Warwick Arts Centre presents another season full of breath-taking performances, launching on Thursday 15 March with big name acts and fun for all the family this summer.
Leading the way in comedy this season there is a whole host of big name comedians taking to the Butterworth Hall stage, including Jason Manford (Sat 28 Apr), Danny Baker (Sat 5 May), Tim Vine (Tue 8 May) and the team behind My Dad Wrote a Porno (Sat 19 May). Coventry will also be welcoming an exciting selection of breakthrough comedians including Adam Kay (Thu 10 May), who will be sharing entries from his diaries as a junior doctor, Sarah Kendall (Sat 2 Jun,) who will be performing a blistering hour of storytelling and Angela Barnes (Sat 16 Jun) who comes following another sell-out run at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.
As always, Warwick Arts Centre leads the way in pioneering contemporary theatre and dance. From Mon 30 Apr – Sat 5 May, 2Magpies Theatre bring us Last Resort, which imagines an alternative future for Guantanamo Bay as a holiday destination where the audience will be seated in deckchairs and offered a rum cocktail. Later, Bert and Nasi present PALMYRA (Tue 8 – Wed 9 May), a “weird, wonderful and strangely stressful” (The Stage) exploration of what lies beneath and beyond civilisation.
Following the BAFTA award-winning BBC series, the critically acclaimed and uproariously funny stage production of Pheobe Waller-Bridge’s cult hit, Fleabag (Tue 8 – Sat 12 May) arrives in The Goose Nest Theatre. Love, Bombs and Apples is a comic and poignant exploration of four men experiencing a moment of revelation written by award winning playwright Hassan Abdulrazzak and will be performed on Mon 21 & Tue 22 May.
Throughout the summer season, Warwick Arts Centre will continue to support and develop its relationship with University of Warwick student societies. Freshblood New Writing take to The Goose Next to present Hormones (Thu 31 May – Sat 2 Jun), an exploration of human connection in the 21st century, and Enda Walsh’s Misterman (Fri 4 – Sat 5 May) will be performed by Warwick University Drama Society. Following a sell-out production of RENT, the talented Music Theatre Warwick take to the stage again with a production of the Tony Award-winning rock musical, Spring Awakening (Wed 16 – Sat 19 May).
Families won’t be disappointed with a programme that is filled to the brim with innovative and engaging shows for children of all ages. At Easter, Big Wooden Horse present Monstersaurus! (31 Mar – Mon 2 Apr), an energetic show full of magic, mayhem and plenty of monsters for the whole family to enjoy together. Later in the holidays, Ready Steady Lift Off! (Mon 2 – Sat 7 Apr) offers an immersive family experience that invites audiences to create their very own rocket and join an astronaut programme.
June will see the welcome return of Family Day (Sun 10 Jun) with the theme of ‘The Great Outdoors’. Visitors will be asked to be prepared to put on explorer hats and bring the whole family along for a range of creative activities, games and performances including Carnival Of The Animals (Sun 10 Jun), a magical combination of music and hand shadows. A Heart At Sea (Wed 23 – Sat 26 May) is an epic and heart-warming musical folk tale told using intricate puppets.
The music programmes sees the joyous and uplifting voices of Ladysmith Black Mambazo (Fri 11 May) marrying the intricate rhythms and harmonies of South African tradition with the sentiments of gospel music, whilst on Wed 23 May the legendary pianist, Jools Holland, will dazzle with his Rhythm and Blues Orchestra and their exuberant live performances. The Waterboys (Sun 13 May), Sarah Jane & Antonio Forcione (Thu 24 May), cult hero Ben Folds (Fri 25 May) and Gareth Malone (Sun 27 May) accompanied by close harmony band The Swingles complete the line-up.
Classical music aficionados will welcome the European Union Chamber Orchestra (Wed 25 Apr) who will put soloist Emma Johnson centre stage in Mozart’s Clarinet Concerto, and Flanders Symphony Orchestra (Wed 6 May) whose climax is Grieg’s iconic In the Hall of the Mountain King. Opera North present a powerful concert performance of Salome (Thu 3 May), the savage and bloody tale of King Herod’s step-daughter which caused an outrage when it was first performed in 1905 and has lost none of its power to shock.
This season the Mead Gallery will unveil from Tate Liverpool the first major exhibition of John Piper’s work since 2003. Piper visited Coventry the day after the blitz and made a series of drawings using Coventry Cathedral as a focal point. He returned in the 1950s when he was commissioned to design a huge stained glass window for the city’s new cathedral. With the recent announcement that Coventry is to be the City of Culture in 2021, this new exhibition makes direct reference to Piper’s significant artistic contribution to the city.
Watch the season trailer!