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What’s on this weekend

FRI OCT 12 - SUN OCT 14

 

Shakespeare’s Troilus and CressidaRST, 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!

rsc

 

Leamington Spa Comedy Festival, Royal Spa Centre & Town Hall, Fat Pug and Procaffeinate, Sun Oct 7 – Sat Oct 13

Reginald D Hunter

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

 

KIDS: Half Moon’s Leaf, Warwick Arts Centre, Sat Oct 13 (Limited availability)

A lovely, evocative 25-minute performance for toddlers and young children up to the age of three, Leaf is a heart-warming and playful new piece inspired by nature and the ever changing seasons. At the end of the performance children are invited onto the stage to play among the leaves. Times: 1pm & 3pm.

warwickartscentre

 

FAMILY FUN: World Conker Championships, Southwick, Northants, Sun 13 Oct

Watch the experts as they battle it out to see who is the best at playing conkers in the world! It’s a big event with a kids’ conker competition, stalls, guide dog displays, bumper cars, climbing wall, food offerings, a tea and cake tent, Morris dancers, juggling workshops, a ukuleke band and praise be, a bar.

worldconkerchampionships.com

 

THEATRE: War Horse, Birmingham Hippodrome, Wed Oct 10 – Sat Nov 3

Soooo excited that the outstanding National Theatre production of War Horse is coming to Birmingham in October. Based on the novel by Michael Morpurgo and featuring those incredible, life-size puppets of the horses, it’s likely to sell-out, so please don’t leave it too late to book.

birminghamhippodrome

The Music of Harry Potter, Symphony Hall, Fri Oct 12

Wall carvings in Hogwarts Great Hall at the Harry Potter Warner Bros. Studio, London

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.

thsh

 

Birmingham Comedy Festival, until Sun Oct 14

Clockwise from top l to r: Ab Fab’s Joanna Lumley; Scarlett Daggers from Gilded Merkin: Burlesque and Cabaret; must-see stand-up James Acaster, the first UK comedy act to shoot multiple Netflix specials with his Recognise, Represent and Reset trilogy this year, and award-winning comedian and musician Vikki Stone.

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 PeopleTom 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.

bhamcomfest

 

DANCE: I Finite Studio, Warwick Arts Centre, University of Warwick, Thurs Oct 11 & Fri Oct 12

Tom Dale Company’s much praised solo piece is performed in a digitally animated white cube space.  I Infinite is inspired by the digital world’s quest to re-create life. Part dance, part video installation, it explores the boundaries between the artificial and the real. You, the audience, are free to roam the space as you please, to stand close to the dancer or just sit, transfixed, to watch the refined movement so often missed in more traditional theatre spaces. “A beautiful and sublime experience” – Fused Magazine. Post performance talk on Thursday. For ages 10+.

warwickartscentre

 

THEATRE: Tartuffe, Swan Theatre, Stratford, until Feb 23

Asif Khan as Tartuffe and Sasha Behar as Amira. Production photos by Topher McGrillis (c) RSC

BAFTA and Emmy-Award winning TV writers Anil Gupta and Richard Pinto – creators of The Kumars at No. 42, Goodness Gracious Me, Citizen Khan and The Office – have reimagined Moliere’s great French comedy in modern-day Birmingham. The result is a sharp, vigorously funny and topical comedy set within the home of a well-to-do Brummie Pakistani family. It cleverly blends themes of religious hypocrisy, #metoo “victim shaming”, Brexit jokes and music styles including a freestyle beatbox rap battle. Review here.

rsc

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.

birminghamliteraturefestival

 

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+.

warwickartscentre

 

THEATRE: We’ll Live and Die in these Cities, Belgrade Theatre, Coventry, Sat Oct 29 – Oct 20

l-r Geoff Thompson, The Enemy’s former frontman Tom Clarke and Hamish Glen. Photo by Joe Bailey

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.

THEATRE: Christopher Marlowe’s Tamburlaine, Swan Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon, until  Dec 1

An actor in gold armour playing a warrior

Jude Owusu as the king of Persia, Tamburlaine Photo by Ellie Kurttz (c) RSC

Watch Jude Owusu’s chillingly charismatic portrait of Christopher Marlowe’s violent 14th century warlord, who started life as a shepherd, before conquering Asia. Directed by former RSC Artistic Director Michael Boyd, who stepped down in 2012. A big critical hit.

rsc

 

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.

belgrade

 

FILM: First Manout in cinemas,  Fri Oct 12

Photo: Courtesy of Universal Pictures

La La Land director Damien Chazelle’s biopic of Neil Armstrong, the first man in the moon, has Ryan Gosling (be still my beating heart) playing the legendary astronaut and Claire Foy, last seen as The Queen in The Crown, as his wife, Janet.

 

THEATRE: Maydays, Mischief Festival October, Studio Theatre@The Other Place, Stratford,  Thurs Sept 27 – Oct 20

Photo-by-Richard-Lakos-_c_-RSC

A new version of David Edgar’s 1983 award-winning hit play, Maydays, directed by Owen Horsley and three performances of his one-person show Trying It On in which the 70-year-old actor/playwright confronts his 20-year-old self.

rsc

 

THEATRE: Leo Butler’s All You Need Is LSD, The REP, Birmingham until Sat Oct 13

Premiere. In 2015, top British playwright Leo Butler accepted an invitation from former Government drugs tsar, Professor David Nutt, to be a guinea pig in the world’s first LSD medical trials since the 1960’s. This is the result.

birmingham-rep

 

Curator-led Sculpture Trail, Warwick Art Centre, Sat Oct 13

Barry Flanagan, Acrobats, 1997. Enea Tree Museum, Switzerland. Photography © Martin Rütschi.jpg

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.

warwickartscentre

 

THEATRE: Rebus: Long Shadows, Birmingham Rep, Thurs Sept 20 – Oct 6

International best-selling author Ian Rankin

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.

birmingham-rep

 

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

Ensemble cast performing in The Loft’s First World War reflection, Anthem for Doomed Youth. Photo by Richard Smith Photography

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

loft-theatre

 

ARTJourneys with The Waste Land, The Herbert Art Gallery, Coventry, Opens: Sept 15 – Sun Nov 18

John Stezaker Mask CCV, 2016 © John Stezaker. Courtesy The Approach, London. Photo: FXP photography.

This exhibition explores the contemporary significance of TS Eliot’s seminal poem written in 1921 in the aftermath of the First World War and the way it has resonated with artists over the years. An extension of the exhibition continues in Coventry Cathedral with John Newling’s ‘Eliot’s Notebooks and Eliot’s soil’.

theherbert

 

FURTHER AFIELD:

 

SCIENCE FESTIVAL: IF Oxford Science & Ideas Festival, various Oxford locations, Fri Oct 12 – Mon Oct 22

8 Minutes

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.

if-oxford.com

 

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.

londontheatre.com

 

 

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