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Warwickshire Open Studios, Sat June 16 – Sun July 1

Artist Rhian Malin at The Ceramics Studio, Ettington Park Granary, Stratford-upon-Avon CV37 8BT

Looking for some original art? See a record number of more than 270 artists at work across 138 venues in this diverse celebration of visual arts across Coventry and Warwickshire. The event attracts around 30,000 visits a year. Excitingly WOS’ has a new patron for 2018 – the screenplay writer and novelist Andrew Davies, best known for House of Cards and TV adaptions of War & Peace, Pride and Prejudice, Vanity Fair and Middlemarch. This year WOS is taking over Temperance (33, Bath St) Leamington Spa as a central info hub. Drop in from June 9 – 30 to see a showcase of artists’ work, grab a drink or bite to eat.

Find out more about the artists, locations, opening times & facilities available, wostudios


Broadway Arts Festival, Broadway, Worcs, until June 17

A biennial celebration of this beautiful Cotswold village’s unique artistic heritage and its enduring relationship with a world-famous colony of American artists and writers, who visited and worked here in the late 19th century. An impressive, eclectic programme includes talks, workshops, theatre, family events, exhibitions, demos and live music including two directors of the V&A In Conversation: Tristram Hunt (current) and Sir Roy Strong, pot throwing and decorating, charcoal portraits, Tweedy – the slapstick star of Gifford’s Circus – Takes a Detour!, Heartbreak Productions’ Pride and Prejudice, Roald Dahl’s The Twits by storyteller John Kirk and a New Orleans Mardi Gras Party with Dom Pipkin.



Laura Ryder & Co: The Bee Project, Belgrade Theatre, Coventry, Thurs June 14 – Sat June 16

There’s a real ‘buzz’ around this new energetic contemporary dance/theatre piece set in a party! It’s centred on the plight of Britain’s bees as humans imitate the collaborative relationship of bees after things take a turn for the worse on a big night out. Expect energy, attitude and tons of eco-friendly glitter! You’ll also come away from the show with your own pack of seeds to plant.

belgrade, Tel: 024 7655 3055


RSC Mischief Festival, The Other Place, Stratford-upon-Avon, Thurs May 31 – June 23

#WeAreArrested starring Peter Hamilton Dyer, 2018, Photo by Ellie Merridale (c) RSC

This innovative month-long festival features two new plays #WeAreArrested and Day of the Living. Led by Deputy Artistic Director Erica Whyman, the festival will include:

  • Double-bill: #WeAreArrested, the true story of Turkish journalist Can Dündar’s commitment to expose the truth in the face of huge personal risk; Day of the Living, inspired by the events in Ayotzinapa, Mexico 2014 when 43 students were forcibly taken and disappeared, Thur May 31 – Sat June 23.
  • Written and performed by Nell Leyshon, Three Letters, is one woman’s story of how her reinvention of herself after having had children is halted by illness, Wed June 6 and Fri June 8, 1.30pm, £5.
  • Research & Development work-in-progress public reading of Redefining Juliet, Fri June 22, 2.30pm, £5.

Book on 01789 403493, rsc


Pugstock Music Festival & Street Party, The Fat Pug, Leamington Spa, Sat June 17

Looking to do something fun with the kids and your partner on Father’s Day? This live music event in aid of Guide Dogs for the Blind features Mark Woodyard, The Retrobaits, State of Play, Chimp on a Bike and more. The road will be closed off to cars and there’ll also be outside bars, a bbq, street food and some small stalls for children.

23 Guy Cliffe Road, Leamington Spa, Cv32 5BZ, 01926 420 390, thefatpug


ENDS THIS WEEK: About Face, Rugby Art Gallery & Museum, until Sat June 16

Man in Paper Drawer, Man in Pencil Drawer, Rugby Art Gallery and Museum, Copyright Lubaina Himid

2017 Turner Prize Winner Lubaina Himid and her contemporary Claudette Johnson – both founders of the British Black Arts Movement, founded at Wolverhampton Poly – have artworks in the gallery’s excellent portraiture About Face exhibition, which also includes paintings on loan from the National Portrait and Lowry Gallery. Ends soon.



Bright Smoke: Travis Alabanza, The Other Place, Stratford-upon-Avon, Thurs June 14

The London-based performance artist and LGBTQ right activist will be performing at the RSC’s monthly free poetry night. FREE, no booking required, 6.45pm – 7.15pm.
*This event contains strong language and adult themes.



Real Bodies The Exhibition, Hall 4, The NEC, Birmingham, Fri June 8 – Sun Aug 19

A powerful and thought-provoking exhibition of human anatomy taking visitors on a  journey, exploring the human body through physiology, culture and emotion by displaying real, perfectly preserved human bodies and over 200 anatomical specimens.



The OVO Energy Women’s Tour, Fri June 15

Britain’s premier women’s cycle race returns to Warwickshire for a record-breaking third year. The tour will take riders across beautiful landscapes throughout the entire county. Last year 95,000 spectators watched the event. Starting in Atherstone it will weave its way in a 151k route ending in Royal Leamington Spa – making the Warwickshire stage the longest of the 2018 event.



Reggae at the Rialto! Coundon, Coventry, Fri June 15

Three top female reggae artists are on the bill at the Mackabee Crew sound system’s summer shindig – Janet Kay, Susan Cadogan – over from Kingston, Jamaica – and Sandra Cross. Adv tickets £20 are available from Camelia@Stylistics (Corporation St, Coventry); the Two Tone Café/Simmerdown Restaurant, or Tel 07957 264226.

Rialto Reborn, Moseley Avenue, Coventry, 9pm – 2am. 


Angela Barnes: Fortitude, Helen Martin Studio, Warwick Arts Centre, Sat Jun 16

Following another sell-out run at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Mock the Week regular and host of BBC Radio 4’s Newsjack, Angel Barnes is taking her “beautifully structured show” (The Scotsman) Fortitude on the road, 8pm. Age 14+.

Tickets here.


Stratford-upon-Avon Poetry Fest, various locations, Sun June 17 – 24 

Christopher Eccleston, currently starring in the RSC’s Macbeth with Niamh Cusack

The 65th Poetry festival this summer commemorates the centenary of the end of the First World War, Peace and Reconciliation. It opens with Washed With Such a Peace: Readings by Christopher Eccleston & Niamh Cusack (The Shakespeare Centre, Henley Street, Stratford Upon Avon, 7pm-9.30pm). Other highlights include an Open Mic Night on Mon June 18, An evening with Tony Harrison (Fri June 22), Midsummer Day Poetry and Bonfire (Sat June 23, Anne Hathaway’s Cottage) and Wilfred Owen: Readings by Dame Dian Phillips & Alex Waldermann (Sat June 24, The Shakespeare Centre).



HOT MUSIC NEWS – Book Now! The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill 20th Anniversary World Tour, Arena Birmingham, Tues Nov 27

OMG – this is one of the most exciting bits of music news I’ve heard in ages!  The multi-platinum former Fugees singer and took the world by storm two decades ago as a solo artist with singles from this album including Doo Wop (That Thing) and Everything Is Everything. It won her 5 GRAMMY®  wins. One of the definite must-sees of the autumn! Am still whooping with joy and loving the stripy socks and heels combo!

Tickets on sale now, theticketfactory or Tel 0844 33 88 222 *Calls cost 7p per minute plus your phone company’s access charge. 



ART: RA Summer Exhibition, Piccadilly, London, opens Tues June 12

It’s here! It’s the 250th year of the Royal Academy of Arts summer exhibition and this year, Grayson Perry RA and his committee of fellow artists have handpicked over 1,300 artworks in an array of mediums. This is always great fun and this year it could look very different.

RA Summer Exhibition


Merge Festival, Bankside/Tate Modern, London, Fri June 8 – July 1

Book an appointment at The Feel Good Institute. Photo cred Merge Festival

The annual arts/music festival this year aims to brighten up your day with a  ‘feel good’ theme. A quirky, fun-packed and eclectic programme includes The Feel Good Institute – a multi-sensory series of installations by various artists, ‘Dr Leon – Neural Enhancement’ a theatrical experience where ‘Patients’ are seen by surgery staff for a 20-minute implanted happy chip, ‘Happy Mondays’ at bars & restaurants, look out for Bankside Smileys, Time to Make Merry installations on the Friday commute and the Great Get Together Bankside street party!

Frida Kahlo: Making Her Self Up, V&A, London, June 16 – Nov 4

A photo of artist Frida Khalo in a blue satin blouse with pink flower in her hair

Frida Kahlo in blue satin blouse, 1939. Photograph Nickolas Muray © Nickolas Muray Photo Archives

This summer, the V&A will explore how Frida Kahlo (b. 1907), one of the most recognised and significant artists and women of the 20th century, fashioned her identity. More than 200 previously unseen personal objects will be on show including her eyebrow pencil ‘Ebony,’ still within its original packaging, which she used to emphasise her signature mono brow, her favourite lipstick, Revlon’s ‘Everything’s Rosy’ and red nail varnish, outfits, medical corsets and a painted prosthetic leg! They were discovered in 2004, 50 years after being sealed in the Blue House, Mexico, by her husband Diego Rivera, the Mexican muralist, following her death in 1954.


Nocturne Live, Blenheim Palace, Oxford, Thurs June 14 – Sun June 17

Noel Gallagher at Blenheim Palace? What would Liam say? This well-established refined live music night has a line up including Noel in his High Flying Birds incarnation, plus Nile Rodgers and Chic and Elvis Costello (headlining on different nights).With the stunning backdrop of the Great Court, one thing is certain – the mosh pit will be very civilised.


Robert Smith’s Meltdown Festival, London’s Southbank Centre, Sun June 15 – Sun June 24 

Disappointed to have missed out on tickets for The Cure’s 40th anniversary concert in Hyde Park, London, on Sat July 7? You can always catch the next best thing – Robert Smith’s all-time favourite artists of the last 40 years in this 10-night extravaganza. The first acts confirmed are The Psychedelic Furs, Deftones, The Libertines, Manic Street Preachers, Mogwai, My Bloody Valentine, Nine Inch Nails, Placebo, The Church, 65daysofstatic, Alcest, The Anchoress, Kristin Hersh, Kathryn Joseph, MONO, and The Notwist. He’ll be talking about his fave bands in a Meltdown special on BBC 6 Music at 7pm this Friday. Further info here.

Find more ideas here

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