Fri June 23 - Sun June 25
Rugby Festival of Culture, Sat June 24-July 16
This culturally-diverse festival includes the launch of 2 new exhibitions at the town’s cultural hub, Rugby Art Gallery & Museum (see below) and Rugby School’s 450th anniversary celebration, Festival on the Close with G4 & Lesley Garrett, Captive by Motionhouse, the National Youth Jazz Orchestra, poet John Agard, author Louis de Bernieres and award-winning singer Laura Mvula with special guest Passport to Stokholm. There’s also film screenings include Sister Act with a live choir, an open air screening of La La Land in Caldecott Park, heritage walking tours, live music and some cool kids theatre at Muddy Award winner Rugby Theatre. Plus, last entry to the World Rugby Hall of Fame on Sun July 2.
Units of Possibility: The Reknit Revolution, Rugby Art Gallery & Museum, Sat June 24-Sept 2
Meet the designer behind a new summer exhibition on Saturday afternoon. This is Amy Twigger Holroyd, a senior lecturer in Design Culture and Context at Nottingham Trent Uni’s first solo show. Her reknitting work was originally developed during her PhD at Birmingham Institute of Art & Design, in 2013, resulting in a soon to be published book, Folk Fashion: Understanding Homemade Clothes. Ultimately, she aims to encourage knitters to see the pieces in their wardrobes as ripe for reinvention. I’m intrigued by her Cathedral Cardigans, 5 reknitted cast-offs inspired by the architecture of gothic cathedrals!
Midsummer Roman Feast with food designers Blanch & Shock, Avonbank Gardens, Stratford-upon-Avon, Sun June 25
Fancy dining on some original Roman recipes? Renowned food designers Blanch & Shock will present a three-course meal, interspersed with moments of performance as part of a one-day Roman Festival, inspired by the RSC’s Rome season. Previous projects have included Feast of the Dead in Hastings, with collaborators, Dens and Signals. You can expect some unusual herbs and spices, a little splash of gore, lots of honey and some decadent Roman party tricks. Also in the Swan Gardens, 12pm – 4pm, will be free traditional life sized and table top games, live music and Roman inspired crafts with space for families to bring their own picnic.
The Roman Feast begins at 12pm. Tickets are £15 for adults and £7.50 for concessions and children aged 5+. rsc.org.uk Tel: 01789 403493
Leamington Wine Co’s ‘LeamGinton’ Gin Festival, Victoria House, Willes Road, Leamington Spa, CV32 4PT, Fri June 23
A fab gin tasting evening by Warwickshire’s Muddy Award winners for Best Wine Merchant! Anita Mannion’s store is also Independent Drinks Retailer of the Year 2017 – how brilliant is that! Concoct your fave mix of gin and tonic among the 50 gins available, supported by Fever Tree. Five exclusive craft gin companies including Shakespeare Distillery, an artisan producer based in Stratford-upon-Avon, are exhibiting. Tickets £35 per person, 6.30pm-9pm. Tel: 01926 888994
leamingtonwine.co.uk, Tel: 01926 888994
Birmingham Royal Ballet – Three Short Ballets, Birmingham Hippodrome, Wed June 21-Sat June 24
Three one-act ballets in a stunning triple-bill: choreographer Michael Corder’s beautiful interpretation of Hans Christian Anderson’s Le Baiser de la fee, about a young boy whose life is saved by a fairy; Pineapple Poll, a witty take on Gilbert-and-Sullivan from John Cranko, and Arcadia, a debut commission by BRB’s Ruth Brill performed to a new score composed by saxophonist John Harle. For Muddy Gloucestershire’s review of Arcadia at the Everyman in Cheltenham read here.
Poetry Festival: A Midsummer Bonfire, Anne Hathaway’s Cottage, Shottery, Sat June 24
Celebrate Midsummer’s eve as part of Stratford-upon-Avon’s Poetry Festival (below) around a bonfire in the magical grounds of Anne Hathaway’s Cottage. Follow the tradition of singing songs and telling stories around the fire, and hear extracts from A Midsummer Night’s Dream and related poetry. Don’t forget to pack a picnic blanket, 7-9pm.
This event is in Cottage Lane, Stratford-upon-Avon, CV37 9HH. Booking essential, tickets available here or at ticket offices at any of Shakespeare’s Family Homes.
Stratford-upon-Avon Poetry Festival, Sun June 18-Sun June 25
The UK’s longest running poetry festival returns with 7-days of readings, performances and workshops, mixing the talents of inspirational and award-winning poets with actors and musicians. This year’s theme is Crossing Borders. Events include An Evening with an Immigrant in which award-winning poet and playwright Inua Ellams will tell his story, Kurdish poet Bjan Matur: In Conversation on Wed June 21, and All the Business of War with actors Simon Russell Beale and Alexandra Gilbreath on Sun June 25. The 64th Stratford-upon-Avon Poetry Festival is organised by the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust. A Midsummer Bonfire will take place on Sat June 24 in the grounds of Anne Hathaway’s Cottage with storytelling, poetry and readings from A Midsummer’s Night Dream. Bring a picnic.
Ragley Flower Festival, Ragley Hall, Alcester, Fri June 23- Sun June 25
During British Flower Week Ragley will be in full bloom for its own with spectacular floral displays and centrepieces throughout the palladium state rooms. Ragley Hall’s gardening team, local florists and horticultural experts, will be creating themed displays to parallel the diversity of each room within the hall.
Refugee Week: Coventry Refugee Centre (CRMC) Party in the Park, Primrose Hill, Hilfields, Coventry, Sat June 24
Coventry Refugee Centre’s annual Party in the Park for Refugee Week, 1pm-5pm, will include live music, dance performances, face painting, henna tattoos, freshly cooked food, and family-friendly games/ sports. Free. Keep up-to-date here.
Fargo Village, Far Gosford Street, Coventry, CV1 5ED
Parklife! Compton Verney, Sun June 25
Park Life! returns for the third year this summer in the beautiful grounds of Compton Verney, 10.30am-5pm. And folk fans are in for a real treat as headliners on the music stage are the award-winning Kathryn Roberts and Sean Lakeman, supported by Folklore and Blondes with Beards. Kathryn and Sean won the BBC Radio 2 Folk Award for Best Duo in 2013 and 2016. This one-day family-friendly festival condenses a smorgasbord of entertainment, contemporary crafts and artisan products, including delicious food and drink.
Jaguar Super Saturday, Coventry Transport Museum, Sat June 24
If you, your partner or any of your children are fans of iconic Jags you’ll definitely get your fix here! More than 100 will be on display in this 5th annual free event, with the very first E-type from 1961 to a priceless Borough Superior Motorcycle from Jaguar’s earliest history. Jaguar’s legendary Test Driver Norman Dewis will also attending where he’ll be reunited with the 77RW – the E-Type he drove out to Geneva Motor Show for the sensational launch in 1961, 10.30am-4.30pm
Last Chance to See: Room, Mead Gallery, Warwick Arts Centre, until Sat June 24
An 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. Artworks include Nan Goldin’s photographic series, Empty Rooms, Berlin/Hamburg (1983-96), taken in brothels, hotels and gay bars, and Brit artist Sarah Lucas’s installation Chuffing Away to Oblivion (1996) – a flimsy cabin made from a timber frame and brown paper, lined on the inside with tabloid newspapers. Free.
Warwick Summer Open Studios, various locations, until Sun July 2
Art lovers can enjoy free admission to 114 venues across Warwickshire exhibiting more than 220 local artists and design makers. Visit colourful homes, off the beaten track studios, galleries, National Trust properties and gardens.