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Going out: Pick of the week

FESTIVALS by SIMON GAGE

Boomtown Fair

Is it a festival or a parallel universe? Well, a bit of both. There’s the whole new world, built and populated with amazing detail (and you really do need to mug up and get your character ready for it) and then there’s the festival side with a huge line-up of acts including Lauryn Hill (pictured), The Streets and a special Keith Flint tribute set. Your mind will be blown. Until Sunday, Matterley Estate, Hampshire, boomtownfair.co.uk

Fairport’s Cropredy Convention

You’ve already missed The Waterboys so don’t hang around while there’s still some Frank Turner & The Sleeping Souls, Fairport Convention and Martin Simpson to get your ears around. Join lovers of classic rock at what has, since 1980, become an annual reunion of one of the most classic rock bands of them all. Until tomorrow, Copredy, Oxon, fairportconvention.com

Party At The Palace

It’s a high-quality line-up more or less halfway between Glasgow and Edinburgh, including homegrown talents such as KT Tunstall, Deacon Blue, Midge Ure (pictured) and Wet Wet Wet. Add kids stuff, a funfair and a pamper zone and we’re looking at a classic weekend. Tomorrow and Sunday, Linlithgow Palace, partyatthepalace.co.uk

Lakefest

You’ve got to love a festival that has a disco section called Funkytown and loads of events to get on down to — including silent discos, trance classics and indie dance, with headliners including Kaiser Chiefs, Happy Mondays (with Bez, above), James and The Bluetones. Until Sun, Eastnor Deer Park, Ledbury, lakefest.co.uk

Leeds Ska & Mod Festival

Expect pork pie hats galore as Buster Bloodvessel and his 2 Tone and ska band Bad Manners headline the festival, with south London ska and reggae nine-piece The Dualers and Death Of Guitar Pop. Sunday, Millennium Square, Leeds, millsqleeds.com

Statfold Barn Festival

They call it a festival for everyone and that means family fun -including the famous Fabularium, populated by musicians, acrobats, storytellers and puppets. For the grown-ups there’s Sophie Ellis-Bextor, Boyzlife, Toploader, Tony Christie and even a couple of Abba and Cliff tributes. Until Sunday, Statfold Barn, Tamworth, statfoldbarnfestival.co.uk

THEATRE by CLAIRE ALLFREE

Actually

Might be love: Actually

The last Anna Ziegler play in London was Photograph 51, about a woman scientist whose contribution to the discovery of DNA was overlooked. Her latest also explores gender, through a drunken encounter between two students who, come the next morning, can’t remember what happened. Until Aug 31, Trafalgar Studios, London, atgtickets.com

Warheads

Tour-some: Warheads

Inspired by true events, Taz Skylar’s and Ross Berkley Simpson’s new play examines the trauma of an Afghan tour on a young soldier. Thu to Sep 7, Park Theatre, London, parktheatre.co.uk

The Argument

We’ve all been there: a night out at the cinema, a disagreement about the film, and suddenly you and your partner are no longer speaking. Felicity Kendall stars in William Boyd’s black comedy about home truths. Until August 24, Theatre Royal, Bath, theatreroyal.org.uk

8 Hotels

Nicholas Wright’s fascinating sounding new play explores the off-stage tensions between Paul Robeson, Uta Hagen and Uta’s husband Jose Ferrer, during a production of Othello in America in 1944. Until August 24. Minerva Theatre, Chichester, cft.org.uk

COMEDY by SHARON LOUGHER

Three to catch at the Edinburgh Fringe

Richard Stott: Right Hand Man

Ever heard of Poland Syndrome? It’s a birth defect that results in underdeveloped muscles on one side of the body — and Hull-born comedian and actor Richard Stott (pictured) is one of the very few people that have it. His ‘lopsided’ journey through the resulting mental health and body dysmorphic challenges — he has a misshapen left hand and no pectoral muscle — is inevitably moving stuff… and inspiring, too. Until August 26, Gilded Balloon Teviot

Sam Morrison: Hello Daddy!

It didn’t do to be gay in the Florida backwater Sam Morrison grew up in. But not only was he thus, but he’s also attracted to ‘older, hairy, bigger men’. Now based in New York, he proves that you don’t have to have had past trauma to be attracted to men of a more mature vintage. Until August 25, Just The Tonic At Marlin’s Wynd

James McNicholas: The Boxer

This irresistible solo debut from the Horrible Histories star (and one third of acclaimed sketch outfit Beasts) compares James’ sporting incompetence with the knockout skills of his grandad Terry Downes — who become world middleweight champion in 1961. Ouch! Until August 25 (not 14), Pleasance Courtyard Bunker

MUSIC by SHARON O’CONNELL

Salt-N-Pepa

Sounds good: Above: Salt-N-Pepa; Below: Jessie J, Sam Fender and Songhoy Blues

They’ve split from DJ Spinderella, but trailblazing duo Cheryl James and Sandra Denton will still be holding it down for 1980s rap with the monumental Push It and more at this one-off. Tonight, Indigo at The O2, London, theo2.co.uk

Songhoy Blues

The Malian desert-blues band play from their current (second) album, Résistance — an energetic and joyous affair with a funk streak- as part of Nile Rodgers’ Meltdown festival. Sunday, Royal Festival Hall, London, southbankcentre.co.uk

Jessie J

A post-race set for the dressed-up crowd out for a flutter from the big-lunged, soul/R&B-pop chart topper (and coach on The Voice Kids), plugging last year’s R.O.S.E. album. Tomorrow, Ascot Racecourse, Berkshire, ascot.co.uk

Sam Fender

A (rescheduled) headline set before his November tour for the singer/ songwriter and guitarist from North Shields, whose songs set him apart from the pack by addressing issues such as suicide and celebrity culture. Tonight, SWX, Bristol, swxbristol.com

EVENTS by RAHUL VERMA

Dragon Slayer

A spectacular Game Of Thrones-esque show based on the legend of Guy of Warwick. It combines live action with jaw-dropping digital projections, jousting, a torchlit procession and a 40metres-tall fire-breathing dragon projected on the ramparts. Until August 26, Warwick Castle, warwick-castle.com/dragon-slayer

Chihuly Nights

Kew Gardens gets in on the museum late action with an opportunity to see artist Dale Chihuly’s dramatic glass installations illuminated at dusk and accompanied by live music. Thu to Oct 26 (Thu to Sat), Kew Gardens, kew.org

London Craft Beer Festival

More than 80 brewers from all over the world will be pouring thousands of artisan and craft beers, soundtrack of DJ sets from Friendly Fires, Kaiser Chiefs, and Hot Chip. There’s also fancy pants street food including Palomar, Berber & Q and Sri Lankan Hoppers. Today to Sun, Tobacco Dock, london craftbeerfestival.co.uk

FriendsFest

Pay homage to Monica, Ross, Rachel, Chandler, Joey and Phoebe at the immersive, outdoors festival. Try selfie-tastic experiences including wandering around Monica’s apartment and Joey’s bach-pad, singing along to Smelly Cat, the chance to recreate the title sequence and a Friends quiz. Until Aug 18, Heaton Park, Manchester, friendsfest.co.uk

FuelFest UK

A high-octane collision of art, music and cars, especially cars — of the customised, rare and exclusive variety — at the Fast And The Furious-inspired monster car show, also featuring celebs, live art, cars from the FATF franchise, live music, DJs and more. Sunday, The Warren Estate, Chelmsford, fuelfest.com