Five of the best things to do in and around Leamington, Warwick and Kenilworth in the next seven days

From panto fun to some dark and funny Shakespeare, there's plenty to enjoy...

Thursday, 29th November 2018, 4:11 pm
Updated Wednesday, 9th January 2019, 2:53 am
Twelfth Night is being staged at the Loft Theatre in Leamington
Twelfth Night is being staged at the Loft Theatre in Leamington

1 PANTOMIMEDick Whittington, Spa Centre, Leamington, December 1 to 30Final 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.”Details: royalspacentreandtownhall.co.uk

2 THEATRETwelfth Night, Loft Theatre, Leamington, December 5 to 15For 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.Details: lofttheatrecompany.com

3 MUSICMartinů String Quartet, Pump Room, Leamington, November 30The 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 DvoÅ™ák’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.”Details: leamingtonmusic.org

4 MUSICSoul II Soul, The Assembly, Leamington, December 1With 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 artiststhey have influenced.Details: leamingtonassembly.com

5 MUSICThe Mellstock Band, Lord Leycester Hospital, Warwick, December 5The 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.Details: leamingtonmusic.org