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12 things to do in November lockdown

The calendar for November is looking a little bare with Bonfire Night and many seasonal events cancelled or postponed. But there's there's still plenty to keep us entertained this month.

THEATRE: One Night in November streaming online, Belgrade Theatre, Coventry, Nov 14-30

Charlotte Richie plays 18-year-old teacher-in-training Katie Stanley in the Belgrade’s 2013 wartime Blitz drama One Night in November

Missing live theatre? This is the next best thing. Join the Belgrade in commemorating the 80th anniversary of the Coventry Blitz by revisiting its critically acclaimed wartime drama One Night in November. Filmed in 2013, you may recognise lead actor Charlotte Ritchie, who has since appeared in Call the Midwife and the BBC’s very funny Horrible Histories spin-off, Ghosts. Written by Coventry playwright Alan Pollock and directed by Hamish Glen, it’s one of the theatre’s most successful productions to date, enjoying two hugely popular revivals after its original staging in 2008. It tells the story of one family’s harrowing Blitz experience and examines the idea that Winston Churchill may have had advance warning of the attack on the city.

Watch at home tickets are now available to book via the Belgrade Theatre website at www.belgrade.co.uk. Please note that box office phone lines remain closed while staff continue to work remotely.

STREAM: Stratford Literary Festival’s Winter Weekend online, Nov 20-22

Stream a stunning line-up of literary heavy weights from your sofa including twice-Booker prize winner, Dame Hilary Mantel, talking about her acclaimed Cromwell Trilogy and her latest book of essays, Mantel Pieces. Broadcaster and best-selling author. Andrew Marr chats to fellow BBC broadcaster Sophie Raworth about what made Britain the country it is today. Times columnist and Radio 4’s Great Lives presenter, Matthew Parris, looks at how trauma shapes great leaders and innovators and acclaimed modern historian and Reith lecturer, Margaret MacMillan, suggests that humans are programmed for war.

There will also be appearances by two of the country’s leading poets, Roger McGough, and Lemn Sissay, who will be sharing his best-selling memoir, plus family fun with the Horrible Histories illustrator Martin Brown, and a crocodile collaboration between poet Roger McGough and Stratford-based BAFTA wining illustrator Greg McLeod.

AUTUMN WALKS: including Art in the Park, Compton Verney, Tues-Sun

Green-Dwelling-©-Compton-Verney-photography by Jamie-Woodley

Need some fresh air? From county parks to woodlands, reservoirs to canal locks there’s so many lovely walks across Warwickshire. Although the galleries are now closed you are still able to explore the 120-acres of parkland at Compton Verney, where you can check out Dutch artist Krijn De Koning’s Green Meadow installed last year – a fun collection of vibrant differently-sized green blocks echoing ancient monoliths. The grounds are open Tues -Sun 10am-4.30pm (last entry 4pm). You can buy a £5 Grounds Day Pass online and kids go free or use your annual membership. Familiarise yourself with the latest coronavirus guidelines here.

NEW FOODIE LAUNCH: Salt at home boxes, Stratford-upon-Avon

Paul Foster’s Michelin-starred relaxed fine dining restaurant has just launched three course meal home boxes for £40 for local delivery (within 10 miles) or collection, including a selection of wines and beers, sweet treat boxes such as this week’s limited edition doughnut box. It’s what weekend culinary dreams are made of. The menu changes weekly.

RSC: Talking Shakespeare returns with Ian McKellen, Helen Mirren & David Oyelowo from Mon Nov 16

Hosted by RSC Artistic Director, Gregory Doran, guests confirmed for the exclusive new series of Talking Shakespeare on Zoom include Ian McKellen, Helen Mirren, Roger Allam, David Oyelowo and Jane Lapotaire with further dates and names to be announced. The live, online event series runs weekly on a Monday from 6-7pm until Dec 14. The new series starts this month with Ian McKellen on Mon Nov 16, Helen Mirren on Nov 23 and Roger Allam on Nov 30.

Events are open to subscribers, members and RSC patrons of the Royal Shakespeare Company. The events are free as a thank you for the ongoing support given to the Company during the pandemic, but with a suggested donation of £10. Those interested can become subscribers for as little as £20 per year. Find details of how to support here rsc.org.uk

FAMILY: Try out one of Birtelli’s pizza kits, Leamington Spa

This much lauded indie artisan pizza delivery business recently launched craft-your-own pizza kits. Essentially, they are delivered to your door (all sustainable packaged), with pre-measured award-winning British ingredients (saving time & no waste), so you and your family can build and bake your own pizza. A perfect lockdown treat (plus nationwide delivery).

TV: The Crown Season 4, Netflix, Nov 15

Arguably the one everyone’s been waiting for. The Crown gets even juicier this November as Gillian Anderson and Emma Corrin join the cast as Margaret Thatcher and Lady Diana Spencer, respectively.

SUSTAINABLE SHOP: Stock up on all your zero waste essentials

Leamington’s Zero Store remains open throughout lockdown 2 for all your zero waste needs 6 days a week: Tue & Sun (10am-2pm), Wed, Thurs, Fr: (9.30am-4pm) and Sat: 9am-4pm. A click and collect service is available in Leamington, Napton Village Stores and Weetmans Farm Shop, Kenilworth.

DRINKS: Order a ‘locktail’

Warwickshire’s The Little Cocktail Bar is open and restocked for lockdown 2. The clever team will be offering a themed box of two unique ‘locktails’ kicking off with the £19 Bonfire Box consisting of Toffee Apple (infused toffee vodka Martinis with apple) and Rocket (spiced rum, orange liqueur, lime syrup and popping candy). However it’s proving so popular it’s already sold out as have many of their other boxes – you’ll have to keep your eye’s peeled early for next week’s box. They arrange Warwickshire home delivery and national delivery via post. 

COOKERY: Baking Classes, The Real Macaron Company

Banana Bread and Sourdough starters are so last lockdown. With Christmas coming and Bake Off raising the nations spirits, check out The Real Macaron Company‘s brilliant online courses. Learn to make delicate macarons, surgary doughnuts or an entire afternoon tea via Zoom. Macaron Masterclasses are also coming to Shipston-on-Stour in December Pinnies at the ready.

ONLINE EXHIBITION: Treasures of Japan, Stratford Gallery, Stratford-upon-Avon, from Fri Nov 6

If you love all things Japanese, this new exhibition featuring 21 distinguished Japanese ceramic artists may be just your thing. Whilst not being able to see it in person it’s still going live online on Fri Nov 6 at 7pm. Virtual Visits to the show by a Zoom Video call will also be offered from this weekend.

LANTERN ILLUMINATION: Over the Moon, Arcadian, Birmingham, until Nov 15

Netflix UK has installed a temporary new outdoor light installation in the city’s Chinatown to be enjoyed in a socially distanced manner. The 26 handmade lanterns were specially created by the Liverpool’s Lantern Company to celebrate new children’s animation Over the Moon which is steeped in Chinese mid-autumn festival folklore. And if you don’t fancy leaving the sofa…you can enjoy the film on Netflix.

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