By Harry Mottram: below are a selection of events and productions for December and into the New Year. It is impossible to include everything but I am keen to list community and free events for families – so do email them to me at firstname.lastname@example.org – but ensure plenty of time as we are a monthly and I need them at least one month before.
Theatre Picks In Bath
Fri 1 Dec-Sat 13 Jan. Wendy: A Peter Pan Story. James Baldwin’s adaptation of J.M. Barrie’s classic story. Various times including 10am, 2pm, 6pm. Age 6+.
Thu 7 Dec-Sun 7 Jan. Midnight Mole. A heart-warming, moon-dancing adventure from the creative team behind Snow Mouse- with a nod to Chekhov’s The Cherry Orchard- full of puppetry and music. 9.30am, 11.30am & 1.30pm (Not Mondays). Age: 6mths-4yrs.
Sun 7 Jan – Mon 5 Feb. Snow Mouse. A child finds a sleeping mouse buried under the soft white flakes.9.30am, 11.30am & 1.30pm (Not Mondays) Age: 6mths-4yrs.
Main House Theatre Royal
Sun 2, Mon 11 and 18 Dec. A Christmas Carol. Guy Masterton brings Dickens’ novella to life. 2pm, 7pm.
Thu 7 Dec-Sun 7 Jan. Sleeping Beauty. Pantomime with song, dance and high comedy with Neil McDermott as the Prince, Jon Monie as Lester the Jester, Nick Wilton as the Dame, Jane Buckley as Fairy Snowfall and Maisie Sellwood as Princess Rose. Various performance times. No show on Christmas Day or Jan 1.
Wed 10-Sat 20 Jan. The Circle. Somerset Maugham’s sparky comedy of manners. 2.30pm, 7.30pm.
Wed 24-Sat 27 Jan. HMS Pinafore. Gilbert and Sullivan’s comic opera with Opera della Luna. 2.30pm, 7.30pm.
Tue 5 Dec. The Second Best Bed. Role Play Theatre. Liz Grand appears as Shakepeare’s widow Anne Hathaway. 7:30pm.
Fri-Sat, 8-9 Dec. A Christmas Carol. Hobgoblin Theatre Company. Family friendly version of Dickens’ novella. Friday 5pm, 7.30pm. Sat 2.30pm, 7:30pm
Thu-Sun, 14-17 Dec. La Boheme. Cardiff Opera. Puccini’s star crossed lovers Mimi and Rodolfo in a story of Bohemian romance in Paris. 7.30pm.
Tue 23-Sat 27 Jan. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time. Next Stage Theatre. Based on the book by Mark Haddon, adapted by Simon Stephens
Wed 29 Nov-Sat 2 Dec. A Streetcar Named Desire. Tennessee Willams’ emotionally charged domestic drama.
Wed 6-Thu 7 Dec. Gravest Fears: Two Ghost Stories by MR James. With Robert Llyod Parry of Nunkie Productions. 8pm
Fri 8 Dec. Rock The Tots: Christmas. Music and drama for families. 11am. Age 0-6.
Fri 8-Sat 9 Dec. Great Magician at Christmas. James Phelan entertains. 3pm, 8pm.
Wed 13-Sun 24 Dec. The Stolen Winter Light. Written by Douglas Murdoch with Greedy Pig Theatre. Family show with a bewitching and hilarious festive tale. Relaxed performances available and all shows captioned.
Wed 17-Sun 21 Jan. The Wind in the Willows. Bath Drama production f Kenneth Grahame’s classic story directed by Gill Morrell. Weekend matinees 2pm, and 7pm.
Wed 24 Jan. Apricity Theatre Showcase. The company is 10 years old. 7.30pm.
Thu 25 Jan. Adrew Bird. Taken Seriously. Comedian. 8pm.
Fri 26 Jan. This is your (Improvised) Musical. Audience suggestions drive the show. 8pm.
Sat 27 Jan. Ania Magliano. I Can’t Believe You’ve Done this. Comedian. 7.30pm.
Sat 16 Dec. Bath. Beauty and the Beast. Pantomime in 60 minutes. 1pm, 3pm.
Fri 1-Sat 23 Dec. The Turn of the Screw. Benjamin Britten’s opera is based on Henry James’s famous novella. Deborah Warner Season. 7.30pm.
Mon 29 Jan-Sat 10 Feb. Metamorphoses. A new ballet by Kim Brandstrup in a double bill with Minotaur. Deborah Warner Season. 7.30pm.
Fri-Sat, 5-6 Jan. Sophie Bevan. One of the great lyric sopranos of her generation. Deborah Warner Season. 7.30pm.
Theatre Picks Outside Bath
Bristol Hippodrome: Sat 2-Sun 31 Dec. Peter Pan. Pantomime.
Bristol Old Vic: Thu 23 Nov–Sat 6 Jan. Arabian Nights. Drama based on the folk tales ideal for children and families.
Bristol Tobacco Factory: Fri 1 Dec- Sun 21 Jan. Oilver Twist. A re-imagining of Charles Dickens’ story set in Victorian England.
Cheltenham Everyman Theatre: Fri 24th Nov – Sun 7th Jan. Mother Goose. Pantomime.
Salisbury Playhouse: Sat 25 Nov-Sun 7 Jan. Dick Wittington. Pantomime production following Jack and his cat Cosmo in search of fame and fortune.
Taunton Brewhouse: Tue 5-Sat 30 Dec. A Christmas Carol. A new take on Charles Dickens’ morality story with music, puppetry and drama.
Wyvern Swindon: Sat 2-Sun 31 Dec. Snow White. Pantomime.
Pick of Diary Events in Bath
Fri 17 Nov-Wed 3 Jan. Royal Victoria Park. Bath on Ice. Ice skating outdoors – also Moguls Alpine Bar And Glow Golf.
Thu 23 Nov-Sun 10 Dec. Bath Christmas Market. Central Bath near the Abbey.
Thu 23 Nov-Sun 24 Dec. Milsom Place Father Christmas’ Grotto. After school times.
Fri 1 Dec. Bath Abbey. Bath Choral Society. J. S. Bach’s Christmas Oratorio. 7.30pm.
Sat 2 Dec. Methodist Hall, Bear Flat. Christmas Art and Market. 10am to 5pm, Free Entry. Methodist Church Hall, Bruton Avenue. Handmade gifts and unique affordable artwork on sale including ceramics, painting, jewellery, sculpture, photography, printmaking, glass, illustration, cards, festive tree decorations and more. Buy direct from artists and makers and find out about the making processes. www.bearflatartists.co.uk
Sat 2 Dec. Burdall’s Yard. The Aidean Pope Trio. Progressive jazz meets hip-hop and rock. 8pm.
Tue 5 Dec. Bath Abbey. Carols with the Horizons Choir of Bath. 7pm.
Tue 5 Dec. Bath Royal Literary and Scientific Institute. Philosophy and Life. Talk by A C Grayling. The talk will explore how to answer the Socratic challenge and examines the most important questions that arise in doing so: death, the great inevitable, love, the great desirable, meaning, the great mystery – and the great hope, happiness. What do these concepts mean – really mean? 7.30pm.
Thu 7 Dec. Bath Forum. Swing into Christmas. Down for the Count recreate the music of Nat ‘King’ Cole, Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald, and Frank Sinatra. 6.30pm.
Sat 9 Dec. Bath City Farm. Father Christmas Show. British comic actor Stewart Wright is excited to bring the Father of Christmas to life in Bath for the first time. 4.30pm.
Sat 9 Dec. Christ Church, Julian Road. Bathtub Orchestra Christmas Concert with the Neston Larks Choir. Festive music. 7.30pm.
Sun 10 Dec. Green Park Station. Contemporary Arts Fair. From 12noon. Local artists exhibit.
Sun 10 Dec. Odd Down Sports Ground. Mental Elf Fun Run. Bath Mind are behind the family friendly 5K fundraiser.
Wed 13 Dec. Bath Royal Literary and Scientific Institute. Dickens and the Victorian Christmas Book. Talk by Prof Dinah Birch. The lasting significance of A Christmas Carol in the context of other books that Dickens wrote for the Christmas market, and will also examine the wider tradition of the Victorian Christmas book as it developed to reflect and sometimes to challenge the values of a rapidly-changing society. 7.30pm.
Thu 14 Dec. The Forum. Fastlove – Tribute to George Michael. Top artist brings George’s music to life.
Thu 14 Dec. Bath Royal Literary and Scientific Institute. Bath Abbey – the story behind the stones. Talk by Jeremy Key-Pugh. Bath Abbey has recently completed the “Footprint Project” – an ambitious £19.3-million undertaking, which began with the need to stabilise the sinking floor, though ultimately it included a lot more work as well. The floor was subsiding because of the number of burials underneath it in the course of nearly 300 years. 7.30pm.
Fri 15 Dec. Bath Royal Literary and Scientific Institute. Carols By Candlelight. Bath Celebration Choir. 7.30pm.
Fri 15 Dec. Herschel Museum of Astronomy. Winter Astronomy: Anniversary of Caroline’s 5th comet. Take part in night time astronomy. 8pm.
Sat 16 Dec. American Museum. Steeple Rocks Christmas Concert. Wiltshire choir entertain in The Stables. 2.30pm.
Sat 16 Dec. Bath Abbey. Handel’s Messiah. With Abbey choirs of Girls and Lay Clerks. Accompanied by Rejouissance. 7pm.
Sun 17 Dec. American Museum. Jazz with John Law’s recreation. Musical entertainment in The Stables. 2.30pm.
Sun 17 Dec. Chapel Arts. Clyve’s Funky Christmas Party. Bath’s Blue Eyed Soul Boy is back at Chapel Arts with his Soul City Foundation. 8pm.
Wed 20 Dec. The Forum. Lost In Music – One Night at the Disco. A chance to dance the night away to the best music of the 1980s and beyond.
Sat 23 Dec. Komedia. Bingo Lingo. Bingo but not as we know it. 7.30pm.
Sun 31 Dec. Widcombe Social Club. New Year’s Eve party. Disco with music to dance in 2024. 10pm-1am
Fri 5 Jan. Bath Royal Literary and Scientific Institute. Gravitational Waves and Black Holes. Talk by Dr Isobel Romero-Shaw.
Tue 16 Jan. The Forum. Bath Philharmonia and Nicloa Benedetti. The violinist performs Bruch’s romantic evocation of Scotland.
Thu 18 Jan. Bath Royal Literary and Scientific Institute. Aztecs Abroad. By Dr Caroline Dodds Pennock. Historical Association talk – for tickets email@example.com.
Fri 2 Feb. Bath Royal Literary and Scientific Institute. Talk on Johannes Kepler. By Nicolas Pallett. Johannes Kepler (1571-1630) – astronomer, mathematician, visionary, dreamer, explorer, astrologer – is best known for his laws of planetary motion, providing one of the foundations for Isaac Newton’s theory of universal gravitation. 7.30pm.
Pick of Diary Events outside of Bath
Bristol Christmas Market. Bristol Shopping Quarter’s streets will play host to wooden chalets offering a selection of gifts as well as festive food and drink. Until 23 Dec 2023.
Winter Wonderland at Wookey Hole. Apparently, Santa lives in these Somerset Caves. Until 1 Jan.
Exhibition Picks in Bath
American Museum, Bath. Claverton. The Museum features collections from the United States where you can visit rooms that recreate periods of its history. Brick America exhibition – the USA in Lego. Until 31 December. Plus plenty of festive events including gin tasting on the 7th, and felt making on the 19th.
Burdell’s Yard. Art exhibition. Charlotte Moore – Panel Paintings. A series of panel paintings, all with historical references. Formerly resident in Australia, Charlotte Moore has lived in and near Bath for the last 20 years, a member of Bath Society of Artists, over these years she has exhibited in Bath, London, and other open exhibitions. She studied at Chelsea School of Art and Falmouth College of Art. Free. Until February 3, 2024.
Herschel Museum of Astronomy. It is located in a town house that was formerly the home of William Herschel and his sister Caroline. Christmas is marked with a workshop on the phases of the moon on Saturday 16th – ideal for children.
Holburne Museum. The heart of the present day collection was formed by Sir Thomas William Holburne (1793-1874). It was eventually bequeathed to the people of Bath. Current shows include Lucie Rie pottery until Jan 7, the art of Sarah Biffin to Jan 14 and the art of Gwen John until 14 April.
Museum of Bath at Work. Julian Rd, Bath BA1 2RH. Enter the world of working Bath through a series of authentically reconstructed workplaces, workshops and display galleries. Exhibition: All Day Long: The Workers of Bath in Fifty Portrait Photographs.
Museum of East Asian Art. MEAA’s collections consist of some 2,000 objects. The majority of these are of Chinese origin, spanning from 5,000 BC to the present.
Victoria Art Gallery. Exhibitions include Gail Mason: The Unseen Landscape to 7 Jan, 2024; When Dreams Confront Reality: Surrealism in Britain to 7 Jan; Catherine Ducker: Emotion in Colour. 9 Jan to 14 April. From Jan 19 to April 14: The Wonderful World of Ladybird Book Artists.
Exhibition Picks outside Bath
Weston-super-Mare Museum. Adventures in Time & Space – 60 Years of Doctor Who Art Exhibition to 27 Jan 2024.
Bristol Museum & Art Gallery. Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2023. To 1 Apr 2024.
Attractions in Bath
Assembly Rooms. The National Trust are working on the Georgian Experience, due to open in 2026. You can book a visit the once centre of Georgian social life – wearing period costume is optional.
Bath Abbey. Not just a place of worship with numerous events and services but also features a shop, tower tours, a discovery centre and a social history museum.
Bath City Farm. 37 acres overlooking the city on Kelston View. A working farm with café, facilities, workshops and gardens – plus Father Christmas on the 9th. Details on their website.
Bath World Heritage Centre. Interactive exhibits and displays designed to reveal the history of Bath and show visitors and residents free walking trails and guides to help you explore everything Bath has to offer.
Jane Austen Centre. Gay Street. Everything you need to know about the author and her life.
Mary Shelley’s House of Frankenstein. Gay Street. Monsters and more.
No.1 Royal Crescent. Features an immersive experience, which will allow you to see life as it was lived in Georgian Bath during the late 1700s. Look beyond the Crescent’s famous Palladian façade and see what life was like for the wealthy and their servants in eighteenth-century Bath Great views from the windows.
The Roman Baths. The hot water that comes out of the ground is the reason Bath exists. A fascinating tour of the city’s history from the time of the Romans.