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Things to Do This Week, Mon Nov 6 – Sun Nov 12

Mon Nov 6 - Sun Nov 12

Katherine Ryan: Glitter Room, Warwick Arts Centre, Fri Nov 10

A busy mum 33-year-old Canadian stand-up  Katherine Ryan features regularly on TV panel shows such as QIHave I Got News for YouMock the Week8 Out of 10 Cats and the comedy roast show, Safeword, where she’s team leader. She’s also an actor (Episodes), presenter (Hair) and columnist. The 33-year-old grew up in Ontario and came to Britain with her then boyfriend 9 years ago, and never left.


Lost and Found, The Belgrade’s B2 auditorium, Coventry, Thurs Nov 9 – Fri Nov 10

A short play for children aged 5+, exploring the tools of communication, language and friendship performed for speakers of either English or German by Germany’s Kiel-based Junges Theatre. The play celebrates the 70th anniversary of the twinning of Coventry with Kiel since 1947.

Lost & Found is free but tickets must be booked in advance on 024 7655 3055 or belgrade

Goldfrapp. O2 Institute, Birmingham, Mon Nov 6

Silver Eye Photography & Art Direction: Alison Goldfrapp; Style Director: Aldene Johnson; Costumes: Alex Noble

Unfortunately due to illness, tonight’s Goldfrapp show at Birmingham Institute is cancelled. Under doctors orders, Alison has been advised not to perform. She is extremely disappointed to miss this show. Refunds will be available from point of purchase.

Mae Martin: Dope, Warwick Arts Centre, Sat Nov 11

I heard this award-winning Canadian stand-up’s Guide to 21st Century Addiction on Radio 4 last week in which she revisits her adolescence and explores her addictive personality and youthful obsession with Bette Midler and comedy clubs. She’s one of the most naturally charismatic young storytellers, fresh from sell-out seasons in Australia, Edinburgh and London. In Dope, she examines a lifetime of obsessions, fandom and addiction and shines a light on that one weird shrimp we all have in our brains that is happy to pursue short-term pleasure despite long-term consequences. Highly recommended!


North – Fashioning Identity, Somerset House, London, Wed Nov 8 – Feb 4 2018

Alice-Hawkins, LOVE magazine, ‘The Liver Birds’, 2012

Forget the north/south divide, London doffs its hat to Manchester, Newcastle et al in this new exhibition. Social documentary film and photography detailing life in the north of England in the mid-20th century sits alongside works by photographers, designers and artists inspired by the parts of our green and pleasant land beyond the Watford Gap. Contributors include Nottingham’s finest Paul Smith and Manchester’s Factory Records designer Peter Saville. If you visit after Nov 15,  you can also take a twirl on Somerset House’s gorgeous outdoor ice rink.

Still, Penny German ARBSA, The Stratford Gallery, Stratford, Sat Nov 4 – Nov 30

Penny German: Magnolia and Blossom, 2017 Oil on canvas

31 gorgeous new oil paintings by Northamptonshire artist Penny who previously specialised in botanical illustration in watercolour, working on projects for the RHS and Oxford University Press. Her new solo exhibition, Still, reveals her love of oil painting over the last 10 years.

The Stratford Gallery, 32 Sheep Street, Stratford-upon-Avon, WarwickshireCV37 6EE,  thestratfordgallery

Monty Don: Down to Earth, Warwick Arts Centre, Coventry, Tues Nov 7

Gardener’s World presenter Monty Don is a renowned gardening writer as well as the nation’s favourite and most respected gardener. Hear him speak about his life and travels visiting gardens all over the world, what really happens behind the scenes when filming, about how he made his own organic garden from a bare field and how understanding and working with nature enriches and empowers us all, 7.30pm. Age 14+

Book here.

Russell Brand: Re:Birth, Warwick Arts Centre, Wed Nov 8

“How do we make sense of the madness of our lives once we become parents? What am I going to tell my daughter about conformity and responsibility? What happens if she grows up to be like me or, worse, date someone like me?” In Re:Birth,  new dad Russell Brand wrestles with these questions while unravelling the matrix of modern media, politics, sex, fatherhood and death.  Tickets still available. This is a rescheduled gig from Wed Oct 4, 8pm.


Our House, The Belgrade Theatre, Coventry, Weds Nov 8 – Sat Nov 11

George Sampson in Our House. Photo by Adam Trigg

Street dancing star George Sampson has joined the UK Tour of the Olivier Award-winning Madness musical. The Britain’s Got Talent winner who was in films Street Dance 3D and Street Dance 2 joins Emmerdale’s Deena Payne as Kath Casey, after the unfortunate withdrawal of Linda Nolan, following her recent cancer diagnosis. Jason Kadji  (Joe Casey) and Sophie Matthew (Sarah) also star.

belgrade, Tel:  024 7655 3055

Twelfth Night, RST, Stratford, Thurs Nov 2- Feb 24 2018

Photo by Paul Stuart (c) RSC

The RSC’s winter production Twelfth Night sees Ade Edmondson, of The Young Ones and Bottom fame, as Olivia – Kara Tointon’s dour steward Malvolio in Shakespeare’s bittersweet comedy. Directed by Christopher Luscombe, who recreated Warwickshire’s Charlecote Park on stage for the RSC’s fabulous Love’s Labour’s Lost and Much Ado About Nothing, it’s set in Victorian Britain. Also starring Birmingham’s Dinita Gohil as Viola and Michael Cochrane as Sir Andrew Aguecheek.


Booking now: Bananarma: The Original Line-up Tour 2017, Arena Birmingham, Thurs Nov 23

One of the few UK dates left that isn’t sold out yet! It’s the first time the original line-up of Siobhan Fahey, Keren Woodward and Sara Dallin have ever toured together (don’t they look amazing still! *sob*). The girls will be re-living all those 80s hits from Robert De Nero’s Waiting to Cruel Summer and Venus.


Show and Tell: Warwickshire Pebbles, Market Hall Museum Warwick, Thurs Nov 9

Stone me! You can find out all about Warwickshire pebbles lying about in fields, parks and gardens and what they tell us about ancient environments, climate change, and devastating mass extinctions in this workshop for adults. Free, no need to book, 1 –  1.30pm.

The Wonder Stuff, The Assembly, Leamington Spa, Thurs Nov 9

Miles Hunt and Erica Nockalls

If you were an indie fan in the late 80s/early 90s this Stourbridge band fronted by tousle hair-ed Miles Hunt were mahoosive! It’s Yer Money I’m After, Baby. Know what I’m saying?


Legally Blonde, Wolverhampton Grand Theatre, Tues Nov 7 – Sat Nov 11

Musical based on the film starring Reece Witherspoon. Definitely one for groups of girlies and mums and daughters – it’s a safe bet for a fun night out.


Saturday Crafternoons, Cotesbach Educational Trust’s cafe space, starting Sat Nov 11 

A series of free events suitable for all ages, crafting and making gifts with more dates to be announced in December starting off on this Sat 11 Nov with making applique lavender hearts from 1pm – 3pm; making felt Christmas tree ornaments on Sat 18 Nov and creating a festive rag wreath on Sat Nov 25.

Main Street, Cotesbach, Leicestershire LE17 4HX, Tel: 01455 558373.

Where’s My Igloo Gone?, Warwick Arts Centre, Sun Nov 12

A family show for children aged 5+ by The Bone Ensemble about Oolik, an ordinary girl who goes on an extraordinary journey…to an Arctic world of soaring snow geese, pet husky dogs and starry nights. With enchanting live music, expect a fun, magical experience for young children, 11am & 2pm.


The Lost Words & Quentin Blake: Inside Stories, Compton Verney, until Dec 17

Two brilliantly family-friendly exhibitions celebrating the best of British illustration and literature with The Lost Words based on the new modern spell book by writer Robert Macfarlane, and Birmingham-born artist Jackie Morris (The White Fox, Tell Me a Dragon); alongside Quentin Blake’s Inside Stories – a very personal and insightful ‘behind the page’ look at Britain’s best-loved illustrator’s work including Roald Dahl’s The Twits, David Walliams recent The Boy in the Dress and Michael Rosen’s Sad book.  In The Lost Words Macfarlane has created a series of 20 spell-poems – one for each lost word from a junior children’s dictionary – while Morris, inspired by her lifelong passion for Britain’s landscapes and wildlife, has painted more than 50 beautiful watercolours – using gold leaf. Families can venture out on Spell Walks in the grounds of this stunning country mansion via two specifically commissioned digital trails that can be downloaded straight to your smart phone.

Crafts of the Punjab, The Herbert Art Gallery & Museum, Coventry, until Jan 21 2018

A rare opportunity to view these stunning works from the V&A’s South Asian Collection outside London. Discover the skilful art of Buddhist, Hindu and Jain sculpture, Amritsar’s delicately carved ivories, Hoshiarpur’s elaborate musical instruments and Sialkot’s gold-inlaid steel artefacts. One of the most extraordinary pieces on show will be the Golden Throne made by a Muslim craftsman in Lahore for Ranjit Singh, the first Sikh Maharaja of the Punjab.


Kaleidoscope: Colour & Sequence in 1960s British Art, Mead Gallery, Warwick Arts Centre, Thur Oct 5-Dec 9

I popped along to the private view last and this touring Arts Council Collection is definitely worth a visit. It features lots of fun brightly-coloured abstract New Generation sculpture, Op Art including paintings by Bridget Riley and Peter Sedgley and Pop art. Among the 20 artists there’s also work by David Annesley, Anthony Carol, Robyn Denny, Tess Jaray, Philip King, Kim Lim, Mary Martin, Eduardo Polozzi, Tim Scott, Richard Smith, William Tucker and William Turnbull. Free.

Nativity! The Musical, Birmingham Repertory Theatre, Fri Oct 20-Sat Nov 12 

The Christmas season as begun in earnest with the stage musical version of the hit film by Birmingham-born and Coventry based Debbie Isitt. Expect a whole lot of sparkle and shine – um, that’s 500 glittering stars, 50 kilograms of glitter, 40 oversized Christmas presents and 14 Christmas trees! Plus, 27 local children from across Birmingham and the West Mids  aged 8-11. Following its premiere in Birmingham Nativity the Musical is touring.

Box Office: 0121 236 4455,

Portrait of the Artist: Kathe Kollwitz, Ikon Gallery, Birmingham, until Nov 26

Käthe Kollwitz (1867-1945) – Woman with Dead Child, The British Museum

The Ikon’s new exhibition marking the 150th anniversary of Berlin artist and doctor’s wife Kathe Kollwitz’s birth, is already garnering 5* reviews. The emotional impact of her drawings of unemployment and suffering in particular, Woman With Dead Child (1903) is incredibly hard-hitting and poignant. The exhibition looks at her work through the exploration of three themes: social and political protest, self portraits and the role of an empathetic and suffering mother, resulting from the death of her youngest son Peter in 1914, shot in the First World War.

Picasso: Linocuts from the British Museum, The Herbert Art Gallery & Museum, Coventry until Dec 3

Image: Pablo Picasso (1881–1973), Jacqueline Reading – 2nd plate, July 1964. © Succession Picasso/DACS, London 2017.

Showcasing works created in the late 1950s and early 1960s, this exhibition explores the artist’s expressive and experimental works with linocut techniques and ceramics. Produced when Picasso was over eighty years old, Still Life under the Lamp, Jacqueline Reading and Nude Woman at the Spring highlight his skilful yet risky approach.


Sofia Hulten, Here’s the Answer, What’s the Question? Ikon Gallery, Birmingham until Nov 26

Sofia Hulten. Speculative Fiction 2016. Courtesy the…VG Bildkunst.

The most comprehensive exhibition to date by 45-year-old Berlin-based artist Sofia Hulten: scultpures, installations and films preoccupied with the material world and the way we navigate time. She uses discarded objects found on the streets encouraging the idea of looking twice at what is all-too-often taken for granted – as in Speculative Fiction (2016) where she recycles bicycle parts – locks, wheel-like hoops and frame.


Leicester Art Week, Fri Nov 3 – Sun Nov 12 

Attenborough Arts Centre taken from

Enjoy a programme of free exhibitions and events delivered by Leicester Visual Arts, a collaboration between contemporary visual arts venues in Leicester. Members include, Leicester Arts and Museums, De Montfort University, Attenborough Arts, Studio Name, Two Queens, Soft Touch Arts and Khush Kali amongst others. There will be 8 exhibitions, 12 events across 7 venues and include performances, open studios, guided tours, poster print and family workshop and more.

Leicester Art Week

Finnish Rooftop Sauna, Queen Elizabeth Roof Terrace, South Bank, Fri 10 Nov – Sat Dec 30

woman sauna finnish

And now for something completely different. Why not warm up and unwind in a one-of-a-kind Finnish sauna experience in the heart of London? There’s a specially designed Nordic sauna that on the Queen Elizabeth Roof Terrace, combining beautiful Nordic design with a bespoke artistic commission. If 90 degrees celsius is a bit sweaty for you, cool down in the open air (or with cold water buckets – go on, dare you!), while enjoying some stonking views of the Thames below.

London Jazz Festival, Fri 10 – Sun 19 Nov

One of the biggest jazz festivals in the world, with ten jam-packed days of international talent. This year the numbers are dizzying – more than 350 performances in 60 venues with many of the events free.

Rambert Revealed, South Bank, London, Mon 6 – Sun 12 Nov

Rambert is one of my favourite dance companies so I’m excited about this week-long programme opening up the work of the company through performances, tours and workshops at their studios on London’s South Bank. New additions to this year’s programme include a live drawing session of company rehearsals and a residency from ERRATICA, who will spend a month at Rambert developing a prototype for a new interactive dance film installation. Can’t quite be bothered to go into London for the experience? Rambert Live will livestream of a day in the life of the company, so you can wear your leg warmers and langorously stretch out from the comfort of your sofa.

Rambert, 99 Upper Ground, London SE1,

Two new public artworks by David Cotterrell and Bedwyr Williams, Chester Waterways & Storyhouse, Chester, from Fri Oct 27

Chester’s impressive new state-of-the-art arts centre and cinema, Storyhouse

If you’re heading up north there’s two new digital artworks in Chester – Bedwyr Williams’ Hypercaust which brings back to life Chester’s Roman Fortress Bathhouse recreated through historically accurate 3D renderings; and Maelstrom by installation artist David Cotterell, acknowledging Chester’s relationship with water as a whirlpool appears and disappears in the Shropshire Canal. War artist David Cotterell went to Afghanistan in 2007, spending time with British forces and documenting the medical treatment of casualties and their journey away from the frontline to medical treatment back in the UK. His work Gateway II is on display at London’s Imperial War Museum as part of Age of Terror: Art since 9/11 until May 28 2018.

Hypercaust  (2017) is screened at Storyhouse, Hunter Street, Chester,; while Maelstrom can be seen at King Charles Tower, Chester City Walls, 

Ghost Tours, Hampton Court, selected dates from 5 Nov – Jan 2018

Want to petrify your kids? Course you do! There are Family Tours on 5 Nov at 6.30 (and also 7 Jan 2018, but seriously I’m not even thinking next year yet!).  It’s a 75-90 minute  walking tour hearing stories of ghostly apparitions and paranormal activity Minimum age is 8 years and a maximum of 3 children per accompanying adult.

Hampton Court Palace, Molesey, East Molesey,

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