Comedy in control

Comedian Ahir Shah pays a second visit to Swindon on Saturday night, with a show about freedom, fascism, history, hope, resistance - and milk.

An Edinburgh Comedy Award Nominee for Best Show, Ahir’s show Control explores the current global socio-political turmoil in a time of Trump, Brexit and climate change.

Londoner Ahir’s last show enjoyed packed runs at the Edinburgh Fringe, the Soho Theatre, and a national tour - including a stop-off in Swindon in October 2016. In it, he theorised that we were being tugged in contradictory directions by a potential brighter future and resurgent worst of the past.

“At that time I thought we were on a precipice, between a reactionary past and a better future - but now, a couple of years later, we have Trump and Brexit.

“I like to think humans have tended to find a way of muddling through and I want to believe in the view that the arc of the moral universe tends towards justice, but broadly speaking I am pessimistic. There’s also antibiotic resistance and climate change - issues that could pose an existential crisis.”

Yet Ahir is cheerful about Swindon: “I was very pleasantly surprised last time. I was made very welcome and it’s a lovely venue.”

And while the topic may be bleak, remember Ahir has plenty of jokes about it.

The show begins at 8pm in the Swindon Arts Centre, and tickets are £14.50. To book, call 01793 524481 or visit

Twist of Irish and Americana folk from duo

The Swindon Folksingers Club welcomes Peta Webb and Ken Hall for a performance at the Ashford Road Club tonight.

Peta Webb, a Londoner from an Irish background, was influenced by Irish traditional singers such as Sarah Makem when she developed her own acclaimed individual vocal style.

Ken Hall took inspiration from figures such as traditional English folk singer Bob Davenport, and later developed an interest in the Northern Irish style of singing.

Together Peta and Ken explore the rich sounds of acapella duet singing, drawing on American styles as well as the British and Irish traditions.They often sing at festivals.

The club was founded by Ted and Ivy Poole in 1960, and has a long history of keeping traditional music alive in north-west Wiltshire.

From its beginnings in the folk revival, the club has seen Swindon’s character change from railway town to a modern centre of new technology and financial services, but through it all, the club has remained a friendly, relaxed and welcoming place where anyone can come and sing, or simply listen.

The event starts at 8.15pm and tickets are £5.

Forget Wurzel it's all about emojis

Jump on the tractor ride and search the fields for scarecrows, during a special family event at Roves Farm over the weekend and half term.

See if you can find 10 scarecrows - and watch out for one special scarecrow who might need some help scaring away the birds. Staff have been busy creating the traditional straw-stuffed scarecrows, though emoji faces give them a contemporary twist.

The first wave of lambing has come to an end, so visitors to the farm, at Sevenhampton near Swindon, will have a chance to see this year’s lambs frolicking in the fields. As well as seasonal scarecrows and lambs, visitors can enjoy the regular attractions, such as the multi level rabbit warren, soft play climbing frames and slides, mini tractors and pets’ corner. Outside is a great play park, den building, egg collecting and meeting the farm animals.

Roves Farm is open from 9am to 5pm and the last tractor ride is 3.30pm.

Tickets are £9.50 on the door, or £4 for toddlers under two. For more information, visit