FRI MAY 17 - SUN MAY 19
TALK: Mary Portas In Conversation, Theatre, Warwick Arts Centre, Fri May 17
Mary – retail guru, businesswoman and ‘Queen of Shops’ – discusses her life, her career, and her new book Work Like a Woman, 7.30pm, warwickartscentre
GIN CRUISE! Shakespeare Distillery & Avon Boating launch their first Gin Cruise, Stratford-upon-Avon, from Sat May 18
All-aboard for a 40-minute gin cruise! Sail down the beautiful Avon through Stratford-upon-Avon with a glass of Stratford Gin in your hand. See all the riverside sights including the Royal Shakespeare Theatre and Holy Trinity Church, Shakespeare’s burial place, while enjoying a tutored tasting of the craft gins produced by the award-winning Shakespeare Distillery, finishing with a glass of Gin & Tonic to toast your captain & crew! £20pp. Book here.
MUSIC: Jools Holland and his Rhythm & Blues Orchestra, Butterworth Hall, Warwick Arts Centre, Coventry, Sun May 19
Jools will be joined by Gilson Lavis, with special guests Pauline Black & Gaps Hendrickson from Coventry’s Two-Tone band The Selecter, and guest vocalists Ruby Turner and Louise Marshall. As the UK’s most popular pianist and bandleader, Jools Holland OBE has performed and recorded with some of the most talented musicians and songwriters in the world. Jools continues to dazzle and impress audiences with his Rhythm & Blues Orchestra and their exuberant live performances, 7.30pm, warwickartscentre.co.uk
THEATRE: The Provoked Wife, Swan Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon, Thur May 2 – 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
After a phenomenally successful West End stage debut last year, Paula Hawkins’ nail-biting thriller The Girl on the Train heads out on a UK tour this spring starring Samantha Womack (EastEnders, Kingsman: The Secret Service) as Rachel Watson. She’ll be joined by Oliver Farnworth, best known for his roles as Andy Carver in Coronation Street, Will Hackett in Hollyoaks and Florian Dupont in Mr Selfridge, playing Rachel’s neighbour Scott Hipwell. Tickets on belgrade or Tel the box office on 024 7655 3055.
MUSIC: Kamasi Washington, O2 Institute Birmingham, Sat May 18
The jazz saxophonist follows the release of his acclaimed second album, Heaven and Earth – viewed by critics as one of the best 50 albums of 2018 – with a run of headline shows. Kamasi began his career as a session musician for artists including Snoop Dogg, George Duke and Herbie Hancock but after a break-through appearance on Kendrick Lamar’s To Pimp a Butterfly, in 2015, went solo. Heaven and Earth was recorded in a two-week session on a break from touring. Age 14+, tickets here.
THEATRE: The Attic Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon, Tues May 14 – 18
New Midlands theatre company, Aspect Theatre, has chosen English playwright Tom Kempinski’s 1980 play about concert violinist Stephanie Abrahams who was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis as their debut production. It launches this week with Katherine Parker-Jones as Stephanie and Martin Bourne as Dr Feldmann. As part of her research into playing Stephanie, Katherine Parker-Jones researched the condition by spending time with a woman living with multiple sclerosis. She says: “I needed to display the effects of MS but did not want to do so in a tacky or insulting way, so I talked to her a lot about how the disease presented itself physically in her, but also about the mental health journey that she went through and is still going through.”
Duet for One starts at 7.30pm, and runs for 5 nights. Running time: 2 hours. Tickets: £12 (£10 concession), theattictheatre
FESTIVAL: Museums at Night, various locations, Wed May 15 – Sat May 18
This biannual festival of Lates in museums and galleries is hitting Warwickshire, Coventry and beyond this month with a Roman adventure at Rugby Museum and Art Gallery (May 17); a very cheerful sounding Death Cafe and Tour with Newman Brothers at The Coffin Works, Birmingham (May 17); a Live Twilight Taxidermy Demo at Market Hall, Warwick (May 17) and Coventry Pride at Herbert Art Gallery and Museum (June 9). You can see what else is on in-and-around the region here.
COMEDY: Ray Bradshaw – Deaf Comedy Fam, Studio, Warwick Arts Centre, Fri May 17
THEATRE: Bells & Spells, Warwick Arts Centre, Coventry, Tues May 21 & Wed May 22
Victoria Thierrée Chaplin, the daughter of actor/ filmmaker Charlie Chaplin directs her own daughter, Aurélia Thierree, in a surrealist piece of theatre, Bells & Spells, much raved about across Europe in a rare UK performance. Aurélia gets inside the skin of a kleptomaniac and finds herself manipulated by the objects she steals. A coat rack gets up and walks. Chairs and a table slide and slip away, while a wall opens, and a pair of dancers emerge. A dress suddenly takes on a life of its own. The show receives its UK premiere as part of the Norfolk and Norwich Festival (May 17 2019). For ages 11+, warwickartscentre, Tel: 024 7652 4524.
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.
MUSIC: Coombe Weekender, Coombe Abbey, Coventry, Sat Aug 3 & Sun Aug 4
Have you booked tickets for this new 2-day music festival coming to one of Coventry’s most historic venues? See a rare performance by The Libertines (Pete Doherty went to school in Warwickshire), Circa Waves, Tom Grennan, Sigala, Crazy P Soundsystem, Joey Negro and more than 30 acts will be playing Indie, Funk & Soul, House and more across the weekend! Tickets available here
CIRCUS: Gifford’s Circus, Sudley Castle, Thurs May 16 – 28 May
Roll up, roll up! Gifford’s Circus pitches up its Big Top with the stunning backdrop of Sudley Castle- this year’s theme is midsummer 1973 so expect hippies, hipsters, rockstars, and flower power. Groovy baby. sudeleycastle.co.uk
FLOWERS: Covent Garden In Bloom, Covent Garden, London, Wed May 15 – Sat Jun 15
Following their London debut in Covent Garden’s iconic Central Avenue last year, floral artists Fleurs de Villes will return to showcase the best floral designs in the Big Smoke and return Covent Garden to its roots as the original (or OG, as the kids say) flower market in London. Covent Garden retailers and restaurants are all mucking in with botanical window displays, exclusive products and spring collections, bespoke cocktails and dishes made with herbs and ingredients from Covent Garden’s veggie garden. coventgarden.london
ART: MUDSKIPPER – the grand unveiling and live demo of British artist James Capper’s walking boat, Battersea Park, London, Thur May 30 – June 21
British artist James Capper is set to unveil his new large-scale mobile sculpture MUDSKIPPER – a fully-mobile sculpture (9.2 metres in length and 12 tons in weight) which has the ability to move across water and land on-shore through the use of two step-type propulsion legs on Thurs May 30. The launch and live demo will take place at The Thames Path by Chelsea Bridge car park from 6.30pm – 9pm followed by drinks and talk by James Capper at Battersea Village Hall. The Times carries a great article about MUDSKIPPER and you can find a short film about the making of the work here. The walking ship will take up residency at Battersea Power Station Pier directly in front of the iconic riverside building and is making special public performances:
- Sunday June 9, 12noon, Thames Path near The Riverside, Hamilton House, 5 St George Wharf, SW8 2LE
- Monday June 10, 1pm, Thames Path near Nine Elms Pavilion (opposite US Embassy), Riverside Walk (off Nine Elms Lane), SW8 5DF
See here for map and further details.
EXHIBITIONS: Mary Quant, V&A, until Sun Feb 16 2020
Must-see exhibitions in the big smoke this month include the V&A‘s retrospective of iconic 1960s designer and the mother of miniskirts, Mary Quant– over 200 garments, accessories and exclusive unseen pieces from the designer’s personal archive.