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What’s On This week


MUSIC: First Aid Kit, O2 Academy, Birmingham, Wed Nov 7

Swedish sisters, First Aid Kit are setting out on their Rebel Heart headline tour, following the hugely successful release of fourth album, Ruins. Their biggest UK tour to date, they’ll also be joined by best mates, The Staves.


THEATRE: LOST DOG DANCE’s Juliet and Romeo, Wed Nov 7 & Thu Nov 8

Lost Dog’s new show reveals the real story of Romeo and Juliet. Now they’re 40ish, at least one of them is in the grips of a mid-life crisis, they feel constantly mocked by their teenage selves and haunted by the pressures of being the poster couple for romantic love. “Pure pleasure. Smart, subversive and sexy” – said The Guardian in a 5-star reviewRunning time: 1hr 15mins, 8pm. For ages 13+.



Bonfire Night and Firework Displays, across Warwickshire

A few more displays remaining in our top family-friendly guide here.


THEATRE: Othello, Warwick Arts Centre, Tues Nov 6 – Fri Nov 9

Tickets are going fast for this ETT production. Director Richard Twyman’s original modern-dress production received rave reviews. For ages 12+ Running time: 3hrs.



SHOPPING: British Fashion Council Pop-up, Bicester Village, until  Sun 11 Nov

Calling all fashion mavens! Hot foot it down to Bicester Village this week for a unique edit of some of the UK’s top emerging names and more established brands, as curated by The British Fashion Council (these guys organise London Fashion Week and promote British fashion around the world so they know what they’re doing). Big names in the pop-up boutique include Christopher Kane, Emilia Wickstead, Teatum Jones and Sharon Wauchob. Sharpened elbows at the ready as you attack those rails…


CULTURE: 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.


THEATRE: Alan Bennett’s The Habit of Art, Belgrade Theatre, Coventry, Tues Nov 6 – Sat Nov 10

Matthew Kelly & David Yelland in THE HABIT OF ART Photo by (c) Helen Maybanks

As one of our finest playwrights, Alan Bennett is renowned for his wit and sharp character observations of us Brits, done with warmth and compassion. Here he explores friendship, rivalry and heartache through an imagined meeting between the poet WH Auden and the composer Benjamin Britten during auditions for Britten’s opera Death in Venice, and how their creativity impacted on them. This is the first revival of this brilliantly clever play since it was first staged at The National Theatre and with Matthew Kelly, David Yelland and Veronica Roberts in its strong cast and Phillip Franks directing, it should be a winner.

Tel: 024 7655 3055 belgrade


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!



ART: The March of the Imagination, Compton Verney, weekends until Sun Nov 11


For the third year running, the stunning ‘Capability’ Brown grounds and Robert Adam-designed house are going to be illuminated in a new outdoor art work.  The Warwickshire art gallery and park has commissioned award-winning artists, Musson+Retallick, to create a series of remarkable night-time displays. Five playful installations will explore the relationship between the human mind and machines across the next two weekends in November. Seasonal treats including speciality hot chocolates and freshly baked wood-fired pizzas will be served.

Each event runs from 6.30pm-9.30pm (Fri, Sat, Sun), with timed entry starting. Tickets are priced at £10 for adults and £5 for children, comptonverney


NEW THEATRE: Theatre Absolute present Sphere, Shop Front Theatre, Coventry, Wed Nov 7 – Thurs Nov 10

Coventry born actor Kimishi Lewis, who graduated from Rose Bruford Drama School, in 2015 returns from Edinburgh Fringe sell-out show and UK tour of Strictly Arts ‘Freeman’. This is Kimisha’s Writing debut.

This is the 9th and final experimental commission of Theatre Absolute’s two-year project exploring the question Are We Where We Are? Sphere written and performed by seven exciting up-and-coming artists and writers – Amy Kakoura, Ashley James Brown, Demi Oyediran, Kimisha Lewis, Laura Nyahuye, Ola Animashawun, and Raef Boylan, 7.30pm,

Shop Front Theatre, 38 City Arcade, Coventry, CV1 3HW. Tickets are £8 (full price) and £6 (concessions) via brownpapertickets(a service fee will be added).


MUSIC: Miloš: Voice of the Guitar, Butterworth Hall, Warwick Arts Centre, Wed Nov 7

Photo by Melanie Gomez

Considered by many as “the hottest guitarist in the world”, Miloš explores the entire musical universe of the classical guitar – from the timeless beauty of J.S. Bach, through the poetry of classical Spain, to the passionate music of Latin America, where the tangos of Astor Piazzolla jostle with hits by The Beatles. He will be performing with Ensemble 7, 7.30pm. £18.50 – £41.50. Pre-concert Talk: Helen Martin Studio 6.15pm, £2.50.



SPOKEN WORD: An Evening with Nigella Lawson, Symphony Hall, Birmingham, Thurs Nov 8

Celebrate the 20th anniversary of TV chef Nigella’s ground-breaking debut cookbook, How to Eat: The Pleasures and Principles of Good Food, as she talks about her life in food and what she’s cooking right now, followed by a 1-hour book-signing.



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


THEATRE: Tartuffe, Swan Theatre, Stratford, 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: 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


THEATRE: The Lovely Bones, Birmingham Rep, until Sat Nov 10

Photo by photo-by-Sheila-Burnett-

Alice Sebold’s global best-selling book, The Lovely Bones, is brought to life on stage for the first time adapted for the stage by the award-winning Bryony Lavery and directed by Melly Still. Susie Salmon will be played by Charlotte Beaumont, well known for her role as Chloe Latimer in ITV’s Broadchurch.

Tel:  0121 236 4455,


KIDS THEATRE: Sleepyhead, Warwick Arts Centre, Coventry, Fri Nov 9 & Sat Nov 10

A 45-minute dream-like show for two – 5-year-olds which many a sleep-deprived parent can probably relate to even more…It’s been a long day for Dad and he can hardly keep his eyes open. All he wants is for Baby to go to sleep so he can catch up on a little shut-eye too – but tonight , Baby has other ideas. Mix in some magic, a pinch of circus and a large dollop of silliness and you have the recipe for a little adventure with a lot of laughs.



MUSIC: Arrested Development, Town Hall, Birmingham, Fri Nov 9

Trailblazing 90’s hip-hop artists who had massive international hits with Mr. Wendal and People Everyday.



MUSIC: Reef, Leamington Assembly, Fri Nov 9

Reef reached a high with their gold and platinum-selling albums Replenish and Glow and hits including Place Your Hands, Naked and  I Would Have Left You. Now eighteen years since their last studio release, the band are back with their fifth studio album, Revelation.



FOOD: Queans Wine Dinner with Slurp,  15 Dormer Pl, Leamington Spa, Fri Nov 9

You’ll be needing your elasticated pants for this evening of outstanding wine and food at Queans Restaurant in Royal Leamington Spa. The evening will be hosted by the Slurp Leamington team with a fab 5-course Dinner menu created by Queans’ chef, proprietor and maker of 16 exquisite home-made ice creams, Laura Hamilton, with wines to match as well as a canapé and glass of fizz on arrival, £79pp.

Advanced booking (in store or by phone 01926 315609), queans-restaurant


MUSIC: Trevor Nelson’s Soul Nation, Leamington Assembly, Fri Nov 9

The soulful radio presenter and live DJ brings his Soul Nation club back on tour. He’ll be playing new and old school rnb / hip hop / soul and more..



SHOPPING: Vintage Home in the Village, FarGo Village, Coventry, Sat Nov 10

Items range from mid-century accessories and nick nicks, to vintage furniture and everything in between. Find some cosy retro pieces to make your home ready for winter and if you’re feeling hungry there’s Mexican street food to warm you up from BajaCantina and vintage tunes all day long from Paulo’s Hoodoo Jukebox.



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.



FOOD: Digbeth Dining Club &  Voyage Audio DJs: Global-Selects, Spotlight, Lower Trinity Street, Digbeth, Birmingham, Fri Nov 9 & Fri Dec 14

An award-winning mash-up of global street food and worldly beats. The Voyage Audio DJs will be in-house on the 2nd Friday of every month, loaded with wax jams from all four corners including  Turkish Funk, Cumbia, Afrobeat, Latin House,  Italo Disco and more…

For lots more Digbeth Dining Club events, including the No Bones meat-free event on Nov 11, check out: digbethdiningclub


CULTURE: First World War Performance Project & Virtual Reality pop-up, New Street Station, Birmingham, Sun Nov 11

Birmingham Hippodrome is marking the centenary of the end of the First World War with commemorations in the theatre and city centre including a performance project at New Street Station on Sunday Nov 11. Throughout the day, schools from the Hippodrome’s Education Network (HEN) will present poignant performances responding to war The theatre has worked with 13 schools on the history of WW1, using art to express their findings. Also at New Street Station on the day will be a Virtual Reality pop-up experience, Empire Soldier. This immersive and emotive Virtual Reality installation explores the stories of forgotten Caribbean and South Asian soldiers


BOOK NOW: Gruff Rhys, The Glee Club, Birmingham, Tues Nov 13

Courtesy of Gruff Rhys’ Instagram

The North Wales pop eccentric, formerly lead singer in the Super Furry Animals has this year released his lush fifth solo album Babelsberg, made with The BBC National Orchestra of Wales.



KIDS DANCE/THEATRE: The Wolf and Peter, Warwick Arts Centre, Tue Nov 13 

Photo by Ros Kavanagh

In this energetic award-winning 55-min new work for children aged 6+, featuring one of the most famous pieces of music ever written, David Bolger, artistic director of Ireland’s Coisceim Dance Theatre has told the story through the eyes of a wolf!  On Tues after the 7pm show MEET THE WOLF! and a post-show talk with the entire cast.





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 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.



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, designmuseum.digitickets


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.

Find more ideas here

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