MathildaMathilda - Soup Soup
MathildaMathilda - Soup Soup - photo by Paul Blakemore

Things to do in Bath, Bristol and beyond in October 2019

Find out what the two neighbourly cities and surrounding area have in store in for October

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October 7th, 2019

From Holst's masterpiece in the UK's first 3D Planetarium, to a three-week circus festival,  and an eclectic mix of theatre, discover our pick of things to do in Bath, Bristol and beyond this October.

Music

Chantement Cordiale: A concert of enchanting music, Museum of Bath Architecture (11 October)

Musicke in the Ayre’s straddles the English Channel of the 16th and 17th centuries, with Carmel Edwards singing to Din Ghani’s lute.

Holst’s Planets 3D at We The Curious, Bristol (18 October)

Be transported through the mysterious worlds of the solar system listening to Holst's masterpiece presented in the unique setting of the UK's most advanced 3D planetarium, with a full 360º dome, stunning graphics and 5.1 surround sound. 

We The Curious 3D Planetarium Bristol Photo by Lee Pullen
We The Curious 3D Planetarium Bristol

Colston Hall's Discovery Day, Bristol (12 October)

Colston Hall are throwing open their doors for a special day of talks, exhibitions and family activities with a focus on sustainability. See virtual reality demonstrations, take part in arts, crafts, drumming and singing workshops and listen to live music.

>>See full listings here.

Time and Tide, Clevedon Community Centre (24-25 October)

Community opera, Time and Tide, will mark the 150th anniversary of Clevedon Pier, mapping the extraordinary life of the pier from conception, building, and its heyday to its decline, destruction and triumphant recovery.

Mixtape Live: Keyboard at St George's, Bristol (26 October)

The perfect appetiser for St George’s Keyboard Festival, running from 1-8 November. Sit, stand or lie-down listening to all things keyboard - from the plucked renaissance Virginals to the 1970s analogue synthesizer. Repertoire will range from Byrd, Bach and Scarlatti, to improvised synth explorations from Goldfrapp’s Will Gregory and friends.

Festivals 

PAPAYA Fest 2019 at The Wardrobe Theatre and Old Market Assembly, Bristol (11 – 13 October)

Get ready for a jam-packed fiesta of theatre, live music and DJs and a fusion of Latin American and British culture at Bristol's first Anglo-Latinx theatre and music festival.

IBT19 We Rise, Bristol (9-13 October)

A four day gathering of conversations, performances and provocations around llive art, activism, socially-engaged practice, gender politics and how to end the end of the world.

Festival of the Future City, Bristol (16-18 October)

The third Festival of the Future City - which aims to be the largest public debate about the future of cities - brings together politicians, writers, artists, scientists, academics, journalists, students, the public, economists,, policy-makers, roboticists, philosophers, filmmakers, think tanks, charities, social enterprises, city-builders and more.

Circus City 2019 (17 October – 2 November) 

Bristol's biennial circus festival returns for three jam-packed weeks. Fire your imaginations and thrill your senses as the festival juggles, swings and tumbles into town with thought-provoking performances and gravity defying acts. 

Circus City Bristol Photo by Joe Clarke
Circus City Bristol

Bristol Festival of Literature (17-27 October)

Returning for its ninth year, Bristol Festival of Literature presents a diverse programme, bringing writers, publishers and poets together for ten days of literary events around the city. Highlights include a Bristol Writers’ Group reading their fiction in Redcliffe Caves (22 October), and a writer’s retreat at Arnos Vale Cemetery.

BOP Bristol 19 Photobook Festival (19 – 20 October)   

This brand new photobook festival hosted by the Martin Parr Foundation and The Royal Photographic Society brings together a diverse range of photobook publishers from around the world. Seek out new books directly from publishers and artists, secure recently published and established titles and have them signed and meet the photographers behind the books. 

Simple Things Festival, Bristol (19 October) 

See more than 40 acts at this genre-busting, multi-venue music and arts festival, which covers six of Bristol’s venues and 12 music stages. Headlining the Day programme this year (19 Oct) will be Holly Herndon.

Bristol Film Festival, venues across Bristol (24 October - 1 November)

Clever programming sees films matched with Bristol settings, including a screening of classic spoof Airplane! Under the wing of Concorde at Aerospace Bristol (30 October), Hocus Pocus at Bristol Museum and Art Gallery (24 October) or The Exorcist in Redcliffe Caves. 

Aerospace Bristol - Concorde Courtesy of Aerospace Bristol
Aerospace Bristol - Concorde

Freedom of Mind Festival, Bristol (26-30 October)

A festival aimed at de-stigmatising mental health through proactive and engaging events. The programmed includes bike rides, spoken word nights, a film screening and a session around feline mindfulness.

Exhibitions

Rembrandt in print, Holburne Museum, Bath (until 5 January 2020)

Marking 350 years since the death of Rembrandt van Rijn (1606–1669), one of the greatest printmakers of all time, and a master of the Dutch Golden Age, this exhibition features fifty of the best etchings and drypoints from the Ashmolean Museum’s world-class collection of Rembrandt prints and many of his iconic images.

Do you believe in magic? at Bristol Museum & Art Gallery (19 October – 19 April)

From ancient uses of witchcraft to the role superstition plays in the modern mind, this exhibition shows how magic has been used to heal, hunt and harm across the world.

Bristol Museum & Art Gallery
Bristol Museum & Art Gallery

Interventions/2: Films by Yoko Ono at The Georgian House Museum, Bristol (28 September – 31 December)

Watch artist and activist Yoko Ono’s avant-garde films showcased in gorgeous Georgian surroundings in her very first solo show in Bristol. 

The Ghosts of Berkeley Castle (until 30 October)

See Edward II, doomed in his cell, Elizabeth I ready with her crossbow and Dicky Pearce - the jester who fell from the Minstrel’s Gallery - all re-created as wire sculptures around Berkeley Castle grounds by Jackie Lantelli.

Meriç Algün: Day Craving Night at Spike Island, Bristol (until 8 December)

Stockholm-based artist Meriç Algün’s explores the precarious nature of love in her first solo exhibition at Spike Island. Bringing together resources from the Carboniferous period to today, it takes the form of a spatial collage that draws analogies between love, nature and culture.

167 Annual Open Exhibition at RWA, Bristol (29 September - 1 December)

Returning for its 167th year with a stunning variety of mixed discipline work from emerging and established artists from across the UK and beyond. All work will be available to purchase.

167 Annual Open Exhibition at RWA
167 Annual Open Exhibition at RWA

Playing the Picturesque, The Edge & Andrew Brownswood Gallery, Bath (until 14 December)

Enter the gallery to experience an interactive installation exploring the boundaries between virtual and physical space and how humans have created an idealised, filtered world today and in the 18th century.

Invisible Light: William Herschel and Infrared, Bath (until January 1 2020)

In March 1800 using three thermometers, a prism and a piece of white card William Herschel made one of science’s most ground-breaking discoveries, infrared radiation. The museum explores how Herschel made devices ranging from TV remotes to satellites possible through his discovery of invisible light.

Theatre

Rumpelstiltskin at John Wesley's Chapel The New Room, Bristol (4 October - 1 November)

An spine-tingling take on the classic folk tale about greed, imagination and the sometimes terrible choices we have to make. The immersive performance, told by candlelight in the atmospheric setting of The New Room, is led by Insane Root Theatre.

Egg Theatre, Bath (various)

Shrek the Musical (8-12 October) and Alice in Wonderland (29-30 October), are just some of the thrilling family-friendly listings on the bill this October.

>>See Egg Theatre’s full listings for October here.

Egg auditorium Bath Photo by Philip Vile
The Egg auditorium, Bath

Holy Unauthorised Improv Parody Batman! at The Bristol Improv Theatre (9 October)

From the creators of Steves and Wooster comes another improvised show about a rich idiot with no day job. See Batman and Robin as you haven't seen them since the 60s! 

>>See The Bristol Improv Theatre’s full listings for October

Cyrano at Bristol Old Vic (12 Oct - 6 November)

A dazzling new verse adaptation by Peter Oswald of the epic love story, immortalised on film by Gerard Depardieu and Steve Martin. Directed by Tom Morris (Touching the Void, War Horse), Tristan Sturrock (Poldark) stars as the gigantic-nosed Cyrano. 

>>See all of Bristol Old Vic’s October listings.

Tristan Sturrock in Cyrano rehearsals Photo by Owain Astles
Tristan Sturrock in Cyrano rehearsals

NT Live: A Midsummer Night’s Dream at The Little Theatre Cinema, Bath (17 October)

Shakespeare’s most famous romantic comedy will be captured live from the Bridge Theatre in London. Starring Gwendoline Christie and directed by Nicholas Hytner, this production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream will build on the success of his immersive and imaginative staging of Julius Caesar (NT Live 2018).

>>See The Little Theatre’s full listings for October

Long Nose Puppets present: Arthur’s Dream Boat at Komedia (27 October)

An enchanting, playful children’s show about a little boy and his dream boat, featuring amazing puppets and music by Tom Gray, of Mercury Award-winning band Gomez.

Much Ado About Nothing at Tobacco Factory Theatres, Bristol (16 October – 9 November)

Celebrating the 20th season of Shakespeare at the Tobacco Factory this autumn, watch Shakespeare’s comedy about the precarious path to finding love.

>>Click to see all of Tobacco Factory Theatres listings this October

Tobacco Factory Theatres Bristol Courtesy Tobacco Factory Theatres
Tobacco Factory Theatres Bristol

Dance Dynamic Weston: Lost Dog ‘Juliet and Romeo’ at The Regency Suite, Grand Pier, Weston-super-Mare (18 October) 

With Lost Dog’s blend of dance, theatre and comedy, this stunning duet, directed by Olivier Award-nominated Ben Duke, is a humorous and heartfelt look at love, loss, longevity and our cultural obsession with youth.

>>Click to see Theatre Orchard’s full programme listings for October 

Juliet and Romeo by Lost Dog Photo by Zoe Manders
Juliet and Romeo by Lost Dog

MATHILDAMATHILDA – Soap Soup, Theatre Shop, Clevedon (19 October)

An imaginative and highly original adventure story where two heads are better than one. Created and performed by Mother-Daughter duo, Tomasin and Ros Cuthbert, this is Soap Soup’s first show for older audiences.

Family

  • To see what’s on for Halloween and Half-term in Bristol, Bath and beyond, click here.
  • For even more inspiration for things to do in Bristol, Bath and beyond, check out our guides here.
  • For more ideas on things to do in Bristol and Bath, check out Visit Bristol and Visit Bath’s websites.
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