MON 13 – SUN 19 JAN
MUDDY’S PICK OF THE WEEK
DANCE: 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.
WORKSHOP: Fashion, Design Arts & Crafts, Ace Space Newbury, 14 Jan
It’s the time of year to have a clear out, but there may be fashion life in some of your unwanted clothes yet. ACE Space Newbury will show you how to recycle outfits from existing clothing or every day objects, jewellery making, fabric embellishment, drawing, painting and collage.
THEATRE: Singin In The Rain, Mill at Sonning, now – Sat 8 Feb
The Mill at Sonning is bringing Hollywood to Berks. Sadly not a George Clooney one man show, although I’d be front row, for sure, but Singing In The Rain, this year’s Christmas musical. All tickets before 23 Dec include a festive buffet and from Boxing Day onwards a delish two-course meal. First person to spy George and Amal wins Christmas at the Clooneys (joke, obvs).
WORKSHOP: Basic Bike Repair and Maintenance, Pankhurst Cycles Pangbourne, 15 Jan
Riding a bike may be 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.
THEATRE: 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 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 frankly we’re seeing this John Willard black comedy for Britt.
COMEDY: The Comedy Cellar, South Hill Park Bracknell, 17 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 for Emmanuel Sonubi, Danny Buckler, Bobby Mair (above) and Tom Webb.
COMEDY: 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.
DAYS OUT: 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.
EXHIBITION: Swan Upping at Cookham, Stanley Spencer Gallery Cookham, now – 22 Mar 2020
On loan from the Tate, Stanley Spencer’s most famous paintings – Swan Upping at Cookham, is on display to celebrate 100 years since its completion. Inspired by the sounds he heard from Holy Trinity Church as Cookham villagers as the annual swan count took palce, he started work on this oil painting in 1915, but was only half-way through when forced to leave the village to serve in The Great War.
WELLBEING: 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!
OUTDOORS: 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 a 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.
WALKS: 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 challenging stomps for the smugly sober and overeager. If you’d 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.
SPORT: 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.
SPORT: 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.
Another newbie is Tutankhamun – Treasures of the Golden Pharaoh at the Saatchi Gallery. One of the biggest cultural events in the winter calendar, the exhibit features 150+ original artefacts found in the Pharaoh’s tomb that was unearthed in 1922 (until 3 May).
Mama Mia! A brand new (and, quite frankly, must-see) exhibition is coming to The O2, London this month – ABBA: Super Troupers is a journey through the Swedish band’s career and will feature personal items and artefacts never seen before in the UK (until 21 Aug 2020).
Other exhibitions worth a snoop are Vogue fashion and portrait photographer Tim Walker‘s enchanting, fantastical, frankly insane collection of work at the V&A (until 8 March); William Blake at Tate Britain, with the visionary painter and poet’s work blown up to enormous scale using digital technology (until 2 Feb 2020); Into the Night: Cabarets & Clubs in Modern Art at the Barbican – a history of cabarets, clubs, dancefloors and party spaces that inspired artists from the 1880s to the 1960s (until 19 Jan).
THEATRE: Cirque Du Soleil, Royal Albert Hall London, 12 Jan – 1 Mar
Cirque du Soleil returns to London’s Royal Albert Hall, bringing their dazzling luminous spectacle, LUZIA to Europe for the first time. You’ll be transported to an imaginary Mexico, where light quenches the spirit and rain soothes the soul. Always a wow production that the whole family will love.
LAST CHANCE: A Christmas Carol, The Old Vic, now – 18 Jan
This production of festive classic A Christmas Carol staged by The Old Vic’s artistic director Matthew Warchus had such great reviews that it’s returning for round three. It’s adapted by Jack Thorne, co-writer of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. oldvictheatre.com
Hogwarts in the Snow, Harry Potter Studios, Watford, now – 27 Jan
Hogwarts in the Snow – as regular as Christmas! The festive makeover sees Christmas trees line the Great Hall, the Gryffindor common room dressed for the season and a blanket of filmmaking snow covering the majestic Hogwarts castle model. Visitors can touch samples of the different types of ‘snow’ used during production, each selected for its ability to float, crunch under foot or glisten in the light like ice. Trust me, your kids will love it.