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Reader Treats Just For You!

This month

AUGUST 2019

MUDDY’S PICK OF THE MONTH

singer songwriter Jessie J

Shergar Cup and Concert, Ascot Racecourse, Sat 10 Aug

Like an older, sensible sibling, Royal Ascot, is fun but familiar, whereas the Shergar Cup, with its four-hour party in the paddock, is its trailblazing younger sister, scorching the racecourse turf. It’s fast becoming one of the events of the summer season and with Jessie J headlining this year, followed by a DJ set from Tinie Temper. Advance tickets from £49, under 18s are.

ascot.co.uk

 

FESTIVALS

Wilderness, Cornbury Park Oxford, Thu 1 – Sun 4 Aug

One of summer sizzlers, Wilderness. It’s possibly the coolest local-ish festival of them all. A heady mix of right-on hippiness (lots of yoga) combined with impressive big-name music bookings including Groove Armada, Robyn, Bombay Bicycle Club and Tom Odell. A huge line up of family activities to get stuck into too.

wildernessfestival.com

Retro Festival, Newbury Showground, Fri 9 – Sun 11 Aug

Practice your Victory Rolls and slick on the perfect red lip it’s time to party like it 1940-something. Retro Festival at Newbury Showground will roll into town for a turn back time three-day event with live music, air displays, vintage cars, fair ground, retro shopping and a hair salon for those of us who need a little help to look like a pin up.

Reading Festival 2019, Richfield Avenue Reading, Fri 23 – Sun 25 Aug

Are you ready to rock? Music fans will be swarming into the Richfield Avenue site to see headliners Foo Fighters, Post Malone and The 1975 at Reading Festival. Plus a strong of comedians like Josh Widdicombe, Russell Kane and Shappi Khorsandi. There will be mosh pits, warm beer, overpriced dirty burgers and the likelihood of being struck by a bottle of wee is pretty high. Music and mayhem guaranteed.

readingfestival.com

The Big Feastival, Alex James’ Farm nr Kingham, Fri 23 – Sun 25 Aug

This posh nosh extravaganza from cheese-obsessed Blur bassist Alex James hosts top chefs including Prue Leith, Raymond Blanc, Mark Hix, Daniel Clifford, and music from Elbow, Jess Glynn, Lewis Capaldi, Fun Lovin’ Criminals, Nina Nesbitt and The Zutons. There’s various camping options with glamping bolt-ons and lots of fun for the kiddos too, including appearances by PJ Masks, Paw Patrol, Peppa Pig & George and Justin Fletcher (Mr Tuuuumbleee).

thebigfeastival.com

 

WELLBEING: MammerTime Day Retreat, Kintbury West Berkshire, Wed 14 Aug

Frazzled mums rejoice! If the school summer holidays are taking their toll, or you’re in an endless cycle of sleepness nights and nappy changes, call time out. MammerTime Day Retreat is coming to the rescue in the nick of time, with eight hours of R&R. A It’s a day dedicated to you – luxury beauty treatment, yoga class, delicious food (cooked by someone else), make up tips, business coaching, wine and more. Book up.

 

THEATRE

Kiss me Kate Watermill Newbury Berkshire musicians on stage woman violin man double bass trumpets flute and sax

Kiss Me Kate, The Watermill Newbury, now – Sat 21 Sep

From the BBC ballroom to the Watermill rehearsal studio, the talented Oti Mabuse is shaking her sequinned dance skills as choreographer of The Watermill’s latest production, Kiss Me Kate. Expect this Cole Porter classic to have all the razzle dazzle when its stars Olivier award-winner Rebecca Trehearn and David Ricardo take to stage this week.

watermill.org.uk

Wife Begins At Forty, Theatre Royal Windsor, Wed 1 – Sat 3 Aug

Mid-life and no return – like the brilliant 2012 movie This Is 40 starring Paul Rudd and Leslie Mann, Wife Begins At Forty could make for hilarious and uncomfortable viewing as a seemingly happily married couple are about to split, but not without hubby George’s drastic steps to rejuvenate relationship. The mind boggles.

theatreroyalwindsor.co.uk

Grimm Tales, South Hill Park Bracknell, Fri 23 Aug – Sun 1 Sep

First produced at the Young Vic Theatre in 1994 to critical acclaim, poet laureate Carol Ann Duffy’s adaptation of the Grimm brothers’ famous fairytales comes to life on stage at South Hill Park in Bracknell. From the family drama of Hansel and Gretel, to the touching tale of Cinderella, and other magical stories, Grimm Tales is one to see this summer suitable for ages 7+).

southhillpark.org.uk

The King’s Speech, Theatre Royal Windsor Tue 6 – Sat 10 Aug

Actors who take on The King’s Speech have mighty big shoes to fill after Colin Firth and Geoffrey Rush’s big screen performances. But before it reached Hollywood, it was a play, and here David Seidler’s writing gets a fresh chance to shine at the Theatre Royal  Windsor. The play brings the audience face to face with Bertie, Duke of York as he is thrust onto the world stage as King George VI following his brother’s abdication.

theatreroyalwindsor.co.uk

The 39 Steps, Theatre Royal Windsor, Mon 12 – Sat 17 Aug

A cultural rite of passage, Hitchcock’s comic-thriller, The 39 Steps, is an must-see classic – screenwriter Robert Towne (Mission Impossible) even claims, “All contemporary escapist entertainment begins with The 39 Steps.”A cast of four will take on all the roles as handsome hero Richard Hannayencounters dastardly murders, double-crossing secret agents, and devastatingly beautiful women. It’s fast, funny and farcical.

theatreroyalwindsor.co.uk

 

COUNTRYLIFE

Wellington Country Fair and Horse Trials Pimms Buss

Wellington Country Fair and Horse Trials, Highfield Farm Heckfield, Sat 24 – Mon 26 Aug

If you love things that are a little bit country, a little bit rock ‘n’ roll, then we reckon this is going to be right up your street. It’s a country fair with family fun front and centre. No experience of horses, Hunter wellies or Barbor jackets necessary, it’s just an awesome day out, with live music, brilliant food and drinks stalls, shopping and our four-legged friends competing for best in show. Kids go FREE and we have we quote MUDDYB2019 for buy one get one free adult tickets.

wellington-riding.co.uk

BBC Countryfile Live, Blenheim Palace Woodstock, Thu 1 – Sun 4 Aug

The Countryfile crew will be on hand throughout the weekend along with some special guests including SAS hottie Ollie Ollerton, England rugby player James Haskell, JLS’ JB Gill and England hockey player Sam Quek. There’ll be heaps of activities across the long weekender with a pop-up nature reserve, theatre hosted by the National Trust, dog show, kayaking lessons, offloading experiences and more. You can camp too (erm, I’ll give that bit a miss).

countryfilelive.com

The Henley Country Craft Show, Stonor Park, Henley, Fri 23 – Mon 26 Aug

Ready to get crafty? Stonor Park’s gorgeous grounds host this family friendly craft show with outdoor marquees filled with up to 200 stalls selling handmade jewellery, homewares, clothing and more. Snaffle a bargain, then head over to the artisan food and drink stalls to stuff your face. There’ll also be live music, a vintage fair and new for 2019, a pop-up petting zoo, clay pigeon shooting, candle making and weaving workshops.

thecraftshows.co.uk

 

ART & EXHIBITIONS

Brick City, The Base Greenham Common now – Sun 8 Sep

Don’t want to fork out £100 on Legoland tickets? Muddy Award-winning The Base in Greenham Common is putting on some brilliant exhibitions, the latest is Brick City, a mini collection of iconic Lego brink buildings by artist Warren Elsmore, from New York’s skyscrapers and gondolas in Venice to medieval Japanese castles and Las Vegas. Pop to the Brick Den afterwards to to the Brick Den and create your own masterpiece.

thebasegreenham.co.uk

Bears, Rivers and Rowing Museum Henley On Thames

The lovely River and Rowing Museum, in Henley, has a new children’s exhibition Bears! where kids can learn about history’s favourite teddies – Rupert, Winnie the Pooh and friends – as well as explore original artwork and manuscripts from We’re Going on a Bear HuntThe Bear and The Piano and Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials. Every Fri during the hols there’ll be bear-themed games and crafts in the galleries, and on 8 Aug, there’ll be a Teddy Bear’s Picnic.

Counterpoint, Stanley Spencer Gallery Cookham, now – 28 Nov

A celebration of British creativity and originality, Counterpoint is a collection of works by legendary local artist Stanley Spencer and his contemporaries. Amongst those represented are: Barnett Freedman, C.R.W. Nevinson, Edward Burra, Mark Gertler, William Roberts, Jacob Epstein and Henri Gaudier-Brzeska.

stanleyspencer.org.uk

 

MUSIC

British singer Rota Ora bobbed hair black top arms stretched above her head on pink background

Shergar Cup and Concert, Ascot Racecourse, Sat 10 Aug

Like an older, sensible sibling, Royal Ascot, is fun but familiar, whereas the Shergar Cup, with its four-hour party in the paddock, is its trailblazing younger sister, scorching the racecourse turf. It’s fast becoming one of the events of the summer season and with Jessie J headlining this year, followed by a DJ set from Tinie Temper. Advance tickets from £49, under 18s are.

ascot.co.uk

Battle Proms, Highclere Castle, Sat 3 Aug

Who needs the Royal Albert Hall when you have Highclere Castle Battle Proms. Pack up the hampers and champers, drape yourself in a Union Jack and party in the park to the Land Of Hope And Glory, Jerusalem plus a Spitfire display to Elgar’s Nimrod, The Red Devils parachute team freewill demo and groundshaking live fire from over 200 cannons!

www.battleproms.com

Classic Ibiza & Ministry of Sound, Windsor Racecourse, Sat 10 Aug

Beautiful sunset, balmy 30 degrees, overpriced vodka & tonic and a cracking choon – nope, not your typical night in San Antonio, put your hands in the air for Windsor’s answer to the White Island. The Urban Soul Orchestra conducted by Stephen Hussey will banging out th Ibiza anthems, with live DJ and vocalists. Bare some flesh and party till dawn (*cough* I mean 10pm) – He Maj needs her beauty sleep.

windsor-racecourse.co.uk

Madness – Live After Racing, Newbury Racecourse, Sat 17 Aug

Hot on the heels of Tom Jones’s gig at Newbury Racecourse, we’re going back to 80s with Madness. Welcome to the house of fun… as Suggs and his ska band take to the stage to belt out classic hits like Our House, Baggy Trousers and It Must Be Love. Warning! Madness dance moves can resemble a drunk uncle at a wedding. Just give them space, people.

newburyracecourse.co.uk

Rita Ora – Live After Racing, Windsor Racecourse, Sat 24 Aug

Singing sauce pot Rita Ora will play Live After The Racing at Windsor Racecourse this month. With a staggering 7 million singles sold, Rita has produced 13 top 10 singles and a no.1 platinum-selling debut album. It’s safe to say she’s all set for her gig on Sat 24 Aug.

windsor-racecourse.co.uk

 

OUTDOOR THEATRE:

two actors wearing hats performing play Cliveden National Trust grounds

National Trust Cliveden Taplow, Sat 3, Tue 13 – Fri 30 Aug

The beautiful oriental-inspired garden with its six-sided Chinese pagoda is the setting for this year’s theatrical offerings at the ever elegant Cliveden Water Garden. Bring a picnic or purchase nibbles from The Doll’s House cafe and enjoy Gangsta Granny on Tue 13 Aug, based on the brilliant comedy book by David Walliams. More LOLs this time, courtesy of Jerome K Jerome’s Three Men In A Boat on Sat 3 Aug and Noel Coward’s classic comedy, Private Lives on Fri 30 Aug.

nationaltrust.org.uk

 

Alice In Wonderland, Shaw House Newbury, Mon 12 Aug

Make mine a double gin and I’ll happily disappear down a rabbit hole into the trippy world of Alice in Wonderland. Your kids will love it for entirely different reasons. The outdoor theatre at Shaw House is always a hit, so book in or the Red Queen will be “frumious”.

westberkshireheritage.org

 

Savill Garden Windsor, Thu 22 – Sun 25 Aug

Savill Garden is probably the prettiest backdrops to stage the Jane Austen classic Pride & Prejudice – plenty of places for Elizabeth Bennett to roam and a lake (should it be required)  for a Colin Firth-style wet shirt (Thu 22 Aug). If you fancy a belter from the Bard, Midsummer Night’s Dream will be performed on Fri 23 Aug, followed by Treasure Island on Sat 24 Aug and The Secret Garden on Sun 25 Aug. You might want to take antihistamine, it’s gonna play havoc with your hay fever.

windsorgreatpark.co.uk

 

Shakespearean Rose Theatre, Blenheim Palace now – Sat 7 Sep

There’s Europe’s first pop-up Shakespearean theatre at Blenheim Palace, Woodstock above – the 13-sided theatre, with three tiers of covered seating and open courtyard for ‘groundlings’ is showing MacbethA Midsummer Night’s DreamRichard III and Romeo & Juliet (until 7 Sept) and will be accompanied by a Shakespearean Village selling local ales, ice cream and side shows.

 

SPORT

People partying at a festival throwing bright coloured powder in the air

 

Tour De Berkshire, Cottage Inn Upper Bucklebury, Sat 3 Aug

Who needs the Bore de France when we have the Tour de Berkshire? Yes, Colombian Egan Bernal has been crowned the youngest winner in Paris, but surely his next, and even greater, challenge should be a cycling tour of West Berkshire pubs. Raising funds for Cystic Fibrosis Trust, squeeze into your Lycra and wheeze your way around this 20 mile loop – there are shortcuts. Wink wink.

tourddeberkshire.co.uk

 

Thames Punting Championships, Maidenhead Rowing Club Taplow, Sun 11 Aug
What happens when a gentle punt down the River Thames gets competitive? Well, armed with a long pole and narrow boat there is a high probability of someone getting wet. Load up on Cornettos and head to the riverbank to see enthusiastic punters giving it their all. Fun starts at 10am downstream from Brunel’s famous railway bridge.

punting.org.uk

 

Colour Rush, Prospect Park Reading, Sun 31 Aug

Become a family of unicorns with a 5K Colour Rush fun run in aid of Sue Ryder Hospice. As someone who looks like a raspberry after a run, I’m thinking that becoming a walking or running rainbow could be a bonus. Suitable for all ages and abilities, so colour crazy before and say bye bye to summer.

 

Reading Dragon Boat Festival, Thames Valley Park Nature Reserve Reading, Sun 18 Aug

Fancy paddling a boat to the beat of a drum? Enter your crew (max 20 people) and race your Chinese style dragon boat with a drummer at the helm at this popular spot in Thames Valley Park Nature Reserve. No previous experience is needed so be prepared to get wet. Or you assume the position of spectator, hit the bar, BBQ and scream if your wanna go faster on the fun fair rides.

readingdragonboatfestival.co.uk

 

Englefield 10K, Englefield Estate, Sun 25 Aug

Ugh! After an almighty all-inclusive holiday blow out, I’m trying to run again. This weekend is the Englefield 10k – in the beautiful setting of Englefield Estate near Theale– and the organisers are celebrating 10 years with, er, some sections of the course run in reverse. As if the multi-terrain course is not hard enough. Gates open at 9.15am, races starts at 11am. £14 in advance, £18 on the day. Under 15s can do 3.5k. Shall we? I will, if you will (maybe next year).
englefieldrun.info

 

OUTDOOR CINEMA

 

Top Gun, Douai Pavilion Woolhampton, Sat 24  Aug

I feel the need, the need for speed! Tom Cruise, Kelly McGillis, Anthony Edwards and Meg Ryan star in this 1986 classic. Great soundtrack, gratuitous volleyball scene. Hmmm. Don’t deny yourself a night with Mav and Goose – they’ve got that loving feeling. If Tom before he had his teeth done and discovered Scientology, floats your boat, book up. It’s a fab family day out with food, fully loaded bar and the perfect film night. Tickets on sale now.

 

Bohemian Rhapsody, Shaw House Newbury, Fri 2 Aug

Another stonking location! This time we’re off to Shaw House in Newbury for Mary Poppins Returns, starring Emily Blunt riding fairground ponies and dancing across London’s rooftops. Too saccharine for your tastes? Then there’s always the brilliant Remi Malek as Freddie Mercury in Bohemian Rhapsody

 

Stubbings Nursery Maidenhead, Sat 3 – Sun 4 Aug

Steven Spielberg’s epic dinosaur blockbuster, is back on the big screen. If you have dino mad kids, or want to enjoy a nostalgia fest with Jeff Goldblum and the late, great Richard Attenborough, book in to see Jurassic Park at Stubbings Nursery this summer. If the giant, angry lizard creatures don’t grab you, there’s always another opportunity to see Bohemian Rhapsody. Doors open at 7pm, film starts at 8.45pm.

 

Cobbs Farm Hungerford, Sat 10 Aug

If you’re longing for a cinematic cheesefest, Mamma Mia! (the one without Cher) should do the trick on Sat 10 August. Stunning countryside location, the grill will be fired up, bar’s open and then clear your throat and practice your high notes for an Abba-fest. Doors open 7pm, film starts at 9.15pm.

 

Abbey Ruins Reading, Wed 21 – Fri 23 Aug

Still catching up on the Oscar-winning films? Me too, Green Book snagged the top honours, and has been massively criticised for the win. It tells the true story of an unlikely friendship between racist white driver Tony Lip (Viggo Mortensen) and black pianist Dr Don Shirley (Mahershala Ali). It’s accused of sugar-coating racism, so is it a worthy winner? You decide. If you fancy collecting gong-winning films, A Star Is Born is being shown on Thu 22 Jun and celebrating 25 years of running and Bubba Gump Shrimp, Tom Hanks will be back as the loveable Forrest Gump. Gaaaad I love that film. Doors open at 7pm, film starts at 8.30pm.

 

FAMILY FUN

Wellington Country Park kids play area brand new Pirates Ship wooden adventure play area Berkshire family attraction

 

Summer of Fun, Wellington Country Park Riseley, throughout Aug

Let your littlies let off steam at Wellington Country Park near Reading. With 350 glorious acres to explore, adventure playground, splash pad and themed weeks – pirates and mermaids, unicorns, fairies and pixies, dinosaurs, and a bouncy castle bonanza – it’s a guaranteed hit for those with younger children.

welliington-country-park.co.uk

 

T Rex Experience, The Lexicon Bracknell, Fri 2 –  Sun 26 Aug

Get set for a rooooooaaarsome August. The Lexicon Bracknell will become Berkshire’s answer to Jurassic Park, as the UK’s largest animatronic dinosaur (18m long and 8m tall) comes to life. Turn back time and head out on a Dino Hunt, attend Dino School, storytelling, there’s special screenings of the Steven Spielberg pre-historic classics and more.

thelexiconbracknell.com

 

Aliens Love Underpants, Corn Exchange Newbury, Fri 2 – Sun 4 Aug

The headline family theatre show this summer is Aliens Love Underpants showing at the Corn Exchange Newbury. Based on the bestselling children’s book by Claire Freedman and Ben Cort, you’ll laugh your pants off at this fantastically fresh and funny production.

cornexchangenew.com

 

Kite Workshop, Norden Farm Maidenhead, 11 and 18 August

Parent like your Mary Poppins and get involved in kite making. Should keep the mudlets busy for a bit. The Community Kite Project is running a drop in workshop at Norden Farm so you and your kids can create a Patang Kite – the Indian Fighter Kite – or a classic Trapezoid Kite. Make it, decorate and fly it at the Kite Festival in Boyn Grove Park on Sun 1 Sep. Workshops are also running Sat 11 and 18 Aug. Altogether now… Let’s go fly a kite, up to highest heights… Too much?

norden.farm

 

Maize Maze, Bucklebury Farm Park, Sat 20 Jul – 30 Sep

If you’re looking for covert and creative ways to lose your kids for a five minutes over the school holidays, there’s always Bucklebury Farm Park’s Maize Maze. New for 2019, your kids will run wild, answer clues and discover the homes of Stanley the Stag, Freddie Fox, Mary Mouse and Ola Owl.

buckleburyfarmpark.co.uk

 

The Maidenhead Beach, Norden Farm Maidenhead, now – Sun 31 Aug

This way to the beach. And no it doesn’t involve a motorway queue, windbreaker or an umbrella. Norden Farm’s sandpit of fun is open for business. Head to Maidenhead with the kids. They can enjoy this laid back tropical Goan paradise, fun activities, an indoor sensory space while you say kick back at the Beachside cafe. It’s totes freeee and open from 10am-4pm.

norden.farm

 

Bouncy Summer Fun, Saddleback Farm Shop Brightwalton, Sat 24– Mon 26 Aug

One more week, people. Breathe deep, and panic not. Saddleback Farm Shop will help them burn off some energy, and bounce into the summer holidays with a fun weekend. Set in beautiful open countryside, there will be bouncy castles, giant sandpit, face painting and a Jude’s ice cream stand. Perfect for a heatwave. You get to sit in rural splendour and enjoy the view.

saddlebackfarmshop.co.uk

 

COMEDY

comedian bill bailey bald head beard and green map background

 

Bill Bailey: Larks In Transit, The Hexagon Reading, Fri 30 Aug

From the Far East to Reading, Bill Bailey’s hilarious observations of two decades as a travelling comedian with music, storytelling and banter has kept audiences from Vietnam to Shanghai in stitches and now its Reading’s turn.

readingarts.com

 

Comedy In The Bewery, Windsor & Eton Brewery, Sat 3 August

Comedy + beer – what could possibly go wrong? Head to the factory floor of Windsor & Eton Brewery for a unique night of laughs and heckling as four up and coming circuit comics take to the stage. Dinesh Nathan, James Ellis, Red Richardson and Matt Smith will be bringing the craft comedy, the brewery’s got the craft beers nailed, you just need to bring the laughs. Doors at 7pm Comedy starts at 8pm.

brewerycomedy.com

 

FOOD & DRINK

Wine glasses with white wine Grapesmith wine tasting

 

Friday pop up bar, Douai Pavillion Woolhampton, Fri 2 Aug

Picture the scene: balmy summer evenings, unspoilt countryside, kids happily playing games without the need for you to referee the perpetual bickering, while you enjoy a blissful Friday night sundowner. This utopia is a reality at the Summer Pop Up Bar at Douai Pavillion in Woolhampton. Running every Friday night from 6pm, it’s a great place for the whole family to let off steam. Winner!

birchassociates.co.uk 

 

FURTHER AFIELD

CULTURE: Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Edinburgh, Fri 2 – Mon 26 Aug 

Singer Songwriter Jarvis Cocker tweed jacket black speccs

Edinburgh’s cultural fandango kicks off this month and is well worth the trip way (way, way) up north with the whole city buzzing with creativity, comedy, theatre, arts, crafts and street performances. Far too many shows to list in detail (over 1,200 groups perform across the city each day!) but highlights include Ian Stirling (of Love Island voiceover fame), Russell Howard, Frank Skinner and Jarvis Cocker, plus loads more familiar faces. Full programme here.

 

NEW EXHIBITION: Sweet Harmony: Rave exhibition, Saatchi Gallery, West London, until 14 Sept 

Photo by Dave Swindells

Rave on! This new photo exhibition explores the new world that emerged from the acid house movement in the ’80s and ’90s and the beginnings of rave culture. Photographers Tom Hunter, Vinca Petersen and Dave Swindells will be on hand at the Saatchi Gallery to explain the stories behind their iconic shots.

saatchigallery.com

85

ONGOING EXHIBITIONS

Exhibitions still on the go this month include a collection of Manolo Blahnik‘s work curated by the iconic shoe designer himself at The Wallace Collection (until Sun 1 Sept). Also on the fashion front is the Mary Quant retrospective at the V&A (Muddy’s been, it’s really cool), featuring over 200 of the seminal ’60s designer’s pieces (until 16 Feb). Or, also at the V&A is the largest House of Dior collection ever staged in the UK, a handful of tickets for evening slots have been added so snaffle quick if you want to go as it’s super popular (until 1 Sept).

Keith Haring Other exhibitions include the family-friendly Beasts of London, at the Museum of London, a fully immersive, digital installation exploring the role animals have played in the shaping of London with the likes of Kate Moss, Brian Blessed and Pam Ferris voicing the animals which are brought to life using video projection mapping; the major Van Gogh show at Tate Britain with over 45 of the artist’s famous works including Starry Night on the Rhône and Sunflowers; if you’re heading up north, check out the  Keith Haring exhibition at Tate Liverpool, a legend on the ’80s graffiti, pop art and underground club culture scene, the exhibit features 85 works including large-scale paintings, posters, photos and video. Very cool.

 

DAY TRIP: Dragon Slayer, Warwick Castle, various dates in Aug

Looking for something to entertain kids aged 8+? This is Warwick Castle’s first night-time experience telling the tale of 10th century warrior Guy as he battles monsters and dragons in a bid to gain a knighthood and win the heart of his one true love Princess Felice, daughter of the Earl of Warwick. It’s an explosive epic tale depicted over the course of an evening using live action, animation, equestrian acrobatics, fire and pyrotechnics. Boom! There’s also the regular birds of prey demos, the mighty trebuchet, archery and ramparts to rampage for day time fun.

warwick-castle.com

 

FAMILY FUN: Zip Now London, Archbishops Park, Lambeth, until Sun 15 Sep

Is it a bird? Is it a plane? Nope it’s a human torpedo whizzing down a 738ft wire, 100ft (9 double decker buses!) above Archbishop’s Park at 50mph. Beats the tube any day of the week. What we’ll do to avoid our faces been wedged in someone’s sweaty armpit. Get yourself down to South Bank, climb to the top the tower and wheeeeeeee. Suitable from 8+.

zip-now.co

 

THEATRE: Kids Week, various London locations, throughout August

Everyone's Talking About Jamie cast dancing in scholl uniform on stage

This August, children aged 16 or under can get FREE theatre tickets to selected performances across London (when  accompanied by a paying adult). There is a huuuge selection of shows to choose from including Peter Pan at The White City Theatre, which features spectacular aerial acrobatics, live music from an on-stage band – and no shortage of magic and mischief.  Hop over to the Theatre Royal Haymarket, Where Is Peter Rabbit? comes to life on stage with beautifully handcrafted puppets for 5+ year olds. Or for older kids, Everybody’s Talking About Jamie at the Apollo Theatre is a modern-day fairytale, based on the true story of a 16 year-old with a secret to tell – and aspirations to make true.

officiallondontheatre.com

 

FAMILY FUN: Underbelly Festival, London

There’s loads going on between Southbank Centre, Jubilee Gardens and the London Eye this summer, part of Underbelly Festival, including comedy, circus, cabaret, family fun and one of the biggest outdoor bars in London (oh hello!). The big draw for the little people is CBeebies’ Twirlywoos first ever stage show (3 – 31 Aug) featuring your 1+ year old’s favourite spherical characters Toodloo, Great BigHoo, Chickedy and Peekaboo (nope, me neither), plus live puppetry and songs. It will be nice for them to watch something on stage, rather than the telly, right?

underbellyfestival.com

 

OUTDOOR CINEMA: Film4 Summer screen, Somerset House, London, throughout Aug

If you can make it into London, head for the popular Film4 Summer Screen at Somerset House. Featuring a mixture of premiers, old classics and recent hits, the venue’s fountain courtyard is a corker of a setting on a balmy summers evening in the capital. This year’s highlights include The Matrix on 12 Aug, 7pm (who saw Hollywood hottie Keanu Reeves in the latest YSL campaign?), horror/sci-fi back to back of Get Out & They Live (17 Aug, 7pm), cult classic Clueless (18 Aug, 7pm) and Film4Summer’s 200th screening which will be celebrated with Ryan Coogler’s Oscar-winning, superhero spectacular Black Panther (9 Aug, 7pm).

somersethouse.org.uk

 

BOOK NOW

CULTURE: Henley Literary Festival – featuring Muddy Stilettos Book Club Live, Phyllis Court, Henley, Sat 5 Oct 

It’s back, baby! We’re returning to Henley Lit Fest (28 Sept – 6 Oct) this year with lashings of wine, plenty of pizzazz and a panel of brilliant authors: actor, Celebrity Master Chef winner and Meant to Be author Lisa Faulkner, former deputy editor of ELLE and How to be a Gentlewoman author Lotte Jeffs, and Five Steps to Happy debut novelist Ella Dove. More info here. Get your tickets pronto, last year was a sell out.

henleyliteraryfestival.co.uk

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