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What’s on in Warwickshire this September?

We've nailed it - food festivals, outdoor film, ladyboys, and more music than you can shake a tambourine at... what more could you want in Warwickshire this month?

OUTDOOR CINEMA

The Luna Cinema, Warwick Castle, 7-9 Sept

Pack your blanket, picnic and probably your waterproof, it’s outdoor cinema time. There’s a choice of The Greatest Showman, Grease or Star Wars: A New Hope in the historic surroundings of Warwick Castle. Fear not, there’s a full bar too for essentials. 

Moonlit Cinema, Mill Gardens, Leamington, 9-10 Sept

Fancy a retro movie night? Of course you do! Take your pick from Jaws or Beetlejuice in the scenic Mill Gardens. There’s drinks by Muddy award winners Warwickshire Gin Company and food vendors (so you don’t have to cook before you go – always a bonus!) Make sure you take a blanket or even your fave deckchair.

EXHIBITIONS

Modern Mercia, Leamington, until 19 Sept

Coventry-born sculptor Walter Ritchie carving a panel for the Upper Precinct, Coventry (Copyright Sally Taylor/Estate of Walter Ritchie)

Local history buffs here’s one for you. Leamington Spa Art Gallery and Museum is hosting an exhibition brimming with items showing how Coventry and Warwickshire rebuilt after the Second World War. Expect films, photos and sculpture which have been amassed from private and local collectors. 

Faith, Coventry, 10-11 Sept

A 24-hour smorgasbord of theatre, music, art installations and dialogue will celebrate Coventry’s links with faith. The RSC is working with Cov’s City of Culture Trust on the event, and theatre designer Tom Piper – the man behind the poppy memorial at the Tower of London – is also involved, so you know it’s going to be pretty spectacular. Free tickets to the theatre performances must be booked in advance. 

MUSIC

The Specials, Coventry Building Society Arena, 11 Sept

Grab your Harrington, The Specials are coming home. The band from Cov are known as the founders of 2 Tone and members have really been supporting the city in its City of Culture year (shout out to Terry Hall for his Home Sessions). But you can see these musical gamechangers back together at the newly-renamed Ricoh Arena – it’s called the Coventry Building Society Arena now, doncha know? 

Slowthai, Hare and Hounds, Birmingham, 2 Sept

You probably know this rapper from his controversial performance holding the fake severed head of Boris Johnson at the Mercury Prize Awards. Wanna see what he’s up to now? Head down to the Hare and Hounds for his brashy and outspoken mix of rap, hip hop and grime.

Luna Kiss, The Arches, Coventry, 17 Sept

Seen this band yet? With roots in Cov and Warwickshire they’ve been across Europe and the UK on several tours but are coming out of the pandemic with a gig at home. They’ve just finished recording a new EP so expect some fresh stuff alongside older songs. 

FESTIVALS

Godiva Festival, Coventry, 3-5 Sept

So entry may no longer be free (boo) but Cov’s busiest festival is back again with a line-up including Craig David, Therapy?, Supergrass, Fun Lovin’ Criminals and home-grown doctor turned DJ Bodalia (check him out if you haven’t before – he’s the nicest guy in medicine and music). It’ll be family-friendly as always so take the kids if you fancy a day out, or pull on some sequins and go with your girlfriends.

Ecofest, Pump Room Gardens, Leamington, 4 Sept

Grab your largest jute bag, best yoga mat and prepare to zen out, Ecofest is returning to Leamington. Think local vegan and veggie food, wellbeing activities, live music and advice on how to be more environmentally friendly. Want tips on going plastic free or cutting down your carbon footprint? This is the feel-good festival for you. 

Leam Food Festival, Leamington, 11-12 Sept

Get your diaries out, this one’s not to be missed. Every foodie worth their salt is at the Leamington Food Festival, it’s a huge event jam packed with stalls, workshops, live music, demos and bars. Make sure you pay Muddy faves Dough & Brew a visit for food and grab a bottle of gin from the talented bunch at Newbold Spirit to take home (or sip in the park, hey we won’t judge).

Warwick Thai Festival, Warwick Racecourse, 4-5 Sept

Thai massage, a steaming bowl of Pad Thai and ladyboys all in one place – sounds like a good day to us! Warwick Rotary is once again holding its ever popular Thai Festival celebrating all things oriental. Expect music, dancing, delicious food and maybe even a cocktail or two. Go on then….

Stratford Food Festival, Town Centre,

Fancy spending the day wandering around Stratford eating too much and overindulging in too much wine? Silly question. Stratford’s ever popular free Food Festival is back for the first time since the start of the pandemic and will see Bridge Street, High Street and Henley Street fit to burst with stalls, with more than half of them local. There will be cookery demonstrations and workshops in Bell Court by the likes of Muddy favourites MOR Bakery and Shakespeare Distillery and most importantly you can also learn cocktail making from The Fourteas, chin chin.  

COMEDY

Simon Amstell – Spirit Hole, Stratford-upon-Avon, 17 Sept

Former Buzzcocks presenter Simon Amstell heads to Stratford Playhouse with his first stand-up tour since Netflix special ‘Set Free’ and internationally acclaimed feature film ‘Benjamin’. His latest offering is an exploration of love, sex, shame and mushrooms with a healthy dose of his usual self-deprecating humour.

Jenny Eclair, Royal Spa Centre, Leamington, 10 Sept

Comedienne Jenny Eclair takes a look at what life is like now she’s reached 60. Ease yourself in gently now lockdown restrictions have lifted, and where better than the gorgeous Spa Centre? Yeah it’s council owned, but they have some top acts and it’s a great venue inside.

THEATRE

The Play That Goes Wrong, The Belgrade, Coventry, 13-18 Sept

Chances are you already know about The Play That Goes Wrong from its Tony and Olivier awards, and if you don’t the title kinda gives it away. Everything that can go wrong does as a am-dram society puts on a 1920s murder mystery. Mischief Theatre is in town with its interpretation for one week so make sure you pre book. 

Don’t Panic It’s All Above Board, The Albany, Coventry, 7-8 Sept

You might know Brit award-winning Neil Planer from starring in The Young Ones opposite Rik Mayall and Ade Edmondson, but his latest comedy is a little more low key. ‘Don’t Panic It’s All Above Board’ sees an unlikely group of modern do-gooders try to make the world a better place but along the way they lose the plot, their morals and even their clothes. Sounds like a standard Saturday night out. After the show there will be a Q&A with Nigel. 

East is East, Birmingham Rep, 3-25 September

We’ve all seen the film (probably more than once) but now’s your chance to be your sophisticated best self and enjoy East is East at the theatre. The play was originally brought to the stage in Birmingham in 1996, despite being about 1970s Salford, so it seems fitting it’s come full circle again, grubby parka and all. 

POETRY

Words & Voices Roadshow, Coventry, 5 & 19 Sept

Poets unite at events celebrating Coventry’s creative potential – and this year’s definitely shown there’s a lot of that. Poetry in the City and Slam in the City will see workshops, performances and discussions in the Mediterranean-styled paradise which is Assembly Festival Gardens. Later in the month there’s more for culture vultures at the Words and Voices Roadshow: The Life Stories and Languages That Make Us Who We Are in Coventry. It’ll look at life in the city and modern society. 

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