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What’s On This Weekend



COMEDY: Ahir Shah: Duffer, Warwick Arts Centre, Sun 25 Nov 

Ahir Shah’s critically acclaimed sell-out Edinburgh Fringe 2018 show has been as: ‘Intricately crafted, profoundly moving, howlingly funny ‘ (Telegraph) and earned him his second nomination in a row for Best Show at the Edinburgh Comedy Awards. A new hour of stand-up about life and what comes after, death and what comes before, and Bohemian Rhapsody, 7.45pm. Age 14+. Tickets £13.



PANTO: Sleeping Beauty, Belgrade Theatre, Coventry, Wed Nov 21 – Sat Jan 6

Tweenies creator Iain Lauchlan as Nanny McWheeze. Photo by Joe Bailey at FiveSix Photography

The fab writer and director Iain Lauchlan, who wrote BAFTA-winning series The Tweenies, returns this Christmas as Nanny McWheeze. The former children’s TV presenter, who appeared on Playschool, Fingermouse, Playdays, Storytime and Fun Song Factory, will be joined by partner in crime Craig Hollingsworth as Muddles the Jester. Together the comedy double-act will be helping Prince Valiant on his quest to rescue the sleeping princess.

Tel: 024 7655 3055 or visiting belgrade


KIDS THEATRE: Oskar’s Amazing Adventure, Warwick Arts Centre, Thu Nov 22 – Sat Nov 24 

Photo © Paul Mansfield

This original play for young children aged 2 – 8 uses a rich mix of storytelling, physical theatre, clowning, puppetry and music and song to tell the tale of a puppy’s search for friendship in the wilderness of the Alps. Helen Martin Studio. £12.25 (£10.25).



ART: Chawan: International Teabowl Exhibition, The Stratford Gallery, Stratford, Sat Nov 17 until Dec 5

stoneware Japanese teabowl in white and green

Akido Hiral, Stoneware Isu wood ash glaze with engobe, 2018, £280 (available online)

An exhibition showcasing 41 makers from Japan, Korea, America and Europe of Japanese teabowls or Chawen.


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.



FESTIVE: Ice Skate Birmingham, Eastside Green, Birmingham, now until Sun Jan 6

One of the best outdoor skating rinks in the UK, it can accommodate 300 people per 45-minute session on the ice. You don’t have to be Tonya Harding but private skating tuition can be booked ahead if required! This year the rink has been relocated from Broad Street to Eastside Green, off New Canal Street. It’s open, 10am – 10pm, with the last skating session at 9pm (need to arrive 30-mins before). Next door is The Ice Lounge with festive food and drinks.



MUSIC: Delta Tour: Mumford & Sons, Genting Arena, Birmingham, Fri Nov 23

Photo by Alistair Taylor-Young

Mumford & Sons released album number four, Delta, on November 16 and are on a UK stadium tour. Catch them now if you’re a fan of their uptempo folk ballads before they’re off a brief tour of the US and Canada ahead of Christmas and then onto Australia and New Zealand in January,

Tickets available here: with booking fee


MUSIC: Seth Lakeman, Leamington Assembly, Fri Nov 23

The charismatic Mercury Prize nominated folk artist (for Kitty Jay – recorded in his kitchen for £300) is taking a break from the Robert Plant musical juggernaut to release his ninth studio album ‘The Well Worn Path’ and is on tour around the UK with a new band line-up


FESTIVE: Magical Lantern Festival, Birmingham Botanical Gardens, Fri Nov 23 – Jan 1 2019

This year’s Christmas themed Lantern Festival will illuminate the gardens turning it into a spectacular fusion of dual culture, vibrant colours and life-size artistic sculptures. See some of the most impressive and artistic lantern installations outside of China! It is open Thurs – Sun each week and every day during the school Christmas holidays from Fri Dec 21, 5pm-10pm each day.



MUSIC: An Evening with Afro Celt Sound System, Warwick Arts Centre, Sat Nov 24

Grammy-nominated European and African based music collective set up by musician and record producer Simon Emmerson. A “giddy mash-up” of female African chorus alongside Gaelic rap and jazz bagpipes music. Expect an energetic and captivating live performance.



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.


ART: Whistler and Nature, Compton Verney, until Dec 16

James McNeill Whistler, Battersea Reach from Lindsey Houses © The Hunterian, University of Glasgow

An autumn ‘must-see’. Warwickshire’s Compton Verney is casting a new light on the work of the great late-Victorian painter, James McNeill Whistler, in respect of his family’s army background. Whistler and Nature (Sat Oct 20 – Dec 16), curated in partnership with The Hunterian at the University of Glasgow. The exhibition, which includes 90 oil paintings, explores the artist’s revolutionary attitude towards the natural world.

Compton Verney


BOOK NOW: A Christmas Carol, Royal Shakespeare Theatre from Tues Dec 4 – Jan 20

Bah, humbug! With a new cast for 2018 including Aden Gillett replacing Phil Davis as Scrooge and all the magic and cosiness of last year’s smash new adaption by David Edgar, this ‘magnificent & wonderful’ (Daily Telegraph) show is selling quickly and now only has best availability for January performances. A wonderful festive treat!



MUSIC: Christine & The Queens, Birmingham O2 Academy, Mon Nov 26

Hurray for the French singer’s new album, Chris. If the ridiculously catchy ‘80s-grooved single Girlfriend is anything to go by, it should be a doozy.


ART: Women Power Protest, Gas Hall, Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery, Nov 10 – March 31 2019

Woman in silky camisole slip in black and white

Angela Kelly, Untitled (Woman’s Identity), 1975. Arts Council Collection, Southbank Centre, London. c Angela Kelly.

Marking a century since the first women won the right to vote, this new exhibition celebrates female artists who have explored protest, social commentary and identity in their work including Susan Hiller, Lubaina Himid, Mary Kelly, Sam Taylor-Johnson, Sonia Boyce, and Margaret Harrison. Women Power Protest  raises awareness, provokes debate and asks just how much has changed for women?





FESTIVE: Illuminated Christmas Lights Trail, Blenheim Palace, Oxon, Fri Nov 23 – Jan 1 2019

Blenheim’s Christmas light shows are pretty spectacular and this year’s trail has even more lasers, projections and thousands of pea-lights. There’s a new Field of Light, the scented Fire Garden, a Canopy of Light and Singing Trees. Santa and his elves will also be popping up along the way too. The house opens up this Sat decorated with the theme of Cinderella and the Christmas Market begins in the Great Court with rustic wooden chalets selling all sorts of festive gifts.


SCIENCE: Super Science Saturday, Oxford University Museum of Natural History, Sat 24 Nov

Oxford Uni scientists are sharing their research and pulling out all the stops to get us looking through their microscopes. You’ll get to see bacteria (like the giant – 92 feet long – inflatable E.coli bacterium hanging from the ceiling), parasites, DNA and more. They’re laying on bacterial board games, music, a dance mat, crafting and even a coconut shy. And if you can’t get enough bacteria, you can visit the Bacterial World exhibit. Who said bacteria couldn’t be fun?


CHRISTMAS LIGHTS: Kew Gardens, London, Thurs 22 Nov – 5 Jan

Photo: RBG Kew

A spectacular winter trail with over a million twinkling lights and thousands of laser beams, Kew’s light show is awe-inspiring. You can be mesmerised by the Fire Garden, walk through the moonlit woods and check out the laser garden. Mulled wine, hot choc and spiced cider will help keep you warm and the kids can whizz round on vintage fairground rides whilst looking out for Santa and his elves.


FILM: 2001: A  Space Odyssey, Science Museum, London, now until Sat 24 Nov

To celebrate 50 years of the 1968 epic, you can head to the Science Museum’s IMAX cinema to watch Stanley Kubrick’s masterpiece exploring our prehistoric past and the rise of man versus machine. Oscar winning director Christopher Nolan has created a new print from the original which will look stunning on the giant IMAX screen and this week is your last chance to see it. Then follow the museum’s Kubrick trail to discover the rich collection of objects from the history of space travel.


THEATRE: True West, Vaudeville Theatre, London, Fri Nov 23 – Sat 23 Feb 2019

Head to town for the West End Premiere of Pulitzer Prize-winner Sam Shepard’s ferociously funny, modern classic, True West, which opens today. Directed by Matthew Dunsteran Olivier-nominated director, playwright, actor and Associate Director at Shakespeare’s Globe, and starring Kit Harington (of Game of Thrones fame) and Johnny Flynn (Genius) as warring brothers, this sure sounds like a goodie.


CULTURE: Month of Sundays Festival, Royal Opera House, London, now until Sun 25 Nov

The Royal Opera House has opened itself up for a month of interactive fun and this is the last week. They’ll be live demos from technicians and craftspeople who work on the ROH productions, you can take guided tours and learn new moves in a dance class, sing tunes from opera classics and make something crafty to take home. The Royal Ballet and the Royal Opera artists will be performing in the public areas and there’s a sound installation that explores the history of the Opera House.


THE RSC’s UK SCHOOLS & THEATRE TOUR: First Encounters with Shakespeare: The Comedy of Errors until Dec 7

Photo by Sam Allard

Designed by RSC Visual Communications (c) RSCWondering what’s the perfect introduction to Shakespeare for 7 – 13-year-olds? The RSC’s fab First Encounters with Shakespeare: The Comedy of Errorsa 90-minute abridged version just for kids, is touring several partner schools and theatres across the UK including Leamington, Warwick, Nuneaton, Birmingham, Northampton, Blackpool, Middlesbrough, Kent, York, Bradford and Stoke-on-Trent. It will have a number of public performances in The Swan. A lovely, interactive experience for families. See our review and where it’s heading here.



ART: Klimt/Schiele, Royal Academy of Arts, London, Nov 4 – Feb 3

Courtesy of the Royal Academy of Arts, London and the Albertina Museum, Vienna.

This is going to be hugely popular. Both Viennese artists, Gustav Klimt and Egon Schiele died in 1918 – the same year as the collapse of the Austro-Hungarian Empire in which they lived. See their work side-by-side including 100 portraits, sketches and erotic nudes.



THEATRE: The Wider Earth, The Natural History Museum, London, now until Sun 30 Dec

Exciting news – there’s a theatre in the Jerwood Gallery at the Natural History Museum for the European premiere of award-winning drama The Wider Eartha 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.


DESIGN: Home Futures, The Design Museum, Wed Nov 7 – March 24 2019

Immerse yourself in a series of dreamlike passages and rooms designed by New York-based architects SO-IL and exploring yesterday’s visions of the future – as avant-garde speculations are displayed alongside contemporary objects and new commissions including a ‘televised house’ where TV screens are integrated into every piece of furniture, giant cactus coathangers (1972) and a 60’s mobile office in the form of a transparent bubble!

Open daily 10am-6pm (last admission 5pm.)  Adult £16, Child (6 – 15 years) £8  Student/concession £12,

Find more ideas here

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