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What’s On This Fortnight Mon Aug 21-Sun Sept 3

Mon Aug 21-Sun Sept 3

Young Chorus Auditions for Cinderella, The Belgrade Theatre, Coventry, Sun Sept 3

Children aged 9 to 16 are invited to try out for this year’s Christmas panto from 9.30am. Young hopefuls will be split into groups and taught a short dance routine by the show’s choreographer which they will be asked to perform in front of writer, director and Panto Dame Iain Lauchlan. If successful they will stay for a further round in the afternoon. Iain has as career spanning more than 40 years in kids TV, including a presenter on the BBC’s Playschool, Fingermouse, Playdays, Storytime and Fun Song Factory. He also wrote the BAFTA award-winning CBeebies staple, Tweenies. Three teams of 8 will be selected as Cinderella’s Junior Chorus, plus one team of understudies, and will appear in performances on the Main Stage throughout the festive season alongside a cast of professional actors.

Pre-registration is not essential although applicants are encouraged to pre-register their interest online in advance via

Down on the Close – A Festival in a Night,  Rugby School, Sat Aug 26

Singer Imelda May

There’s no need to bring a tent as you’ll see Imelda May, Wilko Johnson, Toploader and the Roving Crows perform live at the historic venue on the same night. Festival organiser, Lee Martin, founder of Lakefest in Ledbury, said: “Rugby was the ideal spot to host this magical night. The venue itself is just beautiful and I’ve hand-picked acts that will put on a great live show for a family audience.” Local food traders will be catering within the grounds & guests are also welcome to bring picnics.  VIP packages include a private Gin Bar, with access to the side of the stage and a backstage seating area.

Artspace: Optical Art, Compton Verney, weekdays only until Fri Sept 1

This drop-in summer holiday activity for the family includes fantastic activities such as make your own Kaleidoscope, design a Colourwheel mixer and create your own illusion and add to Compton Verney’s giant collaborative wall artwork and watch as it changes shape, 11am-4pm. This must-see exhibition traces how the Op art movement developed from the famous French post-impressionist Seurat via M C Escher to Bridget  Riley and her contemporaries, and demonstrates just how exhilarating, electrifying and (quite literally) eye-opening Op art can be (ends Oct 1).

Make a Scene and See your Set in Action, Shakespeare Family Homes, Aug Bank Hol Weekend

Shakespeare’s New Place: The Sunken Knot Garden © Megan Taylor & The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust

Help artists design 5 scenes for 5 different Shakespeare performances at Shakespeare’s Family homes – a South Asian inspired performance space with artists from the Sonia Sabri Company for The Tempest at Shakespeare’s Birthplace (Sat Aug 26 – 10am, 12pm, 2pm). Join Russian artist Evgenia Golubia in making a scene for Romeo and Juliet at Shakespeare’s New Place (Sun Aug 27 11am & 2pm). Unleash your inner Michelangelo and become an architect of the stage  for Shakespeare’s Aloud’s Twelfth Night performance at Hall’s Croft on (Sun Aug 27 – 12pm &4pm). Help resident artist Lisa Yardley transform the woodland stage into a Japanese wonderland at Anne Hathaway’s Cottage for A Midsummer’s Night’s Dream (Mon Aug 28 -10am & 12pm) & prepare for a Moorish-style As You Like It at Mary Arden’s Farm (Mon Aug 28 – 2pm & 4pm).

Fairytale acrobatic theatre company Nicole & Martin, Kenilworth Castle, Thurs Aug 24, Fri Aug 25 and Sat Aug 26 

This award-winning travelling circus theatre company Nicole & Martin will be pitching up their magical White Tent at Kenilworth Castle for 3 days, and telling tales by Grimm – Iron John, The Musicians of Bremen and The Girl Without Hands. Their 70-min stows combine theatre, music, song, dance, juggling, acrobatics and laughter. For the whole family, adults and teenagers too! Oh and they’ll serve you French crêpes, brownies, and Italian coffee. You’ll need to book as limited seating available.

Tel: 0370 333 1183 (Mon – Fri 8.30am – 5.30pm Sat 9am – 5pm).

Outdoor Pilates ‘Relax and Restore’ Brunch @Hilltop Farm, Hunningham, nr Leamington, Sun Sept 3

Fancy some time out to relax and unwind mind and body in the lovely Warwickshire countryside? Enjoy a fab outdoor pilates session, followed by brunch in the cafe. It includes: a 45-55 min outdoor (weather permitting) Pilates session (beginner/improver level) led by experienced Level 3 Pilates Coach, Sonia Todd from Flourish Coaching  or in the Marquee, followed by, Hilltop Cafe award winning breakfast (mini farmhouse or vegetarian) options, including a healthy smoothie and tea/coffee. 15 spaces available. The weather may be variable, so wear non restrictive layers plus bring a blanket and cushion for the relaxation. 

££: £21.50 payable in advance, (non-refundable) advance booking essential,

Family Workshops: Creative Car Factory, Coventry Transport Museum, until Sat Sept 2

Fancy becoming a real life ‘Cartist’. Create your very own model, and help the museum build a full size ‘car’ inspired by our Cartists exhibition. Every week, our workshop will focus on a different stage of car manufacture from incredible ideas, all the way through to the fabulous finishes. Build your very own model car or make one car part to take home, 10.30am – 3.30pm, £2 per activity, under 2s free.

Viking Inspired Craft Workshops, The Herbert Art Gallery & Museum, Coventry

Visitors can also explore the summer exhibition, Fearsome Craftsmen: Discover the Artistry of the Viking World including a unique family friendly Viking settlement and real examples of Viking crafts. Younger children can enjoy the special Early Years play space A Very Viking Voyage. There’s craft workshops with a different activity every day –  from sparkly fish and seascapes to pretend campfires and cloud spinning, explore the Viking world of crafts, combat, mythology and much more. Discover why the Herbert has again been nominated for the prestigious Kids in Museums Award.

Flowerpots and Forget-me-Nots Garden Talk, Shakespeare’s New Place, Stratford-upon-Avon, Wed Aug 23

Hear from expert gardeners as they reveal how they care for the borders and lawns, and share their secrets and top tips, 2-2.30pm.

Summer Holiday Workshops, Rugby Art Gallery & Museum

From artist-led pottery events to a 1950s Tea Party, there’s been lots of fun creative happenings this summer, coming up there’s drop-in children’s crafty workshops on Tue Aug 22, Wed Aug 23, Bank Holiday Monday and ending on Wed Aug 30 ranging from Super Bowls to Hedgehog Heroes, with a talk by Rugby’s very own Hedgehog Officer before making a hedgehog out of pine cones. Suggested £1 donation towards materials, 10.30am-12.30pm.

School Holiday Workshops, Art Group Studios, Leamington Spa, Tue Aug 22-Thur Aug 31

Art workshops for 4-14-year-olds ranging from Chinese Silk Painting to Clay Sculpture Cats and Dogs and Decorative Painting on Pebbles & Shells, 10am-2.30pm.  £25 includes materials and refreshments Advanced booking essential! Packed lunch required.

 Camper Calling, Ragley Hall, Alcester, Fri Aug 25-Mon Aug 28


Cast, Reef, The Lightning Seeds, Musical Youth, Lucy Spraggan, Space, The Ordinary Boys, Lakuta and Betsy are among the artists performing on a Lakeside stage at the family-friendly boutique festival Camper Calling, now in its second year at Ragley. Attractions include free water sports on the lake for campers, Woodland Walks & House Tours, a Ukulele workshop, fairground, a family circus and graffiti artist tuition.

The Big Feastival, Alex James’s Farm, The Cotswolds, Fri 25 -Sun 27 Aug

This three day festival with Jamie Oliver and Alex James is a middle-class foodie fest, awash with live music performances from Olly Murs, Madness and Haçienda Classical, plus top chefs including Rick Stein, Nathan Outlaw, DJ BBQ, Gizzie Erskine and Carluccio. It’s immensely family friendly so there’s a Neff Little Kitchen for small cooks, Justin Fletcher (surely the richest children’s entertainer in the UK by now?) has his own spot, there’s tree-climbing, crayons and crafts and a kids’ den.

Churchill Heath Farm, Kingham, Chipping Norton,

Harry Potter Films Series, Warwick Arts Centre, every Sun, ends with a Bank Holiday Double-bill, Sat Aug 27 & Aug 28

Relive the magic on the big screen and join us for special screenings of all eight Harry Potter films this summer. Featuring a film every week and culminating in a double bill on the August Bank Holiday weekend. It will be followed by Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Sun Aug 13) and Harry Potter and The Half-Blood Prince (Sun Aug 20); Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part I (Aug 27) & Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part II (Aug 28).

 Outdoor Cinema at Twycross Zoo; The Jungle Book (2016), Atherstone, Sat Sept 2
 A night at the Zoovies. 5pm-9pm with the film showing at 7pm prompt. Need to book in advance on 01827 883140.

The Dell, Stratford-upon-Avon, Saturdays and Sundays until Aug 27 

Families can enjoy a range of free theatre at The Dell, the RSC’s open air performance space throughout the summer. Over the weekends amateur, youth, semi-professional theatre groups and colleges will perform theatre inspired by Shakespeare and his contemporaries.


NT’s Jane Eyre, Birmingham Rep, Mon Sept 4-Sat Sept 16

JANE EYRE UK Tour 2017
Royal National Theatre

The National Theatre’s striking and inventive new adaptation of Charlotte Brontë’s masterpiece, Jane Eyre, directed by Sally Cookson comes to the Midlands, as part of a major 21 city tour of the UK. Buck/Oxon editor Hero caught the play at at Aylesbury Waterside, you can check out her  review here; while Muddy Sussex ed Debbie saw it at Brighton’s Theatre Royal this summer and here is her review. Both were wowed!

The Luna Cinema, Warwick Castle, Tue Sept 5-Thurs Sept 7

More classic films under the stars in one of the country’s most incredible settings. In the dramatic Court Yard at Warwick Castle you can watch La La Land (12A , 128 mins) on Tuesday, 5 September. Dirty Dancing on Wed Sept 6 and Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone on Thurs Sept 7 are already sold out. You’ll have a chocolate chip cookie welcome on arrival and can enjoy an Estrella Damm at the Luna Bar and a variety of food stalls.

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