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This week



FILM: Ocean Film Festival, The Hexagon Reading, Fri 4 Oct

Surfer Dan Lake Michigan man surfboard ice and snow

Calling all ocean lovers! The annual Ocean Film Festival, by the team behind the Banff Film Festival UK Tour, this collection of short films celebrates divers, paddlers, surfers and oceanographers who live for the sea’s salt spray. You’ll be wowed by the mind-blowing marine life; exhilarated by the power of the waves, and inspired by the characters who dedicate their lives to answering the call of the ocean. Don’t miss Surfer Dan – a film about crazy landlocked ocean-lover Dan Schetter who lives on the shores of Lake Superior in Michigan where, in winter, strong winds create deadly currents, icebergs and… waves (see above).


EVENT: Muddy Book Club Live, Henley Lit Fest, Henley, until 6 Oct 

Muddy fave Henley Literary Festival (until 6 October) is in full swing – there’s simply too much going on to list but we might just find time to mention that we’re hosting the Muddy Book Club (5 Oct) at Phyllis Court – sorry, shall we shout that a bit louder? THE MUDDY BOOK CLUB, we’re back! We have amazeballs guests – Celebrity Masterchef champion Lisa Faulkner, former ELLE journo Lotte Jeffs and the inspirational Ella Dove. We will be there. There will be wine. It’s £12 well spent.


THEATRE: Murder, Margret and Me, Theatre Royal Windsor, Mon 30 Sep – Sat 5 Oct

Murder-Margaret-Me Theatre Royal Windsor Lin Blakely Sarah Parks

Not a whodunnit but a whowouldhavethoughtit, Murder, Margaret and Me is the story of an unlikely friendship between national treasures Agatha Christie and Margaret Rutherford. Their paths crossed when they found themselves at the heart of one of British cinema’s most successful franchises, Miss Marple. It’s a heartfelt story of friendship, identity and the achievement of women in the long-lost world of the silver screen.


SUPPER CLUB: Prema’s Kitchen, Old Butcher’s Wine Cellar, Cookham – Wed 2 Oct

rice veggie sides and curry dishes supper club prema kitchen cookham Berkshire old butcher's wine cellar

Prema’s Kitchen has been on the pop-up supper club scene for a while, spending the last three years at The Old Butcher’s Wine Cellar in the Cookham – and she has a loyal following who absolutely love her authentic Sri Lankan food. Prema returns to Cookham twice a month with a four-course menu and street food starter, £45 per head. Tickets here


FOOD AND DRINK: Whiskey and Cheese Masterclass, The Vineyard Stockcross, Thu 3 Oct

Whiskey crystal glass wooden floor The Cineyard Whiskey and cheese masterclass

Gin’s done (although not in my house), it’s all about whiskey – a proper grown-up drink. Here’s a unique opportunity to learn more about whiskey than the perfect measure and how it pairs brilliantly with cheese. The Vineyard’s expert team will reveal the very best combinations – think smoky scotch and strong stilton or mellow whisky with a creamy camembert – perfect for nibbles as the nights draw in. High risk of gout, but a risk worth taking. From £35pp.


COMEDY: Abigoliah Schamaun – Do You know Who I Think I Am?, Norden Farm Maidenhead, Thu 3 Oct

Abigoliah Schamaun Norden Farm Maidenhead pink hairl smoking cigar

Probably the most Googleable comedian on the planet, Abigoliah Schamaun (there can’t be two) is a, hardcore yogi, whiskey-loving comic – it’s all about finding balance. No subject is off limits and she’s not afraid to get down and dirty with it, Schamaun is a brilliantly funny woman who provokes proper belly laughs and mock shock.


THEATRE: Assassins, The Watermill Theatre, now – Sat 26 Oct

Assassins Watermill Lincoln silhouette with gun site red white and blue american flag

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.



COMEDY: The Great British Take Off, Corn Exchange Newbury, Thu 3 Oct

Comedian and impressionist Jon Culshaw and legendary comedy producer Bill Dare are coming back to Newbury following a sell-out tour last year. Unscripted, unrehearsed, spontaneous comedy as politicians, sports personalities and celebrities are all up for a roasting. You help choose which characters appear and what direction the show takes. What could go wrong?

COMEDY: Ellie Taylor – Don’t Got This, The Concert Hall Reading, Fri 4 Oct

Comedian Ellie Taylor brunette sat crossed legs in mustard shirt and jeans

Fresh from recording her debut Netflix stand-up special, the star of The Mash Report, Live at the Apollo and QI is back with a brand-new show. Join Ellie as she bangs on about life, love and what will happen if one more person tells her “you got this”.



FESTIVAL: Windsor Fringe, various locations, now – Sun 6 Oct

High Octane Club Burlesque feathers half nakes lady

If you like your arts fresh out of the box, head to Windsor Fringe Festival – the second oldest fringe in the UK after Edinburgh. Expect an eclectic programme of comedy, music, drama, DJs, arts, saucy burlesque and more, plus the world reknowned International Windsor Fringe Award for New Drama Writing, sponsored by the legendary Kenneth Branagh.


EVENT: Autumn Racing weekend and Beer Festival, Ascot Racecourse, Fri 4 – Sat 5 Oct

Ascot Racecourse autumn racng and beer festival Berkshire

Even a vino stalwart like myself will sink a pint of the amber nectar during Oktoberfest! Ascot Racecourse will be transforming the Grandstand concourse into a very special local with a weekend of racing, Oompah music, traditional German grub and, of course, loads of beers. Race you to the finish line – there’s 200 beers, ciders and perries on offer plus 80 gins. Lederhosen optional.


FAMILY FUN: The Big Draw, Windsor Castle, Sat 5 Oct

The Big Draw Leonardo Windsor castle

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.


EVENT: Craig Revel Horwood book signing, Rosebourne Aldermaston, Sun 6 Oct

Strictly Come Dancing Judge Craig Revel Horwood Rosebourne Aldermaston red blazer number 10 judging paddle

The walking, talking glitter ball that is Craig Revel Horwood, will be Cha Cha Cha-ing from the Strictly Ballroom to Rosebourne Aldermaston this Sunday, to celebrate its first birthday. This gorgeous, snake-hipped celeb is knocking back *ahem* bubbles and signing copies of his book. There’s also 10% off everything in store (exc restaurant). Pop down and get as much backstage goss as you can squeeze out of him.


KIDS: Tabby McTat, The Hexagon Reading, Sat 5 – Sun 6 Oct

Tabby McTat Theatre Live man with guitar two actors with cat ears

Have you even experienced childhood, if you haven’t read one of Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler’s iconic picture books. Now many of their classics are coming to life in a theatre near you. For lovers of Tabby McTat about a busker and his cat, your time is now. Freckle Productions, the team behind Tiddler and Other Terrific Tales and Zog, will perform this musical story about a cat with the loudest of meee-ews who ditched his human for a fur lady. A story as old as time.


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.


FESTIVAL: Hungerford Food Festival, Town Hall Hungerford, Sun 6 Oct

Food festival street food taco style food in steamers

Stuff yourself silly at the Hungerford Food Festival that spills out of the Town Hall and down the High Street. The festival promises a gatronomic day out with 50+ food stalls, demonstrations, family friendly activities and emphasis on sustainability. Roomy pants on, people, a food coma is guaranteed.


XHIBITION: Anthony Caro, Cliveden House, Berks, until 10 Nov

If you’re heading over the Berks border, this sculpture trail at National Trust site Cliveden is well worth a peek. Around the Grade I listed grounds you’ll find 16 of the iconic ’60s sculptural artist’s famous steel structures.




Sunday Scramble, Bicester Heritage, Bicester, Sun 6 Oct

How cool is this little rainbow runaround?! Bicester Heritage is the UK’s centre of excellence for the classic motoring industry, with over 40 specialist businesses that will be open for the public to see the workshops and showrooms for one day only. There’ll also be a collection of pre-1990 vehicles on show (if you have one bring it along to exhibit), plus the best-preserved WW2 RAF Bomber Station in the country.



ART: Frieze Art Fair, Regents Park, London, Thu 3 – Sun 6 Oct

Frieze Art Fair London 2019 sculpture of cartoon like characters and graffIti urban art canvas on wall

Considered the world leading platform for contemporary and modern art, the Frieze Art Fair unites 160 of the world’s leading galleries. You can view and / or buy art from over 1000 contemporary artists, some emerging talent, others more established. Daily events include talks and performances plus there’s Frieze Sculpture and Frieze Masters (showcasing work from the ancient era and Old Masters) in Regent’s Park. If all this culture makes you hungry, there are loads of delish food pop-ups whilst you contemplate the art and what it’s all trying to say.


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.

And finally, I’ve got a soft spot for Antony Gormley’s striking sculptures. 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!


THEATRE: Amelie, The Hexagon Reading, Tue 8 – Sat 12 Oct

It’s been a Broadway smash hit and now Amelie is coming to The Hexagon Reading. Based on the award-winning 2001 rom-com starring Audrey Tautou, it’s a feel-good musical about a young girl with a big imagination. Get tickets here.

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