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We’re into June and the Great British Summer! Time to start letting it all really hang out in Glos and beyond.

The Elvis Years, Everyman Theatre, Cheltenham, Mon 26 June

From poor truck-driving teen to hot, snake-hipped king of rock’n’roll to less hot, peanut butter and banana burger-eating king of rock’n’roll, this two-hour show takes you through the life of the Graceland legend, with all the greatest hits that’ll leave you on a high and toe-tapping for days afterwards,

The Simon & Garfunkel Story, Everyman Theatre, Cheltenham, Tue 27 June

The tunes continue at the Everyman with this sell-out West End show about the harmonising duo that features original film footage and a live band performing their greatest hits including Mrs Robinson, Cecilia, Bridge Over Troubled Water and Homeward Bound.

A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Berkeley Castle, Mon 26 & Thu 29 June, Mon 10 July

Speculation has it that Shakespeare penned A Midsummer Night’s Dream to be performed at Lord Thomas Berkeley’s marriage to Elizabeth Carey. Four centuries on and Lord Berkeley’s descendants still occupy Berkeley Castle making its spectacular grounds the perfect setting for an al-fresco performance of Shakespeare’s perennial summer favourite. Pack a blanket and a picnic and soak up the historical vibes.

Room On The Broom, Everyman Theatre, Cheltenham, Wed 28 to Thu 29 June

When my mudlets were at the stage of wanting the same bedtime story night after night for like nine weeks, Room On The Broom was one of the few I could read over and over again without wanting to pull my fingernails out. It lends itself to sing-song and laughs and scary voices, and this award-winning stage adaptation picks up on the brilliance of the book and takes it to the next level. Grab a toddler and go see!

ROH Live: Otello, Gloucester Guildhall, Wed 28 June to Sat 1 July

Love opera but can’t make it to London (or can’t afford the Royal Opera House tickets!!)? No worries, you don’t have to miss out on this superb performance of Verdi’s passionate retelling of  Shakespeare’s great tragedy, as you can watch it streamed live in Gloucester. And you’ll probably get a better view of Jonas Kaufmann making his role debut, who is not only a world-famous tenor, but also rather easy on the eye in a smouldering, Aiden Turner kind of way *swoon*.

Open Garden, Whatley Manor Hotel & Spa, Thu 29  June

Come and feast your eyes on the 12 acres of English country gardens at Whatley Manor, which include a bucolic meadow leading down to a river, a natty fountain with idyllic loggia from where tea will be served, and a newly replanted rose garden that will knock your senses out with its 250 beautifully scented roses and make you feel like you’re in an EM Forster novel when you take a seat in one of the two cute refurbished summer houses, called Darcey and Gertrude.

Creativity Rocks, New Brewery Arts, Cirencester, Thu 29 June

Calling all artists, authors, fashion designers, sculptors, milliners, interior designers, photographers – basically all you creative types out there – this evening at New Brewery Arts is for you. Celebrating the Cotswolds’ mega creative economy, you can mingle and network and get a private view of the New Brewery Arts current exhibition featuring the Turner Prize-winning, cross-dressing national treasure Grayson Perry.

Barn on the Farm Festival, Over Farm, Gloucester, Thu 29 June to Sun 2 July

Stages in barns, decor made from crates, farm animals not far away and an intimate crowd of only a couple of thousand, this festival does things a bit differently. Now in its seventh year, with some impressive past acts including Ed Sheerhan, James Bey and Hozier. This year singer-songwriter Tom Odell (whose Real Love track featured on John Lewis’s penguins falling in love ad a few years ago) is headlining, along with Irish singer James Vincent McMorrow and Nottingham band Amber Run among others.

Cornish Cornucopia, Chapel Arts, Cheltenham, until Fri 30 June

Loving all things Cornish at the moment what with the return of Poldark and all that gorgeous, er, scenery on display on a Sunday evening. And the county is something of an inspiration for artists, too, which you’ll discover at this exhibition of diverse works by, among others, Roger Curtis (that’s one of his Manet-style beauties pictured above and he’s practically giving them away!), Myles Oxenford, Lynette Pierce and some out-of-this-world ceramics by John Bedding. The landscape, the seascape, the light and the history – you can experience it all in the cool, contemporary art space that is Chapel Arts. Do grab yourself a slice of cake while you’re there – they’re homemade and delicious, with lots of gluten-free choices if that’s your thing. I had the best carrot and walnut cake that was gluten-free and vegan.

90s DJ Night, The Hangar, Upper Rissington, Fri 30 June

Britpop, smiley faces and alcopops – I’m being hit by a wave of nostalgia already. Whether you’re old enough to have been there in your Maharishi pants and crop top waving your arms in the air or are just loving the 1990s through a retro filter, this night at Upper Rissington’s hip hangout The Hangar sounds like a goodie.

As You Like It, Painswick Rococo Gardens, Fri 30 June & Sat 1 July

They tour the country by bike performing Shakespeare outdoors – cool, quirky and cultured! What’s not to like! Come see The HandleBards Girls’ production of As You Like It in the bucolic surroundings of the Rococo Gardens. Energetic, chaotic and environmentally cycle-powered theatre, catch them while you can – they travel as far as Bangalore and Harare, you know?

Julie Cope’s Grand Tour, New Brewery Arts, Cirencester until Sun 16 July

Head over to Cirencester’s New Brewery Arts to see Julie Cope’s Grand Tour: The Story of a Life – a pair of large-scale striking tapestries by none other than Grayson Perry, winner of the 2003 Turner Prize, cross-dressing delight and national treasure. The tapestries are on show until 12 July in Cirencester before they continue on a national tour so make sure catch them while they’re in our manor.

Anne James: A Career in Ceramics, The Guild at 51, Cheltenham, until Sun 23 July

The venerable Gloucestershire potter has been throwing gorgeous porcelain and stoneware since 1965 and this show celebrates her four decades of work with pieces from her archive, including her small porcelain pieces inspired by landscape and plant forms and her work with burnished lustered Raku, as well as pieces from her latest collection which will be for sale. It’s stunning work and really takes ceramics to the level of art.

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

Vice Versa, The Swan, Stratford, until 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 

Photography by Helen Maybanks

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., 01789 403493

Giacometti, Tate Modern, until Sun 10 Sept

Here comes a biggie. Tate Modern presents the UK’s first major retrospective of Alberto Giacometti for 20 years. Celebrated as a sculptor, painter and draughtsman, Giacometti’s distinctive elongated figures are some of the most instantly recognisable works of modern art in Tate Modern’s ambitious and wide-ranging exhibition of over 250 works. It includes rarely seen plasters and drawings and showcases the full evolution of Giacometti’s career across five decades, from early works such as Head of a Woman [Flora Mayo] 1926 to iconic bronze sculptures such as Walking Man I 1960.

Marc Quinn: Drawn from Life, Sir John Soane’s Museum, until Sat 23 Sept

Marc Quinn: Drawn from Life is a set of 12 new sculptures by British artist Marc Quinn, set in the super-stunning Sir John Soane’s Museum. This promises to be a brilliant exhibition. Quinn is always surprising – remember his twisted, yogic Kate Moss in solid gold, his Trafalgar Square plinth of naked, pregnant disabled artist Alison Lapper and the gruesome cast of his own head filled with ten pints of his own blood? You can hear a brief, 15-minute intro to the exhibition, every Thursday at 3pm in the Soane Gallery. Tis free, just turn up.

Giffords Circus, until Sun 24 Sept

Photography by Gemma Hall

This year the inimitable Giffords Circus visits a 17th-century Spanish court where it lays on its usual quirky mix of silliness, awesomeness and eyes-pop-out-of-your-head amazingness, with baroque costumes, dancing horses, funky live band and everyone’s favourite clown Tweedy. Catch it while you can – it’s showing in various venues around Gloucestershire, Oxfordshire and London until August – and it’s a corker. You can read my review here.

The Art of the Brick: DC Superheroes, South Bank, London, runs to Sept 2017

This contemporary art exhibition by LEGO® artist Nathan Sawaya uses nearly 2m bricks to create large-scale sculptures of the most enduring Super Heroes and Super Villains: from Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman, to The Joker and Harley Quinn. You’re on the South Bank so plenty to do afterwards too, once you’ve got over the fact that a grown man does this kind of thing for a living!

Star Wars Identities, O2, Greenwich, runs to Sept 2017

A collection of some 200 props, models, costumes and artwork from the original Star Wars films, plus an interactive identity quest for Star Wars nuts at  STAR WARSIdentities at the 02 in Greenwich. It asks the deep question ‘what force shapes you?’ The obvious answer is the sugared doughnut but I don’t think George Lucas has invented that character yet.


St John Supper and Wine Tasting, The Wheatsheaf Inn, Northleach, Thu 6 July

Fergus Henderson and Trevor Gulliver’s renowned nose-to-tail restaurant St John is popping up at The Wheatsheaf Inn for a four-course kid barbecue supper paired with wine and hosted by Trevor Gulliver himself. It’s a bit of a bargain – only £50 per person including wine – so get ahead of the game and book now!

Come Fly With Me Summer Stage School, Everyman Theatre, Cheltenham, Mon 31 July to Fri 11 Aug

Got a tween or a teen with ambitions to be the next Ryan Gosling or Emma Stone? Then quick, get them booked into this summer stage school, which will show 11 to 19 year olds the ropes (literally – they’re going to be doing aerial flying!) of musical theatre, including performing songs from musicals like Mary Poppins and Footloose and acting out extracts from shows such as Metamorphosis and Ostrich Boys. And it’s not just for front-of-stage types – the more technically minded can get their hands on the lighting controls or muck in with set design behind the scenes. At the end of the two weeks, there will be a performance on the Everyman’s main stage where you can feel your heart fill with pride.

Places cost £200 and can be booked at the Box Office on 01242 572573 or at

*STOP PRESS The Everyman Theatre Association is offering bursaries to five young people who couldn’t otherwise afford the fees. Those hoping to qualify for one of the places can email [email protected] to express their interest.

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