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BOOK NOW! Guy Chambers – Live at the RSC (minus Robbie), Sun Oct 27
Tickets have just this week gone on sale for Go Gentle Into the Light, An Evening with Guy Chambers at the Swan Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon. Guy and Robbie are one of the most successful and loved songwriting partnerships in British pop history. As Robbie’s writing partner, Guy has produced seven number one albums, sold millions of records around the world, and is responsible for some of the biggest hit singles of the last 25 years, hits such as Angels, Let Me Entertain You, Strong, No Regrets, Millennium, Rock DJ and Feel.
For this concert, Guy will perform tracks from his new album Go Gentle Into The Light, a collection of piano instrumental versions of some of the partnership’s most well-known songs. Guy’s visit to Stratford-upon-Avon comes ahead of the opening of the RSC’s new musical, The Boy in the Dress, for which Robbie and Guy have written the lyrics and music. Adapted by Mark Ravenhill from David Walliams’ debut novel, and directed by RSC Artistic Director, Gregory Doran, the show runs in the Royal Shakespeare Theatre between Nov 8 2019 – March 8 2020. Talking of which…read below!
Box Office: 01789 331111, www.rsc.org.uk Tickets: £10 – £26
First casting: The Boy in the Dress, RSC (8 Nov 2019 – 8 Mar 2020)
David Walliams’ heart-warming comedy telling the story of star striker and fashion lover Dennis comes to the stage for the first time in a musical adapted by former RSC writer-in-residence Mark Ravenhill, with new songs from Robbie Williams and Guy Chambers, directed by Artistic Director Gregory Doran. Rufus Hound, who’s currently appearing with the RSC in The Provoked Wife and was previously in Don Quixote, is playing plays Dennis’ dad; Irvine Iqbal plays Raj, the shopkeeper; actor, singer and trombonist Natasha Lewis plays Dennis’ best friend Darvesh’s mum, and RSC Associate Artist Forbes Masson plays headmaster Mr Hawtrey.
Gregory said: “It is tremendous to welcome such a talented cast of new and established RSC company members to our new musical production of The Boy in the Dress, particularly one with such a strong background of excellent musical theatre performances and first-class comic talent.” The production will be designed by Robert Jones, has designed more than 30 West End and Broadway productions and choreography is by Aletta Collins, formerly an Associate Artist of the Royal Opera House.
Box Office: 01789 331111, www.rsc.org.uk
NEW TV! Peaky Blinders (Series 5)
We’re very excited about the return of this epic BAFTA-winning Birmingham set gangster drama in our house (admittedly, apart from the 10-year-old) this bank holiday! Apparently it’s switching from BBC 2 to BBC 1, is set in the 1930s between the two wars and has a new score by the excellent Anna Calvi.
Cillian Murphy will be back as Tommy Shelby. Paul Anderson (Arthur Shelby), Finn Cole (Michael Gray), Sophie Rundle (Ada Thorne) and Helen McCrory (Polly Gray) are also all set to return. Game of Thrones star Aidan Gillen will also be making a return as gypsy leader Aberama Gold and Benjamin Zephaniah (as Jeremiah Jesus). Guest stars joining the cast include Hunger Games star Sam Claflin, who will play fascist politician Sir Oswald Mosley, former Hollyoaks actor Emmett J Scanlan, Kate Dickie as Mother Superior, Kingsley Ben-Adir and The Handmaid’s Tale’s Anya Taylor-Joy, as Michael’s new bride Gina Gray.
By order of the Peaky Blinders, we just dropped every single episode back onto @BBCiPlayer
(Superfans might want to keep a VERY close eye on this trailer… 👀) pic.twitter.com/UTPYrbD1z5
— BBC iPlayer (@BBCiPlayer) June 28, 2019
Tune in on Sun Aug 25 at 9pm and the show’s second episode will air the next night on Bank Holiday, Monday Aug 26, at 9.30pm.
Benjamin Zephaniah is coming to Cov
I’ve seen the Birmingham poet, activist…and Peaky Blinders guest star perform many times over the last…20 years and he’s always massively entertaining. He’s currently touring with a show based on his raw, honest autobiography The Life and Rhymes of Benjamin Zephaniah and will be appearing at The Albany Theatre, Coventry on Fri Nov 22 at 7.30pm. Sharing a selection of favourite stories and poems the Rastafarian writer be talking about his remarkable life. Unable to read, he left school at 15, and went on to became one of Britain’s best performance poets, a friend of Nelson Mandela, fought in the 1980’s race riots and recorded reggae with Bob Marley’s former band. Signed copies will be available after the show. Tickets are £23, suitable for ages 8+.
NEW! Warwick Arts Centre’s autumn season kicks off with ground-breaking dance, great gigs, exciting new festivals and big name comedians
Warwick Art Centre’s fabulously diverse autumn season brings two new festivals: Change Festival (18-20 Oct) and inspired by exciting developments in the world of jazz, From The Source (8-10 Nov) including performances by Nitin Sawhney and A Change Is Gonna Come: Music For Human Rights with Carleen Anderson and guests. Indie band Saint Etienne revisit their 1994 album Tiger Bay (16 Oct) and there’s a symphonic celebration of David Bowie (Bowie: A Rock Symphonic Spectacular, 27 Oct).
Theatre highlights include Sarah Waters’ hugely popular novel The Night Watch (21-26 Oct) and Portraits (13-15 Nov) – three urgent shows about identity, power, race, gender, sexuality, society, politics, and life: Queens Of Sheba, Pink Lemonade, and Travis Alabanza’s Burgerz (pictured below).
Romesh Ranganathan (5, 15 & 16 Nov) may have already sold out, but there’s still plenty of laughs lined-up thanks to parenting podcasters The Scummy Mummies (17 Oct), Rob Beckett (17-18 Oct), Josh Widdicombe (7 Nov) and John Robins (14 Nov). West Midlands comedians are well represented too with new shows from Shazia Mirza (17 Nov), Lenny Henry (17 Nov), Frank Skinner (19 Nov), and rising star Darren Harriott (29 Nov).
Look out too for Richard Alston Dance who launched his acclaimed company at the arts centre in 1994 returning with The Final Edition (21-22 Nov) prior to bowing out in 2020. With a programme of revivals and new work, it’s going to be an exciting send off! Other notable dance performances include Strictly Come Dancing faves Candoco Dance Company. Their disabled and non-disabled dancers present Double Bill (3 Oct) which includes a new piece by internationally renowned choreographer and designer Theo Clinkard (Hot Mess), and the wild and sensual Face In by Israeli choreographer Yasmeen Godder.
Children and families are well catered for with a magical retelling of Tom Thumb by Lyngo Theatre Company (27-30 Oct) and an adaption of There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed A Fly (2-3 Nov), told with a blend of live action, animation and puppetry, by The People’s Theatre Company. There’s also special concerts from London Sinfonietta (13 Oct) and Orchestra of the Swan (7 Dec), and the return of the hugely popular, and free, campus-wide Warwick Family Day (1 Dec). With Christmas just a few months away, the arts centre welcomes legendary 1960’s singer Ronnie Spector (17 Dec), musician and raconteur Rick Wakeman (The Grumpy Old Christmas Show, 21 Dec), and a stage adaptation of Raymond Briggs’ enduring Father Christmas (27 Nov-29 Dec).
Chippy gets cultural
Calling all Cotswolds-based culture vultures! A brand new arts festival is coming to Chipping Norton on Sat 5 October. Created by CNArts, a network of Chippy-based local artists and arts professionals, Chipping Norton Arts Festival will have the theme of ‘Connect’ and celebrate creativity and visual arts in the area with free workshops, theatre, screenings, talks and more held in venues across the town. The festival’s headliner is a major installation, Of All The People In All The World, created by renowned Birmingham arts group Stan’s Café in the Town Hall. The piece has never before been seen in Oxfordshire, and uses grains of rice to bring abstract stats about the world to life. cnarts.org