MON 18 – SUN 24 MAR
MUDDY’S PICK OF THE WEEK
COMEDY: Julian Clary – Born To Mince, Hexagon Reading, Wed 20 Mar
Stick you minds in the gutter and brace yourselves for a ‘tsunami of smut’. The grand dame of filth, Julian Clary is on a UK tour to pleasure the provinces. In Born To Mince (a show he was going to to call Bed Knobs and Knee Pads but was advised might not sell too well in Harrogate), Julian will murder a few choons, read you a sneak preview from his next memoir A Night At the Lubricant and make withering remarks about punters foolish enough to sit in the FROW.
WORKSHOP: Beginners floristry, Cliveden National Trust Taplow, Wed 20 & Wed 27 Mar
Learn how to make the best of your bunch at this three-hour floristry workshop at the National Trust’s Cliveden. You’ll be taught how to choose the best flowers, arrangement and those all important conditioning tips to keep them alive (I’ve never been so good at that part). nationaltrust.org.uk
Alternatively at the other end of the county, The Swan at Streatley is running a blooming marvellous floristry workshop with Sarah from The Garden Room. You’ll learn how to make a beautiful spring vase arrangement worthy of a place on any table. No skills required and no need to bring anything – except perhaps a friend. theswanatstreatley.com
DANCE: Shut Down, Corn Exchange Newbury, Thu 21 Mar
With so much focus of women of late, the boy were starting to feel a bit left out. To redress the balance, one of the UK’s most risk-taking choreographers, Charlotte Vincent, explores what it’s like to live as a man today – looking at the pressures, contradictions and confusions of being a fella in 2019.
FILM: Banff Mountain Film Festival, Hexagon Reading, Thu 21 Mar
The latest and best films touring around the UK courtesy of the world’s most prestigious mountain film festival. On 21 March at The Hexagon Reading there are 5 short films. My favourite? Ice & Palm by German pals Jochen Mesle and Max Kroneck who documented their raucous bikepacking journey across the Alps, summiting mountains and skiing iconic lines along the way until they reached the sea. Amazing stuff.
COMEDY: Kieran Hodgson ’75, South Street Arts Reading, Fri 22 Mar
Three-time Edinburgh Comedy Award nominee, Kieran Hodgson has been stirring the rich comedy pot of Brexit but delving deep into a series of obsolete impressions based on how Britain joined Europe in the first place – and apparently the 70s were about more than TISWAS, the colour brown and the words ‘Let’s go on strike again’. Who knew?
MUSIC: Wannabe! The Spice Girls Show, Hexagon Reading, Sat 23 Mar
I’ll tell you what I want, what I really really want… to catch The Spice Girls Show and all the Girl Power belters when it stops off in Reading this month. Join Ginger, Posh, Baby, Scary and Sporty Spice for the biggest 90s party in town (costumes are encouraged). If you haven’t snagged a ticket to see the real deal this summer, this will hit the zig-a-zig-ahhhhhhh spot.
MUSIC: Norman Jay MBE, Clayton’s Marlow, Sat 23 Mar
Ahhh, now this one takes me back to good times! Worth commando crawling over the boarder to see the co-founder of pirate radio KISS FM and the legendary Good Times Sound System when he pops up at Clayton’s Marlow with his vinyl collection and hat in tow.
EXHIBITION: A Royal Wedding: Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank, Windsor Castle, from Fri 1 Mar
When you’re the second royal bride in a year, you’re never going to steal the limelight, no matter how much razzle dazzle and how many supermodels you throw at it. Once again, Princess Eugenie is playing second fiddle to the Duchess of Sussex’s Givenchy gown as her Peter Pilotto goes on display at Windsor Castle for A Royal Wedding Exhibition – mark two.
THEATRE: Macbeth, The Watermill Bagnor, now – Sat 30 Mar
The timing of The Watermill’s Macbeth could not be better with our political parties imploding and Brexitaggedon looming. A ruthless, violent struggle for power leads to a devastating coup (we’re talking about the play now, not Westminster am-dram). The Macbeths will stop at nothing to survive, and it’s all played out to a fierce soundtrack of Johnny Cash, The xx and The Rolling Stones. If the last few Shakespeare plays are anything to go by, this will be a corker.
WALKS: The Gilded Gardens, Cliveden National Trust Taplow
Blenheim Pavllion, Cliveden
Say goodbye to snowdrops and a big hello to daffodils that are springing up everywhere. New for 2019 Cliveden present their new programme The Gilded Gardens, inspired by the 24 carat gilded golden gates on the Sounding chamber and thousands of daffodils that grow across the estate- this year the gardening team have added a further 57 varieties to the existing 20 so there grounds really will be carpeted in canary, until Tues 30 April. Head to the Water Garden and Blenheim Pavilion for the best of ‘em.
THEATRE: Abigail’s Party, Aylesbury Waterside, Mon 18 – Sat 23 Mar
The cocktails are flowing and disco music is playing- sounds like my sort of party! West End star Jodie Prenger, Vicky Binns (Coronation Street, Emmerdale) and Daniel Casey (Midsomer Murders) star in this comical satire about warring couples in 1970s British suburbia.
RUN: OX5 Charity run, Blenheim Palace, Sun 24 Mar
On your marks, get set… stroll! Blenheim’s biggest annual fundraiser returns- a five mile run, jog or walk around the beautiful parkland with proceeds going to Oxford Children’s Hospital. If you enter in a team of five or more, you can also compete for one of the charity cups like best family team and best fundraiser.
ART: Jeff Koons at The Ashmolean, Oxford, until Sun 9 Jun
Behemoth of the contemporary art world, Jeff Koons is curating his own exhibition in collaboration with Norman Rosenthal. Spanning Koons’ entire career and showcasing seventeen 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, Victoria & Albert Museum, London, until Sun 14 July
Tickets are selling like hotcakes for this! 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’s a new section exploring Dior’s fascination with British culture. A highlight is the Christian Dior dress worn by Princess Margaret for her 21st birthday celebrations, on loan from the Museum of London.
INTERIORS: Ideal Home Show, Olympia London, Fri 22 Mar – Sun 7 Apr
The whopper Ideal Home Show rocks up at Olympia London with hundreds of free talks, 600 companies and the latest tech for the home. This year the theme is Best of British so expect loads of UK companies. Does anyone else feel a splurge coming on?
EXHIBITION: Don McCullin Photography, Tate Britain, until Mon 6 May & Dorothea Tanning until Sun 9 Jun
Over 250 photographs spanning Don McCullin’s 6o year career are on display at Tate Britain and include his iconic war images, including Vietnam, Northern Island and Syria, as well as some of his work focussing on poverty in England. You can also see over 100 works by Dorothea Tanning, from her 7 decade career as a surrealist artist, at Tate Modern until Sun 9 Jun.
High School Musical, South Hill Park Bracknell, Wed 17 – Mon 22 Apr
The first High School Musical film came out 13 years ago… THIRTEEN YEARS!!! It means two things 1) we’re all really old and 2) if your children were born in the 2000s, some of you may not have seen it. Guilty as charged, but I’ve also only seen one of the original Star Wars movies. Anyway High School Musical is coming to South Hill Park Bracknell and in the creative hands of director Mark Hooper (Madagascar, Suessical), it’s set to be a corker. Book now Wildcats.
The Little Welly, Henley, Sat 8 – Sun 9 Jun
Have the hose and a hot wash on stand by, this is gonna get messy. Like break your washing machine, kinda messy. Bigger, better and muddier than ever, the UK’s biggest children’s obstacle course returns for the sixth year to the Culden Faw Estate in Henley. Throw your mud-seeking minis (4+) and they’re parents (sorry about that) at the 30 obstacles – including The Big Slide, Tyre Mangle, mud and water pits, Spider’s Web and bouncing round the foam pit. Away from the race’s there’s Laser Tag, circus skill workshops, pony rides, den building and bungee trampolining and more.