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This Week

Mon May 15 - Sat May 20

A guide to the cool, brilliant and totally unmissable in Warwickshire & beyond this week with a particular focus on Museums At Night.

Ladies Seasonal Style Event, Birmingham Botanical Gardens, Wed May 17

Beth Goodman in a dress from The Fold London

Seeking fashion inspiration for the summer? Birmingham-based lawyer turned personal stylist and fashion blogger Beth Goodrham who runs Style Guile will share her summer 17 fashion essentials and show you how to style yourself for any occasion using clothes provided by John Lewis and hair styled by & Beauty at John Lewis. Fashion, beauty and accessory brands on show include: Marc Jacobs, & Beauty, Air Aesthetics Clinic, Arbonne, Captain Tortue, Jo Malone, Livto Jewellery and Sharper Millinery. Starts at 12 noon, £45 per person including 2-course lunch and welcome drink on arrival.

Miss Meena and the Masala Queens, Warwick Arts Centre, Tues May 16-Fri May 19

A new piece inspired by the taboo subject of the British Asian drag queen community Be prepared to be dazzled by glittering saris and grand Bollywood lip-syncing dance numbers as Rifco tell the tale of once famous and fabulous drag queens. Behind the sparkling costumes and dancing Miss Meena & the Masala Queens will reveal a very human story about the meaning of family. On Thurs May 18 DJ Kal of Saathi Nights will be DJ’ing tunes inspired by the show before and after the performance. The show is  presented by Rifco and Watford Palace Theatre in association with Warwick Arts Centre. Age 14+ , Box Office: 024 7652 4524

Gin Festival, Coventry Cathedral, Fri May 19 & Sat May 20

The UK’s biggest and oldest Gin Festival is making its first trip to Coventry and couldn’t have found a more impressive venue  – Coventry Cathedral. They’ll be bringing more than 100 gins. There’ll also be gin masterclasses and the opportunity to meet gin distillers in person, a gin cocktail bar, live music and food.

Vice Versa, Swan Theatre, Stratford, Thur May 11-Sept 9

‘Vice Versa’ rehearsal

A riotous new farce lovingly ripped off from the Roman comedies of Plutus by playwright Phil Porter (2014’s WWW1 drama The Christmas Truce & 2013’s very funny A Mad World My Masters).  A clever servant and a pair of wronged young lovers team up to bamboozle a pompous general. Felix Hayes returns to play General Braggadocio, playing his servant, Dexter, is Sophia Nomvete, whose  credits include The Color Purple (Menier Chocolate Factory) and As You Like It (Shakespeare’s Globe). They are joined by former ‘Allo ‘Allo star Kim Hartman who makes her RSC debut playing ‘a lady of the night’ called Climax. Read her My Favourite Places here.

Night at Your Museum: Lift Off for space exploration ! Rugby Art Gallery, Fri May 19

Museums at Night explodes into life across the UK from Wed May 17 -Sat May 20.  Boldly go where no man or woman has gone before at Rugby Art Gallery’s family-friendly space exploration adventure. They’ll be special guest talks from the National Space Centre and George the astronaut, a Space Dome to explore the sky, Rugby Astronomy Society, UV painting, space performers, make space-themed arts & crafts in the Art Landing  and lots more! £2, under 2’s free,  5.45 – 9.30pm .

Book online or in person at the Visitor Centre

Museums At Night: Screening of The Wicker Man, Compton Verney, Fri May 19

This cult horror film will be shown in Capability Brown’s avenue of Wellingtonia trees at Compton Verney Art Gallery and Park in Warwickshire at 8.30pm. “It’s the perfect night out for horror fans,” says Compton Verney’s Director Professor Steven Parissien. “The film will be shown from 9pm, when the moon is out and the dark night is upon us. You’ll be surrounded by the landscape, with the wind rustling through the trees and the shriek of foxes adding to the atmosphere.”  Pre-movie snacks and drinks will be available to buy prior to the screening, but guests are reminded to bring their own seats and blankets to keep warm, should there be an extra chill in the night air. Tickets cost £14 for Gold/Silver members and £16 for non-members. Tel 01926 645 500. Age 15+ For more Museums at Night events across Warwickshire & the West Midlands go here.  

Herbert Lates: Playing Up! The  Herbert Art Gallery & Museum, Coventry , Sat May 20

 Make clothes out of food, dance with animals, make a ketchup fight, remote control your parents, search for miracles, walk through Coventry with a map of Paris, and build what-happens-next-machines! PLAYING UP is a live art game for kids and adults designed by Sibylle Peters launched at Tate Modern in 2016. All galleries will be open to enjoy, with some exciting characters to meet, plus family friendly screenings of short films. Be sure to check out the gallery’s Face to Face: Portraits Through Time exhibition (runs until June 4) supported by The National Portrait Gallery as it includes snapshots of ordinary people alongside Henry VIII, Marilyn Monroe, David Bowie and Princess Diana. For ages 6+, 6.30pm-10pm.

 The Who’s Tommy, Birmingham Rep, Wed May 17- Sat May 27

The Who’s epic, award-winning musical features two new songs written exclusively for the occasion by Pete Townshend. Tommy is part of Ramps On The Moon, a ground-breaking project which signals a change in the UK’s disability arts provision, and Peter Straker will be joined on stage by an inclusive cast of Deaf and disabled and non-disabled actors including William Grint in the title role. Tommy follows Birmingham Repertory Theatre’s 2016 production of The Government Inspector, presented in association with Ramps on the Moon, which was recently nominated for an Olivier Award for Outstanding Achievement in an Affiliate Theatre.

Book online,  Box Office: 0121 236 4455.

British Motoring Treasures: the British Motor Car in Fifty Objects, the British Motor Museum, Gaydon, Warwickshire, Fri May 19-March 2018

Mini car 50th anniversary. Stephen Laing, Curator of the Heritage Motor Centre, Gaydon, with a cutaway mini. Picture by Dave Warren

This new exhibition will tell the story of Britain’s motor industry using 50 key objects. Each object will have its own story, whether it’s of a ground-breaking invention or a piece of social history celebrating the rich history of an industry that has dominated the West Midlands for more than a century. Objects range from an original 1944 sketch by designer Alec Issigonis of the ‘Mosquito’, a car that would be the prototype for the Morris Minor to a 1899 Wolseley Voiturette, the first 4-wheel car that Herbert Austin designed, and recipe cards for meals served in the 25 staff canteens at Longbridge, Birmingham. The Trust archive is home to a large collection of items relating to the life and work of Issigonis who designed many famous cars including the ‘Mini’, but this is the first time an original sketch has been on show. Some his drawing tools and a slide rule will also be featured in the exhibition. , Tel: 01926 641188 

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