What's On in Somerset - November 2021
- Credit: Annie Spratt, Unsplash
We've found all the fun and interesting things happening across the county this month for you to enjoy.
As the penultimate month of the year draws near, many of us will be wondering where 2021 has gone. As the nights get longer, the summer feels both like it was yesterday and a lifetime ago. But don't let the cold and wet put you off, there is still much to see and do around the county. We've found the cream of the crop for events, performances, and exhibitions to pass the time in November.
Don't forget to check out our guide to Somerset fireworks and bonfire celebrations to kick off the month. Click here to find out more.
Exmoor Dark Skies Festival 2021
October 22nd - November 7th
Exmoor celebrates ten years as a Dark Sky Reserve with an exciting new line-up for its fifth Dark Skies Festival. A night-time adventure with an expert astronomer on board an open top bus is just one of the new experiences on offer for this year’s festival. There are around 50 events taking place all over Exmoor – from dusk safaris to stargazing – some of which are free, with ticketed events booked individually. The village of Exford now also hosts the National Park’s first ‘Dark Sky Discovery Hub’, where safari company Wild About Exmoor and Exford Bridge Tea Rooms have teamed up to create a focal point for people wanting to experience the area’s dark skies, with events throughout the year.
Bath Vegan Festival
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Following its successful summer event, the Bath Vegan Festival returns to the city, this time at the Bath Pavillion. More than 60 stalls will showcase the best in vegan food and drink, cosmetics, skin care, clothing, and gifts, as well as educational and inspirational charities and organisations. Local stall-holders include Box Steam Brewery, Eat Dark Matters, and Get Pickled Somerset. The market takes place from 10.30am to 4.30pm and tickets are £4 on the door (under 16s are free) or £15 for VIP tickets in advance from Eventbrite to include fast-track entry and a goody bag full of vegan products, samples, discounts, and offers.
All Together Now!
November 12th - 14th
Somerset is participating in a global event to help local theatre come out of the pandemic, with the Glastonbury and Street Musical Comedy Society (GSMCS) joining thousands of theatre groups around the world in staging a weekend-long series of concerts. The GSMCS will be performing popular songs from shows including Beauty and the Beast, Hairspray, Matilda, Oliver, Sister Act, Mamma Mia, Les Misérables, Guys and Dolls, Rent, and My Fair Lady. All Together Now! takes place at Edington Village Hall on November 12 and 13 and at Glastonbury Town Hall on November 14. Each event starts at 7.30pm, with tickets costing £12.50.
Ocean Film Festival
The Ocean Film Festival is back this autumn with a new collection of the world’s most inspirational ocean-themed films. Returning as a live theatre tour, the Ocean Film Festival visit’s Bristol’s Victoria Rooms and features a selection of short films from wild seafaring voyages to extreme watersports and marine conservation. The festival’s selection of maritime movies invite you to join an iceberg dodging kayaking expedition, go extreme skimboarding, and explore the Kuril Islands – known as one of the last paradises on Earth – all from the comfort of your cinema seat. Tickets are £15 (£13.50 concessions) and the show begins at 2.30pm.
The Art of Brian Rice
Begins November 13th
The Museum of Somerset
Discover 30 vibrant abstract artworks by painter-printmaker Brian Rice. After a childhood spent in south Somerset, Rice became part of the 1960s London art scene, moving in the same circles as David Hockney, Peter Blake, and Derek Boshier. The exhibition, which features works throughout Brian’s career, runs until February 26. The museum of Somerset is open from 10am to 5pm, Tuesday to Sunday and operates a ‘give what you think’ entry charge policy. Booking is advised.
National treasure Su Pollard (Hi-de-Hi, You Rang, M’Lord?) is coming to Taunton’s Brewhouse theatre with Harpy, a one-woman performance of a bittersweet drama from Fringe First award-winner Philip Meeks. Harpy tells the story of Birdie and her lifelong battle to find a treasured possession she once lost. Birdie has mental health issues, but she also has a different way of looking at things that is wiser than many of the characters she encounters. It’s a moving story, and one that invites us to empathise with those who don’t fit in with society’s expectations. The performance begins at 7.30pm. Tickets are from £22 (suitable for ages 12 and over).
Gigspanner Big Band
Taunton’s Brewhouse Arts Centre also welcomes The Gigspanner Big Band, a unique force in British folk music whose high-energy, virtuoso performances have garnered praise from publications as varied as fRoots, The Telegraph, and The Wire. Beginning life as a trio – with former Steeleye Span fiddle player Peter Knight being joined by percussionist Sacha Trochet and guitarist Roger Flack – the line-up has expanded to form the Gigspanner Big Band, with acclaimed multi-instrumental duo Edgelarks (Phillip Henry and Hannah Martin) and Bellowhead co-founder and melodeon player extraordinaire John Spiers joining the fray. From 7.30pm, tickets are £25.
Mark Steel: Every Little Thing's Gonna Be Alright
The McMillan Theatre
The star of Radio 4’s Mark Steel’s in Town, The News Quiz regular, and newspaper columnist of the year, comedian Mark Steel is back on the road with a new show that is guaranteed to make the world seem even more crazy than it really is. It also promises to deliver a much needed dose of optimism too, all in Mark’s own inimitable style. The show begins at 8pm, with tickets £15. Recommended for ages 14 and over.
My Voice Was Heard But It Was Ignored
November 19th - 20th
Rounding off the Tobacco Factory Theatre’s autumn season, Red Ladder Theatre Company’s My Voice Was Heard But It Was Ignored depicts a gripping tussle for power and an urgent interrogation of racial identity. Written by emerging playwright Nana-Kofi Kufuor, it focuses on 15-year-old Reece’s brutal arrest and his teacher Gilliam witnessing the incident and failing to intervene. Tickets for the performances at the Spielman Theatre are from £16 (concessions from £12). Shows begin at 8pm. Recommended for ages 14 and over.
Henri Matisse - Lithographs
From November 19th
Somerton’s Courthouse Gallery presents a fantastic opportunity to appreciate and even purchase a piece of art history, as a series of Henri Matisse’s lithographs go on display. The authenticated lithographs and prints, exhibited at the Tate Modern in 2014, have been supplied by the famous Goldmark Gallery Rutland. The exhibition is open Wednesday to Saturday, 10am to 5pm, and runs until December 24.
Heart of The Tribe Winter Open Exhibition 2021
From November 19th
Heart of The Tribe in Glastonbury is holding its first Winter Open Exhibition, which it hopes will become an annual event. Featuring selected works from artists based in the South West and beyond, the exhibition promises to deliver an exciting and diverse mix of styles and mediums. It will also present a selection of new works from its core artists that will be displayed alongside those from entrants to the Open Exhibition. Heart of The Tribe is open every day except Wednesday, between 11am and 5pm. Out of hours viewings are available by request.
The Craft4Crafters Show
November 25th - 27th
Bath and West Showground
The Craft4Crafters Show returns to the Bath & West Showground this November. It is ideal for great Christmas crafting supplies, learning a new crafting skill, or finding Christmas gifts. There will be textile and craft displays as well as workshops and live demonstrations, plus make and takes for inspiration and ideas.
November 20th and 27th
Taunton and Street
The ever-popular eat:Festivals make their first festive forays onto the county’s high streets this month, with events in Street (Crispin Hall and Crispin Centre, November 20) and Taunton (Hammet Street and East Street, November 27). The organisers have been running safe, secure, and highly successful outdoor events again since the spring and continue to showcase the best in West Country produce, now with a festive flavour. As well as celebrating the finest fare from local food and drink producers, each event offers plenty of music and activities to entertain the whole
family. Every event is town centre-based, free, and runs from 10am to 4pm.
Stand-up poet, comedian, and broadcaster Elvis McGonagall brings his unique brand of lyrical wit and repartee to Frome’s Merlin Theatre this month. Compere of the Blue Suede Sporran Club and 2006 Grand Poety Slam Champion, the satirical Scot is renowned for his brilliantly anarchic shows. Who knows what he will make of the vicissitudes of the past 18 months? Whatever his observations on the state of the world, we can guarantee they will be hilarious and heartwarming in equal measure. Tickets are £10.50, the show starts at 8pm.