From outdoor Shakespeare to a celebration of world music, there's plenty going on...
1 OPEN-AIR THEATRE
A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Hamlet, Charlecote Park, August 10 and 11
Five actors, with all manner of musical instruments and plenty of character-swapping, will present an inventive take on two of Shakespeare’s most renowned plays as part of their national summer tour. The Three Inch Fools will present A Midsummer Night’s Dream, the much-loved comic tale of runaway lovers, beguiling potions and an unfortunate individual who gets turned into a donkey. Audiences are then invited back the following night for Hamlet, Shakespeare’s masterpiece of loss and the supernatural, poetry and revenge. “We want to show Shakespeare off to everyone,” said co-founder and director James Hyde, “and excite a whole new generation of Shakespeare lovers to get to know his plays in all their vibrancy.”
Wilko Johnson, The Assembly, Leamington, August 25
Known for his distinctive chopping guitar style, Wilko has enjoyed a remarkable four-decade career, cutting his teeth in the pub rock scene in the raucous rhythm and blues outfit Dr Feelgood. He was diagnosed with cancer in 2012 and given just months to live, heading out on a farewell tour after opting not to undergo chemotherapy. But a reassessment by medics led to major pioneering surgery which left him cancer-free and with a new zest for life.
World music night, St Patrick’s Irish Club, Leamington, August 15
King Ayisoba from Ghana headlines this special night of music. His sound is described as combining “the rhythms that created the past alongside the beats forging the present”, emphasising the sheer power of traditional instruments. The support band is Zea and Oscar van Hoogland from Holland, with Leamington band Jabba Cartel also playing.
Eliza and the Bear, The Assembly, Leamington, August 19
It’s been a tumultuous couple of years for the London-based folk-pop outfit, who were tipped for success on their emergence in 2013/14 by many corners of the music press. A sold-out UK arena tour with Paramore followed, along with main stage appearances at the Reading & Leeds and V festivals. Major label life then caught up with them and a parting with Universal led to a difficult time all round – but especially for front man James Kellegher. He said:
“Some people face life’s problems head on, some find a way around. I’m in the company of people who prefer to ignore it, and hope it somehow gets better. Talking, for me, was never the easy route, so I never took it. But now a conversation has been started, too many times we wake up to news of another suicide, and it’s becoming more frequent in the entertainment industry. It became clear that we were all suffering in different ways, with different things. These different things became songs.”
DMA’s, The Assembly, Leamington, August 23
The ‘90s-tinged, Brit-pop infused Aussie rockers return.