This month – January
MUDDY’S PICK OF THE MONTH
FILM: Banff Film Festival, The Hexagon Reading, 29 Jan
Adrenaline fuelled while sitting. This is an opportunity to see a brand-new collection of jaw-dropping short films from the world’s most prestigious mountain film festival. Witness epic human-powered feats and mind-blowing cinematography as the best adventure film-makers and explorers push themselves to the limits in the most remote and stunning corners of the globe.
The Comedy Cellar, South Hill Park Bracknell, 10 Jan
The Comedy Cellar at South Hill Park launched the careers of many top comedians – Al Murray, Eddie Izzard, Greg Davies, Sarah Millican, Micky Flanagan, Katherine Ryan, Jack Whitehall and Russell Howard. The list is long. Now in its 32nd year, it’s the longest running comedy club in the UK outside of London and continues to showcase the best new and established acts every Friday. Book up.
Comedy Club, Corn Exchange Newbury, 10 Jan
It’s fair to say we could all do with a laugh in January. The Corn Exchange Comedy Club as Avalon (who represent all the big names and talented newcomers) presents some of the best newcomers in the funny biz. This month’s line up is Lou Sanders (headline), Naz Osmanoglu , Tania Edwards, Luke Kempner (MC).
Jimmy Carr: Terribly Funny, Theatre Royal Windsor, 19 Jan
Having political correctness at a comedy show is like having health and safety at a rodeo. Not for the easily offended, but definitely for anyone who loves the LOLs. Jimmy’s brand new stand-up show contains jokes about all kinds of terrible things. Terrible things that might have affected you or people you know and love. You’ve been warned.
John Luke Roberts, South Street Arts Reading, 31 Jan
Possibly the longest show name in history – After Me Comes the Flood (But in French) drip splosh splash drip BLUBBP BLUBBP BLUBBPBLUBBPBLUBBP!! – courtesy of critically acclaimed idiot John-Luke Roberts (pictured above). In a brand-new hour of extraordinary daft-hearted comedy, expect to not know why you are laughing once more…even when he gives you the punchline first.
New Year, New Intentions Yoga Workshop, Oh So Yoga Aborfield, 4 Jan
Eaaaaaaase yourself in to 2020 with a two-hour workshop that will set you on a path of blissed out wellbeing. Muddy award-winning Oh So Yoga’s New Year New Intensions Yin & Nidra will offer a combo of 90 mins mindful deep rest yin yoga and 30 mins yoga nidra (guided lying down meditation) and great for stress. Lots of goodness while lying down. And there’s cake. Where do I sign up?
Blindfold Yoga Workshop, Inspire Hot Yoga Maidenhead
More Eyes Wide Shut that your average yoga workshop, but Inspire Hot Yoga’s Blindfold Yoga Workshop is a sensory experience that will blow your mind. Blindfolded yoga is a unique experience that will heighten your senses and help you find faith within yourself. Slip on your blindfold, release your inhibitions and you’ll discover that all you need is YOU!
Mojo Blast – Take Life, Work and Creativity To The Next Level, Wasing Wellbeing Aldermaston, 10 Jan
Need to turn down the volume of life? Coach and mentor Jamie Catto – who The Daily Telegraphslapped a warning on as a manwho could blow your mind – will help you explore down-to-earth processes for waking up that fire in our bellies, to energise ourselves and rediscover the optimism and sense of possibility.
Inspired Day Retreat, Inspire Hot Yoga Maidenhead
After the craziness of Christmas reward your efforts and do something for you. Book a day off and enjoy some well-deserved Me Time. The Inspired Day Retreat will take you off to a stunning country house location with the focus on rejuvenating, renewing & reviving with yoga, massage, delicious food and down time.
Make 2020 Our Happiest Year Yet, FastTrack Fit Camp, Hilton St Anne’s Wokingham, Sat 4 Jan
It’s time to drag yourself off the sofa, ditch the overly ambitious resolutions and focus on YOU. Heidi Strickland-Clark of FastTrack Fit Camp is running an event that helps you see through the fog and focuses on the positives, helping you see what’s holding you back, why and what you can do about it – from sound and colour, brain and body, food, fitness and sleep. Space is limited, book up – £25pp.
FILM: Downton Abbey The Movie, Hurley House Maidenhead, 21 Jan
Carson, be a doll and top up the Champers and pass the popcorn? While Lady Mary’s getting jiggy with the latest aristo upstairs, you cna settle in for a fancy film night at Hurley House Hotel for Downton Abbey The Movie. If you book in for dinner, you get complimentary tickets, alternatively there’s wine, a cheese box or popcorn on offer.
Circus of Horrors, The Hexagon Reading, 26 Jan
Warning! This show contains nuts. This is no PG family fun, Circus of Horrors – which began at the 1995 Glastonbury Festival – is a the sort of show you’ll watch through your fingers and require a stiff drink in the interval. Expect nudity, fruity language and freaky fun.
The Cat & Canary, Theatre Royal Windsor, 15-21 Jan
The Theatre Royal Windsor always kick off the new year with a thriller. It’s like a theatrical shock therapy to wake us from our Christmas coma. This year it’s The Cat & Canary and it stars the legendary cinematic blonde bombshell Britt Eckland. There are other actors but I can’t remember ant of their names, because quite frannkly we’re seeing this John Willard black comedy for Britt.
Common Salt, The Museum of English Rural Life Reading, 29 Jan
Show and tell theatre, it’s a thing. Well it is now. Common Salt is a theatrical performance that takes place around a table while exploring the colonial, geographical history of England and India. Time travel without leaving your seat, as a ‘home museum’ of objects and stories are played out in front of you.
The Elvis Years: The Story of the King, Theatre Royal Windsor, 26 Jan
If you get all shook up by Elvis, then rifle through your knicker drawer for the smallest pants you own because the King is coming to Windsor (Don’t panic Her Maj is alive and well). The Elvis Years is a musical production telling the compelling story of Elvis Presley with nostalgic film footage, and over 12 costume changes. We’re in for the rhinestones.
Beyond the Barricade, Corn Exchange Newbury, 23 Jan
One for jazz handers, musical lovers and anyone who loves a catchy show tune, Beyond The Barricade is a toe tapping celebration of the best of Broadway and the West End. The UK’s longest running musical theatre concert tour features past principal performers from Les Mis.
Matchbook Clarence House Chase Raceday, Ascot Racecourse, Sat 19 Jan
Love a day at the races but can’t wait for Royal Ascot? Saddle up for a January raceday with a little less pomp and ceremony (ok a lot less), but the fashion is fabulous (coats, faux fur and boots) and you can have a little flutter to spend on the totally unnecessary shoes you have seen in the sales.
Royal Ballet Live: Sleeping Beauty, Live UK cinema broadcast, 16 Jan
If your bank account doesn’t stretch to a night at the Royal Opera House right now, no need to miss out on Sleeping Beauty. Disappear into a sea of tulle and Tchaikovsky’s score for the Royal Ballet’s critically acclaimed ballet, broadcast live from Covent Garden on 16Jan. See you at the barre.
Russian State Ballet: Swan Lake and Sleeping Beauty, The Hexagon Reading, 21-22 Jan
Double bubble at The Hexagon this month as the Russian State perform not one but two ballets – Swan Lake and Sleeping Beauty. You’ll be transported from the impressive splendour of the Palace ballroom to the moon-lit lake where swans glide in perfect formation. Not to be missed.
Bolshoi Live: Giselle, UK cinema broadcast, 26 Jan
Pack away your faux fur, Moscow’s sub zero temperatures are not coming to Berks, but the Bolshoi is. If you love culture, seeing the Russians perform at the Bolshoi Theatre should be on your bucket list. They’re broadcasting Giselle Live this month and you’ll get front row seats.
Learn the Art of Candle Making, Swan At Streatley, 30 Jan
We love a scented candle at Muddy but it’s become something of an addiction – a pricey one at that. So a candle-making workshop sounds like a great idea. Run by Justine – the creative genius behind Newbury-based Literati and Light – you’ll learn to make a 240g soy and beeswax candle, with a scent inspired by literature.
Basic Bike Repair and Maintenance, Pankhurst Cycles Pangbourne, 15 Jan
Riding a bike maybe easy but can you repair one? Nah, me neither. Not a scooby. Pankhurst to the rescue with a women only workshop covering the basics – fixing punctures, chains, cleaning your bike, adjusting your brakes and gears and other useful tips to enjoy your rides more! Places are limited, so ensure you secure your place before 6 January 2020. First come, first served.
Pastel Portraits, The Base Greenham Common, 23 Jan
Hankering to learn a new skill, pastel portraits might just float your boat. Join artist Mandy Monkcom for a step by step workshop on how to create a portrait with soft pastels and pastel pencils on toned paper. There’s a list of basic kit you’ll need to bring, but I’m thinking next year’s Christmas presents, sorted.
The Servants’ Ball, The Museum of English Rural Life Reading, 30 Jan
Party like you’ll below stairs. The Servants’ Ball had a long tradition in the country house estates, a cultural melting pot of popular music and dance tunes. Party like it’s 1920 at the Museum of Rural English Life.
New Year’s Day Concert, Norden Farm Maidenhead, 1 Jan
Pop a couple of Ibruprofen and enjoy the sounds of a classical musical concert. Norden Farm’s annual sell out concert returns for the 19th and final year. Expect everything from Handel’s Water Music Suite to Vivaldi, Bach and more.
The Vinyl Frontier: Greatest Hits Album Championships, Norden Farm Maidenhead, 25 Jan
It’s the vinyl countdown: 8 contestants bring their fave Greatest Hits LP to battle it out to be crowned 2020 Vinyl Frontier Album Champion. The audience chooses the winner of each round. Come and have a go if you think you’re muso enough. Join host Jeff Lloyd for an evening of music, trivia and fun!
HERITAGE AND NATIONAL TRUST
All That Sparkles: Memories of Coronation Day, Windsor Castle, 4 Jan
Too much for January? This was just like my New Year’s Eve outfit. And no it wasn’t fancy dress. You can get the look too, as Windsor Castle is running an art workshop celebrating The Queen’s Coronation where you can make your own Crown Jewels and older family members can add their memories of Coronation Day to Windsor Castle’s memory wall.
Winter Walk, National Trust Cliveden, throughout 2020
If you’ve been cooped up for days at the relis or nursing a monumental NYE hangover, pop some pills get some fresh air at Cliveden. There’s s stonking 375 acres of gardens, woodland and riverside walks to explore. Plus the hotel is on hand for a coffee or hair of the dog.
Winter Walk, Basildon Park Lower Basildon,
West Berkshire’s National Trust belter is a great place for walkies, with stride outs that are gentle for the hungover to challengind stomps for the smugly sober and over eager. If you’f like to pick the brains of the pros, join the Park’s ranger on 13 Jan for a Tree ID stroll and play nature’s answer to spot the difference.
Sleepover Ghost Hunt, Shaw House Newbury, 11 Jan
Like a real life Christmas Carol, head to the very haunted Shaw House in Newbury for a ghostly sleepover. You can stay the night, take part in a Ouija board or seance (optional) and roam the house with your paranormal pals. Watch out for the ghosts of past, present and future.
Christmas At Windsor, Windsor Castle, now – Sun 9 Dec
Something a little spesh at Windsor Castle. No, Meghan and Kate will not be scrapping on the steps of St George’s Chapel. Ogle the 200ft tree from Windsor Great Park and, this year, to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the births of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, the Octagon Dining Room will feature a special display of gifts exchanged between the royal couple during the many Christmases they spent together at the castle.
Windsor Winter 5K, 10K, 15K, Half, Dorney Lake Eton, 11 Jan
If you’re on of those smug people who has managed to keep on running despite the wine and cheese tempting you to fall off the wagon – good on you. You might be interested in shifting unwanted Crimho pounds with a easy peasy 13-mile Sunday jog. I’ll see you at the start line… one day.
Slough New Year 5K & 10K, Black Park Country Park Slough, 19 Jan
Best foot forward and drag your cheese and wine stuffed bottom around Slough’s New Year 5K and 10K event around Black Park, Slough. It’s an undulating course, good for all abilities.
Runner of Azkaban, Greenham Common Newbury, 19 Jan
Seven-hour trail run, anyone? Not for the faint hearted or the breathless and unfit, but if you’re looking for a challenge, the Runner of Azkaban at RAF Greenham Common, could be the one for you.
Windsor Winter Duathlon, Dorney Lake Maidenhead, 11 Jan
It’s far to cold for swimming, so a duathlon could be just the ticket for the enthusiastic and easily bored. Run and ride around Dorney Lake – flat, fast and traffic free.
PANTOS & FESTIVE FAMILY SHOWS
Cinderella, The Hexagon Reading, now – 5 Jan
CBeebies megastar Justin Fletcher (aka Mr Tumble) is a Reading panto regular and he’ll be laying on the charm with a trowel as Cinderella’s perky Prince. Justin’s slapstick sidekick, Paul Morse, also returns as the dame, with a wardrobe that would make Karl Lagerfeld weep (literally). Reading’s mega panto is always a sell out, so wave your magic wand and book up pronto.
Aladdin, South Hill Park Bracknell, now – 4 Jan
Aladdin will be rubbing his lamp this year in Bracknell and dame Brad Clapson is up to his neck in laundry (I hear you) as Widow Twankey. South Hill Park always put on a fun, their creative staging is award-winning. Jump on that magic carpet and book your tickets pronto.
The Prince & The Pauper, Watermill Theatre Bagnor, now – 4 Jan
The Watermill Theatre is renowned for its high quality bookish Christmas shows – and this year it’s The Prince & The Pauper. It’s a superb alternative if you’re not a fan of panto. So don’t expect a camp, thigh slapping prince. Funny, fearless and brilliant family entertainment, it’s always a treat at Chrimbo.
Aladdin, Theatre Royal Windsor, now – 5 Jan
There’s a reason why families return to the Theatre Royal Windsor year after year. Filed under ‘classic cheesefest’, this year they’re putting on Aladdin. Windsor’s brilliant comedy duo, Kevin Cruise and Steven Blakeley are celebrating their 10th year in panto together at the Theatre Royal, so it’s guaranteed to be bigger and more bonkers than ever. Fans of ’80s nostalgia will be thrilled to hear that Paul Nicholas, Marti Webb and Basil Brush are joining the cast. Booooom booooooom!
Sleeping Beauty, Corn Exchange Newbury, now – 4 Jan
I got insanely drunk on my 18th birthday but Sleeping Beauty celebrated hers by pricking her finger on a spinning wheel and falling asleep for hundreds of years. Bummer, eh! Step up Nanny and the dream team as they battle to save the day. Will they defeat the evil fairy? Will love conquer all? You know the drill.