News and Reviews in and around Stratford-upon-Avon
What’s on in May?
Highlights next month include three time Olivier Award winner Maria Friedman featuring the songs of Bernstein and Sondheim, The All Star Comedy Stand up tour and tribute acts ‘Absolute Blondie‘, The Jerseys and The Johnny Cash Roadshow.
Call the Box Office on 01789 207100 for tickets.
Shakespeare’s birthday 2017
Saturday 22 April sees Stratford upon Avon celebrating Shakespeare’s 453rd birthday.
Local and invited dignitaries, VIPs and guests will be there as well as characters in period dress, marching bands and local schoolchildren.
The town is flying flags ready for the parade through the town to Holy Trinity Church. It’s a colourful, lively procession – don’t miss it!
Compton Verney – Creating the Countryside
The art gallery and park at Compton Verney has a new exhibition ‘Creating the Countryside‘ examining our relationship with the countryside over the centuries from Thomas Gainsborough to today.
Compton Verney – where art meets nature – is the perfect location for exploring our view of the countryside and its influence on contemporary art and society.
The gallery is open Tue – Sun from 11 – 5 and ‘Creating the Countryside’ runs until June 18.
Festival of Motoring – April 30 and May 1
Stratford upon Avon hosts the fifth Festival of Motoring comprising two runs into the countryside and then a mix of up to 300 classic and modern cars parking up in the town where streets will be closed.
The main display is on Wood Street featuring Jaguars from Coventry Transport Museum and The Jaguar Heritage Trust. It should make for a great Bank Holiday weekend in Stratford!
Snow in Summer at the RSC
Opening in The Swan Theatre next month, Snow in Midsummer is a contemporary re-imagining of one of the most famous Classical Chinese dramas. This is the first production in the RSC’s Chinese Translations Project, a cultural exchange bringing Chinese classics to a modern western audience.
The play stars Harry Potter actor Katie Leung and runs from Feb 23 – Mar 25
Rome meets the West Wing!
The grand finale of the RSC’s Rome season this summer is a six play adaptation of Robert Harris’s bestselling trilogy of novels about the Roman orator and politician Cicero.
Artistic Director Greg Dorian describes the project as ‘Rome meets The West Wing‘. Harris’s trilogy has been adapted by Mike Poulton who also adapted Hilary Mantel’s Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies into two award winning stage plays.
The six one-hour plays performed over two nights will premiere at The Swan Theatre in November. Part I is entitled ‘Conspirator‘ and Part II ‘Dictator‘.
The RSC also announced that the Christmas production for 2017 will be an adaptation of ‘A Christmas Carol’ by Charles Dickens.
The RSC in March
The RSC has three new productions beginning next month, two by Shakespeare plus a new comedy from Richard Bean:
Antony and Cleopatra 11 Mar – 7 Sept
Christmas in Stratford upon Avon
Christmas is coming!
Thursday Nov 24 is the date for your diary if you want to be in Stratford upon Avon for the Christmas Lights switch-on. Events begin at 4.30 and Father Christmas will be there of course.
The same evening sees the first of the Thursday Xmas markets which continue through December on the 1, 8, 15 and 22.
For a family show, why not get tickets for The Tempest at the RSC or Aladdin at Stratford ArtsHouse.
Also in the area, there are Xmas events at Warwick Castle, Kenilworth Castle, Ragley Hall, Compton Verney and Batsford Arboretum. The lovely town of Shipston on Stour hosts its Victorian Evening on Dec 2.
There are plenty of ideas for Christmas shopping too – and restaurants, cafes and pubs when you need to recover!
The Stratford upon Avon Music Festival 2016
This year’s Music Festival features concerts by Lesley Garrett, Ronnie Scott’s All Stars, The National Youth Jazz Orchestra, The RSC Music Department, The Endellion String Quartet and pianist, Martin Roscoe.
The festival also includes a lunchtime series and various informal concerts including ‘Buy a Beer’, ‘Breakfast with Bach’ and ‘Afternoon Tea’ concert.
The programme runs from October 14 – 22 at various venues in the town.
Stratford upon Avon Poetry Festival 2016
The Stratford upon Avon Poetry Festival returns on 18-25 September for a special week long programme of exciting events and activities marking the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death.
You can browse the full event’s listings online but highlights include readings from RSC actors, an experimental evening of hip hop, poetry and performance with Birmingham based rapper Juice Aleem, an open mic evening and a poetry choir.