COMEDY: Coventry Comedy Festival, Fri May 3 – Sun May 12
Award-winning comedian, writer and actor Catherine Bohart whose 2018 autobiographical debut solo show Immaculate was described by the Times as “the sort of perfectly structured Edinburgh debut you always hope for and rarely get to see.”
The city is playing host to a brand new 10-day festival across multiple city-centre venues welcoming internationally renowned comedians, improv comedy, musical comedy and family shows including headliner Tom Allen who is closing the festival on May 12. Highlights include award-winning Ahir Shah’s Dots, Catherine Bohart’s Work in Progress, Perrier Award-winning Christian Reilly’s Gig Economy, Robin Morgan, Laura Monmoth, Sophie Duker and Darren Harriott.
Check out the full line-up here.
THEATRE: The Provoked Wife, Swan Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon, Thur May 2 – Sept 7
Rufus Hound in The Provoked Wife at rehearsal
Comic personalities Rufus Hound – who last appeared at the RSC as Sancho Panza in the hit 2016 production of Don Quixote – and Les Dennis, making his RSC debut, will join Alexandra Gilbreath (Lady Brute), Caroline Quentin (Lady Fancyfull) and Jonathan Slinger (Sir John Brute) in a riotous new production of the outspoken restoration romp that shocked 17th century society, directed by Phillip Breen (The Hypocrite, The Shoemaker’s Holiday, The Merry Wives of Windsor), rsc
THEATRE: Heart of Darkness, Belgrade Theatre, Coventry, Wed May 8 – Sat May 11
Joseph Conrad’s seminal novel about lies, greed and the lust for power gets a modern makeover at Dicot’s arts hub by digital theatre maker Imitating the Dog. Video, projections and graphic images are fused with live performance in this bold new production. Tel the box office on 024 7655 3055, belgrade
FREE FESTIVAL: B-SIDE Hip-Hop Festival, Birmingham Hippodrome, Fri May 3 – Sun May 12
For the fourth year, this popular free music and dance festival will see the Hippodrome and surrounding areas filled with pop-up performances, striking graffiti and thrilling dance battles, check out what’s on here.
MUSICAL: Club Tropicana, Belgrade Theatre, Coventry, Tues May 7 – Sat May 11
A tongue-in-cheek musical based on the lyrics of a Wham song! It stars X Factor winner Joe McElderry as the entertainment manager of the Club Tropicana Hotel, where the drinks are free and set to an 80s soundtrack including Girls Just Wanna Have Fun, Take On Me, Relax and Just Can’t Get Enough. It also stars EastEnders actor Neil McDermott and former Sugababe Amelle Berrabah as hotel owners Robert and Serena alongside Emily Tierney (Wicked, The Wizard of Oz) as scheming interloper Christine and Kate Robbins (Spitting Image, Dinnerladies) as chambermaid Consuela.
Tickets are available on 024 7655 3055, belgrade.co.uk
LADIES’ NIGHT: Cafe Vin Cinq, Rugby, Wed May 8
This award-winning French-style restaurant sees the return of their popular Ladies’ Night with a delicious dinner and more Prosecco than you can shake a stick at for £40pp! Tel: 01788 541 304, cafevincinq.com
DANCE: Amina Khayyam Dance Company: A Thousand Faces, Thu May 9
A bold dance-theatre production that uses the imagery of Bollywood beauty and Hollywood glamour to explore violence against women, in particular, acid attacks, 7.45pm. Running time: 1hr 10mins / Age 8+, warwickartscentre.co.uk
COMEDY: The Horne Section: That’s How I Like My Tour, Butterworth Hall, Warwick Arts Centre, Thu May 9
Five outstanding musicians, one non-musical stand up, there’ll be comedy, songs, enthusiastic dancing and a lot of mucking about, 8pm. Age 14+.
warwickartscentre.co.uk Tel: 024 7652 4524
FOOD: Burger and Beer Pairing, Drapers’ Bar and Kitchen, Coventry, Thur May 9
This cool independent bar in Coventry’s student quarter, close to Coventry Cathedral, is teaming up with Purity Brewing to bring you a night of great food and great beer.
Head Chef Sarah has created a selection of burgers, while Purity have worked their magic to find the perfect beer accompaniment. It kicks off at 7pm and booking is essential so use this link to get your tickets now: https://billetto.co.uk/e/beer-burger-pairing-night-tickets-348614
Sofie Hagen:Bubblewrap, Warwick Arts Centre, Coventry, Fri May 10
Bubblewrap won London-based Danish comedian Sofie the Edinburgh Fringe Best Newcomer Award in 2015, catapulting her onto the British comedy scene. It’s a show about how she learned to love her body interspersed with erotic Westlife fanfiction and stories about one-night-stands, a psych ward and car chases. Audiences will also have the chance to hear her read from her new book Happy Fat, published on May 2, a manifesto for happiness and fat liberation, followed by a Q&A with Sofie. One of the most talked-about comics, Sofie just completed filming for her own Comedy Central series, Sofie’s Sex Stories, looking at the sex lives of fellow comedians. She was one of the co-founders of The Guilty Feminist podcast.
warwickartscentre.co.uk Tel: 024 7652 4524
DANCE: MOTIONHOUSE– Charge, Warwick Arts Centre, Wed May 8 & Thu 9
This internationally-acclaimed Leamington-based dance company’s latest 1hr 15min show, Charge is inspired by the role of electricity in the human body. From the electrical charge that sparks human life, to the beating of our hearts and the memories we make, performers use dance and acrobatics to delve deep into the human body, 7.30pm. For ages 7+, warwickartscentre.co.uk
MUSIC: Olly Murs, Resorts World Arena, Birmingham, Fri May 10
The Voice judge returns to his ‘day job’…His new album features a track with Snoop Dogg. Olly has five multi-platinum albums under his belt, 4 #1 UK albums, 4# UK singles and 6 #1 airplay tracks. The singer is the X Factor’s most successful male artist with more than 17.5m followers across his socials. Tickets still available on theticketfactory Tel: 0844 33 88 222 (*Calls cost 7p per minute plus your phone company’s access charge).
COMEDY: Henning Wehn – Get On With It, Butterworth Hall, Warwick Arts Centre, Coventry, Fri May 10
You couldn’t make it up; surely the German Comedy Ambassador Henning Wehn hasn’t bosched out yet another new show? And what’s he still doing here anyway? Well, his lack of transferable skills is what keeps him here and his belief that practice makes perfect is what keeps him going, 8pm. Age 16+, warwickartscentre.co.uk
THEATRE: EGLANTYNE, The Other Place, Waterside, Stratford upon Avon, Sat May 11
The real Eglantyne Jebb
An inspiring solo one-woman show telling the story of Eglantyne Jebb – the visionary, passionate, social reformer, human rights pioneer and founder of Save the Children – performed by writer/actor, Anne Chamberlain. At the 2018 Edinburgh Festival Fringe EGLANTYNE was longlisted for the Amnesty International Freedom of Expression Award and has toured in New Zealand, Australia and the UK,
Tickets are £25 and include a post-performance Q&A, programme and light refreshments. Proceeds will go to Save The Children UK. Tel: 01789 331111 or buy online at www.rsc.org.uk/eglantine
COMEDY: Paul Merton’s Impro Chums, Butterworth Hall, Warwick Arts Centre, Coventry, Sat May 11
Paul Merton, Lee Simpson, Richard Vranch, Suki Webster, Mike McShane and accompanist Kirsty Newton are back on the road in 2019 to visit Warwick Arts Centre with another evening of mind-blowing improvisation, 8pm. Age 14+, warwickartscentre.co.uk
PIZZA & JAZZ: Lincoln Noel on piano, Macready Theatre, Rugby, Sat May 11
Listen to some live jazz and enjoy a pizz during the interval. Pizza Express orders are taken when you book. Tickets £7 music only. Starts 7pm, macreadytheatre
COMEDY: Adam Riches – The Adam Riches Experience,Studio, Warwick Arts Centre, Coventry, Sat May 11
Enjoy a unique show of off-the-wall, absurd and downright hilarious live comedy from this Edinburgh Comedy Award winner. From edge of your seat audience participation to masterful character creations, no two shows are alike, 7.45pm. Age 16+, warwickartscentre.co.uk
THEATRE: As You Like It, Royal Shakespeare Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon, Feb 14 – Aug 31
The new 2019 season opened with Kimberley Sykes’ beguiling As You Like It with fabulous critically-acclaimed performances by Worcester actor Lucy Phelps as Rosalind and David Ajao as Orlando, also look out for LAMDA-trained Leamington Spa actor Amelia Donkor as Silvia! rsc.org.uk, Tel: 01789 403493.
COMEDY: Julian Clary – Born to Mince, Warwick Arts Centre, Sun May 12
“Are you ready for some filth? I know I am. It’s been a while since I sallied forth to pleasure the provinces with my particular brand of saucy innuendo. Let me at them!” 7.30pm. Age 16+, warwickartscentre.co.uk
FOOD: Coventry Cathedral Dining Club, Sun May 12
Digbeth Dining Club and Coventry Cathedral are very excited to collaborate for the first time in 2019 bringing award-winning street food to Coventry’s most iconic venue including The English Indian; Goody Gujarati; Platinum Pancakes; Greidys wings and strips; Urban Cheesecake
The Paneer Wrap Street Food Company; Street chef, Leave it to Esmie, The Flying Cows. Entry £1 here.
TALK: An Audience with Harry Redknapp, Butterworth Hall, Warwick Arts Centre, Sun May 12
I’m a Celebrity Winner Harry Redknapp is coming to Coventry! One of the UK’s funniest celebrities, Harry will be discussing tales of the jungle whilst looking back on his long career in footie, 7.45pm. Tickets: £82 (VIP), £32, warwickartscentre.co.uk
ART: Painting Childhood & Childhood Now, Compton Verney, opens Sat March 16 – June 16
Compton Verney new spring exhibition takes a fresh and moving look at childhood over the last 500 years boasting masterpieces such as Van Dyck’s The Five Eldest Children of Charles I (1637) from the Royal Collection, Hogarth’s The Graham Children (1742) from the National Gallery, and Millais’ Bubbles (1886) from National Museums Liverpool together with some fo Queen Victoria’s sketches of her own children. This is the first time these iconic paintings will be paired with the preparatory sketches that informed them. Alongside ‘Painting Childhood’ is the expressive, idiosyncratic sister exhibition ‘Childhood Now’ with three contemporary artists – Chantal Joffe, Mark Fairnington and Matthew Krishanu – who have used their own children or childhood to depict modern youth. comptonverney
THEATRE: The Taming of the Shrew, Royal Shakespeare Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon, now until Aug 31
The reviews are now in after last week’s press night for Justin Audibert’s gender-switched adaptation in which sexes are presented in reversed roles. It’s set in the 1590s and England is a matriarchy. National critics said: a “landmark production” (Evening Standard ****); “an interesting but underpowered exercise in gender-swapping” (Daily Telegraph ***) and “Getting their hands on the best and biggest parts for once, the female performers savour every syllable”, (The Times, ****), rsc
ART: Compton Verney’s second ‘eyecatcher’ art installation Green Dwelling
Green Dwelling has been imagined by Dutch artist Krijn de Koning, and consists of a collection of differently-sized green blocks ranged across the Old Town Meadow. The blocks highlight the history of the land: once the site of the medieval village of Compton Murdak, the meadow was planted with elm trees in the 18th century, lost due to Dutch elm disease in the 1970s. Like a modern Stonehenge, the blocks playfully reference these lost histories. Paths and picnic benches are integral to the design, transforming the meadow into a destination to explore and enjoy. An exciting opportunity to re-frame familiar views of the Grade-I listed mansion house. Great for kids to explore over Easter! comptonverney
THEATRE: Bells & Spells, Warwick Arts Centre, Coventry, May 21 & 22
© Lucie Jansch
Victoria Thierrée Chaplin, the daughter of actor/ filmmaker Charlie Chaplin directs her own daughter, Aurélia Thierree, in a surrealist piece of theatre, Bells & Spells, much raved about across Europe in a rare UK perfromance. Aurélia gets inside the skin of a kleptomaniac and finds herself manipulated by the objects she steals. A coat rack gets up and walks. Chairs and a table slide and slip away, while a wall opens and a pair of dancers emerge. A dress suddenly takes on a life of its own. The show receives its UK premiere as part of the Norfolk and Norwich Festival (May 17 2019).
Bells & Spells will run for two nights only at Warwick Arts Centre on the Warwick University campus, Coventry, May 21 & 22, www.warwickartscentre.co.uk, Tel: 024 7652 4524.
HOME & INTERIORS
St James’s Church Garden by Alistair Ramage
In need of some home inspo? Award winning event, Grand Designs Live, lands at London’s ExCeL (Sat May 4 – Sun 12) with loads of exhibitors, product launches and expert advice on how to pimp your pad whether you’re planning a self-build, renovation or are adding the finishing touches. Kevin McCloud will be on hand for a natter, too. Or, there’s Clerkenwell Design Week (I’ve been a few times, it’s well worth the trip)- home to more creative businesses and architects per square mile than anywhere else on the planet, this will be the 10th annual festival, which attracts some of the best of designers in the world, including a huge range of home-grown talent (Tue May 21 – Thurs 23). Finally, feeling crafty? London Craft Week (Wed May 8 – Sun 12) showcases exceptional craftsmanship in London with a programme of workshops by both unknown makers and celebrated masters held in famous studios, galleries and shops. This year London’s hippest new hangout Coal Drops Yard is getting involved for the first time with loads of cool workshops and installations.