What’s on: October
Hello October, old friend. On the roster this month we have a dishy magician, live comedy, Halloween antics and a string of excellent exhibitions.
FILM: David Attenborough – A Life On Our Planet, Corn Exchange Newbury, Thu 1 Oct
This absolute legend (aged 94, no less) practically broke Instagram last week, when he launched his account. Yes, David Attenborough has a couple of slightly younger pals running the account but good on him. This week his new documentary premieres and you can see it at at the Corn Exchange in Newbury. Honest, revealing and urgent, David Attenborough: A Life on Our Planet, is a powerful first-hand account of humanity’s impact on nature and a message of hope for future generations. After the film, audiences will have the unique chance to watch a very special, exclusive conversation between Sir David Attenborough and Sir Michael Palin. This will only be available in cinemas.
DRINKS: Vermouth Masterclass, Stanlake Park Wine Estate Twyford, Thu 1 Oct
The 70s called and they want their drink back. Vermouth (aka fortified wine) is making a comeback, but ditch the lemonade and drink this Italian classic on the rocks, or mix it up for a night of Negronis and martinis. Stanlake Park Wine Estate in Twyford has created its own bottle of vermouth and in-house mixologist Mickey Harrison will be showing us how we should be drinking it. Don’t worry, there’s food to soak up the cocktails and wine tasting. Plus you get to take home of your own homemade vermouth. Pop a couple of paracetamol before bed.
THEATRE: Simon Slater in Bloodshot, The Watermill Theatre Bagnor, now – Sat 17 Oct
Theatres are dipping their toe into socially-distant waters, putting on shows with small audiences and often a one-man show. Case in point, The Watermill Theatre in Newbury is putting on its first indoor production – Simon Slater in Bloodshot. A thriller set in 1957 London, policeman-turned-photographer Derek Eveleigh is down on his luck, but a mysterious envelope of money arrives it looks like his fortunes are about to change. Simon’s a man of many talents – acts, plays the ukulele and sax and even throws in the odd conjuring trick!
EXHIBITION: HRH Princess Beatrice Wedding Dress, Windsor Castle, Thu 24 Sep – Sun 22 Nov
No fuss, no pomp or ceremony, on the 17 Jul 2020 Princess Beatrice quietly married Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi at Royal Chapel of All Saints in Windsor wearing her ‘something borrowed’ vintage Norman Hartnell borrowed from Granny. It helps she’s the Queen. Now we get to see this masterclass in craftsmanship up close now that it is on display at Windsor Castle. The queen famously wore this gown to the premiere of Lawrence Arabia at the Oden Leicester Square in 1962. It was nothing short of perfection.
COMEDY: Harry and Chris: Live, Streamed And Just Very Excited To Be Out Of The House, Norden Farm Maidenhead, Thu 8 Oct
Harry and Chris old out three Edinburgh shows, appeared on the Russell Howard Hour and were called ‘fabulously entertaining’ by Jonathan Ross. From the ridiculous to the sublime, the world’s greatest comedy-rap-jazz duo bring award-winning wordplay, awe-inspiring musicality, eyebrow-raising bromance and unashamed joy to one of their favourite venues from their last two national tours.
DANCE: Matthew Bourne’s red Shoes, Corn Exchange Newbury, Thu 8 Oct
Head to Corn Exchange in Newbury for your culture fix. The live screening of Matthew Bourne’s acclaimed stage adaptation of The Red Shoes is back for an encore and it is not to be missed. Set to romantic music of golden-age Hollywood composer Bernard Herrmann, the story follows a girl’s dream of becoming the greatest dancer in the world – and it’s Matthew Bourne, so there’s no doubt the moves will be excellent.
THEATRE: Roald Dahl and The Imagination Seekers, Corn Exchange Newbury, Sun 18 Oct
Anything Roald Dahl gets a big thumbs up from the kids at Muddy and Roald Dahl and The Imagination Seekers looks like a dead cert. An interactive theatre experience, the story is delivered through performance, games and creative play as the characters must save Roald Dahl’s stories from disappearing from the world.
KIDS: Brick or Treat, Legoland Windsor, Thu 15 Oct – Sun 8 Nov
I’ve run out of jokes about Brick or Treat – that’s how long this Legoland event has been running! But there’s some new bits to sink your teeth into: The Haunted Lighthouse Halloween Show, Scarecrow joins the spooky Brick or Treat crew, plus 55 ‘spooktacular’ rides, live shows and attractions.
COMEDY: Notflix, Norden Farm Maidenhead, Thu 15 Oct
Netflix combines the taste profiles of 98 million users to create the ‘perfect’ viewing experience. Notflix combines the taste profiles of a room full of theatre goers to create a hilarious and completely improvised viewing experience – a full musical. The all-female cast use audience suggestions of recently watched films to create a brand new, fully improvised, one-night-only musical. It was a five star sell out at the Edinburgh Fringe not to be missed.
FILM: White Riot, Corn Exchange Newbury, Sat 18 – Wed 21 Oct
Rubika Shah’s award-winning and energising film charts a vital national protest movement. Rock Against Racism (RAR) was formed in 1976, prompted by ‘music’s biggest colonialist’ Eric Clapton and his support of racist MP Enoch Powell. White Riot blends fresh interviews with queasy archive footage to recreate a hostile environment of anti-immigrant hysteria and National Front marches. Tough but important viewing.
THEATRE: Lone Flyer, The Watermill Theatre Newbury, Wed 21 Oct – Sat 21 Nov
The Watermill Theatre’s indoor season is off to a flying start – quite literrally, with Lone Flyer. Another socially-distant one-actor production, this time starring Amy Johnson as the first woman to fly solo from England to Oz. But the outbreak of war changed everything.
THEATRE: Ben Hart – 2 Metre Magic, Corn Exchange Newbury, Thu 22 Oct
Remember Ben Hart the rather quirky but attractive magician from BGT? Well he’s coming to Berkshire to perform his most intimate magic show yet in an evening of ‘close-up magic’. A rare chance to witness up-close Ben’s acclaimed sleight-of-hand, set against a backdrop of hilarIous patter.
COMEDY: Mark Watson – How You Can Almost Win, Norden Farm, Thu 22 Oct
In 2017, Mark Watson – a man prone to considerable anxiety, with multiple phobias and a history of piss-poor self-esteem – was asked to go on Celebrity Island with Bear Grylls. To say it wasn’t his bag, is an understatement. Mark enjoys safety, comfort, food and not being scared and miserable. But the experience changed the shambolic comedian for the better, and now he’s written a sort of motivational talk with jokes. Join the socially distant audience or online.
KIDS: Hallowellyeen, Wellington Country Park Riseley, Sat 24 – Sat 31 Oct
A week of spooktacular fun for the kids at Wellington Country Park from 24 – 31 October – Storytime, monster’s mischief and magic shows, a creepy craft room, scary face painting, a haunted Halloween train ride, pumpkin carving and much more! Book em up.
COMEDY: Jen Brister – Under Privilege, Norden Farm Maidenhead, Sat 24 Oct
This show will sell out (largely because of the socially distant seating plan) but to be fair 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?
FAMILY FUN: Halloween Trail, Beale Park Pangbourne, Sat 24 Oct – Sun 1 Nov
Head to Beale Park like a bat out of her for its Halloween Trail. Just look for the clues that will be dotted around the Park, ooh and ah at the many different animals and join in the spooky fun. Kids get in for free if they come dressed to scare (with a fee paying adult).
ART: Exhibition on Screen – Frida Kahlo, Corn Exchange Newbury, Sun 25 Oct
Coronavirus has enabled us to view art and exhibitions virtually. No matter where they are in the world. Making use of the latest technology, take an in-depth look at key works of Frida Kahlo throughout her career. She was an extraordinary woman who should be remembered for more than her brows and floral crowns. Discover her art, and uncover the truth behind her often turbulent life.
EXHIBITION: Quentin Blake and John Yoeman – 50 Years of Children’s Books, The Base Greenham, now – Sun 6 Dec
Just like wine and cheese, Quentin Blake and Roald Dahl trip off the tongue. But a new exhibition at The Base in Greenham Common reveals Quentin Blake’s longest collaboration was in fact with the author John Yeoman. House of Illustration’s 50 Years of Children’s Books exhibition is the first to celebrate this partnership. It features the original drawings for A Drink of Water, and 10 other projects – from picture books and short novels.
BOOKS: Henley Literature Festival, online, Sat 26 Sept – Sun 4 Oct
We love a literature festival at Muddy, so are pleased to hear that instead of postponing, Henley Lit Fest is heading online for the first time. Speakers this year include Bake Off‘s breakout star Nadiya Hussain, Michael Morpurgo (tickets for his talks sell like hotcakes so be quick off the mark), social media stars Candice Brathwaite, Florence Given & Bryony Gordon, Fern Britton, plus Russell & Laura Brand who’ll be reading from Judith Kerr’s The Tiger Who Came to Tea for the little people.
ART: START Art Fair, Saatchi Gallery, 21-25 Oct
Hey Queenie, nice nose ring! This cool, contemporary art fair, which takes pieces from London’s top galleries, will go ahead this year with social distancing measures and an exceptional line up of artists including Lincoln Townley, Erika Navas and Nat Bowen. In addition to START Art Fair, Korean Eye’s 2020 exhibition Creativity and Daydream will be on show having travelled from The State Hermitage in St Petersburg after a six-month stay, featuring a wealth of emerging and established talent from South Korea.
EXHIBITION: Among The Trees, The Hayward Gallery, Southbank, until 31 Oct
From Colombian rainforests and remote Japanese islands to olive orchards in Israel and a 9,550-year-old spruce in Sweden, this mixed media exhibition explores trees relationship to humans, featuring work from 37 international artists. You’re right on the Southbank so plenty of foodie options to head to after your culture fix.