What’s on in October
We're jumping for joy! This month in Somerset & Dorset we've got music, theatre, comedy, art, walks – and festivals and fairs coming out of our ears.
Here’s the Muddy pick of events around Somerset and Dorset this month. Watch this space as we’ll be updating the guide as more events are announced.
Arts by the Sea, around Bournemouth, Fri 1 – Sun 3 Oct
Bournemouth’s all lit up this weekend, with a festival of eclectic free events – sound and light spectacles, interactive installations, theatre, walkabout, workshops, dance, live music – around town. See the full programme here
Two Moors Festival, Fri 1 – Sun 10 Oct
The classical music fest across Somerset and West Devon described as like going to the Wigmore Hall – with cows.
In Memorium, Luke Jerram, College Green, Bristol, Fri 1 Oct – Sun 17 Oct
Luke Jerram’s touring – poignant – installation of over 100 flags made from NHS hospital bed sheets, commemorating deaths during the pandemic, has landed in Bristol. See it against the backdrop of City Hall and Bristol Cathedral.
The Dong with a Luminous Nose, The egg, Bath Fri 1 & Sat 2 October
Looking at the weather forecast, you might need some indoor entertainment for the kids at the weekend. This puppet show is a clever and suitably absurd take on Edward Lear’s nonsense classic, and should do the job for the 7-12 years age group.
Grand opening of the Cottage Garden at Jordans Courtyard, Ilminster, Sat 2 Oct
The eat-shop-wellness destination adds another string to its bow with the opening of The Cottage Garden, a peaceful pretty garden with nursery and shop. Head over for floral demos, plants, gifts, local art, a raffle in aid of Macmillan Cancer Research and armfuls of fresh and dried flowers. 10am – 4pm. Delicious lunches, cakes and coffee at the Old Calf Shed.
Eat:Festivals, Sat 2 Oct (Minehead), Sat 9 Oct (Nailsea), Sat 16 Oct (Teignmoutg), Sat 23 Oct (Burnham on Sea) & Sat 30 (Clevedon)
The roving, free, Eat:festivals – showcasing top West Country food and drink producers – are taking place every Saturday this month. Come to browse, buy, eat, drink and be entertained. For a taste of what to expect, click here.
The Frome Independent, all over Frome, Sun 3 Oct
If the weather holds up head over to Frome for the interesting stalls – designer-makers, local/regional food and drink producers, people selling sustainable products, new and vintage clothes, furniture, collectibles – and live music in the best street market in the South West.
Ed Byrne: If I’m Honest…, Marine Theatre, Lyme Regis, Thurs 7 Oct
A regular on Mock The Week, you may also have caught him on Celebrity Best Home Cook, co-presenting Dara & Ed’s Big Adventure or BBC2’s The Pilgrimage. Now (at last!) the Irish comedian’s on his postponed UK tour. Read our interview with Ed.
Sherborne Pack Fair, around Sherborne, Thurs 7 – Mon 11 Oct
The street market dating back to days of yore returns. This year it’s taking place over four days in the lead up to the traditional Monday, with live music, fun fair and plethora of traders’ stalls.
Billy Ocean, Bournemouth International Centre, Fri 8 Oct
Britain’s biggest selling black recording star (30 million records and counting).
Dorchester Literary Festival, around Dorchester, Sat 9 – Sat 16 Oct
Write on! The town and around has inspired some of Britain’s favourite authors – Thomas Hardy, T E Lawrence, Ian McEwan, Tracy Chevalier – so no surprise it’s got its own lit fest. This year’s authors include Raynor Winn, Minette Walters, Alexandra Shulman, Kate Humble and Jeremy Vine. See the full programme.
Bath Contemporary Artists’ Fair, Green Park Station, Bath, Sun 10 Oct
Bag yourself an original: art, photography, sculpture, textiles, ceramics on sale from dozens of Bath’s best artists, including one of our favourites, award-winning artist Emma Rose. You can also see her work at her studio in Wellow and at La Strada cafe in Frome.
Wells Food Festival, centre of Wells, Sun 10 Oct
Remind yourselves why Somerset’s renowned for its food and drink at this annual artisan food festival in Market Place and beyond. Keep the kids occupied with cookery classes and trail while you sip the English wine (new for this year). 10.30am – 4.30pm.
Wuthering Heights, Bristol Old Vic, Mon 11 Oct – Sat 6 Nov
Romance! Passion! Drama! The world premier of Emma Rice’s adaptation of Emily Bronte’s epic story of love, revenge and redemption on the Yorkshire moors – and no Kate Bush in sight.
Nabil Abdulrashid: N.A.B.I.L. – Nobody Actually Believed I’d Last, The Brewhouse, Taunton, Tues 12 Oct
The stand up, Britain’s Got Talent finalist in 2020, tells the story of his life so far, from growing up under military rule in Nigeria to falling into legal trouble as a teenager in Sarf London.
Comedy Drag Bingo with Charlie Hides from Ru Paul’s Drag Race, Komedia, Bath, Weds 20 Oct
Get some fishnets on your legs eleven, a pair of platforms, a touch of back-combing and bob’s your uncle, you’re ready to score.
Shelley Dyer-Gibbins: Cool Cuts, Heart of the Tribe Gallery, Glastonbury, Thurs 21 Oct – Mon 15 Nov
Edgy, graphic, retro-toned lino cuts from the self-taught Somerset artist who won the National Open Art Prize 2017.
Purbeck Film Festival, venues around the Isle of Purbeck and beyond, Fri 22 Oct – Sat 6 Nov
The biggest rural film festival in the UK, screening an eclectic selection of 65 films from around the world in village halls, churches, the Art Deco Rex Cinema in Wareham and Lighthouse Poole. See the full programme and book here.
Bath Decorative Antiques Fair, The Pavilion, Bath, Fri 22 – Sun 24 Oct
House feeling a bit tired post-Covid? This stalwart of the antiques scene of 31 years has loads of quality exhibitors, and is just the spot to find that something special to perk up la casa.
After Dark, Mary Shelley’s House of Frankenstein, Bath, Fri 22, Sat 23, Sun 24 Fri 29, Sat 30 & Sun 31 Oct
One for adults only. Calm your nerves with a Bloody Mary (natch) to venture through the house in darkness discovering Mary’s tragic past, her obsession with the macabre, ‘Frankenstein’ through the ages and the 8-ft creature she created. Eek.
Exmoor Dark Skies Festival, Fri 22 Oct – Sun 7 Nov
Stargazing, night safaris, night walks and talks on International Dark Skies Reserve Exmoor National Park.
Autumn Colours Weekend, Sherborne Castle, Sherborne, Sat 23 & Sun 24 Oct
The acres of gardens and Autumn-hued trees reflected in the lake should be Instagram-ready this weekend. Takeaway coffees, wine and cake from the tearoom.
David Baddiel, Trolls: Not the Dolls, Bath Forum, Bath, Sun 24 Oct
We went to see this show when it was at the Northcott in Exeter last month and social media addict Baddiel dissecting the Twittersphere is a blast.
Jayde Adams: The Ballad of Kylie Jenner’s Old Face, Thurs 28 Oct, Lighthouse Poole
Channel 4’s Snackmasters and Crazy Delicious Bristolian Jayde Adams dons a black turtle neck to explore fashionable pop-feminism.
Yeovil Literary Festival, The Octagon & other venues, Thurs 28 Oct – Weds 3 Nov
This local lit fest just gets better and better. On the bill this year: Armistead Maupin, Lionel Shriver, Miriam Margolyes, Grace Dent, Mariella Frostrup, Katie Piper, Owen Jones, Ben Miller and more. Oh, and Sarah, Duchess of York.