Another Bank Holiday will soon be upon us, and the skies are still troubled by that far off volcano. So why not stay put in the south west, and catch one of these offerings over the coming weeks?

SOUTHAMPTON, Nuffield Theatre Studio - Lilly Through the Dark, a ‘magical tale of the macabre’ is a story, inspired by real events, of a little girl who loses her father, and is stalked by shadows and memories. Award winning theatre company The River People, use their own dark style of puppetry, live music, and poetic language to tell a story which explores death and the process of grief. As well as a sell out run in Edinburgh last year, The River People won ‘best emerging company’ at the Total Theatre Awards and also gained the coveted Edinburgh International Festival award. Thursday 27 – Saturday 29 May

BRISTOL, Tobacco FactorySusan & Darren. Susan Pritchard is Darren Pritchard’s mother. She is fifty-five and he is thirty. Darren lives at home with Susan, in the house he grew up in. Darren is a dancer. Susan cleans, for Darren, and professionally. They dance together at home to John Holt, Althea and Donna and Diana Ross. You are invited to help Susan and Darren prepare for one of their famous parties. Along the way there will be devastation, intimate conversation and a lovely buffet! A huge hit nationally and internationally since it was first performed in Manchester four years ago, Susan & Darren returns in an updated version for 2010. Wednesday 02 – Friday 04 June

PORTSMOUTH, New Theatre RoyalRenditions. Candoco Dance Company returns to the New Theatre Royal with three new works that show the richness, beauty and diversity of contemporary dance in one evening. Renowned for exciting and inspiring their audiences, Candoco make us all rethink what dance is and who can dance. With their adventurous and personal performance style they connect with us and trigger different emotions that make us think about life with its twists and turns, ups and downs. Set against a cinematic original sound score this is Candoco as you’ve never seen before. Thursday 20 May

CHELTENHAM, Everyman Theatre - Birmingham Royal Ballet, the UK’s premiere ballet company, return to Cheltenham next month with three contrasting ballets, showcasing a variety of styles, which seek to preserve an individual moment in time.

Brouillards, danced to nine of Debussy’s piano preludes, captures such fleeting images as rolling mists, the fall of Autumn leaves and the fragile strands of a spider’s web and is a hauntingly beautiful piece.

Taking inspiration from a medieval poem and woodcut depicting the ‘Danse macabre’, Dance House, was created by BRB’s Artistic Director, David Bintley. Despite its light, witty tone, Shostakovich’s anarchic music has darker resonance, which Bintley explores in this poignant re-interpretation of the ‘Dance of Death’.

The final piece, Slaughter on Tenth Avenue, is a crazy tale of a high-kicking stripper and a happy-go-lucky hero who literally has to dance for his life. Created as part of the world-famous Rodgers and Hart 1930s musical comedy On Your Toes, and is a work of sparkling vitality, humour and pure entertainment, making this piece the perfect ending to a programme of unforgettable moments. Tuesday 25 – Wednesday 26 May

POOLE, Lighthouse StudioPotted Pirates. Following the hilarious success of Potted Potter, CBBC presenters Dan and Jeff have created Potted Pirates, a new compressed caper. In search of talking parrots and mysterious buried treasure, Dan and Jeff are swapping wizards for walking the plank and trading Hogwarts for the high seas. The show is packed with timber-shivering tales of the seven seas, from Long John Silver to Blackbeard, plus a couple of notorious lady pirates. This plank-walking spectacular also features a full-scale re-enactment of the Spanish Armada! Wednesday 02 June