What’s On This Week?
MON APR 8 - SUN APR 14
THEATRE: Kunene and the King, Swan Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon, ends Apr 23
This touching “beautifully written two-hander” (The Times), about a renowned but ailing actor taking on the role of King Lear, marks 25 years since the first democratic elections in South Africa. Written and performed by renowned South African actor, John Kani, opposite one of the finest actors of his generation Antony Sher. A co-production with Cape Town’s Fugard Theatre, it’s directed by the ‘doyenne’ of South African theatre Janice Honeyman.
COMEDY: LOL (Ladies of Laughter) with Noreen Khan, Belgrade Theatre, Coventry, Mon Apr 8
DJ and stand-up Noreen Khan, a radio and TV presenter on BBC Asian Network, hosts a night of comedy with some of the UK’s top female acts including Esther Manito, Glenda Jaxson and Sukhb Ojla for ages 16+, limited availability, belgrade
THEATRE: The Mousetrap, Belgrade Theatre, Coventry, Mon Apr 8-13
Agatha Christie’s long-running whodunit is headed to Coventry this Spring in a gripping production by Adam Spiegel and Stephen Waley-Cohen. Following its record-breaking 60th anniversary tour in 2012, the unstoppable West End hits the road again. Casting includes Gwyneth Strong as Mrs Boyle. Best known for her roles as Cassandra in Only Fools and Horses and as Geraldine Clough in EastEnders. It’s directed by Gareth Armstrong, former Artistic Director of Cardiff’s Sherman Theatre, Tel: 024 7655 3055, belgrade
MUSIC: The Lexicon of Love, Symphony Hall, Birmingham, Tue Apr 9
ABC will be touring across the UK in 2019 performing their iconic 1982 debut album The Lexicon Of Love in its entirety plus all the greatest hits with the Southbank Sinfonia and longtime collaborator Anne Dudley, who will conduct the evening, thsh.co.uk
FILM: Us (15), out in cinemas now
Jordan Peele’s new horror is “a worthy and creepy follow up” to his Oscar-winning debut Get Out starring 12 Years a Slave actor Lupita Nyong’o, Winston Duke and Elizabeth Moss.
THEATRE: Glory, Belgrade Theatre, Coventry, Wed April 10 – Sat Apr 13
A sweaty, gutsy, painfully funny new play by Nick Ahad exploring the resurgence of grassroots wrestling, men’s mental health and what it means to be an outsider in 21st-century Britain. Hot-on-the-heels of the Belgrade’s own production Under the Umbrella, by Amy Ng, Glory is the second play to be hosted by the Coventry venue as part of Tamasha’s IGNITE programme, supporting emerging producers to develop work in regional theatres. This fusion of sport and theatre fusion coincides with Coventry’s Year of Health and Wellbeing and its year as European City of Sport in 2019. Tel: 024 7655 3055, belgrade
THEATRE: The Half God of Rainfall, The REP Studio, Birmingham, Apr 13 – 20
This looks really excellentt! Multi-talented Nigerian-born poet, graphic artist and playwright Inua Ellams’s (The Barber Shop Chronicles) much-anticipated contemporary saga weaves poetry with storytelling in a majestic, chaotic journey across mythologies that transports us from a tiny village in Southern Nigeria to the home of the Gods and beyond. Box Office: 0121 236 4455 / birmingham-rep.co.uk
RSC: Easter Holiday activities & Shakespeare’s Birthday Celebrations, Stratford-upon-Avon, Wed Apr 10 – Mon May 6
COMEDY: Emily Atack – Talk Thirty to Me, The Albany Theatre, Coventry, Fri Apr 12
Actor and I’m A Celebrity contestant Emily Atack, who played Charlotte Hinchcliffe in The Inbetweeners, takes to the stage in her debut comedy show – a live memoir of anecdotes, impressions and tales of an actor in her 20’s. A tongue in cheek look at turning 30 and “having it all” in the millennial age, Emily will be unraveling today’s anxiety-inducing world of social media slimming apps and the never-ending search for “the one”. For ages 14+, albanytheatre.co.uk
MUSIC: Diane Click & Wes Swing, The Tin Music and Arts, Leamington Spa, Fri Apr 12
American “intuitive” folk singer-songwriter Diane Charlottesville, Virginia, contributed to New York’s burgeoning Antifolk scene in the early 2000s. Since then, Laura Marling, Florence Welch (of Florence And The Machine), and Sharon Van Etten have cited Diane’s work as influential. She is currently on a Spring 2019 UK tour and also hosting 5 Singing & Collaborative Songmaking workshops including London and Oxford. Tickets here.
THEATRE: The Taming of the Shrew, Royal Shakespeare Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon, now until Aug 31
FOOD: Gin & Tapas Evening, Pastelaria Portuguesa, Coten End, Warwick, Fri Apr 12 & Fri Apr 26
This friendly cafe and bakery brings a taste of Portugal to Warwick, with regular authentic Gin and Tapas evenings and evening dinners. Their best-selling cake is the Pasteis de Nata pastelariaportuguesa
EASTER HOLS: Shakespeare’s Family Homes, Sat Apr 13 – 28
There’s lots of egg-citing and fun-filled family events taking place across the famous Shakespeare Family Homes this Easter: make an origami swan, decorate an Easter egg, go on a journey with Prospero from The Tempest, and sit on a jury as The Reverend Francis Gastrell goes back on trial 260 years after knocking down Shakespeare’s New Place.
EASTER HOLS: Spring Spectacular, Hatton Adventure World, nr Warwick, Sat April 13 – 28
Younger children will love seeing all the super cute spring new-born animals including chicks, ducklings, piglets, bunnies, lambs and kid goats, and even get the chance to feed and handle the animals within Farmyard Favourites. More new arrivals are expected over the coming weeks, some lucky visitors may be fortunate enough to see a live birth! Easter activities include a daily Easter Egg Hunt at 12:30pm and 2pm; the famous springtime Tractor Safari; Sheep Racing held daily at 1:45pm plus Falconry Displays at 11am, 2pm and 3pm. Other attractions will be a daily Magic Show at 11:30am and 3pm, a Puppet Show at 1pm, Outdoor Laser Combat ( 8yrs+), and the huge indoor soft play area ‘Snorty’s Superslide Mania’, hattonworld.com/adventure-world or Tel: 01926 843411.
THEATRE: Keeping Our End Up, The Loft Theatre, Leamington Spa, until April 13
This is the first airing of a brand new play written by Stratford-upon-Avon-based playwright Mark Carey, whose previous works have been aired on Radio 4 and across the country. Also an accomplished actor he’s worked for Trevor Nunn at the National Theatre and appeared on TV in Doc Martin, Casualty and Luther. It’s an action-packed comedy-drama about surviving life at the bottom of a local women’s bowls league. The inspiration came from a local indoor bowling arena, where Mark noticed that while the men focused predominantly on their bowls match, the women talked in a much more honest way about life, relationships, health, growing old, families and politics. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org; Tel: 01926 830680, lofttheatrecompany
EASTER: Adventure Quest, Kenilworth Castle, April 13-28
THEATRE: As You Like It, Royal Shakespeare Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon, until Aug 31
What can you look forward to this season? Well, three Shakespeare gems, two Restoration classics and a stunning new two-hander! The new 2019 season opened with Kimberley Sykes’ beguiling As You Like It with 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! rsc, Tel: 01789 403493.
EASTER HOLS: Warwick Castle, Warwick
It’s a jam-packed Easter over at Warwick Castle with the brand new Falconer’s Quest- the biggest Birds of Prey show in the UK, with 70 majestic birds taking to the skies and doing all sorts of aerial acrobatics. Plus world exclusives! The world’s largest siege machine fires twice a day in a brand new show as well as the Horrible Histories adventure maze featuring fun challenges, Terrible Tudors, Vicious Vikings, Storming’ Normals and more- a guaranteed winner with the kids. warwick-castle.com
FESTIVAL: Stratford Lit Fest, from Sun April 28 – Sun May 5
Former ballet dancer and ‘Strictly’ judge, Dame Darcey Bussell, Newsnight anchor Emily Maitlis , Bake Off judge Prue Leith, actress Juliet Stephenson and Warwickshire screenwriter Andrew Davies, whose BBC 1 hit Les Misérables recently graced our screens, are among the top names visiting this illustrious 8-day spring festival in Stratford-upon-Avon. Award-winning writers including Ali Smith, John Lanchester, Tessa Hadley, best-selling novelist, Patrick Gale and Booker-prize winner Ben Okri will be discussing their latest work, as well as some of the most exciting debuts of 2019. Children’s Day this year rounds off the Festival on May 5 with Jacqueline Wilson, Francesca Simon and illustrators Lydia Monks and Nick Sharratt, along with stage shows of The Rainbow Fish and Aliens Love Underpants.
KIDS THEATRE: The Worst Witch, Belgrade Theatre, Coventry, Apr 24 – 27
Long before Harry Potter or Hermione Grainger there was Mildred Hubble – an ordinary girl who found herself enrolled in a school for witches. Based on Jill Murphy’s classic series of children’s novels, this action-packed production sees Mildred return for her final year at Miss Cackle’s Academy, where some big surprises are in store. It’s been adapted for the stage by award-winning children’s writer Emma Reeves, lead writer on the much-loved The Worst Witch series on CBBC. Tickets available here or Tel: the box office on 024 7655 3055.
COMEDY: Julian Clary – Born to Mince, Warwick Arts Centre, Sun May 12
“Are you ready for some filth? I know I am. It’s been a while since I sallied forth to pleasure the provinces with my particular brand of saucy innuendo. Let me at them!” 7.30pm. Age 16+, warwickartscentre.co.uk
THEATRE: Heart of Darkness, Belgrade Theatre, Coventry, Wed May 8 – Sat May 11
Joseph Conrad’s seminal novel about lies, greed and the lust for power gets a modern makeover at Dicot’s arts hub by digital theatre maker Imitating the Dog. Video, projections and graphic images are fused with live performance in this bold new production. Tel the box office on 024 7655 3055, belgrade
TALK: Margaret Atwood, Symphony Hall, Birmingham, Mon Oct 28
To celebrate the launch of her new book The Testaments, a sequel to the totally brilliant The Handmaid’s Tale (which I am very excited to get my mitts on), author Margaret Atwood is going on a live tour- an evening of conversation, exclusive readings and special guests. She’s only touring for eight dates in the UK and our ‘hood is super lucky to secure a spot, so get booking if you fancy it as no doubt it will be a sell-out. The tour follows the book launch on Tues 10 Sept where Margaret will be speaking at the National Theatre – the talk will be screened to 1,000 cinemas worldwide with loads of West Midlands and Warwickshire cinemas taking part. Find your nearest screening here.
EXHIBITION: Mary Quant, Victoria & Albert Museum, London, from Sat Apr 6
This is going to be awesome! The iconic 1960s designer and the mother of miniskirts, Mary Quant, gets her own exhibit at the V&A with over 200 garments, accessories and exclusive unseen pieces from the designer’s personal archive.
EXHIBITION: Van Gogh and Britain, Tate Britain, London, until Tues Aug 27
This new major exhibition will be the first to explore the artist’s relationship with Britain and the literature, art and culture that inspired his work. Over 45 works by the artist from public and private collections including Starry Night on the Rhône 1888 from the Musée d’Orsay, Paris, and the rarely loaned Sunflowers 1888 from the National Gallery, London. There’ll also be work by British artist who were influenced by Van Gogh’s work including Francis Bacon and David Bomberg. tate.org.uk