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FEB

FEBRUARY

 

THEATRE: The House on Cold Hill, Belgrade Theatre, Coventry, Mon Feb 11 – Sat Feb 16

BAFTA nominated actor and 2017 winner of BBC1’s Strictly Come Dancing Joe McFadden (HeartbeatHolby City) stars as Ollie Harcourt, alongside Rita Simons as Caro in the stage premiere of Peter James’ latest spine-chilling thriller/ghost story. Best known for playing Roxy Mitchell in EastEnders, Rita recently gripped the nation during her stint in the jungle in I’m A Celebrity…Charlie Clements (EastEnders) and Persephone Swales-Dawson (Hollyoaks) also join the cast.

Tel the box office on 024 7655 3055, belgrade

 

DANCE:  Strictly star Giovanni Pernice: Dance is Life, The Albany Theatre, Coventry, Thurs Feb 21

Hearthrob Giovanni, who is currently dating fellow Strictly star Pussycat Dolls singer, Ashley Roberts, has lots of fans out there, (obvs), as tickets for this show, also featuring Luba Mushtuk, are selling super-duper fast! The quick-footed Sicilian will be cha-cha-cha-ing his way across the stage to perform a dazzling display of ballroom routines including the Quick-Step, Samba, Rhumba, Paso Doblé, Argentine Tango and his signature dance, the Jive. A sizzling sequin-encrusted night-out!  albanytheatre  Box office: 02476 998 96

 

MUSIC: Maya Youssef, Warwick Arts Centre, Fri Feb 15

Maya is a virtuoso on the qanun (the Syrian 78-stringed plucked zither). The Guardian described her recent performance as “an exquisite, emotional set that constantly changes mood from sorrow to hope.” Her debut album, Syrian Dreams, was released in November 2017, to critical acclaim. warwickartscentre

 

THEATRE: The RSC’s New Season kicks off with As You Like It, Feb 14 – Aug 31

Lucy Phelps, pictured, stars as Rosalind with David Ajao as Orlando. Photo by Topher McGrillis (c) RSC

What can you look forward to this summer? Well, three Shakespeare gems, two Restoration classics and a stunning new two-hander! The season opens with Kimberley Sykes’ As You Like It on Feb 14 until Aug 31 followed by The Taming of the Shrew, directed by Justin Audibert, from Mar 8 – Aug 31. March also sees the premiere of Kunene and the King, a moving and funny new play by the South African actor, activist and playwright John Kani (The Island, Sizwe Banzi is Dead, Black Panther) marking 25 years since the first post-apartheid democratic elections. Fellow South African s Janice Honeyman directs, and Antony Sher performs opposite John Kani,  rsc.org.uk, Tel: 01789 403493.

 

BALLET: Matthew Bourne’s Swan Lake, Birmingham Hippodrome, Tues Feb 5 – 16

 Matthew Bourne’s menacing, witty and unique production of Swan Lake has won tons of awards and rightly so. It’s best known for the all-male corps-de-ballet – unheard of in the ballet world before – but it’s an all-round winner even if you’re not a ballet fan. birminghamhippodrome

 

THEATRE: Stan’s Cafe – The CapitalWarwick Arts Centre, Coventry, Tue Feb 12

Ever see others gliding through life while you struggle to survive, or experience a relationship drifting apart? If the answer is yes, then you will recognise life in The Capital. Performed without words to a soundtrack, The Capital uses moving walkways to create an extraordinary flowing feat of visual story telling. Themes of financial and social inequality are turned into a thoughtful and emotionally gripping experience. 1hr 20mins / Age 12+ Tickets: £18 (£16) Under 26s £12, warwickartscentre.co.uk

 

MUSIC: Tears for Fears, Resorts World Arena, Birmingham, Tues Feb 12

80s synth stars Roland Orzabal and Curt Smith’s revisit their back catalogue on this rescheduled tour with Alison Moyet “sounding as fresh as ever” according to reviewers, resortsworldarena

 

COMEDY: Mark Thomas – Check Up – Our NHS at 70, Warwick Arts Centre, Wed Feb 13

Photo credit: Steve Ullathorn

If Mark Thomas makes it to 84 the NHS will be 100. When that time comes, what will they both look like? Based on a series of interviews with leading experts and residencies in hospitals and surgeries, Mark Thomas explores what state we’re in. What’s going right, what’s going wrong and how does it get better? warwickartscentre.co.uk

 

THEATRE: Octopus Soup! Belgrade Theatre, Coventry, Sat Feb 2 – Sat Feb 15

Room 101 host Nick Hancock plays Seymour, a down-on-his-luck insurance consultant hoping to turn his career around with an important conference call, in this second play by comedy writer and director Jack Milner (The Mummy, 2014), co-written with Mark Stevenson. A modern farce it also stars Warwickshire native Paul Bradley, who played Nigel Bates in EastEnders and Elliot Hope in Holby City; former RSC actor Gillian Bevan (Maydays  and Cymbeline at the RSC; the head Claire Hunter in award-winning Channel 4 drama Teachers and Theresa May in The Windsors also for Channel 4), Carolyn Backhouse; and Eric Richard, who played Desk Sergeant Bob Cryer in The Bill for 17 years.  Tel: 024 7655 3055, belgrade

 

MUSIC: Talvin Singh, Warwick Arts Centre, Thu 14 Feb

Percussionist, producer and composer Talvin Singh won the Mercury Music Prize for his album OK, and is renowned for creating the bridge between Indian and electronic music. In this concert he is joined by his band to play music from OK as well as new work, including his own tribute to Ravi Shankar, 8pm, warwickartscentre.co.uk

 

THEATRE: Timon of Athens, Swan Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon, until Feb 22 2019

Photo-by-Simon-Annand-_c_-RSC

Simon Godwin directs the acclaimed Kathryn Hunter as Timon in Shakespeare’s sharp satire on wealth, greed and betrayal.  Poignant, funny and bitter, it tells the story of how the world moves from privilege to poverty with heart-breaking speed. rsc

 

FILM: Colette (15), Royal Spa Centre, Leamington Spa, Sun Feb 10 – 13 (including a parent and baby screening on Feb 12)

Keira Knightley and Eleanor Tomlinson as Georgie Raoul-Duval in COLETTE. Photo credit: Robert Viglasky / Bleecker Street

Director Wash Westmoreland’s (Still Alice) illuminating, glamorous biopic of Parisian writer Sidonie-Gabrielle Colette stars Keira Knightly and Dominic West on top form, warwickdc

 

VALENTINE’S DAY: Afternoon Tea Talk, Upton House and Gardens, nr Gaydon & Banbury, Feb 14

Stuck for what to do on Valentine’s Day? Hear all about the Upton Long Weekend in the 1930s. Discover the pleasures and pursuits that the Bearsteds family enjoyed away from the city, and the social life they created around their new country estate. The talk will be followed by a traditional cream tea in Iris’, Upton’s old kitchen, now an intimate tea room. After the talk you are free to roam around the beautiful gardens, 2.30pm – 4pm, £10, nationaltrust

 

CLASSICAL: City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Warwick Arts Centre, Wed Feb 13

Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla, Music Director of the CBSO

Peer Gynt is a prankster, an adventurer and a rogue. Everyone knows some of the wonderfully tuneful music that Grieg wrote for him: Morning and In the Hall of the Mountain King are two of the most popular classical favourites of all time. Never one to do anything by halves, Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla will retell the whole story of Peer Gynt, including lots of glorious music that you never usually get to hear! 7.30pm.  Tickets: £22.50-£41.50. Under 26s £16, Under 18s £13, and Under 10s £8 . Pre-concert Talk: Helen Martin Studio 6.15pm: £2.50, warwickartscentre.co.uk

 

TV: Fleabag, series two, BBC3, Feb

Photo credit: BBC/Two Brothers/Luke Varley

Phoebe Waller-Bridge, fresh from writing mega-hit Killing Eve, is back with a new, darker season of Fleabag, one of the best things on TV in 2016.

 

Valentine’s Day at Hall’s Croft, Old Town, Stratford, Thurs Feb 14

Write a love note to your partner and hang it up in the parlour of the Jacobean home of Shakespeare’s daughter, Susanna, and her husband, the physician John Hall, shakespeare

 

FEB HALF-TERM: Knights and Princesses Academy, Kenilworth Castle, Sat Feb 16 – Sun February 24

With fairy-tale ruins to conquer and a royal love story to discover, Kenilworth Castle is a great place for families to go on their very own time-travelling day out this half term. Hear tales of chivalry, dashing knights and fearsome battles, take part in courtly etiquette classes, and learn how to handle a sword and combat drills. a fun and hands-on way for children to discover days gone by, 10.30am – 3.30pm.

 Castle Green, Off Castle Road, Kenilworth, Warwickshire, CV8 1NG, english-heritage

 

FILM: A Private War, out in cinemas Feb 8

Courtesy of Paul Conroy/ Aviron Pictures

The late Marie Colvin, a respected Sunday Times war correspondent killed in Syria in 2012, is the subject of new biopic A Private War starring Rosamund Pike, with Jamie Dornan as her photographer colleague.

 

MUSIC: The Lemonheads, O2 Academy, Birmingham, Fri Feb 15

Courtesy of Fire Records

Grunge alt-rocker Evan Dando and his band (remember their 1992 cover of Simon & Garfunkel’s Mrs Robinson from The Graduate?) return for a UK tour after a decade to perform tracks from their new covers’ album, Varshons 2, including their take on songs by Yo La Tengo, John Prine, Lucinda Williams, Nick Cave and even Christina Aguilera, https://www.academymusicgroup

 

YOGAThe Tin Music and Arts, Units 1 – 4, The Canal Basin, Coventry, every Tues and Thurs throughout Feb

As January comes to an end, the winter blues should be starting to fade but with snow on the way and more cold weather to come, sometimes you need a little extra help to get you through the season. The Tin Music and Arts are holding 1hr 20-minute yoga classes between 6.30-9.30pm, £5, thetinmusicandarts

 

HERITAGE: Packwood House breakfast tours, Lapworth, Feb 7 – 28

One of the bedrooms at Packwood House. Courtesy of The National Trust

Head over to this for a delicious breakfast at 9.30am followed by an exclusive tour of the house and attic spaces displayed just as Baron Ash intended his guests to view the house. You’ll hear the stories behind key pieces of the Packwood collection. Ends at 11am, nationaltrust

ART: Leonardo da Vinci: A Life in Drawing, Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, Fri Feb 1 – May 6

Leonardo da Vinci, The head of an old bearded man, c.1517-18 RCIN 912499

12 of the Renaissance master’s drawings from the Royal Collection will be displayed at Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery, as part of 12 simultaneous exhibitions across the UK to mark the 500th anniversary of the artist’s death. Revered in his day as a painter, Leonardo completed only around 20 paintings; he was respected as a sculptor and architect, but no sculpture or buildings by him survive. Drawings on display will include the Head of an Old Bearded Man (c.1517-18), and A Map of the Valdichiana (c.1503-4). Free, birminghammuseums

 

ART: Forward: New Art From Birmingham, Ikon Off-site at Medicine Bakery and Gallery, on now until March 24

Tereza-Buskova-Beheading-of-the-Cockerel-2009-courtesy-the-artist-Photo credit: Ikon Gallery, Birmingham, ikon-gallery.org

A group exhibition proving just how Birmingham’s artistic community is thriving. It features work by 28 artists living and working in the city, highlighting the depth and vitality of a wide range of practices, including this piece by Tereza Buskova, a UK-based Czech artist, who re-interprets Slavic rituals, traditions and customs with performance, print & video. Taking place in Medicine, the old gallery space of the Royal Birmingham Society of Artists, from which sprang the young generation that founded Ikon more than 50 years ago, it opens with artist Kevin Atherton’s live performance, In Two Minds at 6.15pm on Wed Jan 23. The work premiered in 1978 at the Serpentine Gallery, London. Since then there have been a number of re-engagements by the artist where he directly communicates with his younger self. ikon-gallery.orgmedicinebakery.co.uk

 

COMEDY: Andrew Doyle: Friendly Fire, Studio, Royal Spa Centre, Sat Feb 16

Andrew Doyle comedian short dark hair black suit and tie

Andrew Doyle is the UK’s political satirist in chief. He’s co-writer of internet sensation Jonathan Pie, and has collaborated with Pie creator Tom Walker on numerous viral videos. Their response to Donald Trump’s election has been viewed online more than 150 million times and a more recent piece was described by Ricky Gervais as “one of the most perfect (and important) pieces of comedy I’ve ever seen.” Need I say more? Friendly Fire is not to be missed, warwickdc.gov.uk

 

OUTDOORS: Ragley Snowdrop Walks, Ragley House, nr Alcester, Sat Feb 16 & Sun Feb 17
 Stroll around the 26-acres of formal gardens at Ragley and explore the multitude of snow drop varieties that have been hand planted by the gardening team.  You can roam at your leisure or book onto a guided tour with Head Gardener Mark Morrell, at 11am or 2pmfor a more in depth look at some of the garden’s horticultural points of interest at this time of year. Tours are limited to 20 people per time slot (the 2pm tour on Sat Feb 16 is now sold out), £5  for admission to the Ragley Gardensragley

DANCE: Brendan Cole – Show Man, Sun Feb 17

Brand new for 2019, Brendan Cole leads his stunning cast in a thrilling extravaganza of music and dance, from beautiful Ballroom to high-energy Latin. The very first winner of Strictly Come Dancing showcases the superb choreography and dazzling performance that has kept him in the public eye for 15 years, warwickartscentre.co.uk

 

THEATRE: The Full Monty, Belgrade Theatre, Coventry, Feb 23 – March 2

Photo by: Matt-Crockett

Based on his smash hit 1997 film of the same name, Simon Beaufoy’s story of six Sheffield steel workers who decide to stage a strip show to raise much-needed cash is now in its sixth year on stage.  Gary Lucy, Kai Owen, Louis Emerick and Andrew Dunn return to reprise their starring roles, alongside Monty newcomers James Redmond and Joe Gill. Tickets available at belgrade, or Tel: the box office on 024 7655 3055.

 

MUSIC: Fatboy Slim, Arena Birmingham, Fri Feb 22

Norman Cook aka Fatboy Slim is playing several dates this month with special guests DJ Hannah Wants and Cousn. He’s aiming to create the biggest dance floor turning Arena Birmingham into a night club experience with a revolving stage, rave ushers and a live smiley face experience. “I’ll be slap bang in the middle of the dance floor, right up close to you all at every show”, he announced. arenabham

 

FEB HALF-TERM: David Walliams’ Billionaire Boy the Musical! Belgrade Theatre, Coventry, Wed Feb 20 – Sat Feb 23

If you liked Nativity! and Matilda the Musical, this will be just up your street. After a successful premiere in Southampton over Christmas, David Walliams’ irreverent novella Billionaire Boy The Musical rolls onto the stage Coventry’s Belgrade just in time for February half-term. This story of a boy who becomes an overnight billionaire after his dad invents a new kind loo roll, has already adapted for TV by the CBBC team starring Cold Feet’s John Thompson and Catherine Tate. It’s been cleverly adapted for stage Jon Brittain with a soundtrack by prolific pop song writers Miranda Cooper and Nick Coler, who’ve written for Girls Aloud, Sugababes, Alesha Dixon and Kylie. Check out the set too, created in Coventry by Belgrade Production Services.

belgrade

COMEDY: Ida Barr – Granarchist, Warwick Arts Centre, Thu Feb 21

The people’s pensioner is a former music hall singer turned rap star. The revolution has started and Ida’s fanning the flames. Nothing will be the same again after a night of social agitation and tiny acts of rebellion using protest R&B and dissident songs from the 19th century, all rapped up in a communal hip hop style with mass singalongs, 8pm, warwickartscentre.co.uk

FEB HALF-TERM: Sci-fi Shakespeare & Supermoon spotting, Shakespeare Family Homes, Stratford, Feb 16 – 24

Children can enjoy a series of special events across the five Shakespeare Family Homes from acting out their own play in a Puppet Theatre using emojis, seeing the supermoon from the gardens at Shakespeare‘s New Place, and learning about Shakespeare’s influence on modern sci-fi films.  Check out the full listings of events here: shakespeare.org.uk/events

 

KIDSGo Ape, Coombe Abbey, Brinklow Rd, Binley, Coventry, opening soon

A tree-top Go Ape site has been approved at Coombe Country Park. The country park currently has several walk trails taking you through the woodland and passed Coombe Abbey Hotel. Keep an eye out for the reveal of the exact date, which is expected this spring.

 

LITTLIES: Elmer the Patchwork Elephant, Main Stage, Royal Spa Centre, Fri Feb 22

To celebrate David McKee’s iconic colourful elephant’s 30th birthday, Elmer is going on tour. The show features 21 puppets, vibrant colours, cheeky humour and at a short 45 minutes looks perfect for children under seven, warwickdc.gov.uk

 

NEW HOTEL: Hotel Indigo, Stratford-upon-Avon, opens Thur Feb 28

This restored 93-room boutique hotel, formerly The Falcon Hotel, will officially open on Thursday Feb 28 after a multi-million pound major restoration project.  The Grade 2 listed historic building, which dates to the 16th century, has been painstakingly restored over an 18-month period and is the biggest refurbishment in the hotel’s long history. Mike Robinson, who owns London’s only Michelin starred pub, The Harwood Arms, is very excited about bringing the best of British seasonal ingredients to Stratford at the new Woodman Restaurant, including wild deer and game from the Cotswolds.

Check out the latest news on: hotelindigo.facebook.com/Hotel.Indigo, www.twitter.com/hotelindigo, and instagram.com/hotelindigo.

 

EVENT: GO Diving, Ricoh Arena, Coventry, Fri Feb 22 – 24

A show offering an immersive experience into the world of diving, underwater photography and free-diving with 6 main stages and two huge pools to have a go yourself. BBC presenters Andy Torbet, Miranda Krestovnikoff and Monty Halls will be on the main stage sharing their diving experiences including spending months in the Galapagos Islands with family in tow. Want to experience what an adrenaline-fuelled shark dive in the Bahamas feels like without even getting your feet wet? Venture into the Discovery Channel Virtual Reality booths. Explore challenging caving experience, where you will don knee-pads and a helmet with torch to crawl through 30-metres of winding tunnel. Dedicated areas on freediving, Technical Diving and Underwater Photography. And it is not just for adults! There’s an area for The Next Generation of scuba divers too.

godivingshow

 

EXHIBITION: Peter Rabbit: Mischief and Mayhem, Rugby Art Gallery & Museum, now until April 27

This exhibition tells the story of the creation of Beatrix Potter’s most famous story character. It includes original, rarely exhibited artworks and manuscripts. Younger children will enjoy the activity play room where they can help Mrs Tiggy-Winkle hang up the laundry, plant carrots in Mr. McGregor’s garden, visit Mrs. Rabbit in her burrow or curl up with one of the books in the story corner. A Peter Rabbit themed spring activity family programme runs through to Easter with events including Mr McGregor’s welly hunt through the gallery and town centre in Feb half-term and The Wonderful World of Hedgehogs with Warwickshire Wildlife Trust’s Senior Hedgehog Officer on April 5. See here for the full spring programme.

 

KIDS THEATRE: Kite, Warwick Arts Centre, Mon Feb 18 & Tue Feb 19 

A recently orphaned girl discovers a kite which comes to life and takes her on a wild adventure in this 60-minute show for children aged 7+. Little does she know that Grandma has her own brand of magic and the wind will bring them together in ways they never would have imagined. Inspired by the world of indoor-kite flying Kite is a play without words, with original music, dance, puppetry and, of course, kites,  2.30pm & 7pm. Tickets: £12 (£10), warwickartscentre.co.uk

 

KIDS: Explore the Power of Science, British Motor Museum, Gaydon, Sat Feb 16 – 24

During half-term children can find out all about jet powered cars, make their own ‘jet’ powered car, and enjoying daily POWER science showsfamily trails and tours. The ‘POWER’ Science shows run every day at 11am and 2.30pm where Professor Pickle and Doctor Pumpkin will explore different sources of power including jet, rocket and gas and bring them to life with a BANG. At 1.30pm there’s also a Family POWER Tour all about gas turbine powered cars.  After making their own ‘Jet Powered Car’ kids can race them along a drag strip to see how far and fast they go. On Saturdays & Sundays, the cars will be ‘jet powered’ using balloons, whereas from Mon – Fri the STEM ambassadors from MOD Kineton will be delivering the activity with cars made from K’nex.

All activities are included in the Museum admission. For more information go to britishmotormuseum, Tel: 01926 641188.  

 

LITTLIES: Under 5’s Mini-Motorists, British Motor Museum, Gaydon, Mon Feb 25

Designed specifically for children under five, the sessions have a different theme each month from Fire Engines, Racing-Cars and Jaguars to celebrating Minis 60th birthday. They include crafts, story-telling and playtime. Parents, grandparents, carers and their toddlers can drop into the Museum from 10:30am – 12noon. The Museum is buggy friendly and all on one level. There are baby changing facilities and a lift (or escalator) to the Café. Other dates this spring are: March 18, April 15 and May 20.

Under 5’s free, adults are £14.50 and concessions £12.50, britishmotormuseum Tel: 01926 927823.

 

KIDS: See New exhibits, The MAD Museum, Stratford-upon-Avon

Two new pieces have recently gone on display at this innovative Museum of Mechanical Arts and Design housing 90 mind-boggling mechanical creations including flying mechanical birds, and clever clocks The first, designed by Artist David Williams, demonstrates how magnetic fields work and is known as Planetary Number 1 and Number 2. The second exhibit, known as The Sextus Wooden Clock, was built by Clive Stewart and designed by David Atkinson. Clive was challenged to follow over 30 pages of instructions to put together hundreds of varying parts. The clock is ‘high geared’ so it runs for a long time without winding. Kids can also build marble runs and learn some engineering and physics principals along the way.

An extra-special Family Super Saver ticket combines The MAD Museum, Shakespeare’s Schoolroom & Guildhall and Stratford Butterfly Farm for £57 (2 adults & 2 children), a ticket for an extra child is £9.60, themadmuseum (online shop madfactory – good for quirky birthday presents)

 

THEATRE: Green Ginger – Intronauts, Warwick Arts Centre, Wed Feb 20 – Fri Feb 22 

Green Ginger’s new 60-minute show will propel audiences aged 12+ into a microscopic journey deep within the human body. In a not-too-distant future, people can buy personal cleaners called Intronauts; miniaturised human workers injected into their bodies to carry out essential maintenance. Taking its cue from classic sci-fi movies and fuelled by absurd visual comedy and innovative puppetry, Intronauts is a madcap story about advancing technology, big syringes and a tiny submarine, 7pm. Tickets: £12 (£10) Under 26s £10, warwickartscentre.co.uk

 

FASHION: Celebrating China pop-up boutique, Bicester Village, now until Sun 17 Feb

Curated by fashion influencer Susie Bubble, this pop-up boutique of ten cutting-edge Chinese designers is opening to celebrate Chinese New Year. It includes rising stars Ryan Lo, Mukzin and I Am Chen and with Chinese designers starting to make their mark on catwalks around the world it’s definitely worth checking out what they have to offer.

bicestervillage.com

 

COMEDY: Jessie Cave: SunriseWarwick Arts CentreFeb 24

One of several fantastic shows hitting the road this year is Sunrise, opening at Warwick Arts Centre. It’s the latest outpouring of heartsickness and hope from Jessie Cave following on from 2015’s I Loved Her. Since her big break as Lavender Brown in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince she has forged a twin career as the creator of naively drawn cartoons about relationships, and as a comic writer-performer. Sunrise brings us up-to-date with Cave’s latest efforts to be happy and single while co-parenting with promiscuous fellow comic Alfie Brown. warwickartscentre

 

MUSIC: The Lemon Twigs, O2 Institute2, Birmingham, Tues Feb 26

The D’Addario brothers from Long Island, New York, look like they’ve jumped straight out of a 70s glam rock video. I saw a recent scissor kicking performance of theirs on Jools Holland’s Later. Former child actors they’re currently touring with their Broadway-influenced second album, Go to School after supporting The Arctic Monkeys on their 2018 arena tour. https://academymusicgroup.com

 

DANCE: James Wilton Dance – The Storm, Warwick Arts Centre, Tue Feb 26 – Thur Feb 28 

One of Europe’s most in demand dance companies, presents a whirlwind of lightning fast athleticism where acrobatics, break-dancing, martial arts and contact work fuse to form dance that will blow audiences away. Seven dancers, a thundering electro-rock soundtrack and thousands of pieces of paper combine to create an emotionally charged performance, warwickartscentre.co.uk

 

FILM: Can you ever Forgive Me? (15) out in cinemas now

Melissa McCarthy, is Oscar nominated for her turn as Lee Israel, a failing writer making money selling forged celebrity letters in this amusing true-crime bleak comedy with Richard E Grant – also Oscar nominated for Best Supporting Actor – reliving his Withnail & I days as her drinking buddy.

 

MUSIC: Yamato Drummers of Japan, Warwick Arts Centre, Coventry, Tues Feb 19

The critically-acclaimed Yamato Drummers are returning to the UK with a brand new show which is sure to bring you a night of entertainment. Performing Japanese Taiko drumming, this group are pushing themselves to new limits in the hope of captivating their audience once again. With an audience of over 6 million people in 53 countries around the world, you don’t want to miss this one night only show. Doors open at 7pm, warwickartscentre.co.uk

 

TOUR: Professor Brian Cox Live, Arena Birmingham, Feb 23

The dapper Manchester University professor of particle physics and TV presenter is back on the road with a new science show – he’ll be joined by co-host of The Infinite Monkey Cage and award-winning comedian Robin Ince to oversee an audience Q&A, .arenabham

 

PHOTOGRAPHY: GRAIN Photographer’s Talk – Kate Peters, Herbert Art Gallery & Museum, Jordan Well, Coventry, Feb 27

Award-winning British photographer Kate Peters, who is originally from Warwickshire will be giving a talk about her work producing portrait and documentary work around the world.  Her superb portraits include actor Anne-Marie Duff, Gwen Stefani, Emmanuelle Seigner, Rufus Wainwright, Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry and Brett Anderson form Suede. Kate’s work has been shown internationally including the HPGRP in New York and the National Portrait Gallery, London.  Her portrait of Julian Assange, the founder of Wikilieaks was featured on the cover of TIME magazine. A recent work she made in Coventry will be exhibited at Format International Photography Festival 2019. She’s coming to Coventry for one-night only to So, if you’re an aspiring photographer or simply a fan, don’t miss out! 6pm – 8pm, £5, theherbert.

 

KIDS: Behind the Scenes Store Tours, Warwickshire Museum Stores, Montague Road, Warwick, Wed Feb 20

Are your children fascinated by volcano’s? This February half-term Warwickshire Museum Stores’ Curator of the Natural Sciences, Jon Radley will be exploring the power and nature of volcanic eruptions and young geologists can see volcanic rock and other specimens from the museum collection, from 10am – 11am Tickets£7.50. Booking required here.

 

FURTHER AFIELD:

ART: Jeff Koons at The Ashmolean, Oxford, Thurs Feb 7 – Sun Jun 9 & Gin Tasting with Private View, Wed Feb 13

King of kitsch, Jeff Koons is curating his own exhibition in collaboration with Norman Rosenthal. Spanning Koons’ entire career and showcasing seventeen works, most of which have never been shown in the UK before, the show will include his popular series Equilibrium, Statuary, Banality, Antiquity and his recent Gazing Ballsculptures and paintings. See his shouty, shiny, ultra contemporary sculptures against the elegant, sedate backdrop of the oldest public museum in the UK. This is going to be a popular exhibition but you can see it without the crowds at the Love Your Gin event on Wed Feb 13.

ashmolean.org

 

THEATRE: All About Eve, Noel Coward Theatre, London, Sat Feb 2 – Sat May 11

Not the recent fabulous TV series but a play based on the award-winning 1950s film starring Bette Davis as Margo Channing, a Broadway star, and her young fan, Eve Harrington, who inveigles her way into her life. With Gillian Anderson and Lilly James in the starring roles, director Ivo van Hove at the helm, and with the themes of celebrity and youth at its core, this looks like a dead cert for success.

allabouteveplay.com

 

PHOTOGRAPHY: Diane Arbus: In the beginning, Hayward Gallery, Feb 13 – May 6

Diane Arbus’s Jack Dracula at a bar, New London, Conn. (1961) Courtesy The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York/ Copyright © The Estate of Diane Arbus, LLC. All Rights Reserved

See New York photographer Diane Arbus’s early work from 1956 – 1962 in this first solo show for 12 years. Her photographs of children and eccentrics, couples and circus performers, female impersonators and pedestrians are among the most intimate, surprising and haunting works of art of the 20th century.

southbankcentre

 

THEATRE: Pinter at the Pinter: A Slight Ache & The Dumb Waiter, The Harold Pinter Theatre, London, Thur Jan 31 – Feb 23

This critically-acclaimed celebrity-packed season ends with two unmissable comedies exploring the political machinations of the powerful and powerless…starring Martin Freeman, Danny Dyer, former RSC actor John Heffernan and Gemma Whelan,(Game of Thrones and Upstart Crow), who attended King’s High, Warwick. Free Q&A with the cast on Tue Feb 12.

pinteratthepinter

 

 

EXHIBITION: An Earthly Paradise: William Morris & the Thames, River & Rowing Museum, Fri 1 Feb – Sun 14 July

This exhibition’s focus is on how the Thames and its tributaries influenced William Morris’ work. He had a rural retreat in Oxon and enjoyed angling and boating and the influence of the river can been seen in his textiles and designs. Pieces have been collated from the V&A, The William Morris Gallery and the British Library to make this exhibition possible and it also delves into Morris personal life and his politics, so you get a sense of the man as well as his iconic work.

rrm.co.uk

 

EXHIBITION: Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams, Victoria & Albert Museum, London, until Sun July 14

Christian Dior by Maria Grazia Chiuri (b. 1964), Éventail de vos hasards, Dress, Haute Couture, Spring/Summer 2018. Dior Héritage collection, Paris

This is going to be maaassive! The V&A is showing the largest House of Dior exhibition ever staged in the UK, tracing the history of Christian Dior and the six artistic directors who succeeded him. The exhibition is based on the major exhibition Christian Dior: Couturier du Rêve, organised by the Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Paris, and there will be a new section exploring Dior’s fascination with British culture. A highlight will be the Christian Dior dress worn by Princess Margaret for her 21st birthday celebrations, on loan from the Museum of London. vam.ac.uk

 

GONE BUT NOT FORGOTTEN:

ART: Ruskin 200 Drawing Weekend, Museum of Natural History, Oxford, Sat Feb 9 – Sun Feb 10 

Launching its Ruskin 200 Drawing Competition, the museum is bringing in artists and laying on free materials for the artistically inclined to get creative, using the museum’s collections and the buildings as inspiration to celebrate 200 years of John Ruskin.

oumnh.ox.ac.uk

KIDS: Elmer The Patchwork Elephant, The Albany Theatre, Coventry, Sat Feb 2

Celebrating its 30-year anniversary, this classic children’s book series is live on stage featuring a menagerie of 21 puppets. A lovely show for younger children all about individuality and the power of laughter! Tickets: £14 adult, £11 concession (Family tickets available), albanytheatre  Box office: 02476 998 96.

MUSIC: Danni Nicholls & Caleb Caudle, Big Comfy Bookshop, Fargo Village, Coventry, Sat Feb 2

Award-nominated singer songwriters Danni Nicholls and Caleb Caudle come together from opposite sides of the pond to create their own string of shows. For one day only they will be coming to Coventry and singing in this quirky café/secondhand bookshop, 7-11pm. Tickets are available through their facebook page

THEATRE: Skylight, The Loft Theatre, Leamington Spa, Wed Jan 23 – Sat Feb 2

Kyra Hollis (Julie-Ann Randell)

David Hare’s 1990’s-set pivotal play Skylight originally premiered in 1995 to critical acclaim. It tells the story of a successful restaurateur in late middle age, Tom, and Kyra, a maths teacher in her late 20s working in a money-starved East End school. They were lovers for six years; she left him when his wife discovered their affair.  Three years after his wife’s death they have dinner and talk turns to their previous relationship but, given the huge difference in their lifestyles, can they find any common ground? ‘There is a bruising emotional truth in Hare’s writing’, says Director Sue Moore, ‘and an exhilarating mixture of wit and anger as these two wounded stubborn creatures rake over the ashes of their past.’

 lofttheatrecompany, email: boxoffice@lofttheatrecompany.com, or Tel: 01926 830680

TALK: Ann Widdecombe In Conversation, The Albany Theatre, Coventry, Sat Feb 2

One of the most outspoken politicians of our time, Anne embarks on her first ever national tour. Expect some Strictly gossip and an insight into her surprisingly unexpected life,  albanytheatre  Box office: 02476 998 96.

THEATRE: SOLO Fest, Warwick Arts Centre, University of Warwick, Coventry, Mon Feb 4 – Thu Feb 7

SOLO Fest is a 4-day festival showcasing theatre shows by three hugely talented solo performers. A Hundred Words for Snow by Tatty Hennessy, is a neatly layered touching one-woman show about grief and growing up, performed by Gemma Barnett; while Man on the Moon, is a poetic, ‘touchingly funny, arrestingly relevant’ exploration of fatherhood within the Black British experience, written and performed by Keisha Thompson. Finally, I Wish I Was a Mountain, is a joyful new one-man show for young audiences based on Herman Hesse’s fairy tale, ‘Faldum’ written and performed by London-based young performance poet Toby Thompson from Bath. Audiences have the opportunity to see two shows each evening, along with FREE pop-up performances by local artists, and post-show gossip events.

See all SOLO Fest shows with a Festival Pass £20 (£18); one night of SOLO Fest shows for £16 (£13) or see any SOLO Fest show for £9 (£7), warwickartscentre

SPOKEN WORD: Tracey Thorn: Another Planet, Symphony Hall, Birmingham, Mon Feb 4

Photo by Edward Bishop

The Everything but the Girl lead singer nails the angst of suburban teenage life perfectly in her latest book. She’ll be interviewed by Emma Kennedy, 7.30pm, thsh

Chinese New Year’s Special, Symphony Hall foyer, Birmingham, Tue Feb 5

International pianist Di Xiao

To celebrate the Chinese New Year’s day and welcome the year of Pig, join musicians Di Xiao (pianist), Jiaxin Cheng lloyd Webber (cello), Shuai Zhao (face changing artist) and dancer Du Dan for an afternoon concert that captures the anticipation of the Chinese Spring festival and includes a rare opportunity to see Sichuan face changing opera techniques – there are only around 200 face-changing artists who can perform this traditional art form in the whole of China. FREE! 5pm, thsh.co.uk

OUTDOORS: Short walk from Upton Housenr Gaydon & Banbury, Mon Feb 4

Courtesy of Upton House & The National Trust

Join an experienced guide for a short easy walk, 2.3 miles starting from the Upton House and Gardens main car park from 10am – 12noon, nationaltrust

MUSIC: Chvrches, O2 Academy, Birmingham, Fri Feb 8

Photo by Danny Clinch

The Scottish indie-pop band (Lauren Mayberry, Iain Cook and Martin Doherty) are starting 2019 with a headline tour after the acclaimed release of their excellent third Top 10 album, Love Is Dead prior to their appearance at this year’s Coachella festival and a US tour.  great live band! https://www.academymusicgroup.com

COMEDY: Andrew Lawrence: Clean, Royal Spa Centre, Leamington, Fri Feb 8

Described by The Spectator as “Superbly intelligent, highly articulate and deeply sour” Andrew Lawrence, a stand-up who’s appeared on Live at The Apollo and Michael McIntyre’s Roadshow takes a break from all the controversy in this new show. No politics. No religion. No smut. No swearing, warwickdc.gov.uk

COMEDY: Lucy Porter, Pass It On, Warwick Arts Centre, Sun Feb 10

You’d better be quick if you fancy going to see TV fave Lucy, as there’s limited availability! The warm and witty stand-up muses on what we receive from our ancestors and what we pass on to future generations. Lucy inherited dodgy knees and global warming from her parents. Can she leave a better legacy for her children?  8pm, warwickartscentre

MASTERCLASS: The Principles of Garden Design, Warwick Arts Centre, Sun Feb 10

A lively all-day session run by top Oxfordshire garden designer James Alexander-Sinclair, who has designed show gardens at both the Chelsea Flower Show and the Westonbirt International Festival of the Garden, and writes monthly columns in Gardeners World Magazine, 10am – 5pm, warwickartscentre

SHOPPING: Valentine Gift Fair, Market Hall Museum, Market Pl, Warwick, Feb 9

Who is your valentine this February? Whether you are looking for a gift for your partner, friend or even yourself the Valentine Gift Fair at the Market Hall Museum is sure to offer some quirky, unique options. Browse stalls throughout the museum between 10am-5pm and get that gift sorted for Valentine’s Day. Free entry.

About Time, Warwick Arts Centre, Fri Feb 8 & Sat Feb 9
Theatre, dance, psychology, and philosophy combine forces to grapple with the puzzle of time, introduced by experts Professor Christoph Hoerl (University of Warwick) and Professor Teresa McCormack (Queen’s University Belfast). In an evening of ‘time based art’ performances, artists from Big Telly Theatre Company (Portstewart), Bbeyond Performance Art (Belfast), and Echo Echo Dance Theatre Company (Derry-Londonderry) explore what it means to exist in a time-bound world. warwickartscentre.co.uk

ART: A Sculpture Inspired by ShakespeareShakespeare’s New Place, Chapel Street, Stratford-upon-Avon, Sat Feb 9

His Mind’s Eye sculpture. New Place at Night photo by Steve Writtle

Join one of London’s most innovative sculptors, Johannesburg-born Jill Berelowitz, at 11am as she shares how Shakespeare inspired her to create the brilliant His Mind’s Eye, at Shakespeare’s New Place, and listen as she explains how the tree was moulded to create something which stands at nearly 5 metres high, shakespeare

 WORDS: C VONLEDEBUR & CALLY BROOKS

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