What’s On – this week
Mon 28 Sept - Sun 04 October
Buckle up … here’s the only guide you need to what’s hot across Glos, Worcs and beyond for the next seven days.
Shall we? …
LIT FEST The Times & The Sunday Times Cheltenham Literature Festival, Cheltenham, 2 – 11 October
For the first time ever, the world’s oldest literature festival has gone hybrid – and it’s super fab. A mash-up of digital and real-time events, many of which are completely free. The line up is stellar with a full programme live streamed from three venues, featuring a unique line-up of the world’s greatest writers, thinkers, performers and dynamic new voices. Get immersed in 160 events with over 100 broadcast live from Cheltenham’s Town Hall and the Everyman Theatre in front of a socially-distanced live audience. Spot on for kids (Alex Rider book) and adults (Caitlin Moran etc) alike.
PUMPKIN PICKING Over Farm Pumpkin Patch and The Walk, Gloucester, Sat 3 Oct – Sat 31 Oct
Is it scary? Um, yeah … the annual Frightmare at Over Farm has had a Covid-safe tweak this year to The Walk – a fantastic and super-freaky Halloween trail around the farm taking in amazing sets, scenes and (spoiler alert) the odd pop-up creature. There’ll be drinks and snacks to calm your nerves and a large (ventilated) barn plays host to a bar, food outlets and live music. Bring your wellies it’s muddy and murky out there in the creepy fields of Gloucester. Open on Thurs, Fri and Saturdays only, between 18.30 and 21.30. And if you need some light relief, come back in the daylight to pick your own pumpkins.
There are also pumpkins galore for ghoulish carvings and pie-making at The Cotswold Farm Park. Open between 3 Oct and 31 Oct, head down to PYO. Entry to the Park gives you one pumpkin per token. Make sure to book ahead.
CIRCUS The Feast, Giffords’ Circus, Stroud, until 11 October.
A sublime evening of feasting and frivolity is in store at Giffords. Due to popular demand, they are extending the run of The Feast so you can still catch it until the 11th October 2020. Tickets are available to buy online or by calling the box office on 01242 691181. Tables are socially distanced so be sure to book early. Expect Big Top ambiance with food from Circus Sauce, and thrills and skills from international performers. Plus a barrel of laughs courtesy of the comedic genius of Tweedy the Clown. Miss it at your peril.
HISTORY Woodchester Mansion, Stroud, throughout October
We love a dreamy house, why not take a wander around the spectacular Drawing Room at Woodchester Mansion with it’s stunning vaulted ceiling. Now reopen, this Gothic Grade 1 listed National Trust home also has an idyllic lakeside walk in the surrounding Woodchester Park and an outside takeaway cafe. Open Friday to Sunday this hidden away gem is tucked away in the stunning Five Valleys area of the Cotswolds. Make sure to pre-book admission online
KIDS Family Cooking Experience, Harts Barn Cookery School, various dates and 28 October
Join the friendly chefs at Harts Barn Cookery School for some quality family time with added flour. Bring the family together and spend the morning cooking delicious dishes in a relaxed atmosphere. teach the kids some lockdown-handy essential life skills whilst you prepare and cook a 3-course meal and then eat your creations together in the Apple Barn dining venue next door. Aprons and drinks will be provided, class is from 10am – 2pm.
EAT OUT ‘The Great Outdoors’ at Gloucester Quays, throughout October
Hungry to eat out at your favourite haunt again? Then you’ll love the brand new alfresco eating area at Glos Quays. Click and collect from your favourite restaurants and dine outside in Pillar and Lucy Square or Orchard Square. Simply find a table, scan the QR code and get stuck into dishes from Zizzi, Wagamama, Five Guys, Cote Brasserie, Portivo Lounge and more. We love the old Citroen van serving up these cookie dough treats (above, drool). PLUS on the first weekend of every month (3 – 4 October) check out the Orchard Street Market – a mix of favourite, handpicked stalls and live music.
LATE NIGHT SHOPPING Five Valleys, Stroud, throughout October
This month sees some fabulous new launches coming to the revamped Five Valleys Shopping Centre. Get in early for the best bread in Glos handcrafted by artisan baker Ori Hellerstein, author of The Artisan Baker. He’s opened a shop in the new indoor market here. And watch out for other exciting openings from Pershore Seafood, Xocoatl and Waghorn Butchers plus there’s the monthly late night market, open until 9pm on October 30th and on the last Friday of every month. Expect the best of Stroud’s street food vendors, a little music and a great atmosphere, with many traders selling alcoholic drinks (Last orders for food and drink will be 8pm).
ALPACA TREKKING Tibbiwell Alpacas, Painswick
Fancy something a tad different to your average walk? Tibbiwell Alpacas are taking bookings right now if you want to walk an alpaca around the pretty village of Painswick. Head out with Dumbledore, Stanley or Apollo – a fabulously quirky and 100% family-friendly experience. I did (see above) and it was fantastic. Watch this space for a review coming soon and book onto your walk now (Muddy says a great half term activity non?) Prices from £25 for a meet, greet and walk with under 12s going free.
THEATRE What a Carve Up! & Private Peaceful,Barn Theatre, Cirencester, from 31 Oct & until 4 Oct
Hit author Michael Morpurgo’s Private Peaceful has been so popular the run has been extended until 4 Oct so get booking your tickets at the Barn’s special screened-off and socially distanced showings. And book early for What a Carve Up – a deliciously dark and thrilling murder mystery spot on for spicing up those cold winter nights we say.
DINING The Scenic Supper, Chipping Norton, throughout October
Feast your eyes on this. Haven’t heard of the Scenic Supper yet? It’s the coolest new way to eat ‘out out’ (literally in a field out!) book one of their glass pods and enjoy sunsets, the gin bar and an amazing seasonal 5 course tasting menu. The brand new winter menu (and dates) are launched on 1 October at 10am. Places go fast so get clicking now.
MUSIC DJ Cheeba, Ballroom, Sub Rooms, Stroud, 2 October
The ever innovative Subscription Rooms in Stroud have DJ Cheeba in the house on 2 October. Maxing out with some vibing beats, tickets are £11.50 and the tunes start at 9pm. Known for his cut and paste style of turntablism, audiences can expect a high paced trip through styles made to make you dance, think and smile.
COMEDY: Jenny Eclair: Sixty (FFS), The Everyman Theatre, Cheltenham, Fro 30 April 2021
Having hit 60 (but still a year younger than Madonna), Jenny Eclair aka ‘The Face of Vagisan’ confronts a new decade of decrepitude. Now that it takes 20 minutes of scrolling down to find her DOB when she’s filling in forms online, should she celebrate or crawl into a hole? What will her 60’s hold for this 1960’s babe, and is it a legal requirement to buy Nordic walking poles? All these mirthful ponderings and more will be revealed at this just announced show. Book ahead now.
ART Fresh: Art Fair, Cheltenham Racecourse, 27 – 29 November
More than just art, the Fresh Art Fair is coffee, champagne, talks, lunch, artist demos and more. We love the concept of being able to browse 51 leading galleries in one handy place. Pick a piece from 600 artists and over 6,000 paintings and sculpture from the likes of Blake, Hirst and Emin and McClean. Don’t be scared though! Prices range from as little as £100 (up to £30k), so there’s something for all. Perfect for those Christmas gifts too we reckon. Book your place today you arty lot.
COMEDY: John Bishop, Cheltenham Racecourse, Fri 11 and Sat 12 Feb
Scouse comedy king John Bishop is hitting Cheltenham with his new tour Right Here, Right Now on the Centaur stage at Cheltenham Racecourse. Perfectly timed for a Valentine’s date packed with laughter, John Bishop’s huge comedy tour will be travelling across the UK, so catch it here first.
COMEDY Laugh Out Loud, Costa del Tottenham, London, Sunday 4 October
One of London’s best loved comedy clubs (voted third best comedy club in London – Time Out) returns to a new socially distanced venue. Join them at Costa Del Tottenham as they host the best comics in the country for just £5 per person. Costa de Tottenham is an all-weather tropical industrial paradise featuring palm trees, multicolour pergolas, private booths, street food, pint-sized cocktails. Each night will have two hour-long shows at 6pm and 8.30pm. The lineups for the first two shows include stars of Live at The Apollo, Mock The Week, 8 Out of 10 Cats, Taskmaster and more.
LIVE STREAMED BALLET The Royal Ballet, Back on Stage, London (online), 7 October
The Royal Ballet is Back on Stage, returning for a special live-streamed celebration performance on Friday 9 October at 7.30pm. It’s been away for seven log months but the full Company will be reunited on their home stage with the Orchestra of the Royal Opera House in a spectacular show of ballet highlights.
BURLESQUE Gin House Burlesque Revue, The King’s Head, London, Fri 18 Sept to Fri 18 Dec.
Fancy an evening of daring debauchery, sexy circus acts and vaudeville delights? Then you’ll love this one. Join internationally renowned performers Miss Betsy Rose (London’s vintage burlesque queen) Missy Fatale (fire eating and snake charming vixen) and more for an evening of pure escapism. Now in its fifth year of residency at the King’s Head pub these nights sell out faster than a twirling tassel so get on it pronto. Tickets from £40.
CULTURE Tantra: Enlightenment to Revolution, British Museum, London, 24 Sept 2020 – 24 Jan 2021
All hail divine feminine energy! This seductive and spiritual exhibition explores the radical force of tantra which has transformed the religious, cultural and political landscape of India and beyond. Find out all about the rise of goddess worship around the world, and see an extraordinary showcase of objects from India, Nepal, Tibet, Japan and the UK, from the seventh century AD to the present from sculpture and paintings to fascinating ritual objects.
ART Andy Warhol Exhibition, Tate London, re-open now until 15 November
Step into the Tate Modern for a pop art treat. A new look at the extraordinary life and work of the pop art superstar, the exhibition has extended opening hours from 4 September, every Friday and Saturday until 10pm. Book your timed ticket online before visiting, tickets cost £22 and are free to members. There’s a one-way system to guide you around safely, this major retrospective is the first Warhol show at the tate modern for almost 20 years.
MUSIC Electronic: From Kraftwerk to The Chemical Brothers, Design Museum, London, until 14 February 2021
Lose yourself in a club somewhere in the mid 90s at this brilliant exhibition on how electronic music ‘rewired’ the world. Book ahead as this one’s proving popular, and make sure to bring your own wired headphones for the multimedia exhibits. Be warned, it contains strobes and flashing lights, and the age guide is 12+. Glow sticks optional (but totally recommended)