40 years of staging best UK shows; Warwick Arts Centre celebrates its 40th anniversary season with acts including former Monty Python John Cleese, Dawn French, Noel Fielding, reggae star Lee 'Scratch' Perry, TV baker Paul Hollywood and Soul II Soul.
WARWICK Arts Centre, which has become to be seen as one of Britain's top contemporary cultural centres, is 40-years-old next month.
What better way to celebrate than by unveiling a Manet masterpiece, Soul II Soul's 25th anniversary show, a new play by One Man, Two Guvnors writer Richard Bean and a line-up of top comedians.
A stunningly diverse and thought-provoking autumn/ winter programme opens with Ladysmith Black Mambazo in Zulu Ballet Inala on September 30 and the UK premiere of Forced Entertainment's The Last Adventures, as the company also celebrates its 30th birthday.
The Last Adventures, co-produced with Fierce Festival from October 1 to 3 is an experimental theatre collaboration with Lebanese sound artist Tarek Atoui that mixes fairy tales, science fiction, children's picture books and epic myths. It also includes a one-off performance by leading Japanese noise artist KK Null.
Actor Terry O'Connor said: "There are 15 performers on stage, a kind of enchanted forest, a battle scene, a fantasy fairy tale and a great big monster. We all play trees, make an ocean and a sky with white fluffy clouds. I also get to put a crown on my head and play some kind of demented queen."
Terry has been performing at the arts centre since the company formed 30 years ago in 1984. She praised its continuing interest in staging the company's many different projects and the flexibility of the two theatre spaces.
The company is also working on a rehearsed reading of Tim Etchells' That Nights Follows Day, with a cast of eight to 14-year-olds from Coventry and Warwickshire, exploring how adults' words and actions shape and influence children's lives.
Next month Pitcairn, a new play from One Man Two Guvnors and Great Britain writer Richard Bean, performed by Out of Joint, tells the story of the mutineers from the HMS Bounty.
A Series of Increasingly Impossible Acts is one of the highlights of a fortnight of show's by Lyric Hammersmith's Secret Theatre Company. In this show - a big hit at this year's Edinburgh Fringe - the actors try to complete various tasks from licking the end of their elbows to eating a lemon and walking through walls. They will also be performing Tennessee Williams' A Streetcar Named Desire and Mark Ravenhill's new play Show 6. An imaginative children's programme features Charlie and Lola's Extremely New Play - a mix of puppets, live action and music based on Lauren Child's books - a winter woodland-themed family weekend including a Frozen Sing-a-long, a Drawing Fortnight and a stage adaptation of Michael Morpurgo's Private Peaceful, commemorating the First World War.
French Company Non Nova will be performing its awardwinning 25-minute family show, L'apres-midi d'un Foehn-Version 1 or "the Ballerina Bags" as it's become known. A ballet master transforms plastic bags into a company of dancers to a score by Claude Debussy. In contrast, The Five & The Prophecy of Prana mixes hip-hop, martial arts and manga.
This year's family Christmas show will be The Gruffalo, based on Julia Donaldson's picture-book sensation.
Former Monty Python John Cleese will be telling stories about his life up to the age of 30 from his new book, So, Anyway on December 16.
Dawn French's 30 Million Minutes tour and Dave Gorman's Get Straight to the Point (PowerPoint) have already sold out but a fantastic line-up of comedians includes An evening with Noel Fielding, QI star Alan Davies, Doc Brown and Canadian comic Katherine Ryan with Glam Role Model, her second UK stand-up tour. Already next year Irish stand-ups Dylan Moran and Dara O Briain have been announced.
Charismatic Jamaican record producer Lee 'Scratch Perry' plays the centre on November 27. As one of the pioneers of dub he worked with Bob Marley and the Wailers among others and was named in Rolling Stone Magazine's top 100 artists of all time.
And Soul II Soul's Jazzie B and Caron Wheeler, whose hits include Keep on Movin' and Back to Life, are back together performing exclusive new material at their 25th Anniversary Show on Friday, October 10.
Other interesting collaborations this season include indie-rock band British Sea Power joined by the Jaguar Land Rover Brass Band on a journey through their 10-year back catalogue; while classical BRIT Award winner Russell Watson teams up with Warwickshire Boys Choir.
And film critic Mark Kermode and Radio 2 DJ Simon Mayo are The Movie Doctors. Together they will be diagnosing the ills of the film world in an audience-led Q & A and dissecting their favourite scenes.
As BBC1's Great British Bake Off draws to a close, Paul Hollywood is back on December 6 with Get Your Bake On! a live show full of baking, demos and audience participation.
An original work by Edouard Manet will be unveiled on October 4 in the Mead Gallery as part of Unreliable Evidence - The National Gallery Tour: The Execution of Edouard Manet and Other Histories. This important painting forms the centrepiece of a show of curated works by some of today's greatest artists, examining the way that history is represented and documented.
Jazzie B (above) performs new material in Soul II Soul's 25th Anniversary Show with Caron Wheeler |and comic Dawn French (right) brings her 30 Million Minutes show to the centre
One of the highlights of the season at Warwick Arts Centre will be the stage |adaptation of Michael Morpugo's Private Peaceful
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|Publication:||Birmingham Mail (England)|
|Date:||Sep 19, 2014|
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