What’s on this week
MON 11 – SUN 17 JUNE
MUSIC: Mica Paris, The Gap Festival Goring & Streatley, Sat 16 Jun
Take me back to the 80s, baby, Mica Paris belting out My One Temptation and the 13 year old me eyeing up boys on a beach in Devon. Ahh, those were the days. Thirty years later (EEK) and the soul sista is coming to Berks at The Gap Festival in Goring & Streatley as part of her Mica Sings Ella tour. Mica will be belting out the hits of jazz legend Ella Fitzgerald. An amazing opportunity to hear great music, sung by Britain’s soul queen. Tickets, £33.
EVENT: Water Fest & Abbey Ruins Revealed, Forbury Gardens Reading, Sat 16 Jun
Following a £3.5million refurbishment, Reading’s Abbey Ruins are back their beautiful best. Well we all need a little bit of help in our old age. To make the whole thing a bit spesh, you can enjoy the Reading Abbey Revealed Festival so expect a party atmosphere in Reading that day with entertainment, fun for the kids, waters activities, boats and more more more. The watch this space because the Abbey Ruins will be the backdrop for outdoor theatre and pop up cinema in the summer months.
FESTIVAL: Stonor Park Food Festival, Stonor, Henley, Sat 16 – Sun 17 June
The beautiful grounds at Stonor will be groaning with food and drink stalls over the Father’s Day weekend (dads go free before midday on the Saturday) for the first ever Stonor Food Festival. Keep dad happy with the crafts beers and BBQ plus there’s talks, tastings and demos along with the large selection of local and specialist produce. Guests include the doyen of cookery, Mary Berry, and the Bake Off finalist Steven Carter-Bailey. Tickets are £10 for adults and £6.50 for kids (under 2s go free) and include entrance to the house, gardens and Wonder Woods Adventure playground. stonor.com
THEATRE: Dan Snow: An Evening With The History guy, Corn Exchange Newbury, Wed 13 Jun
When history got an injection of handsome. It was a good day. No disrepect Tony Robinson, but Dan is a much easier on the eye– he also brought the average age of TV history buffs down A LOT! Well the lovely Dan Snow is rocking up in Newbury this month to recount anecdotes of memorable experiences from his career and explore Newbury’s past. If you love historical facts, legends, myths or Dan. Book in.
Pop Up OperaThe Gap Festival, Goring & Streatley, Fri 15 Jun
Ditch the pearls and opera’s stuffy image to enjoy Pop Up Opera at The Gap Festival. Directed by New British Music Theatre Award nominee, Anna Pool, critically acclaimed for her bold directing style, the production showcases two delicious Mozart one-act comedies in which a pair of actresses battle it out to be the prima donna, and a pair of lovers tease and test their feelings for each other. Tickets are a snip at £20.
MUSIC: Lisa Knapp, South Street Arts Reading, Fri 15 Jun
The highly acclaimed, award-winning Lisa Knapp returns to South Street with her band in support of her latest album, Till April is Dead – A Garland of Ritual & Love songs in the Month of May. Blimey that was a mouthful. Her folk songs are a celebration of *coughs* summer. We can only hope her beautiful voice encourages the sun to shine.
COMEDY: Harriet Braine – Total Eclipse of the Art, The Gap Festival Goring & Streatley, Sat 16 Jun
No need to shame yourself with Art History for Dummies, comedian Harriet Braine will give you a crash course (no prior reading required, all materials provided). An hour of funny songs about Leonardo Da Vinci, Monet, Tracey Emin and she builds to a particular highlight in an incredibly catchy ditty about Pablo Picasso (“Nobody did it like you, bro”) during which she shows off an immense talent for blowing her own trumpet, literally.
DANCE: RB LIVE – Swan Lake, Tue 12 Jun
Let’s be honest, it’s the costumes and general ethereal elegance that attracts us to ballet. This is how I wanted to look as a child. I was a little more Dawn French in her French & Saunders sketch with Darcey Bussell in the style and grace department. So I think it’s best to leave it to the pros. I’ve seen the Royal Ballet perform Swan Lake in Covent Garden and it really is a sight to behold. Dodge the rain, eye-watering ticket prices and head to the cinema for RB Live.
THEATRE: Brian Blssed directs Unexpected Guest, Mill at Sonning, now – Sat 28 Jul
BOOM! The man with the biggest voice in show business is back in Berks. National treasure Brian Blessed in the director’s chair at The Mill at Sonning, following on from his successes with A Spider’s Web and The Hollow. And who better than Flash Gordon to take on Agatha Christie’s classic whodunnit, An Unexpected Guest? Brian has been peddling his acting wares for 60 years and knew and worked with Christie, so you know this will be a corker. And remember, your ticket price also includes a two-course meal.
EVENT: Game of Clues: Murder Mystery, Cliveden National Trust, now – 15 Jul
Murder mystery at Cliveden, you say? I’ll be there clutching my pearls in a Miss Marple styles. Following last year’s crime caper, there’s a brand new outdoor mystery to solve. Cliveden’s head butler has turned up dead on the estate. Mr Butter, a rather unsavory character, was discovered fallen off his chair and smelling of whisky; but how did he get there…? Time to play detective.
THEATRE: What The Ladybird Heard, Corn Exchange Newbury, Fri 15 – Sun 17 Jun
Hot footing from the West End, What The Ladybird Heard is stopping off at Newbury on its UK tour. It’s another Julia Donaldson classic (this woman pumps out books faster than a frazzled mum can get her toddler tot bed) so you know your kids will love it. Live music, puppets, audience participation (yes, really. Brace yourself) and a load of farmyard faves.
EVENT: How The Queen Entertains At Windsor Castle, Cliveden House Hotel, Thu 14 Jun
Ever wondered what happens at the Queen’s parties? Coronation chicken vol au vents and charades perhaps? Well we’re about to find out. Oliver Everett (he worked for Charles and Diana, so knows stuff) is lifting the lid on the royal knees ups at Windsor Castle. Get the goss, learn some stuff and then tuck into to an elegant Cliveden afternoon tea. Tickets £55.
EVENT: War of the Roses Live, Warwick Castle, Sat 9 – Sat 30 June
Pledge your allegiance in an epic battle for the English Throne! Yup, it’s time for the reenactment brigade, with stunt riders, jousting and special effects. There’s also a castle that’s quite interesting, apparently. Head to Warwick Castle, grab your kids, borrow one or two from a friend and get yourself for War of the Roses Live. Eye rolling emoji…only in Britain
THEATRE: Giffords Circus: My Beautiful Circus, touring now until 30 Sept
This year the inimitable Giffords Circus is celebrating the birth of circus which happened near Westminster Bridge in London in 1768. It’s all brilliantly bonkers putting on a candle-lit international gymnastic show with dancing horses, a live band and everyone’s favourite clown Tweedy. It’s in Oxfordshire throughout June, it then heads off to Chiswick House before setting up the big top in Windsor Great Park in July.
EVENT: Electric Vehicle Discovery Day, Market Place Reading, Sat 16 Jun
Electric cars are the future… apparently. Given my inability to find a charger for my phone let alone achieve the golden 100% juice, I’m not sure how it would work for me. But we’re about to find out. The Octopus Electric Vehicles team is coming to Reading with some of the latest electric car models and demo charging stations for drivers looking to ditch the gas guzzler. The future’s silent and needs a docking station. Wish us luck.
MUSIC: Nocturne Live, Blenheim Palace, Oxford, Thurs 14 – Sun 17 June
Noel Gallagher at Blenheim Palace? What would Liam say? This well-established refined live music night has a line up including Noel in his High Flying Birds incarnation, plus Nile Rodgers and Chic and Elvis Costello (headlining on different nights).With the stunning backdrop of the Great Court, one thing is certain – the mosh pit will be very civilised.