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Top five things to do this weekend on Gloucestershire

Here's our top pick of things to do in and around the county this weekend.

1# Relax in front of the big screen at Stroud Film Festival 

Stroud Film Festival 2019 will run at 11 independent venues across the town and beyond, from Saturday, March 9, to Sunday, March 24.

Following the success of the previous four festivals, this year will aim to appeal to an even wider range of film tastes.

On the programme are some newly-released films, classic movies, films with a distinct Stroud flavour and more!

The feature film programme this year includes a number of events which involve more than simply a film screening. This year Stroud Brewery will host a film in their new premises in Thrupp. On March 13, the Illusionist will be on screen, alongside a real-life magician and a chance to sample the local produce.

The festival, which is volunteer-led, would like to thank everyone who's given their time to make this happen and to Stroud Town Council, Stroud Arts Festival and Film Hub South West who've provided essential support.

For further information, trailers and breaking news, visit www.stroudfilmfestival.org.

2# Relive the 80s at Playhouse Theatre, Cheltenham 

Did you survive the 80s? Love 80s music? Or too young to remember the 80s but curious as to what it was like?

The Playhouse Company are thrilled to announce their performance of the comedy double bill Bouncers and Shakers written by John Godber and Jane Thornton.

These riotously funny one-act plays present a satirical sideswipe at 1980s life seen through the eyes of four cocktail waitresses and four nightclub bouncers in the North of England.

Visit www.cheltplayhouse.org.uk for information on how to get tickets.

3# Enjoy an unforgettable evening of beautiful folk music at Tetbury Goods Shed 

Harbottle & Jonas are a stunning young folk duo based in Totnes, Devon. Their music is eclectic and always accompanied with a great story.

Together the husband and wife duo combine the rich traditions of folk music with original and contemporary interpretations through a blend of closely intertwined vocal harmonies and compelling and authentic musical arrangements, blending concertina, harmonium, banjo, stomp box, acoustic guitar and dobra.

They have developed a unique and original signature sound, that is unmistakably Harbottle and Jonas.

Each performance establishes a warm rapport, engagement and interaction with the audience. So... warm up your vocal chords, pack your hankies, put on your finest tweed and prepare yourselves for an unforgettable evening of beautiful folk music.

Advance tickets are £11.50 from https://shed-arts.co.uk/event/harbottle-and-jonas/  . On the door on the night will cost £13. For more information, visit www.harbottleandjonas.com

4# Visit the 'Celebrating Our Oaks' photography exhibition at Westonbirt Arboretum 

Westonbirt, The National Arboretum is playing host to the Celebrating Our Oaks photography exhibition during March.

The exhibition was launched by Action Oak in partnership with the International Garden Photographer of the Year (IGPOTY), to celebrate the UK's wonderful oak trees through photography and raise awareness of the Action Oak initiative.

The aim of the exhibition is to spread awareness of the mission of Action Oak and to raise funds to help research and conservation activities, as the UK oak is now facing a fight for survival.

Visitors to the National Arboretum in March will be able to enjoy 20 stunning photographs from the IGPOTY competition finalists and celebrities with a passion for oak trees.

5# Get close to the music of Billie Holiday 

Lady Sings The Blues presents the music of Billie Holiday chronologically through the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s using many of the original arrangements.

Billie Holiday, alongside Marilyn Monroe and James Dean, is one of the most enduring popular icons of the 20th century.

Frank Sinatra wrote "every major pop singer in the US has been touched by her genius. She was and still remains the greatest single musical influence on me."

This is the closest that any of us will ever get to hearing that tremendous repertoire performed live, properly, just as it was when it was first performed all those years ago

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