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This Weekend

Fri Oct 6-Sun Oct 8

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.;

A Symphony of Bee and Man, Coventry Cathedral, Sat Oct 7

A buzz in the air: Wolfgang Buttress’s multi-award winning sculpture The Hive sited at Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew Photo: Mark Hadden

Yes you did read that correctly. BE, a couple of members of Spiritualized teamed up with a Nottingham-based artist called Wolfgang Buttress, his teenage daughter and 40,000 bees to make a drone album, ONE.  They created ‘a multi-sensory symphony – a dialogue between bee and human’. The album was written for Wolfgang Buttress’s multi-award winning sculpture The Hive sited at Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew (above). BE have since performed live at Glastonbury,  End of the Road festivals and inside the Hive at Kew. This was touted as one of the best music gigs of 2016. Now the artist has curated this site specific performance celebrating World Mental Health Day.  BE, will perform alongside the live-streamed sound of 50,000 bees from a hive within the Cathedral grounds and a choir including members of Coventry’s Collective//Pod, a creative hub for artists who have experience of living with mental ill health. Perfumers Haeckels have also created a bespoke site- specific scent for the evening, derived from local botanicals and the essential oils from a newly installed bee hive in the Cathedral.

Doors open at 6pm, performance at 7.30pm, tickets are available online at or in the Cathedral Gift Shop – £35 & £25.

Oktoberfest, The Rose and Crown, Warwick, Fri Oct 6

Rose & Crown Warwick

Pull on some Lederhosen, plait your hair and raise your glass to say Prost! ready for a fantastic evening of authentic German including lagers, real ales and craft beers, many from Warwick’s own Church Farm Brewery on the Reynolds’ family farm, German inspired street food and a Bavarian style beer tent. There will also be cracking ciders, classic German wines, gin and of course, warming Glühwein. Expect Bratwurst and beer braised onions; brioche roll with Sauerkraut potato fritter and paprika mayonnaise plus salt beef and Sauerkraut Bierocks with mustard mayonnaise. Live music will be provided by Leamington’s GrassRoots, playing a indie rock ska combo., 7pm until late. Tickets £12 to include food token, your very own Oktoberfest glass and first drink.

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

An Arts Council Collection Touring exhibition featuring more than 20 artists and looking across media and movements from British Op Arts, Pop, Constructivism and New Generation Sculpture. It includes work by David Annesley, Anthony Carol, Robyn Denny, Tess Jaray, Philip King, Kim Lim, Mary Martin, Eduardo Polozzi, Bridget Riley, Tim Scott, Richard Smith, William Tucker and William Turnbull.

The Beat & The Selecter, Leamington Assembly, Sat Oct 7

The Selecter’s new album Daylight is out now.

I’ve interviewed ska queen Pauline Black a few times and she’s a pretty amazing woman – actor, singer, author and now BBC 6 Music DJ. Her Coventry-formed band, The Selecter, also led by Arthur ‘Gaps’ Hendrickson, has teamed up with another Two-Tone band, The Beat. Both bands playing a full set every night, and very politely taking it in turns to play first. The Beat line-up includes Ranking Roger and Ranking Junior on vocals. You’ll recognise the hits including Mirror in the Bathroom Can’t Get Used To Losing You. The Selecter first hit the airwaves with On My Radio and their debut album Too Much Pressure gave a voice to disaffected youth across the racial divide in the Thatcher years.


British Food Fortnight, until Sun Oct 8

Pubs, restaurants, farm shops and cafes across Warwickshire are celebrating #BritishFoodFortnight which runs in autumn at the same time as Harvest Festival – hence the recent run of fab local food festivals.  The Kitchen in Farnborough are celebrating the fortnight with two British dishes – Garden Leek Mac & Cheese with a cherry tomato salad and Guinea Fowl Cider and Leek Pie with Buttered Mash and Autumn Vegetables.  I’m starting to feel hungry now!owners… Owners  Jo and Antony Robinson search out local food and drink heroes including Aubrey Allen butchers and the Cotswolds Distillery. They’re also 50% sustainable this autumn – growing their own veg, fruit and herb from beetroot and celeriac to pumpkins, squashes and even olives.

Simon Amstell, Butterworth Hall, Warwick Arts Centre, Sat Oct 7 

I have a feeling this is going to sell out pretty quickly. Following a series of critically acclaimed, sold out international tours, sharp-witted Simon Amstell (CarnageGrandma’s HouseNever Mind the Buzzcocks begins his fifth stand up tour in the UK. ‘What Is This?’ promises to be a deeply personal, funny exploration of beauty, intimacy, freedom, sex and love.

Curry Night, Hilltop Farm, Hunningham, nr Leamington, Fri Oct 6

Spice up October with a rural Curry Night in the countryside! There’s a choice of curries ranging from Aloo Gobi (v) to Butter Chicken or Lamb Jalfrezi with starters and Indian desserts including Jelebi and Gulab Jamun. You can enjoy a special offer of a main with rice or a naan bread and a drink for a tenner!

Book a table by calling 01926 632978 or email,

Coriolanus, RST, Stratford, 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, playing his mother Volumnia.  The first time a forklift truck has ever made its RSC debut too – admire that skill! 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

Warwick Words History Festival, Mon Oct 2-Sun Oct 8

Very cool 36-year-old Surrey based historian Dan Jones asks Who were the Knights Templar? in a talk about his fifth book, out this month, The Templars: The Rise and Spectacular Fall of God’s Holy Warriors. Already a best-seller it’s a rollicking history that brings them out of the shadow cast by The Da Vinci Code, according to Guardian reviewer Alexander Larman.  His previous books include, The Plantagenets: The Kings Who Made England, a  New York Times bestseller, and The Wars of the Roses (aka Hollow Crown). Dan will be at the Bridge House Theatre, Warwick on Sun Oct 8, 7.30pm.

Henley Street Fun Palace, Henley Street, Stratford, Sat Oct 7 

Shakespeare’s Birthplace Trust has helped to create one of 200 ‘fun palaces’ across the UK inspired by the late theatre director Joan Littlewood

Stratford’s most famous street is going to be transformed into a family-friendly Fun Palace with a street party celebrating arts, culture and science this weekend. A Jelly Baby Castle Siege made by Warwick University’s School of Life Sciences, Mad Science’s Fire and Ice Show, Kate’s Storytree workshop and the RSC’s Mystery box challenge are some of the fab hands-on activities available. You can also have-a-go at traditional Tudor dancing with the Renaissance Dancers at 11am and 12pm. Fun Palaces is the brainchild of theatre director Joan Littlewood. Decades on, director and author Stella Duffy has brought Joan’s vision to life with the help of Arts Council England to bring over 200 Fun Palaces created across the UK.

Entry and activities are free,, 10am – 4pm. 

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

The cast includes X Factor semi-Finalist Niki Evans from Warwickshire. Georgi Ashford and Ross Gurney Randall

Hamish Glen directs the first musical written about a UK city’s musical heritage, spanning many generations. It features 20 songs from Coventry artists such as 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 

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 .


The Althorp Literary Festival, Thu Oct 5-Sun Oct 8 

Muddy Northansts has already got her ticket to the Althorp Literary Festival, and can’t wait to hear the inspirational Jo Malone talk us through her autobiography – from her humble beginnings to Queen of scent. This year the festival welcomes some truly fantastic authors and speakers, including; Pam Ayres, Clare Balding, Johnny Ball, Sir Jonathan Bate, Paula Byrne, Jamie Blackett, Jess Butterworth, John Challis, the Rev. Richard Coles, Evan Davis, Ken Hom, Jeremy Howick, Stanley Johnson, Dan Jones, Lord Digby Jones, Kathy Lette, Ben Macintyre, Judy Murray, Jo Malone, Joanna Moorhead, Juliet Nicolson, David Owen, Allison Pataki, Michael Pennington, James Runcie, Chris Ryan, Charles Spencer, Simon Thurley, Mich Turner, Kate Williams, Sian Williams and A.N.Wilson, amongst others.

Find out more about buying tickets for the festival (including grounds tickets for only £10) just here.

Awesome Animation, The Roald Dahl Museum, Sat Oct 7

Roald Dahl book spines museum

Children aged 5+ can join animator Adam Childs and make their own moving masterpiece. What new adventures will you take Matilda on? Maybe she’ll meet up with Willy Wonka?! Work together as a family to make the extraordinary happen! Cost: £3 per participant, 12pm, 1.30pm and 3pm.

The Roald Dahl Museum and Story Centre, 83 High St, Great Missenden HP16 0AL

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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