Cotswold spy | December
Dick Whittington and his cat Tweedy at Everyman Theatre
Described as Everyman’s funniest panto yet, this all-singing, all-dancing, joke-filled production of Dick Whittington is bound to have you in stitches. And the good news is that Dick Whittington isn’t travelling alone, he’s got his merry companion in the form of his faithful feline sidekick Tweedy, played by the ever-brilliant Gifford Circus clown Tweedy. A cast of Everyman favourites; including Sam Holmes as Fairy Bow Bells, Kevin Brewis as Sarah The Cook and Phoebe Samuel-Gray as Alice Fitzwarren, will help Dick along his journey as he seeks to make his fame and fortune in London.
26th November to 8th January. Everyman Theatre, Regent Street, Cheltenham, GL50 1HQ. 01242 572573; www.everymantheatre.org.uk
The Snowman at Cheltenham Town Hall
‘You would be hard pushed to find a more magical Christmas experience,’ said The Times of this spectacular one-night show of Raymond Brigg’s festive tale The Snowman. Accompanied by the Mozart Symphony Orchestra live, enjoy this timeless classic on the big screen– topped off, of course, with the exquisite aria, made so famous by Aled Jones: Walking in the Air. The Gruffalo will also be played – and, just like Peter and the Wolf, each character in the tale is represented by a different instrument of the orchestra. So, the only question which remains is… what instrument will the Gruffalo be?
23rd December. Imperial Square, Cheltenham, GL50 1QA. 01242 528764; www.cheltenhamtownhall.org.uk
Joan Miró | An Exhibition of Original Prints at Paragon Gallery
One of the most innovative artists of the 20th century, Miró represented the beginning of Surrealism as an art movement. The Spaniard was a master of many art forms, with his ground-breaking work spanning not just Surrealism but Expressionism and Fauvism. This fascinating exhibition sees a wide selection of original prints, including lithographs, etchings, woodcuts and pochoirs. And be prepared for lots of colour – bright, uninhabited colour was one of Miró’s trademarks; a fascinating kaleidoscope, often altered by his mood, which was deeply affected by the turbulent political events of the time.
1st-24th December. Paragon Gallery, 4 Rotunda Terrace, Montpellier Street, Cheltenham, GL50 1SW. 01242 233391; www.paragongallery.co.uk
Sir Ranulph Fiennes: Living Dangerously at Cheltenham Town Hall
Named by the Guinness Book of Records as ‘the world’s greatest living explorer’, Sir Ranulph Fiennes has spent his life in pursuit of extreme adventure. He was the first to reach both Poles, the first to cross the Antarctic and Arctic Ocean, and the first to circumnavigate the world along its polar axis. Now, you can hear all about his record-breaking achievements as Sir Ranulph takes to the stage and shares an insight into his life. Learn about his childhood, army life and early expeditions, right through to his Global Reach Challenge – to become the first person to cross both polar ice caps and climb the highest mountain on each of the seven continents.
5th December. Cheltenham Town Hall, Imperial Square, Cheltenham, GL50 1QA. 01242 528764; www.cheltenhamtownhall.org.uk
Three of the Best Christmas Markets
Jolliest Christmas Craft Market at Dunkertons Cider
From textiles to ceramics to organic beauty products, gear up for a whole range of festive gifts from talented artisans at this all-round brilliant Christmas craft market. There will be plenty of food and drink, too. The Taproom Bar will be serving Dunkertons’ award-winning ciders alongside a good selection of other alcoholic drinks and soft drinks. Then there’s The Sourdough Pizza Company, authentic Americana-style comfort food from Ronnie’s Ribshack and spicy delights at The Bombay Street Food Company. And don’t miss La Boulangerie Artisan and Waghorne's Butchers in the Dunkertons Cider shop for more delicious treats.
3rd December. Dunkertons Cider, Dowdeswell Park, London Road, Cheltenham, GL52 6UT. 01242 650 147; www.dunkertonscider.co.uk
Christmas Artisan Market at Pittville Pump Room
It’s hard to know where to start at this fabulous artisan market in the splendid Pittville Pump Room. Showcasing local makers, creatives and producers, there will be gifts, pieces and products aplenty – allowing you to sort out all your Christmas shopping in one fell swoop. Highlights include handmade African Prints from Ile.darasimi, Chocolate Genie’s sweet treats, moon-inspired jewellery by Samantha Steele and exquisite handcrafted platters, goblets and cheese knives from woodturner Paul Abell. Four-legged friends haven’t been forgotten either – check out Hetty & Huxley who create luxury handmade hound accessories that fit all shapes and sizes.
3rd, 4th, 20th & 21st December. Pittville Pump Room, East Approach Drive, Cheltenham, GL52 3JE. 01242 528 764; www.pittvillepumproom.org.uk
Cheltenham Christmas Market on The Promenade
Housed in charming wooden chalets, The Promenade and Long Gardens will come alive once again with a magical Christmas market. Packed with unique gifts, there will be a fantastic variety of over 80 stalls brimming with an abundance of craft creations by local producers. Grab a mug of warming hot chocolate or glass of mulled wine then feast your eyes on the jewellery, glass work, woodcraft and original art prints plus everything else in between. And if you can’t wait until the market starts on 8th December then don’t panic. A smaller pop-up Christmas market will be setting up shop along the Promenade from 2nd-4th December.
8th-23rd December. The Promenade & Long Gardens, Cheltenham, GL50 1PJ. 01608652662; www.visitcheltenham.com