Festival of Motoring – April 30 and May 1

Stratford upon Avon hosts the fifth Festival of Motoring comprising two runs into the countryside and then a mix of up to 300 classic and modern cars parking up in the town where streets will be closed.

The main display is on Wood Street featuring Jaguars from Coventry Transport Museum and The Jaguar Heritage Trust.  It should make for a great Bank Holiday weekend in Stratford!

Snow in Summer at the RSC

Opening in The Swan Theatre next month, Snow in Midsummer is a contemporary re-imagining of one of the most famous Classical Chinese dramas.  This is the first production in the RSC’s Chinese Translations Project, a cultural exchange bringing Chinese classics to a modern western audience.

The play stars Harry Potter actor Katie Leung and runs from Feb 23 – Mar 25

Rome meets the West Wing!

The grand finale of the RSC’s Rome season this summer is a six play adaptation of Robert Harris’s bestselling trilogy of novels about the Roman orator and politician Cicero.

Artistic Director Greg Dorian describes the project as ‘Rome meets The West Wing‘.  Harris’s trilogy has been adapted by Mike Poulton who also adapted Hilary Mantel’s Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies into two award winning stage plays.

The six one-hour plays performed over two nights will premiere at The Swan Theatre in November.  Part I is entitled ‘Conspirator‘ and Part II ‘Dictator‘.

The RSC also announced that the Christmas production for 2017 will be an adaptation of ‘A Christmas Carol’ by Charles Dickens.

The RSC in March

The RSC has three new productions beginning next month, two by Shakespeare plus a new comedy from Richard Bean:

Antony and Cleopatra     11 Mar – 7 Sept
Julius Caesar     3 Mar – 9 Sept
The Hypocrite     31 Mar – 29 Apr

Christmas in Stratford upon Avon

Christmas is coming!

Thursday Nov 24 is the date for your diary if you want to be in Stratford upon Avon for the Christmas Lights switch-on.  Events begin at 4.30 and Father Christmas will be there of course.

The same evening sees the first of the Thursday Xmas markets which continue through December on the 1, 8, 15 and 22.

For a family show, why not get tickets for The Tempest at the RSC or Aladdin at Stratford ArtsHouse.

Also in the area, there are Xmas events at Warwick Castle, Kenilworth Castle, Ragley Hall, Compton Verney and Batsford Arboretum.  The lovely town of Shipston on Stour hosts its Victorian Evening on Dec 2.

There are plenty of ideas for Christmas shopping too – and restaurants, cafes and pubs when you need to recover!

The Stratford upon Avon Music Festival 2016

This year’s Music Festival features concerts by Lesley GarrettRonnie Scott’s All StarsThe National Youth Jazz Orchestra, The RSC Music Department, The Endellion String Quartet and pianist, Martin Roscoe.

The festival also includes a lunchtime series and various informal concerts including ‘Buy a Beer’, ‘Breakfast with Bach’ and ‘Afternoon Tea’ concert.

The programme runs from October 14 – 22 at various venues in the town.

Stratford upon Avon Poetry Festival 2016

The Stratford upon Avon Poetry Festival returns on 18-25 September for a special week long programme of exciting events and activities marking the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death.

You can browse the full event’s listings online but highlights include readings from RSC actors, an experimental evening of hip hop, poetry and performance with Birmingham based rapper Juice Aleem, an open mic evening and a poetry choir.

Stratford Town Centre Food Festival

The 2016 festival will see Stratford Town Centre packed with over 100 stalls showcasing the best of local food and produce.  Highlights will include chef demonstrations, workshops and Food & Ale Trails.  Local chefs will showcase the town’s own culinary talent at the Waterside Cookery Theatre and on Sunday, acclaimed chef Jean-Christophe Novelli will be demonstrating his skills.

The festival takes place on September 23, 24 and 25 (Fri, Sat and Sun) and there is lots more info on the STRATFORWARD website.

The Rover by Aphra Benn at the RSC

Opening on Sept 8thThe Rover by Aphra Benn is described by the RSC as ‘an anarchic restoration comedy rich with seduction, intrigue and danger’.

Aphra Benn was England’s first female professional playwright and a strong voice in early feminism.  Her play is set in the world of the South American carnival where three wandering cavaliers in exile meet three women looking for love and freedom.

With Joseph Millson playing Willmore, the play is performed in The Swan Theatre until Feb 11th.

King Lear at the RSC

Antony Sher returns to the RSC to play King Lear in a production directed by Artistic Director Gregory Doran.  If you enjoyed Paapa Essiedu‘s recent performance as Hamlet, you can see him here as Edmund as well as Stratford favourite David Troughtonas Gloucester.

King Lear runs from Aug 20 to Oct 15 before transferring to London.