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This Week

Mon Oct 2-Sun Oct 8

There’s a real buzz in the air this week…Electrifying physical dance, Leamington Comedy Festival, the start of Warwick Art Centre’s new season, more terrific new theatre, great gigs to see – and an actual symphony with 50,000 bees at Coventry Cathedral! I kid you not…

Motionhouse: Charge, Warwick Arts Centre, Coventry, Wed Oct 4

The UK premiere of the renowned Leamington-based physical dance company’s new multi-media show about energy. Six performers use dance and acrobatics to delve deep into the human body, tracing the story of energy in our lives.  Motionhouse has worked with University of Oxford on the role of electricity in the human body to inspire the show. Charge is the third element of Kevin Finnan’s ‘Earth Trilogy’, developing on themes explored in Scattered (2009) and Broken (2013) about our relationship with water and the Earth.

Running time: 75-75min, (no interval), suitable for ages 7+ Post Show Talk: Thu Oct 5, Charge will tour extensively in the UK from October 2017,

Kaleidoscope: Colour & Sequence in 1960s British Art, Mead Gallery, Warwick Arts Centre, Thur Oct 5-Dec 9

An Arts Council Collection Touring exhibition featuring more than 20 artists and looking across media and movements from British Op Arts, Pop, Constructivism and New Generation Sculpture. It includes work by David Annesley, Anthony Carol, Robyn Denny, Tess Jaray, Philip King, Kim Lim, Mary Martin, Eduardo Polozzi, Bridget Riley, Tim Scott, Richard Smith, William Tucker and William Turnbull.

A Haunting, B2 Studio, The Belgrade Theatre, Coventry, Weds Oct 4 & Thurs 5 Oct

Direct from its success at the King’s Head Theatre and London’s biggest arts festival, VAULT 2017, Nathan Lucky Wood ‘s sharply written, darkly funny play about a sexually confused teenager, the internet and cyber-bullying is directed by Coventry’s own Jennifer Davis. It’s set on Halloween, but Mark’s not going out. While his mum buries herself in work, he’s staying in, playing Xbox, and talking to a stranger called Ghost. He doesn’t know his real name. It’s anonymous, and Mark likes it that way. He feels like they can be honest with each other. But it turns out that Ghost knows more than he should. And he really, really wants to meet… A Haunting is staged as part of the Belgrade’s B2 10th anniversary season., Tel: 024 7655 3055 

Loyle Carner, O2 Institute, Birmingham, Tue Oct 3

Following the release of his critically-acclaimed debut album, Yesterday’s Gone and a sold-out UK/EU tour, Loyle Carner is set to play a headline show at O2 Institute Birmingham. His was my favourite set at Glastonbury earlier this summer, especially when he carried his mum on stage. Yesterday’s Gone was shortlisted for the 2017 Mercury prize with its “idiosyncratic, melancholy and very British take on hip-hop” but was pipped to the post by Sampha’s Process.

Coriolanus, RST, Stratford, until Sat Oct 14

An absorbing 2hrs and 40 minutes. Gripping edge-of-your-seat theatre and psychological drama that allows you to draw your own political conclusions. Angus Jackson’s modern dress adaptation of Shakespeare’s tragedy stars Sope Dirisu as flawed Roman hero Coriolanus and Hadyn Gwynne, playing his mother Volumnia.  The first time a forklift truck has ever made its RSC debut too – admire that skill! Review here

Coriolanus is live in cinemas on Wed Oct 11, and transfers to the Barbican for a limited London Season from Nov 6-18,, Box office: 01789 403493

Jane Austen Celebrations: 200 years, Compton Verney, throughout Oct, starting with The Genius of Jane Austen, Wed Oct 4

Based on her new book of the same name, Austen expert Dr Paula Byrne will discuss Austen’s deft use of comedy, her innovative approach to writing and how she created such vivid characters and places, 2.30pm.  

Oktoberfest, The Rose and Crown, Warwick, Fri Oct 6

Rose & Crown Warwick

Pull on some Lederhosen, plait your hair and raise your glass to say Prost! ready for a fantastic evening of authentic German including lagers, real ales and craft beers, many from Warwick’s own Church Farm Brewery on the Reynolds’ family farm, German inspired street food and a Bavarian style beer tent. There will also be cracking ciders, classic German wines, gin and of course, warming Glühwein. Expect Bratwurst and beer braised onions; brioche roll with Sauerkraut potato fritter and paprika mayonnaise plus salt beef and Sauerkraut Bierocks with mustard mayonnaise. Live music will be provided by Leamington’s GrassRoots, playing a indie rock ska combo., 7pm until late. Tickets £12 to include food token, your very own Oktoberfest glass and first drink.

Leamington Spa Comedy  Festival 2017, Royal Spa Centre, Sun Oct 8-Sat Oct 14

Already Henning Wehn: Westphalia Is Not an Option is selling fast on the main stage on Sun Oct 8, alternatively  on the same date see a line-up of brilliant women, including Sarah Millican In Conversation with Standard Issue Magazine in the Studio. Other highlights: Rob Rouse (Tue Oct 10); The Horne Section (Wed Oct 11), Comedy Club 4 Kids for ages 6+ ( Sat Oct 14). Expect more comedy fun with new festivcal venue partners – the Apehangers Club in Procaffeinate. Festival compering fave Cerys Nelmes returns joined by rising comedy star Darren Harriott and Tony Cowards on Oct 12. Further acts throughout the festival will include Jimeoin, Patrick Monahan and Ed Byrne concluding with a big finale on Sat Oct 14 headlined by actor/comedian Alan Davies.;

Simon Amstell, Butterworth Hall, Warwick Arts Centre, Sat Oct 7 

I have a feeling this is going to sell out pretty quickly. Following a series of critically acclaimed, sold out international tours, sharp-witted Simon Amstell (CarnageGrandma’s HouseNever Mind the Buzzcocks begins his fifth stand up tour in the UK. ‘What Is This?’ promises to be a deeply personal, funny exploration of beauty, intimacy, freedom, sex and love.

Warwick Words History Festival, Mon Oct 2-Sun Oct 8

Very cool 36-year-old Surrey based historian Dan Jones asks Who were the Knights Templar? in a talk about his fifth book, out this month, The Templars: The Rise and Spectacular Fall of God’s Holy Warriors. Already a best-seller it’s a rollicking history that brings them out of the shadow cast by The Da Vinci Code, according to Guardian reviewer Alexander Larman.  His previous books include, The Plantagenets: The Kings Who Made England, a  New York Times bestseller, and The Wars of the Roses (aka Hollow Crown). Dan will be at the Bridge House Theatre, Warwick on Sun Oct 8, 7.30pm.

Freeman, The Belgrade Theatre, Coventry, Thurs Oct 6

Green Leaves Fall, the 2015 debut play of Strictly Arts Theatre Company, a new physical theatre company led by Artistic Director and founder Corey Campbell.

A collaboration between award-winning writer, Camilla Whitehill and Strictly Arts Theatre, Freeman is inspired by the true story of William Freeman, a black slave put on trial in 19th Century New York and the first case to raise ‘insanity’ as a defence. Strictly Arts’ mix high-energy physical theatre, a cappella singing, humour and powerful drama to create an affecting experience for audiences. Thurs Oct 6 sees a special double bill with a performance of Freeman at 4pm, leading on to an evening performance of Green Leaves Fall, the company’s debut play set in 1981 explores inequality, unemployment and radicalisation. In the aftermath of the Brixton Riots 14-year-old Kieran Brown finds himself in unfamiliar surroundings as he is adopted by an upper class family in Oxford.

Henley Street Fun Palace, Henley Street, Stratford, Sat Oct 7 

Shakespeare’s Birthplace Trust has helped to create one of 200 ‘fun palaces’ across the UK inspired by the late theatre director Joan Littlewood

Stratford’s most famous street is going to be transformed into a family-friendly Fun Palace with a street party celebrating arts, culture and science this weekend. A Jelly Baby Castle Siege made by Warwick University’s School of Life Sciences, Mad Science’s Fire and Ice Show, Kate’s Storytree workshop and the RSC’s Mystery box challenge are some of the fab hands-on activities available. You can also have-a-go at traditional Tudor dancing with the Renaissance Dancers at 11am and 12pm. Fun Palaces is the brainchild of theatre director Joan Littlewood. Decades on, director and author Stella Duffy has brought Joan’s vision to life with the help of Arts Council England to bring over 200 Fun Palaces created across the UK.

Entry and activities are free,, 10am – 4pm. 

A Symphony of Bee and Man, Coventry Cathedral, Sat Oct 7

Wolfgang Buttress’s multi-award winning sculpture The Hive sited at Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew Photo: Mark Hadden

Yes you did read that correctly. There’s a bit of a buzz about this event…Touted as one of the best music gigs of 2016 – BE, a couple of members of Spiritualized teamed up with a Nottingham-based artist called Wolfgang Buttress, his teenage daughter and 40,000 bees to make a drone album, ONE.  They created a multi-sensory symphony for Wolfgang Buttress’s multi-award winning sculpture The Hive at Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. BE have since performed live at Glastonbury,  End of the Road festivals and inside the Hive at Kew. Now the artist has curated this site specific performance celebrating World Mental Health Day.  BE, will perform alongside the live-streamed sound of 50,000 bees from a hive within the Cathedral grounds and a choir developed specifically for the evening, including members of Collective//Pod, a creative hub for artists who have experience of living with mental ill health. Perfumers Haeckels have also created a bespoke site- specific scent for the evening, derived from local botanicals and the essential oils from a newly installed bee hive in the Cathedral.

Doors open at 6pm, performance at 7.30pm, tickets are available online at or in the Cathedral Gift Shop – £35 & £25.

Godiva Rocks, Main Stage, Belgrade Theatre, Sat Oct 7 – Sat 21 Oct. 

The cast includes X Factor semi-Finalist Niki Evans from Warwickshire. Georgi Ashford and Ross Gurney Randall

Hamish Glen directs the first musical written about a UK city’s musical heritage, spanning many generations. It features 20 songs from Coventry artists such as Frank Ifield, Vince Hill, Hazel O’Connor, The Specials, Terry Hall, King, The Primitives and The Enemy. With the result of Coventry’s bid to be UK City of Culture in 2021 soon to be announced, Godiva Rocks revels in the city’s rich heritage and talent.

belgrade, Tel: 024 7655 3055 

Dido, Queen of Carthage, until Sat Oct 28

Christopher Marlowe’s underrated first play about one of history’s great female leaders. Kimberley Sykes makes an impressively inventive and quirky RSC directorial debut and Ti Green’s stunning stage design featuring a sand covered stage and cascading waterfall. Chipo Chung gives a strong performance as Dido. A great cast also includes Nicholas Day as Jupiter, the very funny Ellie Beaven as Venus (A Mad World My Masters), Sandy Grierson, who plays Dido’s love interest, Aeneas, and Amber James as Dido’s loyal sister, Anna. You may need to do some research on the Greek gods and Virgil’s Aeneid, first to make sense of it all. Read the Muddy verdict here .

The Beat & The Selecter, Leamington Assembly, Sat Oct 7

The Selecter’s new album Daylight is out now.

I’ve interviewed ska queen Pauline Black a few times and she’s a pretty amazing woman – actor, singer, author and now BBC 6 Music DJ. Her Coventry-formed band, The Selecter, also led by Arthur ‘Gaps’ Hendrickson, has teamed up with another Two-Tone band, The Beat. Both bands playing a full set every night, and very politely taking it in turns to play first. The Beat line-up includes Ranking Roger and Ranking Junior on vocals. You’ll recognise the hits including Mirror in the Bathroom Can’t Get Used To Losing You. The Selecter first hit the airwaves with On My Radio and their debut album Too Much Pressure gave a voice to disaffected youth across the racial divide in the Thatcher years.



The Althorp Literary Festival, Thu Oct 5-Sun Oct 8 

Muddy Northansts has already got her ticket to the Althorp Literary Festival, and can’t wait to hear the inspirational Jo Malone talk us through her autobiography – from her humble beginnings to Queen of scent. This year the festival welcomes some truly fantastic authors and speakers, including; Pam Ayres, Clare Balding, Johnny Ball, Sir Jonathan Bate, Paula Byrne, Jamie Blackett, Jess Butterworth, John Challis, the Rev. Richard Coles, Evan Davis, Ken Hom, Jeremy Howick, Stanley Johnson, Dan Jones, Lord Digby Jones, Kathy Lette, Ben Macintyre, Judy Murray, Jo Malone, Joanna Moorhead, Juliet Nicolson, David Owen, Allison Pataki, Michael Pennington, James Runcie, Chris Ryan, Charles Spencer, Simon Thurley, Mich Turner, Kate Williams, Sian Williams and A.N.Wilson, amongst others.

Find out more about buying tickets for the festival (including grounds tickets for only £10) just here.

Sculpt at Kew, Kew Gardens, London, until Sun 15 Oct

If you’re heading to London, this is hands-down the best time of year to visit Kew Gardens, as you’re treated to nature’s own technicolour art display in the form of the turning of the leaves. This autumn you can also explore a sculpture exhibition set within the gardens – catch Piers Mason’s and Hamish Mackie’s life-size animals lurking in the bushes, among 70 works by other British and international artists. Access to show is included in the general admission ticket.

Find more ideas here

This Week

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