From a celebration of all things artistic to a visits from two musical heroes, there's plenty to enjoy...
Art in the Park, Jephson Gardens, Leamington, August 4 and 5
With more than over 180 artists, 17 musicians and bands and lots of unique and enthralling theatre and dance performances over the weekend, this year’s Art in the Park promises to be bigger and better than ever. The theme this time is Trees, to celebrate Leamington’s historic Jephson Gardens, which hosted a four- day ‘Festival of Oaks’ in Victorian times. In addition to the art on display and for sale, there will be workshops to take part in and food and drink to enjoy. Music will also play a major role, with top talent from Warwickshire performing, including Atlum Schema, Taylor-Louise, Mister Keith, The Spa Strummers, Chasing Deer and The Ellipsis.
2 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.”.
Steve Harley and Cockney Rebel, The Assembly, Leamington, August 3
Steve Harley has written and recorded 12 albums in a career covering four decades, and continues to tour to sell-out audiences in many countries world-wide. The show will be packed with hits such as Judy Teen, Mr Raffles, Here Comes The Sun, Mr Soft, Sebastian and the world-wide hit and UK number one, Make Me Smile (Come Up And See Me).
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.
Sean Paul, Ericsson Indoor Arena, Coventry, August 19
The chart-topping Jamaican rapper has been a pop superstar since 2003 with a flurry of Top 40 hits such as Gimme The Light and Get Busy. His career has seen him work with the likes of Beyoncé, Rihanna and Nicki Minaj, while more recent hits include No Lie with Dua Lipa and Mad Love with David Guetta and Becky G. He’s now had 25 UK top 40 hits.