MUDDY’S PICK OF THE MONTH
THEATRE: Madagascar The Musical, Hexagon Reading, Tue 19 – Sat 23 Feb
Yes, that is X-Factor winner Matt Terry in a lion suit – and you’re gonna hear him rooaaaaaarr. He’s finally escaped the talent show zoo (well it was a few years ago now) and is now on the prowl in theatres all over the UK in Madagascar The Musical. It’s a brilliant feel-good show, packed with all the crowd-pleasing choons. You got to move it, move it… and see this one while you can. I’ll get my coat.
THEATRE: Murder For Two, Watermill Theatre Newbury, now – Sat 23 Feb
I reviewed Murder For Two when it premiered at The Watermill last year, and after a run in London’s West End, this hilarious high-energy whodunit is back. Starring Ed MacArthur and Jeremy Legat, it’s a madcap murder mystery with a twist, a hysterical blend of music, mayhem and murder.
WALKS: Snowdrop Walks, Welford Park Newbury, now – Sun 3 Mar
It’s snowdrop time! Choose a dry-ish day and wander through drifts of snowdrops at Welford Park. Why Welford Park? It’s only got one the finest natural snowdrop woodlands in the chuffing country – four fabulous acres. Visit Wed-Sun (11am-4pm) until Sun 3 Mar. You can find more snowdrop walks here.
THEATRE; Rough Crossing, Theatre Royal Windsor, now – Sat 9 Feb
If you’ve been hibernating on the sofa, binge watching boxsets since the 1 Jan, drag your bottom off and get stuck into some cultcha. Rough Crossing, written by Tom Stoppard (yes, the fella who wrote Shakespeare in Love) and directed by Rachel Kavanagh (Wind In the Willows) returns to Windsor with EastEnders hottie John Partridge taking the lead role.
WELLBEING: Alternative Friday Night, Orchard Life Midgham, Fri 1 Feb
Spend your Friday nights flat on your back in a state of total bliss. And on this occasion, you won’t have emptied a bottle of wine. Friday nights have never looked so good… no, seriously, you’ll be polishing your halo after an evening with Laura of The Wellbeing Feeling’s deep reiki infused meditations, yoga nidra (yogic sleep) and a sound meditation.
COMEDY: Stephen K Amos: Bouquets and Brickbats, South Street Arts Reading, Fri 1 Feb – Sat 2 Feb
Brexit. Trump: things have been looking bleak. Comic maestro Stephen K Amos might not be able to provide bread to the hungry masses, but no one else is going to put on a better circus. Leave your problems behind and who knows? Maybe the world will seem just a little bit brighter.
FAMILIES: Charge The Castle, Windsor Castle, from Sat 2 Feb
Chaaaaaarge! Windsor Castle its under siege and it’s up to your mini knights to fight them off pronto. Don’t worry they’ll have all the gear – armour and weapons – and a bit of an idea (did someone say risk assessment?), leaving you time to wander off and swoon over the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s Wedding exhibition. It’s only on until 17 Feb. Charge The Castle is on every Saturday in Feb, and every day over half term.
MUSIC: The Vinyl Frontier: The White Album, Norden Farm Maidenhead, Sat 2 Feb
Calling all music nerds and Beatlemania babes! The Vinyl Frontier will be putting the Liverpool lads’ White Album under the spotlight to endure a thorough creative interrogation. Lots of chat, trivia and socialising with a musical masterpiece as your soundtrack for the evening.
SPORT: American Superslam Wrestling 2019, Hexagon Reading, Sun 3 Feb
Let’s get ready to rumble! I know, I know, but my boys love wrestling and I reckon this would be a great family treat. My knowledge stops short at Big Daddy but I’m assured American Superslam Wrestling featuring Love Island’s Adam Maxted (series 2, in case you’re wondering) all oiled up and in the tiniest lame pants. Just pray there are no re-enactments in the back of the car on the way home. Easy, Easy…
THEATRE: Circus of Horrors, Hexagon Reading, Mon 4 Feb
Circus of Horrors was the first act of its kind to make it to the Britain’s Got Talent finals and the first circus to appear in a West End Theatre for 100 years. Basically if Quentin Tarantino directed Cirque du Soleil it might look a it like this. There are Sword Swallowers, Fire Eaters, Cross Bow and Knife Throwing Ultra Vixens, Death Defying Aerialists, A Guinness World Record holding diva swinging solely from her hair. You get the picture. Grimly compelling.
THEATRE: Macbeth, South Hill Park Bracknell, Tue 5– Sat 9 Feb
Something wicked this way comes… and it’s not a hoody wearing yoof giving you attitude (just my kids then). Joe Maylan’s critically-acclaimed 2017 production of Shakespeare’s Macbeth returns to South Hill Park for more blood, violence and trouble than a Brexit meeting. If you love your theatre dark and dramatic (or you have a teen studying it), it’s an edge-of-your-seat stuff must-see.
MUSIC: Kaiser Chiefs, Hexagon Reading, Wed 6 Feb
I predict a riot… the Kaiser Chiefs will be raising the roof at The Hexagon Reading. There aren’t many tickets left, so snap em up and perhaps you can go for a Ruby, Ruby, Ruby, Ruby afterwards. Sorry, I couldn’t resist. If you miss the fellas in action, they’ll also be performing at Marlow’s Pub In The Park in May.
EXHIBITION: Performance Photography, Forbury Place Reading, Wed 6 – Sun 10 Feb
The power of performance is celebrated in this fab photographic exhibition from the drama and razzmatazz of the Rio Olympics and Paralympics to dance, cooking and studio art. We were all a bit bleary eyed staying up to watch Team GB going for gold. Beautiful Brazil, carnival spirit, caipirinha cocktails – it’s a blur, but it was a gift for photographers. Here’s your chance to see awesome images in the Performance exhibition at Forbury Place Reading.
COMEDY: Ken Cheng – Best Dad Ever, Norden Farm Reading, Thu 7 Feb
Maths nerd, professional poker player and winner of the Dave Joke of the Fringe in 2017 (it was a gag about a £1 coin… you had to be there), Ken Cheng is heading to Maidenhead following a sold out, award-nominated run at Edinburgh Festival. Ken find thee funny in his unique childhood, explores his obsession with toy lambs and his complicated relationship with his parents.
SPORT: Run for Chocolate, Kings Meadow Reading, Sun 10 Feb
Running lovers, the loved up and chocolate lovers too…this one’s for you! Brace yourself for a stampede – there’s just the little business of covering 5km before you get the sweet stuff. Walk, jog or run, simply pop on your trainers whizz round Reading and a warm luxury hot chocolate will be waiting for you at the finish line (and a giant bar of Galaxy too, just me then). The event is open to all ages and abilities, starts at 10am.
DANCE: 5 Soldiers, South Hill Park Bracknell, Tue 12 Feb
Attteeeeention! The award-winning 5 SOLDIERS is coming to Bracknell and it’s a must-see. Choreographer Rosie Kay joined the 4th Battalion The Rifles, to watch and participate in full battle exercises, and visited the National Defence Medical Rehabilitation Centre. What came of these observations was this production – stripping back the war effort to reveal the solders as humans and individuals.
THEATRE: Ian McKellan On Stage, Theatre Royal Windsor, Tue 12 – Wed 13 Feb
You shall not pass… without buying a ticket! The legendary Sir Ian McKellan celebrates is 80th birthday with performances in 80 theatres with his one-man show – with all proceeds going to local charities. This month he rocks up to make his debut at Windsor’s Theatre Royal, one minute you’ll have Gandalf on stage, the next you’ll probably be up there him. In-between there will be anecdotes and acting.
EAT OUT: Beer pairing taster menu, West Berkshire Brewery Taproom, Tue 12 Feb
There’s not much focus on the fellas when it comes to Valentine’s Day. A card, perhaps a small gift, but generally it’s all me me me. I’m not complaining. But West Berkshire Brewery Taproom is going the extra mile to pull together a five-course tasting menu paired eight West Berkshire Beers. A gentle whiff of testosterone, dontcha think? Sounds chuffing lush. They’re also showing Pretty Woman at their next film night on Tue 19 Feb.
EVENT: Circus of Screams, Forbury Gardens Reading, Sat 16 Feb, Sat 23 Feb, Sat 2 Mar
Roll up and race round Reading for A Circus of Screams – a three-hour Murder Mystery where you must find hidden evidence and catch a circus killer against the clock! The whole town becomes the set for this real-life whodunnit.Crack clues using their smartphones, converse with characters and find hidden evidence before the time runs out. Try not to kill each other in the process.
FILM: Evelyn, Vue Newbury, 17 Feb