 to Sat 30 Sept

Inspired by the smash-hit multi-million selling albums Dreamboats and Petticoats One, Two, Three, Four and Five, the West End sell-out sensation Dreamboats and Petticoats The Musical features some of the greatest hit songs of the rock‘n’roll era and we’re excited for it to return to the Wyvern Theatre this September. Read the Muddy review

Cinema Under The Stars, Pittville Park, Cheltenham, Wed 27 & Thu 28 Sept

The trend for open-air movies continues into the autumn with screenings of Top Gun (Wed) and Grease (Thu) coming to Cheltenham’s atmospheric Pittville Park. You can bring your own blanket or chair or treat yourself to a premium ticket (£27.50 as opposed to £15) and you’ll get a reserved director’s chair in prime position of the screen, a fee drink and priority access to the bar and hot food.

Marlborough Literature Festival, 28 Sept – 1 Oct

Ben Phillips Photography

The eighth annual Marlborough LitFest brings the best writing to the historic market town of Marlborough. The LitFest has grown in popularity year on year and is now an established event in the town calendar. The 2017 programme is currently being put together and includes a wide variety of speakers throughout the weekend. Author Will Self opens the festival this year and other events include new and young fiction writers as well as established names, children’s authors, creative writing workshops and poetry events.

Softer: Jenny Holzer Exhibition at Blenheim Palace, Thu 28 Sep to Sun 31 Dec

dark art gallery installation blue and purple lights two silhouettes of bodies

The fourth artist to to showcase contemporary art at Blenheim Palace (my kids still talk about Ai Wei Wei back in 2015), Holzer will be creating new work directly addressing our military and political history – eeek! For this show she’s developing large-scale light projections that will transform the Formal Gardens after dark in a series of night time public events. Sounds cool right? Plus visitors can also explore more meditative areas featuring examples of Holzer’s best known work.

The Daylesford Health & Wellness Retreat, Daylesford Cookery School, near Kingham, Sat 29 to Sun 30 Sept

This two-day retreat allows you to experience the best of both The Cookery School and Bamford Haybarn Spa, while staying in the Daylsford cottages. In collaboration with Daylesford’s resident nutritionist, Rhaya Jordan and yoga teacher Nikki Jackson, take part in deeply relaxing classes as well as restorative massages and facials. There are demos and hands-on classes in The Cookery School, plus a Chef’s Table Supper on Saturday evening where the chefs create a health-giving, seasonal tasting menu right in front of you. All you have to do is relax (and, er, don’t look at your bill till you get home).

Cotswold Airport Open Day, Cirencester, Sun 30 Sept

A bit of a boys’ day out (though I quite fancy it myself to TBH), you’ll find vintage and military vehicles and planes, wartime re-enactments, steam traction engines, control tower and airside tours, pleasure flights, balloon rides, a beer tent… Phew, I’ve run out of breath. Basically, you’re going to have a good day that will culminate in a night glow balloon son et lumière. And it’s only a fiver to get in with under 16s free!

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