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What’s on this month in the Cotswolds

PUBLISHED: 13:43 04 May 2018 | UPDATED: 10:04 10 May 2018

Winchcombe Festival of Music & Arts street fair

Winchcombe Festival of Music & Arts street fair


If you’re looking for things to do in the Cotswolds this month, we have gathered plenty of events for you to pop in your diary

Split Second Productions presents The Importance of Being Earnest

April 28-June 3

A hilarious, two-man re-imagining of the Oscar Wilde classic will visit over 20 beautiful venues, including Berkeley Castle, Gloucester’s Blackfriars Priory, Bishop’s Cleeve Tithe Barn, Westonbirt House and Stroud Subscription Rooms.


Marvellous Machines, Banbury Museum

Until June 9

An astounding exhibition for all ages that combines curious and quirky gadgets and contraptions from the days before electronics, with modern automata, and all with more than a hint of Steampunk.


Cheltenham Jazz Festival

May 2-7

Stars from all corners of the globe, including Van Morrison, Imelda May, Courtney Pine with Omar, Corinne Bailey Rae, Rick Astley with Ronnie Scott’s Big Band, Caro Emerald and Gilles Peterson, will once again descend on the town for the return of the Cheltenham Jazz Festival, in association with BBC Radio 2.


Affordable Garden Art Exhibition, Showborough House

May 3-June 16

Around 80 sculptors, mostly from Gloucestershire and surrounding counties, will be showing their work. Tea and coffee will be available. This is a not-for-profit event with free entry. Open on Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday, and on Bank Holiday Mondays, from 10.30am to 4pm.


Giffords Circus

May 4 – September 30

This year, our favourite circus troupe will be celebrating the 250th anniversary of the birth of the circus with their summer-long touring show, My Beautiful Circus. Starting at Fennels Farm, Stroud, they will travel all across the Cotswolds and beyond for our delight and delectation.


Cirencester Choral Society,Cirencester Parish Church

Saturday, May 5, 7.30 pm

The Glories of Parry and Stanford – choral and organ music marking the centenary of Parry’s death, including I was glad, Blest Pair of Sirens and other works by Parry and his contemporary, Sir Charles Villiers Stanford. Conductor: Carleton Etherington; organist David Whitehead. Cirencester Parish Church.

Tickets £12.50 (student £6, child £3) available from Corinium Museum, tel: 01285 654180 or Society members.


Poetry Workshop with Hannah Lowe and Philip Rush, Museum in the Park in Stroud

Saturday, May 5, 10.30am-4.30pm

Suitable for those new to poetry as well as to experienced writers. £30 –booking necessary on 01453 763394.


Spring Jousting Tournament at Blenheim Palace

May 5-7

Blenheim Palace will be alive to the thunder of hooves and the clash of lances on shields as it hosts the Knights of Royal England’s Jousting Tournament, complete with authentic tilt yard, royal box, falconry, archery and hand-to-hand combat.


Sculpture at Kingham Lodge

May 5-13, 10am-5pm every day

A fabulous day out with hundreds of sculptures displayed across five acres of beautiful gardens in the heart of the Cotswolds.


Oxfordshire Artweeks in Charlbury 2018

May 5-13, 11am-6pm

Featuring 30 Charlbury artists, showing outstanding work throughout the village. Trail maps are available.


Foundations: An Exhibition by Daniel Ablitt, Sarah Wiseman Gallery in Oxford

May 5-26

A solo exhibition by Daniel Ablitt, which sees him move forward from exploring landscape as an emotive subject, into a more personal sphere investigating the notion of ‘home’.


The Long View, The North Wall Arts Centre in Oxford

May 5-26

An exhibition showcasing two years of waiting and walking, watching and writing by husband and wife artists: photographer Rob Fraser and poet Harriet Fraser. The Long View introduces visitors to seven Cumbrian trees and the very different landscapes that surround them.


PDSA PetLife ’18, Cheltenham Racecourse

Sunday, May 6, 11am-9pm

Pet-loving music stars Kaiser Chiefs, Jessie J and The Vamps are all taking to the stage for a brand new charity festival to celebrate the nation’s love of pets and raise funds for their care. Also expect dogs jumping through rings of fire, duck-herding, all compered by Peter Purves. All proceeds will go to PDSA, the UK’s leading pet wellbeing charity, which is marking its 100th Anniversary.


Henri Matisse at Cheltenham Jazz Festival, The Bottle of Sauce in Cheltenham

Sunday, May 6

A unique pop-up event, in collaboration with Dantzig Gallery in Woodstock, showcasing a selection of lithographs taken from Henri Matisse’s incredible Jazz series. The event forms part of the venue’s Cheltenham Jazz Festival celebrations. Works by Salvador Dali and Joan Miro will also be on display, and staff from Dantzig Gallery will be on hand to answer any questions, and reveal the hidden stories and anecdotes behind these stunning works of art.


Ascension Day Celebrations

May 10

Children from Bisley Blue Coat Church of England Primary School will be dressing their village wells with flowers to celebrate Ascension Day. A procession will lead youngsters to the ancient water head in Wells Road. The procession will be preceded by a service at All Saint’s Church, which starts at 1.40pm.


RHS Malvern Spring Festival, Three Counties Showground

May 10-13

There’s a feast of fun lined up at this year’s RHS Malvern Spring Festival, with John Torode, Mark Diacono and Valentine Warner whipping up a storm on stage.


In Place: An extended multi-media song-cycle, North Wall Arts Centre in Oxford

Friday, May 11

An unusual and enchanting show from composer Colin Riley exploring a sense of place in the British Isles: how it informs our cultural identity, shapes our language and dialects, provides both solace and stimulation, and contains histories both universal and personal.


The Nelson Trust Annual Charity Clay Shoot & Black Tie Dinner 2018, The Great Hall, Berkeley Castle

Friday, May 11

With five clay shooting stands plus the famous Gnat stand, and a delicious barbecue of venison burgers and providing refreshments at the end of the shoot. The black-tie dinner will be served in the Great Hall of Berkeley Castle, with private tours of the castle and big ticket auction. Guest speaker is Dame Janet Trotter. Tickets for the shoot are £150 per person and tickets for the dinner are £75 each. For more details email melissa.atherton@nelsontrust.com or call 01453 732074.


Painswick Music Society Concert, St Mary’s Church, Painswick

Saturday, May 12, 3pm

Dame Sarah Connolly (mezzo soprano) and Joseph Middleton (piano) will perform a programme to include the first performance of a song cycle by Sally Beamish set to poetry by Laurie Lee.


Razz-Ma-Tazz Table Top Sale in Woodstock!

Saturday 12th May – 10am to 4 pm

Love rummaging, recycling, bargain hunting, or upcycling? This is a good reason to visit Woodstock as town centre table tops loaded with brocante-style antiques, interesting bric-a-brac, local crafts, recycled household, and charming vintage will, to the benefit of local charities, be up for sale. Restaurants will also have special table top menus and there are plenty of other activities. Maps available on the day. For a full list of details and further information please contact: woodstocktabletops@gmail.com or ring 07801 337 942.


Gaydon Land Rover Show, British Motor Museum in Gaydon

May 12 & 13

The show (previously the Classic Land Rover Show) is now in its fourth year and also marks the 70th anniversary of this iconic marque.


Stroud Trail Marathon

Sunday, May 13

The Stroud Trail events are a challenging mixture of local trails, Cotswold hills, famous Towpaths, disused Railway Tracks, nationally acclaimed Common Land and of course the amazing views on the Cotswold Edge all in an area of outstanding natural beauty. This year’s chosen charity is The Hop, Skip and Jump Foundation, which provides daytime respite care for parents and carers of children and young adults with special needs.

Call 0370 2183102 or register at iamoutdoors.uk/events/stroud-trail-marathon/.


Jurassic Geology: Fantastic Fossils, Cheltenham Town Hall

May 17

Using fossils from the collections, come on a journey to discover what Gloucestershire would have been like millions of years ago when it was all under the sea. Booking is essential.


Compton Verney, Past, Present and Future, Stratford Hotel, Stratford-upon-Avon

Thursday, May 17, 7.30pm

Professor Steven Parissien, chief executive and artistic director of Compton Verney, presents this year’s Founders Lecture for the Stratford-upon-Avon Art Society, on the fascinating story of how this beautiful 18th-century house came to be an award-winning gallery. Tickets are £5 each and can be booked here.


Medicine Heads, Museum in the Park in Stroud

May 17-20

Independence Trust Stroud presents an exhibition highlighting mental ill health, an installation using sound, 2D, and 3D artworks made by people who have personal experience of mental ill health, the stigmas attached and what it is like to experience it on a daily basis. The exhibition hopes to educate and to de-stigmatise mental ill health and will coincide with Mental Health Awareness Week.


Cornish Light: Patrick Heron and Terry Frost, Dantzig Gallery in Woodstock

May 17-June 6

Famous for the quality of its light, West Cornwall became an influential centre for modernist art in the mid-20th century. Among the pivotal artists to set up practise in the area were Patrick Heron and Sir Terry Frost – the stars of this exhibition.


Orchestra of the Swan: Bach to the Future, Number 8, Pershore

May 18

Featuring OOTS principal violin David le Page, Diane Clark on flute, and principal cellos Nick Stringfellow and Chris Allan.


Winchcombe Walking Festival

May 18-20

Are you an ambler, rambler or scrambler? Whatever your preference, Winchcombe Walking Festival has something for you, from a sedate six-mile circular walk to scrambling to the ‘roof’ of the Cotswolds.

Booking is essential: visit winchcombewelcomeswalkers.com/festival.


Barnsley Village Festival

Saturday, May 19

The 30th Anniversary of the Barnsley Village Festival aptly coincides with the centenary of the birth of Rosemary Verey, who was a driving force behind the founding of the festival. The day raises funds to enhance and improve the character and upkeep of the village, as well as supporting local and national charities.

For more information, email festival@barnsleyvillage.co.uk or visit www.barnsleyvillage.co.uk.


The Dire Straits Experience, Cheltenham Centaur

Saturday, May 19

Over 25 years after Dire Straits disbanded, former touring member Chris White returns with his acclaimed live show. Tickets available from £30.


Select Festival Workshop & Talk with Paul Fowler: An introduction to the secret life of a ‘lay figure’, Museum in the Park in Stroud

Saturday, May 19, 11am-3.30pm

Paul Fowler reveals the secret life of ‘lay figures’, life-sized models of human figures used by artists of the past in their studios. £45. Bookings via www.sitselect.org.


John Piper (1903-1998): A Celebration of Oxfordshire’s Modern Master, Bohun Gallery in Henley-on-Thames

May 19-July 28

A very personal introduction to this enduringly popular British artist who has become famed for his images of ruined churches and stately homes, but whose influence on Modernism is often neglected.


Nailsworth Festival

May 19-26

Starting at 10am on Saturday May 19 with free entertainment in Mortimer Gardens, including Punch & Judy, juggling, the Nailsworth Community Choir, gypsy jazz and vintage music from the 40s. Other events throughout the week include live music, such as Temperance Seven, comedy and talks.


Dancing With Bach, Tewkesbury

May 20, 3.30pm

This year’s Old Chapel Court concert series begins with this chance to learn about Bach’s use of dance in his solo violin partitas, with the up-and-coming local baroque violinist Alice Earll. Tickets at £13.16 from www.eventbrite.co.uk or in person from the John Moore Museum, Church Street, Tewkesbury.

Call Jill Davies on 01684 850112, or email oldchapelcourt@btinternet.com.


Winchcombe Festival of Music & Arts

May 21 – 28

With 43 events planned throughout the week, expect a jam-packed programme of music, an Art Trail round local studios, evening gigs in local pubs, workshops and local authors talking about their books. The festival ends with a street fair on the Bank Holiday, May 29.


Corine Ko-Serenity, Paragon Gallery in Cheltenham

May 24 - June 9

The Paragon Gallery, Cheltenham is proud to announce dates for the second annual exhibition of original paintings by Corine Ko. The exhibition will celebrate extraordinary talent and share an emotive collection of original mixed media paintings.


Jeremy Hardy, Huntingdon Hall, Worcester

Thursday, May 24

Jeremy Hardy hits the road with his new show, which sees him at his politically astute best.

Tel: 01905 611427or visit www.worcesterlive.co.uk/the-swan-theatre.asp.


The Twelfth English Music Festival, Dorchester Abbey

May 25-28

The English Music Festival (EMF) returns to Dorchester Abbey with the English Symphony Orchestra under conductor John Andrews as they open the 12th Festival programme with premières by English contemporary composers Christopher Wright and Richard Blackford, alongside a rare performance of Delius’s glorious Double Concerto.


Oxfordshire Young Farmer’s County Show & Rally, Ducklington Show Ground

Saturday, May 26

More than 7,000 people are expected to attend the show, organised by Witney Young Farmers Club. It promises plenty of fun, with main arena events of sheep dog trials, terrier racing, Suffolk Punch heavy horse display and a daring demonstration of motorcycle skills and stunts. Social media star, the miniature Shetland pony Mr Fuddles, will also be there to delight his fans.


Bach to the Future, Armscote Manor

Saturday, May 26, 7.15pm

The Orchestra of the Swan, with Diane Clark (flute) and David le Page. Tickets £45, to include prosecco and canapés.


Lost for Words Exhibition, Museum in the Park in Stroud

May 26-June 24

An exhibition of work by John Furnival, showing drawings, prints and collages, and in particular focusing on his collaborations with textile artist Astrid Furnival. The exhibition will be accompanied by several text-based, knitting and dyeing workshops during weekends. The exhibition in Stroud will coincide with an exhibition of John’s panoramic drawings of Nailsworth and South Gloucestershire, as part of the Nailsworth Festival, at Ruskin Mill Gallery May 19-June 17, open every day 10am-4pm.


Oak Apple Day Celebrations, The Commandery in Sidbury, Worcester

Sunday, May 27 (1.30-5pm) and Monday, May 18 (10am-5pm)

Enjoy two days of traditional springtime festivities, including live theatre, living history, family games and Morris dancing. The spectacular Grade I listed Commandery will be festooned with garlands of oak leaves to celebrate the story of Charles II’s restoration.


Moreton-in-Marsh French Market, Moreton-in-Marsh High Street

Sunday, May 27, 10am-4pm

Explore a variety of stalls selling traditional French foods; art and crafts; fashion and accessories; and of course toys, games and music for all age groups.


More than just an image...Untitled, Gardens Gallery at Montpellier Gardens, Cheltenham

May 30-June 5

An eclectic mix of contemporary sculpture, painting and drawing by four Gloucestershire-based artists: Joanne Humphreys, Becky Dick, Oliver Stevens and Dawn Peacey.


Fairford Festival

May 31-June 3

Incorporating the 2nd Fairford Literary Festival of Fiction, featuring a cracking line-up including Mark Gatiss (star and writer of The League of Gentlemen, co-creator and star of Sherlock) plus Matthew Graham (co-creator of BBC TV’s Life on Mars).


Contact Candia.McKormack@archant.co.uk or Elizabeth.Hartland@archant.co.uk to let us know about events happening in and around the Cotswolds.


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