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What’s On This Week?

Mon Sept 11-Sun Sept 17

Early Years Forest School, Compton Verney,  every Thurs in term-time 

Adventurous pre-schoolers can enjoy a terrific two hours of play and discovery in the beautiful woods. All sessions are run by a qualified Forest School Leader and allow children to develop new skills and creative thinking through outdoor activities. Included in collections and park admission.

NEW monthly Monday Stand-up comedy nights, B2, Belgrade Theatre, Coventry, starts Mon Sept 11

Desi Central host: Mickey Sharma

An eclectic line up and some the best acts on the British Asian comedy scene, kicking off this Sept, with Desi Central’s hit show The Indians Are Coming as part of a 5-city UK tour and hosted by the award-winning Birmingham based comedian Mickey Sharma. He is joined on stage by a stellar line-up including Inder Manocha, Hyde Panaser and Sukh Kaur Ojla.

Talk: The Optical Conscious, Compton Verney, Thurs Sept 14


Dr Frances Follin, the co-curator of Seurat to Riley: The Art of Perception provides an insight into one of the most popular and influential British artists of the 20th century – Bridget Riley. As a renowned art historian and author of Embodied Visions: Bridget Riley, Op art and the Sixties, Frances will fascinate art lovers as she discusses the life and works of a true artistic icon. No advance booking necessary. Included in DAY TICKET admission.

Coriolanus, RST, Stratford, previewing from Fri Sept 15-Oct 14

Photo: RSC

Playing the title role in Coriolanus, the final production of the RSC’s Rome series directed by Angus Jackson is Sope Dirisu,  most recently Cassius Clay/ Muhammad Ali  in One Night in Miami (Donmar Warehouse) and ITV’s The Halcyon. He is joined by Haydn Gwynne who returns to the RSC after 11 years to play his mother, Volumnia. Haydn can currently be seen as Camilla in series 2 of Channel 4’s The Windsors.

The Robotics Saturday Club, British Motor Museum, Gaydon, until Oct 21

Children can improve their knowledge of robotics and coding by building and programming working models. The topics will be tailored to each age group and the Club will run from 10.30am – 11.30am for 5 – 8 year olds and 11.45am to 12.45am for 9 – 11 year olds. It’s one of three themed Saturday Clubs and under 5’s Mini Motorists mornings this autumn. The Saturday Clubs run as six week blocks of one hour sessions covering robotics and engineering. The Engineering Saturday Club runs from Nov 4-Dec 9., 01926 641188.

Natasha Kumar, Essence of Kumar, The Stratford Gallery, Stratford-upon-Avon, until Oct 4 

Pop-in for a glass of wine and the opportunity to meet artist Natasha and discuss the inspiration behind her remarkable work from 1pm. Art and India are in Natasha’s genes. On her mother’s English side she comes from a line of established artists: her father’s Indian heritage she traces back to Kashmir and Afghanistan via stories of partition and lost family gold. She has made her own name as an artist from the age of 17, when, earning a place by right in the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition she found her etchings hanging on the same wall as paintings by her grandfather and uncle. Natasha achieved a first class degree in printmaking at Manchester, studied printmaking and anatomy in the Venice Accademia and completed her MA in printmaking in Camberwell in London in 2000, winning the London Printmaking Prize the same year.

Essence of Kumar runs at this stylish town centre gallery at 32 Sheep Street, Stratford, until Oct 4,

Tai Chi, Compton Verney,  Sat Sept 16 

Two outdoor classes with Swan Tai Chi in the grounds of this beautiful parkland.  Following the Chen style, you will learn the Laojia (Old Frame) form, which has been passed down through the lineage of Grand Master Chen Xiao-Wang. Swan Tai Chi’s classes mix ancient, some dating back over 1000 years, and more modern exercises – all of which help to target different areas of the body for health and healing. Booking is available in advance and on the day.

Members & Annual Pass Holders: £7. Non-Members: £14 (includes a Collections & Park day ticket). Call 01926 645 500 to book.

Saving Shakespeare’s Birthplace Theatrical street perfromance, Stratford, Sat Sept 16

Don’t miss a special theatrical re-enactment of the 1847 auction which saved Shakespeare’s Birthplace  outside the property on Sat Sept 16 at 12pm and 2pm. Rescued for a princely sum of £3000, the purchase of the tumbledown terraced house prompted the foundation of the UK’s oldest conservation charity. At the same discover the fascinating story behind the saving of Shakespeare’s Birthplace in a NEW exhibition: Saving Shakespeare’s Birthplace No booking required for the street perfromance. Free,

Dido, Queen of Carthage, Swan Theatre, Stratford, Previewing from Fri Sept 15-Oct 28

Photo: RSC

Dido, Queen of Carthage is Christopher Marlowe’s dark untold story of one of history’s greatest female leaders. Directed by Kimberley Sykes it stars Chipo Chung as Dido, most recently Portia/Octaviusin Robert Hastie’s production of Julius Caesar at  the Sheffield Crucible. Her TV credits include Thirteen (BBC), From Darkness (BBC) and Fortitude (Sky Atlantic).

Beyond The Tracks Festival, Eastside Park, Digbeth, Birmingham, Fri Sept 15-Sun Sept 17

Ocean Colour Scene, Editors, Faithless (DJ set), Orbital, Jesus and Mary Chain, Carl Barat, The Coral and Leftfield have been announced to headline a super duper new three-day festival, taking place in Birmingham city centre.

Mischief Festival: Kingdom Come, The Other Place, Stratford, Thurs Sept 7 – Sat Sept 30

Tom Lyall in rehearsal for Kingdom Come Photo: Ikin Yum, RSC

Gemma Brockis and Wendy Hubbard’s new devised piece, Kingdom Come is part of Mischief Festivals at The Other Place. Set in 1640,  on the brink of the English Civil War. Parliament is rebellious. There are mobs on London’s streets, women preach, poor men lead, and radical ideas illuminate the carnage. But the puritan state starts to tighten its grip, and making theatre could soon be a capital offence. It’s accompanied by a series of talks and events.

What Do I Need to Do to Make it OK? Rugby Art Gallery & Museum, Sat Sept 16-Nov 4

Detail of “First One’s the Best”by Celia Pym. Photo by Douglas Atfield.

This touring exhibition curated by Liz Cooper features five international artists investigating damage and repair including work by Celia Pym, finalist in Radio 4 Woman’s Hour Craft Prize 2017.

Drawn from Life: People on Paper,  Leamington Spa Art Gallery and Museum, until Sun Sept 17

Sonia Boyce

This Arts Council Collection touring exhibition brings together work by some of the biggest names in 20th and 21st century British art, including David Hockney, Henry Moore, Barbara Hepworth and LS Lowry. Early 20th century works include pieces by Gwen John and the exhibition is brought up to date with the imaginary figures of Charles Avery and Mimei Thompson. The exhibition also includes early works such as Mrs Ash Asleep by Howard Hodgkin from 1952 and Peter Blake’s Portrait of a Man from 1950.

Faithful Ruslan – The Story of a Guard Dog, B2, Belgrade Theatre, Coventry, Sat Sept 2- Sat Sept 16

A master director of European drama Helena Kaut-Howson directs an ensemble of 13 actors in her her third production at The Belgrade, based on the cult novel by Georgi Vladimov and marking the 100th anniversary of the Russian Revolution. Telling its story through the eyes of an innocent dog this new stage adaptation is like a modern Animal Farm – an engrossing allegory for the disorientation of post-revolution Russia. Complicite co-founder Marcello Magni is Movement Director. It stars Isabelle Joss, who was in Icelandic thriller, Pale Star.

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

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!

Suburban English Magick, Art installation & Live painting, CCCA Shed, Fargo Village, Far Gosford Street, Coventry, until Sat Sept 16 (live painting w/e only)

London-based artist Marie-Louise Plum, who runs Mental Spaghetti promoting marginalised artists, is live painting to stories in Suburban English Magick commissioned in the run-up to the Scratch the Surface Festival 2017, which provokes conversation about mental health. Marie-Louise is painting the entire interior of the shed, improvising contemporary folkloric vignettes inspired by a spoken word and cut-up sound composition. Live painting and audio installation will only take place between 10am-6pm, Fridays and Saturdays, and, 10am – 4pm, Sundays. Art installation open Mon-Fri 10am-6pm.

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