Check out our bumper guide of What’s On in Warwickshire & beyond over the summer holidays. Here’s more than 50 ideas – with lots of great kids holiday workshops music, arty stuff, cool kids & grown-ups theatre, museums, kids holiday workshops and outdoorsy things to enjoy. Scroll down to the section you want.
SUMMER HOLIDAY KIDS WORKSHOPS
Time Travelling Tales & Roaring Rhymes, The Herbert Art Gallery & Museum, Coventry, every Tue, Wed & Thurs
Go back in time to the age of the Vikings and come face to face with historical characters as they share family friendly stories of times gone by. Storytelling sessions are suitable for age 3+ but all are welcome (11am, 1pm and 3pm every Tuesday and Thursday, free). Children aged 4 and under can also join in with sensory play and Makaton signing as well as rhymes inspired by the sea, land and of course the Vikings! (11am, 1pm and 3pm every Wednesday, free). Duration: 15-20 minutes.
RSC Summer Holiday Family activities, Stratford-upon-Avon until Fri Sept 1
For summer holiday activities and workshops at the RSC see: rsc.org.uk
Artspace: Optical Art, Compton Verney, weekdays only until Fri Sept 1
This drop-in summer holiday activity for the family includes fantastic activities such as make your own Kaleidoscope, design a Colourwheel mixer and create your own illusion and add to Compton Verney’s giant collaborative wall artwork and watch as it changes shape, 11am-4pm. This must-see exhibition traces how the Op art movement developed from the famous French post-impressionist Seurat via M C Escher to Bridget Riley and her contemporaries, and demonstrates just how exhilarating, electrifying and (quite literally) eye-opening Op art can be (ends Oct 1).
Make a Scene and See your Set in Action, Shakespeare Family Homes, Aug Bank Hol Weekend
Shakespeare’s New Place: The Sunken Knot Garden © Megan Taylor & The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust
Help artists design 5 scenes for 5 different Shakespeare performances at Shakespeare’s Family homes – a South Asian inspired performance space with artists from the Sonia Sabri Company for The Tempest at Shakespeare’s Birthplace (Sat Aug 26 – 10am, 12pm, 2pm). Join Russian artist Evgenia Golubia in making a scene for Romeo and Juliet at Shakespeare’s New Place (Sun Aug 27– 11am & 2pm). Unleash your inner Michelangelo and become an architect of the stage for Shakespeare’s Aloud’s Twelfth Night performance at Hall’s Croft on (Sun Aug 27 – 12pm &4pm). Help resident artist Lisa Yardley transform the woodland stage into a Japanese wonderland at Anne Hathaway’s Cottage for A Midsummer’s Night’s Dream (Mon Aug 28 -10am & 12pm) & prepare for a Moorish-style As You Like It at Mary Arden’s Farm (Mon Aug 28 – 2pm & 4pm).
Family Workshops: Creative Car Factory, Coventry Transport Museum, until Sat Sept 2
Fancy becoming a real life ‘Cartist’. Create your very own model, and help the museum build a full size ‘car’ inspired by our Cartists exhibition. Every week, our workshop will focus on a different stage of car manufacture from incredible ideas, all the way through to the fabulous finishes. Build your very own model car or make one car part to take home, 10.30am – 3.30pm, £2 per activity, under 2s free.
Viking Inspired Craft Workshops, The Herbert Art Gallery & Museum, Coventry
Visitors can also explore the summer exhibition, Fearsome Craftsmen: Discover the Artistry of the Viking World including a unique family friendly Viking settlement and real examples of Viking crafts. Younger children can enjoy the special Early Years play space A Very Viking Voyage. There’s craft workshops with a different activity every day – from sparkly fish and seascapes to pretend campfires and cloud spinning, explore the Viking world of crafts, combat, mythology and much more. Discover why the Herbert has again been nominated for the prestigious Kids in Museums Award.
The Magical Travelling Circus and Summer Holiday events, Kenilworth Castle and Elizabethan Garden
Every week there’s something different going on in the ruins of spectacular Kenilworth Castle from Hands On History events (Medieval & Tudor) to Knights and Princesses and The Magical Travelling Circus with award-winning fairytale acrobatic theatre company Nicole & Martin see below. The holiday ends with the Clash of Knights on Sun Aug 27 and Mon Aug 28.
Summer Holiday Workshops, Rugby Art Gallery & Museum
From artist-led pottery events to a 1950s Tea Party, there’s been lots of fun creative happenings this summer, coming up there’s drop-in children’s crafty workshops on Tue Aug 22, Wed Aug 23, Bank Holiday Monday and ending on Wed Aug 30 ranging from Super Bowls to Hedgehog Heroes, with a talk by Rugby’s very own Hedgehog Officer before making a hedgehog out of pine cones. Suggested £1 donation towards materials, 10.30am-12.30pm.
School Holiday Workshops, Art Group Studios, Leamington Spa, Tue Aug 22-Thur Aug 31
Art workshops for 4-14-year-olds ranging from Chinese Silk Painting to Clay Sculpture Cats and Dogs and Decorative Painting on Pebbles & Shells, 10am-2.30pm. £25 includes materials and refreshments Advanced booking essential! Packed lunch required.
MUSEUMS & DAYS OUT
Show and Tell Sculpture Tour & Where’s the House Talk, Shakespeare’s New Place, Stratford-upon-Avon, daily
The Golden Garden, Shakespeare’s New Place © Megan Taylor & The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust
Discover more about the intriguing and captivating sculptures, and what inspired their creators, 11am, 1pm, 3pm. Also find out more about the fascinating history behind the home Shakespeare lived in for 19 years of his life, every 30 minutes from 11am-4pm.
Mega Maize Maze & Water Wars, Hatton Adventure World, nr Warwick
A new interactive maze made out of corn and built on a massive 3 acre site which spells out H-A-T-T-O-N challenges kids on their orientation skills. Also back by popular demand at this Muddy Award Winner for Best Family Attraction is Water Wars, a water-based interactive game where friends and family can catapult giant water balloons at each other.
hattonworld.com/adventure-world Tel: 01926 843411.
War of the Roses Live! Warwick Castle, twice daily until Sun Sept 3
This summer Warwick Castle is staging a thrilling live action War of the Roses horseback battle twice-a-day. Think Game of Thrones for kids. The real-life War of the Roses story has something of a GoT quality to it – a series of battles fought in medieval England from 1455 to 1485 between the House of Lancaster and the House of York. It’s somewhat diluted for dramatic effect but perfectly pitched for bringing history to life to kids of all ages…Medieval Glamping in the Knight’s Village is also now available over the summer. Read my review here.
The Play’s The Thing, Swan Theatre, Stratford, daily
A costume worn by Gone with the Wind actress Vivian Leigh at the RSC
Take a magical journey through 100 years of theatre-making in Stratford-upon-Avon at The Play’s The Thing. Discover rarely-seen treasures from our museum and archive, exquisite costumes, amazing model-boxes and weird and wonderful props. Monday-Saturday, 10am-6pm, Sundays 10am-4pm
Summer Holiday Activities, Market Hall Museum, Warwick, until Thur Aug 31
This week kids can go on a Family Fossil Hunt (Thur Aug 24) and Meet the Warwickshire Dinosaur (Thur Aug 31) at this lively newly refurbished museum.
Shakespeare’s Schoolroom, Stratford-upon-Avon
Join Master Thomas Jenkins at as he recreates school life as it would have been for William Shakespeare over 400 years ago. Families can take the opportunity to put themselves into the shoes of young William; dress up in Tudor clothes and have a go at quill writing. Classes will begin each day from 10am and run throughout the day, with last entry at 4.30pm.
The MAD Museum, Stratford, Stratford-upon-Avon
Just a few minutes walk from Shakespeare’s Schoolroom is The Mad Museum – a museum of curiosities and crazy inventions. New for 2017 is the Mad Zone – a room designed for playing in where you can create giant marble runs and build with hundreds of different cuboro blocks.
Un-silencing the Library, Compton Verney Art Gallery and Park, nr Kineton
Actor and UN Goodwill Ambassador Emma Watson and Pulitzer Prize-winner Margo Jefferson are among the 6 guest curators who’ve chosen some of their fave books in the re-imagined Victorian Women’s Library. If you’re checking out the new summer exhibition Seurat to Riley why not pop-in for a browse. Georgiana Verney, wife of the reclusive 17th Lord Willoughby de Broke, was an enthusiastic champion of women’s reading and women’s suffrage. This reinterpretation of her 1860s library – a groundbreaking collaboration with Oxford University – invites you to sit and find out about Georgiana, the history of the room, and what women read in the late Victorian era.
comptonverney.org.uk; unsilencingthelibrary.com 11am-5pm
Cadbury’s World, Bournville, Birmingham
Good for a chocolate-fuelled rainy day. Inside this huge historic factory in the pretty Quaker village of Bournville you can watch the talented chocolatiers in action in the popular Chocolate Making zone, see how many ads you remember in Advertising Avenue, discover how chocolate is made and the world’s biggest Cadbury shop. A variety of family entertainers will be pitched up in the Cadbury World marquee outside by the African Adventure play area including ventriloquists and magicians, plus the 4D Chocolate Adventure Zone with various characters. The Bournville Experience focuses on the Quaker ethics of the Cadbury family and how the Bournville Village came to be built.
Ironbridge Gorge Museums, Shropshire
The 10 Ironbridge Gorge Museums have a host of special events and activities this summer to mark their 50th anniversary. At “Enginuity” kids can try enamelling and pewter casting; at Coalport China, they can make clay models in furnace-, fire- and steam-themed workshops. A World Heritage Site and the beating heart of the Industrial Revolution.
£1-£3 for workshops
NEW Postal Museum, London
The Postal Museum and Mail Rail (opening soon), a new heritage attraction, opened on Fri July 28. There is a play zone for under-nines called Sorted, designed as a miniature town, and an underground train ride into the old engineering depot (may not be suitable for under-5’s). Family activities include arts and crafts, storytelling and science shows.
Outdoor Pilates ‘Relax and Restore’ Brunch @Hilltop Farm, Hunningham, nr Leamington, Sun Sept 3
Fancy some time out to relax and unwind mind and body in the lovely Warwickshire countryside? Enjoy a fab outdoor pilates session, followed by brunch in the cafe. It includes: a 45-55 min outdoor (weather permitting) Pilates session (beginner/improver level) led by experienced Level 3 Pilates Coach, Sonia Todd from Flourish Coaching or in the Marquee, followed by, Hilltop Cafe award winning breakfast (mini farmhouse or vegetarian) options, including a healthy smoothie and tea/coffee. 15 spaces available. The weather may be variable, so wear non restrictive layers plus bring a blanket and cushion for the relaxation.
££: £21.50 payable in advance, (non-refundable) advance booking essential, flourish-coaching.com
Meet the Mini-Beast handling sessions, Stratford Butterfly Farm, daily until Sept 3
Get up close and personal with lots of lovely insects including the tailless whip Scorpion Damon diadema this summer! This scorpion was used in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire and had the unforgiveable killing curse used on it. It originates from Central Africa where it lives in caves and crevices. Relax – these creatures are completely harmless and have no venomous tail! Children can hold a variety of stick insects, African land snails, giant millipedes, hermit crabs and even Madagascan cockroaches! NB the whip Scorpion can only be handled by the Education Team as they move very quickly! Also see around 2,000 free flying stunning tropical butterflies within the Flight Area.
Forest School, Compton Verney, every Thurs during the school holidays
The Forest School is open 11am – 4pm every Thursday and it is drop-in. Kids will learn about nature, the outdoors, the secret world of bugs and minibeasts, as well as the seasonal changes that take place to Compton Verney’s plants and trees.. Included in collection and park admission. Last one – Thurs Aug 31.
Summer Nights, West Midlands Safari Park until Sept 3
Mrs Woof’s Diner, part of the new Giggly Park children’s play area at West Midland Safari Park
Experience the 4mile safari after hours every night in the summer. Also discover the UK’s largest animatronic Dinosaur attraction ‘Land of the Living Dinosaurs and new for 2017 Giggly Park – a £850,000 interactive and multi-sensory play area, designed speciﬁcally for young children. It is all themed around popular CBeebies and S4C character ‘Boj’, a rare bilby from the Australian outback. It’s next to the African Village, just past the Adventure Theme Park. During the Park’s Summer Nights event Giggly Park will be open from 10.30am until 9pm.
Coombe Country Park, Binley, Coventry
From Fishing for Beginners to planting, making your own scarecrow and clay pot decorating there’s a wide range of kids workshops and activities will be taking place over the summer. To see what’s on have a read here.
Warwickshire Wildlife Trust’ outdoor nature-inspired summer activities, various locations & dates
From a Teddy Bear’s Picnic to den-building, pond-dipping and finding frogs children can take part in a variety of outdoorsy wild-life workshops and events at woods and country parks including Ryton Pools, Tile Hill Woods (Coventry), Bubbenhall Woods, Brandon Marsh Nature Reserve, Brueton Park (Solihull). Check out what’s on here
Umberslade Adventure, Hockley Heath, Warks
Looking for some woodland fun and an adrenaline rush? A Low Ropes Course is located in the heart of Warwickshire’s beautiful countryside, in 80 acres of woodland between 13 majestic oak trees – just 2ft from the ground. There’s also a Commando Course and 420 ft zip line between two 100-year-old oaks (for ages 5+).
Flowerpots and Forget-me-Nots Garden Talk, Shakespeare’s New Place, Stratford-upon-Avon, Wed Aug 23
Hear from expert gardeners as they reveal how they care for the borders and lawns, and share their secrets and top tips, 2-2.30pm.
The Big Batsford Bug Hunt, Batsford Arboretum, until Thurs Aug 31
Love creepy crawlies? (er, NO). Well never mind, your children will love peering amongst the foliage, finding the bugs and marking their locations to win a prize. No need to book, just turn up and ‘enjoy’.
£2.50 per child, plus Arboretum admission fee. Batsford Arboretum and Garden Centre, Batsford, Moreton-in-Marsh, Gloucs, batsarb.co.uk
Down on the Close – A Festival in a Night, Rugby School, Sat Aug 26
There’s no need to bring a tent as you’ll see Imelda May, Wilko Johnson, Toploader and the Roving Crows perform live at the historic venue on the same night. Festival organiser, Lee Martin, founder of Lakefest in Ledbury, said: “Rugby was the ideal spot to host this magical night. The venue itself is just beautiful and I’ve hand-picked acts that will put on a great live show for a family audience.” Local food traders will be catering within the grounds & guests are also welcome to bring picnics. VIP packages include a private Gin Bar, with access to the side of the stage and a backstage seating area.
Camper Calling, Ragley Hall, Alcester, Warwks, Fri Aug 25-Mon Aug 28
Cast, Reef and The Lightning Seeds will be performing on a Lakeside stage at the family-friendly boutique festival Camper Calling, now in its second year at Ragley. Attractions include free water sports on the lake for campers, Woodland Walks & House Tours, a Ukulele workshop, fairground, a family circus and graffiti artist tuition.
The Big Feastival, Alex James’s Farm, The Cotswolds, Fri 25 -Sun 27 Aug
This three day festival with Jamie Oliver and Alex James is a middle-class foodie fest, awash with live music performances from Olly Murs, Madness and Haçienda Classical, plus top chefs including Rick Stein, Nathan Outlaw, DJ BBQ, Gizzie Erskine and Carluccio. It’s immensely family friendly so there’s a Neff Little Kitchen for small cooks, Justin Fletcher (surely the richest children’s entertainer in the UK by now?) has his own spot, there’s tree-climbing, crayons and crafts and a kids’ den.
Churchill Heath Farm, Kingham, Chipping Norton, thebigfeastival.com
Book NOW:Beyond The Tracks Festival, Eastside Park, Digbeth, Birmingham, Sept 15-17
Ocean Colour Scene, Editors, Faithless (DJ set), Orbital, Jesus and Mary Chain, Carl Barat, The Coral and Leftfield have been announced to headline a super duper new three-day festival, taking place in Birmingham city centre.
Further afield: End Of The Road, Tollard Royal, Wiltshire, Thu 31 August to Sun 3 September
Hopefully it won’t be the end of the road for us as we hurtle into festival season with a new pair of Le Chameau (I wish, how much?), but it is worth checking out this alternative music festival. It’s not a biggie – 11,000 bods tops – and if you like folk, Ameriana and alt country (can anyone tell me what that is? Not Taylor Swift, then?), this one is for you. They get some good headliners here, we’re talking Bat for Lashes and the like, and this year Jesus and Mary Chain (cue mega flashback to sixth form) are playing. Four stages, secret sets, loads of stuff for kids and plenty of peacocks strutting around, it’s got it all.
Seurat to Riley: The Art of Perception, Compton Verney until Sun Oct 1
Installation shot by Jamie Woodley
Don’t miss this excellent critically-acclaimed summer exhibition including the leading figures of 1960’s Op Art – Bridget Riley, Jesus Rafael Soto, and Victor Vasarely -installations, and a stunning site-specific wall painting by German abstract artist Lothar Götz. “This show fizzes with the zinging colours and eye-popping patterns of Op Art, from the Impressionists to the mind-bending Sixties experiments of Bridget Riley … a trippy, wild ride” – The Daily Telegraph. Daily tours at 12noon & 2.30pm.
Tue – Sun & bank holidays until Sun Oct 1 2017, 11am – 5pm, comptonverney.org.uk
Drawn from Life: People on Paper, Leamington Spa Art Gallery and Museum, until Sept 17
An exhibition of spray painted portraits dating from the 1980s by inventive Australian-born artist Sidney Nolan, who was a close friend of Benjamin Britten, Francis Bacon and fellow Australian artist Brett Whiteley. Born in 1917 he was recognised as one of the foremost international modern artists,
Fearsome Craftsmen: Discover the Artistry of the Viking World, The Herbert Art Gallery & Museum, Coventry until Sept 24
Making the perilous journey through the crashing waves of the North Sea, the bloody and brutal Viking invasions of Britain are legendary – but what did they do while they were here? Step back in time and learn more about the people who settled in Britain from excavated skeletons, see real examples of Viking crafts including intricate metalwork, and a replica 15ft fishing boat, decorated with designs that reveal the true Viking creative spirit. Explore the Norse myths and legends in the gallery’s unique family friendly Viking settlement, A Viking Voyage.
Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power, Tate Modern, until Oct 22
Barkley L. Hendricks Icon for My Man Superman (Superman Never Saved any Black People – Bobby Seale) 1969 Collection of Liz and Eric Lefkofsky © Estate of Barkley L. Hendricks. Courtesy of Jack Shainman Gallery, New York. Superman S-Shield © & ™ DC Comics.
“An exhibition that uncovers an entire lost history of American art” is how Guardian critic Jonathan Jones describes this visual journey through the civil rights movement. Some engage with legendary figures from the period, with paintings in homage to political leaders Martin Luther King, Malcolm X and Angela Davis, musician John Coltrane and sporting hero Jack Johnson. Muhammad Ali appears in Andy Warhol’s famous painting. Unmissable era-defining artworks.
Raphael, The Drawings, The Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, until Sept 3
The Ashmolean’s captivating summer show, Raphael, brings together 120 stunning works from international collections spanning the brief but brilliant career of Raphael, only 37 when he died. The Ashmolean’s unrivalled Raphaels are joined by superb works from the Albertina and loans from other international collections including the Louvre, the Uffizi and Liz II. Drawings include the exquisite Head of a Muse, which broke records when auctioned at Christies in 2009, as well as the sublime Heads and Hands of two Apostles, considered to be the finest drawing Raphael ever made.
Grayson Perry Exhibition, Serpentine Gallery, London
This summer Grayson Perry, one of the most astute commentators on contemporary society and culture, will present a major exhibition of new work. The works will touch on many themes including popularity and art, masculinity and the current cultural landscape.
Giacometti, Tate Modern, until Sept 10
Last few weeks to catch the UK’s first major retrospective of Alberto Giacometti for 20 years, at the Tate Modern. Celebrated as a sculptor, painter and draughtsman, Giacometti’s distinctive elongated figures are some of the most instantly recognisable works of modern art in Tate Modern’s ambitious and wide-ranging exhibition of over 250 works. It includes rarely seen plasters and drawings and showcases the full evolution of Giacometti’s career across five decades, from early works such as Head of a Woman [Flora Mayo] 1926 to iconic bronze sculptures such as Walking Man I 1960.
Meg Rose Jewellery exhibition, Leamington Spa Art Gallery and Museum, ongoing
Elegant and wearable hand-made designs by the very talented Leamington Spa jewellery maker Jess Clarke – a Muddy Award finalist – are on show over the summer months. Inspired by the English countryside, the North Norfolk coast and childhood fairy tales, her individual pieces are made using gold vermeil, sterling silver, hand dyed silk cords, gemstones and pearls.
FILMS FOR KIDS
Harry Potter Films Series, Warwick Arts Centre, every Sun, ends with a Bank Holiday Double-bill, Sat Aug 27 & Aug 28
Relive the magic on the big screen and join us for special screenings of all eight Harry Potter films this summer. Featuring a film every week and culminating in a double bill on the August Bank Holiday weekend. It will be followed by Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Sun Aug 13) and Harry Potter and The Half-Blood Prince (Sun Aug 20); Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part I (Aug 27) & Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part II (Aug 28).
A night at the Zoovies. 5pm-9pm with the film showing at 7pm prompt. Need to book in advance on 01827 883140.
Dunkirk, 12A, in cinemas across Warwickshire
Marie Claire reviewer Mehera Bonner has caused a Twitter storm claiming Christopher Nolan’s summer blockbuster is an excuse for “men to celebrate maleness” leading to widespread criticism; while film critic Mark Kermode says it “will doubtless become as definitive cinematic depiction of this remarkable chapter of history”.
COOL KIDS THEATRE & PERFORMANCE:
Heartbreak Productions, touring venues across Warwickshire & Coventry
The innovative Leamington Spa based touring theatre company has five cracking touring summer productions – ranging from Frances Hodgson Burnett’s classic The Secret Garden to a new adaptation of David Walliams’ Billionaire Boy, to farcical romp Murder on the Terrace, Shakespeare comedy The Taming of The Shrew and Jane Austen’s Northanger Abbey. Warwickshire venues include Ragley Hall, Bridge House Theatre, Warwick; Ryton Pools, Bubbenhall; St John’s House Museum, Warwick and Charterhouse Priory, Coventry.
Fairytale acrobatic theatre company Nicole & Martin, Kenilworth Castle, Thurs Aug 24, Fri Aug 25 and Sat Aug 26
This award-winning travelling circus theatre company Nicole & Martin will be pitching up their magical White Tent at Kenilworth Castle for 3 days, and telling tales by Grimm – Iron John, The Musicians of Bremen and The Girl Without Hands. Their 70-min stows combine theatre, music, song, dance, juggling, acrobatics and laughter. For the whole family, adults and teenagers too! Oh and they’ll serve you French crêpes, brownies, and Italian coffee. You’ll need to book as limited seating available.
Tel: 0370 333 1183 (Mon – Fri 8.30am – 5.30pm Sat 9am – 5pm).
The Dell, Stratford-upon-Avon, Saturdays and Sundays until Aug 27
Families can enjoy a range of free theatre at The Dell, the RSC’s open air performance space throughout the summer. Over the weekends amateur, youth, semi-professional theatre groups and colleges will perform theatre inspired by Shakespeare and his contemporaries.
Giffords Circus, Any Port in a Storm, touring now until Sept 24
This year the inimitable Giffords Circus is recreating a 17th-century Spanish court and putting on a candle-lit international gymnastic show with dancing horses, a live band and everyone’s favourite clown Tweedy. It’s moved from its Gloucestershire home into Oxfordshire for the next month – currently nestled in Oxford, it heads into London next and then back to Stonor Park.
Faithful Ruslan – The Story of a Guard Dog, B2, Belgrade Theatre, Sat Sept 2- Sat Sept 16
Theatre director Helena Kaut-Howson
A master director of European drama Helena Kaut-Howson directs an ensemble of 13 actors in her her third production at The Belgrade, based on the cult novel by Georgi Vladimov and marking the 100th anniversary of the Russian Revolution. Telling its story through the eyes of an innocent dog this new stage adaptation is like a modern Animal Farm – an engrossing allegory for the disorientation of post-revolution Russia. Complicite co-founder Marcello Magni is Movement Director. It stars Isabelle Joss, who was in Icelandic thriller Pale Star.
NT’s Jane Eyre, Birmingham Rep, Mon Sept 4-Sat Sept 16
JANE EYRE UK Tour 2017
Royal National Theatre
The National Theatre’s striking and inventive new adaptation of Charlotte Brontë’s masterpiece, Jane Eyre, directed by Sally Cookson comes to the Midlands, as part of a major 21 city tour of the UK. Buck/Oxon editor Hero caught the play at at Aylesbury Waterside, you can check out her review here; while Muddy Sussex ed Debbie saw it at Brighton’s Theatre Royal this summer and here is her review. Both were wowed!
Titus Andronicus, RST, Stratford, runs until Sept 2
Easily shocked? The next instalment in the RSC’s Rome series is this chilling modern dress version of Shakespeare’s most bloody tragedy, starring David Troughton in the title role and directed by Blanche McIntyre is not for the faint-hearted. There’ve already been a fair few “fainters”. For an interview with David Troughton read here.
Salome, The Swan, Stratford, Fri June 2-Sept 6
Owen Horsley directs Oscar Wilde’s controversial one act play, Salome, originally banned in the UK, marking 50 years since the decriminalisation of homosexuality. This contemporary 1hr 40 min poetic masterpiece will place sexual ambiguity at the core with male actor Matthew Tennyson playing Salome.With music from Seattle-born song-writer Perfume Genius’ 2014 critically acclaimed album Too Bright which addresses the homophobia he has faced because of his sexuality (features nudity and ‘scenes of a sexual nature’, just so you know!). Read the Muddy verdict here.
rsc.org.uk, Tel: 01789 403493
Vice Versa, The Swan, Stratford, until Sept 9
Phil Porter’s brilliantly bonkers new farce ‘lovingly ripped off ‘from the Roman comedies of Plutus is the perfect summer pick me up! A clever servant and a pair of wronged young lovers team up to bamboozle Trump-like pompous general. Felix Hayes is fantastic as the bombastic General Braggadocio, playing his servant, Dexter, is the wonderfully charismatic Sophia Nomvete, whose credits include The Colour Purple (Menier Chocolate Factory) and As You Like It (Shakespeare’s Globe). ‘Allo ‘Allo star Kim Hartman makes her RSC debut as ‘a lady of the night’ called Climax. Read her My Favourite Places here and my review here.
RSC’s Rome Series: Julius Caesar, RST, Stratford, until Sept 9
Photo: Helen Maybanks
The well-received Julius Caesar runs in rep side-by-side with Antony and Cleopatra–the first double-bill in the RSC’s four-play Rome series. Titus Andronicus and Coriolanus will complete the quartet of Shakespeare’s most political and bloody thrillers in June and September. Season director Angus Jackson brought the brilliant atom bomb drama Oppenheimer, and Don Quixote, to the RSC stage. He’s directing Julius Caesar, which has strong performances by Andrew Woodall as Caesar, Alex Waldmann as Brutus, James Corrigan’s Mark Antony and Martin Hutson’ as Cassius.
rsc.org.uk, 01789 403493
Antony and Cleopatra, the RST, Stratford, until Sept 7
Shakespeare’s tragic love story between hot-headed Egyptian queen Cleopatra, played here by a luminous Josette Simon, and Antony Byrne’s Roman general Mark Antony. It’s directed by Iqbal Khan with music composed by award-winning Birmingham singer-songwriter Laura Mvula. My review is here.
rsc.org.uk, Tel:01789 403493
FURTHER AFIELD – BOOK NOW FOR:
The Muddy Literary Salon at Thame Arts & Literature Festival, Thurs 12 Oct
There are only 120 tickets available to see 5 frankly awesome authors at our inaugural literary event. Blogger/food author Sasha Wilkins (aka LibertyLondonGirl), Clover Stroud, Elizabeth Heathcote, Tamsina Perry and Alexandra Heminsley make up the line up, plus there’ll be more Prosecco than you can shake a stick at. Read all about it, or go straight for the jugular and book here now at a bargainous £10.