From a musical favourite to a folky festive treat, there's plenty to enjoy...
Oliver! Benn Hall, Rugby, December 1 and 2
One of the most beloved works in musical theatre history comes to Rugby this weekend, courtesy of Five Star Theatre. The show’s score is full of Lionel Bart’s irresistible songs including Food Glorious Food, Consider Yourself, You’ve Got to Pick a Pocket or Two, I’d Do Anything, Oom Pah Pah, As Long As He Needs Me and many more. The show vividly brings to life Dickens’ timeless characters with its ever-popular story of the boy who asked for more. There is the lovable, sweet Oliver Twist, set against the hard-hearted Mr Bumble and his eccentric, flirtatious assistant, Widow Corney, plus a couple of skeletal funeral directors and colourful and exciting characters like the Artful Dodger, Nancy, Bill Sykes and Fagin. It remains a heartwarming family treat, nearly 60 years since its first performance.
Jive Talkin’ Perform The Bee Gees, Benn Hall, December 6
The timeless repertoire of the Bee Gees is brought to life in this stage production. This ensemble boasts stars from TV and the West End and is fronted by real-life family
members Darren, Gary and Jack Simmons, making for
an unrivalled vocal harmony blend. It’s an evening that promises to have the audience dancing in the aisles.
Jez Lowe, St Andrew’s Church, Shilton, December 1
Folk songwriter Jez Lowe’s Christmas tours have become something of a tradition in his native north-east over the past eight years, and he’s bringing the festive spirit to Shilton on a festive night of songs, wit and tomfoolery. Jez Lowe, a Sony Radio Academy Award Winner and 2015 Folk Awards nominee, will appear with his multi-talented band The Bad Pennies, featuring fiddle, Northumbrian pipes, keyboards, guitar, bass, harmonica and voices, plus special guest folk balladeer and actor Benny Graham
Handel’s Messiah, Warwick Arts Centre, December 7
An all-star cast of soloists - soprano Elin Manahan Thomas, countertenor William Towers, tenor Nathan Vale and bass Willard White - perform this much-loved work. They join the critically-acclaimed Armonico Consort, led by Christopher Monks. The orchestra will perform on instruments of the period giving a very special insight into how the work would have been heard in Handel’s day. Although now associated with Christmas, Messiah was written as a work for Easter and was first performed in Dublin in April 1742. It took Handel just over three weeks to write the estimated quarter of a million notes. It contains some of his greatest tunes, rousing choruses and attractive arias including For Unto Us a Child is Born and Ev’ry Valley Shall be Exalted as well as the famous Hallelujah! chorus.
Cabinet of Curiosities, Rugby Art Gallery & Museum, until March 10
The cabinet has just been opened to the public, allowing a chance to encounter a range of fascinating artefacts giving an insight into Rugby’s social history.