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What’s On this week in Warwickshire

It's looking like an Indian summer! Looking for something nice to do? There's a new lifestyle festival at Warwick Castle, wood-fired pizzas, art, theatre and more in our curated guide.

Drinks caravan bar ‘Maggie’ at Warwick Castle’s new lifestyle festival

FESTIVAL Picnic at the Castle, Warwick Castle, Sept 17-Oct 4

Comedians Phil Wang, Scouting for Girl’s Roy Stride, and folk and blues duo Ferris & Sylvester are among the headline entertainment line-up for Warwick Castle new socially-distanced outdoor lifestyle festival. As well as top tunes, big laughs and delicious locally-sourced picnic hampers including a medieval-style hog roast – there’s yoga. Groups of up to six can book their own Covid-compliant pergolas while couples can sit out under a personal parasol located in the beautiful Castle grounds.

Opt for a meat or vegetarian graze box during the day and a hog roast picnic during the evening (vegetarian alternatives are available). Each hamper is full of locally sourced, high-quality food, perfect for sharing. Festival Sessions includes:

  • Yoga Session (8am-10am) followed by a healthy breakfast – Namaste! 
  • Graze session (12:15-2:15pm) – sit back and enjoy two musical performances sampling a graze box and sipping on scrumptious cocktails. 
  • Gorge session (3:15- 5:15pm) – similar to the ‘Graze’ session above, get together to listen to two musicians whilst enjoying tasty treats and tipples in the grounds of Warwick Castle
  • Banquet session: 7-10pm – on Thurs and Sund evenings enjoy stand up comedy shows, with Friday and Saturdays boasting headline music acts. Munch on a delicious ‘hog roast’ and make use of the caravan bar.

Also confirmed so far are X-Factor’s Lucy Spraggan and two more comedians Flo & Joan and Sindhu Vee with further announcements to follow. Drinks caravan bar ‘Maggie’ will also be on-site providing a range of alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks, with a  variety of special occasions’ packages available.

EAT: Wood Fired Pizza, Hilltop Farm, Hunningham, nr Leamington, Fri Sept 18 & Sun Sept 20

Hilltop’s popular wood-fired pizza menu returns. Simply pre-book, pay for your pizza and collect on your chosen time slot to enjoy on the patio or to takeaway. Choices include Eeema Calazone (Spiced Indian lamb mince, roasted almonds and peppers), BBQ chicken, Squash & Broccoli and Margharita, £8-£10, plus sides and takeaway booze.

OUTDOOR EXHIBITION: WOW (Work on the Windows) The Herbert Art Gallery & Museum, Coventry, until Oct 31

Work by Claire Scully

If you happen to be walking past The Herbert look up and you’ll see and exhibition of artwork displayed on the gallery’s external windows – viewable without having to enter the building. Five artists were commissioned including Midlands graffiti artist kid30 (smallkid), who’s recent work focuses on mash- ups of favourite cartoon characters from his childhood, Tarla Patel who explores memories and place, belong and migration; Claire Scully, a multi-disciplinary Illustrator, author and educator, 15-year-old digital artist Evie Kendrick from Coventry and Thomas Cardiff , an illustrator and tattooist.

HERITAGE: Free Heritage Open Days, Coventry & Warwickshire, until Sept 20

Historic Coventry is opening up some of its buildings under restoration for Hard Hat tours including Swanswell Gate, one of only two surviving 14th century gatehouses that once punctuated Coventry’s medieval city wall. It will take place on Sept 19, 10am – 5pm. Read our round-up of what’s happening for free as part of this national festival here.

POP-UP OUTDOOR THEATRE: RSC Snapshots, Dell Gardens, Stratford-upon-Avon, Fri 18 – Sun Sept 20

Hal Chambers – assistant director of the RSC’s postponed production of The Comedy of Errors – invites audiences to revel in the royal history of Kings and Queens past. Part of a socially-distanced pop-up programme of live outdoor performances running Friday to Sunday for 45 minutes at 1pm and 3pm each day. Performances are on a first come, first served, with space for up to eight household groups (max 6 people each), plus some standing spaces.

EXHIBITION: Cranach: artist and innovator, Compton Verney, Warwickshire, until Jan 21

Photo by John-Kippin

You can see the latest critically-acclaimed exhibition celebrating the portraits of Renaissance painter Lucas Cranach the Elder, one of the most successful German artists of all time. Pre-bookable timed tickets available. The gift shop is open and refreshments available in The Garden Shed at Compton Verney horsebox (open Tue-Sun, 10am -4pm).

BOOK NOW! LIVE STREAMING RSC TALK: Talking Shakespeare with Juliet Stevenson, Mon Sept 21

Juliet in 1978’s Antony and Cleopatra at the RSC with Glenda Jackson Photo by Reg Wilson (c) RSC

Juliet Stevenson will be in conversation with RSC chief Gregory Doran talking about her work in Stratford between 5-6pm. She first joined the RSC after graduating from the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art and played her debut as Iras in Peter Brook’s Antony & Cleopatra in 1978. She went on to perform in Henry IV, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Measure for Measure, Troilus & Cressida and As You Like It. Her most recent Shakespearean role was as Gertrude in Hamlet at the Almeida, and she was nominated for an Emmy in 2019 for Outstanding Narrator in the TV series Queens of Mystery. Book here.

POP-UP CINEMA: Classic Car Drive In Weekend, Bicester Heritage, Oxon, Sept 18-20

Ten of the best loved driving movies of all times will top the bill at a newly announced Classic Car Drive In Weekend. Two giant drive in cinemas will be at the heart of the festival and, with three screenings every day at 11am, 4pm and 8pm, and 18 different screenings including The Italian JobFast & Furious,SennaRush and Oscar-winning Le Mans ’66.

COMING UP:

THEATRE: Emma Rice’s Romantics Anonymous virtual tour, Belgrade Theatre, Coventry, Wed Sept 23

The critically acclaimed musical will be performed live at Bristol Old Vic for a week and broadcast to homes across the UK and overseas, with performances tailored to different regional audiences each night. Enjoy the show broadcast live to your homes at 7.30pm on Wed Sept 23 as part of a virtual UK tour with tickets now available via the Belgrade here.

SHOP: Autumn Maker’s Market, Fargo Village, Coventry, Sat Aug 26

Support the very best independent makers and designers from the region and beyond, with something for everyone. From jewellery to prints, ceramics to brownies, ironwork to skincare, all our makers and designers champion creativity, celebrate handmade, and are fiercely independent, 11am-6pm.

MUSIC: Little Mix Confetti 2021 Tour, Birmingham Resorts World Arena, book tickets from Sept 25

The girls will be performing songs from their new upcoming album ‘Confetti’, out on Nov 6, hit smashes ‘Holiday’ and ‘Break Up Song’, plus hits including ‘Touch’, ‘ Woman Like Me’, ‘Black Magic’ and ‘Shout Out To My Ex’ at two local live concerts at Birmingham Resorts World Arena on Thurs May 20 & Fri May 21. Tickets available here from 10am on Fri Sept 25.

SHOP: Two new autumn events, Hatton Shopping Village, near Warwick, Sat 26 & Sun Sept 27; Sat Oct 3 & Sun Oct 4

A harvest Festival will take place alongside the popular outdoor markets on Sat 26 & Sun Sept 27 from 10am – 5pm. Enjoy tasting delicious fresh foods including pumpkin soup and pumpkin cake at The Alfresco Style Farm Shop, which will be stocked up with fresh, locally sourced produce. There will also be displays of local seasonal fresh fruit and veg in the Farm Shop and displays of autumnal plants in the garden centre to give visitors plenty of inspiration for their own gardens.  

A Vintage Themed weekend will then take place on Sat Oct 3 & Sun Oct 4 from 10am – 5pm. Visitors can step back into yesteryear and enjoy displays from the 1940’s & 1950’s.  

BOOKS: Best-selling author Lee Child in conversation hosted by Stratford Lit Fest – Reacher, Prospero and Me, Sept 28

Lee and Heather. Photo by Brian Aris

Timed to coincide with publication of Lee’s authorised biography, Stratford Literary Festival is hosting an exclusive one-off interview with best-selling Coventry-born author Lee Child and his biographer, Dr Heather Martin. The New York-based writer will be talking about the influence Shakespeare has had on his life and work. Reacher, Prospero and Me, will be broadcast on Sept 28 via the Eventbrite platform for audiences from all over the UK and beyond

This event, in association with Kenilworth Books, will be accessible via Eventbrite with a link at stratlitfest.co.uk, with a suggested Pay-What-You-Can ticket price from £5 upwards.  

FURTHER AFIELD:

THEATRE: Ralph Fiennes in Beat the Devil, Inua Ellam’s An Evening With an Immigrant & Alan Bennett’s Talking Heads, Bridge Theatre, London, throughout Sept – Oct

In the capital, London’s Bridge Theatre, near Tower Bridge, has a repertoire of 12 impressive one-person plays with a superb line-up in September and October, including David Hare’s Covid-19 monologue Beat the Devil, performed by Ralph Fiennes and directed by Nicholas Hytner (until Oct 31); Inua Ellams’s autobiographical An Evening With an Immigrant (Sept 18 – Oct 15); and Alan Bennett’s Talking Heads (Sept 7- Oct 31), with a top cast including Lesley Manville, Lucian Msamati and Imelda Staunton. The Bridge’s flexible auditorium has 250 socially distanced seats.

FESTIVAL: London Design Festival, various locations, Sept 12 – 20

Now in its 18th year, this cool festival features commissions and installations across the city, including The Hothouse, located in the newly coined International Quarter (Stratford). The glasshouse installation provides a controlled habitat for cultivating plants that would not ordinarily grow within the UK’s climate. 

EXHIBITION: Aubrey Beardsley, Tate Britain, until Sept 20

Here’s the last call to see this awesome retrospective exhibition of Aubrey Beardsley’s work, from his early medievalist and mythological subjects to his bold illustrations covering themes of sex, death and humour. 

EXHIBITION: Electronic: From Kraftwerk to the Chemical Brothers, The Design Museum, London, until Feb 14

From underground raves to the pioneering sounds used in Dr Who, this exhibition explores the history and culture of electronic music throughout the ages. 

EXHIBITION: Ai Weiwei: History of Bombs, Imperial War Museum, London, until May 24 2021

Part of Refugees, a free season of exhibitions, artistic commissions and immersive events taking place across IWM London and IWM North, this exhibition draws on renowned artist Ai Weiwei’s ongoing investigation into politics and power.  

EXHIBITION: Young Rembrandt, Ashmolean museum, Oxford, until 1 Nov 

The National Gallery, London

The Ashmolean has opened it’s doors once again to show it’s major exhibition Young Rembrandt, a chronological journey through the artist’s early career beginning in his native Leiden with paintings, prints and drawings and ending in Amsterdam when his career rocketed to stardom. You’ll get to see 34 paintings by Rembrandt, along with a further 90 drawings and prints including the newly discovered Let the Little Children Come to Me, which is making its public debut at the exhibition.

EXHIBITION: MK Calling, MK Gallery, Milton Keynes, 11 Sept – 1 Nov

MK Gallery reopened its doors on September 11 and will be extending its pre-lockdown exhibition MK Calling. The show features work from over 130 contemporary artists, both established and up-and-coming, with one third of the pieces produced by local talent.

EXHIBITION: Never Alone, Bletchley Park until Feb 2 2021

Image credit: Bletchley Park Trust

Did you know there are now more devices connected to the internet than there are people on the planet? This exhibition in Hut 12 investigates the stories behind the rapidly expanding ‘Internet of Things’ and invites visitors to think about the choices they make while connected to the internet.

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