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This week…


Border Tales, The Goose Nest, Warwick Arts Centre, Tue Apr 24  

Border Tales is a thought provoking, poignant commentary on multicultural Britain, presented through dance, live music and dialogue, compiled from the performers’ personal experiences. Post-Brexit Britain is looked at through the eyes of an international cast who gaze satirically on stereotypical thinking about migrant outsiders and bigoted homelanders,  7.45pm, (1hr 15mins). Age 12+



Romeo & Juliet, RST, Stratford, April 21 – Sept 21/ Live in Cinemas on Jul 18

Photo credit: RSC

Check out Shakespeare’s epic story of tragic teen love starring Coventry’s Bally Gill as Romeo and Glaswegian actress Karen Fishwick as Juliet in the RSC’s contemporary summer production directed by Erica Whyman.



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


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);  family Wartime Experience with travelling museum, a Vaudeville Theatre evening featuring 1940’s war singer Madeline Brown and a Barbershop Quartet. You can also make a Liberty fabric necklace, see new comedy theatre  Lucky Dip and two monologues  – H to He (I’m Turning into a man) and a 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


Nigel Planer’s The Game of Love & Chai, Belgrade Theatre, Coventry, April 24-28
French farce meets vibrant Bollywood song and dance in Tara Arts’ sparkling new comedy. Penned by actor and comedy legend Nigel Planer (TV comedies The Young Ones and Filthy Rich & Catflap) who has been hooked in Indian cinema since the 1970s, this new show sees the Marivaux classic The Game of Love Chance retold in a contemporary British Asian context featuring a cast of six, directed by Jatinder Verma.
belgrade, Tel: 024 7655 3055

Teen Direct: Hints, Tips & Tricks to Connect with Your Teen, The Oken Tea Room, Castle Street, Warwick, Fri April 27

12.30pm – 2.30pm, £10.



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!



Emily Barker and Dan Whitehouse Live at the RSC, The Other Place, Stratford, Sat April 28

An evening of live music with Australian-born singer-songwriter Emily Barker, UK Artist of the Year 2018 (UK Americana Awards), who penned the award-winning Wallander theme, starring Kenneth Branagh, and Wolverhampton-based singer-songwriter Dan Whitehouse, whose music has been described as ‘Black Country Soul’.
Birmingham Lit Fest, Fri April 27 – Sun April 29

Woman’s Hour presenter Jenni Murray

 Speakers include journalist/author Sathnam Sanghera, on adapting The Boy with the Topknot for TV, Alexei Sayle, Kit de Waal and the presenter of Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour Jenni Murray, who’ll be revealing a new history of Britain told through the stories of 21 women you’ve never (but should have) heard of. Other highlights: Is 2018 The Year of Publishing Women? #MeToo: A Movement in Poetry  and writing workshops on screenwriting and memoir.

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


Know a star-in-the-making? Nativity! The Musicial auditions, Belgrade Theatre, Coventry from May 28

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



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.



Fancy owning Josette Simon’s breastplate from Antony & Cleopatra or David Tennant’s trousers from Hamlet ? Check out the RSC’s Stitch in Time eBay auction, Tues Apr 17 – 27

54 costume items will be auctioned to raise money for the RSC’s Stitch In Time campaign, to support the restoration and redevelopment of its Costume Workshop.  The online auction will take place over Shakespeare’s Birthday for a 10-day period between Tuesday 17 and Friday 27 April. The auction will go live at 8pm on Tues April 17 and end at 8pm on Friday 27.



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

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.


Stellar Comedy line-up for 2018, Warwick Arts Centre

The season continues with Robin Ince (Fri Apr 13), critically-acclaimed stand-up Tiff Stevenson’s Bombshell (Tue Apr 24) in which she oscillates wildly between Sylvia Plath and Beyoncé, John Robins’ The Darkness of Robins (Wed Apr 25), Radio Active with Angus Deayton, Helen Atkinson Wood, Michael Fenton Stevens and Philip Pope reuniting to take classic scripts from the award-winning BBC Radio 4 show (Tue Apr 26), Jason Manford’s Muddle Class (Sat Apr 28) and Shazia Mirza’s With Love From St Tropez (May 11). Much more throughout the year.

Check out the full comedy line up here.


Macbeth, RST, Stratford, March 13 – September 18

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.


Rie Nakajima’s Cyclic, Ikon, Birmingham, Wed March 21 – June 3

Rie Nakajima, photo by Greg Pope

Japanese artist Rie Nakajima is one of the most experimental artists working in the UK fusing sculpture and sound. She lives and works in London, and is very active especially in sound art and her music project O Yama O with Keiko Yamamoto. Rie will be giving a series of special live performances as part of her new exhibition beginning on Wed March 31, 6.30pm – 7.30pm, drop in. Also Sat April 21 as part of Flatpack Film Festival, Tues May 1, Tue May 22 and Sun June 3.



BOOKING NOW: Last Resort, Helen Martin Studio, Warwick Arts CentreMon 30 Apr – Sat May 5  

Last Resort is an alternative future for Guantanamo Bay where the military base has been reclaimed as a holiday destination. Join 2Magpies Theatre as they take you through the
tropical haze on a unique multi-sensory package holiday. Last Resort is a menacing fiction, made entirely of unimaginable fact. 7pm (Tue May 1 9pm). 1hr / Age 12


The Sneaky Supper Club, an undisclosed location in Oxford, Fri April 27

supper club long dining table with glasses and cutlery and chairs

They’re hitting their stride aren’t they?! The Sneaky Supper Club at the Isis Farmhouse was a roaring success despite the Beast from the East turning up uninvited and there’s a new one popping up at an undisclosed location in Oxford. Keep an eye on the facebook page to snaffle your tickets early.


Chipping Norton Lit Fest, Thurs 26 – Sun 29 April

Loving the sound of this eclectic festival. Reggie Yates and Gorky Paul rub shoulders with Terry Waite and Lionel Shriver in various venues throughout this elegant Cotswolds town in North Oxfordshire. 


Dara O’Briain, The Voice of Reason, New Theatre, Oxford, Sat 28 – Sun 29 April 2018

He’s been a clever comic, Dara O’Briain, diversifying his appeal with Robot WarsTheApprentice – You’re Fired! and Stargazing Live. But his bread and butter is still stand-up (and now wonder with tickets £27.15 each), and he’s back in Oxford with his brand new touring show.


Heather Small, O2 Academy Oxford, Fri 27 April 

I love the fact that this gig starts at 6.30pm – just in time for the M People front woman to get home into her onesie for the 10 o’clock news (have to ‘fess up, that’s my kind of night too). She’s on a UK-wide tour to remind people of her greatest hits including Moving On UpHow Can I Love You More? and One Night In Heaven – and at a steep £68 a ticket she’d better make a good show of it!


Turn End Trust House and Garden Open Weekend, Haddenham, Sat 28 – 29 April

Discover the 1960s home of architect Peter Aldington and his passion for inside/outside living during this special Turn End Trust event. To celebrate the opening of the stunning house and gardens, local artists have displayed over 30 sculptures in the listed outdoor space which you can view and buy on the day. The studio of printmaker Heather Hunter, and acclaimed photographer Paul Wilkinson, long time Muddy fave (he took the photo of me on the homepage) will also be open for your leisure. Entrance £15, 2pm-5pm.


The Flying Lovers Of Vitebsk, Royal & Derngate, Northampton, Tues 24 – Sat 28 Apr

Kneehigh Theatre’s production of Daniel Jamieson’s play traces a young couple as they navigate the Pogroms, the Russian Revolution, and each other. With music and dance inspired by Russian Jewish tradition and a whirl of colour, get embraced in the romance.  Tickets cost £9 to £32 and can be booked by calling the box office on 01604 624811 or through the website.
Royal & Derngate Theatre, Guildhall Rd, Northampton NN1 1DP

Royal Society of Painter-Printmakers, Chapel Arts, Cheltenham, Wed 25 April to Sat 12 May

linocut print people in Tube

Gail Brodholt’s London Bridge Underground (linocut)

This looks rather special – along with Bankside in London, Cheltenham’s own Chapel Arts is showing 52 selected prints and drawings to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the birth of the founder and first president of the Royal Society of Painter-Printmakers, Francis Seymour Haden. Members of the society will be visiting the gallery to walk people round the exhibition, explaining the different techniques and processes being used. Don’t miss!


B Peaceful Day Retreat, Daylesford Organic Farm, near Kingham, Wed 25 April hand water bowl white

This pampering day has been put together by the Bamford Haybarn Spa and The Cookery School and kicks off with a 90-minute mindfulness session in the Haybarn’s beautiful loft studio. Then it’s on to The Cookery School where you’ll be served reviving juices and herbal teas and then be guided to make a nourishing, healthy lunch made with delicious organic ingredients. After lunch it’s back to the spa for a bespoke Bamford facial. The perfect mid-week skive. And just think of the Instgrammable hump-day pics!

Find more ideas here

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