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What’s on this week in Somerset & Dorset

Mon 21 - Sun 27 Sept: Ready to charge headfirst into the week? Check out our weekly guide first...

THEATRE: Live screening of Romantics Anonymous, various venues, including Bristol Old Vic and Lighthouse Poole, Thurs 24 Sept

When gifted chocolate maker and painfully shy Angélique takes a job at equally socially anxious Jean-René’s struggling factory, a fragile love affair unfolds. Wise Children’s fully staged, live streamed musical directed by Emma Rice (former artistic director of the Kneehigh Theatre and Shakespeare’s Globe, where the show was first seen) is beamed in direct from the Bristol Old Vic. Read our review.


DANCE: Live screening of Rambert’s Draw From Within, Theatre Royal Bath, Thurs 24 & Fri 25 Sept

Photo Wim Vandekeybus

Rambert’s London South Bank studios will be transformed into a series of contrasting, vivid theatrical worlds, some dream worlds, some nightmares, some turned upside down for their first real-time, live-stream performance with leading choreographer and film-maker, Wim Vandekeybus. Tickets £10 per household.


FESTIVAL: Arts by the Sea, around Bournemouth, Fri 25 Sept – Fri 2 Oct

luke jerram september

The festival includes a fire garden, a sea of light, dance, poetry and more around Bournemouth, including Luke Jerram’s new work, In Memoriam on Sandbanks beach, from Sat 24 Sept. The sea of giant flags made of 100 bedsheets remembers those who’ve died from Covid and the NHS workers and volunteers who continue to risk their lives to help others with the virus. Poignant stuff. See the full programme here.


OUTDOORS: Wild Water Swim, Wimbleball Lake, Exmoor, Sun 27 Sept

Swim for wildlife at the most beautiful lake in the heart of Exmoor. Wimbleball Lake isn’t usually open for wild swimming so this is a great opportunity, wth 2km, 4km and 6km (eek) distances and medals for those who come in the top three for their age groups. All in aid of the Somerset Wildlife Trust.


DAYS OUT: Vintage Wheels Car Rally, The Helicopter Museum, Weston-super-Mare, Sun 27 Sept

Photo Jill Wellington for Pixabay

Jensen Healeys, Cadillacs, MG Midgets and more vintage motors from the 1940s to the 1990s on display around the museum’s airfield control tower.



ART: Chantal Joffe: For Esme – with Love and Squalor, Arnolfini, Bristol, Thurs 3 Sept – Sun 22 Nov

Esme at the Kitchen Table, 2020

Taking its name from J.D. Salinger’s short story For Esmé – with Love and Squalor (1950), this exhibition by one of Britain’s foremost painters and renowned for her intimate portrayals of women, captures the changing faces across the years of herself and her daughter Esme.


DAY OUT: Hestercombe House & Gardens, near Taunton, Fri 4 Sept onwards

Stack by Philippa Lawrence, part of Open Up

The house re-opens from Wednesday to Sunday each week, 11am – 3pm. As well as the gorgeous gardens, there are three art exhibitions ‘Coplestone Warre Bampfylde – A Gentleman of Taste’, ‘Most Admirably Improved by Art’ and ‘Open-Up’, a brand new series of outdoor artworks commissioned by Hestercombe Gallery in response to the Covid-19 pandemic and including work by famous Bristol-based artist Richard Long.


FILM: Summerland, Lighthouse Poole, Poole, until Thurs 24 Sept


When young evacuee Frank, is dumped on the fiercely independent Alice (Gemma Arterton), his innocence and wonder unlock deeply buried and painful secrets in Alice’s past. Ooh-er. From Olivier Award winning breakthrough writer/director Jessica Swale.


FILM: Encounters Film Festival, Bristol online, until Sun 11 Oct

The UK’s leading short film, animation and virtual reality festival based in Bristol but this year it’s online. Get a taster here.


ART: Somerset Open Studios, online, Sat 19 Sept – Sun 4 Oct

Silver jewellery by Sarah Fox

Over 200 artists and makers around Somerset are taking part in the digial version of the biannual Open Studios. See into artists’ studios and discover what goes on behind the scenes.  Get hands on and interact through a programme of inspired talks, workshops, demos and films. Oh and you can buy art, ceramics, textiles, sculptures and more, too.



Find more ideas here

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