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This Week


The Twisted Tale of Hansel and Gretel, Belgrade Theatre, Coventry, Wed April 11 & Thur April 12

Photo by Kate Green

The very first show to be produced in-house at the Hippodrome, in partnership with Open Theatre Company and Metro-Boulot-Dodo, with learning disabled artists taking centre stage. Coincides with the Easter holidays and featuring a cast packed with young talent from Coventry and the wider West Midlands. Coventry-based actors include Rishard Beckett as Hansel, Kimisha Lewis as Gretel, and Charles Craggs as the Mockingbird.

Tel: 024 7655 3055, belgrade


Spring Tray Gardens, Canons Ashby, nr Daventry, Mon April 9 – 13

Credit: National Trust images

Let your kids discover their creative side with their own miniature tray garden. Materials are supplied; all they need is their imagination, £3 in addition to entry.



Leamington’s Tame Hare collaboration dinner with Shipston-on-Stour based Cotswold Distillery, Wed April 11

Cotswolds Distillery will be matching boozy cocktails and drinks from their collection to chef Johnny Mills’ experimental, season food. Dishes include a Cornish Crab ‘Cocktail and Duck, Whisky Mash Sausage with Rhubarb and Broccoli. It’s £55 pp, all matching drinks included. Booking is essential and may only be made through the restaurant via email: or Tel: 01926316191.

Indigo Launch Night, The Parade, Leamington Spa, Wed April 11

Check out this Aveda hairdresser’s brand new salon, Nail Bar and Beauty Therapy Room at 110 Parade Leamington Spa on their launch evening, 6-8pm. You’re all invited for fizz, nibbles and a nosy round.  Seriously cool interiors too, to inspire a new spring do. Meet their fab team and discuss your hair goals.



Jaws in Concert (12A), Symphony Hall, Birmingham, Wed April 11

Steven Spielberg’s original summer movie blockbuster Jaws will be screened at Symphony Hall accompanied by the Czech Symphony Orchestra who will perform the iconic score which won John Williams the Best Original Score at he Oscars. The ultimate film-with-live-orchestra experience!



Distant Sky: Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds Live in Copenhagen (15) film screening, Warwick Arts Centre, Thur April 12

Directed by award winning filmmaker David Barnard, Distant Sky captures an extraordinary live concert in 2017. Performing their album Skeleton Tree’s alongside their back catalogue, the band’s first shows in 3 years provoked an ecstatic response in fans, critics and band alike. The  tour started in Australia in January 2017, then the USA and ending in Europe, with some of the best reviews of their career, 8.30pm



What the Ladybird HeardBelgrade Theatre, Coventry, Fri April 13 & Sat April 14 

Matt-Jopling as Lanky, Len-Rosamund-Hine as Farmer, Emma-Carroll playing Lily and the Ladybird-Edward-Way

One little ladybird will be embarking on a big adventure this Easter as Kenny Wax Family bring their colourful new kids theatre production of Julia Donaldson’s 2009 bestselling children’s book to the stage for ages 3+ with lots of laughs, live music, audience participation and eye-catching puppetry inspired by Lydia Monks’ distinctive illustrations.

belgrade, Tel 024 7655 3055


Wicked, Birmingham Hippodrome, Wed April 4 – 29

This witty West-End musical re-imagining of the stories and characters created by L. Frank Baum in The Wonderful Wizard of Oz casts its spell in Birmingham. Titanic the musical, the RSC’s Matilda the musical and War Horse to follow.



Amy León & Oakley Flanagan at the RSC’s Bright Smoke monthly poetry night, Susie’s Cafe Bar, The Other Place, Stratford, Thurs April 12

Photo credit: RSC

This week’s performers, Amy León and Oakley Flanagan, are among 5 emerging young poets and young poet laureates from across the UK commissioned by the RSC to perform in this free monthly poetry event. The theme is ‘generational divide’, echoed by the upcoming production of Romeo and Juliet opening later this monthPerformances start from 7.30pm. May contain strong language and adult themes. Open mic slots will be allocated on the night and you can sign up on the door.



Giovanni Pernice: Born to Win, The Albany Theatre, Coventry, Thurs April 12

Only a few tickets remaining for BBC Strictly favourite 26-year-old ‘Italian Stallion’ Giovanni Pernice who returns to The Albany with a brand-new show. Expect glittering costumes, amazing routines and a beautiful dance story bursting with energy, passion and scorching heat, dahling! 7.30pm

albanytheatre, Box Office: 02476 99 89 64 (open 10.30 – 13.30 Monday to Saturday


The Fantastic Follies of Mrs RichSwan Theatre, Stratford, until June 14

Aretha Ayeh and Sophie Stanton as Lucinda and Mrs Rich. Photo by Helen Maybanks

Way before Madonna, Mrs Rich – Sophie Stanton – was a material girl in search of her man. A critical hit, this comedy of distinctly female wit has been described as like ‘a Restoration Ab-Fab’. Unlike Aphra Behn, a fellow female playwright from the late 1600’s, Mary Pix has been almost lost to history. But like Behn’s The Rover, an RSC hit early last year, Pix’s comedy of manners combines mind-bending plot twists and mischief.  Sophie’s also been in Ink (Almeida and West End), Made in Dagenham (West End), ITV’s The Halcyon, E4’s My Mad Fat Diary and the BBC’s New Tricks.

Book here.


Do you have a child aged 9-11 who’d like to audition for a part in Nativity! The Musical?

Know a star-in-the-making? Lead roles as the children of St. Bernadette’s are up for grabs at Belgrade Theatre, Coventry. All kids auditioning must be confident singers, dancers and performers due to the demands of the role. They need to live in the Midlands, be naturally confident, upload a 1-minute YouTube clip and available for all rehearsal and performance dates across the whole UK tour, Mon Sept 17 – Dec 31. Auditions start 28 May (half-term week), with rehearsals taking place in Coventry.



Pizza Making & Mammal Talk, Foundry Wood, Leamington Spa, Sun April 15

Make pizza and watch it being cooked in an outdoor wood-fired pizza in the woodlands, £4 per pizza. Drop-in anytime during session. At 2pm Ben Wood from Warwickshire Mammal Group will be giving a talk about taking night-time photos of wild mammals in Foundry Wood and leading a walk showing where mammals live and forage, 12 – 2.30pm.



Easter at Shakespeare’s Family Homes, until Sun April 15

Children can take part in Easter activities every day from 12-4pm from crafting their very own Easter bonnet or crown in the family activity marquee at Anne Hathaway’s Cottage, to making ornamental whirling whirligigs for the garden at Mary Arden’s Farm. And at Shakespeare’s Birthplace there’s a kids treasure hunt in the gardens with music and comedy by in-house actors Shakespeare Aloud.



Lifecycle of a bird trail, Upton House, Warwickshire, Mon April 9 – Sun April 15

Credit: National Trust images

Follow the bird life trail to learn more about how a bird is hatched, where they fly, the noises they make and what they eat, £2 per trail.



The Duchess of Malfi, The Swan, Stratford-upon-Avon, now until Aug 3

Pic credit: Helen Maybanks

After her inventive and critically-acclaimed production of Doctor Faustus in 2016, Maria Aberg returns to the RSC to direct a critically-acclaimed modern dress, blood-soaked version of The Duchess of Malfi in her own distinct style. Topically it’s all about gender politics and toxic masculinity.  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 2011 film, Weekend. Read Muddy’s Q & A with Joan here.

Tel: 01789 403493, rsc


Aracde Fire, Genting Arena, Birmingham, Sun April 15

One of the alternative Canadian indie bands’ only six dates in the UK following the release of their critically-acclaimed Everything Now album of killer tunes.



Macbeth, RST, Stratford, March 13 – September 18

The two leads. Photo by Richard Davenport

This compelling contemporary version of Shakespeare’s darkest psychological thriller with the fantastic 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 has the eerie feel of a modern horror film. Brilliant for students studying Macbeth on their GCSE or A level syllabus!

Book here.


Ravilious & Co: The Pattern of Friendship. English Artist Designers 1922-1942, Compton Verney, now until June 10

The Greenhouse: Cyclamen and Tomatoes

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…



Spring Spectacular, Hatton Adventure World, until Sun April 15

Visit the New Arrivals Marquee at this Muddy award-winning family attraction with its super cute lambs, kid goats, piglets, bunnies, ducks and baby chicks. Children can get the chance to feed and handle the animals too. There’s also an Easter Egg Hunt, the springtime Tractor Safari return of the Famous Sheep Racing for visitors to watch and place their bets and Masters of the Skies Falconry Displays.

hattonworld, Tel 01926 843411


About Face: The Rugby Collection, Rugby Art Gallery and Museum, until Sat June 16

Go and see some fabulous self-portraits by artists including Lucian Freud, Edward Bawden, Eduardo Paolozzi and Lowry in Rugby’s nationally renowned collection of 20th century and contemporary British art, with loans from The National Portrait Gallery and The Lowry. This year’s theme is portraits. Check out some brilliant artworks by 2017 Turner Prize Winner Lubaina Himid and Claudette Johnson, who will be in conversation at the gallery on May 25. A Portrait Masterclass: Proportion & Features takes place on Sat April 14 (1-4pm) with Beccy Roberts, £20.




Arctic Monkeys, Arena Birmingham, Sept 15

Photo by: Zachery Michael

Fans of the band will be able to book tix from 9am on April 13 for their September gig! It follows news that their new album Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino will be released on Fri May 11.

theticketfactory or Tel: 0844 33 88 222.


Arts4AllWeek, Henley-in-Arden Guild Hall Trust, Mon April 23 – Sun April 29

An interior shot of the 600-year-old Guild Hall

For the second year running this lively arts festival will take place in this Grade II listed timber-framed architectural treasure including a gig featuring Ocean Colour Scene’s Andy Bennett (Thurs); Jazz Musician of the year Ralph Allin (Sun lunchtime); a  familyWartime Experience with a travelling museum, Vaudeville Theatre evening featuring 1940’s war singer Madeline Brown and a Barbershop Quartet; a folk art Crafts4All session making a Liberty fabric necklace, new comedy theatre  Lucky Dip, monologues H to He (I’m Turning into a man) and pre-Edinburgh Festival showing of Proxy. Saturday is a family day with storytelling and workshops including The Hundred Mile per Hour Dog, Traditional Tales and Shakespeare Made Easy.

Check out the full itinerary here: eventbrite


Stratford Literary Festival 2018, venues in-and-around Stratford-upon-Avon

Wow what an amazing line-up! Speakers range from RSC actress Harriet Walter on Brutus and Other Heroines to actor Greg Wise with palliative care expert Dr Kathryn Mannix and Gavin & Stacey star Ruth Jones on her first novel. Then there’s Alistair Sawday, the founder of Sawdays Travel Guides, writer Jon McGregor (winner of the Costa Novel Award 2017) and Amanda Craig, Diana Evans with Libby Purves. Other highlights include top UK poet Wendy Cope, Jeremy Vine, Harriet Harman and Jess Phillips with Jane Garvey, Simon Mayo and BBC Breakfast presenter Louise Minchin. Loads of brilliant festival workshops and wonderful children’s events including Harry Hill and Aardman Model Workshops to look forward to. Tix are sure to get booked up pretty quickly – make haste!



The Carnival of Light, Empire Coventry, Far Gosford St, Fri April 20 – Sat April 21

An 18+ club concept playing garage, techno & bass night from 10pm – 4am with giant lantern installations, a Neon balloon drop, Chinese dragon performances, psychedelic body paint dips, professional glitter painters and acrobats. Guests encouraged to come in light inspired costumes.



Barry Manilow’s new Arena UK show, Arena Birmingham, Sept 4

The star is worth a cool £55m!

Totally on another scale is the one and only Barry Manilow, whose hits include Looks Like We Made It, Can’t Smile Without You and Copacabana. The 74-year-old GRAMMY®, TONY®, and EMMY® award-winning singer, who came out last year revealing he’s been in a relationship with his manager Garry Kief since 1978, was overjoyed by the reaction of his fans. He kept his sexuality secret for years in fear of “disappointing his fans”.

Tix on sale from 9am April 13, theticketfactory or Tel: 0844 33 88 222.




Harry Styles, on tour until Mon April 16

The laid-back – well horizontal – former One D star kicked off his debut solo album UK stadium tour at Birmingham’s Genting Arena securing himself a wardrobe of 70s suits and ruffled shirts. What a savage!



The Flying Lovers of Vitebsk, Oxford Playhouse, Tues 17 – Sat 21 April 

Awards aplenty for Daniel Jamieson’s The Flying Lovers of Vitebsk after selling out at London’s Globe Theatre and the Traverse in Edinburgh, where it won the Carol Tambor Best of Edinburgh Award. Presented by Kneehigh and Bristol Old Vic, the play follows partners in life and on canvas, Marc and Bella Chagall, through some of the most devastating times in history, navigating the Pogroms, the Russian Revolution, and each other. It looks awesome.

Aged 10 plus and 90 minutes with no interval. Book tickets £10- £30


Artisan Food Market, Waddesdon Manor, Sat April 14

The first outing for Waddesdon Manor’s Artisan Food Market this year, happening monthly from April through to October. The aim is to support local, small-scale, independent food producers, so bring some extra cash if you’re planning to visit today, to buy up on your foodie essentials as there’s no cash machine on site.


Ellie Taylor, Chipping Norton Theatre, Weds April 11

ellie Taylor pointing thumbs at herself green background

Following a sell-out Edinburgh Festival season and autumn tour, Ellie Taylor of Live at the Apollo, Mock the Week and  8 Out of 10 Cats fame, has added additional spring dates for her new stand-up show discussing whether or not she should breed (don’t do it Ellie, save yourself!). £15 

Find more ideas here

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