From panto fun to some dark and funny Shakespeare, there's plenty to enjoy...
Dick Whittington, Spa Centre, Leamington, December 1 to 30
Final preparations are being made for the Spa Centre’s annual festive extravaganza, which this year tells the story of Dick Whittington. The show stars the popular JP McCue as Dame Dolly Fitzwarren and Sean Dodds as Silly Simon. This year they are joined by Kieran Morris in the title role of Dick Whittington, Denise Pitter as Queen Rat, John Fagan as Queen Rat’s sidekick Ralph, Georgina Newton as Alice, Chris Gage as Tommy the Cat, Kirstie Smith as Fairy Bow-Bells and Jacob Morris and Charley Howes. Also taking to the stage are 24 talented local youngsters, who perform in alternating teams of eight. They were selected from around 100 who auditioned in September and have been eagerly awaiting the start of rehearsals ever since. Louise Redmond, who is choreographing the production, said: “We are set for a fun filled rat-tastic show this year. The cast are all fabulous and despite working really hard we are still having a great time.”
Twelfth Night, Loft Theatre, Leamington, December 5 to 15
For its final production of 2018, the Loft Theatre Company has chosen that most colourful of Shakespeare’s comedies, Twelfth Night. Written as a Christmas entertainment, it is a tale of mistaken identities, bewildering desires, practical jokes and ribald revelry. But at its heart is a story of unrequited love – both comic and heartbreaking.
Martinů String Quartet, Pump Room, Leamington, November 30
The quartet from Prague will play Haydn’s Quartet in B minor Opus 64 No 2 followed by two Czech works – Schulhoff’s Quartet No 2 and the most popular of Dvořák’s Quartets, Opus 96 in F, the ‘American’. Richard Phillips, of promoter Leamington Music, said: “The Martinů Quartet has a very special relationship with Leamington and this concert is dedicated to Gabrielle Swabey, a great supporter of the quartet and Leamington Music, who died earlier this year.”
Soul II Soul, The Assembly, Leamington, December 1
With huge hits including Keep On Movin’, which sold over a million copies in the US alone, and the UK number one single Back To Life (However Do You Want Me), Soul II Soul progressed from being one of the leaders of the 1980’s warehouse scene to pioneering British black music around the world, and securing commercial success for themselves and the huge amount of artists
they have influenced.
The Mellstock Band, Lord Leycester Hospital, Warwick, December 5
The Mellstock Band return for their annual appearance in the medieval splendour of the Lord Leycester Hospital. Dressed in Victorian costume, the four members of the band, directed by Dave Townsend, sing and play clarinet, concertina, serpent and violins. The ‘When Icicles Hang’ programme features carols and revels, taking the audience from alehouse to church gallery with readings, dances and marches. The music starts at 7.30pm.