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

Monty Python-inspired musical Spamalot is heading to the Belgrade Theatre, Coventry
Monty Python-inspired musical Spamalot is heading to the Belgrade Theatre, Coventry

From political comedy-drama to a Grammy Award winner, there's plenty to enjoy...

1 THEATRE
Handbagged, Loft Theatre, Leamington, February 21
to March 3
Moira Buffini’s Olivier award-winning comedy looks behind the closed doors of Buckingham Palace to speculate what really happened in meetings between the Queen and Margaret Thatcher. The play interweaves politics with personality, lacing cutting exchanges with dry humour.
Details: www.loft-theatre.co.uk


2 ADVENTURE
Dungeon Lates, Warwick Castle, February 23
Get the blood pumping with the new Dungeon Lates fright-fest at Warwick Castle. Blending scary storytelling with wicked humour and manic theatrics, this gory production is a strictly adults-only affair, mixing special effects with live performance art. The gut-wrenching experience starts with a “last supper” featuring deathly delights such as Scotch Eyes and Bird’s Legs, washed down by a Bloody Mary before traitors are led on a spine-tingling exploration of the castle dungeon. Still peckish? Help yourself if you dare to a light snack of leeches, or take some Dutch courage with a shot of blood as the Dungeon Dwellers regale those in attendance with tales of ailments and dastardly deeds. The tour lasts 50 minutes and further events are scheduled throughout the year.
Details: warwick-castle.com


3 MUSIC
Rickie Lee Jones, The Assembly, Leamington, February 27
Grammy Award-winning artist Rickie Lee Jones comes to Leamington after recently returning with her latest studio album The Other Side Of Desire. Rickie is an American vocalist, musician, songwriter, producer, actress and narrator. Over the course of a career that spans five decades, Jones has recorded in various musical styles including rock, R&B, blues, pop, soul, and jazz, and was listed at number 30 on VH1’s 100 Greatest Women in Rock & Roll in 1999.
Details: leamingtonassembly.com


4 ART
Simeon Solomon, Leamington Art Gallery & Museum, until April 15
Works by Simeon Solomon are now on display in the gallery’s Spotlight alcove. Solomon was an English Pre-Raphaelite painter noted for his depictions of Jewish life and same-sex desire. As a student at the Royal Academy Schools, Solomon was introduced through Dante Gabriel Rossetti to other members of the Pre-Raphaelite circle, as well as the poet Algernon Charles Swinburne and the painter Edward Burne-Jones in 1857. His first exhibition was at the Royal Academy in 1858. The works on show in Leamington include his watercolour painting The Sleepers and the One who Watcheth, 1870-1, which is one of Solomon’s most popular and most reproduced works and is often on loan for exhibitions. Solomon’s cousin Myer Salaman was great grandfather of Leamington resident Colin Cohen.
Details: warwickdc.gov.uk/royalpump-rooms


5 THEATRE
Spamalot, Belgrade Theatre, Coventry, February 27 to March 3
Lovingly ripped off from the 1975 film Monty Python and the Holy Grail, this classic stage comedy follows King Arthur and his hapless knights on a divine mission to locate the elusive Grail.
Details: belgrade.co.uk