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Things To Do This Weekend


Festival of the Dead: Friday the 13th Herbert Late Launch Party, Fri Oct 13

Dress up in gothic glamour or slasher movie gore for this free Friday the 13th Herbert Late Launch Party…The spooky season is definitely not just for kids as Festival of the Dead returns for its third year, with three events just for adults taking place in the stunning medieval Old Grammar School as well as in the Herbert Art Gallery.

Suitable for 18+ and can be booked online at theherbert, 7.30-10.30pm. For the full Festival of the Dead programme see here theherbert

Little Mix, The Genting Arena, Birmingham, Fri Oct 13

The girls are back in Brum with their brand new Glory Days Tour. The only group to ever win the X Factor back in 2011, Perrie, Jesy, Leigh-Anne and Jade just keep going from strength to strength.

The Big Draw – Make it OK, Rugby Art Gallery and Museum, Sat Oct 14

Do you have a budding artist in the family?  The gallery’s award winning team hosts a range of creative workshops inspired by the exhibition ‘Make it OK’. Artists will be exploring how we can make skeletons ok through the medium of animation, UV light drawings, light box creations and lots more at this free event. Grace du Prez will be running 3D pen workshops through out the day! (£2 person), 11am-3.30pm. To see all the other Big Draw events across Warwickshire and the Midlands this month see here.

Godiva Rocks, Main Stage, Belgrade Theatre, Sat Oct 7–Sat 21 Oct. 

Hamish Glen directs the first musical written about a UK city’s musical heritage, spanning many generations. It features 20 songs from Coventry artists including Frank Ifield, Vince Hill, Hazel O’Connor, The Specials, Terry Hall, King, The Primitives and The Enemy. With the result of Coventry’s bid to be UK City of Culture in 2021 soon to be announced, Godiva Rocks revels in the city’s rich heritage and talent.

belgrade, Tel: 024 7655 3055 

Leamington Spa Comedy  Festival 2017, Royal Spa Centre, Sun Oct 8-Sat Oct 14

Already Henning Wehn: Westphalia Is Not an Option is selling fast on the main stage on Sun Oct 8, alternatively  on the same date see a line-up of brilliant women, including Sarah Millican In Conversation with Standard Issue Magazine in the Studio. Other highlights: Rob Rouse (Tue Oct 10); The Horne Section (Wed Oct 11), Comedy Club 4 Kids for ages 6+ ( Sat Oct 14). Expect more comedy fun with new festivcal venue partners – the Apehangers Club in Procaffeinate. Festival compering fave Cerys Nelmes returns joined by rising comedy star Darren Harriott and Tony Cowards on Oct 12. Further acts throughout the festival will include Jimeoin, Patrick Monahan and Ed Byrne concluding with a big finale on Sat Oct 14 headlined by actor/comedian Alan Davies.;

Birmingham Literature Festival, Sun Oct 7-Sun Oct 15

Hollie McNish

This year the week-long festival turns 20 with a brilliant line-up including Brummie comedian and writer Joe Lycett speaking to MP for Yardley Jess Phillips , performance poet Hollie McNish, broadcaster Stuart Maconie, Booker-longlisted novelist Kamila Shamsie, journalist Gary Younge talking about gun control in the USA and  children’s writer Christopher Edge with a space-themed family event. This year, the Stories Crossing Borders strand is hosting writers from Portugal, Poland, Latvia, Nigeria, India, Pakistan and the Caribbean. Bestselling Indian novelist Preeti Shenoy also launched her new book in the city. You can also enjoy Backward Running Dinner, inspired by Birmingham novelist Jim Crace’s short story of the same name – a five-course dinner starting with the pudding, at Two Cats Kitchen (£99). The event only has 2 sittings of 20 each.


Ends this weekend: Coriolanus, RST, Stratford, live in cinemas, Wed Oct 11 and on stage until Sat Oct 14

An absorbing 2hrs and 40 minutes. Gripping edge-of-your-seat theatre and psychological drama that allows you to draw your own political conclusions. Angus Jackson’s modern dress adaptation of Shakespeare’s tragedy stars Sope Dirisu as flawed Roman hero Coriolanus and Hadyn Gwynne, his mother Volumnia.  The first time a forklift truck has ever made its RSC debut. Review here

Coriolanus is live in cinemas on Wed Oct 11, and transfers to the Barbican for a limited London Season from Nov 6-18,, Box office: 01789 403493

Where I Live And What I Live, Shop Front Theatre, Coventry, Tues Oct 10-Sat Oct 14

Associate Director of The Belgrade Theatre Justine Themen, who is directing

Written by London born British Pakistani writer Rabiah Hussain and directed by The Belgrade’s Justine Themen this monologue is the third piece of new theatre to be commissioned as part of a two- year theatre project, Are We Where We Are? created by award-winning Theatre Absolute. This short play focuses on race relations, from the open racism of the 1970s and 80s, through to the casual covert racism of 21st Century Britain. Rabiah tells the story of Saleeha, a young British Pakistani woman, and her friend Sarah, considering ideas around race and friendship. The performance lasts around 30 mins and will be followed by a post-show Q&A.

Festival of the Dead Film Screening: Carnivore, Old Grammar School, Coventry, Sat Oct 14

Soak up the atmosphere of one of Coventry’s oldest buildings for the UK film premiere of Carnivore: Werewolf of London in the Old Grammar School with an in-person introduction from director Simon Wells.  A carnivorous creature is hellbent on feeding its unquenchable thirst for blood. The bar opens at 7.30pm. Screening from 8pm.
Film running time: 1h 22min. Over 18s only.

Book here, £7.50.

Pink Sari Revolution, Belgrade Theatre, Coventry, Wed Oct 11 – Sat Oct 21

A team of award-wining British Asian artists are bringing together the true story of Sampat Pal and India’s famous Gulabi gang standing up for women’s rights in a uniform of pink saris. It celebrates India’s independence and marking the 70th anniversary of partition between India and Pakistan. Actress Sampat Pal, known for her frequent work with the RSC as well as TV roles in Apple Tree Yard and the film Notes on a Scandal, plays Syreeta Kumar. Belgrade Theatre audiences will also recognise her from her role as Dr Gupta in the award-winning play Made in India which premiered on the B2 stage earlier this year., 024 7655 3055

New Afternoon Tea Experience, Hampton Manor, Hampton-in-Arden, nr Solihull from Wed Oct 11

The Parlour, a theatrical lounge at Hampton Manor

The parlour doors at this exquisite boutique hotel and Michelin-award-winning restaurant will swing open and beckon you to a try a new type of afternoon tea with a nod to the traditions but this is more geared towards ‘the foodie’. Guests will be invited in at 3pm for a garden-led cocktail, followed by a procession of savoury and sweet creations. Delicious warm scones will still make an appearance and perhaps even occasionally a very good finger sandwich. I’m intrigued! £40 per person, Tue-Sat at 3pm.

Michael Kiwanuka, Symphony Hall, Birmingham, Mon Oct 16

I was pretty excited when I saw Michael Kiwanuka was to be opening his new national tour at Symphony Hall this October. The show will feature his critically acclaimed, number one selling, Mercury Prize and BRIT Awards nominated second album Love & Hate in all its glory. If you watched Pretty Little Liars on Sky Atlantic earlier this year, wasn’t the choice of his haunting Cold Heart as the title track a great choice.

Sofie Hagen: Dead Baby Frog, Warwick Arts Centre, Sat Oct 14

If you didn’t manage to get tix for this sell-out gig, Danish comedian Sofie, creator of the Made of Human Podcast, is touring the UK and there’s still some availability, see here. A modern legend in her native Denmark, she burst onto the British comedy scene by winning Best Newcomer at Edinburgh Festival 2015; her 2016 follow-up, ‘Shimmer Shatter’, was a second total sell-out.

Kaleidoscope: Colour & Sequence in 1960s British Art, Mead Gallery, Warwick Arts Centre, Thur Oct 5-Dec 9

I popped along to the private view last and this touring Arts Council Collection is definitely worth a visit. It features lots of fun brightly-coloured abstract New Generation sculpture, Op Art including paintings by Bridget Riley and Peter Sedgley and Pop art. Among the 20 artists there’s also work by David Annesley, Anthony Carol, Robyn Denny, Tess Jaray, Philip King, Kim Lim, Mary Martin, Eduardo Polozzi, Tim Scott, Richard Smith, William Tucker and William Turnbull. Free.

Dido, Queen of Carthage, until Sat Oct 28

Christopher Marlowe’s underrated first play about one of history’s great female leaders. Kimberley Sykes makes an impressively inventive and quirky RSC directorial debut and Ti Green’s stunning stage design featuring a sand covered stage and cascading waterfall. Chipo Chung gives a strong performance as Dido. A great cast also includes Nicholas Day as Jupiter, the very funny Ellie Beaven as Venus (A Mad World My Masters), Sandy Grierson, who plays Dido’s love interest, Aeneas, and Amber James as Dido’s loyal sister, Anna. You may need to do some research on the Greek gods and Virgil’s Aeneid, first to make sense of it all. Read the Muddy verdict here .

Sofia Hulten, Here’s the Answer, What’s the Question? Ikon Gallery, Birmingham until Nov 26

Sofia Hulten. Speculative Fiction 2016. Courtesy the…VG Bildkunst.

The most comprehensive exhibition to date by 45-year-old Berlin-based artist Sofia Hulten: scultpures, installations and films preoccupied with the material world and the way we navigate time. She uses discarded objects found on the streets encouraging the idea of looking twice at what is all-too-often taken for granted – as in Speculative Fiction (2016) where she recycles bicycle parts – locks, wheel-like hoops and frame.

An Evening with Sir Michael Parkinson, Butterworth Hall, Warwick Arts Centre, Fri Oct 13

The 82-year-old TV presenter, who was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2013, is in conversation with his son, Mike, showing highlights from the Parkinson archive. ‘Parky’  has interviewed more than 2000 important cultural figures from his clashes with Dame Helen Mirren and Rod Hull and Emu  – to boxing legend Muhammad Ali.

What Do I Need to Do to Make it OK? Rugby Art Gallery & Museum, until Nov 4

Detail of “First One’s the Best”by Celia Pym. Photo by Douglas Atfield.

This touring exhibition curated by Liz Cooper features five international artists investigating damage and repair including work by Celia Pym, finalist in Radio 4 Woman’s Hour Craft Prize 2017.

Portrait of the Artist: Kathe Kollwitz, Ikon Gallery, Birmingham, until Nov 26

Käthe Kollwitz (1867-1945) – Woman with Dead Child, The British Museum

The Ikon’s new exhibition marking the 150th anniversary of Berlin artist and doctor’s wife Kathe Kollwitz’s birth, is already garnering 5* reviews. The emotional impact of her drawings of unemployment and suffering in particular, Woman With Dead Child (1903) is incredibly hard-hitting and poignant. The exhibition looks at her work through the exploration of three themes: social and political protest, self portraits and the role of an empathetic and suffering mother, resulting from the death of her youngest son Peter in 1914, shot in the First World War.


London Restaurant Festival, 1 – 31 Oct

Rack up the plates, here I come with my elasticated pants. The London Restaurant Festival takes place in 350 restaurants across the Smoke, from neighbourhood favourites to Michelin-starred fancy pants eateries, so it’s your perfect excuse to try somewhere new with chef-hosted lunches and tasting menus on offer all month.

London Literature Festival, Southbank, London, Fri 13 Oct – Weds 1 Nov

The big ticket here is Hillary Clinton, who’ll be talking about her new book, What Happened – and you probably don’t need me to spell out what that refers to. In equally exciting news, Hollywood megastar Tom Hanks (pictured) will close the festival with a reading from his book of short stories (if you’ve never listened to his Desert Island Discs, look it up – it’s a doozy). Philip Pullman and Annie Leibovitz are also in attendance at this twenty day marathon event at the Southbank Centre. Definitely worth a jaunt to the big smoke.

Sculpt at Kew, Kew Gardens, London, until Sun 15 Oct

If you’re heading to London, this is hands-down the best time of year to visit Kew Gardens, as you’re treated to nature’s own technicolour art display in the form of the turning of the leaves. This autumn you can also explore a sculpture exhibition set within the gardens – catch Piers Mason’s and Hamish Mackie’s life-size animals lurking in the bushes, among 70 works by other British and international artists. Access to show is included in the general admission ticket.

Find more ideas here

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