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What’s on this weekend

FRI 22 – SUN 24 JUN

THEATRE: Jerusalem, Watermill Theatre Newbury, now – Sat 21 Jul

The Watermill is staging the first major revival of Jez Butterworth’s multi-award-winning play, Jerusalem. A contemporary classic which originally starred Mark Rylance as the anarchic Johnny ‘Rooster’ Byron in 2011. Big shoes to fill for Jasper Britton. Expect fruity language in this wild and defiant rekindling of our national identity. One of the show’s of the summer.


EVENT: The Village Pop Up Bar, Station Hill Reading, now – Sun 15 Jul


It’s baaaaack! The Village Pop Up has returned to Reading – and it’s bigger and better than ever with a a new roof terrace, extra bars (one just isn’t enough for us thirsty Berkshire peeps, but we’re not complaining), plus ping pong, mini golf and a big screen showing the World Cup (England play Tunisia, Monday at 7pm and Panama on Sunday at 1pm) and Wimbledon! Of course, that’s not all as the space will also be hosting a family-fun day, drinks fest and a vegan market! You’ll find me fighting to get out of a deckchair.


EVENT: Hobby Horse Championships, Hurst Show & Country Fayre, Sat 23 – Sun 24 Jun

Riders and their hobby horses prepare for th first ever Hobby Horse Championships at the Hurst Show and Country Fayre Berkshire

Giddy up! The famous Hobby Horse Championship is making another appearance at the Hurst Show and Country Fayre. Fancy horsing around? We know you’re excited but whoa there! (sorry, we couldn’t help ourselves). Discover the price of your dusty old tat, I mean, hidden treasures at the new Antiques Valuation Show, there’s music, car and bike show, dog show, falconry – in fact, there’s not much this fayre doesn’t have. Don’t forget your trusted steed (husband or hobby horse).


EVENT: Royal Ascot 2018, Ascot Racecourse, Tues 19 – Sat 23 June

So many fashion rules to remember, but one of the great highlights of the social calendar is here. Royal Ascot has come around again, so grab your hat, keep the hemlines long, the fake tan light and enjoy a day of *cough* sunshine, celeb spotting and apparently there are few horses running too. It’s the perfect place to people watch, just don’t overdo the bubbles for fear of making it on the Mail’s sidebar of shame.


Open Air Cinema, Abbey Ruins Reading, Wed 20 – Sat 23 June 

I feel the need, the need for speed! Tom Cruise, Kelly McGillis, Anthony Edwards and Meg Ryan star in this 1986 classic Top Gun. Great soundtrack, gratuitous volleyball scene. Hmmm. Don’t deny yourself a night with Mav and Goose – they’ve got that loving feeling. Tickets from £15.35. If Tom before he had his teeth done and discovered scientology, you can also see the darkly funny Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri, Wed 20 June; 80s leather clad hotties in Lost Boys, Thu 21 June and of course The Greatest Showman, Fri 22 June – all at the newly reopened and rather magnificent Abbey Ruins in Reading.


FESTIVAL: Offbeat Festival, Oxford, Fri 22 June – Sun 30 Jun

Loving the look of this. Offbeat – a showcase of 61 different pieces of brand new theatrical work, from comedy, drama, dance, spoken word. 25 per cent of the shows are from Oxfordshire based artists and it’s a collaboration between Oxford Playhouse and The Old Fire Station so it’s extremely professional. Best of all , the tickets are a tenner or less, so you can see the likes of BGT smash hit Lost Voice Guy, David Baddiel and Bridget Christie without breaking the bank. Look out for Trump the Musical(pictured, 28 June)..


THEATRE: Brian Blessed 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: War of the Roses Live, Warwick Castle, now – 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.


CINEMA: Ocean’s 8, UK release, out now

Oceans 8 poster

A line up of Hollywood A list actresses (Sandra Bullock, Cate Blanchett, Anne Hathaway, Helena Bonham Carter, Sarah Paulson, Mindy Kaling, Awkwafina and Rihanna), a robbery at The Met Ball and the familiar crime caper format has a Muddy girls’ night out written all over it.


The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, South Hill Park Bracknell, Mon 18 June

Guernsey Literary potato peel pie

A book club founded in Guernsey during the Nazi occupation doesn’t sound like the most exciting premise for a movie and I laugh every time I see the name of this movie – BUT an all star British cast lead by Lilly James and produced by The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel lot, is enough to lure me off my sofa to the big screen.


Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, UK release, out now

Jurassic world

The blockbuster franchise returns and this time the dinosaurs need saving from an erupting volcano – easy, peasy, lemon squeezy. You could go to your multiplex to see this and spend a month’s salary on drinks and snacks that will put inches on your waistline OR you could have a civilised drink and proper food at the Everyman bar and restaurant before gawping at the special effects.


EVENT: Summer by the River Festival, London Bridge, now to 1 Sept

london bridge city summer outdoor

If you’re heading for the big smoke, there’s tons to do all summer between London and Tower Bridge with the largest outdoor festival in the capital. Outdoor cinema, big screen sporting events like Wimbledon and Tour de France, comedy from the Edinburgh Fringe, workshops and quizzes. You can scoff and drink to your heart’s content from the obligatory artisan stalls and then join in one of the fitness events to assuage the self-loathing.


ART: Frida Kahlo, Making Herself Up, Victoria & Albert Museum, London, Sat 16 June onwards

Frida Khalo_photo Nicholas Muray 1939 ornament in hand

Photo: Nicholas Muray/V&A

The iconic Mexican’s artist’s personal belongings were locked away by her husband when she died and are being exhibited outside Mexico for the first time. There are some beautifully embroidered clothes but more interesting are her cosmetics (no jokes about eyebrow tweezers please), swimsuit and brightly painted prosthetic leg (Kahlo suffered Polio as a child and had a deformed limb) in this intimate and fascinating exhibition.

V&A Museum


THEATRE: Turn of the Screw, Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre, London, Fri 22 June

Photo: Feast Creative

Hurrah for a bit of spooky excitement courtesy of The English National Opera and the Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre in this reworking of Henry James’ classic novella by Benjamin Britten. The suspenseful story of a young governess trying to protect her children in a remote country house will certainly get the hairs standing up on the back of my neck at this outdoor venue.


DANCE: RSC Midsummer Party, Stratford-Upon-Avon, Sat 23 – Sun 24 June

Kinetika dancers RSC

Photo: Kinetika

Remember the scene in the Leonardo di Caprio and Claire Danes Romeo and Juliet where they meet at a party and fall in love? So magical and romantic with no hint of what is to befall them. The RSC have joined forces with artists from Kinetika to create a spectacular dance party for the midsummer weekend, inspired by this scene. Join in with making costumes and decorations for the party and learn dance routines so that your ARE ON IT for the climax of the weekend when the dance will be filmed.

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