CRITICAL LIST: The Best Events Happening Across the Midlands this February
Valentine’s Day creeps on us once again as February arrives and whether you’re loved up or alone there are plenty of happenings across Birmingham, Leicester, Nottingham and Derby to keep you company.
We’ve rounded up some of the best events across the Midlands.
6TH february @ O2 ACADEMY, leicester
With his debut album Scum shooting up the album charts and having received praise from the BBC, NME, Kendrick Lamar and pretty much everyone else, Rat Boy is making 2017 his own. Announcing his biggest headline tour to date, this is only the start of bigger and better things for the Essex songwriter and his band.
More information: academymusicgroup.com/o2academyleicester
MATTHEW BOURNE’S CINDERELLA
6th-10th february @ birmingham hippodrome
Following the sold-out and critical success of The Red Shoes and Sleeping Beauty, New Adventures return to Birmingham Hippodrome with one of their most popular and beloved productions, Matthew Bourne’s Cinderella – a thrilling and evocative love story, set in London during the Second World War, which forms part of the company’s 30th anniversary celebrations.
7TH february @ 2funky music cafe, leicester
A brand new, FREE, monthly open mic for rappers, singers and poets to showcase material, perform to an audience and get on stage.
More information: 2funkymusiccafe.co.uk
leicester comedy festival
7TH – 25th february
Featuring 836 events across 69 venues, performed by 613 comedians and performers; Leicester Comedy Festival is the longest running comedy festival in the UK, having taken place every February since 1994, and now regularly attracts over 120,000 people to venues across Leicester and Leicestershire throughout the 19 days.
Highlights for 2018 include Barry Cryer, Harry Hill, Sara Pascoe, Jonathan Pie, Katherine Ryan, Paul Chowdhry, Dave Spikey, Dr John Cooper Clarke, Griff Rhys Jones, Mark Steel and Richard Herring.
More information: http://comedy-festival.co.uk/
Black Men Walking
7th – 10th February @ Belgrade Theatre, Coventry
Following its Manchester premiere, the show comes directly to Coventry’s Belgrade Theatre as part of a 2018 tour coinciding with the 70th anniversary of the Windrush – a milestone often celebrated as the beginning of modern multicultural Britain. Both Black Men Walking and Revolution Mix look to challenge this idea, unearthing untold stories that have shaped British culture over hundreds of years.
LOCO OFFICIAL LAUNCH PARTY
8TH FEBRUARY @ M CLUB, BIRMINGHAM
A brand student night pioneering fresh vibes for the UK’s second city. Reinventing events at one of Birmingham’s hottest new venues – Every Thursday
dr john cooper clarke
8TH FEBRUARY @ the cookie, leicester
His latest show, touring across the UK and Europe this year, is a mix of classic verse, extraordinary new material, hilarious ponderings on modern life, good honest gags, riffs and chat – a chance to witness a living legend at the top of this game.
9TH & 10th FEBRUARY @ curve theatre, leicester
With a brilliant band, Olivier Award-nominated actress Josette Bushell-Mingo OBE channels both Nina Simone’s musicianship and anger at racism, in this provocative and important production, which touches upon the 1960’s civil rights movement and draws into parallel the struggles of the civil rights movement of today.
9TH february @ genting arena, birmingham
Seven-time Grammy-winning hip-hop Renaissance man, Kendrick Lamar brings his The DAMN. Tour to Birmingham
9TH-24th february @ nottingham playhouse
Wonderland is a regional premiere, a spirited and uplifting drama written by the daughter of a Nottingham miner. Expect dark humour and tension in Adam Penford’s first play as Artistic Director in this gripping 360° look at the events leading up to and during the miner’s strike.
9TH february @ 2funky music cafe, leicester
This UK tour represents the very best of Black Uhuru’s finest moments.
With Mykal Rose as the leading frontman, he will deliver non-stop hits from their most popular period, 1977 – 1985 and more of his own hits.
He will be backed by the UK’s best backing band, Mafia & Fluxy, who are also celebrating 30 years in the music business.
If you are a true Reggae fan, then this is a show not to be missed.
Patrick Monahan – Rewind Selector 90’s
9TH FEBRUARY @ GLEE CLUB, BIRMINGHAM
12TH FEBRUARY @ THEATRE ROYAL, NOTTINGHAM
‘Rewind Selector 90’s’ is about identity, fitting in and enjoying the decade. ‘Drink and drugs and rock n’roll’ was the trademark saying of the 1990’s but for the tea total and drug free Monahan it was ‘cake and tea and R n’B!’ He still went to all night raves with his friends, but instead of party drugs he used fun size milky ways and mars bars to keep his energy levels up so he could dance all night!
cafe coco tang: the launch
10TH february @ cafe coco tang
Café Coco Tang’s new space will showcase a revitalised setting in addition to Nottingham’s vibrant Café scene based on the historic and arty Byard Lane; selectively combining our passion for future trends and Vietnamese culture with interior inspired by 1950’s Saigon and a unique product combination of Speciality Coffee, Oriental Bakery, Cocktail Bar, & Vietnamese Kitchen.
The launch party is all day and all night, so pop down to join them anytime from 10am-10pm…
HIDDEN AGENDA 1ST BIRTHDAY X RUMBLE IN THE JUNGLE!
10th february @ amusement 13, birmingham
Join Hidden Agenda as they celebrate their first birthday in style by linking up with the award winning Rumble In The Jungle from Bristol!!
Expect full immersive decor alongside a ridiculously heavy line up of Jungle & Drum n Bass!
lucy porter – choose your battles
11TH february @ the cookie, leicester
In these combative times, it’s easy to be irritated, offended or downright enraged by other people. How do we know which causes are worth fighting for? Lucy uses her hilarious experiences to help you decide. Recent TV and radio appearances include: QI, Insert Name Here, Alan Davies’ As Yet Untitled, Room 101, News Quiz, The Now Show.
THE UK PUN CHAMPIONSHIPS 2018
12TH february @ de montfort hall, leicester
A total sell out for the last four years, The UK Pun Championships returns to De Montfort Hall as the culmination of #UKPunDay. Celebrating the great British pun with contestants from across the UK.
Drive-In Cinema Nights
12th – 16th February at East Midlands Designer Outlet
The perfect date-night with your loved one and watch one of the classic films showing.
Monday 12th February – La La Land
Tuesday 13th February – Pretty Woman
Wednesday 14th February – Top Gun
Thursday 15th February – Four Weddings and a Funeral
Friday 16th February – Dirty Dancing
TEMPO PRESENTS: MELE
13TH february @ stealth, nottingham
By far one of the most exciting names in the House and Tech scene at this current time, Melé creates euphoric high-octane dance music inspired by his love of Brazilian beats, transatlantic hip hop and classic house music
bowling for soup
12th february @ rock city, nottingham
13TH february @ o2 academy birmingham
It’s been 10 years since Bowling For Soup brought The Get Happy Tour to the UK, so in its honour, they’re returning in early 2018 alongside Army Of Freshman, who joined them back on the tour a decade ago. Not only that, but Bowling For Soup will celebrate 15 years of their debut album Drunk Enough To Dance by playing it in full on the nigh
13TH february @ motorpoint arena, nottingham
15TH february @ genting arena, birmingham
What a week it’s been for Irish three-piece The Script. Their new album Freedom Child has topped the UK Official Albums Chart, seeing off competition from LCD Soundsystem and OMD. The #1 sees The Script score their fourth UK #1 album. To coincide with the Freedom Child celebrations, The Script bring their 2018 tour to Birmingham and Nottingham
13th february @ rock city, nottingham
15TH FEBRUARY @ O2 ACADEMY BIRMINGHAM
With their new album Technology on the way, experimental UK rockers Don Broco will also be heading out on a lengthy UK tour in February to celebrate its release. Don’t miss your chance to see one of the most adventurous bands play some of their biggest headline shows to date
13-24TH FEBRUARY @ tHEATRE ROYAL, NOTTINGHAM
The smash hit musical comedy Hairspray is coming to Nottingham with a production, guaranteed to have you dancing the night away!
It’s Baltimore, 1962 where Tracy Turnblad, a big girl with big hair and an even bigger heart, is on a mission to follow her dreams and dance her way onto national TV. Tracy’s audition makes her a local star and soon she is using her new-found fame to fight for equality, bagging local heartthrob Link Larkin along the way!
A Pacifist’s Guide to the War on Cancer
14th – 17th february @ belgrade theatre, coventry
Newly reinvented for 2018, Bryony Kimmings’ candid cancer musical returns to the stage for a whistle-stop UK tour this year, with Coventry’s Belgrade Theatre one of just three venues to host the show ahead of its Australian debut.
Inspired by the stories of real cancer patients, A Pacifist’s Guide to the War on Cancer looks behind the pink ribbons and poster campaigns to reveal the messy, sometimes funny and often brutal truth beneath.
HARRY POTTER QUIZ
15TH FEBRUARY @ WALKABOUT LEICESTER
Wizards of Leicester, be part of the most magical quiz event of the year.
Do you know the name of Harry’s owl?
The colour of unicorn blood?
What spell would you use to open a door?
If you know the answer to the above then this is the quiz for you!
More information: https://www.facebook.com/events/1994504257480254/
15TH & 16th FEBRUARY @ BIRMINGHAM HIPPODROME
What is the relevance of a life in conflict? When stories are told so carelessly by the media, it seems that individuals are lost and we only see what the cameras want.
#JeSuis brings the lens upon a group of dancers whose place in the world is presented by the media as unwanted neighbours; countries where human catastrophes are a daily given.
SHOWSTOPPER: THE IMPROVISED MUSICAL
15TH & 16th FEBRUARY @ curve theatre, leicester
A brand new musical comedy is created from scratch at each performance of this award-winning show as audience suggestions are transformed on the spot into all-singing, all-dancing productions with hilarious results. These incredible performers are guaranteed to impress as they create shows packed with drama, dazzling dance routines and catchy melodies – it’s just all made up on the spot!
15th February @ the venue, derby
Radar Love is The Venue’s flagship live music evening and each night features a mixture of local artists and acts who are out on tour up and down the UK. This week The Blinders headline the show with support from The Honeymoon Suite and FloodHounds.
dane baptiste : G.O.D (Gold, Oil, Drugs)
17th February @ the cookie, leicester
Fresh from hosting Live at the Apollo and another total sell out run at the Edinburgh Fringe, Dane Baptiste brings his third smash hit show on national tour. Original, provocative and exceptionally crafted, G.O.D. (Gold. Oil. Drugs) explores our worldwide pursuit of wealth, power and pleasure.
sara pascoe : ladsladslads
17th February @ curve theatre, leicester
Sara is enjoying a year-long, one-woman stag do.
From spiritual retreats, city breaks, life drawing classes and football matches – she has been drunk and lonely everywhere.
Following a sell-out live tour of Animal (inspired by her critically acclaimed book of the same name), the multi award-winning comedian and star of Live at The Apollo, Mock the Week, QI and Taskmaster, presents a brand-new (best ever) stand-up show; unmissable comedy from one of the country’s leading comedic talents.
22nd february @ de montfort hall, leicester
What does Canada’s first woman to have a worldwide Netflix special have in common with Britain’s first woman to have a worldwide Netflix special? They are both single mothers with too many pets. And they are both Katherine Ryan.
22ND FEBRUARY @ O2 ACADEMY 3 BIRMINGHAM
Rising singer-songwriter Jessarae has already supported the likes of 5 Seconds of Summer and Hey Violet, and now he’s gearing up for a headline UK tour in February. Armed with upbeat single ‘Fishbowl’, his contagious choruses and infectious grooves are bound to win over crowds wherever he plays.
PAUL FOOT’S GAME OF DANGERS
22ND FEBRUARY @ curve theatre, leicester
It’s back. It’s bigger. And more dangerous than ever.
Paul Foot, Never Mind the Buzzcocks (BBC2), 8 out of 10 Cats(Channel 4), Would I Lie to You (BBC1), pits two teams against each other, discussing a series of real-life, perilous, yet bizarre situations and attempting to work out which of Paul’s unusual items will save them. The results? Surprising and true! The consequences for the losing team? Devastating.
my nu leng & m8’s
23TH february @lab 11, birmingham
The Bristol based duo have a hard-to-categorise sound, drawing on many varied influences without kowtowing to one in particular. Whilst traversing the whole spectrum between pitch shifted vocals and bass heavy rumbles, their sound is always deep and on point with the vibe.
24TH february @ genting arena, birmingham
The multi-platinum, Grammy Award-winning band will visit the Genting Arena in February.
Their third studio album, EVOLVE, has already attained global success with the highest first week streams for an alternative rock band ever.
22nd february @ o2 institute birmingham
24TH FEBRUARY @ THE BRICKWORKS, NOTTINGHAM
The Godfather of Grime, Wiley, follows the huge success of his latest album ‘Godfather’ and brings his tour to Nottingham.
rescue rooms 15th birthday
24TH FEBRUARY @ rescue rooms, nottingham
Bringing two rooms of live music, as part of a free entry All Dayer event, they’re introducing some of the finest up and coming talent from Nottingham and beyond.
26TH & 27th february @ de montfort hall, leicester
28TH FEBRUARY @ ROYAL CONCERT HALL, NOTTINGHAM
Larks in Transit is a compendium of travelers’ tales and the general shenanigans of twenty years as a travelling comedian. With musical virtuosity, surreal tangents and trademark intelligence, Bill Bailey tackles politics, philosophy and the pursuit of happiness. Plus, he fashions a symphony from a ringtone, tells the real story of Old McDonald, and a re-imagines the Stars and Stripes.
27th february – 3RD MARCH @ BELGRADE THEATRE, COVENTRY
Lovingly ripped off from the hugely successful 1975 film Monty Python and the Holy Grail, Spamalot is a riotous comedy full of misfit knights, killer rabbits, dancing nuns and ferocious Frenchmen. Join King Arthur as he travels with his hapless Knights of the Round Table on a divine mission to locate the illusive Holy Grail – with uproarious consequences.
27th February @ O2 ACADEMY LEICESTER
To celebrate the release of their debut album You Are Someone Else, Fickle Friends will be embarking on an almighty headline UK tour in the spring. A must-see band for 2018, expect irresistibly catch indie-pop anthems aplenty.
LUISA OMIELAN’S DEAD FUNNY – BIRMINGHAM’S BIG COMEDY GALA
28th February @ BIRMINGHAM HIPPODROME
Join Luisa Omielan (What Would Beyoncé Do?!, Comic Relief, Live at the Apollo and Thigh Gap!) as she presents the coolest comics on the circuit for a one night bonanza!
Confirmed special guests include Sara Pascoe, Mo Gilligan, Iain Stirling, Tom Allen, Suzi Ruffell, Ellie Taylor, Tez Ilyas, Jen Brister, Aaron Twitchen and Dan Nightingale.
All proceeds go to Helena’s Hospice Foundation; supporting hospices in the Midlands and nationwide.