SEE SWAN LAKE HERE: Birmingham Hippodrome, Birmingham
Ballet’s greatest love story returns in Birmingham Royal Ballet’s lavish new production. This romantic fable of ill-fated passion, illuminated by Tchaikovsky’s legendary score played live by the Royal Ballet Sinfonia, has moved audiences for generations. By a moonlit lake, a grieving prince witnesses the transformation of a swan into a princess. Compelled by an evil spell to spend her days in the form of a bird, she can only be saved by the power of love. Filled with exquisite ensembles and amazing solos, this version of Swan Lake is both atmospheric and romantic.
Birmingham, B5 4TB; 18th-29th February
DO YOUR BIT FOR THE ENVIRONMENT HERE: National Trust X Origins, UK-Wide
Skincare brand Origins is launching a tree-planting initiative with The National Trust to support its goal to plant 1m trees globally by the end of 2020. The National Trust is dedicated to preserving historically significant locations and conserving areas of natural beauty in the UK, and the beauty brand aims to help by planting trees at The Vyne in Hampshire and Woolbeding in West Sussex. To be in with the chance to win two tickets to help Origins #GreenThePlanet by planting trees in some of the National Trust's most beautiful locations, click the link below.
The Vyne, Hampshire and Woolbeding, West Sussex; 26th-27th February
SEE A HIT SHOW HERE: Quiz, UK-Wide
James Graham’s critically acclaimed comedy, Quiz, will embark on a 20-week UK and Ireland tour from August 2020. In September 2001, the nation was gripped by a scandal that remains, to this day, a mystery. Charles Ingram, aka the ‘Coughing Major’, and his accomplices duped the world’s wealthiest and most popular TV quiz show – Who Wants to Be a Millionaire – out of £1m. Or did they? And if they did cheat, how did they really do it? Uncovering new evidence, and using technology never seen before on a UK tour, Quiz asks the audience to decide the ultimate 50-50: guilty or not guilty.
Various venues; 20th August-21st November
PRETEND YOU’RE IN PARIS HERE: Victoria Art Gallery, Bath
The colour and decadence of 19th-century Paris comes to Bath this month as part of a major new exhibition: Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec and the Masters of Montmartre. It’s the first time Lautrec’s complete collection of original posters, which revolutionised the world of graphic design, will be exhibited together in the UK. Some of the 80 posters – many of which were made for the Moulin Rouge – are very rare and will be displayed in floor-to-ceiling format, as they would have been on giant advertising hoardings in Paris at the time. This immersive exhibition will be filled with stories about the wonderful characters that worked in the clubs and bars of Montmartre, such as can-can dancer Jane Avril, star of the Moulin Rouge. Hugely influenced by the flamboyant, eclectic and debauched lifestyle of the time, Toulouse-Lautrec’s work was known for its provocative nature, highlighting Paris’s colourful nightlife, stripping away the glamour to bring the Parisian underworld to life.
Bath, Somerset, BA2 4AT; 15th February-26th May
SEE KATE SPICER HERE: Lost Dog Book Tour, UK-Wide
When journalist Kate Spicer adopted a lurcher called Wolfy, the shabby rescue dog saved her from herself and restored peace to her human relationships. Redeemed, life was looking up. But then the dog disappeared. One of our favourite books from last year, Spicer is taking her new paperback on the road, along with the tale’s star, Wolfy. Tickets are still available for Birmingham, Nottingham, Bath, York, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Leeds. Covering everything from childhood to motherhood, cocaine to canines, the talk and Q&A documents the loneliness and longing of London life and explores the myth of modern womanhood.
Various venues; 12th, 13th, 17th, 18th, 19th and 20th February
DINE IN STYLE HERE: The Forest Side
Grasmere’s The Forest Side will be celebrating some of Europe’s best restaurants this month by hosting an exclusive series of Michelin-starred chefs from across England and the Nordics. The first will be Alex Bond, who will start the series on 5th February by cooking the imaginative plant-based cuisine of his Nottingham restaurant Alchemilla. Simon Martin of Mana, Manchester’s first Michelin-starred restaurant since 1977, will follow on 11th February. On 19th February, Forest Side welcomes Paul Proffitt of Denmark’s two-Michelin-starred Henne Kirkeby Kro, and Michael Wignall of The Angel at Hetton, Yorkshire, follows on 25th February. To end the series, on 26th February Kenny Atkinson of Newcastle’s only Michelin-starred restaurant, House of Tides, will bring his casual, fine-dining concept to Cumbria.
Grasmere, Cumbria, LA22 9RN; 5th, 11th, 19th, 25th and 26th February
BOOK A STAY HERE: The Idle Rocks
The Idle Rocks in St Mawes is set to reopen on 12th February with a new head chef, Dorian Janmaat. The property is located on the harbourfront of the picturesque, cobble-stoned fishing port, and makes an idyllic spring getaway. Owned by David and Karen Richards, The Idle Rocks features 19 bedrooms and has unobstructed views of the Fal estuary. The interiors reflect the relaxed attitude of the village with chic and colourful furnishings. Janmaat has returned to his home county of Cornwall following eight years at Raymond Blanc’s two-star restaurant, Le Manoir aux Quat Saisons, bringing a host of new exciting dishes to the restaurant, which champions the freshest local ingredients and produce. We’re expecting great things.
St Mawes, Cornwall, TR2 5AN
SEE A PLAY REVIVAL HERE: Quality Street, UK-Wide
This J.M. Barrie farce, written years before Peter Pan, was so well known in its day that it gave its name to the famous box of chocolates. Phoebe Throssel lives on Quality Street, the hub of a quaint northern town where she runs a school for unruly children. Ten years since a tearful goodbye, an old flame returns from fighting Napoleon. But the look of disappointment on Captain Valentine’s face when he greets a more mature, less glamorous Phoebe, spurs this determined heroine to action. She becomes the wild and sparkling Miss Livvy, a younger alter-ego who soon entraps the clueless Captain. As their romance is rekindled, can she juggle both personas? Or will her deception scandalise the town and wreck any future with the man she loves?
Various venues; 14th February-13th June
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