From village comedy to Latino grooves, there's lots to enjoy...
A Bunch of Amateurs, Knightlow School, Stretton-on-Dunsmore, until April 14
Stretton on Stage present this comedy by Ian Hislop of Private Eye and Have I Got News for You fame and Nick Newman. The group has been putting on productions for more than 30 years, and boasts an array of seasoned actors with a wide age range. The play tells of The Stratford Players, who need King Lear to be a success – because otherwise they will lose their theatre. The theatre is an old barn, which the villagers want to save from closure by putting on a star-led charity performance. Ageing Hollywood action hero Jefferson Steele is desperate to reinvigorate his waning career and is therefore convinced by his agent to accept a prestigious invitation to star in a British theatre playing King Lear at Stratford - only the theatre in question is in Stratford St John, a sleepy Suffolk village. Steele, keen to boost his flagging career, arrives in England only to find the cast are a ‘bunch of amateurs’ trying to save their theatre from the developers. Jefferson’s monstrous ego, vanity and insecurity is tested to the limit by the enthusiastic am-dram thespians and as these two acting worlds collide Jefferson’s career implodes and he discovers some truths
Viva Rugby, Benn Hall, Rugby, April 13
A Latino extravaganza charity fundraising evening full of fun and frolics in aid of the Matt Hampson Foundation, which provides advice, support and relief for anyone suffering serious injury or disability which has arisen from any cause, but in particular from participation in or training for any sport. There’s a three-course dinner, dancing and live entertainment from the brilliant Viramundo. It promises to be a great night out for a great cause.
What the Ladybird Heard, Belgrade Theatre, Coventry, April 13 and 14
Two crafty robbers, one tiny ladybird, and a whole farmyard of fun are in store at this family show. Hefty Hugh and Lanky Len have a cunning plan to steal the farmer’s fine prize cow. But they reckon without the tiniest, quietest creature of all: the Ladybird has a plan of her own. Join the woolly sheep, the hairy hog, the fat red hen and the dainty dog in this glittering stage adaptation of Julia Donaldson and Lydia Monks’ colourful farmyard adventure, with live music, puppetry, plenty of audience participation and lots of laughs.
Awful Auntie, Royal & Derngate, Northampton, until April 14
From the acclaimed producers of Gangsta Granny comes the world premiere of David Williams’ amazing tale of frights, fights and friendship, featuring a very large owl, a very small ghost and a very awful auntie.
Shappi Khorsandi – Mistress and Misfit, Royal & Derngate, Northampton, April 15
Shappi Khorsandi presents England’s unsung heroine, Emma Hamilton, who moved mountains to haul herself from ‘scullery maid’ to ‘Lady Hamilton’ – and who Shappi believes needs celebrating.