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This Week


Edited by: Rhiannon Pursall


MUSIC: Madeline Peyroux, The Glee Club, Birmingham, Thur 11 July 

Photo by Yann Orhan

It’s 22 years since her debut Dreamland, but American jazz singer-songwriter Madeleine Peyroux, who started her career on the streets of Paris, continues to challenge the confines of jazz. New album, Anthem, finds the singer-songwriter collaborating with writers/musicians Patrick Warren (Bonnie Raitt, JD Souther, Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, Lana Del Rey, The Red Hot Chilli Peppers), Brian MacLeod (Sara Bareilles, Leonard Cohen, Tina Turner, Ziggy Marley) and David Baerwald (Joni Mitchell, David and David, Sheryl Crow), who are also the basic rhythm section players on the album. Together, they cast a sober, poetic, and at times philosophical eye on the current state of the world. Tix here:


OPEN-AIR THEATRE: Heartbreak Productions‘ Wuthering Heights, Caldecott Park, Rugby, Wed Jul 10 

This hugely popular, engaging and interactive Leamington-based theatre company are touring across the whole of the UK. including Ireland with Romeo and Juliet,  Noel Coward’s Private Lives, David Walliams’ Gangsta Granny and Emily Bronte’s Wuthering Heights in Summer 2019. You can catch them in Rugby’s Caldecott Park as part of the town’s Festival of Culture at 6.30p


GARDENS: Head Gardener Evening Tour, Packwood House, Wed 10 Jul

Packwood. Courtesy of The National Trust

Sip a glass of wine and let the honeysuckle waft over you as you amble through the lovingly nurtured gardens of the grand Tudor residence. Packwood House’s Head Gardener Mick Evans teaches you about the history of the gardens, along with some handy planting secrets to try at home. Mick and his team have worked their magic with some contemporary mingled planting techniques, giving the beautiful place a lease of colourful life. Tour takes place 7pm-9pm and costs £17.50; call 01564 782024 for bookings or visit the website.


COMMUNITY: King’s High School Procession, Warwick, Wed 10 Jul

After 140 years of girls’ education in the centre of historic Warwick, King’s High School is moving premises…and we’re all invited to the momentous parade. (Warning: it’s going to get emotional). Bring your hanky to wave them off! Toddle over to the school on Smith Street for 10.15am, where the whole school (600+ pupils and all staff) gathers for the Mayor of Warwick’s unveiling of a blue plaque. After the school’s youngest pupil, outgoing and incoming Head Girls close the door for the final time, the grand procession walks to the new premises on Myton Road. Here, pupils from Warwick Prep and Warwick School welcome the pupils, staff and guests for a ceremony and for the girls to bury time capsules. The bells of St. Mary’s and fireworks from Warwick Castle give added pomp to this glorious parade, which marks the largest school build nationally in decades.


THEATRE: Measure for Measure, RSC, Stratford-Upon-Avon, now until 29 Aug 

Lucy Phelps and Sandy Grierson as Isabella and Angelo. Photo by Helen Maybanks (c) RSC

Set in early 1900s Vienna this 400-year-old play, about a young novice nun compromised by a corrupt official, who offers to save her brother from execution in return for sex, remains astutely relevant today. Don’t miss this rarely performed, darkly comic tale starring the excellent Worcester-born Lucy Phelps as Isabella, who’s also in the company’s As You Like It!  rsc


TALK: Shakespeare’s Language of Gender by Dame Harriet Walter, The Shakespeare Centre, Stratford-upon-Avon, Wed 10 Jul 


Part of the research conversation series at Shakespeare’s New Place, celebrated actor Dame Harriet Walter explores to what extent Shakespeare’s language designates the gender of a character and asks how far can we regard it as gender-neutral in a 30-minute presentation followed by an open discussion, Free. Booking not required – just turn up. Time: 5pm-6pm.


OUTDOOR CINEMA: Hilltop Farm, Hunningham, nr Leamington Spa, Fri Jul 12

Enjoy an idyllic spot for an al fresco movie with Film on a Farm plus delicious locally-sourced food & drinks, from 28-day matured beef burgers, locally sourced hog roast with all the trimmings to sweet potato falafel wraps, as well as popcorn, sweet treats and ice cream. There’s a large free car park, lovely loos, and if you don’t want to leave – check out the glamping site, Hilltop Hideaways.


EXHIBITION: A Tea Journey – From the Mountains to the Table, Compton Verney, Sat 6 Jul – 22 Sep 

Kazuhiro Yajima, Umbrella Tea House, © Nacasa & Partners Inc

Ever wondered how the nation’s favourite brew goes from plant to pot? Or how this Chinese tradition became to be to treasured by British society? Learn all about the humble cup of tea, from history to ecology. Be absorbed by The Tea Sensorium – a multi-sensory experience incorporating olfactory and visual exploration, plus workshops, discussions and a modern Japanese bamboo Umbrella Tea House being shipped especially from Japan for the exhibition! Rare teaware from China, Japan and India is on display, with responses by contemporary artists including Robin Best, Adam Buick, Phoebe Cummings, Charlotte Hodes, Takahiro Kondo, Ian McIntyre, Bruce Nuske, Selina Nwulu, Bouke ve Vries, Hetain Patel, Paul Scott, Julian Stair and Edmund de Waal. To find out more see here.


**LAST CHANCE TO SEE**THEATRE: Crooked Dances, RSC, Stratford-Upon-Avon, ends  Sat 13 Jul 


A compelling, modern play that addresses time and attention in our rapidly evolving, ever-frantic digital age by award-winning playwright and screen-writer Robin French, co-writer of BBC3 sitcom Cuckoo. Joining Crooked Dances is Beware the Cat, a one-hour performance inspired by the first ever English novel by William Baldwin on Sat July 6 at 5pm. It’s a tale of witchcraft, religious controversy and talking cats. Tickets here.


HERITAGE:  Elizabethan Pageant – Kenilworth Castle’s Garden of Love £70k re-launch, Sat 13 Jul-Sun 14 Jul 

As part of its 10th birthday celebrations, the Elizabethan Gardens at Kenilworth Castle have been rejuvenated by a £70k project in time to mark the anniversary of the famous 19 day visit to the castle by Queen Elizabeth 1 in July 1575. This one-acre walled garden was created by Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester as a love letter to Queen Elizabeth 1 and one-time childhood friend, and no expense was spared! Put on the pomp and pull out all the stops – it’s a party fit for a Queen! 444 years since Elizabeth I visited Kenilworth Castle, the fanfare is recreated – and this time, you’re invited. Join the excited throngs as the Queen makes her monumental entrance, then look out for her as she tours the Castle and its ground for the rest of the day. The Master of the Horse to the Elizabeth Court performs flamboyant horse displays in a bid to impress  Her Majesty. Raphael Historic Falconry do their bit to woo the Queen, sending birds of prey soaring through the skies, whilst pesky Castle fool Peterkin endeavors to raise a smile on Liz’s face. When you’ve had enough of the regal ceremony, discover how the other half lived and visit the bustling Tudor camp which offers plenty of children’s activities. Suitable for all ages. Entrance fee for non-members: adults £14.30, children 5-17 £8.60, concession £12.90, family £37.30. Book online before Fri 12 Jul and save 10%! Open 10am-5pm


CARNIVAL: Leamington Spa Carnival, Sat 13 Jul

Celebrate local diversity and culture under the summer sun! The annual parade begins at 12pm, brightening up the streets of Leamington with floats, drummers, dancers, colourful costumes, live bands and more. The Pump Room Gardens hosts both fun fair and festival, for thrills, food, and live entertainment. Join the fiesta from 11am-6pm.


LEARNING:  Wildlife Photography Masterclass, Warwick Arts CentreSat 13 Jul 

Looking to jazz up your Insta feed with something more interesting than the cliche shot of your painted toes on a sun lounger? How about some funky wildlife photos from wherever your travels are taking you this summer? Head to Warwick Arts Centre for a masterclass to learn the basics including camera settings, composition and elements of field craft. The Wildlife Photography one-day course is taken by Talvinder Chohan, experienced in snapping local nature along with more exotic creatures during his time in the jungles of central India. If the weather holds up, you’ll have the chance to practice your new skills – so best wear something appropriate for getting up close and personal to wildlife! You’ll need a camera with a telephoto lens (not a smartphone camera) and the class is suitable for beginner-intermediate level. The class takes place between 10am-5pm and costs £65 per person. Book here.


THEATRE: Venice Preserved, Swan Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon, now until Sept 7


Actor/Director/Writer Prasanna Puwanarajah, who recently appeared in Doctor Foster and Patrick Melrose, directs a dark, dystopian production of this rarely-performed Restoration cross-class love story by Thomas Otway, playing in the intimate setting of the Swan Theatre. Tickets here.


CHILDREN’S THEATRE: Bureau of Untold Stories, Macready Theatre, Rugby, Sat 13 Jul 

Hilarious, interactive, family-friendly detective drama for ages 4+! As part of Macready Theatre’s buzzy events programme and Rugby Festival of Culture this interactive improvised detective drama is an Edinburgh Festival preview show.  Filled with outrageous accents, live sound effects, and unbelievable antics, The Bureau Of Untold Stories combines the silly, sleuthing adventures of ‘The Pink Panther’ with the unpredictable hilarity of ‘Whose Line Is It Anyway? Showtime: 2.30pm-3.30pm; café and free craft from 1.30pm. Adults £10, concessions £10. Plus cafe and crafts for children from 1.30pm. Book online.


FETE: Summer Fete, Coughton Court National Trust, Sat 13 Jul 

Courtesy of Coughton Court/The National Trust

The simple things are often the best: a gleeful gala with old-fashioned favourites including face painting, lucky dip, and handmade crafts. There’s also be a woodturning demo and sports day activities along with gentle entertainment including Jacaranda Recorders, Ex Urbe Chamber Choir, Evesham Concert Band and Dynamix Harmony Group. The barbeque, local cider, cakes and other produce keep your stomach happy, whilst the glorious garden setting of the Tudor estate provides a breeze of nostalgic warmth. 12-4pm; admission to gardens free of charge. Information and tickets here. Profits go towards local causes.


FAMILY: Alcester Duck Race, Recreation Ground, Alcester, Sat 13 Jul

Spend a day in quintessential Alcester, for traditional fun and frolics in Shakespeare’s rolling countryside. The annual duck race raises money for the town’s Christmas lights and bunting…very worthy causes to compliment the beautiful architecture of the place! Ducks are on sale in High Street and Morris Mica in Swan Street until 3.50pm on race day. Race begins at 4pm from the Old Recreation Ground on Gas House Lane and ends by Overslay Bridge. First prize £100, second prize £50, third prize £25. More info and maps here. 


THEATRE: The Provoked Wife, Swan Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon, now until Sept 7


Comedians Rufus Hound and Les Dennis, are joining 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


ALE: After Hours: All Hail the Ale! Shakespeare’s Birthplace, Stratford-upon-Avon,  Sat 13 Jul 

We all associate ale with the Tudors, right? Discover just why it played such an important part of 17th Century life during this informative and tasty evening. The evening kicks off with a tour around the Swan and Maidenhead Inn, then retire to the quaint garden of Shakespeare’s Birthplace for an ale sampling session. Hosted by Bob Yates from Tunnel Brewery, there’s a range of drinks to enjoy including hand-crafted ale, traditional beers and mulberry ale. Tickets: £15 (adult); £12 (concession); £10 (Friends of the Trust) – purchase from any of the Shakespeare’s family homes, online, or by calling 01789201806. From 5.30pm-7.30pm. Part of a glorious season of events from the Shakespeare family homes.


OUTDOOR THEATRE: free performances at The Dell, Stratford-Upon-Avon, every weekend until 1 Sep

Photo by James Morris (c) RSC

Part of the 2019 summer series at The Dell, July offers a spectacular array of performances in this serene location on the banks of the River Avon.  All performances free – grab your sun hat and refreshments and you’re good to go.


SCULPTURE GARDEN: The Imagination Statues, Shakespeare’s New Place, Stratford-upon-Avon, Jul-Sep 

Be inspired by the Greg Wyatt statues in the Great Garden at Shakespeare’s New Place and act out your own versions of the plays that they represent using props, costumes and scripts provided. Opening times: 12pm-4pm.


THEATRE:The Taming of the Shrew, Royal Shakespeare Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon, now until Aug 31

Justin Audibert’s gender-switched adaptation in which sexes are presented in reversed roles has been largely very well received. 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


PUB GAMES: Boozy Bingo, The Fat Pug, Leamington Spa, Sat 13 Jul

Dabbers poised, glasses filled…we’re ready for an evening of merriment and prizes! £2 entry, more info here.


CALL-OUT: Applications for a three-year talent development scheme are now open at Coventry’s Belgrade Theatre, ends July 13

Springboard artist Maokwo-Laura-Nyahuye. Photo by Nicola-Young

Calling all emerging artists! The Belgrade Theatre is seeking another round of newly established performance companies and emerging artists to join the latest intake for its Springboard talent development programme. Successful applicants will receive tailored support over a three-year period, including advice and guidance from Belgrade staff, marketing support and space to create and rehearse their work. Richard & RishardUnderground Lights and Maokwo are the Belgrade’s current Springboard artists and two additional companies benefit from the scheme, beginning in Autumn 2019.

The deadline to apply for the Belgrade Theatre’s Springboard scheme is Monday 15 July. For more information and to download the application pack, visit belgrade 


THEATRE: As You Like It, Royal Shakespeare Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon, now until Aug 31


Kimberley Sykes’ beguiling As You Like It has 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! Tel: 01789 403493.


EXHIBITION: Living with History, Hall’s Croft cafe, Stratford upon Avon, now until Sept 29

Photo © William Mulryne

Fourteen photographs by William Mulryne offer a fresh perspective of Stratford-upon-Avon – after the tourists have gone home! They include this lovely portrait of Shakespeare Birthplace Trust’s honorary president, Professor Stanley Wells in his office. Professor Wells is a Shakespearean scholar, writer, editor and professor emeritus at the University of Birmingham. Stratford-born William, who has Asperger Syndrome studied photography at Stratford-upon-Avon College and documents everyday life in the town. He said: “Stratford-upon-Avon is an amazing place with a special feeling. Asperger Syndrome made growing up a series of experiences, everything was 100% interesting. I experienced cars, music, elevators: the sounds and the way they moved, working out how they worked and being mesmerised by the visual movement.” Living with History at Hall’s Croft café is free,


EXHIBITION: The Aerodrome: An Exhibition Dedicated to the Memory of Michael Stanley, Ikon Gallery, Birmingham, now until Sun 8 Sep 


Michael Stanley was Curator of Ikon before becoming Director of Milton Keynes Gallery and then Modern Art Oxford. He died tragically in 2012 and this exhibition is a tribute to a much-adored man. Co-curated with David Austen and George Shaw, the exhibition is loosely based on a novel that had a strong impact on Michael – Rex Warner’s The Aerodrome, published in 1941.The novel painted the struggles faced by a young war hero and had great impact on writers including Orwell, Burgess and Ballard. Given that it explores modern dystopias, bleak man-made landscapes and the psychological effects of technological, social or environmental developments, it seems pertinent to revisit this novel in the current turbulent times we live in. Events guide & workshops here



Be Inspired, Shakespeare and Me, Shakespeare’s Birthplace, Stratford-upon-Avon, Runs until 31 December

This exhibition helps tell the story of leading 18th century actor David Garrick’s Shakespeare Jubilee held in Stratford-upon-Avon in 1769, in this 250th anniversary year, with rarely seen museum items relating to the Jubilee from the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust’s internationally recognised Collections, also find out through first-hand testimonies how William Shakespeare has inspired other actors, artists, literary figures and Shakespearians all over the world.



AUDIENCE WITH THE AUTHOR: David Nicholls, Levi Fox Hall, Stratford upon Avon, Fri 19 Jul (Part of Stratford Literary Festival)

Can you believe it is 10 years since the release of One Day starring Anne Hathaway?! Since then, multi-million selling author and screenwriter David Nicholls has melted our hearts with Us, which was long-listed for the Man Booker Prize, and now he’s back with brand new novel Sweet Sorrow. In this one-off event, David will discuss his new book about first-love set over one life-changing summer, against a backdrop of rehearsals for a production of Romeo and Juliet.  Nicholls, who was awarded a BAFTA this year for his screenplay of the brilliant TV drama Patrick Melrose, starring Benedict Cumberbatch, will be sharing the background to this much-anticipated new novel which brings teenage angst and the clumsiness of first romance beautifully to life. Starts at 7pm. Tickets are £10, or £25 including admission to the event and one discounted copy of the book. Student tickets are £8. Call 0333 666 3366 or book online.


FESTIVAL: Warwick Folk Festival, Warwick School, Thu 25 Jul-Sun 28 Jul

Photo by Murdo-McLeod

It’s the 40th year of this most friendly of festivals! International folk stars including Billy Bragg, Skerryvore, Karan Casey, Eddy Jay, Will Pound, Breabach and heaps more take to the stage to soothe your soul via your ears…and if you fancy getting jiggy, join in the dance workshops from Morris to Latin and absorb the joy from the rising English Ceilidh scene. Also check out the fringe, on the adorable streets of Warwick, for traditional folky fun. Full info and tickets here.


FESTIVAL: Solihull Summer Fest, Tudor Grange Park, Solihull, Sat 27-Sun 28 Jul

The Vamps, Scouting for Girls, The Proclaimers, Go West, The Human League and Trevor Nelson will be headlining alongside Heather Small and Ms Dynamite. A fab line-up for Summer Fest, returning for in its 4th year to Tudor Grange Park in Solihull.  A Hedkandi stage satisfies your inner raver, whilst outdoor cinema helps you unwind. Amazing street food ranges from fish ‘n’ chips and mac ‘n’ cheese to curries and noodles and there’s even a VIP area. Each day runs from 12pm to approximately 10.30pm. Tickets and full line-up info here.


EVENT: Dragon Slayer, Warwick Castle, Wed 7 Aug – Mon 26 Aug

You can read our review of the castle’s inaugural digital projection installation, Dragon Slayer here. It was pretty spectacular and jaw-dropping in parts! It’s returning with even more projection breathing fire into late summer evenings this August in a family-friendly show of jousting, pyrotechnics, stunt riding and stunning fireworks. The show stars live actors and an epic light projection onto the grandiose walls of the magnificent Warwick Castle.  There’ll be a choice of catering vans Tickets start at £20 for the show only, or various packages are available to include food and drink. Gates open 7pm; show time 8.30pm-10pm.


Professor Brian Cox – Universal: Adventures in Space and Time, Arena Birmingham, Sep 21

Champion of the lay explanation, Professor Cox, brings his brand new stellar show back to Birmingham Arena. He was here in February and achieved (yet another) Guinness World Records title for ‘Most tickets sold for a science show’ – so now, due to popular demand, he’s coming back to Brum in September!  Book up for a brainy, awe-inspiring out of this world experience here



FESTIVAL: Henley Festival, Oxon, Wed 10 – Sun 14 Jul 

Henley Festival is for people who’re too posh for festivals! The genteel shebang is a black tie event which takes place over five days with some mega headline acts this year including Boy George, Jessie J and Tom Odell. There’s also a line up of comedy, arts and loads of food stalls to soak up the Champers.


FESTIVAL: The Cotswold Show and Food Festival, Glos, Sat 13 – Sun 14 Jul

For a red trousers and champers-type affair there’s the 30th anniversary of The Cotswold Show and Food Festival, just over the Glos border, with stalls, trade stands, falconry, dog show and Bathurst Arena with equestrian antics.


ARTPaula Rego: Obedience and DefianceMK Gallery, Milton Keynes, until Sept 22

Over at Milton Keynes’ mega new MK Gallery you can see the largest retrospective of the political artist’s work in England for 20 years with pieces focusing on gender discrimination, violence, slavery, abortion and political tyranny.


OPERA: Garsington Opera Season, Wormsley Estate, Great Milton, Oxford OX44 7NP, until 26 Jul

More opera this month from Garsington Opera– lovely setting, sunny weather (hopefully) and warbling of the highest form. There are loads of the performances on the bill this week including Fantasio (8, 11 Jul), Don Giovanni (12, 14 Jul) and The Turn of the Screw (13 Jul).


EXHIBITIONS including A new collection of Manolo Blahnik‘s designs at The Wallace Collection, London,  until Sun 1 Sept

Must-see exhibitions in London this month include a new collection of Manolo Blahnik‘s designs at The Wallace Collection above, which contrasts the designer’s work with paintings, sculpture and ornate furniture from the Rococo art movement. The intimate collection has been curated by Blahnik himself and features items from his private archives. Also at the V&A is the the largest House of Dior collection ever staged in the UK, it’s sold out but there are a few first-come, first served tickets available from 10am from the Grand Entrance, or you can see the exhibition by purchasing a membership for the V&A (until 1 Sept). The major Van Gogh show at Tate Britain is also worth a gander, with over 45 works, including Starry Night on the Rhône 1888 from the Musée d’Orsay, Paris, and the rarely loaned Sunflowers 1888 from the National Gallery (until 11 Aug). And finally, if you’re heading up north, there’s the new Keith Haring exhibition at Tate Liverpool, a legend on the ’80s graffiti, pop art and underground club culture scene, the exhibit features 85 works including large-scale paintings, posters, photos and video. Very cool.


FESTIVAL: Summer by the River, London (until 28 Aug).

If you’re heading for the Big Smoke, there’s tons to do all summer between London and Tower Bridge with the largest outdoor festival in the capital, Summer by the River (until 28 Aug). Outdoor cinema as well as concerts, workshops, comedy and quizzes- you can scoff and drink to your heart’s content from the obligatory artisan stalls and then join in one of the fitness events to assuage the self-loathing.

Find more ideas here

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