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The Latest Happenings This Month

OCT 2017

Nightmares and Nibbles, Old Grammar School, Coventry, Fri Oct 27-Tue Oct 31

Halloween’s just around the corner and over 18’s are invited to join Dr Frankenstein for a no holds barred immersive theatrical experience in the medieval surroundings of Coventry’s Old Grammar School for a sip and a nibble. There’s be a ‘darkly humorous bodily buffet’ and cocktails. Nightmares and Nibbles is a daring adventure in visuals and taste which showcases Coventry’s beautiful Old Grammar School building in a brand new way.


In-Light II and Museums at Night, Compton Verney, Sat Oct 28 & Sun Oct 29; Sat Nov 4 & Sun Nov 5

The combination of dark autumnal skies and a rural location makes Compton Verney the ideal place to experience a spectacular and contemporary ‘son et lumière’. Celebrated light artist Luxmuralis will draw upon poetry and nature to create a series of stunning light projections. Wrap up warm and prepare to see the written word and a colourful palette projected onto the famous house’s Georgian façade. You can also join Antonia Harrison, the curator of Compton’s major autumn exhibition The Lost Words, writer Robert Macfarlane and artist Jackie Morris as they reveal the ideas and inspirations that led to the show.  The talk takes place in the recently restored Chapel, and is followed by a book signing.


A Midsummer Night’s Scream, Stratford ArtsHouse, Stratford, Thurs Oct 26

Your hostess: Kiki DeVille

A celebration of the decadent, dark side of Burlesque and Cabaret ready for Halloween hosted by Miss Kiki DeVille, a contestant on The Voice. This show will feature  a fire-eating showgirl Talulah Blue, slapstick Miss Oopsie Oooh, Kimmy von Shimmy, Scarlet Butterfly aerial dance, Oxford’s finest Burlesque dance troupe Cream Tease, hula hooping, escapology, balloon popping, pole dancing and sword swallowing!

Age guidance 15+. , Tel 01789 207100


The Lost Words & Spell Walks, Compton Verney, Sat Oct 21-Dec 17

A survey of British primary school children found 8-11 year-olds were “substantially better” able to identify types of Pokemon character that species of common UK wildlife.

A sumptuous family-friendly collaborative project between writer Robert Macfarlane, and Birmingham-born artist Jackie Morris: it’s an exhibition and a gloriously illustrated poetry book. The Lost Words is also a response to Macfarlane and Morris’s belief that nature is no longer a big part of children’s stories and imaginations. Macfarlane has created a series of 20 spell-poems – one for each lost word – 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 into the stunning grounds of this country mansion on Lost Words Spell Walks via two specifically commissioned digital trails that can be downloaded straight to your smart phone.


Dido, Queen of Carthage, until Sat Oct 28

Christopher Marlowe’s underrated first play about one of history’s great female leaders. Kimberley Sykes makes an impressively inventive and quirky RSC directorial debut and Ti Green’s stunning stage design featuring a sand covered stage and cascading waterfall. Chipo Chung gives a strong performance as Dido, most recently Portia/Octavius in Robert Hastie’s Julius Caesar at the Sheffield Crucible. Her TV credits include Thirteen (BBC), From Darkness (BBC) and Fortitude (Sky Atlantic). A great cast also includes Nicholas Day as Jupiter, the very funny Ellie Beaven as Venus (A Mad World My Masters), Sandy Grierson, who plays Dido’s love interest, Aeneas, and Amber James as Dido’s loyal sister, Anna. You may need to do some research on the Greek gods and Virgil’s Aeneid, first to make sense of it all. Read the Muddy verdict here .


Quentin Blake: Inside Stories, Compton Verney, Sat Oct 21-Sun Dec 17

It’s rare for an illustrator’s name to be as instantly recognisable as their work, but then Quentin Blake is no ordinary artist. Quentin Blake: Inside Stories shares insights into the origins of some of Blake’s most iconic and popular creations, ranging from his illustrations in Dahl’s The Twits and Danny the Champion of the World, to The Boy in the Dress by David Walliams. The exhibition, consisting of 140 original works, includes first roughs and storyboards – many never seen outside Blake’s studio before – along with finished artwork to demonstrate how his ideas evolved, often in close collaboration with the authors.


FURTHER AFIELD: Launch of two public artworks by David Cotterrell and Bedwyr Williams, Chester Waterways & Storyhouse, Chester, opens Fri Oct 27

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

If you’re heading up north this weekend (as I am) there’s a public unveiling between 5pm and 8pm of two 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. 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 launched at Storyhouse in Hunter Street, Chester,; while Maelstrom will be unveiled at King Charles Tower, Chester City Walls, Meet the artists 5 – 5.30pm at Storyhouse Cinema.


Noel Coward’s The Vortex, The Loft Theatre, Leamington Spa, Wed Oct 25-Sat Nov 4

Leamington’s Loft Theatre Company’s season continues with a story of Sex, Drugs and Rock-and-Roll in the Roaring Twenties.  Noel Coward wrote The Vortex at 24 and when it first performed in 1924 its tale of London High Society’s promiscuity shocked many. It proved a huge commercial success, making the author an overnight sensation. The play marries Coward’s trademark wit and one-liners within an emotional whirlpool – the vortex of the title.



Halloween Tours, Kenilworth Castle, Tues Oct 31

Kenilworth Castle is second place on the list of English Heritage’s ten spookiest sites, as voted for by staff across its 400 plus castles and abbeys, historic houses and palaces. For one night only the Castle will also host ‘Spooky Halloween Tours’ after hours. In a celebration of All Hallow’s Eve Kenilworth’s spooktacular story-teller will lead visitors on a journey of ghostly apparitions, dastardly deeds, and gruesome goings-on.  Hear terrifying tales from the dark side of Kenilworth Castle, and maybe even encounter some past residents who refuse to leave.  Early evening family tours will be followed by adult only tours, strictly for those with a strong disposition. Children’s Tour at 6pm, Adults’ Tours at 7pm & 8pm. Adult £16.00 / Child, 5-15 years £7.50.

Kenilworth Castle & Elizabethan Garden, Castle Green, Off Castle Road, Kenilworth, Warwickshire, CV8 1NE,


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

An Arts Council Collection Touring exhibition featuring more than 20 artists and looking across media and movements from British Op Arts, Pop, Constructivism and New Generation Sculpture. It includes work by David Annesley, Anthony Carol, Robyn Denny, Tess Jaray, Philip King, Kim Lim, Mary Martin, Eduardo Polozzi, Bridget Riley, Tim Scott, Richard Smith, William Tucker and William Turnbull.


New Afternoon Tea Experience, Hampton Manor, Hampton-in-Arden, nr Solihull 

The Parlour, a theatrical lounge at Hampton Manor

The parlour doors at this exquisite boutique hotel and Michelin-award-winning restaurant will swing open and beckon you to a try a new type of afternoon tea with a nod to the traditions but this is more geared towards ‘the foodie’. Guests will be invited in at 3pm for a garden-led cocktail, followed by a procession of savoury and sweet creations. Delicious warm scones will still make an appearance and perhaps even occasionally a very good finger sandwich. I’m intrigued! £40 per person, Tue-Sat at 3pm.


The Haunted Castle, Warwick Castle, Sat Oct 21-Tues Oct 31


Fire jousting, dreadful dungeons, ghostly tales in Witches Tower, Horrible Histories maze and an Edinburgh Fringe sell-out  – Seance. It’s no wonder The Haunted Castle will remain open until 9pm with so much going on! Enjoy eerie escapades throughout the day and as darkness falls over the ancient towers and ramparts, the scare factor rises. New for 2017 is live entertainment on Dead Centre Stage, Dolls House and Glen Neath and David Rosenberg’s Séance, fresh from rave reviews at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival – an intense 15-minute sonic performance for an audience of 20 that will test just how susceptible you are to a visit from the other side. Not one for the claustrophobic!


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.



Haunted Castle, Tamworth Castle, Mon Oct 23- Fri Oct 27

A half-term holiday week filled with ghostly goings on at Tamworth Castle’s haunted spooktacular. Meet a series of spooky characters as you tour the Castle, complete challenges set by the horrible witches, and try not to lose your body parts as you meet Master Slaughter. Only the courageous will manage to finish their tour without being spooked, 11.30am–4pm.


Pumpkin Week, Hatton Adventure World, Sat Oct 21-Sun Oct 29

Enjoy some scary half-term fun at this Muddy award-winning family attraction. Pick your own free pumpkin from the fields, carve it in the spooky decorated Marquee and then enter the best carved pumpkin competition to win a host of prizes. Brand new for 2017 is the Mystifying Halloween Show with scary capers and ghostly antics with Zoobee, the resident entertainer. The 3-acre corn Mega Maize Maze has had a spooky facelift and transformed into a Terrifying Terror Maze with 6 new hidden spooky characters open at timed slots throughout Pumpkin Week.  Also new for this year is Haunted House and Laser Combat Game – Zombie Run for ages 8 +.

hattonworld, Tel: 01926 843411


Fosse House Gallery: 1st Birthday Celebrations, Dunchurch, Sat Oct 28

Co-owners Shenac Rogerson and Jonny Daniels will host a birthday celebration for customers and artists. As part of the day’s celebrations, there’ll be artists demos. The morning sees Charlotte Auckland from Cawston, Rugby, demonstrating linocut printmaking;  after lunch Judy Haslam-Jones, a ceramicist from Rugby will be showing how she works in clay.  This charming and relaxed gallery located in the small Warwickshire historic village of Dunchurch showcases local artists as well as those from further afield, including contemporary craftwork, original art, handmade, carefully sourced homewares and an ever-changing display of beautiful gifts and greeting cards. There’s currently an exhibition of digital prints by Adrian Bradbury until Nov 4.

fossehousegallery, Tel: 01788 877007, Open: Tues-Sat 10am – 5.30pm.


Set Your Career Compass – a one-day workshop for 15-18-year-olds, The Priory, Wolston nr Brandon, Warwickshire, Tues Oct 24

Looking to the future?

Do you have a son or daughter aged 15-18-years old who is wondering what their options are for the future; whether to go to uni or apply for an apprenticeship?; or what they’re good at? Teen Direct, a team of professional career coaches based in Warwickshire, is running a one-day workshop to help teenagers discover where they fit into ‘the world of work’ based on their strengths, personality and interests. They will discuss implementing a career action plan, create a professional personal profile and learn interview skills, 9.30am-3.30pm.

For further info go to, email: or call Eva on 07901 517012.


Halloween, Twycross Zoo, Thur Oct 26–Tues Oct 31 

Head over to Twycross Zoo this month for some spooky goings-ons. Kids can dress up in their fave fancy dress costumes and follow trick or treat trail, take part in pumpkin carving or grab some popcorn and enjoy a spooky cinema and lots more. Wold down some ghostly grub in the on-site cafes and tuck into pumpkin load, eyeball pop cakes, monster burgers, and bloody ice cream.

Twycross, Zoo, Atherstone CV9 3PX


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.


What Do I Need to Do to Make it OK? Rugby Art Gallery & Museum, until Nov 4

Detail of “First One’s the Best”by Celia Pym. Photo by Douglas Atfield.

This touring exhibition curated by Liz Cooper features five international artists investigating damage and repair including work by Celia Pym, finalist in Radio 4 Woman’s Hour Craft Prize 2017.


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.



Spooky Space, National Space Centre, Leicester Fri Oct 14 – Sun Oct 29 

During the half term holidays, the Spooky Science team have taken over the Space Centre. Join the team every day to discover The School of Science and Magic, make your very own slime to take home, take a seat and create your very own stained-glass rocket to take home.

National Space Centre, Exploration Drive, Leicester, LE4 5NS


Talk: Michael Brooks, The Quantum Astrologer’s Handbook, Warwick Books, Wed Oct 18

Brooks not only has a PhD in quantum physics, he’s the author of best-selling science title 13 Things That Don’t Make Sense, a journalist and consultant at New Scientist. In his new book, The Quantum Astrologer’s Handbook he resurrects Jerome Cardano, a sixteenth century Milanese mathematician, physician, and astrologer, who may have been the true inventor of probability, quantum theory, imaginary numbers, and more. The Quantum Astrologer’s Handbook, is at once a biography, a history of science, an accessible explanation of quantum theory, and an engrossing story which reads like the best kind of novel. It is a science book like no other, about a scientist like no other., 7pm, tickets £5, including drinks and nibbles.

Rita, Sue and Bob Too, Warwick Arts Centre, Tues Oct 17-Sat Oct 21

Rita, Sue and Bob Too Production Photos
Photo Credit : The Other Richard

Out of Joint’s revival of Andrea Dunbar’s semi-autobiographical play and cult 80s film, Rita, Sue and Bob Too set in a Bradford council estate is brought to the stage by the play’s original director, Max Stafford-Clark. It stars Taj Atwal, James Atherton and Gemma Dobson in the title roles as the teenage babysitters groomed by seedy Bob.

Where I Live And What I Live, Shop Front Theatre, Coventry, Tues Oct 10-Sat Oct 14

Associate Director of The Belgrade Theatre Justine Themen, who is directing

Written by London born British Pakistani writer Rabiah Hussain and directed by The Belgrade’s Justine Themen this monologue is the third piece of new theatre to be commissioned as part of a two- year theatre project, Are We Where We Are? created by award-winning Theatre Absolute. This short play focuses on race relations, from the open racism of the 1970s and 80s, through to the casual covert racism of 21st Century Britain. Rabiah tells the story of Saleeha, a young British Pakistani woman, and her friend Sarah, considering ideas around race and friendship. The performance lasts around 30 mins and will be followed by a post-show Q&A.

Little Mix, The Genting Arena, Birmingham, Fri Oct 13

The girls are back in Brum with their brand new Glory Days Tour. The only group to ever win the X Factor back in 2011, Perrie, Jesy, Leigh-Anne and Jade just keep going from strength to strength.

Coriolanus, RST, Stratford, until Sat Oct 14

An absorbing 2hrs and 40 minutes. Gripping edge-of-your-seat theatre and psychological drama that allows you to draw your own political conclusions. Angus Jackson’s modern dress adaptation of Shakespeare’s tragedy stars Sope Dirisu as flawed Roman hero Coriolanus and Hadyn Gwynne, playing his mother Volumnia.  The first time a forklift truck has ever made its RSC debut too – admire that skill! Review here

Coriolanus is live in cinemas on Wed Oct 11, and transfers to the Barbican for a limited London Season from Nov 6-18,, Box office: 01789 403493

Michael Kiwanuka, Symphony Hall, Birmingham, Mon Oct 16

I was pretty excited when I saw Michael Kiwanuka was to be opening his new national tour at Symphony Hall this October. The show will feature his critically acclaimed, number one selling, Mercury Prize and BRIT Awards nominated second album Love & Hate in all its glory. If you watched Pretty Little Liars on Sky Atlantic earlier this year, wasn’t the choice of his haunting Cold Heart as the title track a great choice.

Godiva Rocks, Main Stage, Belgrade Theatre, Sat Oct 7 – Sat 21 Oct. 

Hamish Glen directs the first musical written about a UK city’s musical heritage, spanning many generations. It features 20 songs from Coventry artists such as Frank Ifield, Vince Hill, Hazel O’Connor, The Specials, Terry Hall, King, The Primitives and The Enemy. With the result of Coventry’s bid to be UK City of Culture in 2021 soon to be announced, Godiva Rocks revels in the city’s rich heritage and talent.

belgrade, Tel: 024 7655 3055 

Festival of the Dead Film Screening: Carnivore, Old Grammar School, Coventry, Sat Oct 14

Soak up the atmosphere of one of Coventry’s oldest buildings for the UK film premiere of Carnivore: Werewolf of London in the Old Grammar School with an in-person introduction from director Simon Wells.  A carnivorous creature is hellbent on feeding its unquenchable thirst for blood. The bar opens at 7.30pm. Screening from 8pm.
Film running time: 1h 22min. Over 18s only.

Book here, £7.50.

Awesome Animation, The Roald Dahl Museum, 12.00pm, 1.30pm and 3.00pm, Sat Oct 7

Roald Dahl book spines museum

Children aged 5+ can join animator Adam Childs and make their own moving masterpiece. What new adventures will you take Matilda on? Maybe she’ll meet up with Willy Wonka?! Work together as a family to make the extraordinary happen! Cost: £3 per participant.

The Roald Dahl Museum and Story Centre, 83 High St, Great Missenden HP16 0AL



Festival of the Dead: Friday the 13th Herbert Late Launch Party, Fri Oct 13

Dress up in gothic glamour or slasher movie gore for this free Friday the 13th Herbert Late Launch Party…The spooky season is definitely not just for kids as Festival of the Dead returns for its third year, with three events just for adults taking place in the stunning medieval Old Grammar School as well as in the Herbert Art Gallery.

Suitable for 18+ and can be booked online at theherbert, 7.30-10.30pm. For the full Festival of the Dead programme see here theherbert

The Overtones, Butterworth Hall, Warwick Arts Centre, Sat Oct 14

Darren, Mark, Timmy, Mike and Lockie take a break from entertaining their celebrity fans to bring their stage show to the Midlands. They’ve performed for famous friends including Wayne Rooney, Ronan Keating and Samuel L. Jackson. Originally talent scouted while working as decorators in a shop near Oxford Street, London they’ve since signed a 5-album deal with Warner Bros Records!


Motionhouse: Charge, Warwick Arts Centre, Coventry, Wed Oct 4

The UK premiere of the renowned Leamington-based physical dance company’s new multi-media show about energy. Six performers use dance and acrobatics to delve deep into the human body, tracing the story of energy in our lives.  Motionhouse has worked with University of Oxford on the role of electricity in the human body to inspire the show. Charge is the third element of Kevin Finnan’s ‘Earth Trilogy’, developing on themes explored in Scattered (2009) and Broken (2013) about our relationship with water and the Earth.

Running time: 75-75min, (no interval), suitable for ages 7+ Post Show Talk: Thu Oct 5, Charge will tour extensively in the UK from October 2017,

The Althorp Literary Festival, Thu Oct 5-Sun Oct 8 

Muddy Northants already has her ticket to the Althorp Literary Festival, and can’t wait to hear the inspirational Jo Malone talk through her autobiography – from her humble beginnings to Queen of scent. Other authors and speakers at this year’s event include Pam Ayres, Clare Balding, Johnny Ball, Sir Jonathan Bate, Paula Byrne, Jamie Blackett, Jess Butterworth, John Challis, the Rev. Richard Coles, Evan Davis, Ken Hom, Jeremy Howick, Stanley Johnson, Dan Jones, Lord Digby Jones, Kathy Lette, Ben Macintyre, Judy Murray, Jo Malone, Joanna Moorhead, Juliet Nicolson, David Owen, Allison Pataki, Michael Pennington, James Runcie, Chris Ryan, Charles Spencer, Simon Thurley, Mich Turner, Kate Williams, Sian Williams and A.N.Wilson.

Find out more about buying tickets for the festival (including grounds tickets for only £10) just here.

Sculpt at Kew, Kew Gardens, London, until Sun 15 Oct

If you’re heading to London, this is hands-down the best time of year to visit Kew Gardens, as you’re treated to nature’s own technicolour art display in the form of the turning of the leaves. This autumn you can also explore a sculpture exhibition set within the gardens – catch Piers Mason’s and Hamish Mackie’s life-size animals lurking in the bushes, among 70 works by other British and international artists. Access to show is included in the general admission ticket.

Loyle Carner, O2 Institute, Birmingham, Tue Oct 3

Following the release of his critically-acclaimed debut album, Yesterday’s Gone and a sold-out UK/EU tour, Loyle Carner is set to play a headline show at O2 Institute Birmingham. His was one of my favourite sets at Glastonbury earlier this summer, especially when he carried his mum on stage. His album was shortlisted for the 2017 Mercury prize with his “idiosyncratic, melancholy and very British take on hip-hop” which was scooped up by Sampha’s Process.

I Knew You, Birmingham Rep, Fri Sept 29-Sat Oct 7

The highly-anticipated new play from Birmingham-born writer Polarbear aka Steven Camden one of the UK’s most respected spoken word artists. It stars award-winning Birmingham actress Lorna Laidlaw, known to many as Mrs Tembe in the BBC’s Doctors and tells the story of a single mother near retirement whose son struggles with being a stay-at-home dad. Will her son finally meet the father who walked out on him, after a chance encounter? After a run at the rep the play will tour 15 libraries, community halls and cafes across Birmingham., 0121 236 4455

Leamington Spa Comedy Festival 2017, Royal Spa Centre, Sun Oct 8-Sat Oct 14

Already Henning Wehn: Westphalia Is Not an Option is selling fast on the main stage on Sun Oct 8, alternatively on the same date see a line-up of brilliant women, including Sarah Millican In Conversation with Standard Issue Magazine. Other highlights: Rob Rouse (Tue Oct 10); The Horne Section (Wed Oct 11), Comedy Club 4 Kids for ages 6+ (Sat Oct 14). Expect more comedy fun with new festival venue partners – the Apehangers Club in Procaffeinate. Festival compering fave Cerys Nelmes returns joined by rising comedy star Darren Harriott and Tony Cowards on Oct 12. Further acts throughout the festival will include Jimeoin, Patrick Monahan and Ed Byrne concluding with a big finale on Sat Oct 14 headlined by actor/comedian Alan Davies.;

A Haunting, B2 Studio, The Belgrade Theatre, Coventry, Weds Oct 4 & Thurs 5 Oct

Direct from its success at the King’s Head Theatre and London’s biggest arts festival, VAULT 2017, Nathan Lucky Wood ‘s sharply written, darkly funny play about a sexually confused teenager, the internet and cyber-bullying is directed by Coventry’s own Jennifer Davis. It’s set on Halloween, but Mark’s not going out. While his mum buries herself in work, he’s staying in, playing Xbox, and talking to a stranger called Ghost. But it turns out that Ghost knows more than he should. And he really, really wants to meet…, Tel: 024 7655 3055 

Henley Street Fun Palace, Henley Street, Stratford, Sat Oct 7 

Shakespeare’s Birthplace Trust has helped to create one of 200 ‘fun palaces’ across the UK inspired by the late theatre director Joan Littlewood

Stratford’s most famous street is going to be transformed into a family-friendly Fun Palace with a street party celebrating arts, culture and science this weekend. A Jelly Baby Castle Siege made by Warwick University’s School of Life Sciences, Mad Science’s Fire and Ice Show, Kate’s Storytree workshop and the RSC’s Mystery box challenge are some of the fab hands-on activities available. You can also have a go at traditional Tudor dancing with the Renaissance Dancers at 11am and 12pm. Fun Palaces is the brainchild of theatre director Joan Littlewood. Decades on, director and author Stella Duffy has brought Joan’s vision to life with the help of Arts Council England to bring over 200 Fun Palaces created across the UK.

Entry and activities are free,, 10am – 4pm. 

Warwick Words History Festival, Mon Oct 2-Sun Oct 8

Dan Jones

Warwick Word’s second history festival featuring Sarah DunantLucinda HawksleyDan JonesAlexander McCall SmithPeter SnowCharles Spencer and A N Wilson. Plus, they welcome back Juliet BarkerJanina Ramirez and Alison Weir. They’ll also be talks, walks, workshops, a Jane Austen Tea in the Ballroom and Jacobean Feast in the Lord Leycester Hospital.

Jane Austen Celebrations: 200 years, Compton Verney, throughout Oct, 

Jane Austen’s third novel Mansfield Park has inspired one of British literature’s longest-running debates – just where is the real Mansfield Park, and the nearby parsonage at Thornton Lacey? Experts are beginning to believe that Thornton Lacey is Compton Verney. 2017 marks the 200th anniversary of Jane’s death and Compton Verney is commemorating her life and work with a month-long series of talks, performances and concert. On Thurs Oct 19 (2:30pm) the Rocco Singers will perform songs popular during Jane Austen’s lifetime; while on Sun October 22 (2- 4.30pm) is your chance to meet some of Jane’s most memorable characters and experience a highly entertaining one woman show celebrating the wit of her writing.  

Simon Amstell, Butterworth Hall, Warwick Arts Centre, Sat Oct 7 

Following a series of critically acclaimed, sold out international tours, sharp-witted Simon Amstell (CarnageGrandma’s HouseNever Mind the Buzzcocks) begins his 5th stand up tour in the UK. ‘What Is This?’ promises to be a deeply personal, funny exploration of beauty, intimacy, freedom, sex and love.

Talk: Author Angus Donald on Blood Game, Warwick Books, Wed Oct 11

The bestselling author of the Outlaw Chronicles , a series of books about Robin Hood, will be talking about his new book Blood Game,  about the Stuarts. The author himself is actually a distant relative of his main character, Col. Thomas Blood who famously stole the Crown Jewels from the Tower of London in 1671.  The book is set in London during the winter of 1670, 7pm. T ickets £5, including drinks and nibbles.

Factory Girls, Warwick Arts Centre, Coventry, Tues Oct 10-Wed Oct 11

With Korea once again in the headlines it’s interesting to look back in the not too distant past. This beautifully crafted physical theatre show set in a factory during the Japanese occupation of Korea in the 1930s Factory Girls is based on a short story by Chin-O Yu which was published serially in 1931 in Chosun Ilbo, one of the major newspapers in South Korea. Combining text (in Korean with English surtitles), movement, sound, and ensemble of four, Yangson Project brings a slice of Korean history to a UK audience.

Running Time: 70 mins (no interval), suitable for ages 14+, Warwick Arts Centre, University of Warwick, Coventry CV4 7AL,, 024 7652 4524

Pink Sari Revolution, Belgrade Theatre, Coventry, Wed Oct 11 – Sat Oct 21

A team of award-wining British Asian artists are bringing together the true story of Sampat Pal and India’s famous Gulabi gang standing up for women’s rights in a uniform of pink saris. It celebrates India’s independence and marking the 70th anniversary of partition between India and Pakistan. Actress Syreeta Kumar, known for her frequent work with the RSC as well as TV roles in Apple Tree Yard and the film Notes on a Scandal, plays Sampat Pal., 024 7655 3055

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