What’s happening This Weekend?
FRI JAN 25 - SUN JAN 28
Birmingham Contemporary Music Group – Celebrating Carter, Town Hall, Birmingham, Sun Jan 28
The CBSO’s new musical director, Lithuanian Mirga Gražinyte-Tyla conducts Birmingham Contemporary Music Group for the first time, in a celebration of a very American genius: Elliott Carter. The group will be joined by pianist Pierre-Laurent Aimard, one of the world’s leading interpreters of new music long been associated with Carter’s music, 4pm.
Burns Night Whisky Tasting, The Fat Pug Neighbourhood Pub & Kitchen, Leamington Spa, Fri Jan 25
Join Matt on Malt for an exclusive tasting of 5 single malt Scotch whisky’s, alongside a traditionally Scottish two-course dinner in their Private Dining Room above the pub
££: £30 all in – two-course dinner & 6 drams of Whisky! thefatpug
Burns Night Whisky Tasting, Slurp, 121 Regent Street, Leamington Spa, Fri Jan 25
A night traditionally celebrated with haggis, poetry, dancing and most importantly – whisky! So join in the celebration, and try a variety of whiskies from different regions of Scotland.
££: £40. Book here.
Mean Girls Brunch, The Mockingbird Cinema & Kitchen, Custard Factory, Birmingham, Sat Jan 27
Who doesn’t want free-flowing Prosecco or Bloody Mary’s? Enjoy a two courses brunch with unlimited booze included!!! Dining 11am – 1pm. The film starts just after 1pm. £29.95 plus booking fee, book here, mockingbirdcinema
Ahir Shah: Control tour, Studio, Royal Spa Centre, Leamington Spa, Sat Jan 27
The 2017 Edinburgh comedy award nominee explores the current global socio-political turmoil in a show about freedom, fascism, history, hope, and resistance.
2018 headliners include Show of Hands, Jon Boden & Remnant Kings, Korrontzi, Gordie MacKeeman & His Rhythm Boys, Granny’s Attic. Tickets fro the festival which runs July 26 – 29 cost £95 for the weekend and £110 for 4 days. Early bird ticket sales will close late on Sun Jan 28 and tickets will go on sale on Mon Jan 29 at the increased price. Festival goers are therefore advised to book their tickets ASAP. Jon Boden has become the “stand out performer of his generation” according to The Guardian of traditional folk artists, best known as the lead singer of folk act Bellowhead.
Upton House, open on weekends in January
Many of the heritage estates are closed at the mo, but Upton House is pluckily resisting the trend, with the house open on weekends all through January. I’m a big fan of this place – the artworks are incredible (think Canaletto) and an inventive, child-friendly way of presenting exhibitions and the house itself. On the border near Warwickshire, dip over The Kitchen in nearby Farnborough for lunch afterwards, you’ll love it.
Imperium Part I: Conspirator & Imperium Part II: Dictator, The Swan, Stratford-upon-Avon, now – Feb 10 2018
RSC Artistic Director Gregory Doran directs Richard McCabe in the title role of Robert Harris’ best-selling Cicero trilogy along with Siobhan Redmond. It follows playwright Mike Poulton’s highly successful RSC adaptation of Hilary Mantel’s Wolf Hall and Bring up the Bodies. A critically-acclaimed two-part, seven hour epic
Burns Night, The Fuzzy Duck, Armscote, nr Stratford-upon-Avon, Thurs Jan 25
Head Chef Ben at his stylish revamped village pub has created a specials menu filled with traditional Scottish flavours but with a Fuzzy Duck twist and sample a selection of Scottish whisky’s.
Book your table on Tel: (0)1608 681 030 / (0)1608 682 635, fuzzyduckarmscote
Frost/Nixon, The Priory Theatre, Kenilworth, Mon Jan 29 – Sat Feb 3
In the TV age of 1977, image is king! British talk-show host David Frost has become a lowbrow laughing-stock. Richard M. Nixon has just resigned the United States presidency in total disgrace over Vietnam and the Watergate scandal. Determined to resurrect his career, Frost risks everything on a series of in-depth interviews in order to extract an apology from Nixon. The cagey Nixon, is equally bent on redeeming himself in his country’s eyes. Both men are desperate to out-talk and upstage each other as the cameras roll. The result is the interview that sealed a president’s legacy. Peter Morgan’s play – made into the 2008 Oscar nominated film – makes it clear that the competitor who controls the camera reaps the spoils.
Clare Woods: Reality Dimmed, Mead Gallery, Warwick Arts Centre, now – Sat March 10
Mead Gallery’s Spring exhibition will see renowned Hereford based painter, Clare Woods, exhibit a solo show of never seen before paintings in Reality Dimmed. Her work is held in many international collections and this major exhibition will see her exhibit her raw and powerful painting, which are frequently vast in scale.
Mead Gallery, free
A Christmas Carol, Royal Shakespeare Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon, now – Feb 4 2018
Bah humbug! The RSC’s new eagerly-awaited stage adaptation by David Edgar of Charles Dickens’ seasonal classic starring the excellent Poldark, Sherlock and Quadrophenia actor Phil Davis as Scrooge. Directed by Rachel Kavanaugh, who brought The Wind in the Willows to the London Palladium earlier this year, starring Rufus Hound as Toad. Review here.
The God of Carnage, Loft Theatre Company, Leamington Spa, now – Sat Jan 27
French playwright Yasmina Reza’s award-winning comedy deals with the aftermath of a playground spat between two 11-year-old boys. Christopher Hampton’s translation premiered in London in 2008 to great acclaim, winning both the Tony and Laurence Olivier Awards for best comedy the following year.
Learn the Transcendental Meditation technique, Free introductory courses available in Stratford & Birmingham
Transcendental Meditation is having a moment. After the Sixties peace ’n’ love era it largely faded from view, but now everyone from Lena Dunham to film director David Lynch is into it. Jarvis Cocker even dedicated one of his BBC 6 Music Sunday Service’s to TM last month. More than 300 scientific studies show huge health benefits including reduced anxiety and depression. Learning TM involves a free introductory talk, then personal instruction by one of 79 fully accredited, qualified UK teachers, including media lecturer Huw Meads, wife Linda and artist Claire Winteringham, who run courses in Stratford-upon-Avon and Birmingham.
http://uk.tm.org/web/stratford-upon-avon, Tel: 07775 409644
Twelfth Night, RST, Stratford, now – Feb 24 2018
**Last week** Basquiat: Boom for Real, The Barbican, until Sun Jan 28
The urban brutalism of the Barbican is the perfect setting for Jean-Michael Basquiat’s ground-breaking energetic post-punk street art and stunning paintings. This is the UK’s first large scale exhibition in Britain of the New York-based artist since his tragic death in 1988 of an accidental heroin overdose. It not only traces the origins as graffiti artist but his love of bebop jazz, particularly Charlie Parker, primitive African art, beat writer William Boroughs and Picasso. Review here.
Basquiat: Boom for Real
Matthew Bourne’s Cinderella, Birmingham Hippodrome Tue Feb 6 – Sat Feb 10
Matthew Bourne’s productions are always stunning and this is no exception. He transposes the story of Cinderella to London during the Blitz, rebooting it as a wartime romance between our heroine and an RAF pilot. The reviews have been of the rave variety, with Lez Brotherston’s sumptuous costumes and sets winning Olivier Award.
Speakers, by Nicolas Party, Modern Art Oxford, until 18 Feb 2018
This exhibition at Modern Art Oxford has been running since late November but if you’re yet to catch it now’s your chance. The Swiss artist Nicolas Party (formerly a graffiti specialist) has produced Speakers, a theatrical selection of five five foot female heads, complete with two hour looped soundscape that seems to speak to you as you brush past. The work is a response to the masculine architecture and institutions of Oxford, particularly the Emperors’ Heads outside the Sheldonian Theatre. Weird, and kind of wonderful.
Amadeus, the National Theatre, London from now – Tue April 24
Following a critically lauded sell-out run in 2016, Michael Longhurst’s production of Peter Shaffer’s play returns with the brilliant Lucian Msamati – who played Iago in the RSC’s 2015 production of Othello – as composer Antonio Salieri, who strikes a deal with God and is overtaken by a jealous vendetta against his musical rival, Mozart.
Cézanne Portraits, National Portrait Gallery, London, now – 11 Feb 2018
This started just last week, Brings together over 50 of Cézanne’s portraits from collections across the world, including works which have never been on public display in the UK . Over a working life of some forty-five years, Cézanne made almost 1,000 paintings of which around 160 are portraits and this exhibition offers a fascinating insight into this central aspect of his work.
Hogwarts in the Snow, Harry Potter Studios, now – Feb 4
Hogwarts in the Snow – as regular as Christmas! The festive makeover will see Christmas trees line the Great Hall, the Gryffindor common room dressed for the season and a blanket of filmmaking snow covering the majestic Hogwarts castle model. Visitors will even be able to touch samples of the different types of ‘snow’ used during production, each selected for its ability to float like falling snow, crunch under foot or glisten in the light like ice. Trust me, your kids will love it.
Warner Bros. Studio Tour London, Studio Tour Drive, Leavesden, wbstudiotour.co.uk
Veganuary: new ‘Meet Feast’ menu, Comptoir V, London, until Jan 31
Tel 0203 092 0047, comptoirv.co.uk
Modigliani, Tate Modern, now – April 2 2018