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This weekend

Fri May 26 - Mon May 29

Fun stuff happening in Warwickshire and beyond this May Bank Holiday weekend.

Help Build a Model Town, The Helen Martin Studio, Warwick Arts Centre, Sat May 27 & Sun May 28 

Taking inspiration from Room in the Mead Gallery families are invited to come and help create a giant, growing model town to transform the Helen Martin Studio from an empty space on Sat May 27 to a sprawling Metropolis by Sun May 28.  Kick start half-term with some fun creative and free arty activities. Room is a new exhibition of installations, sculptures and photographs by 13 international women artists exploring ideas around architecture and the domestic environment from the 1970s to present day.

Warwick Food Festival, Market Square, Warwick, Sun May 28 

Warwick’s popular Beki’s Brownies

This mouth-watering festival will return for its third year will feature an appetising line-up of more than 80 diverse food & drink traders including many regulars from Birmingham’s award-winning weekly street food festival Digbeth Dining Club – ranging from 63 Islands Caribbean street food and Bare Bones Gourmet Churros to Warwickshire’s Bearley Vineyard and Napton Water Buffalo. Check out the full list here  There’s also live entertainment and kids activities along with local chefs from Leamington’s Tame Hare, Warwick’s seafood restaurant The Pickled Crab, Duck on the Pond in Long Itchington and Chadwick End’s The Orange Tree in the Demo Kitchen, 10am-6pm.

Bearley Vineyard’s Avon Swan, a medium dry white

KT Tunstall, Warwick Arts Centre, Sat May 27

Brit Award winning KT Tunstall will perform songs from her new album KIN, plus a host of favourites from her back catalogue.

Spring Mischief Festival The Other Place, Stratford, Wed May 24-Sat June 17

A playful and provocative month-long festival of new work, including a double-bill of two new plays, including The Earthworks by super talented playwright Tom Morton-Smith who had a huge hit with his debut play Oppenheimer about the father of the atom bomb in 2015 at the RSC and Vaudeville Theatre in London’s West End. It will be directed by the RSC’s Deputy Artistic Director Erica Wyman. There’s also Myth, a terrific collaborative work by innovative playwright Matt Hartley and award-winning director and Complicite Associate Kirsty Housley about a wine-fuelled dinner party that descends into chaos. I’m sure we’ve all had a few of those…! The joint cast includes Danish actor Thomas Magnussen, who was in BBC 4’s Scandinavian thrillers The Bridge (season 3) and Follow the Money; Lena Kaur; Fehinti Balogun and Rebecca Humphries, both making their RSC debut.,  Tel: 01789 403493 

Birmingham Pride Big Weekender, Sat May 27 & Sun May 28

Security has been stepped up for this weekend’s annual parade and gigs. Saturday’s headliners include rising star Dua Lipa, Basement Jaxx and OBO award-winning rapper Nadia Rose. On Sunday artists on the main stage will be Boney M, Sigala, Sophie Ellis-Bextor, Gabrielle, Jamelia and Charlotte Church’s Late Night Pop Dungeon. Ther’s also a Dance Arena, a cabaret marquee, Women’s Arena, Alt Club Stage and a host of gay bars and clubs supporting Pride.

Gin Tasting & Tapas Night, Talton Mill, Newbold-on-Stour, nr Stratford-upon-Avon, Sat May 27

Shakespeare Distillery Gin

Independent artisan spirit producer Shakespeare Distillery is bringing all three of its Tudor inspired gins for tasting, plus there’s homemade tapas. Tickets are likely to go quickly for this after last year’s sell-out success! £25 per person., Tel: 01789 459 140

80s Tropicana! The Court House, Jury Street, Warwick, Sat May 27,

Were you a Duranie, fan of The Breakfast Club or a Madonna clone? Put on your best 80s vintage fashion for this 80s disco in a beautiful historic Grade I ballroom with amazing high-ceilings, bopping to the likes of the Eurythmics, Terence Trent D’Arby and of course Wham! Enjoy a fish & chips supper (including veggie option), 80s quiz and cocktail bar, starts 7.30pm.

Tickets at £19.80 will include supper and a complimentary cocktail on sale in the Visitor Information Centre, Tel 01926 492212,

The Motor Show, Ragley Hall, Alcester, Sun May 28 & Mon May 29

The Motor Show is set in the 400 acres of parkland, woodland and gardens of Ragley Hall, the family home of the Marquess & Marchioness of Hertford for 9 generations. Designed in 1680 by Robert Hooke, Ragley is one of the earliest of England’s great Palladian Houses. Surrounded by 27 acres of delightful ever-changing gardens, the parkland contains the Children’s Adventure Playground, Woodland Walk, Lakeside Picnic Area. You can see up to 600 vintage and classic cars, American, kit & custom, motorcycles and commercial vehicles plus club stands, trade and auto jumble stands. A team of judges will select the winners in the arena at 4pm. Vintage rides for children and live music – The Quik Beat 60s band and The Blueprint Blues Brothers.

Hillbilly night, The Stock Pot Café, Ryton Organic Gardens, Sat May 27

Yee-haw! Dig out your straw hat and denim dungarees for this fun foodie charity night in aid of the Children’s Wish List. There’ll be a lovely home-cooked chilli, moonshine and foot-stomping blue grass from Clive and Matt Ryder at this very popular café run by the former pub landlord & lady of The Buck & Bell in Long Itchington, Chris and Laura and their mate Will. Tickets going quickly. £20 for food & entertainment.

Elizabeth: The Pageant, Kenilworth Castle, Sun May 28- Mon May 29

Warwickshire’s Kenilworth Castle brings to life the pomp and pageantry of Queen Elizabeth’s historic 1575 visit to Kenilworth with a packed programme of entertainments fit for a queen including a Royal procession, expert horse displays and breath-taking flying displays from hawks and falcons by Raphael Historic Falconry. There’ll be a School for Fools and half an hour of serious silliness in the Fe Fi Fo Fire Show.

The Specials & Toots And The Maytals, The Genting Arena NEC, Fri May 26 

Coventry’s influential 2-Tone icons The Specials and legendary Jamaican reggae heroes Toots And The Maytals will share the stage for the very first time with both acts boasting significant careers that span over 40 years. A brilliant kick-start to the summer expect highlights from their back catalogues including Ghost Town, Monkey Man, Message to You Rudy and Too Much Too Young.

Craig Charles Funk & Soul Club with, The Clarendon, Leamington, Fri May 26 

If you love a bit of soul, check out Craig’s fab Funk ‘n’ Soul Show every Sat from 7pm-10pm on BBC Radio 6 Music

Craig Charles, Red Dwarf actor, poet, comedian and host of the BBC6 Funk and Soul show, returns to the Clarendon with his trunk of funk. He’ll be spinning some of the best in funk and soul through to the current club sounds in a live 2 hour DJ set with support. Enjoy a grazing board or a fab homemade New Orleans Chili before dancing the night away, £12 in advance, 9pm-2am.

Jazz, Blues & Soul Festival, Bar Catalan, Jury Street, Warwick, Thur May 26-Sun May 28

The air in Warwick will be filled with the sound of jazz, blues and soul over the May Bank Holiday weekend with a marquee and beer tent in the Pageant Garden behind the bar from 3pm-11pm on Sun – on the same day as Warwick Food Festival. Sunday’s headliners include Steve Ajao’s Blues Giants, Antiquity – a Soul/Funk Trio from Birmingham, Chris Gibbons’ Jazz Trio and a 4-piece from the West Country, Swampgrass, plus in between sets, Betsy harmony and Lilas LaFleur. On Fri and Sat other acts include Andi Wolf, Double Time and The Gloria Sunset Duo. Free entry. Tel:01926 498930

My Country, Warwick Arts Centre, Sat May 27

The National Theatre’s celebrated show My Country; a work in progress is a refreshing and entertaining take on Brexit, directed by Rufus Norris in collaboration with poet laureate Carol Ann Duffy. It’s a verbatim piece and a listening project. In the days following the referendum, a team of interviewers spoke to people around the country – from Leicester to Derry/Londonderry and Merthyr Tydfil to Glasgow, aged 9 to 87 – to hear their views. The opinions were honest, emotional, funny and sometimes extreme. Opening night will feature a post-show talk with Director Rufus Norris.

War of the Roses Live, Warwick Castle, Sat May 27 – Sun June 4

A new heart pumping, fist thumping live action show recreating the War of the Roses. Pledge your allegiance in an epic battle for the English Throne! It’s 1455 and the House of Lancaster holds the English throne. King Henry VI’s crown is challenged by the House of York. The rival houses clash in battle and the bloody war that ensues was to last over 30 years.

Vice Versa, The Swan, Stratford, until Sept 9

An entertaining completely bonkers new farce ‘lovingly ripped off ‘from the Roman comedies of Plutus by playwright Phil Porter (2014’s WWW1 drama The Christmas Truce & 2013’s very funny A Mad World My Masters).  A clever servant and a pair of wronged young lovers team up to bamboozle Trump-like pompous general. Felix Hayes (Wendy and Peter) returns to play General Braggadocio, playing his servant, Dexter, is the wonderfully charismatic Sophia Nomvetewhose credits include The Colour Purple (Menier Chocolate Factory) and As You Like It (Shakespeare’s Globe). They are joined by former ‘Allo ‘Allo star Kim Hartman who makes her RSC debut playing ‘a lady of the night’ called Climax. Read her My Favourite Places here.

Pirate Festival, Hatton Adventure WorldSat May 27–June 4

Shiver me timbers the Pirates are coming to Hatton this Whitsun half-term! Young buccaneers, Long John Silver’s and Captain Jack Sparrow’s are invited to search for hidden treasure and enter a world of skulduggery and pesky pirate antics. Live pirate style entertainment includes a fantastic new Pirate Show in the family theatre, Pirate Battles, finding smuggled booty in the hidden Treasure Hunt and panning for gold. Plus, usual activities ranging from the Guinea Pig village, snake handling, tractor safari, falconry demonstrations to outdoor laser combat (for children 8yrs+), fun fair rides and indoor soft play area – Snorty’s Superslide Mania. Tel: 01926 843411

Shipston Wool Fair, Shipston-on-Stour, Monday May 29

A Sheep and Wool Fair was held every year in the town until the mid 1800s – and was revived 150 years later in 2009. Now it’s bigger, better and woolly-er than ever with an exhibition of up to 20 rare breeds sheep, Yarn Bombing, a sheep-shearing demo, a have-a-go marquee with traditional wool related crafts, stalls and children’s fancy dress.

The Gaydon Festival of Transport, British Motor Museum, Gaydon, Warwickshire, Sun May 28

Now in its third year, the family-friendly transport show will feature a range of classic vehicles, from sports cars to emergency service vehicles, displays from the Standard Motor Club, Triumph TR Register and the local Military Vehicle Trust. There will also be a fire demonstration and gunnery display with everything from rifle shooting to tank firing. Family activities include Bouncy Castles, Nerf Shooting, a Bug Show, face painting and an onsite child-friendly play area.  or call 01926 641188

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