MON 21 – SUN 27 OCT
MUDDY’S PICK OF THE WEEK
MUSIC: James Arthur, The Hexagon Reading, Tue 22 Oct
He’s won The X Factor in 2012, sold more than 25 million records, over 3 billion streams, has a downstairs loo with more awards than toilet roll and has collaborated with the like of Rudimental and Anne-Marie. Now James Arthur is back on tour, keeping it real and coming to Reading.
KIDS: Spooky Cookie Decorating, The Jelly Lounge Windsor. Mon 21 Oct
Life is sweet at The Jelly Lounge, your littlies spend a delicious hour decorating sppoky cookies and you get to whizz round Zara and Whistles. £10 well spent. Book em up.
SHOPPING: Antiques and Collectables Fair, Newbury Showground, Mon 21 Oct
My favourite antiques fair rolls into town – Newbury Antiques & Collectables Fair. It’s massive! Take a friend, pretend you’re on Bargain Hunt and get competitive with your rummaging. You’ll find everything here from foxy antiques – furniture and jewellery – but lots and lots of collectable and vintage finds. There’s something for everyone and every pocket. Kirsty Allsopp’s been spotted here ,so sharpen your elbows. Entry £5pp.
WELLBEING: Kids’ Yoga, Swan at Streatley, Tue 22 Oct
Release the tension! 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.
THEATRE: Great Expectations, South Hill Park Bracknell, Wed 23 – Sun 28 Oct
A inventive and atmospheric adaptation of Great Expectations takes to the stage at South Hill Park. This much-loved Dickens novel delves into the childhood hopes and fears of young Pip, as he begins his adventures in the windswept marshes of Kent, to the haunting cobwebbed lair of Miss Havisham.
THEATRE: The Mousetrap, Theatre Royal Windsor, Mon 21 – Sat 26 Oct
If you haven’t see one of the 25,000+ performances of The Mousetrap in London’s West End, now is your chance as Agatha Christie’s classic whodunit comes to Windsor. It’s the longest running show of any kind in the world and amazingly the ending still remains a secret! Just avoid Google and Twitter.
THEATRE: David Walliams’ Billionaire Boy, Wycombe Swan, Wed 23 – Sat 26 Oct
David Walliams’ Billionaire Boy comes to Wycombe Swan, about 12 year old Joe who is the richest boy in the country and receives £100,000 a week pocket money (don’t go getting any ideas, kids). It’s produced by the same team that created the award-winning West End show Gangsta Granny so should be a goodie and, knowing Walliams, will be packed with humour for the grown ups too.
ROH LIVE: Don Pasquale, UK live broadcast, Thu 24 Oct
Oh how we love a Welsh warbler, Tom, Shirley, H from Steps and, of course, Bryn Terfel. Bryn’s a Royal Opera fave and he leads the cast for a new production of Donizetti’s comedy of domestic drama across two generations. The witty story of a middle-aged man whose supposed young wife runs rings around him – with her own ulterior romantic purpose in mind. Like The Housewives of Cheshire but posh.
TALK: An Audience With Simon Reeve, The Hexagon Reading, Thu 24 Oct
He’s been chased by pirates, hounded by the KGB and bombed by Colombian barons, Simon Reeve has travelled through over 120 countries and his BBC documentaries have sold to over 60 countries around the world! Simon Reeve’s sell-out UK theatre tour in 2018 has been extended by huge public demand into 2019 – well, he is hot, inspirational and hilarious!
THEATRE: The Hit, South Street Arts Reading, Thu 24 Oct
Yikes! It’s a naked Telly Sevalas in puppet form. Or is it Donald Trump, the giant man baby? Actually this is Mike, AKA The Ghost – a hitman exposed to parts of the brain he never thought he would see. After an accidental death, some nagging last words, and a chance encounter in a steam bath he is holed up in his New York apartment trying to straighten things out.
HALLOWEEN: PYO Pumpkin and Carving, Cobbs Farm Shop Hungerford and Englefield, Fri 25 – Thu 31 Oct
Slime and seeds – pumpkin carving is a nightmare. Leave the mess to someone else and hop over to Cobbs Farm. Pick up a pumpkin (pay for it) and get creative in our carving tent this October Half Term. Entry is £3.50 per child and includes a complimentary Halloween treat and squash to keep those creative juices flowing!
COMEDY: Gary Delaney – Gagster’s Paradise, Norden Farm Maidenhead, Fri 25 Oct
Mock The Week regular and starring in the new Live At The Apollo, Gary Delaney is a master craftsman of the one liner. He brings his new show Gagster’s Paradise to Bracknell – an onslaught of expertly crafted gaggery packed into a brand new show. Despite autocorrect changing the the name of the show to Gangster’s Paradise, Gary won’t be singing Coolio. Just saying.
Contemporary Craft and Design Fair, Wellington College Crowthorne, Fri 25 – Sun 27 Oct
It’s a dirty word, it begins with c (no not that one)… CHRISTMAS. Start shopping at the Contemporary Craft and Design Fair at Wellington College in Crowthorne. Beautiful things made by the very best artists and craftmakers in the UK, that’ll look good when the wrapping paper’s ripped off . Practice your game face for the re-gifted scented drawer liners you get in return.
KIDS: Legoland Windsor Brick or Treat, now – Sun 3 Nov
I’ve run out of jokes about Brick or Treat – that’s how long this Legoland event has been running! Over 55 ‘spooktacular’ rides, live shows and attractions, plus firework displays on 19, 20, 25 and 26 Oct, 1 and 2 Nov. New for 2019 the Creepy Cobweb Castle, Monster Rocker’s Dance Party and Lord Vampyre’s Haunted House Monster Party Ride.
HALLOWEEN: Festival of the Dead and Zombie Walk, The Hope Windsor, Sat 26 Oct
Halloween is not just a sugar-fuelled horror show for the kids, grown ups can get in on the act if you like to slap on the greasepaint and play dress up. No need to look like an old hag or warty witch either, cool ghouls rule at the Festival of the Dead & Windsor’s Annual Zombie Walk. The walk will commence from the bar at 7pm and on return there will be music and zombie themed movies. Family friendly,FREE and the fun starts at 6pm.
EVENT: Halloween: The Bats Lair, Cliveden National Trust Taplow, Sat 26 Oct – Sun 3 Nov
Half week is looming large (don’t worry, we’ll be helping you survive the week a little late in the month) but if you’re kids want to DO Halloween but you’re not keen on Trick or Treating, do this instead. Dress your gruesome kids in Halloween costumes, let them go bat sh*% crazy around Cliveden’s 376 acres while while hanging out with Cliveden’s old bats. No, not Lady Astor… Say that again and she’ll haunt you.
FIREWORKS: Round Table Fireworks, King George’s Recreation Ground Twyford, Sat 26 Oct
One for wannabe firestarters and lover of the oohs and aahs with a side order of hot dog and onions. Many of the organised fireworks displays are taking place the following weekend, but for all you early birders, bonfire night in Twyford is happening before we’ve even got to Halloween. This musical display is themed to celebrate the RAF 100 centenary. Ready for take off?. Book here
EVENTS: Worthington’s ‘Remember Together’ Family Raceday, Newbury Racecourse, Sat 26 Oct
Attention! A race day with plenty of umpapah military pomp. It’s the final meeting of the Flat Season and the launch of the British Legion Poppy Appeal. We can’t promise Richard Gere or Tom Cruise in their whites but there will be plenty of hotties in uniform, fun, fizz and the chance to have a flutter. Free entry for armed forces personnel past and present. Please call 01635 40015 to redeem.
THEATRE: Assassins, The Watermill Theatre, now – Sat 26 Oct
One of the most controversial musicals ever written, Assassins is a twisted celebration of America, “a land where any boy can grow up to kill a president” – and anyone can BE president (*cue Trump eyeroll*). This show explores the motives of nine individuals who attempt to assassinate US presidents, exposing a sinister underside to the American Dream. Compelling, innovative and yet disturbingly funny.
FAMILY FUN: Hallo’welly’ween, Wellington Country Park Reading, Sat 26 Oct – Fri 1 Nov
A week of spooktacular fun for the kids at Wellington Country Park – New for 2019 is the Giant Hale Bale Hunt, pumpkin science, potion making and witches supermarket, alongside the annual spooky storytime, rocket show, Big Foot show, spooky disco, magic shows, a creepy craft room, scary face painting, a haunted Halloween train ride, pumpkin carving and much more! You;re gonna be busy. wellington-country-park.co.uk
FAMILY FUN: The Big Draw, Windsor Castle, Sat 26 Oct
Leonardo De Vinci was a man who was comfortable with an HB pencil, to mark the 500th anniversary of his death Windsor Castle is hosting a series of events to celebrate his extraordinary talent. The Queen owns more than 200 of the Renaissance master’s drawings, and while they’re on display at Buckingham Palace, you and your kids can create your own at Windsor as part in The Big Draw Festival – the world’s biggest celebration of drawing. rct.uk
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: The Wonderful World of the Ladybird Book Artists, The Base Greenham Common, now – Sun 15 Dec
Fancy a literary trip down memory lane? Immerse yourself in the nostalgic world of Ladybird Books told through original artwork, books and objects. We all had them, and bring back the same childhood fuzzies as Space Invader crisps and Willow The Wisp. Explore an unparalleled collection of books, original artwork and artefacts, dating back to the WW2, at The Base.
EVENT: Muddy + Bicester Village shopping & styling spectacular!, Bicester Village, 14 Nov
We hate to use the C word just yet but here at Muddy this is the year when we’re finally getting organised with our Christmas shopping and planning. No more dashing around shops on 23 Dec, no sirree! With this in mind, we’ve concocted an amazing Christmas shopping and styling event with Bicester Village for Muddy readers. A ticket will include a talk from Muddy founder Hero Brown on how to buy the perfect gifts, a guide to tablescaping and bringing festive chic to your home by renowned interior designer/florist Willow Crossley (google her gorgeous Cotswolds pubs), expert styling advice from Muddy’s Kerry Potter, brunch/ afternoon tea provided by Soho House, 10 percent discount for all participating Bicester Village stores throughout the day and a luxury goodie bag. Because self-gifting is a valid part of Christmas, right?! Tickets here
ART: The Contemporary Art Fair, Windsor Racecourse, 8-9 Nov
How cool is this? It makes a bold statement but perhaps not one for the kids’ bedrooms. Sculptor Steve Yeates’ fabulous figurative works will be on display at The Contemporary Art Fair, alongside more than 160 artists, printmakers, photographers, ceramicists and independent galleries from all over the UK and Europe. Have a mooch, chat to artists and, if you find something you love, prices start at just 40 quid.
COMEDY: What’s In A Name, Theatre Royal Windsor, Mon 4 – Sat 9 Nov
Looking for laughs? The Inbetweeners Joe Thomas and Miranda’s Bo Poraj star in this comedic play about egos, childish resentment and unspoken feelings. This will be the first UK tour for the show which has been adapted from award-winning French film and stage show Le Prénom by Brit theatre director Jeremy Sams. Looks like a goodie.
THEATRE: Lungs, Old Vic theatre, London, 14 Oct – 9 Nov
The Crown alumni Claire Foy and Matt Smith (aka The Queen and Prince Philip, of course) are reunited in Lungs at the Old Vic (14 Oct–9 Nov), playing a couple wrestling with life’s big issues, such as whether to have children, against the backdrop of a world teetering on the edge of environmental and political disaster.
ART & EXHIBITIONS
Vogue fashion and portrait photographer Tim Walker‘s enchanting, fantastical, frankly insane work is the subject of a new V&A exhibition (until 8 March). Tilda Swinton, Björk and, er, Sir David Attenborough are among his subjects and he’s also created 10 new works for the show.
Meanwhile this autumn’s big-hitter is William Blake at Tate Britain, below, (until 2 Feb 2020). The visionary painter and poet’s work will be imaginatively displayed – some of it blown up to enormous scale using digital technology, other works in an immersive room that recreates the space in which Blake first showed his art in 1809.
Elsewhere Into the Night: Cabarets & Clubs in Modern Art at the Barbican (4 Oct – 19 Jan) is probably the nearest I’ll get to clubbing this autumn. It’s such a cool concept – a history of cabarets, clubs, dancefloors and party spaces that inspired artists from the 1880s to the 1960s, including the Berlin cabaret scene in Weimar Germany and Harlem’s jazz clubs and lifesize recreations of some of the hotspots.
Then there’s a major retrospective of 88-year-old Bridget Riley‘s life’s work at the Hayward Gallery (23 Oct – 26 Jan), taking in her famous monochrome, makes-your-eyes-go-funny Op Art paintings from the 1960s among its 70 year career span.
And finally, playing “spot the Angel Of The North” as we drive up the A1 to Newcastle is a family ritual in our house (Geordie in-laws, you see), so I’ve got a soft spot for Antony Gormley’s striking sculpture. His new show at the Royal Academy (until 3 Dec) is billed as his most ambitious in a decade and involves six tonnes of steel mesh, eight km of coiled tubing and a gallery flooded with clay and sea water. Blimey!
Fright Nights, Thorpe Park, now – Sun 3 Nov
Thorpe Park’s Fright Night boasts more terror than ever before with new horror experiences, attractions, and even more scares. It’s the perfect event to get you in the mood for Halloween, so grab your tickets… if you dare.
FOOD: London Restaurant Festival, various London locations, all month
London’s fantastic restaurant scene is in full celebration mode this month, with great value festival menus at loads of great restaurants, plus foodie events like gastronomic weekends, tasting menus, restaurant-hopping tours, tasting menus with famous chefs, talks, films and art.