There’s a new comic shop in town

spa town comics

I’m really excited about the upcoming opening of Spa Town Comics in Leamington Spa. Now I’ll be able to get my comic fix locally.

I spoke to the owners of Spa Town Comics, Lisa-Marie Nelson and Dan Mailler:

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Details
What: Spa Town Comics grand opening
When: Saturday, 3 September 2016
Where: Lower floor, The Royal Priors, Leamington Spa
Time: 9AM – 5.30PM

Links
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/spatowncomics/
Twitter: http://twitter.com/SpaTownComics

Meet Jenny Brook, Designer Maker

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Jenny Brook of RokkoNN, a company that makes handmade ceramic jewellery.  She’s exhibiting as a part of the Warwickshire Open Studios project.

This half term, step back in history and visit Tudor World of Stratford

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This half term, step back in history and visit Tudor World of Stratford.

Located on Sheep Street, in the town of Stratford is an exciting and award-winning museum which brings the 16th century to life with interesting facts and realistic recreations to create the atmospheric and fascinating experience.

Radio Warwickshire’s mini reporters visited this weekend ahead of the half term break. To start a walk down the oldest surviving cobblestones to the entrance of the museum, dating back to 1595 on which Shakespeare himself has strolled. The mini reporters, ranging in age from 6 to 9 remarked that ‘it was like walking back in time’.

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This family attraction has something for everyone, from museum trails for children, guided tours covering the fascinating history of the town and the life of William Shakespeare. There is also an opportunity to book onto a lantern lit ghost tours of the museum and surrounding town.

Looking forward to Valentines weekend at the museum, there are haunted ghost tours, with a rose for every lady and a William Shakespeare tour.

This coming half term, Tudor World will be having an Elizabethan spy week! Working with codes and invisible ink, breaking seals and forging signatures. Join the team for a history tour of spying and find out how to break the different codes used by plotters in their correspondence. Often, letters of the alphabet were shuffled in a certain sequence and, once the key was worked out, the message could be read and understood. Alternatively individual letters could be substituted with numbers, symbols or signs of the zodiac. But spies had to learn not only how to decipher code but also how to write it themselves. See if you can crack the code at the school desk?

Each young visitor will be given a Time Travelling passport to complete, which will be stamped at the end.

The museum is set in a genuine Tudor building, complete with half-timbered wattle-and-daub frontage; a cobblestone carriageway dating back to 1595 and an illustrious history.Screen Shot 2015-02-06 at 12.49.14
Author Terry Deary of the Horrible Histories was so impressed by his visit to the museum that he dedicated his book Stratford-Upon-Avon to the building to the venue.

Radio Warwickshire’s mini reporters also recommend Tudor World for a family day out!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

To find out more about Tudor World and to book your place this half term, contact the team on http://www.falstaffexperience.co.uk/page.php?linkid=1

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Meet Taylor-Louise – a young woman with big ambitions who is addicted to the stage

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18 year old singer/songwriter,  Taylor-Louise from Leamington-Spa talks to Radio Warwickshire about her music and her ambitions.

Taylor-Louise has is a grade 8 music theatre qualified vocalist and a guitarist and has been playing and singing since she was 11 years old and writing since she was 14 and that was when her first extended play (EP) was released.

I asked her when she released her talent, Taylor-Louise tells me: “Songwriting became a release…it just became something I had to do and i still do whenever something sad or happy happens”

Taylor-Louise’s passion for her music has meant she has since been gigging hard all over the country, frequently setting up open mic- nights and gigs and often doing several in one night: “I realised I was gigging more days than there were in a week, and it was tiring me out”.

“I push myself…I don’t see why I should wait until my time comes, I want to do it now and I’m doing what I love.”

Taylor explains how she felt after her first gig at the age of 13: “I was addicted to it I loved being on the stage performing”

Taylor-Louise has taken on Gloucestershire Festival and Godiva Festival as well as the release of her EP as her biggest successes so far. But her most favourite memory during her singing career  was helping raise money for the homeless in a “Raise the Roof” project by performing at the age of 15. She feels strongly about helping young people off the streets and wishes to uses her singing and songwriting to inspire and connect with people.

Check out this inspiring interview with Taylor-Louise and her channel below.

Related links

Taylor-Louise You Tube  Taylor- Louise

Facebook  Taylor-Louise Musican/Band

Twitter  Taylor-Loiuse

 

Story by: Gemma Davies @gemmasdavies

 

 

 

 

 

Meet Erin Tiger Lilley – a teenage singer/song writer

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Erin Tiger Lilley is a 15 year old singer/songwriter from Oxfordshire.

She has been a musical enthusiast since she was a child, learning to play the piano at the age of seven and singing since the  the age of nine, soon putting her mind to writing her own songs.

She tells Radio Warwickshire “I just fell in love with being able to put my emotions and songs on paper”.

Erin recognises social media as a huge part of her fan base in addition to a range of local and further a field gigs, where she has received 49,000 hits on her first YouTube music video ‘Sweet Dreams’, filmed in Leamington Spa, and uses Twitter as an important base too.

Erin hopes over the next few years to to find the genre and artist she wants to be in the future and expand her working relationship with labels and artists.

Erin is already working with 14 Records to film her next music video and she hinted  that ideas for contemporary dancers with an inside studio setting will feature. Keep an eye out for this video coming out this year!

Listen to the whole interview here:

Related links

Erin Tiger Lilley You Tube  Erin Tiger Lilley

Twitter @Erin_Lilley

Facebook  Erin Tiger Lilley

 

Story by: 

Gemma Davies @gemmasdavies

Belgrade Theatre Present Aladdin for Christmas 2014

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The Jewel in the crown for the Belgrade Theatre when it comes to panto season begins with Director Ian Lauchlan, with over 40 years working in the entertainment industry, he has the vision when it comes to bringing the magic of Christmas to the Belgrade Theatre stage.

Radio Warwickshire’s mini reporters had a birds eye view of the performance last night. With dazzling set, incredible costumes bursting with sequins and sparkle and in one scene ‘fairy lights’. Our mini reporters were mesmerised from start to finish.

The script was full of humour, audience participation and like all good pantomimes, enough gags for the grown ups to equally enjoy the spectacular performance.

The plot follows Aladdin as he attempts to win the heart of the beautiful princess. But there’s a law decreeing that she can only marry a prince and the evil Abanazar is determined to stand in his way. Can his mum – Widow Twankey – and her son Wishee Washee help or are they more interested in the soapy world of their Chinese laundry? How will Aladdin ever make his fortune and ensure his dreams come true?

The giggles were aplenty from the Radio Warwickshire reporters, but none more so than with this years pantomimes adaptation of The 12 Days of Christmas. The whole theatre was in raucous laughter as the cast re-worked this classic, replacing ‘five gold rings’ with the likes of ‘five toilet rolls’ which were flung into the audience for effect and kept the laughter going throughout the song.

The cast – Iain Lauchlan playing Widow Twankey has such stage presence, with perfect comedy timing, working the audience in the most elaborate costumes seen to date. Morna Macpherson plays Aladdin, Sion Lloyd Abanaza, Marcqelle Ward the Genie and not forgetting Craig Hollingsworth who plays a blinding performance as Wishee Washee.

If you are looking for that magical start to the festive season, look no further than The Belgrade Theatre this season!

Find out more and get your tickets from http://www.belgrade.co.uk/event/aladdin

From our mini-reporters

Lkids

Reporter @RWMiniReporters
Blogger @LianeKate

Is This My Family?

This is my family

Last night, I was at the Belgrade Theatre, Coventry to see new musical comedy ‘This is My Family’, apparently specifically titled because this is exactly what I ended up thinking to myself at numerous points throughout the show.

Whether it is the moody, monosyllabic teenage goth Matt (Terence Keeley), clumsy father Steve (Bill Champion) going through a midlife crisis or jaded mother Yvonne (Clare Burt) who is struggling to come to terms with life after motherhood, you will recognise the common family stereotypes that the play deals with while portraying them realistically through heartwarming humour and well-crafted songs.

The show is led by outgoing and cheeky schoolgirl Nicky, who takes the audience inside her everyday life at home with her family. Her brother is always shut up in his room and her mother and father have nothing to say after years of marriage. Add a troublesome grandmother whose memories are fading into the mix and the family threatens to fall apart. After winning a holiday to anywhere in the world, Nicky starts plotting a spectacular trip for her whole family, hoping to bring her loved ones close again. But, when  they are faced with broken camping gear and a rain storm when she takes her reluctant family members to the place her parents first met, her plan doesn’t run as smoothly as she hoped.

As the show programme points out, ‘which of us was never embarrassed by our parents?’ The play has a universal appeal because it takes family themes of which we are all familiar and amplifies them, much like the many British comedies we have loved throughout the years, like ‘The Royle Family’ and ‘My Family’.

Yes, this has been done before yet Tim Firth (Calendar Girls, Our House) manages to lace his characters’ family dilemmas with quick and clever one-liners that make the whole thing seem new and fresh. The unique idea of portraying these quite serious issues through original songs holds the play together, and the vocals and dialogue sort of merge together after a while so that words are sung and songs spoken. These quick and witty songs are full of emotion and help express each of the characters hopes and fears. The minimalist set adds a off-the-wall feel to this family drama, consisting of an exposed house, allowing the audience to observe each family members as they go about their daily lives in various rooms. The small cast bounce off each other and give superb performances, particularly from Evelyn Hoskins who plays Nicky, as she does a fantastic job of anchoring all of the events on stage, making the audience feel as though she is taking us on a tour of her life.

Emotional and laugh-out-loud funny, this innovative comedy musical from Tim Firth is a feel-good show that will make you titter at the characters you recognise from your own family.

Catch ‘This Is My Family’ at the Belgrade Theatre, Coventry running all this week until Saturday evening. If you can’t make this week, the production is currently on a U.K tour so track it down at your nearest venue!  For ticket information, visit http://www.belgrade.co.uk/event/this-is-my-family

 

Written by @martindw or The Culture Club

Three Minute Heroes Comes Backs to the Belgrade Theater Coventry

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Until 25th October, catch the amazing Three Minute Heroes directed and written by Bob Eaton.

Our team of reporters were present on the opening night to witness the performance of the homegrown story which is now become The 2 Tone Musical ‘Three Minute Heroes’

“1979 was the year it all changed for the city of Coventry: the press and, more importantly, the record-buying public took to the first 2 Tone record in the masses.“

The story begins with five local heroes as they bond, fight, love and play their way through the late ‘70s and early ‘80s. Relive those heady days if you were there the first time around and, if you weren’t, experience for yourselves why 2 Tone really put Coventry on the map. From http://www.belgrade.co.uk/event/three-minute-heroes (9/10/14 14:03).

The whole musical was focused on war and most importantly on racism that had to be stopped.

The introduction song was amazing, as it foreshadowed the rest of the play and gave us more illumination about what happened in 1971. People were laughing, whistling, shouting and some even danced along, which created an marvelous atmosphere.

Inspired by the music of The Selecter, The Specials and the 2 Tone scene,Three Minute Heroes is an affectionate tribute that was enormously successful when first produced by the Belgrade back in 2000. From http://www.belgrade.co.uk/event/three-minute-heroes (9/10/14 – 14:05)

The main actors were:

Joseph Eaton-Kent, Elizah Jackson, Sheldon Green, Connor John Nolan and Sarah Workman.

The play was 3h and 45 min long with an interval that lasted for 30 min.

Where to get tickets?

Saturday 4 – Saturday 25 October 2014

Presented at Belgrade Main stage

Tickets: £8.50 – £20.75 Concessions £8.50 – £18.75 which can be purchased at Belgrade Theater and online at http://www.belgrade.co.uk/event/three-minute-heroes

Authors:

Agnese Bogdanova and Akshita Sharma

Interview with Kate Evans from Coventry’s Belgrade Theatre about the open auditions for 2014/15 Pantomime, Aladdin on the 31st August

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Budding young performers from across Coventry and Warwickshire are once again being given the chance to attend open auditions for the Belgrade’s annual family pantomime on Sunday 31st August which could see them land a role in the pantomime chorus.

In countdown to this year’s magical pantomime, Aladdin, the Belgrade Theatre will be holding open auditions for three teams of panto chorus plus one team of reserves on Sunday 31st August at the Belgrade Theatre from 10am.

The auditions, which are for children aged 9-16 only, will begin promptly at 10am. Parents are asked to bring their children to the Belgrade theatre foyer for 9.45am where they will be numbered against their registration form. On arrival, children will be given a registration number to identify them and will be sorted into groups based on age and height. The choreographer will then take each group in turn and teach them a short routine which will be presented to Writer/Director, Iain Lauchlan. If a child makes it through the first round s/he will be asked to stay for a further round in the afternoon.

Children attending audition are requested to wear comfortable shoes and clothing suitable for them to move and dance in. At least one parent, guardian or nominated person must wait with each child. Unaccompanied children will not be eligible to audition on the day.

Children wishing to audition for this year’s pantomime are asked to complete and return a copy of the Registration form and Equalities document available for download from the Belgrade Theatre website at http://www.belgrade.co.uk/news-and-blogs/news-list/childauditionsforaladdin/. Completed forms should be sent to Denise Duncombe via email at dduncombe@belgrade.co.uk or posted to Denise Duncombe (Admin Manager) Belgrade Theatre, Belgrade Square, Coventry, CV1 1GS.

Writer/Director Iain Lauchlan said: ‘I’m looking for 24 enthusiastic, young performers from across the region to join this year’s pantomime chorus. Last year’s auditions attracted many talented young people and we’re hoping this year will be one of our biggest turnouts yet. What I’m looking for most of all is personality and enthusiasm. It may be that your child is passionate about dancing or has always dreamed of performing live on a professional stage, whatever your performance background, we’re keen for you to come along and share your talent. Who knows, you could find yourself as a villager of old Peking, a royal courtier, a servant in the Emperor’s palace or a Jewel in the magical cave!  I’m really looking forward to seeing what young talent is out there waiting to be discovered this year. It’s going to be a lot of fun!

Following in the success of last year’s record-breaking production of Jack and the Beanstalk, Aladdin  features all the hallmarks of a traditional Belgrade Theatre pantomime, spectacular scenery, incredible costumes, hilarious slapstick and plenty of audience participation.

This year’s festive extravaganza sees the return of respected children’s writer and performer Iain Lauchlan to the role of dame. Iain, who has also written and directed this year’s show, is perhaps best known as the creator of the hit BBC children’s series The Tweenies which first aired in 1999.

Aladdin runs on the Belgrade’s Main Stage from Weds 26 Nov 2014 – Sat 10 Jan 2015. Tickets are priced from £13.50 – £22. To book, call the Belgrade Theatre Box Office on 024 7655 3055 or visit the Belgrade Theatre website http://www.belgrade.co.uk where tickets are cheaper.

Listen to the interview again at http://www.radiowarks.com
Reporter @LianeKate