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The best local culture picks for 2022

Culture vultures grab your diaries, we've rounded up everything you can't afford to miss in 2022. There's loads of cool stuff on locally - think theatre, gigs, festivals and more. See you there!

DANCE AND BALLET

Dig out your dancing shoes because there’s some fabulous shows that you won’t want to miss. From the nation’s favourite ballroom couple, Anton and Erin who will be waltzing their way onto stage on 3 Mar to the seductive choreography and passion of Argentine dance show, Firedance on 10 March. British street dance troupe Diversity is in town on 21 -22 March and Strictly judge, Oti Mabuse will be strutting her stuff on 11 June plus, Strictly Presents the Power of Dance is on 6 July. Sashay away.

The Russian State Ballet of Siberia is putting on a hatrick of performances for us! Balletomanes will be able to watch Romeo and Juliet on the 17, Swan Lake on the 18 Mar and The Nutcracker on 19 March.

MUSIC

Missed out on concerts last year? Make up for it this year with these acts including Paloma Faith on 31 Jul at Leicestershire County Cricket Club, Texas 1 Mar, Status Quo on 11 March, James Morrison on 14 Mar and heart throb Marti Pellow on 4 May all at De Montfort Hall.

If that wasn’t enough, you can catch the legend that is Dionne Warwick on 29 June plus, keep on movin, don’t stop as Soul II Soul is also here with their Feel Free Tour on 10 Nov! Elsewhere, EastEnders and Spandau Ballet star, Martin Kemp will be performing in the Back to the 80’s DJ set on 4 June at Athena.

Want to try opera? Dive in and watch Puccini’s La boheme or Rossini’s The Barber of Seville during the summer month of June. It can all be enjoyed from Nevill Holt’s award-winning venue over in Market Harborough.

HA HA, FUNNY

Elsewhere on our patch, there’s some of our fave comedians touring. This year, expect a belly full of laughs with Jimmy Carr on 26 Feb, 13 April and 22 April. Hilarious Nish Kumar will be here on 4 March, Chris Ramsey on 30-31 Mar, Paul Chowdry on 29 April (booking my tickets now!) Jack Dee on 13 May, Sandi Toksvig on 18 Jun plus, Harry Hill on 12 Oct.

LA, LA, MUSICALS

Enjoy this hysterical sequel on the high seas! Expect a hilarious, heartfelt, reassuring and unflinching look at the joys of menopause and friendship all backed by a soundtrack of brand-new toe-tapping parodied hits in Menopause The Musical 2 is back on stage on 19 Feb.

Also on stage, Friends! The Musical Parody is on 19 Mar, Tina Turner’s musical, What’s Love Got to do With It is on 31 March. Time to turn back time with a fiercely fabulous kick-ass new musical, The Cher Show at Curve on 15-23 April. The dazzling glitter show has been directed by Arlene Phillips and choreographed by Oti Mabuse and tells the incredible story of Cher’s meteoric rise to fame.

Rockers will love The School of Rock on 30 May – 4 June and I’ve already booked tickets to watch Billy Elliot The Musical (watch out for the review) from 7-July – 14 Aug.

AND THE FESTIVALS…..

Enjoy a weekend extravaganza in the gorgeous surroundings of Rutland Water at the Anglian Water Music Festival rescheduled from last year. Sing along with some sensational bands inc Scouting for Girls and The Hoosiers plus, Jack Maynard and some fab tribute acts too from 11-12 June.

Warwickshire plays host to loads of top festivals over summer and this year is set to be no different. Timber Festival, is an extraordinary 3-day camping festival like no other and is back on 1 – 3 July with music, forests, art, ideas and more deep in the heart of the National Forest.

The intimate 100 Above Festival is on from 11- 14 Aug at Gopshall Farm where Everything Everything will headline Saturday night with special afternoon sets from Red Rum Club and The Sherlocks plus more TBA.

Rock lovers will want to head to this year’s Download Festival on Fri 10 Jun – Sun 12 Jun at Donington Park. There’s punk band, A Day To Remember, The Great Danes of Volbeat, plus multi-platinum selling Floridians Shinedown and theatrical rockers Black Veil Brides.

Nosily is back on 7 July but the line up is yet to be announced and if you’re more of a tribute act fan, Leicester Fake Festival is on 13 Aug at Vic Park. Speaking of tribute acts, Glastonbudget, the largest tribute band festival is on at Turnpost Farm on 2-4 June with acts including The Bootleg Beatles and Mercury.

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