What’s On This Week
MON JUNE 24 - SUN JUNE 30
WORDS: Rhiannon Pursall
MUSIC: Eddi Reader, Warwick Arts Centre, Wed Jun 26
Celebrating her 40th year as a live performer, a career which started in 1978, singing on Scottish country rock tours, the former Fairground Attraction frontwoman Eddi Reader performs her brand new studio album Cavalier, warwickartscentre.co.uk
COMEDY: Jimmy Carr, Main Stage, Royal Spa Centre, Leamington Spa, Thur 27 June
Jimmy’s brand new show contains jokes about all kinds of terrible things. Terrible things that might have affected you or people you know and love. But they’re just jokes – they’re not the terrible things. Having political correctness at a comedy show is like having health and safety at a rodeo. For ages 18+, limited availability tickets here.
NEW THEATRE: Measure for Measure, Royal Shakespeare Theatre, Fri June 28 – Aug 29
Set in early 1900s Vienna this 400-year-old play, about a young novice nun compromised by a corrupt official, who offers to save her brother from execution in return for sex, remains astutely relevant today. Don’t miss this rarely performed, darkly comic tale starring the excellent Worcester-born Lucy Phelps as Isabella, who’s also in the company’s As You Like It! rsc.org
FESTIVAL: Glasto2019 on TV, Fri June 28 – Sun June 30
Deckchair propped in front of the TV, ready? If you’ve watched the BBC’s Glastonbury’s Greatest Headliners, you’ll already be hyped for the Worthy Farm bash this weekend. Could Lady Gaga perform a secret set with Hollywood actor Bradley Cooper? That’s the question on everyone’s lips. Headline highlights include Stormzy, Ms Lauryn Hill, Liam Gallagher, Janet Jackson, The Chemical Brothers, and The Cure. Kylie holds to legends slot and unpredictable pop star Miley Cyrus could cause some drama. Christine and The Queens, Loyle Carner, Jorga Smith, Janelle Monae, Lizzo, Kamasi Washington, the Ezra Collective, Pip Blom, Cat Power and Jeff Goldblum & The Mildred Snitzer Orchestra are some of the other acts definitely worth a watch, bbc
LIVE MUSIC: Shipston Proms, Shipston-on-Stour, until Sat 29 Jun
The streets of Shipston have undergone a distinctly Cool Britannia makeover for the duration of the Proms, in celebration of headliner: The Britpop Boys. A spectacularly varied programme of musical fun is on offer during the fortnight, with a 90s-tastic street party finale on 29 Jun including a hog roast and bar. Whether you were Team Oasis or Team Blur, swagger on down and party like it’s 1999. Varying ticket costs for different events; free entry for last night of the proms street party. More info
TALK: The Industry – An evening with TV and filmmakers, Macready Theatre, Rugby, Mon June 24
This free event organised as part of Rugby School’s Festival on the Close sees a panel discussion with leading industry figures including Laura Neal, writer on the brilliant British-set Netflix series Sex Education starring Gillian Anderson. While studying at Bristol Uni Laura won the Hull Truck Prize (2007) and was selected for the Paines Plough Future Perfect scheme and the Royal Court writers programme in the same year! At the time of writing, there are only 35 tickets left! A great event particularly for anyone interested in a career in TV or film. Doors open at 5.30pm and the panel debate starts at 6pm. More details here.
FILM: Rocketman, Royal Spa Centre, Leamington Spa, Sun 23 Jun – 26 Jun
If last year’s John Lewis Christmas ad wasn’t enough Elton for you, stand by for Rocketman with Brit star Taron Egerton (above) donning the silly specs. This epic musical biopic carries you on the rollercoaster ride of Sir Elton John’s life story, and is directed by Dexter Fletcher (who also directed Bohemian Rhapsody)… Showtimes: Sun 23 Jun 2pm & 7pm; Mon 24 Jun 2pm & 7pm; Tue 25 Jun – 11am (Parent and Baby), 2.30pm & 7pm; Wed 26 Jun – 2pm & 7pm. Tickets here
RUGBY FESTIVAL OF CULTURE: Festival on the Close, Rugby, Mon June 24 – 27
This summer, Rugby School’s historic Close will once again be transformed into a buzzing hub of culture and creativity with the iconic, 2,000 seat outdoor Cemex Performance Arena on The Close playing host to comedian Jason Manford fresh from his current sell-out arena tour Muddle Class, plus special guests; Showstopper! the Olivier Award-Winning West End improvised musical, Showstopper!; My Kind of Michael written and performed by Nick Cassenbaum and a dance double bill – Gravity & Gibbon by Leamington Spa based top UK contemporary dance company Motionhouse. Mon June 24 sees the National Youth Jazz OrchestraThe festival is supported by an A-list line-up of patrons including Dame Judi Dench and author Anthony Horowitz in aid of Cancer Research UK.
CHILDREN’S THEATRE: The Gruffalo, Birmingham Hippodrome, Tue June 25 & 26
There’s plenty of fun for all of the family as the classic children’s book The Gruffalo stomps on to the main stage packed full of fantastical creatures. Join Mouse on a daring adventure through the deep, dark wood in Tall Stories’ magical, musical adaptation of the classic picture book by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler. Songs, laughs and monstrous fun for children aged 3+ and their grown-ups. Tickets from £15.
CHILDREN’S THEATRE: The Very Hungry Caterpillar Show, Royal Spa Centre, Leamington Spa, Mon 24 Jun
The colourful world of Eric Carle leaps from the pages of his timeless books and onto the stage, with a little help from a captivating menagerie of 75 puppets. Along with the infamous Very Hungry Caterpillar, other charming Carle stories will be told including Brown Bear Brown Bear, 10 Little Rubber Ducks and The Very Lonely Firefly. A wonderful way to keep the kids entertained…and, let’s face it, a nostalgic feast for your eyes too! Show time: 2pm-3pm. Tickets here
LUNCH: Women in Warwickshire Save the Children Centenary Lunch, Warwickshire Golf & Country Club, Tue 25 Jun
Be indulged and inspired over lunch, in celebration of Save the Children founder Eglantyne Jebb. Three speakers are lined up to talk about the phenomenal work done by Jebb and those in her footsteps – Marilyn Payne MBE (Fundraiser and Volunteer), Anne Watts (Paediatric Nurse and Midwife on the front line) and Tamara Lowe (Head of Humanitarian Communications at Save The Children Head Office in London). The venue is set in beautiful grounds and there is ample free parking. Tickets £40, which includes a welcome drink, 3-course meal with coffee and live music from singer Kathy Morris. Join the fun from 11.30am-3pm. Full details are available from firstname.lastname@example.org
THEATRE: Venice Preserved, Swan Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon, until Sept 7
Actor/Director/Writer Prasanna Puwanarajah, who recently appeared in Doctor Foster and Patrick Melrose, directs a dark, dystopian production of this rarely-performed Restoration cross-class love story by Thomas Otway, playing in the intimate setting of the Swan Theatre. Tickets here.
EVENT: Murder Mystery Evening, Shakespeare’s New Place, Chapel Street, Stratford-upon-Avon, Sat 29 June
A book has been written about the death of William Underhill, from whom William Shakespeare bought New Place, and a murder takes place at the launch event. A fascinating plot will be delivered by professional actors, and you can join Detective Willie Catchem to help solve the crime at this family-friendly event. Tickets £10 adults, £8 children, and £9 concessions. An informative talk about the Underhill murder and another that took place at New Place will be given at 12pm and 2pm on the same day, 6.30pm-8.30pm, shakespeare.org.uk/events
THEATRE: The Provoked Wife, Swan Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon, now until Sept 7
Comedians Rufus Hound and Les Dennis, are joining Alexandra Gilbreath (Lady Brute), Caroline Quentin (Lady Fancyfull) and Jonathan Slinger (Sir John Brute) in a riotous new production of the outspoken restoration romp that shocked 17th century society, directed by Phillip Breen (The Hypocrite, The Shoemaker’s Holiday, The Merry Wives of Windsor), rsc.org.uk
BALLET: Esmerelda and the hunchback of Notre Dame, Royal Spa Centre, Leamington Spa, Sat 29 & Sun 30 Jun
A poignant performance of this gothic classic by Leamington and Warwick Academy of Dance. Get swept away by bittersweet romanticism, all the more intensified by the unfathomable demise of the iconic Parisian landmark earlier this year. Aimed at a family audience. Show times: 1.30pm & 6.30pm. Tickets: Adults £15; under 12s £12.
FESTIVAL: SCBUFest, Jephson Gardens, Leamington Spa, Sat 29 Jun 10am-7pm
All-round family fun organised by the Special Care Baby Unit. A wealth of children’s activities including soft play, bouncy castle and mini Olympics, alongside stalls, food and live music. The Gardens are particularly glorious at this time of year, providing a beautiful backdrop for a feelgood day and an opportunity to contribute to the fundraising efforts of the Special Care Baby Unit. Free entry. More info
SUMMER FETE: Warwick Myton Hospice, Sun 30 Jun
Spend a chilled summer afternoon with the family in the gardens of the hospice, with the chance to meet treatment professionals and discover the amazing work they do. With a Pimms bar, tea and cake tent (need we go on…?), stalls, bouncy castle, live music and dance, it’ll be packed full of community spirit and you can even find out about volunteering opportunities. Head on down from 12pm-4pm. More info
Book Club LIVE! Also Festival, Park Farm, Compton Verney, Thurs July 4
Fancy having your July book club meet-up in the ground of one of the UK’s top boutique festivals, immersed in nature? BookClub.LIVE is TheAlso Festival‘s event to celebrate the positive social role the Book Club plays in people’s lives and this year will be held on the evening before the festival opens on Thursday, July 4 at Park Farm, Compton Verney. From 6pm the gates to this glorious 50-acre lakeside parkland will be thrown wide open for you and your gang to make it the location for your summer book group. This year Also Festival is working with writer and broadcaster Natalie Haynes who will be at Book Club LIVE to talk about her novel A Thousand Ships (published early May.) Natalie, the author of three novels including The Ancient Guide to Modern Life, also presents the BBC Radio 4 Show Natalie Haynes Stands Up for the Classics. She was awarded the 2015 Classical Prize and in 2018 took on Boris Johnson and won. Ten years as a stand-up comedian mean you can expect a highly entertaining performer.
Book Club LIVE is held in a beautiful canvas marquee with a bar with wines and beers, bar snacks and, tasty wines and non-alcoholic drinks. Booking has just opened this week here! Warwickshire’s Also festival runs Fri July 5 – 7.
GIN: Stratford upon Avon Topiary Gin Festival, Billesley Manor Hotel, Stratford upon Avon, Sun July 7
Set in Billesely Manor Hotel’s 100-year-old Topiary garden is a celebration of local regional artisan gins run in partnership with Stratford-based Shakespeare Distillery. You’ll be able to meet and taste gins produced at 6 local gin distilleries including Puddingstone Distillery, home of Campfire Gin (Tring, Herts), Wood Brothers (Oxon), Sovereign Spirits (Mansfield, Notts), British Polo Gin (Bishop’s Norton, Glos) and Locksley Distilling Co (Sheffield) – all supported by Fever Tree. These will be served alongside chef’s selection of locally sourced food. A fantastic live music line up throughout the afternoon includes the return of last year’s talented Andrew James – winner of the Cotswold Musician Award – plus, female singer and acoustic duo, Three’s a Crowd, and popular local acoustic trio Wired. Located in the heart of the UK’s best gin distilleries, this perfect chilled Sunday afternoon will not disappoint! £20 tickets include a souvenir branded gin glass, Gin Menu detailing all flavours & cocktails available, plus a welcome Gin & Tonic supplied by Shakespeare Distillery. Ages 18+.
Tickets here: eventbrite
FESTIVAL: Pub in the Park, St Nicholas Park, Warwick, Fri July 5 – Sun 7
Get yer glitter and denim hotpants out as festival season is upon us! Tom Kerridge’s popular gourmet scran meets live music fandango, Pub in the Park, comes to Warwick for the very first time with Tom Odell, Razorlight, Stereo MCs, Toploader and Will Young in tow, as well as cookery demos and talks from winner of The Great British Bake Off 2016 Candice Brown, Jodie Kidd, Fred Sireix the French Maître d’hôtel best known for Channel 4’s First Dates and Adam Bennet from Michelin-starred The Cross in Kenilworth and Nick Deverell-Smith, owner and head chef of The Churchill Arms, in the Cotswolds.
Dragon Slayer, Warwick Castle, Wed 7 Aug – Mon 26 Aug
You can read our review of the castle’s inaugural digital projection installation, Dragon Slayer here. It was pretty spectacular and jaw-dropping in parts! It’s returning with even more projection breathing fire into late summer evenings this August in a family-friendly show of jousting, pyrotechnics, stunt riding and stunning fireworks. The show stars live actors and an epic light projection onto the grandiose walls of the magnificent Warwick Castle. There’ll be a choice of catering vans Tickets start at £20 for the show only, or various packages are available to include food and drink. Gates open 7pm; show time 8.30pm-10pm.
ART: Paula Rego: Obedience and Defiance, MK Gallery, Milton Keynes, until Sept 22
Over at Milton Keynes’ mega new MK Gallery you can see the largest retrospective of the political artist’s work in England for 20 years with pieces focusing on gender discrimination, violence, slavery, abortion and political tyranny.