A Muddy Guide to What’s On This Month
Shakespeare Film Festival 2017, Great Garden, New Place, Stratford, Sept 21-23
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, shakespeare.org.uk/filmfestival
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 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
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: thsh.co.uk
RSC Jumble Sale, RSC Rehearsal Rooms, (Corner of Arden Street and Birmingham Road), Stratford, CV37 6NT, Sat Sept 23
Fancy a rummage through boxes of theatrical costumes worn at the RSC over the past 20 years? Alistair McArthur, RSC 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
Coriolanus, RST, Stratford, until Oct 14
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
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.
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.
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.
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, hamptonmanor.com
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
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 Stacey, Would I Lie To You? and The Trip, as well as Marion and Geoff, Human Remains, Little Britain, The Rob Brydon Show, Best of Men,Gangster Granny and Q.I. His film work includes The Huntsman: Winter’s War, Cinderella and Lock, Stock 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
“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.
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
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