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This week

MON 18 – SUN 24 FEB


THEATRE: Joseph & His Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat, Theatre Royal Windsor, Wed 20 Feb – Sat 2 Mar

Joseph and his Technicolour Dreamcoat theatre

I closed my eyes, drew back the curtain… and was pretty shocked to see popstrel Jaymi Hensley in a loin cloth. Restrain yourselves, Union J fans, Jaymi will be making his musical theatre debut in Bill Kenwright’s critically-acclaimed production of Joseph. Oh come on, if Jason Donovan can do it, anyone can. I’m seeing this joyously fromage-heavy show in Windsor on the first night, so eyes peeled for the review.


THEATRE: Margo and Mr Whatsit, Norden Farm Maidenhead, Mon 18 Feb

Margo & Mr whatsis one man two women in bed kids theatre

With two brothers, I didn’t have imaginary friends but imaginary sisters. I blame them entirely for the perm and rainbow eye shadow phase of my teen life.  Margo &  Mr Whatsit is a production about Sophia and her fantasy pal Mr Whatsit who becomes unimagined when she moves to her new foster home. Bye bye Mr Whatsit, hello Margo – much mischief will follows. Winner of Best Children and Family Show at Brighton Fringe, I reckon your littlies will love it.


THEATRE: Madagascar The Musical, Hexagon Reading, Tue 19 –  Sat 23 Feb

Madagascar the Musical Matt Terry Adam the lion and 4 penguins

Yes, that is X-Factor winner Matt Terry in a lion suit – and you’re gonna hear him rooaaaaaarr. He’s finally escaped the talent show zoo (well it was a few years ago now) and is now on the prowl in theatres all over the UK in Madagascar The Musical. It’s a brilliant feel-good show, packed with all the crowd-pleasing choons. You got to move it, move it… and see this one while you can. I’ll get my coat.


WELLBEING: Kids Yoga, Swan at Streatley, Tues 19 Feb

yoga by the river crossed legged

Release the tension! Yup the kids need to go. Out, I mean go out. And what better place to send them than kids yoga at Swan at Streatley. Two creative yoga workshops for different age groups (4-7 yr olds at 1.15pm and 8-13 yr olds at 2.15pm), where they’ll get to release energy and hit the reset button. You can work on your own tension in the cafe/bar – coffee? wine? Choose your poison and relax.


KIDS: Bake With Me, The Real Macaron Company Newbury, Tues 19 Feb

On your marks, get set… BAKE! If you’re kitchen skills are a little lack lustre, with more soggy bottoms and burnt offerings, then send your kids to The Real Macaron Company in Newbury. Young bakers (7-13 yr olds) before they get to the car. Spaces are limited and cost £22.50 (inc a soft drink and macaron). Bespoke parties for tiddlers and teens can be arranged.


TALK: Royal Romances, Coworth Park Ascot, Thu 21 Feb

Princess Margaretbridal gown wedding day

Still hoping for the fairytale ending? Nah, me neither. But oh how we love a royal romance. The rock ‘n’ roll years of Princess Margaret are by far my favourite, but who doesn’t reminisce about the brief highs and many lows of Charles and Diana, Andy and Fergie (until the toe-sucking saga) and, of course, the roofs rewriting the royal romance rules. Former ITV royal correspondent Nicholas Owen has seen it all and he’s spilling the beans at Coworth Park.


FAMILY FUN: Horrible Histories: Brand New Barmy Army Britain, Corn Exchange Newbury, Thu 21 – Sat 23 Feb

Horrible Histories Brand new barmy Army two men dressed as royal women

Love Horrible Histories and watch it without the kids (don’t judge, it’s hilarious). Brand New Barmy Britain is the dinner party you’d never want to host as HH bring back the dead so you get to meet all  faves from Britain’s barmy past – from Richard III to the Samuel Pepys!


COMEDY: Stuart Goldsmith: End Of, Norden Farm Maidenhead, Fri 22 Feb

Comedian Stuart Goldsmith white t shirt white wall

Hello handsome! Former Warwick Castle court jester, host of The Comedians Comedian Podcast (downloaded a stonking 10million times), Stuart Goldsmith is a familiar face on the comedy circuit and brings his latest show End Of to Maidenhead. Intelligent stand-up of particular interest to people over 30 who can’t eat just one pain au chocolat. *Raises hand*.


THEATRE: Murder For Two, Watermill Theatre Newbury, now – Sat 23 Feb

Murder for two – one man playing piano

I reviewed Murder For Two when it premiered at The Watermill last year, and after a run in London’s West End, this hilarious high-energy whodunit is back. Starring Ed MacArthur and Jeremy Legat, it’s a madcap murder mystery with a twist, a hysterical blend of music, mayhem and murder.


WALKS: Snowdrop Walks, Welford Park Newbury, now – Sun 3 Mar

carpet of snowdrops in woodland at Welford Park Newbury

It’s snowdrop time! Choose a dry-ish day and wander through drifts of snowdrops at Welford Park. Why Welford Park? It’s only got one the finest natural snowdrop woodlands in the chuffing country – four fabulous acres. Visit Wed-Sun (11am-4pm) until Sun 3 Mar. You can find more snowdrop walks here.


FAMILY FUN: Charge The Castle, Windsor Castle, throughout Feb

black white chess board knights

Chaaaaaarge! Windsor Castle its under siege and it’s up to your mini knights to fight them off pronto. Don’t worry they’ll have all the gear – armour and weapons – and a bit of an idea (did someone say risk assessment?), leaving you time to wander off and swoon over the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s Wedding exhibition. It’s only on until 17 Feb. Charge The Castle is on every Saturday in Feb, and every day over half term.


EVENT: Circus of Screams, Forbury Gardens Reading, Sat 23 Feb, Sat 2 Mar

striped circus tent and illuminated circus sign


Roll up and race round Reading for A Circus of Screams – a three-hour Murder Mystery where you must find hidden evidence and catch a circus killer against the clock! The whole town becomes the set for this real-life whodunnit.Crack clues using their smartphones, converse with characters and find hidden evidence before the time runs out. Try not to kill each other.


COMEDY: Laugh Out Loud, Bel & The Dragon Reading, Sun 24 Feb

Comedian Ross Smith on kids swing in park

Comedy’s rising stars will be bringing their best gags to the Bel & The Dragon Reading. An old biscuit factory in the centre of Reading, it’s a great set up for a cool comedy night, plus you get a main meal with your ticket price. Saddle up for Host Ross Smith, Josh Pugh & Michael Fabbri for a laugh out loud night out. £45pp.



EXHIBITION: Jeff Koons, Asmoleon Museum Oxford, now – Sun 9 Jun

Jeff Kloons pink bubble sculpture

Worth hopping over the border to see the phenomenal Jeff Koons exhibition in Oxford. A behemoth of the contemporary art world, Koons is curating his own exhibition in collaboration with Norman Rosenthal. Spanning his’ entire career and showcasing 17 works, most of which have never been shown in the UK before, the show will include his popular series Equilibrium, Statuary, Banality, Antiquity and his recent Gazing Ball sculptures and paintings.


EXHIBITION: Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams, V&A Museum London, from Sat 2 Feb

Christian Dior pink tulle gown

Christian Dior by Maria Grazia Chiuri (b. 1964), Éventail de vos hasards, Dress, Haute Couture, Spring/Summer 2018. Dior Héritage collection, Paris

This is going to be maaassive! The V&A is showing the largest House of Dior exhibition ever staged in the UK, tracing the history of Christian Dior and the six artistic directors who succeeded him. The exhibition is based on the major exhibition Christian Dior: Couturier du Rêve, organised by the Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Paris, and there will be a new section exploring Dior’s fascination with British culture. A highlight will be the Christian Dior dress worn by Princess Margaret for her 21st birthday celebrations, on loan from the Museum of London.


FAMILY FUN: Imagine Children’s Festival, Southbank Centre, Weds 13 Feb – Sun 24 Feb

cartoon of aliens

Twelve days of jam-packed half-term fun in this brilliant annual kids festival. Aimed at 0-12 year olds, there’s a mind-boggling array of activities and events, including a clutch of free possibilities in Strictly Kids, We’re Going On A Bear Hunt Concert, meet How To Train Your Dragonauthor Cressida Cowell, Fun DMC, Bedtime stories, Sue Perkins conducting Noisy Notes, plus the chance to play in the soundpit, create your spoon alter ego and train to be astronaut.


EXHIBITION: An Earthly Paradise: William Morris & the Thames, River & Rowing Museum Henley, Fri 1 Feb – Sun 14 July

This exhibition’s focus is on how the Thames and its tributaries influenced William Morris’ work. He had a rural retreat in Oxon and enjoyed angling and boating and the influence of the river can been seen in his textiles and designs. Pieces have been collated from the V&A, The William Morris Gallery and the British Library to make this exhibition possible and it also delves into Morris personal life and his politics so you get a sense of the man as well as his iconic work.


THEATRE: All About Eve, Noel Coward Theatre, London, now – Sat 11 May

Not the recent fabulous tv series but a play based on the award-winning 1950s film starring Bette Davis as Margo Channing, a Broadway star, and her young fan, Eve Harrington, who inveigles her way into her life. With Gillian Anderson and Lilly James in the starring roles, director Ivo van Hove at the helm, and with the themes of celebrity and youth at its core, this looks like a dead cert for success.


EXHIBITION: David Adjaye: Making Memory – Seven Monumental Projects, Design Museum London, now – Sun 5 May

National Catherdral of Ghana. Image: Leonardo Finotti

Can a building shape our perception of events? We’re about to find out. Celebrated Ghanaian-British architect Sir David Adjaye showcases seven of his architectural projects that speak louder than words for social justice – all with a sense of fashion and style. From the National Museum of African American History and Culture, opened by President Barak Obama, to the UK Holocaust Memorial Centre, each project is presented in a dedicated room alongside video interviews and immersive displays.


THEATRE: The Winter’s Tale for Young Audiences, National Theatre, London, now – Thurs 21 Feb

This is a great way to introduce primary-age children to Shakespeare (and it’s only an hour long). The Winter’s Tale, the story of Perdita, the girl who was once lost but is found, returns to the National Theatre in February 2019, following a sell-out run at the Dorfman Theatre last year.  Adapted by Justin Audibert and directed by Ruth Mary Johnson, the show is also touring round primary schools in Greater London.

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