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What’s On Mon Oct 30 – Sun Nov 5


Halloween Tours, Kenilworth Castle, Tues Oct 31

Kenilworth Castle is second place on the list of English Heritage’s ten spookiest sites, as voted for by staff across its 400 castles, abbeys, historic houses and palaces. For one night only the Castle will also host ‘Spooky Halloween Tours’ after hours. In a celebration of All Hallow’s Eve Kenilworth’s spooktacular story-teller will lead visitors on a journey of ghostly apparitions, dastardly deeds, and gruesome goings-on.  Hear terrifying tales from the dark side of Kenilworth Castle, and maybe even encounter some past residents who refuse to leave.  Early evening family tours will be followed by adult only tours, strictly for those with a strong disposition. Children’s Tour at 6pm, Adults’ Tours at 7pm & 8pm. Adult – £16 / Child, 5-15 years -£7.50.

Kenilworth Castle & Elizabethan Garden, Castle Green, Off Castle Road, Kenilworth, Warwickshire, CV8 1NE,

In-Light II and Museums at Night, Compton Verney, Sat Nov 4 & Sun Nov 5 

The combination of dark autumnal skies and a rural location makes Compton Verney the ideal place to experience a spectacular and contemporary ‘son et lumière’. Celebrated light artist Luxmuralis will draw upon poetry and nature to create a series of stunning light projections. Wrap up warm and prepare to see the written word and a colourful palette projected onto the famous house’s Georgian façade.


Nina Conti, Butterworth Hall, Warwick Arts Centre, Tue Oct 31

Bursting with fresh and astonishing spontaneity, the voice-throwing queen is back. British Comedy Award Winner Nina Conti – daughter of actor Tom – improvises unforgettable puppetry using live audience members in cartoonish masks, with the help if her simian sidekick Monkey. She’s stormed Live at the ApolloSunday Night at the Palladium and made a BAFTA nominated film all without moving her lips, 7.30pm

Book here

Ghost Search, Tamworth Castle, Tues 31 Oct

Spend Halloween in one of Britain’s most haunted castles on a night with a difference on a ghost walk, with vigils conducted in reputedly haunted rooms. Cameras or camcorders can be used, and warm clothing and rugs or cushions advised for use during the vigils as rooms can be chilly!

Tamworth Castle, Holloway, Ladybank, Tamworth B79 7NA, 01827 709618

Stranger Things 2, Netflix, from Fri Oct 27

Spooky TV phenomenon Stranger Things returns this week just in time for Halloween…This nostalgic supernatural series went from word-of-mouth to must see TV almost overnight and resurrected the career of 80s ingenue Winona Ryder.

The Haunted Castle, Warwick Castle, until Tues Oct 31

Fire jousting, dreadful dungeons, ghostly tales in Witches Tower, Horrible Histories maze and an Edinburgh Fringe sell-out  – Seance. It’s no wonder The Haunted Castle will remain open until 9pm with so much going on! Enjoy eerie escapades throughout the day and as darkness falls over the ancient towers and ramparts, the scare factor rises. New for 2017 is live entertainment on Dead Centre Stage, Dolls House and Glen Neath and David Rosenberg’s Séance, fresh from rave reviews at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival – an intense 15-minute sonic performance for an audience of 20 that will test just how susceptible you are to a visit from the other side. Not one for the claustrophobic!


Halloween Silent Movie Special: Frankenstein and Nosferatu, Town Hall, Birmingham, Tues Oct 31

A spooky old school black-and-white double-bill of silent movies, accompanied by the sound of the historic Town Hall organ to send shivers down your spin. Frankenstein, a 16-minute short film from 1910 was the first motion picture adaptation of Mary Shelley’s novella; while highly influential silent horror film Nosferatu (1921) was based on Bram Stoker’s Dracula.  The foyer of Town Hall will be transformed into a ghostly version of itself, and audiences are encouraged to come dressed in ghoulish or grisly attire. The best costume of the night will win £50 THSH vouchers and a bottle of champers!

thsh, 7.30pm.

5th New Black Showcase, B2, Belgrade Theatre, Coventry, Wed Nov 1- Fri Nov 3

4 new plays by emerging talent, across 3 nights. Script-in-hand readings by a professional company of actors in the theatre’s B2 auditorium begin on Weds 1 Nov at 6pm, with  Erinn Dhesi’s play, #ADJUSTMENT followed by The Merchant of Port Royal on Thurs Nov 2  at 6pm, written by Angela McNab and directed by the Belgrade’s Associate Director, Justine Themen. Fri Nov 2 sees two new futuretheatre works in progress directed by Jouvan Fucinni: Invisible by Daniel Anderson set in a new super max prison in Birmingham 2025 and Ninety Days by Ashok Patel a tense family drama in 1972, Uganda.

Tickets are ‘Pay What You Can’ and are available now, belgrade or the Belgrade Box Office on 024 7655 3055.

The Lost Words & Inside Stories, Compton Verney, Sat Oct 21- Dec 17

Two brilliantly family-friendly exhibitions celebrating the best of British illustration and literature with The Lost Words based on the new modern spell book by writer Robert Macfarlane, and Birmingham-born artist Jackie Morris (The White Fox, Tell Me a Dragon); alongside Quentin Blake’s Inside Stories – a very personal and insightful ‘behind the page’ look at Britain’s best-loved illustrator’s work including Roald Dahl’s The Twits, David Walliams recent The Boy in the Dress and Michael Rosen’s Sad book.  In The Lost Words Macfarlane has created a series of 20 spell-poems – one for each lost word from a junior children’s dictionary – while Morris, inspired by her lifelong passion for Britain’s landscapes and wildlife, has painted more than 50 beautiful watercolours – using gold leaf. Families can venture out on Spell Walks in the grounds of this stunning country mansion via two specifically commissioned digital trails that can be downloaded straight to your smart phone.

Twelfth Night, RST, Stratford, Thurs Nov 2- Feb 24 2018

Photo by Paul Stuart (c) RSC

How times change! Twelfth Night sees Ade Edmondson transformed from Vyvyan in anarchic 80s comedy The Young Ones to Malvolio in Shakespeare’s bittersweet comedy on unrequited love. It’s directed by Christopher Luscombe who recreated Warwickshire’s Charlecote Park on stage for the RSC’s fabulous Love’s Labour’s Lost and Much Ado About Nothing in 2014 & 2016. Also starring Dinita Gohil as Viola, Kara Tointon as Olivia and Michael Cochrane as Sir Andrew Aguecheek.


Phill Jupitus: Juplicity, The Goose Nest, Warwick Arts Centre, Sun Nov 5

Join stand-up comedian, poet, improviser, and team captain on BBC2’s pop quiz Never Mind The Buzzcocks Phill Jupitus for over an hour of tales, laughs and diversions. Watch in delight and/or horror as this experienced funny man drags laughs out of the chaos of his own life and the uncertain world that surrounds it. 14+

  7.45pm (Temporary Theatre), warwickartscentre, 024 7652 4524

Living with the Lights On, The Goose Nest, Warwick Arts Centre, Wed Nov 1-Sat Nov 4

A darkly comic solo show written and performed by RADA trained Mark Lockyer, who was in The Alchemist at Stratford last summer about the RSC actor’s mental breakdown 20 years ago and anecdotes depicting his bipolar disorder. Over the last 30 years Mark’s worked at the National Theatre, Royal Shakespeare Company, Old Vic, Young Vic and the Royal Court working with Ken Campbell, Mark Rylance and Sam Mendes.



Gunpowder, BBC 1 (full series on iPlayer)

Kit Harington as Robert Catesby in BBC 1’s highly-rated three-part series Gunpowder

Catch up on this very timely big budget, glossy and gruesome drama about Guy Fawkes and the Gunpowder Plot starring and produced by Game of Thrones actor Kit Harington whose ancestor Robert Catesby from Warwickshire actually orchestrated the conspiracy. Not only is it pretty good but is set heavily in-and-around Warwickshire with moated manor house, Baddesley Clinton – famous for its priest holes –  featured in the first episode.

Bonfire Night, Hilltop Farm, Hunningham, nr Leamington Spa, Sat Nov 4 

Fireworks will start at 7pm and gates will open for parking from 4pm.

Bonfire and Fireworks Display, The Bell Alderminster, nr Stratford, Fri Nov 3

The Bell’s annual bonfire and 18-minute fireworks spectacular returns with BBQ food and drink available from 6pm. Featuring the Shakespeare Hospice Firewalk at 7pm. Bonfire lit 7.30pm, Fireworks 7.50pm followed by live music from Stephen Steinhaus and Dos Gastos Band. Face-painting and glowing memorabilia will be available from the Shakespeare Hospice.

Free admission. Gates open from 6pm. The bonfire is a free community event. Donations are welcome and go directly to The Shakespeare Hospice,  thebellald

Annual Bonfire and Fireworks Gala 2017, Kenilworth Castle, Sat Nov 4

Kenilworth Round Table’s annual Bonfire has grown into one of the top firework displays in the region set against the wonderful panorama of the Elizabethan castle and gardens, floodlit in a mass of colour for the evening. Gates open at 5.30pm and shortly after the Bonfire is lit. The main display lasts for around half an hour, and is one of the biggest in the Midlands. As well as the entertainment there’s food stalls and warming drinks available.
Crafts of the Punjab, The Herbert Art Gallery & Museum, Coventry, Sat Oct 20 – Jan 21 2018

A rare opportunity to view these stunning works from the V&A’s South Asian Collection outside London. Discover the skilful art of Buddhist, Hindu and Jain sculpture, Amritsar’s delicately carved ivories, Hoshiarpur’s elaborate musical instruments and Sialkot’s gold-inlaid steel artefacts. One of the most extraordinary pieces on show will be the Golden Throne made by a Muslim craftsman in Lahore for Ranjit Singh, the first Sikh Maharaja of the Punjab.


Dog Auditions: Stephen Sondheim’s Gypsy, The Loft Theatre, Leamington, book now

If you have four legs, are well-behaved, friendly, a bit cute looking, and easy to pick up, you’re very welcome to come along and audition for the role of Momma Rose’s faithful sidekick dog, Chowsie in Stephen Sondheim’s musical Gypsy (Dec 6-16). Director, Tim Willis will shortly be confirming casting for the entire company, and Chowsie will be the final addition. Appearing alongside actor Rayner Wilson, who is playing Chowsie’s owner, Rose, the Loft Theatre is looking to potentially cast multiple dogs to perform on alternate performances. The 1959 musical is loosely based on the memoirs of famous striptease artist Gypsy Rose Lee.

For more info and to book an audition, please contact Tim Willis on 07818 032752 or e-mail 

Kaleidoscope: Colour & Sequence in 1960s British Art, Mead Gallery, Warwick Arts Centre, Thur Oct 5-Dec 9

I popped along to the private view last and this touring Arts Council Collection is definitely worth a visit. It features lots of fun brightly-coloured abstract New Generation sculpture, Op Art including paintings by Bridget Riley and Peter Sedgley and Pop art. Among the 20 artists there’s also work by David Annesley, Anthony Carol, Robyn Denny, Tess Jaray, Philip King, Kim Lim, Mary Martin, Eduardo Polozzi, Tim Scott, Richard Smith, William Tucker and William Turnbull. Free.

Noel Coward’s The Vortex, The Loft Theatre, Leamington Spa, Wed Oct 25-Sat Nov 4

Leamington’s Loft Theatre Company’s season continues with a story of Sex, Drugs and Rock-and-Roll in the Roaring Twenties.  Noel Coward wrote The Vortex at 24 and when it first performed in 1924 its tale of London High Society’s promiscuity shocked many. It proved a huge commercial success, making the author an overnight sensation. The play marries Coward’s trademark wit and one-liners within an emotional whirlpool – the vortex of the title.


Picasso: Linocuts from the British Museum, The Herbert Art Gallery & Museum, Coventry until Dec 3

Image: Pablo Picasso (1881–1973), Jacqueline Reading – 2nd plate, July 1964. © Succession Picasso/DACS, London 2017.

Showcasing works created in the late 1950s and early 1960s, this exhibition explores the artist’s expressive and experimental works with linocut techniques and ceramics. Produced when Picasso was over eighty years old, Still Life under the Lamp, Jacqueline Reading and Nude Woman at the Spring highlight his skilful yet risky approach.


Nativity! The Musical, Birmingham Repertory Theatre, until Sat Nov 12 

The Christmas season as begun in earnest with the stage musical version of the hit film by Birmingham-born and Coventry based Debbie Isitt. Expect a whole lot of sparkle and shine – um, that’s 500 glittering stars, 50 kilograms of glitter, 40 oversized Christmas presents and 14 Christmas trees! Plus, 27 local children from across Birmingham and the West Mids  aged 8-11. Following its premiere in Birmingham Nativity the Musical is touring.

Box Office: 0121 236 4455,

Bonfire and Firework Display, Bishops Tachbrook meadow, nr Leamington Spa, Fri Nov 3

Held on the meadow of this pretty village there’ll be children’s rides, stalls selling doughnuts, glow sticks, burgersand hot drinks on the night, 7pm.

Fireworks Display, The Red Lion, Hunningham, nr Leamington, Fri Nov 3

Fireworks, an outside kitchen, bar and live music at this very attractive recently revamped riverside village pub with an extensive garden. Adults £3 and kids free.

Main Street, Hunningham, Leamington Spa,Warwickshire, CV33 9DY, redlionhunningham

Warwick Town Bonfire & Fireworks, Warwick Racecourse, Sat Nov 4

This year the town’s annual bonfire is moving into the main Warwick Racecourse grounds. There’ll be two fireworks display’s – a small one around 6pm followed by the main display around 6.40pm; two children’s fun areas, hot refreshments and free parking. Gates Open at 5pm.
Portrait of the Artist: Kathe Kollwitz, Ikon Gallery, Birmingham, until Nov 26

Käthe Kollwitz (1867-1945) – Woman with Dead Child, The British Museum

The Ikon’s new exhibition marking the 150th anniversary of Berlin artist and doctor’s wife Kathe Kollwitz’s birth, is already garnering 5* reviews. The emotional impact of her drawings of unemployment and suffering in particular, Woman With Dead Child (1903) is incredibly hard-hitting and poignant. The exhibition looks at her work through the exploration of three themes: social and political protest, self portraits and the role of an empathetic and suffering mother, resulting from the death of her youngest son Peter in 1914, shot in the First World War.

Fireworks night, The Fleur De Lys, Lowsonford, South Warwickshire, Sun Nov 5

A village pub fireworks extravaganza on the banks of the Stratford Canal, 4 miles north-east of Henley-in-Arden. Tickets tend to sell out quite quickly for this family-friendly event.

Tickets available at the bar: £6 for adults and £3 for children, 6-9pm, thefleur

Lost Legends – 30 years of Black History Month, Newarke Houses Museum & Gardens, Leicester until Tues 31 Oct

Pic credit:

This year marks the 30th Anniversary of Black History Month (BHM) nationally in the UK. Lost Legends is an exhibition that celebrates the contributions of Leicester’s African and African Caribbean community to the cultural heritage of the UK over the last three decades. The exhibition focuses on the main social, cultural and political issues that had an impact on the Black community from first Black MPs to local cultural icons such as Laurel Aitken, Wolde Selassie and Louise Katere.

Newarke Houses Museum & Gardens, The Newarke, Leicester, LE2 7BY, (0)116 2254980
Sofia Hulten, Here’s the Answer, What’s the Question? Ikon Gallery, Birmingham until Nov 26

Sofia Hulten. Speculative Fiction 2016. Courtesy the…VG Bildkunst.

The most comprehensive exhibition to date by 45-year-old Berlin-based artist Sofia Hulten: scultpures, installations and films preoccupied with the material world and the way we navigate time. She uses discarded objects found on the streets encouraging the idea of looking twice at what is all-too-often taken for granted – as in Speculative Fiction (2016) where she recycles bicycle parts – locks, wheel-like hoops and frame.


Joan, Cornerstone, Didcot, Sat 4 Nov

Anarchic Cabaret from drag king Lucy Jane Parkinson – drag king rather than a drag queen  because there’s no sequins or false lashes in sight, and she’s on stage with a whopping beard wearing Joan of Arc’s breastplate, defying the men in her path. A fearless solo show, with songs and mayhem, exploring what it means to stand out. You’re doing that Lucy, no doubt about that!

Cornerstone Arts Centre, 25 Station Rd, Didcot,

Launch of two new public artworks by David Cotterrell and Bedwyr Williams, Chester Waterways & Storyhouse, Chester, from Fri Oct 27

Chester’s impressive new state-of-the-art arts centre and cinema, Storyhouse

If you’re heading up north there’s two new digital artworks in Chester – Bedwyr Williams’ Hypercaust which brings back to life Chester’s Roman Fortress Bathhouse recreated through historically accurate 3D renderings; and Maelstrom by installation artist David Cotterell, acknowledging Chester’s relationship with water as a whirlpool appears and disappears in the Shropshire Canal. War artist David Cotterell went to Afghanistan in 2007, spending time with British forces and documenting the medical treatment of casualties and their journey away from the frontline to medical treatment back in the UK. His  work Gateway II is on display at London’s Imperial War Museum as part of Age of Terror: Art since 9/11 until May 28 2018.

Hypercaust  (2017) is screened at Storyhouse, Hunter Street, Chester,; while Maelstrom can be seen at King Charles Tower, Chester City Walls, 

London Restaurant Festival,until Tues Oct 31

Rack up the plates, here I come with my elasticated pants. The London Restaurant Festival takes place in 350 restaurants across the Smoke, from neighbourhood favourites to Michelin-starred fancy pants eateries, so it’s your perfect excuse to try somewhere new with chef-hosted lunches and tasting menus on offer all month.

London Literature Festival, Southbank, London, until Weds Nov 1

The big ticket here is Hillary Clinton, who’ll be talking about her new book, What Happened – and you probably don’t need me to spell out what that refers to. In equally exciting news, Hollywood megastar Tom Hanks (pictured) will close the festival with a reading from his book of short stories (if you’ve never listened to his Desert Island Discs, look it up – it’s a doozy). Philip Pullman and Annie Leibovitz are also in attendance at this twenty day marathon event at the Southbank Centre. Definitely worth a jaunt to the big smoke.

Half-term Halloween Hoot, Chatsworth House, Bakewell, Derbyshire, until Sun Nov 5

From face-painting in the Broomstick Barn to fright flights into the deep dark woods on a trailer ride, a visit by author Caryl Hart, storytelling, an abandoned tunnel and creepy crafts there’s frighteningly good half-term fun at the Derbyshire home of the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire

Chatsworth, Bakewell, Derbyshire, DE45 1PP,

Dark Arts, Harry Potter Warner Bros Studios, until Sun Nov 12

Harry Potter Warner Bros Studios are brilliant at ringing the changes with their events and for this one the Great Hall will be decorated with over 100 floating pumpkins, just as seen as in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, along with a table laden with a Halloween feast of red apples, pumpkins and cauldrons of lollipops. Kids can also delve into the sinister world of the Dark Art – wand combat techniques and Death Eater duels as well as filmmaking snot, blood and drool. Er, nice!

Warner Bros. Studio Tour london, Studio Tour Dr, Watford, Leavesden,

Hunt for Pumpkins at Canons Ashby, nr Daventry and Rugby, until Tues Oct 31

Explore the grounds at Canons Ashby whilst seeking out pumpkins and solving the clues! Afterwards, pick up a spooky shortbread ghost or warm up with some soup in the tea room, 10am –  3pm.

Canons Ashby, near Daventry and Rugby, NN11 3SD

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