Mad March! 40+ things to do this month
Cue fun klaxon! This March there's lashings of theatre, brilliant comedy, eye-popping exhibitions, a Who Do You Think Your Are? supper and more more more.
MUDDY’S PICK OF THE MONTH
A Thousand Clowns, Theatre Royal Windsor, 29 March – 2 April
Will Young’s theatrical homecoming. The Olivier-award nominated and multi-platinum singer will star in A Thousand Clowns – making his debut at the Theatre Royal Windsor. The production is a comedy-drama set in 1960s New York City. The film’s hilarious so high hopes for this.
SCREEN & STAGE
Anton & Erin, The Hexagon Reading, 4 Mar
Shower yourself in fake tan and sequins… It’s showtime. Anton du Beke, Strictly’s newest judge, is back with a brand-new show. SHOWTIME is a glittering celebration that pays tribute to some of the world’s greatest icons of entertainment.
Ruby Wax: And Now For The Good News, The Old Court Windsor, 5 Mar
I was never really a fan of Ruby Wax as a stand up, but when she went public with her depression and used her talent to talk about mental health, I had a new-found respect. And Now For The Good News gives a positive roadmap for a kinder, brighter world and better mental wellbeing. Personal experience and an Oxford psychology graduate, she knows her stuff.
Spontaneous Potter, Corn Exchange Newbury, 5 Mar
Pure theatrical fun that’s more exciting than a Quidditch final. The smash hit Spontaneous Potter is an entirely improvised Harry Potter comedy play, based on an audience suggestion of a fan fiction title. It’s hilarious and an entirely new Potter adventure is magically improvised on the spot – with live musical accompaniment! Wave your storytelling wand and see what chaos ensues. There are two performances: Kid friendly at 4pm for ages 8+ and a more grown up performance at 8pm for ages 16+.
Spike, The Watermill Theatre Bagnor, now – 5 Mar
I think we could all do with a laugh right now. SPIKE – the funny new play by Ian Hislop and Nick Newman – could be the show to save our sense of humour. as it delves into the inner workings of Spike Milligan one of our most unique and brilliantly irreverent comedy minds.
Madama Butterfly, Theatre Royal Windsor, 8 Mar
Turn up the drama and the volume. If you love opera, the Russian State Opera’s production of Puccini’s Japanese tragedy is on to pop on your cultural shortlist. This touching tale of innocent love crushed between two utterly different cultures resonates as strongly as ever in today’s world.
The Handlebards – Macbeth, Norden Farm Maidenhead, 9 Mar
It’s going to take more than a boil wash to get that out! The world’s first cycling theatre company, The HandleBards, pedal from venue to venue with all the set, props and costume necessary to perform Shakespeare’s Macbeth. Forget the tears and tragedy, they pedal into Maidenhead for a frantic, full-of-beans show like you’ve never seen before.
I, Elizabeth, South Hill Park Bracknell, 10 Mar
I, Elizabeth has captivated critics who have gushed that it’s so good the show is worth of an Academy Award. Rather than telling the all too familiar tale of Virgin Queen Elizabeth I, Dyad Production’s focuses on the woman beneath the crown as she reveals her thoughts on marriage, succession, religion and war. Using only Elizabeth’s words, Rebecca Vaughan explores the queen’s struggle to reconcile the desires of womanhood with the duties of sovereignty.
ROH Live: Rigoletto, Norden Farm Maidenhead, 10-11 Mar
World class opera, without caning your credit card. Enjoy the Royal Opera House’s latest production of Rigoletto live from Covent Garden on the big screen at Norden Farm. Verdi’s thrilling Rigoletto pits power against innocence, beauty against ugliness, conducted by Sir Antonio Pappano. This special anniversary screening of Verdi’s Rigoletto celebrates 171 years since its premiere in 1851. Faux furs and opera glass optional.
Alice in Wonderland, Theatre Royal Windsor, 12 Mar
Make mine a double gin and I’ll happily disappear down a rabbit hole into the trippy world of Alice in Wonderland. A family favourite story brought to life through dance by the Let’s All Dance Ballet Company. Book in or the Red Queen will be “frumious”.
Nothing Happens Twice, South Street Arts, Reading, 15 Mar
After an exciting few years making and touring shows all over the world, Mercè and Patricia have somehow lost momentum and hit rock bottom. They always knew that making theatre would be difficult, but when they have to dress up as flamingos in a shopping centre to make ends meet, they seriously consider giving up. Slapstick humour meets Beckett head on in a quest for life’s meaning and purpose.
Ben Hart: Wonder, Corn Exchange Newbury, 17 Mar
Britain’s Got Talent 2019 finalist, West End star and multi award-winning magician Ben Hart is embarking on his debut tour! Expect his most mind-blowing and exciting magic in a show that shines a light on magic, life, the universe and the darkest corners of your imaginations.
Diversity, The Hexagon Reading, 18-19 Mar
It’s been more than 10 years since Diversity won the third series of Britain’s Got Talent. The cute little kids are all grown up but they still manage to thrill audiences with their shows. Nine sell out UK tours and over 600,000 tickets sold, don’t lie Now, after a multiple pandemic postponements, Diversity are setting off on one of their biggest UK tours to date.
Crimes, Camera, Action, Corn Exchange Newbury, 22-23 Mar
The multi-award-winning New Old Friends are back with the latest show in their hugely popular ‘Crimes…’ series of comedy thrillers. Crimes, Camera, Action whisks the audience to golden-era Hollywood and introduces a new lead detective, a world-weary, hard-boiled private-eye in the mould of Humphrey Bogart: meet Stan Shakespeare.
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. 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.
Wedding Fair, The Great House Sonning, 20 Mar
White dress in your future? You’ll want to head over to the stunning wedding venue and hotel The Great House Hotel in Sonning, which is holding a Wedding Fair on 20 Mar. Running from 11am-3pm, this allows you to tour the hotel’s ceremony and reception suites, as well as experience the property dressed for the perfect wedding.
Spring Family Race Day, Ascot Racecourse, 27 Mar
Mother’s Day is just around the corner. Make a note, it’s 27 March. You could do flowers and pub lunch again, but as we’ve been robbed of fun for the last two years, go big and go out. Ascot Racecourse’s brilliant Spring Family Raceday is a one-stop shop for fun, food and a flutter that’ll keep all of the family entertained.
Ed Byrne If I’m Honest, South Hill Park Bracknell, 2 Mar
Ed Byrne is one of the most successful comedians performing in the UK, regularly appearing on TV and touring to sold-out theatres. Originally from Ireland, he now lives in Essex with his wife and two children, but comes to The Hexagon Reading with his new show If I’m Honest – when he’ll be taking along hard look at himself to work out if he has ANY traits that are worth passing on to his children.
Chris Ramsey, The Hexagon Reading, 10 Mar
Geordie comedian Chris Ramsay is more than a gag machine. He’s also the superstar podcast cohost with his wife Rosie of Shagged, Married, Annoyed (downloaded 60million times and counting) and knows his way round a fake tan booth and sea of sequins courtesy of Strictly Come Dancing. Now he’s finally back on tour after multiple pandemic postponements. It’s his biggest ever tour to date and includes a stop in Reading in March.
Joe Lycett: Work in Progress, Corn Exchange Newbury, 2 Mar
Join the artist formerly known as Hugo Boss who will be trying brand new jokes and probably-not-that-funny fresh routines. Basically, you’re Joe’s guinea pigs for the night. Keep your expectations. The show might not be that good! But he’s comedy gold so at least some of it will laugh out loud hilarious. *Wink wink*.
Joel Dommett: Unapologetic (If That”s OK), Corn Exchange Newbury, 3 Mar
Jungle runner-up and baby-faced comic Joel Dommett is bringing his teen boy schtick to Newbury this month. While I’m secretly hoping he’ll bring some of his wardrobe from his time on The Masked Singer (I’m telling you, the guy can rock a sequin), I’ll be content with plenty of gags and awkward anecdotes.
Danny O’Brien, Old Court Windsor, 12 Mar
Award-winning Irish comedian Danny O’ Brien is back in at The Old Court with his biggest solo show to date! And he’s been busy during the pandemic. From making one of the highest viewed stand-up specials in Irish TV history (Recorded outdoors in a block of Dublin council flats during the first lockdown!) To somehow spending 3 months stranded in Central America.
Nina Conti: Warm Up Show, South Street Arts Reading, 19 Mar
British Comedy Award winner Nina Conti is coming to South Street! She’s working through new ideas and warming up her brand new show, The Dating Show, before it tours across the UK. There’s no promise that true love will be found, but a firm guarantee that big laughs will be had without moving her lips.
Iain Stirling – Falling Upwards, Corn Exchange Newbury, 24 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 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.
Exhibition on Screen: Frida Kahlo, South Hill Park Bracknell and Corn Exchange Newbury, 8 Mar
Using the latest technology to deliver previously unimaginable quality, Exhibition on Screen takes an in-depth look at key works of Frida Kahlo. This definitive film reveals her deepest emotions and unlocks the secrets and symbolism contained within her art.
Exhibition: Wildlife Photographer of the Year, The Base Gallery, Greenham Common, now – 3 Apr
The Natural History Museum’s annual touring exhibition Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition is an absolute belter. 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 touring exhibition stops off 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.
COLLECTED: 150 years of Reading FC, Reading Museum, now – 6 Aug
COLLECTED: 150 Years of Reading FC tells the story of Reading Football Club’s incredible journey, from a group of young townsmen playing on Kings Meadow to the heights of the national game. The exhibition includes never-before-seen photographs, loans from iconic players, and a range of items from the personal collection of legendary Reading FC chairman, Sir John Madejski.
Mind & Mortality, Stanley Spencer Gallery, Cookham, now – 27 Mar
Over in Cookham, the Stanley Spencer Gallery is always worth a visit. See this influential local artist’s final self portraits in the Mind & Mortality exhibition. Comprised of 26 works, the exhibition spans 50 years from 1909 until the artist’s death on the eve of the 1960s. Although more famous for his local landscapes, his portraits are world class – in fact one hangs in Tate Britain. Under 16s free.
INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY
Girls Recording Lounge, Old Court Windsor, 4 Mar
One the missions on International Women’s Day (IWD) is to elevate the work of women creatives. The Girls Record Lounge (GRL) brings you the musical talents of DJs Lisa Loud, Katie Wild, Little Kate, Nikki T and Sarah at the Old Court Windsor, for a evening of dance, art and celebration of the work of these incredible female creatives.
IWD Evening, The Good Life Hub Hampstead Norreys, 8 Mar
The UN theme for International Women’s Day 2022 (#IWD2022) is gender equality today for a sustainable tomorrow. A goal we cannot achieve without addressing economic inequality and violence against women and girls. Join The Good Life Hub (6.30pm-9.30pm) for an evening raising awareness of the root causes of gender inequality and our fight for the rights and safety of vulnerable women and girls across the world.
Women’s Collaboration Brew Day, Double Barrelled Brewery Reading, 8 Mar
To celebrate International Women’s Day, Double-Barrelled Brewery is hosting a Women’s Brew Day. It’s a fun event for women who are keen to learn and get involved with beer! The DB women will give you a tour and involved with creating a beer. Pop in from 8:30am, pint will be pouring between 3-7pm.
HAVE A GO
Circus Skills Open Session, Baldwins Institute Hall Eton, 7 and 21 Mar
Roll up roll up! Slip into your leotard and limber up, lady, for Circus School. This is an opportunity for beginners amateurs and professionals to develop their big top skill. No aerial or fire, but you’ll find all other disciplines, if you’re game. £4pp.
Supper Talk: Who Do You Think You Are?, Watermill Theatre Bagnor, 8 Mar
Could your backstory unlock a family secret? Was your ancestor a land-owner, pioneer, war hero, politician or smuggler? Join Catherine Sampson a distinguished local historian and Chairman of the Berkshire Family History Society, for a fascinating talk on how to research your family history, what types of records are available and how to interpret information. £26pp and includes supper.
Take Great Photos With Your Smartphone, MadeBY Tamalia Caversham, 3 Mar
Wanna take professional -looking pics for the ‘gram or your business, then this is for you. Join the internationally renowned photographer Scarlet Page for an intimate session where you’ll be shown how capture every day images and product shots. with your phone. Tickets £35.
Pottery Taster Sessions, The Base Greenham, 11 Mar
If you’ve been seduced by the soothing powers of Channel 4’s The Great Pottery Throwdown, you’ll love this. Newbury-based potter, Cait Gould who competed on series two, is running Taster Sessions for the clay curious. Head to The Base where Cait will guide you through making a trinket dish, decorated using paper printing.
Spring Candle Making, MadeBY Tamalia Caversham, 23 Mar
Strike a light! You’re very own scented candle made by you. At this workshop run by Ruth Martin of Cucumber Wood Candles, you’ll make three 120g candles in amber glass containers, filled with the scents of Spring and Summer! Perfect to give as thoughtful and sustainable gifts for Mother’s Day.
World Book Day: Frederick the Fox, Hungerford Bookshop, 3 Mar
Get ’em off the iPads and onto the books for World Book Day! The event was paused during the pandemic, but is back for 2022. No need to rock in a corner worrying about costumes, if you have littlies, join authors Kim Ansell and Lisa Read for a reading of their latest picture book Frederick The Fox at Hungerford Bookshop (3 Mar).
Reading Brick Show, Rivermead Leisure Centre Reading, 5-6 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, Lego robot wars, Lego Technic Monster Truck Driving Challenge, art gallery, large great ball contraption and much more.
Legoland Opens, Legoland Windsor, 18 Mar
OMG. Protect your credit card, it’s gonna get a hammering. Legoland reopens mid-March. Visit Mythica – a new world in a parallel universe, including three new rides, where LEGO creatures come to life. Plus Ninjago World, DUPLO Dino Coaster, Haunted House Monster Pasty, Lego Miniland, which took three years to complete and all the other favourites.
I Spy With My Little Eye, South Hill Park Bracknell, 20 Mar
Based on the brand new picture book by Steven Lee, this family musical celebrates everything great about being a kid – and everything great about having one. There’ll be a treasure hunt, all your favourite songs and lots of party games, featuring, you’ve guessed it, I Spy with My Little Eye. Slip a Tramadol into your tea and it will all feel like a dream. Little kids will love it.