What’s on this weekend
FRI OCT 12 - SUN OCT 14
Shakespeare’s Troilus and Cressida, RST, Stratford-upon-Avon, Fri Oct 12 – Sat Nov 17
Directed by RSC Artistic Director Gregory Doran, this is the company’s first gender-equal production of Shakespeare’s “most testosterone-fuelled” play. Set in a futuristic dystopian Troy, it will involve close collaboration with the virtuoso percussionist, Evelyn Glennie. It’s on for one month only!
Leamington Spa Comedy Festival, Royal Spa Centre & Town Hall, Fat Pug and Procaffeinate, Sun Oct 7 – Sat Oct 13
Be prepared to get your laughing gear around this year’s line-up of top comedians including finale headliner Reginald D Hunter, Henning Wehn, Juliette Burton, Evelyn Mok, Have I Got News For You star Hal Cruttenden, Sarah Johnson’s Mum’s going to Ibiza and Gary Delaney. For younger audiences there’s award-winning musical comedian and Edinburgh Festival Fringe fave Jay Foreman with his Disgusting Songs for Revolting Children and Comedy Club 4 Kids on Sat Oct 13.
Check out the full line-up here: leamingtoncomedy
Grab your wand and your owl, and join Harry, Ron and Hermione at Platform 9¾ to board the Hogwarts Express for a musical adventure beyond the imagination! Maestro Michael Seal and the full CBSO work their magic tonight, in this concert devoted to the music of all eight of the Harry Potter films.
Birmingham Comedy Festival, until Sun Oct 14
Highlights this week include Joanna Lumley (9 Oct, Symphony Hall), James Acaster (12 Oct, Sutton Town Hall), The Infinite Monkey Cage’s Robin Ince (12 Oct, Comedy Junction, Sutton Coldfield), and the brain behind BBC One’s Hospital People, Tom Binns (12 Oct, The Glee Club). Adding an international flavour to the proceedings are American legend Rich Hall (11 Oct, Bham Town Hall), Jimeoin (12 Oct, Bham Town Hall) the Aussie-based comic of Irish descent, and Canadians Bobby Mair and Dana Alexander (12-13 Oct, The Glee Club). And Podcasters are well represented with a return live appearance from The Scummy Mummies (10 Oct, Sutton Town Hall). The Gilded Merkin (14 Oct, The Glee Club), who bring some of the very best cabaret and burlesque acts to the city. There’s also the return of the Birmingham Comedy Festival Free Half-Dayers (Sun 14 Oct, Cherry Reds & The Victoria), featuring 16 free shows in Birmingham city centre.
THEATRE: Tartuffe, Swan Theatre, Stratford, until Feb 23
LITERARY: Birmingham Literature Festival, various venues, until Sun Oct 14
The second week of this culturally exhilarating 10-day festival co curated by journo and author Sathnam Sanghera includes TV chef Nigel Slater chatting to chef Ravina Bhogal, great-granddaughter of suffragette leader Emmeline Pankhurst and leading women’s rights campaigner, Helen Pankhurst; Viv Albertine, former lead singer of punk band The Slits on her autobiography; ‘the Godfather of alternative comedy’ Alexei Sayle; a celebration of female cartoonists; British-Jamaican poet Raymond Antrobus; a new show by award-winning disabled poet and theatre maker Jackie Hagan and dub poetry stars Nick Makoha and Roger Robinson’s Mixtape. Top Oxford Uni Professor A.C. Grayling, John Boyne and Jonathan Coe will also be in conversation.
COMEDY: Sarah Millican: Control Enthusiast, Warwick Arts Centre, Thurs Oct 11 – Sun Oct 14
Sarah Millican is not a control freak, she’s a control enthusiast. Funny, frank and unapologetically filthy. Expect the usual bawdy, smutty romp through the less savoury aspects of everyday life, all delivered with Sarah’s cheery, unabashed honesty. For ages 16+.
THEATRE: We’ll Live and Die in these Cities, Belgrade Theatre, Coventry, Sat Oct 29 – Oct 20
A new home-produced musical about a young musician inspired and sound-tracked by the 2007 debut album of Coventry indie band, The Enemy – with lead singer Tom Clarke acting as musical director. Written by acclaimed local playwright Geoff Thompson (Fragile, 2012), directed by Artistic Director Hamish Glen and designed by Patrick Connellan, We’ll Live and Die in These Towns forms part of a series of productions bearing witness to local stories as Coventry moves towards its year as City of Culture in 2021.
GIG: Joan Armatrading, Belgrade Theatre, Coventry, Fri Oct 12
The Caribbean-born, Birmingham-raised singer-songwriter brings her second completely solo UK tour to Coventry. One of the UK’s most enduring singers and an Ivor Novello award-winning songwriter, Joan marks her 46th year in the music industry in 2018. Expect familiar favourites as well as some exciting new material. Her retro self-titled third album released back in 1976 includes songs Down to Zero, Love and Affection and Water with The Wine is amazing.
Curator-led Sculpture Trail, Warwick Art Centre, Sat Oct 13
Take a break over lunchtime and join one of the Mead curators for a walking introduction to Barry Flanagan’s Acrobats and other artworks along the route. Barry Flanagan’s seminal sculpture, Acrobats is on loan to the University of Warwick for one year. Advance booking is essential.
THEATRE: Rebus: Long Shadows, Birmingham Rep, Thurs Sept 20 – Oct 6
The latest story in Ian Rankin’s legendary detective series, will be told exclusively on stage. The author has been working with award-winning playwright Rona Munro to bring iconic detective John Rebus to the stage for the very first time in a tense, gripping and thoughtful story set on the streets of Edinburgh starring Charles Lawson alongside John Stahl as Big Ger Cafferty, Cathy Tyson as DI Siobhan Clarke, Dani Heron as Angela, Eleanor House as Heather/Maggie and Neil McKinven as Mordaunt. After Birmingham it will tour Edinburgh, Malvern, Nottingham, Manchester, Northampton, Aberdeen and ending in Guildford on 24 November.
FILM: A Star Is Born, out in cinemas
It’s already been made into a film several times and a musical, but it seems there’s life in A Star Is Born yet, with this latest version directed by and starring Bradley Cooper. He plays a washed-up country singer who takes a shy newbie with a giant voice, played by Lady Gaga (unrecognizable when not wearing a dress made of meat or a lobster as a hat), under his wing.
STUDIO THEATRE: The Pity of War Season, Loft Theatre, Leamington Spa, Sun Oct 7 – 20
Marking the Centenary of the end of WW1, the Loft is presenting two very different productions in rep in The Studio over two weeks: Anthem For Doomed Youth based on poems by Wilfred Owen and other writing from the period and The Silence, a new play by The Loft’s David Fletcher, based on the experiences of soldier who returns the Falklands to a military hospital in the UK
ART: Journeys with The Waste Land, The Herbert Art Gallery, Coventry, Opens: Sept 15 – Sun Nov 18
SCIENCE FESTIVAL: IF Oxford Science & Ideas Festival, various Oxford locations, Fri Oct 12 – Mon Oct 22
There’s all sorts of science-y stuff going on in Oxford which includes some interesting events for kids. As part of this festival, you can learn how to discover stars, build circuits, get hands-on with superconductivity or watch dance and theatre performances with scientific themes. Check out The Bodleians’ Frankenstein exhibition or head to the Oxford Playhouse for 8 Minutes, where you’ll be taken on a journey through the universe with dance, film and music. Adults boffins to baby Einsteins and everyone in between are catered for with a jam-packed programme of events to blow your mind.
Space Shifters, the Hayward Gallery, Southbank Centre, London until Jan 6
Pull out the polka dots from your wardrobe – the legendarily dotty, octogenarian Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama is popping up everywhere this autumn. Catch one of her insanely Instagrammable infinity mirror rooms at the Victoria Miro Gallery (3 Oct – 21 Dec) and then go see the new movie about her life, Kusama Infinity, in cinemas and on-demand from 5 Oct. Kusama’s also part of the new Space Shifters exhibition.
ART: Modern Couples: Art, Intimacy and the Avant-garde, the Barbican, London Oct 10 – Jan 27 2019
This new exhibition features the fruits of the 20th century’s most celebrated creative partnerships. Pablo Picasso and Dora Maar, and Virginia Woolf and Vita Sackville-West are among the 40 couples featured.
THEATRE: The Wider Earth, The Natural History Museum, until Sun Dec 30
Exciting news – there’s a theatre being opened in the Jerwood Gallery at the Natural History Museum for the European premiere of award-winning drama The Wider Earth, a play about the young Charles Darwin. Puppets, an original score and cinematic animations make this theatrical event a great draw for kids plus they’ll learn a helluva lot in the process.