Things to do this week
MON MARCH 12-SUN MARCH 18
The Duchess of Malfi, The Swan, Stratford-upon-Avon, Thurs March 1 – Aug 3
Maria Aberg’s Quentin-Tarantino-esqe blood-soaked modern dress production, and Joan Iyiola’s “fierce, proud and stylish” performance have been attracting rave reviews following last week’s press night. See Muddy’s Q & A with Joan here.
Tel: 01789 403493, rsc
Gary Numan, Warwick Arts Centre, Tue March 13
Did you catch BBC 4’s Synth Britannia night on Fri March 2? It featured Numan, one of the UK’s original synth pioneers along with the likes of Depeche Mode, New Order and Japan, who my sister and I obsessed over as teens. The post-punk singer is on his Savage Tour Part 2, with tickets selling out everywhere. Limited availability.
Coventry Dining Club Half Marathon Special, Coventry Cathedral, March 18
Macbeth, RST, Stratford, March 13 – September 18
This week also sees another big hitter – the opening of another contemporary version at the RSC. This time Macbeth directed by Polly Findlay. The fab former Dr Who Christopher Eccleston, brilliant in BBC 1’s The A Word, and revered Irish actor Niamh Cusack as Macbeth and Lady Macbeth. Eccleston says it’s a role he’s always wanted to play since a teenager. Undoubtedly the must-see production of the RSC’s 2018 Summer Season!
Ravilious & Co: The Pattern of Friendship. English Artist Designers 1922-1942, Compton Verney, Sat March 17–June 10
Vintage Fair, Market Hall Museum, Warwick, Sat March 17
Love vintage? Say no more. Refreshments will be available in the cafe. Free, 10am – 5pm
Shakespeare Week, Stratford-upon-Avon, Mon March 12 – Sun March 18
It’s Shakespeare Week this month when UK primary school children will be delving into a range of exciting first experiences that explore Shakespeare’s life, works and times. Organised by the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, Shakespeare Week provides teachers, home educators and families with free resources and fun ideas to discover and celebrate Shakespeare. This year’s Shakespeare Week will have a storytelling and poetry theme and we’re working with some of the country’s best loved cultural organisations including The Story Museum, The Woodland Trust and libraries nationwide to bring Shakespeare’s stories to life.
Register for free, shakespeareweek
Mindgame, Belgrade Theatre, Coventry, Wed March 14 – Sat March 17
A gripping psychological thriller from the pen of bestselling novelist and acclaimed screenwriter Anthony Horowitz (Foyle’s War, New Blood, the Alex Rider series) starring Birmingham-born and trained Michael Sherwin as asylum head Farquhar, alongside Andrew Ryan as true crime writer Mark Styler. The show follows the story of crime writer Mark Styler and his efforts to get an interview with the notorious serial killer Easterman.
Tel Box Office on 024 7655 3055, belgrade
Bobby Mair: Loudly Insecure, Studio, Royal Spa Centre, Leamington Spa, Sat March 17
30 years ago, Bobby was put up for adoption and now he’s tracking down his birth family one by one. Saying his search has hit a couple of snags would be an understatement and he still has relatives out there who continue to elude him. Loudly Insecure gives Bobby a chance to fill you in on the wildly dramatic twists and turns of his quest. Age 16+.
Book tickets here
Coventry Half Marathon, Sun March 18
It isn’t too late if you still fancy getting your running shoes on and dressing-up as Mrs Potato-head or er, a rhino…
Up ‘N’ Under, Birmingham Rep, Mon March 12 – Wed March 14
As part of an innovative partnership with England Deaf Rugby Union (EDRU), this production of John Godber’s comedy will be directed by Fingersmiths’ Jeni Draper and features a cast of Deaf and hearing actors. It tells the story of The Wheatsheaf Arms rugby team, the laughing stock of Castleford’s Amateur Rugby League Seven-a-Side tournament who have never won a game, don’t have seven players and spend more time in the pub than on the pitch. Using a creative combination of BSL and spoken English, Fingersmiths’ exciting visual and physical theatre style returns to The REP’s stage, following their critically acclaimed production of Frozen in 2014.
Box Office: 0121 236 4455, birmingham-rep.co.uk
Created in Conflict: British Soldier Art from the Crimean War to Today, Compton Verney, Sat March 17 – Sun June 10
Patrick Monahan: Rewind Selector 90’s, Helen Martin Studio, Warwick Arts Centre, Sat March 17
Stand up show from the multi award winning comic who compares life as an Irish/Iranian teenager in the 90’s. As identity cards and ‘Cool Britannia’ were being introduced, Monahan found himself on the periphery as a teenager – trying to blend in. Ages 14+
British Folk Art Collection Re-imagined, Compton Verney, opens Sat March 17
BOOKING NOW: Sister Act, Avon Valley Theatre, Rugby, March 20 – 24
This sassy musical comedy about an American lounge singer who’s put under protective custody in a San Francisco convent is brought to life by Interesting Theatre, a new Rugby-based all-adult amateur musical theatre group, led by volunteers and a registered charity. They have a cast of 28, including some of the best talent in the area ranging from 17 to 70 – with many travelling from Birmingham, Coventry, Leamington, Leicester, Market Harborough, Northampton and Rugby to take part! That’s celestial devotion…You may just discover the next Whoopi Gooldberg!
The Kite Runner, Birmingham Rep, Mon March 13 – 24
Based on Khaled Hosseini’s 2003 international best-selling novel, this haunting and powerful story set in Afghanistan has been adapted into a stage production by Matthew Spangler. Review in Arts & Culture.
Tel: Box Office on 0121 236 4455, birmingham
BOOK NOW: Young Fathers, O2 Institute2, Birmingham, Tues March 20
I love their stylishly stunning yet slightly freaky Voodoo in My Blood vid with Massive Attack starring Gone Girl actress Rosamund Pike. Following on from supporting Massive Attack and featuring on the Trainspotting soundtrack, this award-winning Edinburgh hip-hop trio are touring with material from their catchy new album Cocoa Sugar.
Lady Bird, in cinemas now
Greta Gerwig’s quirky, offbeat Oscar-nominated coming-of-age indie film about a mum-and-daughter, may not have won a top award but is definitely a winner in our eyes!
The final week of VAULT festival 2018! Wed March 14 – Sun March 18
Waterloo’s annual underground festival ends with two epic late night parties including, a seismic soul session with The South London Soul Train and raucous St Patrick Day knees up with Ruckus – Peaky Blinders with twice the craic. There’s also Michael Winterbottom’s Wonderland in the final screening of their Film Festival, even more weird and wild new theatre including immersive circus show Becoming Shades performed in the atmospheric dank tunnels of The Vaults’ – a goth spin on the Greek myth of Persephone with eerie candlelit rituals, plus laugh-out-loud comedy, vehicle shows and escape rooms. And of course, the traditional VAULT Awards ceremony.
Barbara Hepworth: Finding Form, River & Rowing Museum, Henley, until June 3
I love Barbara Hepworth’s work – if you’re ever in St Ives, be sure to visit her gorgeous house/studio, with its striking sculptures dotted all around the pretty garden. So I’m very excited about this – and what a coup for Henley’s little museum. This retrospective covers the sculptor’s work from the 1930s to the 1960s, borrowing pieces from the Tate and National Portrait Gallery. A must-see.
Book Signing with Lauren Child, Story Museum, Oxford, March 17
Isn’t everyone a bit in love with superclever, super funny Lauren Child? Come and meet best-selling author of Charlie and Lola, Clarice Bean and countless others as she drops into The Story Museum café and shop ahead of her evening event here as part of the Oxford Literary Festival.
Legoland Opens, Windsor, from March 9
OMG. Protect your credit card, it’s gonna get a hammering. 2018 marks 60 years of the brick and to celebrate there are a horde of new attractions including ‘Mini Land’ replicating world-famous landmarks and LEGO® Reef where you can build your very own digital fish. Watch out for the gift shop at the end – it’s a killer.
Victorian Giants: The Birth of Art Photography, National Portrait Gallery, London, March 1 until May 20
A major new exhibition brings together, for the first time, the works of four of the most celebrated figures in art photography, Lewis Carroll (1832–98), Julia Margaret Cameron (1815–79), Oscar Rejlander (1813–75) and Clementina Hawarden (1822-65). These four artists would come to embody the very best in photography of the Victorian era and have influenced photographers ever since. Featuring striking portraits of sitters such as Charles Darwin, Alice Liddell, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Thomas Carlyle, George Frederick Watts, Ellen Terry and Alfred, Lord Tennyson.