MON 2 – SUN 8 SEP
MUDDY’S PICK OF THE WEEK
DANCEE: BalletBoyz – Them/ Us, The Hexagon Reading, Fri 6 Sep
Created by ex-Royal Ballet dancers Michael Nunn and William Trevitt, BalletBoyz have performed around the world, won several awards and also created many arts documentaries for telly including BalletBoyz I & II, Strictly Bolshoi and 40 short films for Channel 4’s Random Acts strand that’s dedicated to the arts. A first for BalletBoyz, this new show Them / Us has been created by the company’s in-house team, and set to a score by emerging composer Charlotte Harding.
POP UP CINEMA: Rocketman, Hurley House Hotel Maidenhead, Tue 3 Sep
If you enjoyed the Freddie Mercury biopic, then you’ll love Rocketman, a film about Sting… only joking, Elton John obviously, with Brit star Taron Egerton (above) donning the silly specs. Throw in a two-course meal and champagne into the ticket price and the nachos and popcorn buffet suddenly feel a bit lacking. Book up.
THEATRE: The Exorcist, Theatre Royal Windsor, Wed 4 – Sat 14 Sep
The first horror film to be nominated for an Oscar for Best Picture (one of 10 noms) and has racked up $441million at the box office to date. The Exorcist a cultural phenomenon that is about to come to life on stage and coming to Windsor after its West End run finished last year. Inspired by true events, this devilishly thrilling tale, directed by Sean Mathias (Waiting for Godot), featuring the voice of Ian McKellen as the Demon. Would you like to play a game Regan?
EAT & DRINK: Festival of Food and Wine, Ascot Racecourse, Fri 6 – Sat 7 Sep
Food glorious food… the diet will have to wait because Ascot’s Festival of Food and Wine is back and it requires a Phyllis Fogg approach to eating – a culinary world tour washed down with artisan spirits, craft beers and fine wines. Plus kitchen demos from Raymond Blanc OBE, James Tanner and Master Patissier Eric Lanlard. Enjoy a full day of racing and stuff your face.
EVENT: Castle Tours, Costume and Cocktails, Highclere Castle Newbury, Sat 7 – Sun 8 Sep
Well knock me down and call me a flapper! Downton Abbey The Movie is released in cinemas on Fri 13 Sep (cast pic above), and here’s your chance to channel your inner Lady Mary and make yourself at home at Highclere with a martini. The Earl and Countess of Carnarvon invite you to attend The Real Downton Abbey 1920s style. Play dress up (there are prizes for the competitive), learn to Charleston or listen to the big band. Watch your windmill legs round the priceless antiques..
EVENT: Greenfest, Hampstead Norreys, Sat 7 Sep
If you’re trying to be kinder to the planet and live more sustainable life, head to Hampstead Norreys for the first ever GreenFest. It’s big, free and has shopping, music, and talks on everything from climate change to sustainable fashion – including Berkshire’s very own Greta Thunberg, 10-year-old Freya. Oh and The Living Rainforest will on hand to entertain the kids (you can even learn to make eco-friendly festival glitter).
MUSIC: Down At The Abbey Festival, Abbey Ruins Reading, Sat 7 Sep
The opportunity to see great bands before they get too big for Berks. From the creators of the award-winning Are You Listening? Festival, this is a brand new outdoor music fest that caters for all tastes and we’re sitting up like meerkats for headliner BC Camplight, Rozi Plain whose music dominates BBC Radio 6 Music and Glastonbury veteran Rachael Dadd is also on the line-up.
COMEDY: Brewery Comedy, Windsor and Eton Brewery, Sat 7 Sep
Set a comedy night in a brewery and you can write your own punchline. Another four comedians take to the factory floor to eek the LOLs out of an enthusiastic crowd perched on beer barrels drinking the bar dry (OK, that’s just us). This weekend you’ll see, Jake Farrell, Fresh from his Edinburgh Fringe debut; Alex Kealy – a finalist of the prestigious So You Think You’re Funny competition; Edinburgh regular Gary Sansome and Stella Graham. Always a good night.
THEATRE: Kiss Me Kate, The Watermill Newbury, now – Sat 21 Sep
From the BBC ballroom to the Watermill rehearsal studio, the talented Oti Mabuse is shaking her sequinned dance skills as choreographer of The Watermill’s latest production, Kiss Me Kate. Expect this Cole Porter classic to have all the razzle dazzle when its stars Olivier award-winner Rebecca Trehearn and David Ricardo take to stage this week.
EXHIBITION: En Vogue, Basildon Park Lower Basildon, now – Mon 18 Nov
Strike a pose there’s nothing to it and saunter up to Basildon Park for a fabulous fashion exhibition. Lady Iliffe graced the glossy pages of Vogue in 1966, with the mansion as the backdrop to Henry Clarke’s stylish portraits. Bringing that shoot to life, you can rifle through her wardrobe and drool over the Dior, Valentino and Chanel. If you missed out on the V&A’s Dior exhibition, this will scratch that fashion itch.
EXHIBITION: Bears, Rivers and Rowing Museum Henley On Thames, now – Sun 3 Nov
The lovely River and Rowing Museum, in Henley, has a new children’s exhibition Bears! where kids can learn about history’s favourite teddies – Rupert, Winnie the Pooh and friends – as well as explore original artwork and manuscripts from We’re Going on a Bear Hunt, The Bear and The Piano and Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials. Every Fri during the hols there’ll be bear-themed games and crafts in the galleries, and on 8 Aug, there’ll be a Teddy Bear’s Picnic.
EXHIBITION: Counterpoint, Stanley Spencer Gallery Cookham, now – Fri 28 Nov
A celebration of British creativity and originality, Counterpoint is a collection of works by legendary local artist Stanley Spencer and his contemporaries. Amongst those represented are: Barnett Freedman, C.R.W. Nevinson, Edward Burra, Mark Gertler, William Roberts, Jacob Epstein and Henri Gaudier-Brzeska.
TOUR: Conquer the Tower, Windsor Castle, until 30 Sep
To the tower! On this occasion you’ll keep your head. The iconic Round Tower dominates the Windsor skyline, and now you can take the 200 steps (wheeze… one too many ice creams this summer) to check out the epic view from the top. While the Queen’s holidaying in Balmoral, poke around her gaff and see St George’s Chapel, Long Walk, Windsor Great Park and the London skyline.
KIDS: Maize Maze, Bucklebury Farm Park, now– 30 Sep
If you’re looking for covert and creative ways to lose your kids for a five minutes over the school holidays, there’s always Bucklebury Farm Park’s Maize Maze. New for 2019, your kids will run wild, answer clues and discover the homes of Stanley the Stag, Freddie Fox, Mary Mouse and Ola Owl.
DAYS OUT: Salon Privé, Blenheim Palace, Woodstock, Oxon until Thu 5 – Sat 7 Sep
I wouldn’t mind that little number for a run around! Petrol heads, car buffs and, ahem, Prosecco enthusiasts, will be flocking to Blenheim Palace, Woodstock, this month for the 14th annual Salon Privé – three days of garden parties with a mega collection of super and classic cars, as well as a luxury retail village and posh nosh (5 – 7 Sept).
POP-UP: The Modist, Bicester Village, Bicester, now – 24 Sept
Dubai-based luxury online brand The Modest pops up in Bicester Village this summer with its first European boutique (I need that pink dress, like, immediately). The brand will have pieces from contemporary labels as well as from its own brand LAYEUR. bicestervillage.com
NEW EXHIBITION: Sweet Harmony: Rave exhibition, Saatchi Gallery, West London, until 14 Sept
Photo by Dave Swindells
Rave on! This new photo exhibition explores the new world that emerged from the acid house movement in the ’80s and ’90s and the beginnings of rave culture. Photographers Tom Hunter, Vinca Petersen and Dave Swindells will be on hand at the Saatchi Gallery to explain the stories behind their iconic shots.
FAMILY FUN: Zip Now London, Archbishops Park, Lambeth, until Sun 15 Sep
Is it a bird? Is it a plane? Nope it’s a human torpedo whizzing down a 738ft wire, 100ft (9 double decker buses!) above Archbishop’s Park at 50mph. Beats the tube any day of the week. What we’ll do to avoid our faces been wedged in someone’s sweaty armpit. Get yourself down to South Bank, climb to the top the tower and wheeeeeeee. Suitable from 8+.
ART: Fresh:Art Fair, Ascot Racecourse, Thu 19 – Sun 22 Sep
This is MAJOR. Alongside mega-hits by Tracey Emin, Hockney, Banksy and Damien Hirst, this Chris Levine portrait of Her Maj will be on display at Fresh:Art Fair at Ascot Racecourse. Some of the best galleries (Muddy Award-winning ones among them) in the UK and Ireland, will bring more than 6,000 pieces, priced from £500 to £5,000 (19 – 22 Sept). Check out 12 artists to keep an eye out for here. Snag yourself a FREE ticket to the private view (free wine music and first dibs), plus you ticket is valid all weekend – quote MUDDY at checkout.
FESTIVAL: Uncorked, The Vineyard Hotel, Stockcross, Sun 15 Sep
Kids are back to school, routine is restored and the wine consumption is stable… it’s something worth celebrating. Uncorked is a new festival, hosted by The Vineyard Hotel Stockcross, to mark the end of summer. A bit like the Ibizan closing party but for grown ups – knock back fine wines, sensational spirits, live music and feast on a Californian BBQ. See you there!
FOOD & DRINK: Beer Tasting Evening, Donnington Valley Hotel Newbury, Fri 13 Sep
Indulge in a beer tasting with a difference. West Berkshire Brewery and Donnington Valley head chef, Darren Booker-Wilson will be tickling your tastebuds with craft bees r(or gin) paired with food. Goggles on, belt loosened and book up.
CULTURE: Henley Literary Festival – featuring Muddy Stilettos Book Club Live, Phyllis Court, Henley, Sat 5 Oct
It’s back, baby! We’re returning to Henley Lit Fest (28 Sept – 6 Oct) this year with lashings of wine, plenty of pizzazz and a panel of brilliant authors: actor, Celebrity Master Chefwinner and Meant to Be author Lisa Faulkner, former deputy editor of ELLE and How to be a Gentlewoman author Lotte Jeffs, and Five Steps to Happy debut novelist Ella Dove. More info here. Get your tickets pronto, last year was a sell out.