From the Spring Fair to a classic sitcom on the stage, there's lots to enjoy...
Spring Fair, Whitehall Rec, Rugby, May 7
One of the town’s biggest annual events returns with plenty for the family to enjoy. Children can meet the animals at the Petting Farm – or enjoy the antics of K9 Quackers duck herding as part of the arena programme. There’s a chance to try out circus skills with Wally the clown, and there will also be a dedicated children’s play area with bouncy castle and trampoline. There will be lots of stalls to browse – and visitors will be able to see motorbikes and cars, guide dogs, dancing displays, martial arts and lots more.
Neighbourhood Watch, Rugby Theatre, May 5 to 12
Alan Ayckbourn’s play tells of a group of neighbours who team up in an effort to fight crime. But in Ayckbourn style, matters swiftly become complicated, through unexpected romances and unfortunate incidents with garden gnomes – and what begins as a well-intentioned scheme for a safer community ends in violence and acrimony.
Mugenkyo Taiko Drummers, Belgrade Theatre, Coventry, May 10
An explosive combination of thundering rhythms, masked choreography and post-apocalyptic martial imagery is heading for the Belgrade next week courtesy of Europe’s only professional touring Taiko drumming ensemble. Thunderous vibrations from the huge Odaiko drum are offset by the delicate sound of bamboo flutes and soulful vocals in layered, percussive soundscapes. Meanwhile, diverse costumes ranging from edgy industrial outfits to gorgeous, earthy silks are combined with innovative dance moves to make for a sumptuous visual feast. Mugenkyo aims to respect and preserve the ancient traditions of Taiko, while also developing it as a contemporary European performing art, relevant to the time and place in which we live.
Shane Filan – Love Always, Royal & Derngate, Northampton, May 6
Back by popular demand, Westlife’s Shane Filan returns to Northampton as part of his Love Always UK tour. Shane has cemented his position as one of the UK’s most popular male solo artists, following phenomenal success with Westlife – one of Britain’s most successful pop groups of the past few decades – and his own hugely successful Right Here Tour in 2016. This latest tour includes all his popular hits and tracks from the new album. Westlife had 14 chart-topping singles and 44 million sales. Their career, Shane says, “fulfilled all of our dreams 1,000 times over”. It has been a remarkable journey for a singer songwriter who grew up inspired by an admiration of Backstreet Boys and Michael Jackson.
Some Mothers Do ‘Ave ‘Em, Royal & Derngate, Northampton, May 1 to 5
The classic TV comedy is back with Joe Pasquale starring as Frank Spencer, Sarah Earnshaw as his wife Betty and Susie Blake as
his mother-in-law, Mrs Fisher. The sitcom gave us the hapless Frank and his long-suffering wife Betty and a never-ending list of disasters