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A Muddy Guide to What’s On This Month


Shakespeare Film Festival 2017, Great Garden, New Place, Stratford, Sept 21-23

Film Workshop – Culture Coventry

This September you can look forward to outdoor screenings, film-making and animation workshops celebrating Shakespeare’s influence in film launching with a screening of Omkara – a Bollywood version of Othello (with English subtitles) followed by Disney’s The Lion King,  heavily influenced by Hamlet. Organised by the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, the Shakespeare Film Festival first launched in 2013 with Sir Kenneth Branagh as its patron inviting film-makers to enter a short film competition. This year’s competition attracted 235 entries from 41 countries, the theme Crossing Borders. The films made by 3 finalists will be shown in a special outdoor screening at 7pm on Sept 23 where the winner, judged by Sir Kenneth, will be announced.

Tickets for outdoor screenings: Adult £8, Child £5; Animation Workshop: £20, Film Making Workshop: £20,

Seurat to Riley: The Art of Perception, Compton Verney until Sun Oct 1

Don’t miss this excellent critically-acclaimed summer exhibition including the leading figures of 1960’s Op Art – Bridget RileyJesus 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 –

Stratford Town Centre Food Festival, Sat Sept 23 & Sun Sept 24

Mike Robinson, co-owner of London’s only Michelin-starred pub The Harwood Arms, multi award-winning pub the Pot Kiln in Berkshire and Robinson Wild Foods, specialist venison supplier to 15 top London restaurants, is heading a packed programme of demos at this popular street festival, sponsored by Loxleys.  Mike is now also executive chef at The Woodsman restaurant at the newly-revamped Falcon Hotel in Stratford. Also taking the stage is Paul Foster, chef owner of Salt in Stratford, former Great British Menu contestant and a regular on Saturday Kitchen. On Saturday learn how to make bread with Bread for Life! Founder Jessica Mooney, recently-opened Italian Wine Cafe Veeno will stage a food and wine pairing workshop, plus there’s cocktail-making classes with the Union Bar Team. On Sunday, demos includes fudge-making with Roly’s Fudge, gelato-making with Hooray’s, Asian antics with Stratford College and how to work with lobsters by Matthew Hiscoe, area head chef from The Townhouse.

La La Land Live in Concert, Symphony Hall, Birmingham, Sun Sept 24

Part of Birmingham Weekender, La La Land will be brought to audiences like never before, the ultimate immersive experience via a huge screen accompanied by a 60-piece orchestra. Winner of 6 academy awards including Best original score, best original song & best director. The score for La La Land, composed by Justin Hurwitz who also scored director Damien Chazelle’s previous feature films Guy and Madeleineon a Park Bench, and Whiplash, has also received critical acclaim, particularly for the film’s show-stopping songs City of Stars and Audition (The Fools Who Dream), 2.30pm

Limited availability:

RSC Jumble Sale, RSC Rehearsal Rooms, (Corner of Arden Street and Birmingham Road), Stratford, CV37 6NT,  Sat Sept 23

David Tennant in the RSC’s Hamlet, 2008. Photo: Ellie- Kurttz, RSC

Fancy a rummage through boxes of theatrical costumes worn at the RSC over the past 20 years?  Alistair McArthurRSC Head of Costume, said: “At one of our previous sales someone found a pair of slippers worn by David Tennant when he played Hamlet here. Most pieces are labelled with the name of the actor who originally wore them, so who knows what little gems people might pick up?” More than 10,000 items including period costumes, uniforms, doublets, shoes, hats and accessories, plus uniform coats worn in 2008’s Hamlet starring David Tennant, will be available to buy from £1.

The RSC has the largest in-house costume-making department of any British theatre, employing 30 award-winning craftspeople. Funds will go towards restoring the Costume Workshop on Waterside£3 per person (cash only). No booking required, just turn up and queue, 9am – 5pm

Boudica Festival, Fargo Village, Coventry, Sat Sept 23 & Sun Sept 24

Yama Warashi

Coventry’s Tin Music and Arts are launching the new Boudica Festival (named after the warrior queen thought to have been defeated in battle just north of Coventry), celebrating the talent of women in the music industry. Boom! A fab all-female line-up featuring London band Hejira, whose latest EP ‘The Lima Limo Ceremony’ draws on a trip to Ethiopia last year; Bristol-based Yama Warashi formed by Japanese artist Yoshino Shigihara; London-based solo artist Carmody, “writer of sad songs you can (sometimes) shake a leg to”;  Night Flowers; alt folk band Low Chimes and Grace Lightman. Plus DJs, Street Food, Stalls & networking opportunities. The long term aim is to form an all-female events crew.  Make sure to grab your tickets here.

Coriolanus, RST, Stratford,  until Oct 14

Photo: RSC

Playing the title role in Coriolanus, the final production of the RSC’s Rome series directed by Angus Jackson is Sope Dirisu, who most recently performed as Mohammed Ali in One Night in Miami (Donmar Warehouse) and ITV’s The Halcyon. He is joined by award-winning actress Haydn Gwynne as his mum, Volumnia, who returns to the RSC after 11 years. Haydn can currently be seen as Camilla in series 2 of Channel 4’s The Windsors.

Dido, Queen of Carthage, Swan Theatre, Stratford, Previewing from Fri Sept 15-Oct 28

Photo: RSC

Dido, Queen of Carthage is Christopher Marlowe’s dark untold story of one of history’s greatest female leaders. Directed by Kimberley Sykes it stars Chipo Chung as Dido, most recently Portia/Octaviusin Robert Hastie’s production of Julius Caesar at  the Sheffield Crucible. Her TV credits include Thirteen (BBC), From Darkness (BBC) and Fortitude (Sky Atlantic).

London Fashion Week, various venues, Friday 15 – Tuesday 19 Sep

LFW is a lot more democratic than it used to be – these days you don’t have to stow away in Anna Wintour’s handbag to get a taste of the action. LFW highlights that are open to the public include the Design Frontiers exhibition at Somerset House featuring work from 30 of our most pioneering creatives and giant outdoor screens showing live catwalks shows in various public spaces in London (such as Soho Square) and Birmingham. What’s more, London Fashion Week Festival comes hot on the heels of the shows – from 21-24 Sep at Store Studios on The Strand, you’ll be able to watch catwalk shows, attend talks by industry experts and, but of course, shop until your credit card catches fire.

Suzanne Vega, Symphony Hall, Birmingham, Tue Sept 26

Incredibly 2017 marks the 30th anniversary of Suzanne Vega’s stunning Solitude Standing, and is also the 25th anniversary of her album 99.9F. To celebrate these anniversaries, Suzanne will be performing both of these significant albums in their entirety. Widely regarded as one of the most brilliant songwriters of her generation, Suzanne emerged as a leading figure of the folk-music revival of the early 1980s in Greenwich Village. She’s since sold over 7 million albums and has been nominated for 7 Grammy awards.

 London Design Festival, various locations, ends Sun Sept 24

This festival, now in its 15th year, is just incredible – hundreds of events taking place across the city at venues including the V&A where you can see this stunning Reflection Room, by designer Flynn Talbot,  an immersive coloured light experience that will be the first London Design Festival installation to be housed in the Prince Consort Gallery.

Birmingham Weekender, Fri Sept 22-Sun Sept 24

The return of Birmingham’s biggest free arts festival with fireworks. There’ll be 3 days of dancing in Victoria Square, Barbara Nice’s Alternative Office Party, Don Letts, a Caribbean Carnival Extravaganza, David Rodigan, Rangeeli – Colours of Birmingham Parade –  and spectacular outdoor dance, theatre, drumming and circus including pop-up performances of The Nutcracker by Birmingham Royal Ballet in the Bullring  – with falling snowflakes (Sat Sept 23 1pm, 2.15pm & 3pm)! Plus Drag Queen Story Time at the Library of Birmingham for kids.

 Early Years Forest School, Compton Verney,  every Thurs in term-time 

Adventurous pre-schoolers can enjoy a terrific two hours of play and discovery in the beautiful woods. All sessions are run by a qualified Forest School Leader and allow children to develop new skills and creative thinking through outdoor activities. Included in collections and park admission.

Beer vs Wine, Fred’s Bar, Hampton Manor, Hampton-in-Arden nr Solihull, every second Fri of the month

A new wave of vinous events are coming your way: Wine Freedom at Hampton Manor. Every second Friday of the month, Sam Olive of Wine Freedom will be taking vino connoisseurs off the beaten track to explore all things wine. This Friday the jury’s out; who will win in beer vs wine?  To prove that beer is a real alternative to wine when it comes to pairing with food, he’s organising a taste battle. Pitting grape against grain with each beverage marriage to four tasting dishes courtesy of Peel’s Restaurant; four craft beers and four natural wines are going head to hear. Loic (beer master) and Sam (wine master) will be leading you through the merits of each drink. All you’ll need to do is sit back, enjoy the show and tell us which one is a superior match: beer or wine?

Sam’s pop up will be held in Fred’s Bar and around the Tasting Table in the brand new Manor Lobby. 7pm start. £45 per ticket to include four Peel’s tasting dishes. Available to book now on 01675 446 080,

Show and Tell Sculpture Tour & Where’s the House Talk, Shakespeare’s New Place, Stratford-upon-Avon, daily

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.

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 the RSC’s museum and archive, exquisite costumes, amazing model-boxes and weird and wonderful props. Monday-Saturday, 10am-6pm, Sundays 10am-4pm

Rob Brydon, Symphony Hall, Birmingham, Thurs Sept 28

Rob Brydon is best known for the television shows Gavin and StaceyWould I Lie To You? and The Trip, as well as Marion and GeoffHuman RemainsLittle BritainThe Rob Brydon ShowBest of Men,Gangster Granny and Q.I. His film work includes The Huntsman: Winter’s WarCinderella and LockStock and Two Smoking Barrels. Earlier this year in London’s West End he starred opposite Sir Kenneth Branagh in The Painkiller. This is Rob’s first stand up tour since his sell out national tour and West End run of 2009.

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.

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.

The Clearing – Post-Apocalypse Pop Saturday, Sept 30

If ever a brand represented the modern world, then surely it is Coca Cola. The taste, the packaging, the branding – all are instantly recognisable and available to over 7 billion people every day. Now imagine that the globalised supply chain delivering your fizzy favourite no longer exists, this workshop asks ‘Will we ever drink Coke again?’ Artists Kate Rich and Kayle Brandon will introduce ‘Cube-Cola’, an open source cola recipe, and you’ll join them in trying to make a flavoursome version from ingredients that we may only be able to harvest in the future. Where would the oils, sugar and, indeed, the fizz come from? Kate will also discuss how global trade might work in the future through her own Feral Trade project, which moves products and raw materials around with people as they travel from one country to another.


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.

 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.


Leamington Food & Drink Festival, Royal Pump Room Gardens, Sat Sept 9 & Sun Sept 10

Autumn may have crept upon us but ‘The season of mists and mellow fruitfulness’, is a great time to indulge in Warwickshire’s very best local food & drink producers. 2017 is also the 10th birthday of this hugely popular free food festival. Let’s hope it’ll be an Indian Summer weekend! Expect more than 150 exhibitors, including lots of brilliant Muddy Award winners and finalists, a cookery theatre, kids’ cookery school, live music and the Great Leamington Bake Off.

NEW monthly Monday Stand-up comedy nights, B2, Belgrade Theatre, Coventry, starts Mon Sept 11

Desi Central host: Mickey Sharma

An eclectic line up and some the best acts on the British Asian comedy scene, kicking off this Sept, with Desi Central’s hit show The Indians Are Coming as part of a 5-city UK tour and hosted by the award-winning Birmingham based comedian Mickey Sharma. He is joined on stage by a stellar line-up including Inder Manocha, Hyde Panaser and Sukh Kaur Ojla.

Drawn from Life: People on Paper,  Leamington Spa Art Gallery and Museum, until Sept 17

Sonia Boyce

This Arts Council Collection touring exhibition brings together work by some of the biggest names in 20th and 21st century British art, including David Hockney, Henry Moore, Barbara Hepworth and LS Lowry. Early 20th century works include pieces by Gwen John and the exhibition is brought up to date with the imaginary figures of Charles Avery and Mimei Thompson. The exhibition also includes early works such as Mrs Ash Asleep by Howard Hodgkin from 1952 and Peter Blake’s Portrait of a Man from 1950.

Talk: The Optical Conscious, Compton Verney, Thurs Sept 14


Dr Frances Follin, the co-curator of Seurat to Riley: The Art of Perception provides an insight into one of the most popular and influential British artists of the 20th century – Bridget Riley. As a renowned art historian and author of Embodied Visions: Bridget Riley, Op art and the Sixties, Frances will fascinate art lovers as she discusses the life and works of a true artistic icon. No advance booking necessary. Included in DAY TICKET admission.

Reckless Sleepers: The Last Supper, All Saints Church, Leamington Spa, Sat Sept 9 & Sun Sept 10

Fancy joining Reckless Sleepers for an intimate pop-up dinner for 39 that’s part performance piece, part meal? Eat and drink with the actors while they speak and then eat the gripping last words of the famous, the infamous, the not so famous, criminals, victims, heroes, heroines and stars. With real scenarios, invented scenarios, scenarios in the future, scenarios from the past, The Last Supper is made up of half remembered words and the forgotten last requests of inmates on death row. Each audience member is given a table number, their case number, their incident number. Thirteen of these are last suppers. “There is something about the simplicity of this show that is unbearably moving.” The Guardian

Duration: 60 minutes + 30 minutes of post-show sharing of food. Recommended For Ages 16 +, £15,

Tai Chi, Compton Verney,  Sat Sept 16 

An outdoor class with Swan Tai Chi in the grounds of this beautiful parkland.  Following the Chen style, you will learn the Laojia (Old Frame) form, which has been passed down through the lineage of Grand Master Chen Xiao-Wang. Swan Tai Chi’s classes mix ancient, some dating back over 1000 years, and more modern exercises – all of which help to target different areas of the body for health and healing. Booking is available in advance and on the day.

Members & Annual Pass Holders: £7. Non-Members: £14 (includes a Collections & Park day ticket). Call 01926 645 500 to book.

Saving Shakespeare’s Birthplace Theatrical street perfromance, Stratford, Sat Sept 16

Don’t miss a special theatrical re-enactment of the 1847 auction which saved Shakespeare’s Birthplace  outside the property on Sat Sept 16 at 12pm and 2pm. Rescued for a princely sum of £3000, the purchase of the tumbledown terraced house prompted the foundation of the UK’s oldest conservation charity. At the same discover the fascinating story behind the saving of Shakespeare’s Birthplace in a NEW exhibition: Saving Shakespeare’s Birthplace No booking required for the street perfromance. Free,

Beyond The Tracks Festival, Eastside Park, Digbeth, Birmingham, Fri Sept 15-Sun Sept 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.

Heritage Open Days, across Warwickshire, Coventry & Birmingham, Thurs Sept 7-Sun Sept 10

Many churches, historic buildings and places of interest nationally will open their doors to the public, free of charge. In Warwickshire, they range from Astley Castle in Nuneaton – Winner of the RIBA Stirling Prize for Architecture 2013 – to a pop-up exhibition, Travels Through Europe, at Shakespeare Birthplace, The RSC’s costume & props exhibition The Play’s the Thing to a tour of the UK’s largest cement plant in Rugby where you can admire the views from the pre-heater tower. You can watch bell ringers in action at St Nicholas Church, Kenilworth and go on free boat trips on Rose Narrowboats at Stretton under Fosse, nr Rugby. National Trust property Charlecote Park, Compton Verney, Ryton Organic Gardens, Bagot’s Castle, Alderson House, Warwick and Chedham’s Yard, Wellesbourne are also opening their doors.

Check out what’s on near you go here.

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