From a comedy thriller to the story of a pioneering actress, there's plenty to enjoy...
Tiptoe through the Tombstones, Priory Theatre, Kenilworth, July 11 to 21
Sinister goings-on are afoot at the Priory next week when Norman Robbins’ comedy thriller takes to the stage. The play is a sequel to the popular Tomb with a View, which played to sell-out audiences at the theatre in 2014. Mortimer Crayle, a crusty old lawyer, and his secretary Zoe have gathered the last remaining Tomb family members together. But Crayle has designs on the inheritance which demands the death of all the Tombs. As fog descends on the gloomy mansion, in the cobwebby corridors things are seldom what they seem. With poison in every decanter and mysterious disappearances into secret passageways, host and guests alike join the increasing number of bodies in the cellar. Director Michael Brooks said: “I had the pleasure of directing the first play in the trilogy and had such a great time working with a large company of actors with intricate plots and lots of murders, that I had to be involved with this wonderful sequel.” Author Norman Robbins said the play was “a glorious spoof, a gentle homage to the kind of comedy thriller that dominated the repertory scene in the ‘50s, but which presents an intriguing mystery too!”
Nell Gwynn, Loft Theatre, Leamington, July 11 to 21
The year is 1660. The dark, dreary years of Cromwell’s puritanical rule are over and King Charles II – the Merry Monarch- has been restored to the throne. The theatres have re-opened, but with one big innovation. Previously all roles were played by men, but now the king has decreed that women may also appear on stage. Foremost amongst this new breed of actresses is the heroine of Jessica Swale’s award winning comedy – pretty, witty Nell Gwynn. This rumbustious homage to Nell charts her meteoric rise from the poverty of Coal Yard Alley to success on the stage at Drury Lane – and in the king’s bed...
Napton Festival, Napton-on-the-Hill, July 6 and 7
The annual festival returns following its most successful fundraising year yet. Among the acts are tribute band Oas-is, five Oasis fanatics who live and breathe the Manchester favourites. The festival will also see performances by Chaos, Chasing Deer, HunkDavy, Michael EB, Matilda Pratt and Chloe Henderson.
Unforgettable, Belgrade Theatre, Coventry, July 11
Unforgettable pays tribute to the legendary Nat King Cole. Created to commemorate 50 years since Cole’s death in 1965, this show charts his remarkable career from 1939 to 1962. Star singer Mark Anthony is joined by his own quartet of musicians, as well as the Oakwood String Quartet, authentically recreating the atmosphere of the 1950s Cotton Club.
Two Castles Male Voice Choir, St Nicholas Church, Warwick, July 7
It’s the inaugural concert by the choir, which originated from the now defunct Leamington Royal Naval Association MVC and came into being in March this year. They will be joined by the Royal Spa Brass Quintet and organist Nicky Grant for a programme of ‘music for a summer evening’.