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Top five what's on this weekend

Christmas shopping almost there? Looking for something to do this weekend?

Get into the festive spirit with theatre shows, family days out, musical performances, carols and Christmas light switch-on.

1# A touch of winter madness in reinvented classic tale 

Gloucester-based Rain or Shine Theatre Company are bringing their comic retelling of the classic tale The Wind in the Willows to various venues in Gloucestershire over the festive season.

The fast-paced show follows the adventures of handsome Ratty, innocent Mole, wise Badger and of course the incomparable Toad as they row, ride and run on and around the banks of The River in an escapade suitable for the whole family.

Local upcoming dates are as follows:

Saturday, December 7, 7pm: St Barnabas Church Hall, Stroud Road, Gloucester GL1 5LJ

Sunday, December 8, 2pm and 7.30pm: Rhodes Memorial Hall, Brockhampton, Glos GL54 5XH

Saturday, December 21, 7pm: The WI Hall, Prestbury, Cheltenham GL52 5JF

Saturday, December 28, 7pm: Poulton Village Hall, Cirencester, Glos GL7 5HW

Saturday, January 4, 4pm: Sandhurst Village Hall, Glos GL2 9NP

Tickets are available via Ticket Web on 08444 771 000 or via Rain or Shine on 01452 521575 or through their website at http://www.rainorshine.co.uk/tourdates2.html 

2# Choristers to perform with internationally acclaimed clarinettist  

Where: Gloucester Cathedral

When: Saturday, December 7, 11am

Internationally acclaimed clarinettist Emma Johnson will perform her Songs of Celebration with the boy and girl choristers of Gloucester Cathedral, conducted by Adrian Partington, in a special Christmas concert on Saturday (December 7) at 11am.

This year, Emma has composed an inventive Christmas suite, Songs of Celebration, comprising four original carols.

Emma has generously agreed to perform free of charge, with all monies raised through the ticket sales and on the day going towards funding future chorister activities.

Tickets cost £20 and are available from the welcome desk in Gloucester Cathedral, on the door on the day, on 01452 768928 or online at the 3 Choirs website.

3# Flock to Westonbirt Arboretum...an alien has landed! 

Where: Westonbirt Arboretum

When: Ongoing

Lu-La, from the Shaun the Sheep Movie:Farmageddon, which launched in UK cinemas in October, is an impish and adorable alien with amazing powers. She has been stranded in the arboretum and needs to charge her communicator so that she can get a message back home to call for rescue!

Forestry England's Westonbirt Arboretum is inviting families to help Shaun the Sheep with his mission to get Lu-La home before a sinister organisation can capture her.

Once all of the puzzles and challenges have been completed, the app will present an augmented reality hidden spaceship where families can have their picture taken.

A Shaun the Sheep Farmageddon Glow Trail kit will be available to buy on site for £3.50 and includes a UV pen-torch, Shaun the Sheep ears, a clue sheet, an activity booklet, a sticker sheet and a pencil to make note of your answers!

4# Tetbury gearing up for fabulous Christmas celebrations 

Where: Tetbury

When: Friday, December 6, and Saturday, December 7

Tetbury's Christmas Lights Switch On takes place on Friday, December 6, from 5.30pm, accompanied by festive music, carols, market stalls and the chance to visit Santa in his grotto.

Watch the lantern procession from 5.40pm and join the Mayor and a pupil from St Mary's Primary School for the big switch-on from 6pm.

There will also be the opportunity to do some late-night shopping in the town's beautiful independent shops and boutiques.

For the third year in a row Tetbury Town Council will host this fabulous festival - come and see a festive array of beautifully decorated trees supplied and decorated by local organisations, schools and clubs all in the beautiful setting of St Saviour's Church.

You also have the opportunity to leave your memories of loved ones, friends and family, on the Christmas Memory Tree.

Tetbury Christmas Tree Festival and Memory Tree runs from Friday, December 6, to Monday, January 6.

5# Series of special seasonal performances at Sudeley Castle 

Where: Sudeley Castle, Winchcombe

Sudeley Castle and Gardens is inviting families and Christmas carol connoisseurs to get into the festive spirit and enjoy a series of special performances from local choirs, singers and dancers.

From festive and folk to traditional and Tudor, and even modern and merry, there will be songs to suit all tastes - and sing along to - with live music, Morris dancing and the angelic sounds of the harp to look forward to.

The festive schedule is as follows:

• Saturday, December 7, at 1.30pm: Cheltenham Community Choir will fill the church with the wonderful sounds of over 70 voices.Friday, December 13, 2pm and 3pm: Happenstance Border Morris Dancing will perform colourful dances from the English-Welsh border, accompanied by a brilliant band of musicians.

• Saturday, December 14, 11am and 2pm: The Got 2 Sing Choir will get everyone in the festive spirit with two very merry Christmas concerts.

• Sunday, December 15, will see the welcome return of local harpist Alys Winchcombe.

• Saturday, December 21, at 2.30pm: The costumed group Waytes and Measures will perform a Tudor Christmas celebration concert complete with period instruments.

• Sunday, December 22: 13-year-old singer-songwriter Daisy Kane will dazzle with an array of original and cover songs on the piano and guitar.

All performances are included in the standard admission price, and visitors can save 20% by booking online in advance.

For more information about Sudeley Castle visit the Sudeley Castle website.

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