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Culture in Quarantine – latest local news

What's happening in the local arts and culture scene in Coventry and Warwickshire?

The RSC, Stratford-upon-Avon – postponements & cancellations

Postponed – The Winter’s Tale. Photo by Hugo Glendinning

You may have seen or read on the news this week that hundreds of regional theatres across the country are critically vulnerable and facing closure brought on by Covid-19. The RSC has made the difficult decision to postpone new productions of The Winter’s Tale and The Comedy of Errors this summer. One positive, is that It’s exploring the possibility of re-scheduling these performances in the autumn if the situation improves. Further details are due to be announced over the coming months. 

Comedy actor Miles Jupp was set to star in The Comedy of Errors. Photo by Steve Ullathorne 

Performances due to go-ahead this autumn/winter have also been postponed or sadly cancelled including:

  • The Wars of The Roses Part 1 and Part 2 – postponed from autumn 2020 until autumn 2021
  • The new Christmas family musical The Magician’s Elephant – postponed from winter 2020 until winter 2021
  • The First Encounters with Shakespeare tour of Twelfth Night – postponed until 2021
  • The RSC Barbican annual residency for 2020 – cancelled
  • Matilda The Musical will remain closed in line with other West End theatres
  • All other events cancelled, including RSC Summer School

While physically closed to audiences and visitors, the Company’s extensive online performance, event and education activity continues including:

Romeo and Juliet
  • BBC Culture in Quarantine – a joint partnership bringing six of the nation’s best-loved Shakespeare titles to audiences for free between now and Sept.starting with Romeo and Juliet (2019) on BBC Four at 9pm on Sun 7 June.
  • Free educational activities and resources for all young person in the UK including #RSCHomeworkHelp and a BBC Bitesize Online partnerhsip.
  • Productions to view on Marquee TV, the on-demand streaming service for arts and culture and through BritBox.

More information can be found at rsc.org.uk/at-home-with-shakespeare

Warwickshire Open Studios: Art Weeks from Home (online), June 20 – July 5

Artist Peter Goss painting in his garden in Treddington

Coventry and Warwickshire’s biggest free art event, Warwickshire Open Studios, celebrates 20 years in 2020 with hundreds of artists now promoting their work virtually from June 20 – July 5.

Traditionally amateur and professional artists across the region show off their creations at home, in a studio, workshop or garden. Covid-19 may have stopped the physical event from going ahead, but organisers are delighted to be hosting Art Weeks from Home – providing access to the online galleries of more than 300 artists across Coventry and Warwickshire, online studio tours from exhibiting artists and insight into how artists create their work.

Hilary Roberts-photography in the South Lodge-Leamington

There’s also the opportunity to buy or commission some original pieces for your home. Work includes paintings, photography, installations, ceramics, glassware, stoneware, jewellery, drawings, printmaking, textiles and metalwork. WoS event patron is writer and Bafta Fellow Andrew Davies, famous for his novels and screenplays including BBC adaptations of War and Peace, Les Misérables and Pride and Prejudice.

A selection of artists’ work at Ditchford Farm near Shipston

Head to wostudios.org and subscribe to the mailing list to find out more. You can also follow on Facebook @WarwickshireOpenStudios and on Instagram @warwickshireopenstudios and with the hashtag #artweeksfromhome

#DanceConnect

A new project which aims to put the West Midlands on the map for innovative work involving dance and digital collaboration, co-curated by young people, has been launched in lockdown.

#DanceConnect brings together a digital artist, 11 dance professionals from across the region (including Coventry’s Ashley Jordan of Ascension Dance) and young people, supported by Orit Azaz, a specialist in creating large scale, outdoor, collaborative performance.

The ambition is that the creative research will support the development for a bold regionwide youth dance project in 2021 and 2022, celebrating the West Midlands as seen through the eyes of young people.

The project will run from May – August 2020 and drum up ideas for ‘creative challenges’ inviting wider participation from young people across the region. It’s produced by DanceXchange, the Birmingham-based dance agency, on behalf of the wider Dance Development Leaders Network (West Midlands).

For more information email Alex.Henwood@dx.dance

New takeaway service, Belgrade Theatre, Coventry

Food and drink is now available to buy from a bar set up at the front of the building complete with social distancing markers and a hand-sanitising station, plus 25% discount for all NHS staff.

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