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What’s On This Week

Mon Sept 18-Sun Sept 24

Shakespeare Film Festival 2017, Great Garden, New Place, Stratford, Thurs Sept 21-Sat Sept 23

Film Workshop

Outdoor screenings, film and animation workshops celebrating Shakespeare’s influence in film. This year’s programme launches with a screening of Omkara – a Bollywood adaptation of Othello (with English subtitles), followed by Disney’s The Lion King which is heavily influenced by Hamlet. The films will be shown in the beautiful setting of the Great Garden at Shakespeare’s New Place. The Shakespeare Film Festival first launched in 2013 with Sir Kenneth Branagh as its patron inviting film-makers to enter a short film competition. This year’s competition attracted 235 entries from 41 countries, the theme Crossing Borders. The films made by 3 finalists will be shown in a special outdoor screening at 7pm on Sept 23 where the winner, judged by Sir Kenneth, will be announced.

Tickets for outdoor screenings: Adult £8, Child £5; Animation Workshop: £20, Film Making Workshop: £20,

Last few weeks remaining: Seurat to Riley: The Art of Perception, Compton Verney until Sun Oct 1

Don’t miss this excellent critically-acclaimed summer exhibition including the leading figures of 1960’s Op Art – Bridget RileyJesus Rafael Soto, and Victor Vasarely  -installations, and a stunning site-specific wall painting by German abstract artist Lothar Götz. “This show fizzes with the zinging colours and eye-popping patterns of Op Art, from the Impressionists to the mind-bending Sixties experiments of Bridget Riley … a trippy, wild ride” – The Daily Telegraph. Daily tours at 12noon & 2.30pm.

Tue – Sun & bank holidays until Sun Oct 1 2017, 11am –

Coriolanus, RST, Stratford, until Sat Oct 14

Playing the title role in Coriolanus, the final production of the RSC’s Rome series directed by Angus Jackson is Sope Dirisu, most recently Cassius Clay/ Muhammad Ali  in One Night in Miami (Donmar Warehouse), Undercover on BBC 1 and ITV’s The Halcyon. He’s joined by Haydn Gwynne who returns to the RSC after 11 years to play his mother, Volumnia. Haydn can currently be seen as Camilla in series 2 of Channel 4’s The Windsors. The super-talented 26-year-old Birmingham Uni economics graduate turned actor talks about the role here.

London Fashion Week, various venues, Fri Sept 15 – Tues Sept 19

LFW is a lot more democratic than it used to be – these days you don’t have to stow away in Anna Wintour’s handbag to get a taste of the action. LFW highlights that are open to the public include the Design Frontiers exhibition at Somerset House featuring work from 30 of our most pioneering creatives and giant outdoor screens showing live catwalks shows in various public spaces in London (such as Soho Square) and Birmingham. What’s more, London Fashion Week Festival comes hot on the heels of the shows – from 21-24 Sep at Store Studios on The Strand, you’ll be able to watch catwalk shows, attend talks by industry experts and, but of course, shop until your credit card catches fire.

Dido, Queen of Carthage, Swan Theatre, Stratford, Previewing from until Sat Oct 28

Photo: RSC

Dido, Queen of Carthage is Christopher Marlowe’s dark untold story of one of history’s greatest female leaders. Directed by Kimberley Sykes it stars Chipo Chung as Dido, most recently Portia/Octaviusin Robert Hastie’s production of Julius Caesar at  the Sheffield Crucible. Her TV credits include Thirteen (BBC), From Darkness (BBC) and Fortitude (Sky Atlantic).

Kenilworth Arts Festival, Sun Sept 17-Sat Sept 23

One of the UK’s top dance-theatre companies – Leamington-based Motionhouse who perform in theatres and festivals across Britain and the globe.

The second year of this cultural week-long festival which features a gathering of writers, musicians and creative artists kicked off with a Fiesta in Abbey Fields.  Highlights include gardener Alys Fowler (Wed Sept 20), Warwick University professor and novelist Sarah Moss (Tues Sept 19, Birmingham-born author, Kit de Waal author of debut novel My Name is Leon (Tues Sept 19), gifted pianist and composer Gwilym Simcock (Thurs Sept 21). Coming up this weekend is a gig inside the Tudor Stables at Kenilworth Castle by folk guitarist John Smith (Sold Out – Sat Sept 23),  an evening of poetry curated by Nine Arches Press (Fri Sept 22), 3  Motionhouse Dance family workshops (Sat Sept 23), Needlecraft, Dreamcatcher and Mosaic workshops, plus exhibitions by photographer Amadeus Long and Kenilworth School students.

Portrait of the Artist: Kathe Kollwitz, Ikon Gallery, Birmingham, Wed Sept 13-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.

Yotam Ottolenghi and Helen Goh, Stratford Artshouse, Stratford, Fri Sept 22

As part of Stratford Food Festival the celebrated cookery writer and chef-patron of the Ottolenghi delis and NOPI restaurant is in town with long-time friend and collaborator Helen Goh. Yotam, who writes a column in the Guardian’s Weekend Magazine and has published five bestselling cookbooks, will be talking about his inspirations, his cooking philosophy and eagerly awaited cookbook, Sweet, written with multi-talented Malaysian-born Helen, also a chartered psychologist and mum.

Formula X, Playbox Theatre, The Dream Factory, Warwick, Wed Sept 20-Sat Sept 30

Formula X headlines a Festival of Speed with an action packed, multimedia production, supported by Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport F1 Team. Inspired by the book Chequered Conflict by Maurice Hamilton, Formula X will be a thrilling spectacle taking audiences to the heart of motorsport incorporating Circus, Movement & Multimedia. This high-octane, promenade theatrical experience puts audiences at the trackside as teams compete for the trophy. It’s the first in a year of festivals at this dynamic Warwickshire youth theatre in their new season running from September – July 2018.

Jay Rayner, The Ten Food Commandments, Stratford Artshouse, Stratford, Wed Sept 20

Join Observer restaurant critic and Masterchef judge Jay Rayner in his one man show acting as our very own culinary Moses in this audio-visual romp as he attempts to lead us to the edible promised land. The presenter of BBC Radio 4’s Kitchen Cabinet will also be taking part in a Q&A and book signing.

Stratford Town Centre Food Festival, Sat Sept 23 & Sun Sept 24

Mike Robinson, co-owner of London’s only Michelin-starred pub The Harwood Arms, multi award-winning pub the Pot Kiln in Berkshire and Robinson Wild Foods, specialist venison supplier to 15 top London restaurants, is heading a packed programme of demos at this popular street festival, sponsored by Loxleys.  Mike is now also executive chef at The Woodsman restaurant at the newly-revamped Falcon Hotel in Stratford. Also taking the stage is Paul Foster, chef owner of Salt in Stratford, former Great British Menu contestant and a regular on Saturday Kitchen. On Saturday learn how to make bread with Bread for Life! Founder Jessica Mooney, recently-opened Italian Wine Cafe Veeno will stage a food and wine pairing workshop, plus there’s cocktail-making classes with the Union Bar Team. On Sunday, demos includes fudge-making with Roly’s Fudge, gelato-making with Hooray’s, Asian antics with Stratford College and how to work with lobsters by Matthew Hiscoe, area head chef from The Townhouse.

RSC Jumble Sale, RSC Rehearsal Rooms, (Corner of Arden Street and Birmingham Road), Stratford, CV37 6NT,  Sat Sept 23

David Tennant in the RSC’s Hamlet, 2008. Photo: Ellie- Kurttz, RSC

Fancy a rummage through boxes of theatrical costumes worn at the RSC over the past 20 years?  Alistair McArthurRSC Head of Costume, said: “At one of our previous sales someone found a pair of slippers worn by David Tennant when he played Hamlet here. Most pieces are labelled with the name of the actor who originally wore them, so who knows what little gems people might pick up?” More than 10,000 items including period costumes, uniforms, doublets, shoes, hats and accessories, plus uniform coats worn in 2008’s Hamlet starring David Tennant, will be available to buy from £1.

The RSC has the largest in-house costume-making department of any British theatre, employing 30 award-winning craftspeople. Funds will go towards restoring the Costume Workshop on Waterside£3 per person (cash only). No booking required, just turn up and queue, 9am – 5pm

Boudica Festival, Fargo Village, Coventry, Sat Sept 23 & Sun Sept 24

Yama Warashi

Coventry’s Tin Music and Arts are launching the new Boudica Festival (named after the warrior queen thought to have been defeated in battle just north of Coventry), celebrating the talent of women in the music industry. Boom! A fab all-female line-up featuring London band Hejira, whose latest EP ‘The Lima Limo Ceremony’ draws on a trip to Ethiopia last year; Bristol-based Yama Warashi formed by Japanese artist Yoshino Shigihara; London-based solo artist Carmody, “writer of sad songs you can (sometimes) shake a leg to”;  Night Flowers; alt folk band Low Chimes and Grace Lightman. Plus DJs, Street Food, Stalls & networking opportunities. The long term aim is to form an all-female events crew.  Make sure to grab your tickets here.

What Do I Need to Do to Make it OK? Rugby Art Gallery & Museum, until Nov 4

Detail of “First One’s the Best”by Celia Pym. Photo by Douglas Atfield.

This touring exhibition curated by Liz Cooper features five international artists investigating damage and repair including work by Celia Pym, finalist in Radio 4 Woman’s Hour Craft Prize 2017.

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.

La La Land Live in Concert, Symphony Hall, Birmingham, Sun Sept 24

Part of Birmingham Weekender, La La Land will be brought to audiences like never before, the ultimate immersive experience via a huge screen accompanied by a 60-piece orchestra. Winner of 6 academy awards including Best original score, best original song & best director. The score for La La Land, composed by Justin Hurwitz who also scored director Damien Chazelle’s previous feature films Guy and Madeleineon a Park Bench, and Whiplash, has also received critical acclaim, particularly for the film’s show-stopping songs City of Stars and Audition (The Fools Who Dream), 2.30pm

Limited availability:

London Design Festival, various locations, ends Sun Sept 24

This festival, now in its 15th year, is just incredible – hundreds of events taking place across the city at venues including the V&A where you can see this stunning Reflection Room, by designer Flynn Talbot,  an immersive coloured light experience that will be the first London Design Festival installation to be housed in the Prince Consort Gallery.

Early Years Forest School, Compton Verney,  every Thurs in term-time 

Adventurous pre-schoolers can enjoy a terrific two hours of play and discovery in the beautiful woods. All sessions are run by a qualified Forest School Leader and allow children to develop new skills and creative thinking through outdoor activities. Included in collections and park admission.

Mischief Festival: Kingdom Come, The Other Place, Stratford, Thurs Sept 7 – Sat Sept 30

Tom Lyall in rehearsal for Kingdom Come Photo: Ikin Yum, RSC

Gemma Brockis and Wendy Hubbard’s new devised piece, Kingdom Come is part of Mischief Festivals at The Other Place. Set in 1640,  on the brink of the English Civil War. Parliament is rebellious. There are mobs on London’s streets, women preach, poor men lead, and radical ideas illuminate the carnage. But the puritan state starts to tighten its grip, and making theatre could soon be a capital offence. It’s accompanied by a series of talks and events.

Birmingham Weekender, Fri Sept 22-Sun Sept 24

The return of Birmingham’s biggest free arts festival with fireworks. There’ll be 3 days of dancing in Victoria Square, Barbara Nice’s Alternative Office Party, Don Letts, a Caribbean Carnival Extravaganza, David Rodigan, Rangeeli – Colours of Birmingham Parade –  and spectacular outdoor dance, theatre, drumming and circus including pop-up performances of The Nutcracker by Birmingham Royal Ballet in the Bullring  – with falling snowflakes (Sat Sept 23 1pm, 2.15pm & 3pm)! Plus Drag Queen Story Time at the Library of Birmingham for kids.

The Clearing – Harnessing the Wind, Compton Verney, Sat Sept 23

Sited on the shores of the lake, thist distinctive geodesic dome represents a dystopian vision of the future. But, it’s not all doom and gloom. The Clearing project is intended to inspire thoughts about finding alternative technologies and lifestyles. Fossil fuels are widely believed to be on the wane, so much so that the planet could run out of them by the end of this century. Compton Verney’s Harnessing the Wind workshop will show visitors how to construct an entirely hand-built wind turbine. Hosted by experts, V3 Power, you’ll also learn how to store the energy your turbine generates, what else society will need to do to keep the lights on and how we might go about getting it.

Fearsome Craftsmen: Discover the Artistry of the Viking World, The Herbert Art Gallery & Museum, Coventry ends Sept 24

Making the perilous journey through the crashing waves of the North Sea, the bloody and brutal Viking invasions of Britain are legendary – but what did they do while they were here? Step back in time and learn more about the people who settled in Britain from excavated skeletons, see real examples of Viking crafts including intricate metalwork, and a replica 15ft fishing boat, decorated with designs that reveal the true Viking creative spirit. Explore the Norse myths and legends in the gallery’s  unique family friendly Viking settlement, A Viking Voyage.

Find more ideas here

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