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This weekend

FRI APRIL 13 - SUN APRIL 15

Aracde Fire, Genting Arena, Birmingham, Sun April 15

One of the alternative Canadian indie bands’ only six dates in the UK following the release of their critically-acclaimed Everything Now album of killer tunes.

gentingarena

Do you have a child aged 9-11 who’d like to audition for a part in Nativity! The Musical?

Know a star-in-the-making? Lead roles as the children of St. Bernadette’s are up for grabs at Belgrade Theatre, Coventry. All kids auditioning must be confident singers, dancers and performers due to the demands of the role. They need to live in the Midlands, be naturally confident, upload a 1-minute YouTube clip and available for all rehearsal and performance dates across the whole UK tour, Mon Sept 17 – Dec 31. Auditions start 28 May (half-term week), with rehearsals taking place in Coventry.

nativitythemusical

What the Ladybird HeardBelgrade Theatre, Coventry, Fri April 13 & Sat April 14 

Matt-Jopling as Lanky, Len-Rosamund-Hine as Farmer, Emma-Carroll playing Lily and the Ladybird-Edward-Way

One little ladybird will be embarking on a big adventure this Easter as Kenny Wax Family bring their colourful new kids theatre production of Julia Donaldson’s 2009 bestselling children’s book to the stage for ages 3+ with lots of laughs, live music, audience participation and eye-catching puppetry inspired by Lydia Monks’ distinctive illustrations.

belgrade, Tel 024 7655 3055

Wicked, Birmingham Hippodrome, Wed April 4 – 29

This witty West-End musical re-imagining of the stories and characters created by L. Frank Baum in The Wonderful Wizard of Oz casts its spell in Birmingham. Titanic the musical, the RSC’s Matilda the musical and War Horse to follow.

birminghamhippodrome

Spring Tray Gardens, Canons Ashby, nr Daventry, Mon Apr 9 – Fri Apr 13

Credit: National Trust images

Let your kids discover their creative side with their own miniature tray garden. Materials are supplied; all they need is their imagination, £3 in addition to entry.

nationaltrust

Easter at Shakespeare’s Family Homes, until Sun April 15

Children can take part in Easter activities every day from 12-4pm from crafting their very own Easter bonnet or crown in the family activity marquee at Anne Hathaway’s Cottage, to making ornamental whirling whirligigs for the garden at Mary Arden’s Farm. And at Shakespeare’s Birthplace there’s a kids treasure hunt in the gardens with music and comedy by in-house actors Shakespeare Aloud.

shakespeare

The Fantastic Follies of Mrs RichSwan Theatre, Stratford, until June 14

Aretha Ayeh and Sophie Stanton as Lucinda and Mrs Rich. Photo by Helen Maybanks

Way before Madonna, Mrs Rich – Sophie Stanton – was a material girl in search of her man. A critical hit, this comedy of distinctly female wit has been described as like ‘a Restoration Ab-Fab’. Unlike Aphra Behn, a fellow female playwright from the late 1600’s, Mary Pix has been almost lost to history. But like Behn’s The Rover, an RSC hit early last year, Pix’s comedy of manners combines mind-bending plot twists and mischief.  Sophie’s also been in Ink (Almeida and West End), Made in Dagenham (West End), ITV’s The Halcyon, E4’s My Mad Fat Diary and the BBC’s New Tricks.

Book here.

Lifecycle of a bird trail, Upton House, Warwickshire, Mon April 9 – Sun April 15

Credit: National Trust images

Follow the bird life trail to learn more about how a bird is hatched, where they fly, the noises they make and what they eat, £2 per trail.

nationaltrust

The Duchess of Malfi, The Swan, Stratford-upon-Avon, now until Aug 3

Pic credit: Helen Maybanks

After her inventive and critically-acclaimed production of Doctor Faustus in 2016, Maria Aberg returns to the RSC to direct a critically-acclaimed modern dress, blood-soaked version of The Duchess of Malfi in her own distinct style. Topically it’s all about gender politics and toxic masculinity.  Joan Iyiola stars as The Duchess, her twin brother Ferdinand is played by Alexander Cobb – Indian Summers (Channel 4) and Ripper Street (BBC) – and The Cardinal is Chris New, who was Glen in 2011 film, Weekend. Read Muddy’s Q & A with Joan here.

Tel: 01789 403493, rsc

Pizza Making & Mammal Talk, Foundry Wood, Leamington Spa, Sun April 15

Make pizza and watch it being cooked in an outdoor wood-fired pizza in the woodlands, £4 per pizza. Drop-in anytime during session. At 2pm Ben Wood from Warwickshire Mammal Group will be giving a talk about taking night-time photos of wild mammals in Foundry Wood and leading a walk showing where mammals live and forage, 12 – 2.30pm.

foundrywood

Macbeth, RST, Stratford, March 13 – September 18

The two leads. Photo by Richard Davenport

This compelling contemporary version of Shakespeare’s darkest psychological thriller with the fantastic Christopher Eccleston, brilliant in BBC 1’s The A Word, and revered Irish actor Niamh Cusack as Macbeth and Lady Macbeth, and directed by Polly Findlay has the eerie feel of a modern horror film. Brilliant for students studying Macbeth on their GCSE or A level syllabus!

Book here.

Ravilious & Co: The Pattern of Friendship. English Artist Designers 1922-1942, Compton Verney, now until June 10

The Greenhouse: Cyclamen and Tomatoes

Ravilious & Co will tell a story that has never been told before. This exhibition of the prolific artist and designer Eric Ravilious (1903-1942) also coincides with the 75th anniversary of his death in Iceland during the Second World War. One of 3 superb new exhibitions and accompanying events at Warwickshire’s finest art gallery and park as it opens this spring. See more below…

comptonverney

Spring Spectacular, Hatton Adventure World, until Sun April 15

Visit the New Arrivals Marquee at this Muddy award-winning family attraction with its super cute lambs, kid goats, piglets, bunnies, ducks and baby chicks. Children can get the chance to feed and handle the animals too. There’s also an Easter Egg Hunt, the springtime Tractor Safari return of the Famous Sheep Racing for visitors to watch and place their bets and Masters of the Skies Falconry Displays.

hattonworld, Tel 01926 843411

FURTHER AFIELD:

Harry Styles, on tour until Mon April 16

The laid-back – well horizontal – former One D star kicked off his debut solo album UK stadium tour at Birmingham’s Genting Arena securing himself a wardrobe of 70s suits and ruffled shirts. What a savage!

hstyles.

The Flying Lovers of Vitebsk, Oxford Playhouse, Tues 17 – Sat 21 April 

Awards aplenty for Daniel Jamieson’s The Flying Lovers of Vitebsk after selling out at London’s Globe Theatre and the Traverse in Edinburgh, where it won the Carol Tambor Best of Edinburgh Award. Presented by Kneehigh and Bristol Old Vic, the play follows partners in life and on canvas, Marc and Bella Chagall, through some of the most devastating times in history, navigating the Pogroms, the Russian Revolution, and each other. It looks awesome.

Aged 10 plus and 90 minutes with no interval. Book tickets £10- £30

Artisan Food Market, Waddesdon Manor, Sat April 14

The first outing for Waddesdon Manor’s Artisan Food Market this year, happening monthly from April through to October. The aim is to support local, small-scale, independent food producers, so bring some extra cash if you’re planning to visit today, to buy up on your foodie essentials as there’s no cash machine on site.

Cambridge Literary Festival,  Fri 13- Sun 15 Apr

Just looking at the line up for this year’s Spring Cambridge Literary Festival makes me want to abandon my life and family for three days and embark on a marathon lit-fest. I pretty much want to go to everything. Tom Kerridge, Ruby Wax, Harriet Harman, Luke Harding, Ruby Tandoh, Lucy Worseley, Simon Amstell and Adrian Edmondson are just a very few of the big names appearing. Oh, and Ed Miliband and Harry Hill will also be there. But probably not together.

Various venues and prices

Find more ideas here

Things to DoThis Weekend

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