From top comics to powerful drama, there's plenty to enjoy...
The Pity of War season, Loft Theatre studio, October 7 to 20
To mark the centenary of the end of the First World War, the Loft is presenting two very different productions running in repertory. Devised and directed by David Fletcher, Anthem For Doomed Youth is based on the poems of Wilfred Owen, plus other writing from the period. Owen’s poignant, moving, and sometimes angry poetry has been arranged to tell the story of ‘the war to end all wars’ from the enthusiastic departure of our troops, through the carnage of battles where millions died, to the ‘drawing down of blinds’ on November 11, 1918. Combined with songs and hymns of the period, the poems are delivered in dramatic settings, some spoken by soldiers and some by the women who observe them. Directed by Sue Moore, The Silence is the premiere of a new play by David Fletcher, the writer of The Ballad of Lady Bessy which was a sell-out in the Loft Studio last November. It brings up to date the unchanging horrors of war and its aftermath. A soldier returns from combat in the Falklands to a military hospital in the UK. He is physically unhurt, but he does not speak. A counsellor is engaged to help him emerge from his silence. Eventually, the full horrors of the soldier’s war experiences come to light. Following each of the weekday performances, members of the audience will also have the opportunity to discuss the performance informally with the author, director and cast members.
Henschel Quartet, Pump Room, Leamington, October 5
This leading quartet, based in Munich, will perform a programme of music by three of the greatest German composers - Beethoven, Mendelssohn and Schumann. The three quartets to be played were written in the years 1809 to 1842, a golden age for music. Richard Phillips, of Leamington Music, said: “We know how much the quartet enjoys playing in the Pump Room, rating it as their favourite after the Wigmore Hall in London.”
Warwick Chocolate Festival, Market Place, Warwick, October 7
More than 30 stalls will offer a wide range of products – local handmade chocs, churros with dipping chocolate, fudge and bubble waffles amongst them. There’ll also be live music, facepainting, stilt walkers and a chocolate workshop.
Leamington Underground Cinema: Videodrome, Spa Centre, Leamington, October 7
Dedicated to celebrating cinema’s less mainstream pleasures, Leamington Underground Cinema returns with David Cronenberg’s Videodrome, a classic sci-fi/horror/thriller from 1983, starring James Woods and Blondie’s Debbie Harry.
Leamington Comedy Festival, various venues, October 7 to 13
Henning Wehn, Juliette Burton, Hal Cruttenden and Gary Delaney are among the big names heading to Leamington in the next few days. There’s also a special kids’ comedy event, a comedy quiz at the Fat Pug and a gala show to bring the festival to an end, headlined by Reginald D Hunter.