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BOOK REVIEW: Stratford-upon-Avon’s history charted from the Middle Ages to modern times

STRATFORD-UPON-AVON has a lot to thank Nick Fogg for. Although he was born and bred in the town, he hasn’t lived here for a very long time. But he clings to it with a passion that knows no bounds. His love of Stratford and all that goes with it – including a poet and playwright by the name of William Shakespeare – is such that he’s produced several books on the town (and even a scholarly book on the playwright). His latest homage to this small settlement in Warwickshire is Stratford-upo…

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Notable names feature in RSC’s new summer season

NEW seasons come about in different ways, according to Gregory Doran, the artistic director of the Royal Shakespeare Company, who announced his 2015 summer season. The forthcoming programme in the main house, which includes The Merchant of Venice and Othello, will run under the banner of the ‘Venice Season,’ a theme which will spread into the Swan Theatre when three contemporary takes on classic plays explore the notion of ‘the outsider’.…

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Russian orchestra to get classical series underway

WARWICK Arts Centre’s Concert Series for 2014/15 features a programme full of the world’s greatest music from internationally renowned orchestras and musicians. The Russian State Philharmonic Orchestra marks the beginning of the series on 7th October with a programme of Tchaikovsky and Rachmaninov. Sir Mark Elder and the Hallé return on 8th November, and Armonico Consort will provide festive joy with Handel’s Messiah on 14th December.…

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Novel marks latest chapter in writer’s story

WILMCOTE author Helen Watts, who released her latest novel No Stone Unturned at the end of last week, has had a love of books from an early age. “My mum loved reading as a child and had a wonderful collection of hardback books, including some classic poetry anthologies, which she would let me read,” she told Herald Arts editor, Sandy Holt.…

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Edward’s ready for his ‘biggest job yet’

FORMER Chipping Campden schoolboy Edward Bennett’s journey to the stage came about after he was sacked from a job when he was just a teenager, writes Herald Arts editor Sandy Holt. He was temping at the time, so it was no great loss — although the company did go bust after, he recalls. “I remember after being sacked, I walked straight down to the Royal Shakespeare Company and asked what I needed to do to get a job as an actor,” he said.…

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Meet CBeebies favourite Mike the Knight at Warwick Castle

CBEEBIES favourite, Mike the Knight, has taken up residence in Warwick Castle. The brave young hero will be meeting young fans on Saturday and Sunday (September 27 and 28) and battle a huge, dastardly dragon that has landed in the grounds. Visitors can also test their own mettle by seeing how close they can get to the dragon before it roars.…

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RSC given £1.5m government grant to translate Shakespeare into Mandarin

THE government announced on Friday £1.5 million of funding for the Royal Shakespeare Company to allow the Bard’s Complete Works to be translated into Mandarin. Culture Secretary Sajid Javid pledged his full support to measures unveiled by Chancellor George Osborne to boost business and cultural links with China. Helping to make the works of Shakespeare more accessible to the billion people living in China is at the heart of the government’s strategy. However, the move sparked criti…

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Graham Norton coming to Stratford Literary Festival

TWO huge stars of the small screen, Graham Norton and Patricia Hodge, will be appearing in the Stratford Literary Festival this October. On Friday 24th October, chat show host and compere Graham Norton will be in conversation at The Courtyard Theatre talking about his much-anticipated memoir, The Life and Loves of a He Devil.…

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Cropredy delights thousands

CROPREDY, near Banbury was yet again the venue for folk-rock veterans Fairport Convention’s annual get together. The three day event started last Thursday with glorious sunshine, church bells ringing and the band opening the show with a handful of their acoustic numbers, including Festival Bell, which celebrates the new bell funded by the band in 2006. Fairport were joined on stage by an orchestra of forty three students of Birmingham Conservatoire under the direction of Joe Broughton to…

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Game of Thrones star becomes patron of Warwick theatre group

GAME of Thrones star Sophie Turner has become a patron of a Warwick-based theatre group for young people. Sophie, who plays Sansa Stark in the hugely popular HBO television series, is a former Warwick Prep and King’s High pupil who joined Playbox Theatre company when she was three years old.…

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