What’s on around the Midlands

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With summer around the corner, there’s plenty of events and attractions to keep the whole family entertained – and here we round up some of the best options 

 What: The D-Day Darlings 

Where: Tamworth Assembly Rooms 

When: May 14 

 To celebrate the King’s Coronation the UK’s premier wartime act, The D-Day Darlings, present their sensational Coronation Celebration Show at Tamworth Assembly Rooms. 

 Following on from their huge success on Britain’s Got Talent and their VE Day 75 Celebration Edition album I’ll Remember You with Sony Music, charting at number 5 in the official UK album charts, the D-Day Darlings have taken the country by storm, fast becoming the Nation’s Sweethearts. 

 Their brand-new show, in celebration of the King’s Coronation, is a song and dance extravaganza for all generations to enjoy, ending with an explosive patriotic finale to bring the show to a glittering climax. 

 Featuring The D-Day Juniors as well as special guest,  Britain’s Got Talent 2019 Winner Colin Thackery, this promises to be a family-friendly show not to be missed. For more details visit www.tamworthassemblyrooms.co.uk 

D-Day Darlings. 

What: Heathers The Musical 

Where: The Alexandra, Birmingham 

When: May 16 to 20 

 Following two smash hit West End seasons, a record-breaking run at The Other Palace and winning the WhatsOnStage award for Best New Musical, Heathers The Musical, the black comedy rock musical based on the eponymous 1988 film, embarks on a new national tour. 

 Westerberg High’s Veronica Sawyer is just another nobody dreaming of a better day. But when she joins the beautiful and impossibly cruel Heathers and her dreams of popularity may finally come true, mysterious teen rebel JD teaches her that it might kill to be a nobody, but it is murder being a somebody. 

 Wickedly funny and with dazzling book, music and lyrics by Kevin Murphy and Laurence O’Keefe, Heathers The Musical is based on the 1988 cult hit starring Winona Ryder and Christian Slater, and produced by Bill Kenwright and Paul Taylor-Mills. With direction from Andy Fickman and electrifying choreography by Gary Lloyd, this is one class production you can’t afford to skip. 

 For more details and to book tickets visit www.atgtickets.com/birmingham 

The cast of Heathers, photo by Pamela Raith.

 What: Chicago Blues Brothers 

Where: Lichfield Garrick 

When: May 20 

 The Chicago Blues Brothers have put the band back together and are ‘Cruisin for a Bluesin’ taking you to the music capitals of the USA for one night of spectacular live music. This award-winning show is bringing you the very best in Rhythm and Blues, Soul, Country and Motown with a few surprises and lots of lunacy thrown in for good measure. 

 All performed in the hard-hitting style that has made the Chicago Blues Brothers the biggest and most loved Blues Brothers shows in The World. From The Savoy theatre in London’s West End to the Madinat theatre Dubai this show has rocked some of the most iconic venues around the globe. 

 Join Jake and Elwood, The Sweet Soul Sisters and the amazing CBB Band for a hand clapping, foot-stomping, hit parade corker of an evening. Overflowing with heart and brimming with soul, indisputably infectious with an exuberant spirit and energy that is impossible to resist. 

 Getting the blues has never been so much fun. For ticket details visit www.lichfieldgarrick.com 

Chicago Blues Brothers.

 What: Birmingham Royal Ballet Triple Bill 

Where: Birmingham Hippodrome 

When: June 8 to 10 

 This exciting triple bill includes Balanchine’s Apollo, the perfect vehicle to display the Company’s classical skill and artistry, sees the return of Juliano Nunes’s Interlinked, premiered earlier this year to great acclaim, and welcomes back ‘Still Life’ at the Penguin Café, David Bintley‘s ever-popular, bittersweet and poignant look at human impact on the world. 

 A colourful host of endangered animals seek shelter from the storm in ‘Still Life’ at the Penguin Café. Featuring a morris-dancing flea, a ballroom-dancing ram, a hoe-downing rat, a majestic zebra and many more, this is an unforgettable, witty yet poignant tale, danced to Simon Jeffes’s delightful score originally composed for the Penguin Café Orchestra. 

 Apollo highlighted the genius of its creator, the then 24-year-old George Balanchine, and launched his lifelong partnership with the composer Igor Stravinsky. This most exquisite of ballets was regarded by Balanchine as his artistic coming of age. Its pared back elegance gives the perfect platform for the Company’s world-class dancers to shine. 

 Brilliant young Brazilian choreographer Juliano Nunes’s Interlinked was premiered in summer 2022 as part of the Birmingham 2022 Festival. With a specially composed score by Australian composer Luke Howard, this beautifully abstract piece explores ideas of grace, beauty and harmony in ways that push the usual boundaries of classical dance.  

 For ticket details visit www.birminghamhippodrome.com 

BRB Still Life Bill.

What: Paul Weller at Forest Live 

Where: Cannock Chase Forest 

When: June 9 

 This year’s Forest Live sees a favourite return to Cannock Chase as Paul Weller takes to the stage.  

 Paul Weller has enjoyed an incredible 50 years making music. From his era-defining breakthrough with The Jam, reinvention via The Style Council, and formidable career as a solo artist, Paul has scored a string of Number 1 albums and singles. Constantly creating forward-thinking music, the ever-changing Weller has connected with fans across the generations and is regarded as a cultural icon of British music. A Forest Live stalwart, Paul has made a record-breaking 25 appearances as part of the concert series since his debut in 2004, the most by any artist and all to sold-out crowds. 

 Special guests Far From Saints will also be performing on the night. Far From Saints is a new band with Kelly Jones of Stereophonics along with Patty Lynn and Dwight Baker of US band The Wind And The Wave. Far From Saints have recently released lead single Let’s Turn This Back Around, which encapsulates the irresistible magnetism that comes when two evocative voices are drawn together. Far From Saints will release their eponymous debut album this summer. 

 For more details and ticket information visit www.forestryengland.uk/music 

Paul Weller 2023 hr credit Derek D’Souza.

 What: Aethelfest 

Where: Tamworth Castle Grounds 

When: June 9 to 13 

 During the Saxon period, Tamworth was the capital of the Kingdom of Mercia. The town’s rich history will be celebrated through a live living history encampment located in the Castle Grounds on June 10 and 11 as part of this year’s Aethelfest. 

 Families are invited to join in with the living history event.See how people lived in Tamworth during Anglo-Saxon times, test your skills in the sword school, see how Saxon armour was made in an authentic Saxon forge and used on the battlefield. 

 Expand your knowledge of Tamworth’s history and take your Saxon weekend experience to the next level by checking out the Castle’s Battle and Tribute Saxon Exhibition, see items of the Staffordshire hoard, and learn about the Aethelflaed the incredible ‘Lady of the Mercians’. 

 With author and historian talks, book signings, mead tastings and more, Aethelfest is set to bring history to life. 

 Entry to the Living History Encampment in the Castle Grounds on June 10 and 11 is free, with times to be confirmed. General admission fees apply to enter the castle and museum, and there are also a variety of special ticketed events to be announced. For more details visit www.tamworthcastle.co.uk 

Aethelfest Tamworth.

 What: Summer events 

Where: National Memorial Arboretum, Alrewas 

When: Selected days throughout summer 

There are amazing things and inspiring stories to discover at the National Memorial Arboretum this summer. Nestled among 150-acres of growing woodland and gardens are more than 400 memorials that remember people from all walks of life.  

 From the colourful Naval Service Memorial that casts the shadow of a warship on sunny days, to a carved Polar Bear designed to reflect the wartime service of those it remembers, there are tales of camaraderie, inspirational leaders, heroism, resilience shown in the darkest moments, grit, bravery, and care. Each memorial has a powerful story to tell and visitors to the Arboretum leave feeling uplifted and inspired.  

 The Arboretum has something for all visitors to enjoy, from a large restaurant where you can plan your adventure around the site, to beautiful walks, interesting free daily talks that help bring stories to life, family holiday activities, to memory making events and activities. 

 This summer, join world renowned jive and swing band, The Jive Aces on Saturday, June 17, for an evening to remember. Hosted in Aspects, with stunning views out over the Arboretum grounds, guests will enjoy a two-course dinner while dancing the night away to a high energy performance from this fantastic four-piece.  

 On June 24 and 25, the Arboretum will invite visitors to celebrate the work and contribution of our Armed Forces community during Armed Forces Weekend. A free programme of family activities including live music, climbing walls, segways, archery, zipline, an assault course and much more will be available throughout the weekend.  

 Later in the summer, on Friday August 4 and Saturday August 5, the Band of The Royal Regiment of Fusiliers, soprano Louise Callinan and baritone Rodney Earl Clarke will take to the stage for two stunning evenings of live music as the Arboretum’s Summer Proms returns. Set within beautiful surroundings, the programme includes the rousing tribute to Louis Armstrong, Satchmo, Something Good from the Sound of Music as well as toe-tapping hits from the award-winning musical The Jersey Boys. Traditional Proms favourites will round off the evenings, which will end with a spectacular firework finale.  

 The Arboretum is free to enter and is open throughout the year, advance booking is recommended to guarantee entry particularly on event days. The Arboretum is easily accessible by road and is located just off the A38 between Burton and Lichfield. Visit www.thenma.org.uk for further information and to book. 

Enjoy a packed programme of summer events at the National Memorial Arboretum, Alrewas.



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