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What’s On This Weekend



FESTIVAL: Glasto2019 on TV, Fri June 28 – Sun June 30

Courtesy of Glastonbury Festival, Photo by Anna Barclay, 2017

Deckchair propped in front of the TV, ready? If you’ve watched the BBC’s Glastonbury’s Greatest Headliners, you’ll already be hyped for the Worthy Farm bash this weekend. Could Lady Gaga perform a secret set with Hollywood actor Bradley Cooper? That’s the question on everyone’s lips. Headline highlights include Stormzy, Ms Lauryn Hill, Liam Gallagher, Janet Jackson, The Chemical Brothers, and The Cure. Kylie holds to legends slot and unpredictable pop star Miley Cyrus could cause some drama. Christine and The Queens, Loyle Carner, Jorga Smith,  Janelle Monae, Lizzo, Kamasi Washington, the Ezra Collective, Pip Blom, Cat Power and Jeff Goldblum & The Mildred Snitzer Orchestra are some of the other acts definitely worth a watch,  bbc

Stormzy releases new track Crown ahead of his Glastonbury headline set addressing the feeling of pressure to be a role model as his fame increases.


NEW THEATRE: Measure for Measure, Royal Shakespeare Theatre, Fri June 28 – Aug 29

Set in early 1900s Vienna this 400-year-old play, about a young novice nun compromised by a corrupt official, who offers to save her brother from execution in return for sex, remains astutely relevant today. Don’t miss this rarely performed, darkly comic tale starring the excellent Worcester-born Lucy Phelps as Isabella, who’s also in the company’s As You Like It!


BARBEQUE: Midsummer BBQ, Napton Cidery, Holroyd House Farm, Napton on the Hill, Southam, CV47 8NY, Sat 29 Jun

Nothing goes together like summer festivals and cider…and we can’t think of a better way to throw ourselves into the sunny spirit than this! Family-run Napton cidery have a passion for local produce, sustainable British farming and – of course – irresistible craft cider. 2019 has been a fantastic year so far, including cidery renovations, new branding and their latest wonderstuff, Prosecco-style cider. We can already taste the bubbles! They invite you to celebrate, with gorgeous food from Napton Buffalo Burgers and Sweet Boutique cakes, live music, summer cocktails and all-natural cider. Kick off your heels, lie back on the grass and bask in the chilled vibes. Join the fun from 12pm-7pm. Info here


LIVE MUSICShipston Proms, Shipston-on-Stour, until Sat 29 Jun  

The streets of Shipston have undergone a distinctly Cool Britannia makeover for the duration of the Proms, in celebration of headliner: The Britpop Boys. A spectacularly varied programme of musical fun is on offer during the fortnight, with a 90s-tastic street party finale on 29 Jun including a hog roast and bar. Whether you were Team Oasis or Team Blur, swagger on down and party like it’s 1999. Varying ticket costs for different events; free entry for last night of the proms street party. More info


EVENT: Murder Mystery Evening, Shakespeare’s New Place, Chapel Street, Stratford-upon-Avon, 29 June

Garden of Inspiration, New Place

A book has been written about the death of William Underhill, from whom William Shakespeare bought New Place, and a murder takes place at the launch event. A fascinating plot will be delivered by professional actors, and you can join Detective Willie Catchem to help solve the crime at this family-friendly event. Tickets £10 adults, £8 children, and £9 concessions. An informative talk about the Underhill murder and another that took place at New Place will be given at 12pm and 2pm on the same day, 6.30pm-8.30pm,


RUGBY FESTIVAL OF CULTURE, various locations, Sun June 23 – July 14

An enormous variety of alternative culture to enjoy from a Cider & Gin Festival at The Merchants Inn to Artists at Work, outdoor theatre with Heartbreak Productions’ Wuthering Heights in Caldecott Park (Wed Jul 10) and Enterlude’s Three Indie Music Icons (July 5) followed by Laugh It Up Comedy Night (July 11). Over at the lovely Macready Theatre (opposite Rugby School) is a Grease Singalong – with gin  (Fri July 5); a chilled out Pizza & Jazz evening perfect for date night  (Sat July 6); a brand new family musical The Great Samurai  staged especially for the festival based on a play unearthed by Willis Hall – the writer of TV children’s favourite Worzel Gummidge (Sun July 7)! and two Edinburgh Festival previews by Morgan and West’s Unbelievable Science, (Thur July 11) and improvised, interactive detective drama for kids Bureau of Untold Stories (Sat July 13)There’s loads more on besides, check out the full festival itinerary here.


THEATRE: Crooked Dances, The Other Place, Stratford upon Avon, Thur June 20 – Sat Jul 13

Ruth Lass as Silvia de Zingaro Crooked Dances production photos, taken at the Studio Theatre at The Other Place in Stratford-upon-Avon by Ellie Kurttz © RSC

The RSC doesn’t only do Shakespeare. A new play examining music, time and attention in our modern digital age by award-winning playwright and screen-writer Robin French, co-writer of BBC3 sitcom Cuckoo, is currently showing in The Other Place. Joining Crooked Dances is Beware the Cat, a one-hour performance inspired by the first ever English novel by William Baldwin on Sat July 6 at 5pm. The novel, Beware the Cat, was first written in 1552 before many of the more well-known early modern writers published their first work. It tells a tale of witchcraft, religious controversy and talking cats.

 To book tickets call 01789 331 111 or online at 


ART: Warwickshire Open Studios, in 151 venues across Coventry & Warwickshire, June 15 – 30

More than 300 amateur and professional artists are this month opening up their studios, workshops, garden sheds, spare rooms, caravans and canal barges (!) to the public. The emphasis is on making art accessible to all and although participants make sales and take commissions, they are also just as happy to have a cuppa and chat about their work. A wide variety of disciplines on showinclude illustration, ceramics, jewellery and silversmithing, photography and textiles, warwickshireopenstudios

THEATRE: Venice PreservedSwan Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon, until Sept 7

Photo by Helen-Maybanks c RSC

Actor/Director/Writer Prasanna Puwanarajah, who recently appeared in Doctor Foster and Patrick Melrose, directs a dark, dystopian production of this rarely-performed Restoration cross-class love story by Thomas Otway, playing in the intimate setting of the Swan Theatre. Tickets here.


LIVE MUSIC: Lost Highway, Leif Tearooms & Piano Bar, Leamington Spa, Fri 28 Jun  

Don your faded denim, shake out your big hair and embrace your inner rocker! Banging out hits from the likes of Lenny Kravitz, Bon Jovi, Thin Lizzy, The Stones, Fleetwood Mac and many more, this classic rock tribute band is guaranteed to get you on your feet and in the mood for the weekend. A fun night with the ultimate in guilty pleasure music, set in the intimate and laid-back Leif. Hands up who’ll have lost their voice by Saturday morning…?

Show time: 9pm-11pm. More info here


THEATRE: The Provoked Wife, Swan Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon, now until Sept 7

Caroline Quentin in The-Provoked-Wife. Photo-by-Pete-Le-May

Comedians Rufus Hound and Les Dennis, are joining Alexandra Gilbreath (Lady Brute), Caroline Quentin (Lady Fancyfull) and Jonathan Slinger (Sir John Brute) in a riotous new production of the outspoken restoration romp that shocked 17th century society, directed by Phillip Breen (The Hypocrite, The Shoemaker’s Holiday, The Merry Wives of Windsor), 


BALLET: Esmerelda and the hunchback of Notre Dame, Royal Spa Centre, Leamington Spa, Sat 29 & Sun 30 Jun

A poignant performance of this gothic classic by Leamington and Warwick Academy of Dance. Get swept away by bittersweet romanticism, all the more intensified by the unfathomable demise of the iconic Parisian landmark earlier this year. Aimed at a family audience. Show times: 1.30pm & 6.30pm. Tickets: Adults £15; under 12s £12.


WARWICKSHIRE: Art in Dunchurch, Fosse House Gallery, The Old Post Office and Inglenook Dunchurch, nr Rugby, June 15 – 30

Art in Dunchurch

This historic Warwickshire village, famous for its connection with the Gunpowder Plot, will be the venue for the largest gathering of local artists in this part of the county as part of Warwickshire Open Studios 2019 –  26 in total! Three fab venues include the lovely Fosse House Gallery, which opened nearly three years ago, where artist/owner Shenac Rogerson will be showing her own original prints and ceramics. Across the road, at the Old Post Office, are artists Jo and Adam Sheridan of Mud and Wool. Jo weaves beautiful freestyle Japanese Saori cloth, while Adam creates ambitiously grand terracotta and stoneware pots in his idyllic garden studio. They’ll be working alongside 4 more artists. Then at Inglenook, a fascinating house dating back 400 years, next to Fosse House Gallery, Julia Sanders, will be exhibiting her innovative textile work which redefines recycled raw sheep fleece into both useable and visual pieces, alongside the work of 15 more artists in her wonderful walled garden. Check out their art on Insta: art_in_dunchurchfosshousegallerymudandwooljuliasandersartist 

Dates: Saturday June 15, 22, 29Sunday June 16 & 23Wednesday June 19 & 26, 10am-4pm. Email:  Jo Sheridan:, warwickshireopenstudios


FESTIVAL: SCBUFest, Jephson Gardens, Leamington Spa, Sat 29 Jun 10am-7pm

All-round family fun organised by the Special Care Baby Unit. A wealth of children’s activities including soft play, bouncy castle and mini Olympics, alongside stalls, food and live music. The Gardens are particularly glorious at this time of year, providing a beautiful backdrop for a feelgood day and an opportunity to contribute to the fundraising efforts of the Special Care Baby Unit. Free entryMore info


THEATRE: The Taming of the Shrew, Royal Shakespeare Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon, now until Aug 31

Justin Audibert’s gender-switched adaptation in which sexes are presented in reversed roles has been largely very well received. National critics said:  a “landmark production” (Evening Standard ****);  “an interesting but underpowered exercise in gender-swapping” (Daily Telegraph ***) and “Getting their hands on the best and biggest parts for once, the female performers savour every syllable”, (The Times, ****), rsc

SUMMER FETE: Warwick Myton Hospice, Sun 30 Jun

Spend a chilled summer afternoon with the family in the gardens of the hospice, with the chance to meet treatment professionals and discover the amazing work they do. With a Pimms bar, tea and cake tent (need we go on…?), stalls, bouncy castle, live music and dance, it’ll be packed full of community spirit and you can even find out about volunteering opportunities. Head on down from 12pm-4pm. More info


THEATRE: As You Like It, Royal Shakespeare Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon, until Aug 31 

Kimberley Sykes’ beguiling As You Like It has fabulous critically-acclaimed performances by Worcester actor Lucy Phelps as Rosalind and David Ajao as Orlando, also look out for LAMDA-trained Leamington Spa actor Amelia Donkor as Silvia! Read our review here,, Tel: 01789 403493.


Book Club LIVE! Also Festival, Park Farm, Compton Verney, Thurs July 4

Fancy having your July book club meet-up in the ground of one of the UK’s top boutique festivals, immersed in nature? BookClub.LIVE is TheAlso Festival‘s event to celebrate the positive social role the Book Club plays in people’s lives and this year will be held on the evening before the festival opens on Thursday, July  4 at Park Farm, Compton Verney. From 6pm the gates to this glorious 50-acre lakeside parkland will be thrown wide open for you and your gang to make it the location for your summer book group. This year Also Festival is working with writer and broadcaster Natalie Haynes who will be at Book Club LIVE to talk about her novel A Thousand Ships (published early May.) Natalie, the author of three novels including The Ancient Guide to Modern Life, also presents the BBC Radio 4 Show Natalie Haynes Stands Up for the Classics.  She was awarded the 2015 Classical Prize and in 2018 took on Boris Johnson and won. Ten years as a stand-up comedian mean you can expect a highly entertaining performer.

Book Club LIVE is held in a beautiful canvas marquee with a bar with wines and beers, bar snacks and, tasty wines and non-alcoholic drinks.  Warwickshire’s Also festival runs Fri July 5 – 7.


GIN: Stratford upon Avon Topiary Gin Festival, Billesley Manor Hotel, Stratford upon Avon, Sun July 7

Set in Billesely Manor Hotel’s 100-year-old Topiary garden is a celebration of local regional artisan gins run in partnership with Stratford-based Shakespeare Distillery. You’ll be able to meet and taste gins produced at 6 local gin distilleries including Puddingstone Distillery, home of Campfire Gin (Tring, Herts), Wood Brothers (Oxon), Sovereign Spirits (Mansfield, Notts), British Polo Gin (Bishop’s Norton, Glos) and Locksley Distilling Co (Sheffield) –  all supported by Fever Tree. These will be served alongside chef’s selection of locally sourced food. A fantastic live music line up throughout the afternoon includes the return of last year’s talented Andrew James – winner of the Cotswold Musician Award – plus, female singer and acoustic duo, Three’s a Crowd, and popular local acoustic trio Wired. Located in the heart of the UK’s best gin distilleries, this perfect chilled Sunday afternoon will not disappoint! £20 tickets include a souvenir branded gin glass, Gin Menu detailing all flavours & cocktails available, plus a welcome Gin & Tonic supplied by Shakespeare Distillery. Ages 18+.

Tickets here: eventbrite

FESTIVAL: Pub in the Park, St Nicholas Park, Warwick, Fri July 5 – Sun  7

Get yer glitter and denim hotpants out as festival season is upon us! Tom Kerridge’s popular gourmet scran meets live music fandango, Pub in the Park, comes to Warwick for the very first time with Tom Odell, Razorlight, Stereo MCs, Toploader and Will Young in tow, as well as cookery demos and talks from winner of The Great British Bake Off 2016 Candice Brown, Jodie Kidd, Fred Sireix the French Maître d’hôtel best known for Channel 4’s First Dates and Adam Bennet from Michelin-starred The Cross in Kenilworth  and Nick Deverell-Smith, owner and head chef of The Churchill Arms, in the Cotswolds.


Dragon Slayer, Warwick Castle, Wed 7 Aug – Mon 26 Aug

You can read our review of the castle’s inaugural digital projection installation, Dragon Slayer here. It was pretty spectacular and jaw-dropping in parts! It’s returning with even more projection breathing fire into late summer evenings this August in a family-friendly show of jousting, pyrotechnics, stunt riding and stunning fireworks. The show stars live actors and an epic light projection onto the grandiose walls of the magnificent Warwick Castle.  There’ll be a choice of catering vans Tickets start at £20 for the show only, or various packages are available to include food and drink. Gates open 7pm; show time 8.30pm-10pm.



BALLET: (Un)leashed, Birmingham Royal Ballet, Sadler’s Wells, London,  Tue June 25 – Wed June 25

Birmingham Royal Ballet is doing its bit for gender balance with a triple bill by three female choreographers including former company dancer Ruth Brill and her brand new urban take on Sergei Prokofiev’s classic, Peter and the Wolf (amazing!) . Jessica Lang’s returns with the beautiful Lyric Pieces, originally created for the Company as part of International Dance Festival Birmingham 2012 and there’s the world premiere of Sense of Time, the third Ballet Now commission by Didy Veldman, with a score by Gabriel Prokofiev, grandson of Sergei Prokofiev. Try to catch if you can.


ARTPaula Rego: Obedience and Defiance, MK Gallery, Milton Keynes, until Sept 22

Over at Milton Keynes’ mega new MK Gallery you can see the largest retrospective of the political artist’s work in England for 20 years with pieces focusing on gender discrimination, violence, slavery, abortion and political tyranny.


NEW EXHIBITION: Manolo Blahnik, The Wallace Collection, London, Mon Jun 10 – Sun Sept 1

This new exhibit contrasts paintings, sculpture and ornate furniture from the Rococo art movement with Spanish fashion designer Manolo Blahnik’s designs. The intimate collection has been curated by Blahnik himself and features items from his private archives and these gorgeous candy pink shoes designed for Sofia Coppola’s award-winning film, Marie Antoinette. There are also a few accompanying talks, Fashion or Art?, Fashion and Power, The Collector, The Interior World, but if you want to go get a ticket quick as they’re selling out fast. This exhibit is free.


ART: Keith Haring, Tate Liverpool, Liverpool, Fri Jun 14 – Sun Nov 10

Spot the little guys! A cool exhibit to check out that’s not over in the Big Smoke is this retrospective of Keith Haring, a legend on the ’80s graffiti, pop art and underground club culture scene.  The exhibit will feature 85 artworks including large-scale paintings, posters, photos and video. Very cool.


ART: Claudette Johnson: I Came to DanceModern Art Oxford, Sat 1 Jun – Sun 8 Sept

This powerful and moving new exhibition is an overview of artist Claudette Johnson’s life and features her early work from the ’80s when she joined the newly formed BLK Art Group at Wolverhampton University, and the moving, political large-scale drawings of men and women she i

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