The Urban Guide to the Countryside
Warwickshire Edition

Category: What’s On

Review: Antony and Cleopatra, Royal Shakespeare Theatre, Stratford

24 Mar 2017

I grew up watching Josette Simon as Dayna in the BBC sci-fi TV series Blake 7. She’s returned to the RSC after 17 years to play the Queen of Egypt in Iqbal Khan’s production of Antony and Cleopatra. I couldn’t believe it when the Leicester-born actor appeared from under the bedsheets with Mark Antony. She doesn’t appear to have aged in the slightest (*sniff).

Still as beautiful, the lithe-limbed and energetic Josette glides seductively across the stage as the pair cavort passionately in their coordinating cream togas. 

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Parklife! Compton Verney, Sun June 25

23 Mar 2017

Park Life! returns for the third year this summer in the beautiful grounds of Compton Verney on Sun June 25, 10.30am-5pm. This one-day family-friendly festival condenses a smorgasbord of entertainment, contemporary crafts and artisan products, including delicious food and drink, all into one day. And folk music fans are in for a real treat as headliners on the music stage are the award-winning Kathryn Roberts and Sean Lakeman, supported by Folklore and Blondes with Beards.  

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The Bumper What’s On Guide!

23 Mar 2017

What a feeling! Sara Cox has so far raised £1,071,264 after completing her epic 24 hour Sounds of the 80s Danceathon for Red Nose Day. Congratulations Cox-y. It’s a busy week; not only is it Comic Relief on Friday but Mother’s Day on Sunday and OMG we can all celebrate as the clocks go forward too…summers on the way. Yay!

Comic Relief 2017: Red Nose African Convoy, BBC 1, Thurs March 23

Ahead of the main Red Nose shenanigans on Fri March 24, this film aims to show the serious side of fundraising but it remains true to its comic roots by sending a road crew – Michaela Coel, David Baddiel, Russell Kane, Hugh Dennis, Katy Brand and Reggie Yates – to join a Comic Relief convoy from Kenya, to Uganda delivering crucial supplies and negotiating heavy terrain with a light touch, 9pm.

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What’s On in Warks: The Muddy Guide (Thurs March 16-Weds March 22)

16 Mar 2017

If you like comics, photography, music, art and theatre there’s masses going on across Warwickshire this week…

Newsflash! Festival on the Close, Rugby School, Sat June 25-Thurs June 29

There’s an impressive line-up for this new arts and music festival celebrating the 450th Anniversary year of the founding of Rugby School. It includes Birmingham’s Mercury Music Award nominated  singer-songwriter Laura Mvula, Leamington-based UK contemporary dance company Motionhouse, G4 & Lesley Garrett, Captain Corelli’s Mandolin author Louis De Bernieres performing with the Bookshop Band & Caribbean poet John Agard.

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The Cool Stuff

8 Mar 2017

Music is definitely in the air this week with tributes to two amazingly talented late artists, Amy Winehouse and Bob Marley, as well as some Cuban jazz, gorgeous folk vocals and iconic superhero film scores.

Amy film screening with live set from Amy tribute Laura Jane, Mockingbird Cinema & Kitchen, Birmingham Fri March 10

Tickets are going really fast for the film screening of this ‘piercingly sad’ documentary at Birmingham’s new indy cinema in The Custard Factory.

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Review: Comedian Kieran Hodgson’s Maestro, Royal Spa Centre, Leamington Spa

4 Mar 2017

Not coming from a terribly musical family, I find it amazing that an 11-year-old would have the impetus and drive to start writing a four-movement symphony. My teens are too busy on Snapchat and Overwatch.

Even more so, a symphony influenced by late-Romantic Austrian composer Gustav Mahler – who Kieran admits himself was “a bad boy…a rebel composer…more of an evil genius” (and one who doesn’t even make it onto the play-list of shock-horror – Classic FM!).

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Review: Snow in Midsummer, Swan Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon

3 Mar 2017

Hot-off-the press here’s my review for Snow in Midsummer…

What’s the price you’ll pay for happiness? This is a key question in playwright Frances Ya-Chu Cowhig’s riveting re-working of 13th Century Chinese play The Injustice Done to Dou E by Guan Hanqing.

Snow in Midsummer is a poignant mother-daughter drama, with a passionate gay love story thrown in, the supernatural, Buddhist rituals and Ruth Chan’s thumping techno.

Set in New Harmony, a remote factory town in modern-day China, it opens with 23-year-old widow Dou Yi – Harry Potter actor Katie Leung – selling lucky sculptural origami Lotus tree leaves to members of the audience, before she’s framed for murder.

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So Near Yet So Far-go!

2 Mar 2017

I popped over to have a scout round Coventry’s Fargo Village over the weekend to bring you this little whistle-top tour and a snapshot of what’s to expect this spring…

Located in part of the city that’s still undergoing considerable regeneration, it’s off Far Gosford Street which used to be part of the red-light district when I first moved from Cardiff to neighbouring Stoke in Coventry with my husband many moons ago – pre-children.

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The Muddy Guide – Thurs March 2-Wed March 8

2 Mar 2017

Do you have a ‘spring’ in your step? There’s fun to be had across Warwickshire and rural West Mids and I know exactly where and when. In this week’s guide there’s a world premiere at the RSC, lots of books, comedy, art, The XX and, um, wine-tasting. Let’s, March to it…

World Book Day events: Warwick Books & Warwick Castle, Thurs March 2-Sat March 4

There’s lots going on across Warwickshire.

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Three cheers for Warwickshire’s Rural Oscars winners!

27 Feb 2017

Never mind the 2017 Oscars, we’re talking about the Midlands’ rural Oscars! The winners of the 2016 Countryside Alliance Awards were announced earlier this week.

And the joint Midlands Champion in the Local Food & Drink  category were…(drum roll) Hiller’s Farm Shop, Dunnington, near Alcester and Ludlow Food Centre, Shropshire.

Napton Village Stores, Post Office and Cafe in the village of Napton-on-the-Hill, near Southam won Midlands Champion in the Village shop/Post Office category.

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The Urban Guide to the Countryside -
Warwickshire Edition