Nottingham Playhouse are asking you to join them for Tommy, a production based on a popular concept album called by The Who entitled Tommy, a rock opera by Pete Townshend. Poor little Tommy is traumatized after witnessing his father murder his mother’s lover. Unable to speak out, Tommy suffers a harsh childhood, but manages to become an international superstar, loved by millions of people. Well in, lad. This story has been well loved by folk all over the shop for more than forty years. Tommy has been made accessible to all with a performance with audio description and another with British Sign Language interpretation. This time round, those of you whose wallets are feeling the pinch can get in on the action with a pay what you can performance. You might have to get down early to bag a ticket, mind.
Wednesday 19 April, 7:45pm, pay what you can, Nottingham Playhouse, event link
This month sees Nottingham Poetry Festival, which means there’s summat wordeh in the air. Have you always fancied yourself as a bit of a Kate Tempest? Maybe a shade of Byron lingers in your fingertips? Let Anne Holloway help you realise your passion in the first of many regular workshops to kick off at Nonsuch Theatre. Head down on the third Wednesday of every month, where you can gather skills to put in your poetic toolbox with the Mouthy Poets facilitator and Big White Shed publishing house owner. Think spoken word techniques and exercises, think an exploration of voice, breathing and movement, think guest facilitators, think a straight-talking woman who’ll make you feel right at home, and you’re on the right lines. Whether you’re completely new to the game, or you want to brush up on your artistic endeavours, get yersen along and get smashing them open mics. Notts needs your windpipes.
Wednesday 19 April, 6.30pm £4/£5, Nonsuch Theatre, event link
The dapperest don with the fire in his feet brought that je ne sais quoi to the dance and movie industry. Now, the Theatre Royal are bringing his memory back to life. The producers of Darcey Bussell and Katherine Jenkins’ Viva La Diva have rounded up Strictly Come Dancing stars, Aljaz and Janette to play tribute to the one and only Fred Astaire. They will give you the chance to experience a mesmerizing display of dance and music, featuring special appearances from several guests. Famous fans of Fred will also be present to discuss how he has inspired them and why he stands out so much. To experience a magical and surreal night, you best make sure you book a ticket. And sharpish.
Wednesday 19 April, 12:00, £19.50 – £55, Theatre Royal and Royal Concert Hall, event link
Ooft Broadway are pulling out all the stops this week with a live screening straight from The Old Vic Theatre in London. Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead, starring Daniel Radcliffe, Joshua McGuire and David Haig is gonna be blasted on the big screen for you all to see. Written by Tom Stoppard during the sixties, David Leveax brings his work to life in this incredible production. A drastic change has been made from Shakespeare’s Hamlet, as two minor characters gradually become out of their depth as their perception of the story starts to unravel. This compelling production asks more questions than it answers, so you’ll have loads to think about. Make sure you get there on time cos it’s gonna start bang on 7pm.
Thursday 20 April, 7pm, £14 full / £12 member & Concession, Broadway, event link
Ooh we don’t half this bogger. Once again the record store cum bar cum bike pump facilitator, Rough Trade, is hosting the party that brings you the best in acoustic roots rebel music. If you’re all about getting down and jiggy on the dancefloor with a load of like-minded people who wanna do the same, then clear the Friday night schedule, my friend. Talented individuals like Ramone ‘Ram-one’ Williams, will be bringing an acoustic set to the proceedings, and The Dark Drumma is bang on board an’ all. It’s bound to be a bit more of a chilled affair than the usual rowdy proceedings, but thoroughly enjoyable nonetheless. Entry is completely free and everyone is welcome. Big up.
Friday 21 April, 12:00, free, Rough Trade Nottingham, event link
It’s the tenth anniversary of Record Store Day this month. The annual queue-fest was originally set up with the honourable intention of encouraging people to visit their local independent record store instead of heading to iTunes – or worse, the supermarket – to buy their music. One-off limited edition releases are kicked out on the day and are only available from participating stores. At best, the day is a reminder of the important role record stores play on our high streets and in our local communities. Increasingly though, the day is becoming an excuse for the major labels to repress their back catalogue, and the number of genuinely interesting products has taken second place to yet another Queen picture-disc reissue. Anyway, Nottingham can still proudly boast a number of independent record stores and a couple of them – Forever Records and Rough Trade – will be open from 8am on RSD, with a mixture of bands and DJs on to entertain punters. And, of course, you’ll be able to get your hands on loads of Record Store Day exclusives as well as their usual wares. Keep your eyes on their respective websites for updates. See you in the queue.
Saturday 22 April, Nottingham City Centre, event link
We’ve made many leaps towards gender equality in the last few decades. However, we’ve still got quite a way to go. Five Leaves Bookshop are hosting a talk with feminists Aliah Ahmed, Debbie Taylor and Zoe Fairbairns in which they’ll discuss why women are still facing inequality within the publishing industry. They’ll also touch on the achievements made by women in the eighties, but ask tough questions such as why are there are only two feminist publishing houses in the UK despite the fact that there were so many of them in the eighties. Interesting. Make sure you bring your opinions with you. There’ll be a bar nearby for refreshments and everybody is welcome to join to discussion.
Saturday 22 April, 14:00 – 17:00, £5, £4 concessions, Five Leave Bookshop, event link
Following the untimely death of Louise Wright in 2014, Nottingham Roller Derby have set up a tournament in her honour, celebrating her love of roller derby while raising cash for road safety charity, Brake. Yes, the Louisey Rider Cup is back for the second year, and sees a whole heap of roller derby players battle it out for the title in memory of their teammate – Louisey Rider #66. As with all good events, the main shindig is followed by a phenomenal after party. Last year, there were lip sync battles, glitter shots and fanny bunting, and this year is promised to be bigger and better than ever. There’s also the chance to take home the Winner of the After Party trophy, so if you’ve not got skills on the skates, there’s still a chance to win summat for the mantlepiece. Go on duck, it’s for a great cause.
Saturday 22 April, 9am, £5 spectator tickets, including after party entry, Lee Westwood Sports Centre, event link
Woi-oi the Poetry Festival is well and truly bag in the NG. And one event at Rough Trade is doing grand things to get the youth involved. The Under 11s Poetry Jam, run by Inspire Academy’s Natalia Bruce, is gonna get the sprogs right into poetry by providing a space for them to come and express themselves in a right welcoming environment. They can get stuck into the Poetree, write a poem about their home city, or bring along pre-written poems to perform to the crowd, or have actors from Inspire Academy and The Television Workshop perform their poems for ‘em. It’s a great way to get the whipper snappers involved in writing and creating poetry for themselves.
Sunday 23 April, 3:15pm, free, Rough Trade, event link