MON 25 – SUN 31 MAR
MUDDY’S PICK OF THE WEEK
THEATRE: WILD, South Street Arts Reading, Wed 27 Mar
Bin all the birthing clichés you can think of, WILD by Laura Mugridge & Katie Villa takes that moment with ferocity, comedy and a pineapple. As part of the making process, Katie and Laura worked with local women and birth professionals, each one of whom has their own unique experience of birth. Part riot, part disco, part rite of passage – sounds just like my night on the maternity ward, but with more comedy, music and glitter.
SHOPPING: Antiques and Collectables Fair, Newbury Showground, Mon 25 Mar
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 £10pp from 8am-9.30am; £5pp thereafter.
WORKSHOP: Beginners floristry, Cliveden National Trust Taplow, 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).
THEATRE: The Trials Of Oscar Wilde, Theatre Royal Windsor, Tue 26 – Sat 30 Mar
How did the ‘wittest man that ever lived’ become Prisoner C.3.3? This brilliant play, written by Oscar Wilde’s grandson Merlin Holland, dramatisatises Wilde’s libel and criminal trials, following the successful opening of his final play The Importance of Being Earnest – 100 days later he was behind bars. Using the actual words spoken in court, we can feel what it was like to be in the company of a flawed genius – as this less than ideal husband is reduced to a man of no importance. It was a West End sell out, loved by critics, so definitely worth seeing.
DANCE: Storm, South Hill Park Bracknell, Wed 27 Mar
If you’re missing BBC1’s The Greatest Dancer. No? I was probably the one viewer, but I’m quite partial to a contemporary dance number, and Storm is set to be a cracker. Performed by one of Europe’s most in demand dance companies, sit back an get swept up in a whirlwind of lightning fast, athleticism as acrobatics, break-dancing and martial arts fuse together.
COMEDY: Adam Kay 2019 – This Is Going To Hurt, Hexagon Reading, Thu 28 – Fri 29 Mar
After sell-out shows at the Edinburgh Fringe 2016, 2017 and 2018, Adam Kay’s bestselling book is now being turned into a BBC Series. His hilarious and sometimes stomach-churning observations on his time as a junior doctor are certainly causing a stir and you can catch him for yourself at the The Hexagon Reading.
DRINKIES: A Journey Through South Africa, GrapeSmith Hungerford, Fri 29 Mar
If you’re gasping for a holiday, I can’t deliver white sands and balmy temperatures (I’m not a magician) but I can send you off to on a liquid tour of the South Africa’s wines. GrapeSmith in Hungerford will take you on tour, starting with a bubbly number and finishing with something sweet, (via some incredible reds and whites). There’s nibbles too. Phew. Could get messy. A fab (and affordable!) opportunity to flirt South African wines in the presence of an expert Ross Dixie! Spaces are limited, £15 pp.
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.
THEATRE: No Kids, Corn Exchange Newbury, Fri 29 Mar
Did you consider whether you should have kids? Given the look on my face when the positive pregnancy test came up, the answer is no. But George and Nir, a real-life same-sex couple, are covering all the bases – adoption, surrogacy, co-parenting, the environmental impact of childbirth, the fears and anxieties, how the past affects parenting and much more. Serious stuff, told in a less than serious way.
COMEDY: Stephen Bailey: Our Kid, Norden Farm Maidenhead, Sat 30 Mar
Meet your new potty-mouthed best friend, who supported Katherine Ryan and Jenny Éclair on their sell-out UK tours. Stephen Bailey’s new show Our Kid is a story full of Northern warmth, some working-class guilt and a bit of blue. The kinda smutty humour we love. He was also named one of Attitude Magazine’s Top 100 Bachelors of the Year… just saying.
EVENT: Spring Family Race Day, Ascot Racecourse, Sun 31 Mar
Racecourses are generally kid-free zones – probably due to all-day bubbles and focus on the horses, but the Spring Family Raceday is a fab day with loooooads to entertain the rugrats –the legendary Lamb National, den building, cooking demos with James Wood, a petting zoo, free pony rides and more. Oh and there’s some actual jump racing too, Under 18s go FREE and the under 12s get a free nosebag in Bandstand Kitchen. Winning on Mother’s Day.
SHOPPING: Newbury Artisan Market, Northbrook St Newbury, Sun 31 Mar
Hmm the smell of fresh bread and sizzling street food is enough to get me out of bed for a Sunday market, but the Newbury Artisan Market is much more. Think quality produce, original art, designer crafts, all mixed in with family activities, music and more… From 10am to 4pm, get up and mooch and grab yourself something unique from Berkshire’s finest.
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.
WALKS: The Gilded Garden, 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: Dirty Dancing, Aylesbury Waterside Theatre, Mon 25 – Sat 30 Mar
If you missed Dirty Dancing last month at the Wycombe Swan the theatre gods have answered your prayers as it’s showing again 30 mins up the road in Aylesbury. I saw it last year with my mum and loved it. It’s like seeing an old friend, they really don’t mess with the film version at all, and the only squeamish moment from memory was the sex scene – zipped along on the big screen but my god it felt like a long time being a voyeur in the theatre! Anyway, Johnny this time round is Michael O’Reilly, previously a dancer with Matthew Bourne and also, titillatingly, one of the Magic Mike performers on The X Factor. Bring your watermelons – apparently overwhelmed women have been throwing them at him.
THEATRE: The Rocky Horror Show, New Theatre Oxford, Mon 25 – Sat 30 Mar
Pelvic-thrusts at the ready for the Time Warp! You can catch Duncan James (Blue, Hollyoaks) in a corset, tights and lippy – yep, you read that right – at Oxford’s New Theatre this month. Also starring is Strictly champ Joanne Clifton and Kristian Lavercombe who’ll be reprising his role as Riff Raff, following more than 1,300 performances in The Rocky Horror Show around the world. My question is – who’s that guy in the leopard budgie smugglers in the back of the photo, he deserves his own show!
WORKSHOP: Mother’s Day Candle Workshop, Penguin Classic Pop Up Shop London, Sun 31 Mar
I cannot think of better way to spend Mother’s Day (unless 14 hours’ sleep on a sun lounger counts) but in second place would be a dose of ‘me time’ – and this bookish candle making course in London is a cracker. Run by Berkshire-based Literati & Light, the workshop takes place at The Penguin Classics Pop Up Shop in Shoreditch and you’ll be making a scented candle inspired by Pride & Prejudice or Wuthering Heights surrounded by all 1,200 Penguin Classics. £35pp.
EXHIBITION: An Earthly Paradise: William Morris & the Thames, River & Rowing Museum, until Sun 14 July
I have great memories of taking my family to William Morris’s house in Gloucestershire and having them all sit outside glumly for an hour proclaiming it the most boring thing ever while I drooled over the textiles and furniture. Ah, happy days! Anyway, this exhibition focuses on how the Thames influenced Morris’ work. He had a rural retreat in Oxfordshire, where he loved to boat and fish, ergo the influence of the river 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.
EXHIBITION: Abstract Allies, Zuleika Gallery, London, until Fri 29 Mar
Curated by former BBC Radio News journo and hardcore art collector, Tim Sayer MBE, and the gallery’s director Lizzie Collins, this colourful exhibits showcases art, sculptures and ceramics from abstract artists including Liz West (you can also check out her installation over the border in Herts at St Albans Museum & Gallery until Tues 19 Mar), Lucie Rie and Howard Hodgkin. On Tues 12 Mar, there’ll also be a gallery talk with Tim and reception, booking essential (email@example.com).
EXHIBITION: Van Gogh and Britain, Tate Britain, London, Wed 27 Mar – Tues 27 Aug
This new major exhibition will be the first to explore the artist’s relationship with Britain and the literature, art and culture that inspired his work. Over 45 works by the artist from public and private collections including Starry Night on the Rhône 1888 from the Musée d’Orsay, Paris, and the rarely loaned Sunflowers 1888 from the National Gallery, London. There’ll also be work by British artist who were influenced by Van Gogh’s work including Francis Bacon ad David Bomberg.
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.
EVENT: Royal Ascot, Ascot Racecourse, Tues 18 – Sat 22 Jun
It feels like a loooong way off, but let’s get organised, people, and then we can focus on the important bit – what to wear! Book your tickets to Royal Ascot now and when we roll into June you’ll be enjoy first class racing, fine dining and high fashion. Remember to grab your hat, keep the hemlines long and the fake tan light. Tickets start from £32 if you book before 4 Apr. Fine Dining Packages and Private Boxes start from £269+VAT pp. To book click here or call 0344 346 3000.
THEATRE: 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.
FAMILY FUN: 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.