What’s on this month
Lady Bird, in cinemas now
Finger’s crossed for Greta Gerwig’s mum-and-daughter coming-of-age story in The 90th Oscar’s on Sunday March 4. Essential offbeat Mother’s Day viewing!
The Duchess of Malfi, The Swan, Stratford-upon-Avon, Thurs March 1 – Aug 3
After her inventive and critically-acclaimed production of Doctor Faustus in 2016, Maria Aberg returns to the RSC to direct a modern dress version of The Duchess of Malfi in her own distinct style. Topically it’s all about gender politics and toxic masculinity! Stunning Cambridge graduate 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 the critically-acclaimed 2011 film, Weekend. Read Muddy’s Q & A with Joan here.
Tel: 01789 403493, rsc
Stellar Comedy line-up for 2018, Warwick Arts Centre
The season continues with Ed Byrne (Thu Mar 1 ), Jonathan Pie (Wed Mar 7), Lucy Porter (Fri March 9) Craig Campbell (Sat Mar 10), Larry Dean (Sun Mar 11), Patrick Monahan (Sat Mar 17), Robin Ince (Fri Apr 13), Tiff Stevenson (Tue Apr 24), John Robins (Wed Apr 25), Radio Active (Tue Apr 26), Jason Manford (Sat Apr 28) and Shazia Mirza (May 11). Much more throughout the year.
Check out the full comedy line up here.
March Comedy, Royal Spa Centre, Leamington Spa
Another great comedy venue. The month kicks off with one of the UK’s most in-demand comics and best friend to comedian Chris Ramsey (also coming to the Spa Centre in June), Carl Hutchinson on Fri March 9, There are limited seats to see Milton Jones on Sat March 10, while Bobby Mair will be bringing Loudly Insecure to the Spa Centre’s studio stage on Sat March 17. BAFTA winning comedian Iain Stirling is back after a summer narrating smash hit Love Island and now you can actually see his face on new tour, U OK Hun? on Wed March 21.
Check out the full list of comedy performances here: warwickdc.gov.uk
The RSC’s Hamlet on tour, London’s Hackney Empire, Tue March 6-March 31
The RSC has been on a UK tour since Jan with its raved about West African production of Hamlet, originally seen in Stratford-upon-Avon in 2016, starring the excellent Paapa Essiedu, described as “one of the most captivating Hamlets of the decade” by The Telegraph. It will then be heading over to the US capital, Washington. If you haven’t seen it
A Woman’s Place? Speakers including Shami Chakrabarti & Jody Day, Cotesbach Educational Trust, nr Lutterworth, from Tues March 6
Cotesbach Educational Trust has launched a series of 40-min Talk Tuesdays at the Trust’s restored Georgian schoolhouse in the village of Cotesbach to mark 100 years of women’s suffrage with an impressive cast of influential speakers including Shami Chakrabarti who will be talking about her latest book Of Women: In the 21st Century on Sat July 7 and Jody Day, Founder of Gateway Women, whose talk coincides with World Childless Week on Sept 11. The first talk on March 6 is looking at the life of the Victorian novelist, George Eliot from Nuneaton. Other talks include Frances Ambler’s All The Single Ladies’ looking at how society has treated unmarried women; Alice Hawkins: the Leicester suffragette by her great-grandson Peter Barratt and Suzy Denbigh on Dorothie Feilding, a Warwickshire World War I war heroine who shunned her aristocratic background to become a volunteer nurse and was awarded the Military Medal for bravery.
Tickets are available via Eventbrite or by contacting the CET directly on 01455 558 373 or e-mail: email@example.com, cotesbachschoolhouse
Macbeth, RST, Stratford, March 13 – September 18
A contemporary version of Shakespeare’s darkest psychological thriller with the fab 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. This is undoubtedly the must-see production of the RSC’s 2018 Summer Season!
Reopening of Mary Arden Farm, Wilmcote, nr Stratford, from Sat March 10
The award-winning Tudor farm and childhood home of Shakespeare’s mother re-opens this weekend. Located in the picturesque Warwickshire village of Wilmcote, new additions include a new outdoor play area, craft den, woodland trail and Tudor crop field. Experience the sights, sounds and smells of an organic working Tudor farm, meet the gorgeous new arrivals on this Rare Breed accredited farm including the incredibly cute Mangalitza piglets, fluffy goat kids and Cotswold, Portland and Norfolk Horn lambs bounce their way through the 23 acre farm. The café has received a Gold standard Food for Life Award from the Soil Association.
Shop Front Theatre Festival, Coventry, Fri March 23 & Sat March 24
Award-winning Theatre Absolute will be hosting the UK’s first ever Shop Front Festival to shops, precincts, pedestrianised squares and even IKEA – bed department. It’s the first big cultural event since Coventry was announced City of Culture 2021 winner. There’ll be innovative pop-up performances, DIY Dance, The Empathy Museum where visitors are invited to walk a miles in someone else’s shoes – while listening to the original owner ‘s story on headphones (39 Smithford Way,) a celebration of the Art of Queuing with Talking Birds’ The Q and Nick Walker’s Made in Store is a semi-improvised show made in collaboration with shopkeepers. Quirky fun!
See the full two-day itinerary here: theatreabsolute
Young Fathers, O2 Institute2, Birmingham, Tues March 20
I love their stylishly stunning yet slightly freaky Voodoo in My Blood vid with Massive Attack starring Gone Girl actress Rosamund Pike. Following on from supporting Massive Attack and featuring on the Trainspotting soundtrack, this award-winning Edinburgh hip-hop trio are touring with material from their catchy new album Cocoa Sugar.
Ravilious & Co: The Pattern of Friendship. English Artist Designers 1922-1942, Compton Verney, Sat March 17–June 10
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…
POSTPONED: Flight of the Conchords, Genting Arena, Thurs March 22
Yay it’s business time! This rare UK tour from the hilariously hapless New Zealand comedy/musical duo, Jermaine Clement and Bret McKenzie, sold out in a millisecond so you’ll need to beg, borrow or steal a ticket to catch the lo-fi Kiwi crew as they roll into the Midlands. But will their dogged manager Murray be present to take the register at the beginning of the show?
Created in Conflict: British Soldier Art from the Crimean War to Today, Sat March 17 – Sun June 10
This exhibition brings together a rich variety of resonant items, including tankards made by troops in the trenches during World War I, game pieces carved by Prisoners of War during World War II, and toys and quilts made by convalescing soldiers. Created in Conflict features important loans from the V&A, the Imperial War Museum, and the Museum of Military Medicine. On Thurs March 22 there is a Curators’ Tour and Tea giving visitors greater insights into the two new exhibitions, between 2.30pm and 3.30pm, followed by an informal discussion over tea and cake.
The Play that Goes Wrong, Belgrade Theatre, Coventry, Mon March 19 – Sat March 24
Back on the road by phenomenal demand, the multi-award-winning comedy crashes back onto the Belgrade after its sell-out success last Jan. Currently stumbling through its 4th catastrophic year in London’s West End, the show has been showered with praise by critics and audiences on both sides of the Atlantic, and won endorsements from celebrities including Joanna Lumley. The plot follows an ill-fated attempt by the Cornley Polytechnic Drama Society to put on a 1920s murder mystery play.
Tel: 024 7655 3055, belgrade
British Folk Art Collection Reimagined, Compton Verney, opens Sat March 17 & Guided Tour on Sat March 24
To celebrate the re-opening of the gallery following a £100,000 renovation project, artist and designer Mark Hearld has been commissioned to completely re-hang the pictures and objects. Mark who studied Illustration at Glasgow School of Art before completing a Master’s degree at the Royal Academy of Art, is renowned for his wallpaper designs. He has also produced a number of brand new works in response to the Folk Art collection. These will include wallpaper, collage pieces and metal silhouettes inspired by nature, both flora and fauna. On Saturday March 24, at 11.30am, 1.30pm and 3pm, Mark will act as a guide around the new gallery, picking out interesting pieces and explaining the creative processes by his own artworks on display.
The Kite Runner, Birmingham Rep, Mon March 13 – 24
Based on Khaled Hosseini’s 2003 international best-selling novel, this haunting and powerful story set in Afghanistan has been adapted into a stage production by Matthew Spangler. Review in Arts & Culture.
Tel: Box Office on 0121 236 4455, birmingham
Cov Uni Exposure Photo Festival, CET Building’s pop-up artspace & museum, Corporation St, Coventry, March 21- 26
A pop-up exhibition by 50 second year Coventry University BA Photography Students. More than 100 photographs will be on show in several gallery spaces on the first floor of the CET. Preview night with drinks reception (open to all) is Wed March 21 6-9pm. Times: March 22 – 24 12noon – 4pm; March 26 12noon – 2pm.
Open Mic Night, Shakepeare Centre, Stratford, March 21
A special poetry open mic night where you can perform your own works, or stay and watch dynamic poetry readings. Arrive by 7pm to register if you would like to read your work, 7.30pm – 9.30pm.
Julius Caesar: First Encounters, RSC, Stratford, March 22 – 24
Great idea this. A new version of Julius Caesar for 8 -13 year olds. Part of the RSC’s First Encounters with Shakespeare series, these engaging adaptations are 90 minutes long, use Shakespeare’s original language and ask audiences to participate in the story. Beats Lett’s Notes any day (come on admit it, you used them too).
Rupi Kaur, Town Hall, Birmingham, Sun March 24
With almost 2 million followers the Canadian artist, is a global sensation, part of a new generation of Instapoets and a #1 New York Times and Sunday Times bestselling author and illustrator of two collections of poetry, milk and honey and the sun and her flowers. She will be giving a special evening of performance poetry. Kaur writes about love, sex, rejection and relationships as well as darker material: abuse, beauty standards, racism.
Paloma Faith, Genting Arena, Birmingham, Wed March 21
The kooky Brit Award winner and ex-judge from The Voice is on a UK arena tour with songs from new album The Architect.
FarGo’s Independent Gin Mini-Festival! The Box, FarGo Village, Coventry, Fri March 23 & Sat March 24
There’s so many new independent gins distilleries popping up. A great many will all be here under the one roof, so plenty of opportunity to try some new gins and learn about them from the distillers themselves, 6pm – 11pm on both days. Tickets £7.50.
Art, Live jazz, open mic nights and April Fool’s Storytelling, Slate Gallery, Leamington Spa, March 2018
A new indie art gallery and venue with a month of exhibitions, including art by Jody Craddock and Intentions, a photography show (until March 16), Art Uncorked on March 8, live jazz from Jazz Apples on March 23 and an Open Mic poetry night on March 28. And ahead of April Fool’s Day, a line up of storytellers will share their own April Fool tales in Storytelling Corner, on March 22, 7.30 – 9.30pm. Beverages (of all sorts) will be available on the night, with an opportunity to admire the great art on display.
Meet the Lambs, on Easter Weekend, Hilltop Farm, Hunningham, nr Leamington Spa, March 30, 31 & April 2
During Easter weekend the farm’s lovely little lambs will be making a guest appearance at Hilltop Farm. Children will have the opportunity to have a hold and feed throughout each time slot. A ticket only event and one ticket per person entitles you to entry into the lambing pen. There are 20 tickets per half hour slot. Cute!
Book a time slot here for £3.28, hilltopfarmshop
Wilderness, The New Art Gallery, Walsall until May 6
Japanese artist Rie Nakajima is one of the most experimental artists working in the UK fusing sculpture and sound. She lives and works in London, and is very active especially in sound art and her music project O Yama O with Keiko Yamamoto. Rie will be giving a series of special live performances as part of her new exhibition beginning on Wed March 31, 6.30pm – 7.30pm, drop in. Also Sat April 21 as part of Flatpack Film Festival, Tues May 1, Tue May 22 and Sun June 3.
Make Do and Mend – Textile Workshop, Market Hall Museum, Wed March 28
Be creative with vintage fabrics and embellishments, cut, fold and add a few stitches to create new and useful projects. All materials supplied at the workshop for 2-3 projects. £20 including all materials, 7pm – 9pm.
The Pantaloons Present: The War of the Worlds, Studio, Royal Spa Centre, Leamington Spa, March 29
The critically-acclaimed Pantaloons invade the stage in this funny yet faithful new adaptation as they use musical instruments, puppetry and, um, enthusiasm to recreate deadly heat-rays, giant fighting-machines, squidgy tentacled Martians and interplanetary warfare on an epic scale. The chances of success? A million to one. 16+
Barbara Hepworth: Finding Form, River & Rowing Museum, Henley, until June 3
I love Barbara Hepworth’s work – if you’re ever in St Ives, be sure to visit her gorgeous house/studio, with its striking sculptures dotted all around the pretty garden. So I’m very excited about this – and what a coup for Henley’s little museum. This retrospective covers the sculptor’s work from the 1930s to the 1960s, borrowing pieces from the Tate and National Portrait Gallery. A must-see.
Ocean Liners: Speed and Style, V&A, London, until 17 Jun
These days the nearest I get to ocean-faring is a packed P&O ferry from Portsmouth to Cherbourg but in the early 20th century travelling by sea was fabulously glamorous and romantic. The V&A’s major Spring exhibition, Ocean Liners: Speed and Style celebrates the golden age of the big boats, looking at their design and cultural impact. Exhibits include Goyard luggage once owned by the Duke of Windsor, 1920s bathing suits and a door panel from the first class lounge of the Titanic. vam.ac.uk
London Design Week, Design Centre Chelsea Harbour, London, March 4 – 8
Calling interiors mavens, this one’s for you. More than 120 international exhibitors, 100 immersive experiences and a whole load of bespoke pop-ups in this celebration of new season interiors trends. A new initiative this year is ‘Legends’, where leaders from the worlds of design and decoration, art, fashion and architecture collaborate to transform showroom windows and show what you can do with imagination, wit and a lovely length of damask.
Book Signing with Lauren Child, Story Museum, Oxford, March 17
Isn’t everyone a bit in love with superclever, super funny Lauren Child? Come and meet best-selling author of Charlie and Lola, Clarice Bean and countless others as she drops into The Story Museum café and shop ahead of her evening event here as part of the Oxford Literary Festival.
The Affordable Art Fair, Battersea Park, March 7 – 11
What to do if you’re art mad but can’t afford to splurge? The Affordable Art Fair is back this month to tempt you with work from over 100 galleries, including former Muddy Award winning best gallery Carina Haslam (go check out the Great Missenden-based gallery at E5 and Craig Mooney’s work, featured above). Tickets £10-15, and children are freeeeee.
Legoland Opens, Windsor, March 9
OMG. Protect your credit card, it’s gonna get a hammering. 2018 marks 60 years of the brick and to celebrate there are a horde of new attractions including ‘Mini Land’ replicating world-famous landmarks and LEGO® Reef where you can build your very own digital fish. Watch out for the gift shop at the end – it’s a killer.
The Goblet of Fire, Harry Potter Studios, Windsor, March 30 – Sept 23
This month sees the launch of a special feature dedicated entirely to Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, the fourth instalment of the film series, revealing secrets behind the characters, costumes and props that made it so special. The Goblet of Fire will be returned to the Great Hall for the first time since filming wrapped in 2010, there’ll be a live Special Effects demonstration showing how the Triwizard Champions’ parchments were expelled from the Goblet, and your kids receive a parchment to remember the visit.
Victorian Giants: The Birth of Art Photography, National Portrait Gallery, London, March 1 until May 20
A major new exhibition brings together, for the first time, the works of four of the most celebrated figures in art photography, Lewis Carroll (1832–98), Julia Margaret Cameron (1815–79), Oscar Rejlander (1813–75) and Clementina Hawarden (1822-65). These four artists would come to embody the very best in photography of the Victorian era and have influenced photographers ever since. Featuring striking portraits of sitters such as Charles Darwin, Alice Liddell, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Thomas Carlyle, George Frederick Watts, Ellen Terry and Alfred, Lord Tennyson.
Women of the World Festival, Southbank Centre, London, March 7 – 11
The Southbank’s 8th WOW Women of the World festival is, as you’d expect, thought-provoking, eclectic and celebratory in turns. Loads of events to choose from including a panel on equality in the creative industries, a portrait project supporting those against genital mutilation, Joan (drag king comedy last seen locally at Cornerstone Arts) and Yap Yap Yap, a hilariously irreverent and teary recreation of women’s speeches throughout history.
BEEN & GONE:
Cocktails at the Museum! Market Hall Museum, Fri March 9
Sip cocktails and take part in some fun museum activities while helping raise funds to run a summer holiday club for Warwick children in need Enjoy a relaxed, informal evening with Sneddons Mixology, 7pm – 9pm. Tickets cost £10 and include a Time Traveller cocktail. Availability limited, booking advised on 01926 412500.
Nina – A Story about me and Nina Simone, Birmingham Repertory Theatre from Tue March 6 – 10
The story of a legendary singer-songwriter and activist comes to life in this critically-acclaimed show, a searing mix of storytelling and Nina’s songs starring the Olivier award-nominated, Josette Bushell-Mingo, and accompanied by a live band. The show draws together tales from the life of Nina Simone and Josette’s own extraordinary career. Having played to packed out audiences at London’s Young Vic and at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival the show now comes to Birmingham as part of a UK tour, 7.45pm.
The STUDIO, Birmingham Repertory Theatre, Centenary Square, Broad Street, Birmingham B1 2EP. Tickets from £15, Box Office: 0121 236 4455, Birmingham
Quartet, Birmingham Repertory Theatre from Tue March 6–Sat March 10
Former 1980s hearthrob and Just Good Friends/EastEnders star Paul Nicholas, Wendi Peters, Sue Holderness and Jeff Rawle star in a new stage version of the bitter-sweet comedy and 2013 film with Maggie Smith – the tale of four ageing opera singers forced to face their mortality.
Box Office: 0121 236 4455, birmingham-rep.co.uk
Thriller Live, Belgrade Theatre, Coventry Tues March 6 – Sat March 10
Fresh from a record-breaking 10-year run in London’s West End, the two-hour smash-hit Michael Jackson musical Thriller Live moonwalks into the main stage.
Jake Bugg Solo Acoustic Tour, Warwick Arts Centre, Thurs March 8
Jake’s latest country-hued Hearts That Strain album recorded in Nashville features the Black Keys’ Dan Auerbach on guitar and veteran studio musicians who backed Elvis and Wilson Pickett. Limited availability.
Mothering Sunday Paper Flowers and Poetry, Shakespeare’s Birthplace, Stratford & Anne Hathaway’s Cottage, Shottery, Stratford, Sun March 11
Take inspiration from the stunning gardens at Anne Hathaway’s Cottage children can make their mum a special handmade paper flower creation in the family activity tent, and at Shakespeare’s Birthplace where they can also write a sonnet for mum, 12-4pm.
After Hours: A walk in the dark at Shakespeare’s New Place, Sat March 10
Explore the stunning art installations in the gardens of Shakespeare’s New Place in Shakespeare’s Birthplace Trust’s special after dark tour. Let expert guides take you on a journey of discovery through the gardens where Shakespeare’s family home once stood. See the glorious gardens lit up and view the sparkling new works by award-winning artists and a dynamic exhibition showcasing Shakespeare the writer, family man and businessman as never seen before. Other after-hours events include Life on a Tudor Farm on May 12 at The Shakespeare Centre & Photography Skills at Anne Hathaway’s Cottage on June 9.
Shakespeare Week, Stratford-upon-Avon, March 12 – 18
It’s Shakespeare Week this month when UK primary school children will be delving into a range of exciting first experiences that explore Shakespeare’s life, works and times. Organised by the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, Shakespeare Week provides teachers, home educators and families with free resources and fun ideas to discover and celebrate Shakespeare. This year’s Shakespeare Week will have a storytelling and poetry theme and we’re working with some of the country’s best loved cultural organisations including The Story Museum, The Woodland Trust and libraries nationwide to bring Shakespeare’s stories to life.
Register for free, shakespeareweek
Mindgame, Belgrade Theatre, Coventry, Wed March 14 – Sat March 17
A gripping psychological thriller from the pen of bestselling novelist and acclaimed screenwriter Anthony Horowitz (Foyle’s War, New Blood, the Alex Rider series) starring Birmingham-born and trained Michael Sherwin as asylum head Farquhar, alongside Andrew Ryan as true crime writer Mark Styler. The show follows the story of crime writer Mark Styler and his efforts to get an interview with the notorious serial killer Easterman.
Tel Box Office on 024 7655 3055, belgrade
Vintage Fair, Market Hall Museum, Warwick, Sat March 17
Love vintage? Say no more. Refreshments will be available in the cafe. Free, 10am – 5pm
The Wailers, O2 Institute, Birmingham, Sat March 10
Bob Marley’s original Jamaican band’ll be performing their iconic Legend album in its entirety, so don’t miss out.
Tickets can be booked here.
The Overtones, Warwick Arts Centre, Coventry, Sat March 10
This five-piece doo-wop boyband of painters and decorators have now sold well over a million records, and they show no sign of slowing with 4 consecutive Top 10 UK albums behind them, their most recent release is the Happy Days EP, featuring the themes to TV series Happy Days, The Littlest Hobo (Maybe Tomorrow), Cheers, and The Golden Girls (Thank You For Being A Friend), plus the title track from Disney’s Beauty And The Beast, a capella. Treat your mum to a ticket, or yourself!
Warwick Arts Centre, University of Warwick, Coventry CV4 7AL, warwickartscentre, Box Office: 024 7652 4524
Coventry Dining Club Half Marathon Special, Coventry Cathedral, March 18
Digbeth Dining Club are back in Coventry for the city’s half marathon where thousands of runners will be pounding the streets. Expect all the usual DDC vibes – DJ’s, great drinks, award- wining street food, a designer/maker marketplace from DAM, family entertainment and all the celebratory toasts for the runners. Traders include: Esmies / Gresko Bodhi / Fat Snags / Bournville Waffle Company / Becky’s Bhajis / Flying Cows / Victoria Creperie / Spice Is Right / Indian Rasoi / Low n Slow / Pimp My Wings / Handmade Pizza Co. Open early from 10am and 3 of their fave traders Low ‘n’ Slow, There Goes Coffee and the Flying Cows will be serving breakfast from 8am. So save the date and come hungry! Entrance is free to runners and children. £1 for everyone else.
Banff Mountain Film Festival, Royal Spa Centre, Leamington Spa, Tue March 6 & April 28
This UK tour features two different collections of high adrenaline new adventure films, starring the world’s top explorers on mind-blowing journeys in wild and remote parts of the globe. Highlights include The Frozen Road – Yorkshireman Ben Page’s solo bike-packing journey in the Canadian Arctic and Into Twin Galaxies – A Greenland Epic – where top adventurers Ben Stookesberry, Sarah McNair-Landry and Erik Boomer’s go on an extreme mission in Greenland. Using kite skis, the trio tow their white-water kayaks 1,000km over the Greenland Ice Cap to reach the northernmost river ever paddled. Prepared to be blown away!
Up ‘N’ Under, Birmingham Rep, Mon March 12 – Wed March 14
As part of an innovative partnership with England Deaf Rugby Union (EDRU), this production of John Godber’s comedy will be directed by Fingersmiths’ Jeni Draper and features a cast of Deaf and hearing actors. It tells the story of The Wheatsheaf Arms rugby team, the laughing stock of Castleford’s Amateur Rugby League Seven-a-Side tournament who have never won a game, don’t have seven players and spend more time in the pub than on the pitch. Using a creative combination of BSL and spoken English, Fingersmiths’ exciting visual and physical theatre style returns to The REP’s stage, following their critically acclaimed production of Frozen in 2014.
Box Office: 0121 236 4455, birmingham-rep.co.uk