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What’s On This Weekend


MUSIC: Florence + The Machine, Genting Arena, Birmingham, Fri Nov 16

The Mercury Music Award nominated artist is on the Birmingham leg of her High As Hope UK tour. Fourth album ‘High As Hope’ already has the feel of a career-defining moment with a recent show in London greeted with a series of 5-star reviews, (“one of the most thrilling shows of the year,” The Times; “a euphoric return by a singular talent,” The Telegraph; “a towering performer twists back with power and poetry,” Evening Standard”).

Book tickets via theticketfactory or Tel: 0844 33 88 222 *Calls cost 7p per minute plus your phone company’s access charge.


THEATRE: Shakespeare’s Troilus and CressidaRST, Stratford-upon-Avon, only until Sat Nov 17


Directed by RSC Artistic Director Gregory Doran, this is the company’s first gender-equal production of Shakespeare’s “most testosterone-fuelled” play. Set in a futuristic post-apocalypse Troy, it involves close collaboration with the virtuoso percussionist, Evelyn Glennie. On for one month only!



Compton Verney Textile Fair, Sat Nov 17

More than 20 of Britain’s leading textile artists; from felt makers to hand embroiderers will be showcasing their talent at this historic Warwickshire art gallery and park. Now in its 8th year, the Textile Fair offers an ideal chance for people who love one-off, handmade items such as garments, soft furnishings, toys and artworks, to do some early Christmas shopping. The spectacular Adam Hall will become a pop-up retail exhibition space and there’ll be a series of mini-workshops throughout the day. Another big draw will be renowned textile artist and author, Anne Kelly who will be signing her books, Textile Nature and Textile Folk Art, while curating a one-day exhibition of her collage works and fascinating dolls house. Students from Birmingham City University’s School of Fashion and Textiles are also staging their first ever takeover of the ‘Naples Gallery’, creating a display of their undergraduate and graduate work.

Advance booking is highly recommended,  


EVENT: Stratford Literary Festival, Fri Nov 9 – 17

Channel 4 News presenter Cathy Newman

The impressive winter festival line-up features internationally best-selling author, Jodi Picoult, historian and TV presenter Lucy Worsley OBE, who will be talking about her latest book The Many Faces of Queen Victoria, Sir Michael Parkinson, sharing his admiration for the legendary footballer, George Best; and Channel 4 News presenter Cathy Newman whose new book, Bloody Brilliant Women, highlights forgotten but ground-breaking women from history.

Jodi Picoult, by Nina Subin

For the full itinerary check out: stratlitfest


Leamington Yuletide Market & Christmas Light Switch-on, Sun Nov 18

Throughout the festive season there will be further Yuletide markets on Sun Nov 25 and Dec 2, 9, 16 & 23. The market on Sun Dec 2 will co-incide with the spectacular ‘Luminate’ Leamington lantern parade.


Coventry’s Craft and Flea fair Coventry Cathedral, Sat Nov 17

A market full of local makers, artists, vintage goods and produce from 11 am – 5pm. Perfect for finding quirky and unique Christmas gifts. £2 entry.



THEATRE: All you need is LSD, Belgrade Theatre, Coventry, Thurs Nov 15 – Sat Nov 17

For playwright Leo Butler, an invitation to take part in the world’s first LSD drug trials since the 1960s proved just too intriguing to refuse…This darkly humorous new drama draws on its writer’s own experience as a medical guinea pig in 2015. Created by anarchic theatre company Told by an Idiot, it dissects the UK’s ongoing drugs debate, combining real-life stories with the controversial research of Professor David Nutt in a story that is often stranger than fiction.

Tel: 024 7655 3055, belgrade


Frankfurt Christmas Market, Victoria Square & New Street, Birmingham, Thurs Nov 15 – Sun Dec 23

Bratwursts, tankards of German beer and hot Glühwein – it can only mean one thing… Brum’s Frankfurt-style market is back, now attracting more than 5.5million visitors a year! It’s the largest outdoor Christmas market in the UK, and the biggest German market outside Germany and Austria, open 10am – 9pm.



Winter Chocolate Festival, Fargo Village, Coventry, Sat Nov 17 

From fudge to cake, cookies to brownies, and of course oodles of chocolate, Fargo welcomes some of the best chocolate makers and traders in the Midlands if you’re looking for some edible Christmas treats or pressies.



THEATRE: Christopher Marlowe’s Tamburlaine, Swan Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon, until  Dec 1

An actor in gold armour playing a warrior

Jude Owusu as the king of Persia, Tamburlaine Photo by Ellie Kurttz (c) RSC

Watch Jude Owusu’s chillingly charismatic portrait of Christopher Marlowe’s violent 14th century warlord, who started life as a shepherd, before conquering Asia. Directed by former RSC Artistic Director Michael Boyd, who stepped down in 2012. A big critical hit.



SPOKEN WORD: Dr John Cooper Clarke: Luckiest Man Alive Tour, Town Hall, Birmingham, Fri Nov 16

The poet and 6 Music show presenter will be performing material, old and brand new, from his trademark battered notebooks in his notorious rapid fire style and iconic Salford drawl. Combine this with John’s laconic observations, gags and off the wall chat. See a living legend at the top of his game.



EVENT: Rugby and Daventry Armistice Festival, Thurs Nov 8 – Sat Nov 17

A festival of live music and performance organised by The Wheels on Debussy – two mums from Kent, Fiona Sharp and Louise Knight, passionate about classical music. The line-up includes Be Brave and Come Home Safe by BAFTA-Nominated writer Martin Riley at Temple Speech Rooms, Rugby, on Thur Nov 8; Black Dog: The Dreams of Paul Nash – a live-staging of a graphic novel about the dreams of a First World War artist, on Fri Nov 9 & Sat Nov 10 at The Macready Theatre, Rugby School. Other highlights include A Soldier’s Tale – a WW1 concert featuring Elgar, Stravinsky, Ravel and Irving Berlin by four top UK musicians  in collaboration with The Harborough Collective on Fri Nov 16, Inside the CV22, Rugby and Rupert Brooke Inspires on Sat Nov 17.


MUSIC: Culture Club, Arena Birmingham, Fri Nov 16

A proper 80s ‘love in’ this is, with Boy George and Culture Club, supported by Belinda Carlisle and Tom Bailey of the Thompson Twins! Respect.



Christmas Food Fayre, Hatton Shopping Village, nr Warwick, Sat Nov 17 & Sun Nov 18

Foodie fans can tuck into delicious treats at the Christmas Food Fayre where stallholders will be offering a wide range of food and drink to taste for free.  As well as sampling dips, nibbles, pate, cakes and puddings, it’s the perfect opportunity to buy food to flatter any Christmas table.  Late night shopping is also available on Nov 30 from 5.30pm – 8.30pm with special discounts of up to 20% available in selected shops, entertainment and carol singing.


MUSIC: Barb Jungr Sings Bob Dylan, Warwick Arts Centre, Sat Nov 17

Barb. Photo-by-steve-ullathorne

Manchunian-born singer Barb Jungr has wowed audiences and critics worldwide with her powerful reinterpretations of Bob Dylan’s work. A passionate Dylanologist known for her minimal and subtle arrangements and great humour, Barb Jungr has built a formidable reputation as a quirky  international live performer and recording artiste.




THEATRE: Tartuffe, Swan Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon, until Feb 23

Asif Khan as Tartuffe and Sasha Behar as Amira. Production photos by Topher McGrillis (c) RSC

BAFTA and Emmy-Award winning TV writers Anil Gupta and Richard Pinto – creators of The Kumars at No. 42, Goodness Gracious Me, Citizen Khan and The Office – have reimagined Moliere’s great French comedy in modern-day Birmingham. The result is a sharp, vigorously funny and topical comedy set within the home of a well-to-do Brummie Pakistani family. It cleverly blends themes of religious hypocrisy, #metoo “victim shaming”, Brexit jokes and music styles including a freestyle beatbox rap battle. Review here.


ART: Women Power Protest, Gas Hall, Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery, Nov 10 – March 31 2019

Woman in silky camisole slip in black and white

Angela Kelly, Untitled (Woman’s Identity), 1975. Arts Council Collection, Southbank Centre, London. c Angela Kelly.

Marking a century since the first women won the right to vote, this new exhibition celebrates female artists who have explored protest, social commentary and identity in their work including Susan Hiller, Lubaina Himid, Mary Kelly, Sam Taylor-Johnson, Sonia Boyce, and Margaret Harrison. Women Power Protest  raises awareness, provokes debate and asks just how much has changed for women?



MUSIC: Live at the RSC: Faustus, The Other Place, Stratford-upon-Avon, Sat Nov 17

Top British folk band Faustus return to The Other Place for an evening of live music. The line-up brings together Benji Kirkpatrick, Saul Rose and Paul Sartin, three highly accomplished musicians, who between them have performed as part of Bellowhead, Seth Lakeman Band and the cast of War Horse (National Theatre).

rsc, Tel: 01789 331111


ART: Whistler and Nature, Compton Verney, until Dec 16

James McNeill Whistler, Battersea Reach from Lindsey Houses © The Hunterian, University of Glasgow

An autumn ‘must-see’. Warwickshire’s Compton Verney is casting a new light on the work of the great late-Victorian painter, James McNeill Whistler, in respect of his family’s army background. Whistler and Nature (Sat Oct 20 – Dec 16), curated in partnership with The Hunterian at the University of Glasgow. The exhibition, which includes 90 oil paintings, explores the artist’s revolutionary attitude towards the natural world.

Compton Verney


SHOPPING: Festive Gift Fair, NEC, Birmingham, Thurs Nov 15 – Sun Nov 18

Feeling a teensy bit Christmassy yet? Not really? Well, you will do after spending a day here! With more than 325 stalls this is one of the most popular Christmas shopping events in the UK, now in its 23rd year.  In the Festive Food & Drink area you’ll find 40 tempting stands selling everything from cheese to chutneys, spices to spirits, puddings to preserves, chocolates to champagne, beer to brownies and hampers to hog roasts. This year there’s new icicle lighting throughout the hall,  a new Victorian bandstand where live bands will perform, Christmassy mood and be entertained by Santa himself, Stilt walkers and Panto characters.





DESIGN: Home Futures, The Design Museum, Wed Nov 7 – March 24 2019

Immerse yourself in a series of dreamlike passages and rooms designed by New York-based architects SO-IL and exploring yesterday’s visions of the future – as avant-garde speculations are displayed alongside contemporary objects and new commissions including a ‘televised house’ where TV screens are integrated into every piece of furniture, giant cactus coathangers (1972) and a 60’s mobile office in the form of a transparent bubble!

Open daily 10am-6pm (last admission 5pm.)  Adult £16, Child (6 – 15 years) £8  Student/concession £12,


THE RSC’s UK SCHOOLS & THEATRE TOUR: First Encounters with Shakespeare: The Comedy of Errors until Dec 7

Photo by Sam Allard

Designed by RSC Visual Communications (c) RSCWondering what’s the perfect introduction to Shakespeare for 7 – 13-year-olds? The RSC’s fab First Encounters with Shakespeare: The Comedy of Errorsa 90-minute abridged version just for kids, is touring several partner schools and theatres across the UK including Leamington, Warwick, Nuneaton, Birmingham, Northampton, Blackpool, Middlesbrough, Kent, York, Bradford and Stoke-on-Trent. It will have a number of public performances in The Swan. A lovely, interactive experience for families. See our review and where it’s heading here.



ART: Klimt/Schiele, Royal Academy of Arts, London, Nov 4 – Feb 3

Courtesy of the Royal Academy of Arts, London and the Albertina Museum, Vienna.

This is going to be hugely popular. Both Viennese artists, Gustav Klimt and Egon Schiele died in 1918 – the same year as the collapse of the Austro-Hungarian Empire in which they lived. See their work side-by-side including 100 portraits, sketches and erotic nudes.



THEATRE: The Wider Earth, The Natural History Museum, London, now until Sun 30 Dec

Exciting news – there’s a theatre in the Jerwood Gallery at the Natural History Museum for the European premiere of award-winning drama The Wider Eartha play about the young Charles Darwin. Puppets, an original score and cinematic animations make this theatrical event a great draw for kids plus they’ll learn a helluva lot in the process.


ART: Edward Burne-Jones, Tate Britain, London, now until Feb 24

Sir Edward Coley Burne-Jones ‘Love Among the Ruins’ 1870-1973 Private Collection

Pre-Raphaelite artist Burne-Jones was one of the most influential British talents of the 19th century and this exhibition will bring together 150 works including paintings, stained glass and tapestry in a major new retrospective. Rejecting the starched world of the Victorians, he looked to myths, legends and the Bible to create his otherworldly work. He wanted to bring beautiful design to everyone and along with his friend William Morris, pioneered the Arts and Crafts Movement.


ART: Penny Woolcock, Fantastic Cities, Modern Art Oxford, Sat Nov 17 – Sun March 3

Fantastic Cities is the first major art exhibition of celebrated contemporary artist and director, Penny Woolcock, whose art focuses on the issues of social inequality. She’s won many awards for her diverse range of work from film, opera, documentaries and art projects. This exhibition brings together some of Penny’s pivotal works from her career plus 3 new moving-image commissions exploring how different peoples’ lives can be in the same city.


CULTURE: Month of Sundays Festival, Royal Opera House, London, Sun 4 – Sun 25 Nov

The Royal Opera House is opening itself up for a month of interactive fun. They’ll be live demos from technicians and craftspeople who work on the ROH productions, you can take guided tours and learn new moves in a dance class, sing tunes from opera classics and make something crafty to take home. The Royal Ballet and the Royal Opera artists will be performing in the public areas and there’s a sound installation that explores the history of the Opera House.

Find more ideas here

Things to DoThis Weekend

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