August Bank Holiday weekend
FRI AUG 25 - MON AUG 27
NEW FILM RELEASE: BlacKkKlansman, out in cinemas nationwide Fri Aug 24
Spike Lee returns with this nostalgic 70s period-piece based on the memoir of black police officer Ron Stallworth about his experiences infiltrating the Ku Klux Klan – and a damning portrait of the USA under Trump. Winner of the Grand Prix award at the Cannes Film Festival, it’s had great reviews!
Summer night-time spectacular, Dragon Slayer,Warwick Castle, Fri Aug 24 to through Mon Aug 27
Looking for something to entertain kids aged 8+? This is Warwick Castle’s first night-time experience telling the tale of 10th Century warrior Guy as he battles foes and dragons in a bid to gain a knighthood and win the heart of his one true love Princess Felice, daughter of the Earl of Warwick. It’s an explosive epic tale depicted over the course of an evening using live action, animation, equestrian acrobatics, fire and pyrotechnics. Boom! Only 5 more scheduled performances left! There’s also War of the Roses, the regular birds of prey demos, the Mighty Trebuchet, archery and ramparts for day time fun.
Tickets start from £15 for show only with immersive dining packages also available, warwick-castle.com/dragonslayer
Gin Tasting, Slurp Leamington Spa, Fri Aug 24
Enjoying the fabulous weather and a staycation in the UK? Feel like you’re on holiday and sample some really exciting boutique gins from around the world on Fri Aug 24, 7.30pm – 9.30pm (£15pp in adv).
FESTIVAL: Camper Calling, Ragley Hall, Fri Aug 24 –Mon Aug 27
This small but perfectly formed family-friendly festival returns over the August Bank Holiday weekend with headliners by Mel C, Scouting for Girls, Georgia and the Vintage Youth, Feeder and The Coral. There’ll also be a performance by Coventry-based ex-Special, The Original Rude Boy, Neville Staple, tree climbing and Zip Wire, Junk Orchestra, graffiti workshops and Kate’s Storytree.
FAMILY-FUN: Siege! & Minecraft Workshop, Kenilworth Castle, Sun Aug 26 – Mon Aug 27
Over the August Bank Holiday weekend the Castle will re-create the 1266 Siege of Kenilworth Castle – the longest Siege in medieval history, lasting half a year! Children can take part in gung-ho junior jousting, archery and sword battles. On Sunday gamers will be able to join popular YouTuber, Amy Lee33, as she coaches players in the art of virtual castle building. The 50-minute visualisation reveals how the castle may have looked when Queen Elizabeth I visited. Computers are provided, plus a VR headset.
Kenilworth Castle & Elizabethan Garden, Castle Green, Off Castle Road, Kenilworth, Warwickshire, CV8 1NE, english-heritage.org.uk/kenilworth
EVENT: Shakes-paws Day, Anne Hathaway’s Cottage, Shottery, Sat Aug 25
Woof! Woof! All paws allowed over at Anne Hathaway’s Cottage for the annual Shakespaw’s Day. Celebrate National Dog Day with plenty of pooch-friendly fun and games for furry friends such as the alternative dog show at 2pm with prizes and rosettes, categories include the waggiest tail and best recall…If you’re feeling peckish there’s also a barbecue. Bring your dog and enjoy 30% off tickets, 12-4pm.
The Merry Wives of Windsor, Royal Shakespeare Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon, Sat Aug 4 – Sept 22
Fiona Laird has worked with some of the biggest names in British theatre from Benedict Cumberbatch and Daniel Craig to Dame Judi Dench and Adrian Lester (lucky lady!). She not only directs but has composed the music for this new fun-filled production, which has something of a TOWIE feel to it! A glamorous suburban comedy about wealthy wives and over inflated egos starring a strong female cast including Katy Brittain, Beth Cordingly, Karen Fishwick (Juliet in the RSC’s current Romeo & Juliet), Rebecca Lacey, Sakuntala Ramanee, Ishia Bennison, Charlotte Josephine and RSC Associate Artist David Troughton. (In cinemas Sept 12).
FESTIVAL: Solihull Summer Fest 2018, Tudor Grange Park, Solihull, Sat Aug 25 – Sun Aug 26
You can see the fabulous Sister Sledge, Razorlight, The Sugarhill Gang, Alesha Dixon, Busted, Lightning Seeds, Rak-Su, Melle Mel, Roland Gift and The Beat with Ranking Roger over the August Bank Holiday weekend. The charity festival returns for the third year with profits towards Help Harry Help Others, a local cancer support charity.
THEATRE: Christopher Marlowe’s Tamburlaine, Swan Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon, Aug 16 – Dec 1
Watch Jude Owusu’s portrait of Marlowe’s extremely violent yet charismatic 14th century emperor who started life as a shepherd as directed by former RSC Artistic Director Michael Boyd, who stepped down in 2012.
EVENT: End of Summer Party, The Fuzzy Duck, Armscote, nr Stratford-upon-Avon, Mon Aug 27
A child-friendly party from 12 noon with DJ, a craft gin cocktail bar, bouncy castle and face painting.
EVENT: A Gin & Rose Party, The Rose & Crown, Warwick, Sun Aug 26
With guest gins, rosé wine, ice cream, cones of fish and chips and live music from Thom Kirkpatrick late afternoon.
OPEN-AIR THEATRE: Heartbreak Productions’ The Railway Children, Foundry Wood, Leamington Spa, Fri Aug 24
Get your hanky ready for E. Nesbit’s The Railway Children at Ryton Pools country park in Bubbenhall on Aug 3 at 6pm and in Foundry Wood, Leamington Spa on Aug 24 at 2.30pm. You may also catch this Leamington-based touring theatre company if you’re on a staycation.
For bookings and all national dates see here: tickets.heartbreakproductions
Gin & Jazz@The Townhouse, Stratford-upon-Avon, Fri Aug 24
Start off your Bank Holiday weekend in style at this historic pub and restaurant with rooms. Check out Elliott Rooney on keys from 7pm-10pm, and enjoy a fantastic selection of more than 20 gins.
GIG: Paul Weller, Genting Arena, Birmingham, Fri Aug 24
The Modfather returns…
FAMILY FUN: Summer Bytes, National Museum of Computing, Bletchley Park, now until Sun Sept 2
Drag the midgets away from their screens and put their tech-obsession to good use! The Summer Bytes festival teaches kids (without them knowing!) useful skills like coding, programming and engineering through fun workshops. This week’s plethora of free events include a Lego Mindstorms Workshop, two Raspberry Pi Workshops and a Minecraft Workshop. Food will also feature every Sat morn with a different MK independent restaurant presenting tasters of its latest fare.
Matilda The Musical, Birmingham Hippodrome, until Sat Sept 8
Be quickity quick and grab some tickets for this wonderfully witty RSC musical while it tours around the UK. A touching and joyous story of loneliness and rebellion, it deserves all 85 and counting of its international awards. Writer Dennis Kelly and composer / lyricist Tim Minchin go to top of the class with their interpretation of Roald Dahl’s classic tale. Don’t miss it! Next up, Manchester…
SPORT: British Grand Prix MotoGP, Silverstone Racecourse, Towcester, Northants, Fri 24 – Sun 26 Aug
Cal Crutchlow will be hoping to build on his winning streak as he takes on World Champion Marc Marquez. But it’s so much more than just a race – the Moto Grand Prix is basically a weekend-long party. The non-stop entertainment will keep any reluctant petrolheads happy and includes a gig from Plan B.
The Marvellous Mechanical Museum & Rodney Peppé’s World of Invention, Compton Verney Art Gallery & Park, Sat June 30 – Sun Sept 30
The Dell, Avonbank Gardens, Stratford-upon-Avon, every weekend in Aug
Every weekend during August, there is free live theatre at the RSC’s open-air theatre close to the river, The Dell, hosting a range of lively student, community and semi-professional productions of Shakespeare’s plays.
THEATRE: Romeo & Juliet, RST, Stratford, until Sept 21
Check out the RSC’s youthful, gender-fluid revival with Coventry’s Bally Gill and Glaswegian actress Karen Fishwick as the doomed teen lovers. Erica Whyman examines Generation Z, grime culture and the destructiveness of knife crime in this present-day production.
FOOD & DRINK: The Big Feastival, Alex James’ Farm nr Kingham, Fri 24 – Sun 26 Aug
This posh nosh extravaganza from cheese-obsessed Blur bassist Alex James hosts top chefs including Marco Pierre White, Raymond Blanc, Pierre Koffmann, Ashley Palmer Watts, and music from Professor Green, Clean Bandit, Paloma Faith, Basement Jaxx, James Arthur and Tom Odell. There’s various camping options with glamping bolt-ons and lots of fun for the kiddos too, including appearances by Paddington, Peppa Pig & George and Justin Fletcher (Mr Tuuuumbleee) plus a creche for under 5s provided by Nipperbout.
Brian Wilson – Pet Sounds: The Final Performances, Digbeth Arena, Lower Trinity St; Birmingham, Fri Aug 24
Music icon Brian Wilson is on the final leg of his Pet Sounds: 50th Anniversary Tour called by Rolling Stone as one of the “greatest” tours of 2017. Since launching the tour in 2016, in celebration of the Beach Boy’s landmark album, the tour has visited more than 24 countries across 180 performances.
EVENT: Caribbean Day, The Almanack, Kenilworth, Sat Aug 26
Rum cocktails, jerk chicken plus reggae music to get the Caribbean vibes going!
Sundown Cinema returns with 4 quirky classics. The latter two films feature Barbra Streisand and Omar Sharif in the classic Funny Girl (U) loosely based on the true story of Broadway film star/comedienne Fanny Brice on Aug 26 and 1980’s teenage coming-of-age movie Pretty in Pink, starring Molly Ringwald, on Sept 1.
Notting Hill Carnival, London, Sat Aug 25 – Mon Aug 27
One of the world’s largest street parties celebrating Caribbean culture featuring costume-clad Caribbean’s dancing to traditional reggae, sound systems, meringue, calypso, rumba, and zouk music, and street vendors selling seasoned jerk chicken, callaloo, patties and traditional goat stew. The streets are going to be packed but expect a fun vibe and lots of rum punch. Children’s Day is recommended for families with smaller crowds and child-friendly floats.
ART: Picasso 1932: Love, Fame, Tragedy, Tate Modern, London, until Sun 9 Sep
Don’t miss this Pablo Picasso exhibition at the Tate Modern, focusing on 100 paintings, sculptures and drawings, mixed with family photographs and rare glimpses into his personal life. Three of his extraordinary paintings featuring his lover Marie-Thérèse Walter are shown together for the first time since they were created over a period of just five days in March 1932.
FESTIVAL: Sea Change Festival 2018, Totnes, Devon, Fri Aug 24 – Sat 25 Aug
This is a brilliant, family friendly town festival of music, culture, and art for Totnes, run by the people behind the legendary Drift Records. A town known for its high times and class food and drink, various buildings on and around the High Street are thrown open over the Bank Holiday weekend, for a load of entertainment, including top music acts such as experimental Welsh artist Gwenno (pictured). There’s camping available at Dartington down the road, too.
Weekend tickets £69, day tickets £39, night tickets £25. seachangefestival.co.uk
THEATRE: Little Shop of Horrors, Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre, Fri Aug 3 – Sept 15
This off-beat musical about florist shop assistant Seymour who pines for his work colleague Audrey but doesn’t know how to win her heart or what to do to sate the appetite of a human-eating plant looks great fun. Matt Willis from Busted fame, drag queen Vicky Fox from the USA support Jemima Rooper and Marc Antolin star in an OTT show that seems perfect for summer in the lovely setting of Regent’s Park (bonus fact – the theatre boasts the longest bar in the West End!). openairtheatre.com
FESTIVAL: Reading/Leeds Festival, August Bank Holiday, Fri Aug 24- Sun Aug 26
A fab line-up with Kendrick Lamar, Skepta, Kings of Leon, Panic! At the Disco, Fall Out Boy, Travis Scott, J Hus, Wolf Alice, Sigrid, Dua Lipa and hot newcomers Riton & Kah-lo (can’t stop singing their hypnotic Fake ID!).
THEATRE: Dinosaur World Live, Regents Park Open Air Theatre, London, until Sun 9 Sep
Join the intrepid Regents Park explorers across uncharted territories and discover a prehistoric world of (remarkably life-like) dinosaurs at this new interactive show. You will meet a host of impressive creatures, from Triceratops to every child’s favourite flesh-eating giant, the Tyrannosaurus rex. Tickets are £16.50 which is pretty good value for the most famous outdoor theatre in the country.