Fleabag, Warwick Arts Centre, Tues May 8 – Sat May 12
A must-see for fans of the BAFTA award-winning BBC 3 TV series. This stage production of Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s gloriously inappropriate cult hit starring Maddie Rice – it will make you gasp! Read my review here. Recommended for ages 16+.
B-SIDE Hip-Hop Festival, Birmingham Hippodrome, Wed May 9 – Sun May 13
Venues: Birmingham Hippodrome – Patrick Studio, Studio 5, Hippodrome Square, Main Stage, Gowling Suite, PwC Suite, Atrium and Main Foyer, birminghamhippodrome.com/bside
Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Warwick Arts Centre, Friday May 11
One of the world’s most distinctive male a capella group will be in town. The South African singers who shot to global stardom after featuring on Paul Simon’s 1986 album Graceland, recently performed at The Queen’s 92nd Birthday party alongside guests Sir Tom Jones, Kylie Minogue and Craig David.
Draycote Water Sailing Club Open Day, nr Rugby, Sat May 12
Try sailing and windsurfing for free between 11am and 4pm on this scenic Warwickshire reservoir. All kit and equipment is provided. It’s a fun day out – especially if the sun is shining and you may fancy joining the club. There’s a cafe and children’s play area close-by. No need to book. Just bring a pair of old trainers and a towel!
draycotewater, email@example.com, 01788 814418/811153
Catrin Finch & Seckou Keita, Birmingham Town Hall, Sun May 13
An outstanding Welsh harpist and Senegalese kora player combo. Their critically-acclaimed debut Clychau Dibon, appeared in a whole batch of 2013’s “best of” lists and their long-awaited second album Soar was released last month. In a four-star review The Guardian‘s Neil Spencer wrote: “Hypnotic and ethereal, Soar is a unique marriage of cultures”.
Romeo & Juliet, RST, Stratford, April 21 – Sept 21/ Live in Cinemas: Jul 18
The String Quartet’s Guide to Sex and Anxiety, Birmingham REP, Sat May 12 – Sat May 19
Arguably the most sought-after European opera and theatre directors, Calixto Bieito brings this radical new 90-minute production to Birmingham for its world premiere, before an international tour to Brighton Festival, Luxembourg, Bilbao and Holland. It stars BAFTA and Golden Globe-nominated actress Cathy Tyson, Mairead McKinley, Miltos Yerolemou and Nick Harris, alongside the award-winning The Heath Quartet. It explores the effects of living in a very fast-moving digital world on our mental wellbeing. Text from Robert Burton’s The Anatomy of Melancholy is combined with music including Beethoven’s String Quartet No.15 in A Minor. Recommended for ages 16+
Tickets from £15 (previews from £10) Tel: 0121 236 4455 / birmingham-rep.co.uk
The Waterboys, Butterworth Hall, Warwick Arts Centre, Coventry, Sun May 13
I heard The Whole of the Moon on the radio the other day and it still sounded fresh – can’t believe it was released in 1985! Mike Scott’s The Waterboys return with a 7-piece band, for the 2nd leg of their current UK tour following the release of their new critically-acclaimed double-album Out Of All This Blue.
Althorp Food Festival, Northants, Saturday May 12 & Sun May 13
Well, la-de-dah! Could there be a more idyllic setting for Northamptonshire’s favourite annual food festival than Althorp House? A secluded foodie paradise under (hopefully) sunny skies, there’ll be a fair few of us flocking to the grounds of the Spencer family’s historic stately home for a gastronomic delight. Jot the dates down in your diary now before it slips your mind cos we guarantee (and we’ve been a few times), you won’t wanna miss this. Get your tickets here!
An invitation to the wedding of the year (no, not that one…) – The Wedding Reception, Birmingham Repertory Theatre, Fri May 11
Packing 5-star reviews from London’s West End and Edinburgh Fringe, this immersive comedy is guaranteed to be nothing like the impending royal nuptials. The evening includes a sit-down meal and maybe even some dancing. The Wedding Reception sees Kate and Will expecting a small party to celebrate their wedding – but Kate’s mum has other plans. With uninvited guests, misbehaving family and secrets better left in the closet. Written and produced by Interactive Theatre International, the people behind Faulty Towers The Dining Experience – a show which celebrated its 20th anniversary last year, 7pm.
Tickets cost £50 & include a three-course meal. Box Office: 0121 236 4455, birmingham-rep
The Duchess of Malfi, The Swan, Stratford-upon-Avon, now until Aug 3
Tel: 01789 403493, rsc
John Piper, Mead Gallery, Warwick Arts Centre, Tues May 1 – June 21
The Fantastic Follies of Mrs Rich, Swan Theatre, Stratford, until June 14
Foxfinder by Dawn King, Loft Theatre, Leamington Spa, Wed May 2 – Sat May 12
The Loft Theatre, Victoria Colonnade, Leamington Spa, firstname.lastname@example.org, or by calling 01926 800360 (answerphone service).
Macbeth, RST, Stratford, March 13 – September 18
Satirist Mitch Benn Warwick Arts Centre, Sat May 12
The final date of the songwriting comic’s I’m Still Here tour, 8pm,
Warwick Arts Centre, University of Warwick, Coventry CV4 7AL, Box Office: 024 7652 4524, warwickartscentre
An Exhibition by Eve Parnell, Hall’s Croft, Stratford-upon-Avon, May 4 – Nov 4
Old Town, Stratford upon Avon, CV37 6BG, shakespeare
It’s almost four years since modern British soul-pop collective Jungle’s self-titled debut. The seven-piece will be unveiling new material on their extensive tour featuring top support from Rae Morris and Tom Tripp. academymusicgroup
Unlocked! Behind the Scenes at Leamington Spa Art Gallery and Museum, April 27 – July 15
Shining a spotlight on rarely displayed items and others that are undergoing conservation work. Discover the gallery’s most dangerous object, and view the oldest alongside the newest, the smallest and the heaviest items. Find out more about what goes on behind the scenes, how they plan for disasters and tackle the pests that like to eat artefacts. Learn the fascinating stories behind the objects on display and see the hidden sketch on the reverse of L.S. Lowry’s The Mission Room.
BOOK NOW: Rita Ora, O2 Academy, Birmingham, Wed May 16
Rita Ora is back. Be one of the first to see her new material ahead of her long awaited (six-years) second album.
Giffords Circus, Fennells Farm, Stroud, until Mon May 14
The annual outing of England’s most glamorous and wonderfully quirky circus has come round again, kicking off at its Stroud home – where a spanking new big top has already gone up with Giffords in lights and sumptuous red velvet and chandelier interiors. The theme this year is My Beautiful Circus to celebrate 250 years since the very first circus near Westminster Bridge in London started the magic in 1768. After Stroud, the troupe head to Sudeley Castle from Thu 17 to Mon 21 May and Daylesford Organic Farm near Kingham from Thu 24 May to Mon 4 June. See full list of dates here.
Fashioned By Naturem V&A London, now – 27 Jan 2019
Soushi Pop-Up Restaurant, The Garden Café, Miserden, Fri May 11
Good looks and great tastes collide at the Soushi Miserden pop-ups. Expect another night of super fresh seafood inspired by classical Thai cooking in Gloucestershire’s most magical supper club setting, the 1920s greenhouse at Miserden. miserden.org
Chipping Campden Literature Festival, until Sat 12 May
Lots to enjoy at this bijou lit fest, including award-winning poet and writer Fiona Sampson talking about her latest book In Search of Mary Shelley, which I listened to serialised on Radio 4 and was shocked by what she endured – as Sampson says, her story couldn’t be more relevant to the #MeToo generation. Also worth marking your pocketbook for is Sue Cook’s Big Book Group with author Carol Drinkwater discussing her novel The Lost Girl, the matinee screening of Picnic at Hanging Rock and the Letterpress Book Jacket Workshop. campdenlitfest.co.uk
The Design Museum, London, Thurs 10 May – Sun 7 Oct
Fascinating exhibition of the sculptor turned couturier, Azzedine Alaïa, who found fans in Michelle Obama, Rhianna and Grace Jones, with his flair for couture and refusal to stick to fashion week deadlines.