Our picks from the Rugby Festival of Culture line-up

Poet Roy McFarlane is among the many artists and performers coming to Rugby
Poet Roy McFarlane is among the many artists and performers coming to Rugby

The Rugby Festival of Culture returns from June 27 to July 13, with dozens and dozens of events around town. Here are some of our picks from the jam-packed programme...

ART, PHOTOGRAPHY & CRAFTS

The Best is Not Too Good For You: launch and exhibition

Pop art and ceramics from collections across the Midlands feature in this show, with works by Richard Hamilton and Jann Haworth among those featured. The exhibition originated at the Whitechapel Gallery in London and promises to showcase some striking and thought-provoking contemporary art. The launch is the first event at this year’s festival.

Date: Friday June 27

Venue: Rugby Art Gallery & Museum

Time: The launch event runs from 6.30pm to 8pm. The exhibition continues until August 30.

Cost: Free

Audience: Suitable for all

Rugby & District Art Society Exhibition

The best of Rugby’s own artists show off their work in a variety of media at this show, with subjects including local scenes, landscapes, portraits, wildlife, transport, architecture and graphic works. With such a range of talent on show, there’s sure to be something to suit any taste.

Date: Friday June 27 until July 12

Venue: Rose Tea Rooms, Regent Street

Time: 10am to 4pm every day except Sunday

Cost: Free

Audience: Suitable for all

Live Art Demonstration – Rugby and District Art Society

See the cream of Rugby’s artists at work, either from direct observation or works in progress. Pick up a few tips or just gaze in wonder.

Date: Saturday June 28

Venue: Rose Tea Rooms, Regent Street

Time: 10am to 4pm

Cost: Free

Audience: Suitable for all

Treasures of the Royal School of Needlework

This talk tells the story of pieces from the Royal School of Needlework’s collection of embroidered textiles from all over the world, including historical items from the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries. Plenty to admire and learn.

Date: Tuesday July 1

Venue: Rugby Art Gallery & Museum

Time: 7pm to 8pm

Cost: £5 per person

Booking: Essential - visit Rugby Visitor Centre or call (01788) 533217

Audience: 13+

An Enthusiast’s Guide to Better Photographs with Brethertons LLP

It’s a walking tour around the scenic spots of Rugby with professional photographer James Watkins. He’ll share his trade secrets over tea and biscuits, before leading the tour so participants can put what they’ve learned into practice. Photos taken can be entered into a competition to win great prizes.

Date: Sunday July 31

Venue: Meet at the Brethertons office, The Robbins Building, 25 Albert Street, Rugby

Time: 11am to 1pm

Cost: 6pm

Booking: www.brethertonsphotography.eventbrite.co.uk

Contact: Cristel Smith Aguero - cristelsmithaguero@brethertons.co.uk

ENTERTAINMENT

Festival of Culture Quiz Night

Pit your knowledge against the biggest brainboxes in Rugby. Form your own team or join in with others.

Date: Monday June 30

Venue: The Merchants Inn, Little Church Street

Time: 8pm

Cost: £1 per person (max six people per team)

Audience: 18+

Brewers Troupe

Performance poetry with plenty of laughs is in store at this lively and entertaining show. Performers Emma Purshouse and Heather Wastie have been described as “bold, inventive and fresh”, so make sure you book to avoid disappointment.

Date: Wednesday July 2

Venue: The Merchants Inn, Little Church Street

Time: 7.30pm

Cost: £3

Booking: Tickets available from The Merchants Inn

Audience: 18+

Comedy Night

Need a laugh? Three of the best up-and-coming comedians and a compere should get you roaring and rolling. It’s run in conjunction with top comedy agency Gag Reflex.

Date: Thursday July 10

Venue: Benn Hall

Cost: £8 in advance, £10 on the door

Booking; www.bennhall.com or call (01788) 533719

Audience: 18+

Little Discoveries

Get your little ones dressing up and using their imagination to immerse themselves in activities linked to ‘The Lady of the Lake’, the model train in the Rugby Museum collection.

Date: Friday June 27

Venue: Rugby Art Gallery & Museum

Cost: Free

Audience: Under-5s

Comedy and cocktails

Delicious drinks, cracking comics – it’s a combination that promises much and surely can’t fail to lift the midweek blues.

Date: Wednesday July 9

Venue: London Calling, Castle Street

Time: 8pm onwards

Cost: Free

Audience: 18+

MUSIC

Ali’s Octopus Ensemble

Artforms collide at what promises to be a unique experience, with music from Victoria Major and The Anteloids, plus an exhibition of paintings, sculpture, film and live poetry. Headspinning, innovative and entertaining.

Date: Saturday June 28

Venue: Style Bar, North Street

Time: 4pm to 7pm (walk-in gallery), 7pm to 11pm (live performances)

Cost: Free

Audience: Suitable for all

Cellist Anup Biswas accompanied by David King

It’s a rare chance to hear one of the world’s foremost musicians here in Rugby. Anup Kumar Biswas is among the finest leading concert cellists anywhere. The concert will be in aid of a school Biswas founded for poor children in India.

Date: Saturday June 28

Time: 7.30pm to 9pm

Cost: £10, concessions £8, full-time students £5

Bookings: (01788) 565609

Audience: Suitable for all

Last Night of the Proms

Get unashamedly patriotic with orchestral classics and rousing singing: Jerusalem, Land of Hope and Glory and all the rest. Flags at the ready - and them home in time for tea.

Date: Wednesday July 2

Venue: Temple Speech Room, Rugby School

Time: 2.30pm to 3.30pm

Cost: Free

Booking: Essential on (01788) 556227

Audience: Suitable for all

Stringfest Cabaret Night

An evening of strings, guitar, dance, energy and fun aplenty. It promises to be an exhilarating few hours.

Date: Thursday July 10

Venue: Temple Speech Room, Rugby School

Time: 7.30pm to 10pm

Cost: £15 for tables at 7.30pm (including wine and nibbles). £8 and £10 for Graffiti Classics show only at 8.30pm.

Booking: www.stringfest.co.uk, Sounds in Church Street 
(01788) 536752, Rugby Visitor Centre

Audience: Suitable for all (under-16s must be accompanied)

Alexandra Arms Summer Festival - Groovy disco night

Get down to the Alexandra Arms for a groovy 1970s disco and boogie the night away. A great excuse to step back in time and raid the old wardrobe.

Venue: The Alexandra Arms, James Street

Time: 8.30pm onwards

Cost: Free

Audience: 18+

FOOD AND DRINK

The Whole Hog

Discover the delicious variety of flavours you can get from a pig at this tastebud-tickling event. There’s more to a pig than a sausage and bacon roll...

Date: Thursday July 3

Venue: The Merchants Inn, Little Church Street

Time: 12noon until late

Cost: As per menu

Audience: 18+

Food fayre

A chance to taste, smell and buy some tasty treats from a variety of stalls selling a mouthwatering array of top-notch food and drink.

Date: Thursday July 10

Venue: Market Place

Time: 10am to 4pm

Cost: Free

Audience: All

Beer and cheese tasting

They go together surprisingly well – especially when they’ve been chosen as wisely as these samples, from Cheese on the Green in Bilton and Rugby Tap.

Date: Thursday July 10

Venue: Rugby Tap, St Matthew’s Street, Rugby

Time: 5pm to 7pm

Cost: Free

Audience: 18+

Alexandra Arms Brewery Tours

Have a look around Rugby’s only microbrewery – and then sup a pint or two of the festival ales.

Date: Tuesday July 8

Venue: The Alexandra Arms, James Street

Time: noon onwards

Cost: Free (charges for food and drink)

Audience: 18+

Wine Quiz

Do you know your Pinot Noir from your Pinotage? Blind-taste wines and identify them and you could win a £30 Rugby Tap gift card. Even if you think you know nothing about wine, it’s worth finding out.

Date: Thursday July 3

Venue: Rugby Tap, St Matthew’s Street, Rugby

Time: 5pm to 7pm

Cost: Free

Audience: 18+

HERITAGE

Rugby Flower, Cake and Culture Walking Tour

Take yourself around the town starting from the art gallery and museum to discover our many floral displays, public art and heritage sites. You’ll pass opportunities for tea and cake along the way. Pick up the guide from the visitor centre or the Old Tool Shed cafe in Caldecott Park.

Date: From Saturday June 28

Venue: Rugby town centre

Time: Any

Cost: Free

Audience: Suitable for all

Rugby School Tours

Steeped in history and crammed with old-world charm, there’s much to impress and delight on this 90-minute tour led by knowledgeable and enthusiastic guides.

Date: Saturday July 5 to Saturday July 12

Venue: Rugby School

Time: 2pm

Cost: £6 per person

Booking: Essential - visit Rugby School Shop, Barby Road or call (01788) 556169

Audience: Suitable for all

Festival of Archeology Activity Day

Germinus, a visiting Roman funeral arranger, will be at Rugby Art Gallery and Museum to teach about the rituals and rites of burial and cremation in Roman Britain. Education and (slightly ghoulish) entertainment in equal measure.

Date: Saturday July 12

Venue: Rugby Art Gallery and Museum

Time: 10.30am to 3pm

Cost: Free

Audience: Suitable for all

THEATRE

Story in the Park

Grab a straw bale and settle down to watch the continuing story of Daddy Mouse and family. It’s devised and performed by Rugby Theatre, with secrets and magic aplenty in this enchanted tale.

Date: Sunday June 29

Venue: Caldecott Park

Time: 2pm, 3pm and 4pm

Cost: £5 adult, £3 children

Booking: See www.rugbytheatre.co.uk or call (01788) 541324

Audience: Families, especially with children aged two to seven

Rugby Theatre Open Day

Go behind the scenes (literally), with guided tours, the chance to see how a show runs from the other side of the curtain, a musical theatre workshop, talks and demonstrations on scenery design and construction, and much more. There’s a real production being staged later in the evening, too.

Date: Saturday July 5

Venue: Rugby Theatre, Henry Street

Time: 10am to 4pm (tours start at 10am, noon and 2pm)

Cost: Free

Booking: See www.rugbytheatre.co.uk or call (01788) 541324

Audience: Suitable for all

Just Press Play

It’s an entertaining evening of short plays, each lasting between ten and 20 minutes and newly written for this event. Prepare to laugh, cry and get excited.

Date: Tuesday July 1

Venue: The Tea Bar, Rugby Theatre

Time: 7.30pm to 10pm

Cost: £2.50

Booking: See www.rugbytheatre.co.uk or call (01788) 541324

Audience: 13+

Peter Pan

In an updated setting that takes into account teenagers’ urban lives and Government cuts, outdoor theatre specialists Heartbreak Productions’ Peter Pan is a reimagining of the classic tale, with all the favourite characters still present.

Date: Sunday July 6

Venue: Caldecott Park

Time: 6.30pm to 9.30pm

Cost: Adult £8, concession/child £6, family £22

Booking: Essential on (01788) 533217 or from Rugby Visitor Centre

Audience: 6+

Macbeth

An innovative retelling of Shakespeare’s play, as staged by a group of shell-shocked soldiers in 1919 as a protest against war.

Date: Sunday July 13

Venue: Caldecott Park

Time: 6.30pm to 9.30pm

Cost: Adult £8, concession/child £6, family £22

Booking: Essential on (01788) 533217 or from Rugby Visitor Centre

Audience: 8+

LITERATURE

Warwickshire Poetry Voices

Hosted by former Birmingham Poet Laureate Roy McFarlane, this twilight performance showcases a range of Rugby’s poetry, including solo and group performances and more informal sharing of poems.

Date: Tuesday July 1

Venue: Rugby Library

Time: 5.45pm to 6.45pm

Cost: Free

Booking: Essential at Rugby Library or on 0300 555 8171

Audience: Suitable for all

Crime panel

Popular authors Julia Crouch, Colette McBeth and Claire McGowan will be in conversation with a commissioning editor from Headline Publishing. Pick up some crime-writing tips and learn about the genre in general.

Date: Tuesday July 1

Venue: Rugby Library

Time: 7pm to 9pm

Cost: Free

Booking: Essential at Rugby Library or on 0300 555 8171

Audience: 8+

Poetry of Art

An evening of poetry, song and stories inspired by art, and art inspired by literature, all in a friendly, intimate setting.

Date: Sunday July 6

Venue: Rugby Theatre Coffee Bar

Time: 7pm

Cost: £6 per person

Booking: Call (01788) 541234

Audience: 14+

AND NOT FORGETTING...

Festival Stage: A range of musicians performing throughout the festival during lunchtimes on a special stage in the grounds of St Andrew’s church

Story Chair: An oak ‘story chair’, designed and made at Lawrence Sheriff School, based in St Andrew’s church to inspire storytelling on the theme of reconciliation. Children will rehearse and develop dramas, before performing at the church on Wednesday July 2 from 5.30pm to 6.45pm. Admission costs £2 to the performance

AND MUCH MORE BESIDES

See http://www.rugbyfestivalofculture.co.uk
or pick up a guide from Rugby Visitor Centre

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