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This week

MON 4 – SUN 10 FEB


THEATRE: Macbeth, South Hill Park Bracknell, Tue 5– Sat 9 Feb

Macbeth South Hill Park Lady Macbeth sits in black cloak between two rocks

Image: Macbeth 2017

Something wicked this way comes… and it’s not a hoody wearing yoof giving you attitude (just my kids then). Joe Maylan’s critically-acclaimed 2017 production of Shakespeare’s Macbeth returns to South Hill Park for more blood, violence and trouble than a Brexit meeting. If you love your theatre dark and dramatic (or you have a teen studying it), it’s an edge-of-your-seat stuff must-see.


THEATRE: Circus of Horrors, Hexagon Reading, Mon 4 Feb

Circus of Horrors Psycho Asylum tour sword swallower red hair goggles and burgundy frock coat sword in throat with firework attached

Circus of Horrors was the first act of its kind to make it to the Britain’s Got Talent finals and the first circus to appear in a West End Theatre for 100 years. Basically if Quentin Tarantino directed Cirque du Soleil it might look a it like this. There are Sword Swallowers, Fire Eaters, Cross Bow and Knife Throwing Ultra Vixens, Death Defying Aerialists, A Guinness World Record holding diva swinging solely from her hair. You get the picture. Grimly compelling.


MUSIC: Kaiser Chiefs, Hexagon Reading, Wed 6 Feb

I predict a riot… the Kaiser Chiefs will be raising the roof at The Hexagon Reading. There aren’t many tickets left, so snap em up and perhaps you can go for a Ruby, Ruby, Ruby, Ruby afterwards. Sorry, I couldn’t resist. If you miss the fellas in action, they’ll also be performing at Marlow’s Pub In The Park in May.


COURSES: Vegan Cooking, Fearless In The Kitchen Warfield, Wed 6 and Sat 9 Feb

healthy eating box of fruit veg seeds and nuts

If you did Veganuary and loved it or you’re just curious about adding a few plant-based meals to your weekly meat feast, then sign up for the Fearless In The Kitchen’s course this week. Healthy eating supremo Jen Roach will show how to veg out and add some delicious dishes to your your spag bol, chilli merry-go-round. A day course, £90pp.


EXHIBITION: Performance Photography, Forbury Place Reading, Wed 6 – Sun 10 Feb

Rio Olympics carnival man red orange and black feather costume

The power of performance is celebrated in this fab photographic exhibition from the drama and razzmatazz of the Rio Olympics and Paralympics to dance, cooking and studio art. We were all a bit bleary eyed staying up to watch Team GB going for gold. Beautiful Brazil, carnival spirit, caipirinha cocktails – it’s a blur, but it was a gift for photographers. Here’s your chance to see awesome images in the Performance exhibition at Forbury Place Reading.


COMEDY: Ken Cheng – Best Dad Ever, Norden Farm Reading, Thu 7 Feb

Ken Chang best dad ever comedian toy lamb on shoulder

Maths nerd, professional poker player and winner of the Dave Joke of the Fringe in 2017 (it was a gag about a £1 coin… you had to be there), Ken Cheng is heading to Maidenhead following a sold out, award-nominated run at Edinburgh Festival. Ken find thee funny in his unique childhood, explores his obsession with toy lambs and his complicated relationship with his parents.


THEATRE: Murder For Two, Watermill Theatre Newbury, now – Sat 23 Feb

Murder for two – one man playing piano

I reviewed Murder For Two when it premiered at The Watermill last year, and after a run in London’s West End, this hilarious high-energy whodunit is back. Starring Ed MacArthur and Jeremy Legat, it’s a madcap murder mystery with a twist, a hysterical blend of music, mayhem and murder.


WALKS: Snowdrop Walks, Welford Park Newbury, now – Sun 3 Mar

carpet of snowdrops in woodland at Welford Park Newbury

It’s snowdrop time! Choose a dry-ish day and wander through drifts of snowdrops at Welford Park. Why Welford Park? It’s only got one the finest natural snowdrop woodlands in the chuffing country – four fabulous acres. Visit Wed-Sun (11am-4pm) until Sun 3 Mar. You can find more snowdrop walks here.


THEATRE; Rough Crossing, Theatre Royal Windsor, now – Sat 9 Feb

Rough Crossing theatre waiter brand on tray bottle and seagull at seas

If you’ve been hibernating on the sofa, binge watching boxsets since the 1 Jan, drag your bottom off and get stuck into some cultcha. Rough Crossing, written by Tom Stoppard (yes, the fella who wrote Shakespeare in Love) and directed by Rachel Kavanagh (Wind In the Willows) returns to Windsor with EastEnders hottie John Partridge taking the lead role.


WELLBEING: Alternative Friday Night, Orchard Life Midgham, Fri 8 Feb

Yoga cross legged on mat in wooden floor studio

Spend your Friday nights flat on your back in a state of total bliss. And on this occasion, you won’t have emptied a bottle of wine. Friday nights have never looked so good… no, seriously, you’ll be polishing your halo after an evening with Laura of The Wellbeing Feeling’s deep reiki infused meditations, yoga nidra (yogic sleep) and a sound meditation.


FAMILIES: Charge The Castle, Windsor Castle, throughout Feb

black white chess board knights

Chaaaaaarge! Windsor Castle its under siege and it’s up to your mini knights to fight them off pronto. Don’t worry they’ll have all the gear – armour and weapons – and a bit of an idea (did someone say risk assessment?), leaving you time to wander off and swoon over the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s Wedding exhibition. It’s only on until 17 Feb. Charge The Castle is on every Saturday in Feb, and every day over half term.


SPORT: Run for Chocolate, Kings Meadow Reading, Sun 10 Feb

Running lovers, the loved up and chocolate lovers too…this one’s for you! Brace yourself for a stampede – there’s just the little business of covering 5km before you get the sweet stuff. Walk, jog or run, simply pop on your trainers whizz round Reading and a warm luxury hot chocolate will be waiting for you at the finish line (and a giant bar of Galaxy too, just me then). The event is open to all ages and abilities, starts at 10am.


LAST CHANCE: A Royal Wedding: The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, Windsor Castle, now –  Sun 17 Feb

Meghan Merkle wedding dress andPrince Harry's military uniform on display in Windsor Castle

Roll up roll up, it’s your last chance to see Meghan’s Givenchy bridal gown designed by Artistic Director Clare Waight Keller is, her 5m veil embroidered with flora symbolising the 53 Commonwealth countries and the 1932 Queen Mary diamond and platinum tiara loaned to the Duchess by the Queen. We can all look forward to the collection of Royal maternity clothes in the summer. (Only joking).



MUSICAL: Dirty Dancing, Wycombe Swan, Mon 4 – Sat 9 Feb

Need I say more? I saw Dirty Dancing last year with my mum and we absolutely *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: Art, Oxford Playhouse, Mon 4 Feb – Sat 9 Feb

Can it really be 20 years since Art first swaggered into London theatres? It’s won practically every luvvie award and is still a magnet for actors –  Nigel Havers, Denis Lawson and Stephen Tomkinson are all big name catches for this touring show. Themes of prejudice, tolerance and friendship are beautifully handled in Yasmina Reza’s play.


SUPPER CLUB: Food in the Nude, Tap Social Movement, Oxford, Tues 5 Feb & Anti-Valentine’s Tapas, Claytons Marlow, Thurs 14 Feb

Food in the nude? In this weather?!  Botley’s hippest hangout Tap Social in collaboration with supperclub supremos Native Feasts and naturist group Dine Naked Oxford (yep, it’s a real thing) will be serving up a four course, locally sourced menu for £25, including roasted winter veg chaat, homemade hummus and confit duck, washed down with the venue’s brewed-on-site beer. And diners will be totally nekkid. I’d like to say I’ll go down to review but…. um. If you’d rather keep it all under wraps, there’s an anti-Valentine’s Tapas Feast at Claytons Marlow on Feb 14 with cocktails and live music. And clothes!


THEATRE: The Winter’s Tale for Young Audiences, National Theatre, London, Wed 6 – Thurs 21 Feb

This is a great way to introduce primary-age children to Shakespeare (and it’s only an hour long). The Winter’s Tale, the story of Perdita, the girl who was once lost but is found, returns to the National Theatre in February 2019, following a sell-out run at the Dorfman Theatre last year.  Adapted by Justin Audibert and directed by Ruth Mary Johnson, the show is also touring round primary schools in Greater London.


EXHIBITION: Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams, V&A Museum London, from Sat 2 Feb

Christian Dior pink tulle gown

Christian Dior by Maria Grazia Chiuri (b. 1964), Éventail de vos hasards, Dress, Haute Couture, Spring/Summer 2018. Dior Héritage collection, Paris

This is going to be maaassive! 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 will be a new section exploring Dior’s fascination with British culture. A highlight will be the Christian Dior dress worn by Princess Margaret for her 21st birthday celebrations, on loan from the Museum of London.


FASHION: Celebrating China pop-up boutique, Bicester Village, now until Sun 17 Feb

Curated by fashion influencer Susie Bubble, this pop-up boutique of ten cutting-edge Chinese designers is opening to celebrate Chinese New Year. It includes rising stars Ryan Lo, Mukzin and I Am Chen and with Chinese designers starting to make their mark on catwalks around the world it’s definitely worth checking out what they have to offer.


EXHIBITION: An Earthly Paradise: William Morris & the Thames, River & Rowing Museum Henley, now – Sun 14 July

This exhibition’s focus is on how the Thames and its tributaries influenced William Morris’ work. He had a rural retreat in Oxon and enjoyed angling and boating and the influence of the river can been seen 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 so you get a sense of the man as well as his iconic work.


THEATRE: All About Eve, Noel Coward Theatre, London, now – Sat 11 May

Not the recent fabulous tv series but a play based on the award-winning 1950s film starring Bette Davis as Margo Channing, a Broadway star, and her young fan, Eve Harrington, who inveigles her way into her life. With Gillian Anderson and Lilly James in the starring roles, director Ivo van Hove at the helm, and with the themes of celebrity and youth at its core, this looks like a dead cert for success.


EXHIBITION: David Adjaye: Making Memory – Seven Monumental Projects, Design Museum London, now – Sun 5 May

National Catherdral of Ghana. Image: Leonardo Finotti

Can a building shape our perception of events? We’re about to find out. Celebrated Ghanaian-British architect Sir David Adjaye showcases seven of his architectural projects that speak louder than words for social justice – all with a sense of fashion and style. From the National Museum of African American History and Culture, opened by President Barak Obama, to the UK Holocaust Memorial Centre, each project is presented in a dedicated room alongside video interviews and immersive displays.


THEATRE: When We Have Sufficiently Tortured Ourselves, the National Theatre, London, now – Sat 2 Mar

Cate Blanchett makes her debut at The National alongside Stephen Dilane in this new play by Martin Crimp, based on Samuel Richardson’s novel Pamela. It explores desire, sexual violence and the complicated roles men and women play – blimey!. There’s also a series of talks with members of the production and the playwright throughout the play’s run though Cate isn’t on the menu I’m afraid.

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