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Things to do this weekend


Coventry Dining Club Half Marathon Special, Coventry Cathedral, Sat March 18


Pic credit: The Bournville Waffle Company

Digbeth Dining Club are back in Coventry for the city’s half marathon where thousands of runners will be pounding the streets. Expect all the usual DDC vibes – DJ’s, great drinks, award-wining street food, a designer/maker marketplace from DAM, family entertainment and all the celebratory toasts for the runners. Traders include: Esmies / Gresko Bodhi / Fat Snags / Bournville Waffle Company / Becky’s Bhajis / Flying Cows / Victoria Creperie / Spice Is Right / Indian Rasoi / Low n Slow / Pimp My Wings / Handmade Pizza Co. Open early from 10am and 3 of their fave traders Low ‘n’ Slow, There Goes Coffee and the Flying Cows will be serving breakfast from 8am. So save the date and come hungry! Entrance is free to runners and children. £1 for everyone else.


Macbeth, RST, Stratford-upon-Avon, Tue March 13 – Sept 18

Photo by Paul Stuart

This week also sees the opening of Macbeth directed by Polly Findlay. The fab former Dr Who Christopher Eccleston, brilliant in BBC 1’s The A Word, and revered Irish actor Niamh Cusack as Macbeth and Lady Macbeth. Eccleston says it’s a role he’s always wanted to play since a teenager. Undoubtedly the must-see production of the RSC’s 2018 Summer Season!

Book here.

Ravilious & Co: The Pattern of Friendship. English Artist Designers 1922-1942, Compton Verney, Sat March 17–June 10

The Greenhouse: Cyclamen and Tomatoes

Ravilious & Co will tell a story that has never been told before. This exhibition of the prolific artist and designer Eric Ravilious (1903-1942) also coincides with the 75th anniversary of his death in Iceland during the Second World War. One of 3 superb new exhibitions and accompanying events at Warwickshire’s finest art gallery and park as it opens this spring. See more below…


The Duchess of Malfi, The Swan, Stratford-upon-Avon, Thurs March 1 – Aug 3

The Duchess and Ferdinand played by Joan Iyiola and Alexander Cobb Photo by Helen Maybanks

Maria Aberg’s Quentin-Tarantino-esqe blood-soaked modern dress production, and Joan Iyiola’s “fierce, proud and stylish” performance have been attracting rave reviews following last week’s press night. See Muddy’s Q & A with Joan here.

Tel: 01789 403493, rsc

Vintage Fair, Market Hall Museum, Warwick, Sat March 17

Love vintage? Say no more. Refreshments will be available in the cafe. Free, 10am – 5pm


Shakespeare Week,  Stratford-upon-Avon, Mon March 12 – Sun March 18

Pic credit: Shakespeare Birthplace Trust

It’s Shakespeare Week this month when UK primary school children will be delving into a range of exciting first experiences that explore Shakespeare’s life, works and times. Organised by the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, Shakespeare Week provides teachers, home educators and families with free resources and fun ideas to discover and celebrate Shakespeare. This year’s Shakespeare Week will have a storytelling and poetry theme and we’re working with some of the country’s best loved cultural organisations including The Story Museum, The Woodland Trust and libraries nationwide to bring Shakespeare’s stories to life.

Register for free, shakespeareweek

Mindgame, Belgrade Theatre, Coventry, Wed March 14 – Sat March 17

Photo by Simon Cooper

A gripping psychological thriller from the pen of bestselling novelist and acclaimed screenwriter Anthony Horowitz (Foyle’s War, New Blood, the Alex Rider series) starring Birmingham-born and trained Michael Sherwin as asylum head Farquhar, alongside Andrew Ryan as true crime writer Mark Styler. The show follows the story of crime writer Mark Styler and his efforts to get an interview with the notorious serial killer Easterman.

 Tel Box Office on 024 7655 3055, belgrade

Bobby Mair: Loudly Insecure, Studio, Royal Spa Centre, Leamington Spa, Sat March 17

30 years ago, Bobby was put up for adoption and now he’s tracking down his birth family one by one. Saying his search has hit a couple of snags would be an understatement and he still has relatives out there who continue to elude him. Loudly Insecure gives Bobby a chance to fill you in on the wildly dramatic twists and turns of his quest. Age 16+.

Book tickets here

Coventry Half Marathon, Sun March 18

Coventry Half Marathon 2017, pic credit: Coventry City Council

It isn’t too late if you still fancy getting your running shoes on and dressing-up as Mrs Potato-head or er, a rhino…


Up ‘N’ Under, Birmingham Rep, Mon March 12 – Wed March 14

As part of an innovative partnership with England Deaf Rugby Union (EDRU), this production of John Godber’s comedy will be directed by Fingersmiths’ Jeni Draper and features a cast of Deaf and hearing actors. It tells the story of The Wheatsheaf Arms rugby team, the laughing stock of Castleford’s Amateur Rugby League Seven-a-Side tournament who have never won a game, don’t have seven players and spend more time in the pub than on the pitch. Using a creative combination of BSL and spoken English, Fingersmiths’ exciting visual and physical theatre style returns to The REP’s stage, following their critically acclaimed production of Frozen in 2014.

Box Office: 0121 236 4455,

Created in Conflict: British Soldier Art from the Crimean War to Today, Compton Verney, Sat March 17 – Sun June 10 

Private Thomas Walker, by Thomas William Wood courtesy of The Royal College of Surgeons of England

One of three new spring shows the award-winning gallery. This exhibition brings together a rich variety of historic items, including tankards made by troops in the trenches during World War I, game pieces carved by Prisoners of War during World War II, and toys and quilts made by convalescing soldiers. Created in Conflict features important loans from the V&A, the Imperial War Museum, and the Museum of Military Medicine. On Thurs March 22 there is a Curators’ Tour and Tea giving visitors greater insights into the two new exhibitions, between 2.30pm and 3.30pm, followed by an informal discussion over tea and cake. Very civilised…


Patrick Monahan: Rewind Selector 90’s, Helen Martin Studio, Warwick Arts Centre, Sat March 17

Stand up show from the multi award winning comic who compares life as an Irish/Iranian teenager in the 90’s. As identity cards and ‘Cool Britannia’ were being introduced, Monahan found himself on the periphery as a teenager – trying to blend in. Ages 14+


British Folk Art Collection Re-imagined, Compton Verney, opens Sat March 17 

Compton Verney Wallpaper Design © St Jude’s

To celebrate the re-opening of the gallery following a £100,000 renovation project, artist and designer Mark Hearld has been commissioned to completely re-hang the pictures and objects. Mark who studied Illustration at Glasgow School of Art before completing a Master’s degree at the Royal Academy of Art, is renowned for his wallpaper designs. He has also produced a number of brand new works in response to the Folk Art collection. These will include wallpaper, collage pieces and metal silhouettes inspired by nature, both flora and fauna. On Saturday March 24, at 11.30am, 1.30pm and 3pm, Mark will act as a guide around the new gallery, picking out interesting pieces and explaining the creative processes by his own artworks on display.


BOOKING NOW: Sister Act, Avon Valley Theatre, Rugby, March 20 – 24

This sassy musical comedy about an American lounge singer who’s put under protective custody in a San Francisco convent is brought to life by Interesting Theatre, a new Rugby-based all-adult amateur musical theatre group, led by volunteers and a registered charity. They have a cast of 28, including some of the best talent in the area ranging from 17 to 70 – with many travelling from Birmingham, Coventry, Leamington, Leicester, Market Harborough, Northampton and Rugby to take part! That’s celestial devotion…You may just discover the next Whoopi Gooldberg!

Avon Valley Performing Arts College, Newbold, Ruby. Book here, interestingtheatre, and on the show’s Facebook event page

The Kite Runner, Birmingham Rep, Mon March 13 – 24 

The wedding scene, The-Kite-Runner, 2018. Photo by Betty-Zapata

Based on Khaled Hosseini’s 2003 international best-selling novel, this haunting and powerful story set in Afghanistan has been adapted into a stage production by Matthew Spangler. Review in Arts & Culture.

Tel: Box Office on 0121 236 4455, birmingham

BOOK NOW: Young Fathers, O2 Institute2, Birmingham, Tues March 20

I love their stylishly stunning yet slightly freaky Voodoo in My Blood vid with Massive Attack starring Gone Girl actress Rosamund Pike. Following on from supporting Massive Attack and featuring on the Trainspotting soundtrack, this award-winning Edinburgh hip-hop trio are touring with material from their catchy new album Cocoa Sugar.

Book here.

Lady Bird, in cinemas now

Greta Gerwig’s quirky, offbeat Oscar-nominated coming-of-age film about a mum-and-daughter is definitely a winner in our eyes!


The final week of VAULT festival 2018! Wed March 14 – Sun March 18

Becoming Shades Pic credit: Maximilian-Webster-Photography – Forest

Waterloo’s annual underground festival ends with two epic late night parties including, a seismic soul session with The South London Soul Train and raucous St Patrick Day knees up with Ruckus – Peaky Blinders with twice the craic. There’s also Michael Winterbottom’s Wonderland in the final screening of their Film Festival, even more weird and wild new theatre including immersive circus show Becoming Shades performed in the atmospheric dank tunnels of The Vaults’  – a goth spin on the Greek myth of Persephone with eerie candlelit rituals, plus laugh-out-loud comedy, vehicle shows and escape rooms. And of course, the traditional VAULT Awards ceremony.


Barbara Hepworth: Finding Form, River & Rowing Museum, Henley, until June 3

I love Barbara Hepworth’s work – if you’re ever in St Ives, be sure to visit her gorgeous house/studio, with its striking sculptures dotted all around the pretty garden. So I’m very excited about this – and what a coup for Henley’s little museum. This retrospective covers the sculptor’s work from the 1930s to the 1960s, borrowing pieces from the Tate and National Portrait Gallery. A must-see.

Ocean Liners: Speed and Style, V&A, London, until Jun 17

v and a museum ocean liners exhibit empress of Britain poster white ship

These days the nearest I get to ocean-faring is a packed P&O ferry from Portsmouth to Cherbourg but in the early 20th century travelling by sea was fabulously glamorous and romantic. The V&A’s major Spring exhibition, Ocean Liners: Speed and Style celebrates the golden age of the big boats, looking at their design and cultural impact. Exhibits include Goyard luggage once owned by the Duke of Windsor, 1920s bathing suits and a door panel from the first class lounge of the Titanic.

Book Signing with Lauren Child, Story Museum, Oxford, March 17

Isn’t everyone a bit in love with superclever, super funny Lauren Child? Come and meet best-selling author of Charlie and Lola, Clarice Bean and countless others as she drops into The Story Museum café and shop ahead of her evening event here as part of the Oxford Literary Festival.

Legoland Opens, Windsor, from March 9

OMG. Protect your credit card, it’s gonna get a hammering. 2018 marks 60 years of the brick and to celebrate there are a horde of new attractions including ‘Mini Land’ replicating world-famous landmarks and LEGO® Reef where you can build your very own digital fish. Watch out for the gift shop at the end – it’s a killer.

Victorian Giants: The Birth of Art Photography, National Portrait Gallery, London, March 1 until May 20

A major new exhibition brings together, for the first time, the works of four of the most celebrated figures in art photography, Lewis Carroll (1832–98), Julia Margaret Cameron (1815–79), Oscar Rejlander (1813–75) and Clementina Hawarden (1822-65). These four artists would come to embody the very best in photography of the Victorian era and have influenced photographers ever since. Featuring striking portraits of sitters such as Charles Darwin, Alice Liddell, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Thomas Carlyle, George Frederick Watts, Ellen Terry and Alfred, Lord Tennyson.

Find more ideas here

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