With Christmas and New Year behind us, it can feel like a long wait until the next big celebration. For many, January represents the return to reality that we all dread – but it doesn’t have to be that way. Bristol is packed with music, theatre and comedy to see off those blues and begin 2017 in style. Check out our pick of some of the best on offer.
Cling onto Christmas with a festive show
Both local producing houses the Bristol Old Vic and Tobacco Factory have put on spectacular performances this Christmas season, and the shows continue well into January. First off, the Old Vic’s main house plays host to The Snow Queen, a charming retelling of Hans Christian Andersen’s famous tale. It’s suitable for ages seven up, and includes original music. For children aged 0-7 don’t miss Little Tim and the Brave Sea Captain, the Bristol Old Vic’s first off-site show whilst the new Studio Theatre is under construction, and a co-production with wonderful local company the Wardrobe Ensemble. Finally, Sally Cookson’s smash-hit Cinderella: A Fairytale returns to Bristol, having travelled all over the country in recent years. The Olivier-nominated show has been extended, and is a master class in ensemble and music-infused performance. Great fun for anyone over six.
Local arts venue the Arnolfini has been hosting Howling Owl Records for the last four years for their New Year/New Noise festival, a three-day collection of music, art and sound. January is all about making resolutions and trying new things, so get started right away with some of these forward-thinking events. The weekend includes gigs from the likes of Girl Band, Silver Waves, ASDA, Klein/Agatha and of course Howling Owl’s own DJs. There’s also a panel discussion and workshop, so expect to be challenged and to find something exciting and new.
Bristol’s annual Slapstick Festival returns this January, taking over numerous venues, from the Bristol Old Vic to the Colston Hall. The five days of events run from 18 – 22 January, and include film screenings, talks and plenty of laughs. This year the festival will pay special tribute to the late Victoria Wood, Rik Mayall and Pierre Étaix. Special guests include Bill Oddie, Marcus Brigstocke and Lucy Porter, and don’t miss Slapstick Sunday at the Bristol Old Vic, with five unique events to pick through.
If your tastes are for something a little more delicate, you could do a lot worse than enjoying an evening of classical music. On 20 January Soloists from the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment descend on St George’s, to present a series of Baroque: pieces from Handel’s Trio Sonata in B minor through to Bach’s ‘Musical Offering’ and even a work from French Composer Jean-Philippe Rameau. For something on a larger scale, try the St Petersburg Philharmonic who are appearing at the Colston Hall on 24 January. Entitled ‘Eastern Promises’, the programme combines Prokofiev’s Piano Concerto No.3 with lesser-known work from Aram Khachaturian and Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov. This is Russia’s oldest orchestra, so expect a rich and moving evening.
Soloists of the OAE takes place at St George’s on Friday 20 January at 7pm. Tickets £5 - £22 (plus booking fees). The St Petersburg Philharmonic takes place at the Colston Hall on Tuesday 24 January at 7.30pm. Tickets £1 - £42 including fees.