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What’s on this weekend


Rufus Wainwright, Coventry Cathedral, Fri June 22

Coventry’s ‘Summer of Music’ continues with the legend that is, Rufus Wainwright, performing live in the beautiful, atmospheric setting of Coventry Cathedral as part of his 2018 UK Summer Tour.

Tickets available here.


Whisky Galore, Belgrade Theatre, Coventry, ends Sat June 23

Alicia McKenzie and Joey Parsad

A new adaptation of Compton MacKenzie’s comic Second World War novel, which inspired the 1949 Ealing comedy film, set on the the remote Scottish islands of Great and Little Todday. It pays tribute to the all-female touring theatre companies of the post-war years., Tel 024 7655 3055


Warwickshire Open Studios, Sat June 16 – Sun July 1

Artist Rhian Malin at The Ceramics Studio, Ettington Park Granary, Stratford-upon-Avon CV37 8BT

Looking for some original art? See a record number of more than 270 artists at work across 138 venues in this diverse celebration of visual arts across Coventry and Warwickshire. The event attracts around 30,000 visits a year. Excitingly WOS’ has a new patron for 2018 – the screenplay writer and novelist Andrew Davies, best known for House of Cards and TV adaptions of War & Peace, Pride and Prejudice, Vanity Fair and Middlemarch. This year WOS is taking over Temperance (33, Bath St) Leamington Spa as a central info hub. Drop in from June 9 – 30 to see a showcase of artists’ work, grab a drink or bite to eat.

Find out more about the artists, locations, opening times & facilities available, wostudios


Car Seat Safety Event with Maxi Cosi and Be Safe, The Baby Barn Pram & Nursery Centre, Marton, Rugby, Sat June 23 & Sun June 24

To celebrate their 25th birthday this weekend Warwickshire’s largest independent nursery store has organised a number of in-store events. Experts will be in store to answer any questions on the new i-size legislation and fitting. There’ll also be in-store advice on safety in the home, baby carriers and swaddling.

Marton Fields Farm, Marton, Rugby, CV23 9RS, babybarnltd


LAST CHANCE TO SEE: RSC Mischief Festival, The Other Place, Stratford-upon-Avon, Thurs May 31 – Sat June 23

#WeAreArrested production photos, 2018, Photo by Ellie Merridale (c) RSC

This innovative month-long festival features two new plays #WeAreArrested and Day of the Living. Led by Deputy Artistic Director Erica Whyman, the festival will include:

  • Double-bill: #WeAreArrested, the true story of Turkish journalist Can Dündar’s commitment to expose the truth in the face of huge personal risk; Day of the Living, inspired by the events in Ayotzinapa, Mexico 2014 when 43 students were forcibly taken and disappeared, Thur May 31 – Sat June 23.
  • Research & Development work-in-progress public reading of Redefining Juliet, Fri June 22, 2.30pm, £5.

Book on 01789 403493, rsc


Real Bodies The Exhibition, Hall 4, The NEC, Birmingham, Fri June 8 – Sun Aug 19

A powerful and thought-provoking exhibition of human anatomy taking visitors on a  journey, exploring the human body through physiology, culture and emotion by displaying real, perfectly preserved human bodies and over 200 anatomical specimens.



Stratford-upon-Avon Poetry Fest, various locations, Sun June 17 – Sun June 24 

Christopher Eccleston, currently starring in the RSC’s Macbeth with Niamh Cusack

The 65th Poetry festival this summer commemorates the centenary of the end of the First World War, Peace and Reconciliation. It opens with Washed With Such a Peace: Readings by Christopher Eccleston & Niamh Cusack (The Shakespeare Centre, Henley Street, Stratford Upon Avon, 7pm-9.30pm). Other highlights include an Open Mic Night on Mon June 18, An evening with Tony Harrison (Fri June 22), Midsummer Day Poetry and Bonfire (Sat June 23, Anne Hathaway’s Cottage) and Wilfred Owen: Readings by Dame Dian Phillips & Alex Waldermann (Sat June 24, The Shakespeare Centre).



Miss Littlewood, Swan Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon, Fri June 22 – Aug 4 

The company in rehearsal. Photo by Topher McGrillis

Move over Matilda, a new RSC musical for grown-ups opens this weekend. It’s directed by the RSC’s Deputy Artistic Director, Erica Whyman with music and lyrics by Sam Kenyon. Seven actresses will be playing Joan Littlewood – the anarchic revolutionary of 20th century theatre whose theatre workshop was responsible for a raft of successes including Oh, What A Lovely War!, A Taste of Honey and The Hostage – at different stages of her life. They include Clare Burt in her RSC debut, Aretha Ayeh, Sandy Foster, Amanda Hadingue, Dawn Hope, Emily Johnstone and Sophia Nomvete.



Ocean’s 8, nationwide, Fri June 22 

Oceans 8 poster

A line up of Hollywood A list actresses (Sandra Bullock, Cate Blanchett, Anne Hathaway, Helena Bonham Carter, Sarah Paulson, Mindy Kaling, Awkwafina and Rihanna), a robbery at The Met Ball and the familiar crime caper format has a Muddy girls’ night out written all over it.



Walkabout Wine Tasting with Vin Neuf, Hillers Garden Restaurant & Rose Garden, Alcester, Fri June 22

Taste more than 50 wines from across the world, cheeses from Hillers Cheese Shop and canapes with Stratford-based Muddy Award finalists 2018, Vin Neuf Wine Merchants in Hiller’s rose garden, 7pm – 9.30pm. Tickets £25 available at Hillers Garden Restaurant.

Dunnington Heath Farm, Alcester, Tel 01789 772771, hillers



Midsummer Madness Mary Arden’s Farm, Wilmcote, nr Stratford-upon-Avon, Fri June 22 & Sat June 23

Celebrate the longest and most magical time of the year at the farm. Learn circus skills, have your face painted, take part in hands-on crafts and don’t miss a special appearance of their very own unicorn! PLUS at 12 noon and 2.30pm follow the Tudor storyteller around the farm as she tells enchanting Tudor tales while you gather materials to make your very own fairy garden, 10am – 5pm.




Shakespeare in Song, University of Warwick Chamber Choir, Helen Martin Studio, Warwick Arts Centre, Fri June 22

Classic choral settings of Shakespearean texts for a cappella choir including these by Mäntyjärvi, Vaughan Williams and Bob Chilcott, 7.45pm. 1hr 15 mins.

Book here.


Grand Medieval Joust, Kenilworth Castle and Elizabethan Garden, Sat June 23 & Sun June 24 

Soak up medieval life in the colourful encampments and be entertained by the court jester while young knights can have their strength and skills tested.



Midsummer Jazz, Hill Close Gardens, Warwick, Sat June 23

Picnic in the gardens from 6pm. The Roy Forbes Quintet are playing an outdoor jazz set in the gardens from 7pm. Tickets: Adults £13.50; under 16s and over 65s £11.



 RSC Midsummer Dance Party, Stratford-Upon-Avon, Sat June 23 – Sun June 24

Kinetika dancers RSC

Photo: Kinetika

Remember the scene in the Leonardo di Caprio and Claire Danes Romeo and Juliet where they meet at a party and fall in love? So magical and romantic with no hint of what is to befall them. The RSC have joined forces with artists from Kinetika to create a spectacular dance party for the midsummer weekend, inspired by this scene. Join in with making costumes and decorations for the party and learn dance routines so that your ARE ON IT for the climax of the weekend when the dance will be filmed.


BOOK NOW: Suzanne Vega, Leamington Assembly, Wed June 27

Widely regarded as one of the best songwriters of her generation, Suzanne emerged as a leading figure of the folk-music revival in the early 1980s. Since her debut 25 years ago she has sold more than 7 million albums and been nominated for 7 Grammy awards. Her song, Tom’s Diner, was used in the refinement of the MP3, earning her the nickname, The Mother of the MP3. It’s since been remixed nearly 25 times by artists including Will Smith, Tupac and Destiny’s Child. Doors – 7pm.

Tel: 0844 478 0898,  seetickets



Romeo & Juliet, RST, Stratford, April 21 – Sept 21/ Live in Cinemas: Jul 18

Photo by Topher McGrillis © RSC

Check out the RSC’s youthful, gender-fluid revival with Coventry’s Bally Gill and Glaswegian actress Karen Fishwick as the doomed teen lovers. Erica Whyman examines Generation Z, grime culture and the destructiveness of knife crime in this present-day production.



Macbeth, RST, Stratford, until Sept 18

Photo by Richard-Davenport-

This compelling contemporary version of Shakespeare’s darkest psychological thriller with the fantastic Christopher Eccleston, brilliant in BBC 1’s The A Word, and revered Irish actor Niamh Cusack as Macbeth and Lady Macbeth. Directed by Polly Findlay has the eerie feel of a modern horror film. Brilliant for students studying Macbeth on their GCSE or A level syllabus!

Book here.


The Duchess of Malfi, The Swan, Stratford-upon-Avon, now until Aug 3

Pic credit: Helen Maybanks

After her inventive and critically-acclaimed production of Doctor Faustus in 2016, Maria Aberg returns to the RSC to direct a critically-acclaimed modern dress, blood-soaked version of The Duchess of Malfi in her own distinct style. Topically it’s all about gender politics and toxic masculinity.  Joan Iyiola stars as The Duchess, her twin brother Ferdinand is played by Alexander Cobb – Indian Summers (Channel 4) and Ripper Street (BBC) – and The Cardinal is Chris New, who was Glen in 2011 film, Weekend. Read Muddy’s Q & A with Joan here.

Tel: 01789 403493, rsc



Merge Festival, Bankside/Tate Modern, London, Fri June 8 – Sun July 1

Book an appointment at The Feel Good Institute. Photo cred Merge Festival

The annual arts/music festival this year aims to brighten up your day with a  ‘feel good’ theme. A quirky, fun-packed and eclectic programme includes The Feel Good Institute – a multi-sensory series of installations by various artists, ‘Dr Leon – Neural Enhancement’ a theatrical experience where ‘Patients’ are seen by surgery staff for a 20-minute implanted happy chip, ‘Happy Mondays’ at bars & restaurants, look out for Bankside Smileys, Time to Make Merry installations on the Friday commute and the Great Get Together Bankside street party!

Frida Kahlo: Making Her Self Up, V&A, London, June 16 – Nov 4

A photo of artist Frida Khalo in a blue satin blouse with pink flower in her hair

Frida Kahlo in blue satin blouse, 1939. Photograph Nickolas Muray © Nickolas Muray Photo Archives

This summer, the V&A will explore how Frida Kahlo (b. 1907), one of the most recognised and significant artists and women of the 20th century, fashioned her identity. More than 200 previously unseen personal objects will be on show including her eyebrow pencil ‘Ebony,’ still within its original packaging, which she used to emphasise her signature mono brow, her favourite lipstick, Revlon’s ‘Everything’s Rosy’ and red nail varnish, outfits, medical corsets and a painted prosthetic leg! They were discovered in 2004, 50 years after being sealed in the Blue House, Mexico, by her husband Diego Rivera, the Mexican muralist, following her death in 1954.


Robert Smith’s Meltdown Festival, London’s South Bank Centre, June 15-24 

Disappointed to have missed out on tickets for The Cure’s 40th anniversary concert in Hyde Park, London, on Sat July 7? You can always catch the next best thing – Robert Smith’s all-time favourite artists of the last 40 years in this 10-night extravaganza. The first acts confirmed are Deftones, The Libertines, Manic Street Preachers, Mogwai, My Bloody Valentine, Nine Inch Nails, Placebo, The Psychedelic Furs, The Church, 65daysofstatic, Alcest, The Anchoress, Kristin Hersh, Kathryn Joseph, MONO, and The Notwist. Further info here.


Isle of Wight Festival, Thurs June 21 – Sun June 24

Cuban singer/songwriter Camila Cabello whose single Havana was the longest run at #1 on Top 40 Radio by a female artist in five years.

Kasabian, Depeche Mode, Liam Gallagher and The Killers headline the 50th anniversary year of the summer’s first big festival. There’s also pop from Camila Cabello and an appearance from Van the Man.



Royal Ascot, Ascot Racecourse, Tues 19 – Sat 23 June

Grab your hat, keep the hemlines long, the fake tan light and enjoy a day of sunshine (fingers crossed), celeb spotting and apparently there are few horses running too. It’s the perfect place to people watch, just don’t overdo the bubbles for fear of making it into the Daily Mail.


Turn of the Screw, Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre, London, Fri 22 June

Photo: Feast Creative

Hurrah for a bit of spooky excitement courtesy of The English National Opera and the Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre in this reworking of Henry James’ classic novella by Benjamin Britten. The suspenseful story of a young governess trying to protect her children in a remote country house will certainly get the hairs standing up on the back of my neck at this outdoor venue.


ART: RA Summer Exhibition, Piccadilly, London, opens Tues June 12


It’s here! It’s the 250th year of the Royal Academy of Arts summer exhibition and this year, Grayson Perry RA and his committee of fellow artists have handpicked over 1,300 artworks in an array of mediums. This is always great fun and this year it could look very different.

RA Summer Exhibition

Find more ideas here

Things to DoThis Weekend

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