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March 2020

MUDDY’S PICK OF THE MONTH

THEATRE: Girls Like That/ Women Like Us, South Hill Park Bracknell, 19 Mar

Girls Like That Play unflattering passport photo headshots of different women

In the wake of the powerful Be A Lady They Said video narrated by Cynthia Nixon, the timing of South Hill Park’s Girls Like That/ Women Like Us play is spot on. Exploring the pressures faced by young women in the wake of advancing technology, when a naked photograph of Scarlett goes viral, rumours run wild and everyone forms an opinion, Scarlett just stays silent…

 

THEATRE

Some mothers for ave em Joe Pasquale

Bang Bang, Theatre Royal Windsor, 9-14 Mar

John Cleese makes his stage writing debut at the grand age of 80 with a comedy that blends French Farce with Fawlty Towers. Why has it taken in so long? Bang Bang is set in Paris, involves a respectable society lady who’s been hoodwinked by her philandering husband, Duchotel– and trouser-dropping traps are set.

 

The Wicker Husband, The Watermill Theatre Newbury, 12 Mar – 4 Apr

A captivating new musical, The Wicker Husband will have its world premiere at The Watermill. In a superficial world, where beauty is only skin-deep, meet the so-called ‘Ugly Girl’. Ostracised by the townsfolk, the Ugly Girl becomes the envy of her neighbours when the Old Basketmaker makes her a strong and loving husband woven from living wicker. As bitter rivalry threatens to tear the community apart, the townsfolk embark on a cruel and destructive plan. Suitable ages 10+.

 

Dead Good, Corn Exchange Newbury, 13-14 Mar

The Vamos Theatre are full mask masters, with a rep for funny and poignant productions. Dead Good tells the storu of Bob and Bernard who have only two things in common: they’re both dying… and they’re not going down without a fight. So, with a bottle of Bollinger and the keys to Bernard’s Bentley in hand, they decide to hit the road, and take on one final, death-defying adventure.

 

Some Mother’s Do ‘Ave ‘Em, Theatre Royal Windsor, 24-28 Mar

Oooh Betty, we’re making a comeback. Join Seventies sitcom stars Franck and Betty Spencer for a fun night out with your mum or other mums in need of time off for good behaviour. Some Mothers Do ‘Ave ‘Em, starring Joe Pasquale, is on at the  Theatre Royal Windsor the week after Mothering Sunday. We’re quite partial to a beret and a trench in the Muddy office, so no need to ask twice.

 

Spontaneous Potter, Corn Exchange Newbury, 27 Mar

Grab your wands, don your house robes, and apparate yourselves to the box office! Spontaneous Potter is an entirely improvised Harry Potter comedy play, based on an audience suggestion of a fanfiction title. Hilarity ensues as an entirely new Potter adventure is magically improvised on the spot.

 

COMEDY

Russell Kane – Fast & Curious, Theatre Royal Windsor, 2 Mar

Packing more energy than a Duracell factory, Russell brings his high-energy brand of comedy to Bucks with his new show The Fast and the Curious. 14+

 

The Thinking Drinkers – Heroes of Hooch, The Hexagon Reading, 13 Mar

The Thinking Drinkers return with a brand-new show, a hilarious and intoxicating look at history’s greatest drinkers. Enjoy five free drinks as the award-winning experts reveal how alcohol has inspired pioneering explorers, politicians and painters in equal measure, from Plato and Picasso, to Nelson, Napoleon and Norm from Cheers. You’ll learn a lot, laugh a lot and, don’t forget, you get five free drinks.

 

The Horne Section, The Hexagon Reading, 16 Mar

A night with the Horne. Not a seedy sex club to spice things up, but the outlandish musical and comic talent of Alex Horne and his band of musicians. The man has had a hit series on Radio 4, sell-out shows at Edinburgh Fringe and in London’s West End, Dictionary Corner faves on 8 Out of 10 Cats Does Countdown.

 

Iain Sterling comedian

Iain Stirling – Falling Upwards, Corn Exchange Newbury, 20 Mar

Bafta-winning stand-up and voice of Love Island is back on UK stages with his new stand up show as he ponders how people manage to be normal? Iain does. Join Iain explores his inability to function in the most basic of public settings, social media’s constant pressure to ‘live your best life’ and that one time a man stole his shoes.

 

Jen Brister, Norden Farm Maidenhead, 19 Mar and South Street Arts Reading 20 Mar

This show will sell out because there isn’t a Berkshire gig Jen Brister’s (above) done in recent years that hasn’t. She describes herself as a stand-up comedian, writer, actor, d***head, and it’s that kind of self-deprecating humour, we love. Her show Under Privilege takes an irreverent look at the often controversial subject of ‘privilege’. Who has it? Who doesn’t? And why does no one like to admit they have any?

 

Lucy Porter, South Street Arts Reading, 27 Mar

Dig out our Brownie uniform, Lucy Porter returns with a new show and we reckon your tea making badge may come in handy. Despite what Brown Owl told you, an emergency 10p for the phone box and a competent knot, cannot solve everything. Life’s slightly more complicated than that.

 

MUSIC

Boyzlife – featuring WestLife's Brian McFadden and Boyzone's Keith Duffy

Marisha Wallace, Corn Exchange Newbury, 11 Mar

Jazz hands at the ready as one of the West End and Broadway’s most instantly recognisable voices belts out a nioght of show tunes. Marisha has wowed audiences in Dreamgirls, Waitress and Book of Mormon and has recently starred alongside Will Smith in Disney’s big-screen blockbuster Aladdin.

 

An Evening with International Opera Stars, Cliveden House Taplow, 15 Mar

Who needs a dramatic set design when you’ve got Cliveden House? It has to be the perfect setting for an classy evening of opera. It’s all very Pride & Prejudice as you gather for an intimate performance by the young international stars form the Jette Parker programme of Covent Garden’s Royal Opera House. Plus you get treated to Champagne and a three-course dinner. Dress code is black tie too. Tickets £160 per person.

 

BoyzLife, The Hexagon Reading, 27 Mar

It’s an Irish mash-up (apologies for the potato pun), but fans of boybands Westlife and Boyzone are in for a treat as the two become one for the first time ever, with a full-band production show which features Brian McFadden and Keith Duffy (above). Expect to hear top tunes from both bands. Cheesy yes, but you’ll know the words and if you take your own stool, you’ll be ready for the upstanding key change.

 

DANCE

Aljaz-Jeanette_Remembering the OScars The Hexagon Reading

Sleeping Beauty, Theatre Royal Windsor, 16-21 Mar

How did you spend your 18th birthday? Dancing on a bar in fizz-fuelled party mode or spinning wool? I think we all know the answer to that one. But if your fairytales billowing in tulle, don’t miss the Vienna Festival Ballet as they struggle between good and evil.

 

Remember The Oscars, The Hexagon Reading, 23 Mar

Love your Strictly stars covered in sequins and dripping in sass, then Aljaz and Janette’s Remember The Oscars dance show (above) is going to be right up your red carpet. Whether you are Wishing On A Star, Swinging On A Star or merely dancing in the City of Stars, this incredible production will take you from Disney family favourites, through to the Golden Ages of Hollywood.

 

SHOPPING

Signature Wedding Show, Ascot Racecourse, 8 Mar


Getting hitched? Before you disappear down a Pinterest/ Instagram bridal rabbit hole, get yourself down to the Signature Wedding Show at Ascot Racecourse and meet all the beautiful people who can make your big-day dreams a reality. It’s free to enter so grab the whole wedding party, grab your FROW seats for the fashion show and then pick up as much bridal swag as you can carry.

 

Newbury Artisan Market, Northbrook St Newbury, 29 Mar

Hmm the smell of fresh bread and sizzling street food is enough to get me out of bed for a Sunday market, but the Newbury Artisan Market is much more. Think quality produce, original art, designer crafts, all mixed in with family activities, music and more… From 10am-4pm, get up and mooch and grab yourself something unique.

 

TALKS

Amy Williams MBE, Coworth park Ascot, 3 Mar

Amy Williams

When it comes to the thrilling winter sport of skeleton racing, Amy Williams MBE is one of the world’s leading names. Earning Britain its first Olympic gold medal in the sport in 2010, she’s since gone on to enjoy a successful career in presenting and motivational speaking. It’s a pleasure to welcome Amy as she shares her story and reveals how a new mindset brought her the gold.

 

Ben Fogle – Tales From The Wilderness, The Hexagon Reading, 23 Mar

The serial adventurer (he’s climbed Everest, dodged pirates and walked to the South Pole) will be discussing his past expeditions and answering questions from the audience.

 

EXHIBITIONS

Wildlife Photographer of the Year, The Base Greenham Common, now – 26 Apr

The Moment, Yongqing Bao Wildlife Photographer o the year fox about to pounce of shocked marmot

Image: Yongqing Bao

Wildlife photography requires patience, lightning reactions and a little bit of luck. But when they get the money shot… POW! the results are extraordinary. This year’s prestigious Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition is being held at The Base at Greenham Common Business Park in Newbury. It’s an international showcase of 100 images taken by the very best in nature photographers around the world.

 

Art of the Wild: Gertrude Hermes and the Natural World, River & Rowing Museum Henley

Take a peek at Art of the Wild: Gertrude Hermes and the Natural World at the River & Rowing Museum in Henley. The exhibition features innovative prints on loan from the Ashmolean Museum, from Jazz Age wood engravings of birds, fish and flowers to her monumental coloured linocuts of the 1950s.

 

India & Me, Basildon Park Lower Basildon, now – 23 Dec 

Basildon Park’s India-inspired Zuber wallpaper was designed in 1806 by a French artist who had never been to India. It makes the new audio-visual exhibition in the mansion’s Garden Room even more extraordinary, as it looks at personal stories from Basildon’s collaboration with the Reading Indian Centre.

 

KIDS 

girl wearing glasses reading on pile of books

World Book Day, 5 Mar

Get ’em off the iPads and onto the books! Windsor Castle is celebrating with storytelling sessions every Saturday throughout March and Cliveden has a family trail as well as the Storybook Play Den (just beyond the maze) with a Charlotte’s Web inspired climbing net, Wind in the Willows boat, carved Peter Pan wooden storybook characters more.

 

Reading Brick Show, Rivermead Leisure Centre Reading, 7-8 Mar

Bonkers for the brick? If you have mini builders then the Reading Brick Show is their answer to Glastonbury. The two-day LEGO® show is sure to spark imagination, promote creativity and inspire everyone who walks through the doors. The show will feature LEGO® models from the best builders in the UK, including a large great ball contraption, spaceships, train layouts, fairground rides, and much more.

 

Legoland Opens, Legoland Windsor, 14 Mar

OMG. Protect your credit card, it’s gonna get a hammering. Legoland reopens mid-March with a new ride for littlies. The Duplo Dino Coaster. Got older kids, the Lego 4D Studio will blow their tiny minds, the Spinning Spider and Monster House Party both look fun and we’re loving the sound of Balloon School. Watch out for the gift shop at the end – it’s a killer.

 

FILM

Judy, Hurley House Hotel Hurley, 11 Mar

Judy Renee Zellwegger

Renne Zellweger hoovered up all the awards for Judy, so if you have yet to see what all the fuss is about, do it in style Hurley House with Champagne, popcorn or perhaps a cheeky little cheese board. Yes, to this.

 

Kendal Mountain Festival Tour 2020, Norden Farm Maidenhead, 12 Mar

Fire up your imagination, watch an incredible collection of short adventure films and breathe a hige sigh of relief it’s not you up there. But you can fangirl the amazing Anna McNuff – an endurance athlete, adventurer and mischief maker – who will on stage chatting about why she ran the equivalent of 100 marathons through Britain completely barefoot!

 

Banff Mountain Film Festival, The Hexagon Reading, 18 Mar

Adrenaline fuelled while sitting down. 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.

 

WORKSHOPS

Literary Candle Making, West Berkshire Museum, 7 Mar

Metal candle tin on moss with flowers Literati and Light Penguin Classic candle

I cannot think of a better way to spend Mother’s Day (unless 14 hours’ sleep on a sun lounger counts) but in second place would be a dose of ‘me time’ – and this bookish candle making course is a cracker. Run by Berkshire-based Literati & Light, the workshop takes place at West Berkshire Museum and you’ll be making a scented candle. It’s a few weeks before the big day, but part two of the pressie is sitting with your feet up all day with a good book. £20pp.

 

Macrame Workshops, Craft Coop Maidenhead, 7 and 21 Mar

Macrame was huge in 2019, but if you didn’t get round to making a 70s-style hanging plant holder or a wall hanging, now’s your chance. The Craft Coop is running workshops at its Maidenhead shop on 7 and 21 Mar. Book up and make something crafty in advance of the big day or team up and tie yourselves in knots together. All materials provided, £10pp.

 

Bottle Garden Workshop, Squires Garden Centre Wokingham, 12-13 Mar

Make something special for your mum or simply send her off in advance of her big day on the 22 March. Squires is running a Bottle Garden workshop, where you’ll make a very low maintenance succulent garden using plants that’ll add greenery to your room and detoxify the air. Then pray to the plant gods that Mum can keep these babies alive. £30pp.

 

Mother’s Day Flower bouquet workshop

Nobody hates receiving a gorgeous bouquet of flowers unless you’ve grabbed the sad-looking ‘I totally forgot’ garage carnations, then you’re in trouble. We’re loving the idea of learning to make a bouquet and local florist Emma Curtis will be showing you how to create a blooming gorgeous bouquet at  The Great House in Sonning on 22 Mar (£40pp) and The Wild Bluebell will be doing the same at The Globe pub in Newbury on 21 Mar (£55pp).

 

Afternoon tea baking classes, The Real Macaron Company, 28 Mar

Real Macaron Afternoon Tea baking class

Shall I be Mum? Afternoon tea is a bit of Mother’s Day tradition – what’s not to love about carbs, precision pastries and bubbles? But this is the gift that keeps on giving. The Real Macaron Company is running an Afternoon Tea Baking class where you can learn to make the full monty – macarons, brownies, scones and friands (quick Google, it’s a cake). The next course is on 28 Mar, it’s four hours of baking bliss and costs £75. Gift vouchers are available.

 

Calligraphy Workshops

Handwriting looks like a child’s scrawl these days? Mine too. Here’s a chance to go back to school and learn calligraphy. You’ll learn letter formations and how to connect them. So you can go home and write a beautiful Mother’s Day card, an arty inspirational quote or just enjoy a mindful moment away from a screen. Local calligrapher Victoria Schute is teaching a class at The Swan At Streatley on 18 Mar (£55pp) and LouPaper Wedding Stationary is hosting an event at The Foxes Den Café in Binfield on 22 Mar (£40pp).

 

WELLBEING

Mother’s Day Relax & Restore, The Living Saucha Studio Newbury, 22 Mar

Yoga face down stretching

The perfect gift for frazzled mums? How does a couple of hours time out, a lie-down and the chance to go to the loo without someone hollering ‘Muuuuuuuuuuuum’? The Living Saucha Studio in Newbury is running a 90-minute relax and restore session with essential oils, followed by tea and cake. It’s all about balance, people. Suitable for all levels, £25pp

 

 

DAFFODILS 

daffodils cliveden House national trust Gilded Gardens

Say goodbye to snowdrops and a big hello to daffodils that are springing up everywhere. Now in its second year, you can experience Cliveden‘s Gilded Gardens, inspired by the 24-carat gilded golden gates on the Sounding chamber and thousands of daffodils that grow across the estate. Head to the Water Garden and Blenheim Pavilion for the best of ‘em, or take a guided tour. Stowe and Greys Court will also be brimming with the yellow bloomer, along with other pretty spring foliage. Or head to Waddesdon who’ve named a whole patch of the grounds after the flower, Daffodil Valley – there’ll also be guided walks on 7 and 21 Mar.

 

EVENTS

Spring Family Race Day, Ascot Racecourse, 29 Mar

Racecourses are generally kid-free zones – probably due to all-day bubbles and focus on the horses, but the Spring Family Raceday is a fab day with loooooads to entertain the rugrats –the legendary Lamb National, den building, cooking demos with James Wood, a petting zoo, free pony rides and more. Oh and there’s some actual jump racing too, Under 18s go FREE and the under 12s get a free nosebag in Bandstand Kitchen.

 

FURTHER AFIELD 

THEATRE: Time Machine, London Library, London, until 5 April

The Creation Theatre crew are heading to the Big Smoke! In this moving (literally) production, small audiences will be led through the vast London Library as Time Machine, which explores themes of neuroscience, big data, genomics and global connectedness, unfolds. Knowing Creation, it’s bound to be brilliant.

 

RACING: Cheltenham Gold Cup, Cheltenham Racecourse, 10-13 Mar 

There’s no stopping Cheltenham races (not even that nasty Equine Flue scare) with four days of betting and booze. The fun kicks off with Champion’s Day on Tues and it’s good news for gin lovers as the Gin and Jazz Lounge returns with cocktails and music everyday until 7pm.

 

EXHIBITION: Herstory, Maddox Gallery, London, 2 – 24 Mar

To mark International Women’s Day, this new exhibition aims to redefine the conversation around women in art and raise awareness for brilliant female artists that champion women in their work. Artists exhibiting include Coco Davez, Sophia Tea and Lauren Baker.

 

EXHIBITION: Andy Warhol, Tate Modern, London, 12 Mar – 6 Sept 

This major new exhibition chronicles the life and work of the pop art icon Andy Warhol and offers a rare insight into how Warhol and his work marked a period of cultural transformation. Images on display include his renowned pop images of Marilyn Monroe, Coca-Cola and Campbell’s soup cans, plus work never seen before in the UK, including the largest ever grouping of Warhol’s Ladies and Gentlemen series. A must see.

 

EXHIBITION: BMW Tate Live, Tate Modern, 20 – 29 Mar 

For the fourth annual BMW Tate Live Exhibition, three artists are taking over Tate Modern’s Tanks (the gallery’s dedicated space for live exhibits). Each artist’s work will be themed around how history is held in the body and explore e questions about shared memory. Very Cool.

 

EVENT: London Dog Week, various locations, 23 – 29 Mar 
Have pooch, will travel? This week-long takeover of London will feature puppy street food pop-ups, a Pet Gala (like the Met Gala but for stylish pooches!), music events and cuddle clubs. Awwww. Money raised will go to Hearing Dogs, the event’s official partner, so it’s all for a good cause.

BOOK NOW

Puss In Boots – Easter Panto, The Hexagon Reading, 8-11 Apr

Susanne Shaw and Cbebbies star Chris Easter panto Puss in Boots Reading

Panto’s not just for Christmas… Oh yes it is! Oh no it isn’t. Oh… (OK, I’ll stop now). Easter is jumping on the panto bandwagon, so slap your thigh and slip into a pair of knees highs for Puss In Boots. Starring Hear’Say popstrel Suzanne Shaw and CBeebie’s Chris Jarvis star. Trouble is brewing and only a mangy moggy wearing nothing boots and a hat can save the day.

 

Alice In Wonderland, South Hill Park Bracknell, 15-19 Apr

Alice in Wonderland SHP Mad hatter Alice and the rabbit at the tea party

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. South Hill Park always put on a damn fine school holiday musical with spectacular staging. They’re a talented bunch. Book in or the Red Queen will be “frumious”.

 

The Little Welly, HenleyShowground, 6-7 Jun

Little Welly adventure course pool of foam

Have the hose and a hot wash on stand by, this is gonna get really messy. The UK’s biggest children’s obstacle course returns to Henley for the sixth year – and it is going to be epic. It’s in a new location at Henley Showground, it offers a longer course option for kids with the energy of a Duracell bunny, new obstacles, activities and entertainers. Oh, and you can camp too. Throw your mud-seeking minis (4+) and they’re parents (sorry about that) at the slip-and-slide, the big tubes and new climbing rig. Or have a blast at Laser Tag, circus skill workshops, bungee trampolining and more.

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