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This week

MON 4 – SUN 10 NOV


What’s In A Name, Theatre Royal Windsor, Mon 4 – Sat 9 Nov 

Whats In A Name poster

Movember and baby with a Hitler ‘tache. It’s a match made in theatrical heaven. The Inbetweeners star 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: A Mini Midsummer Night’s Dream, Watermill Theatre Newbury, Mon 4 – Fri 8 Nov

So my lovely luvvies, Shakespeare in the beautiful Watermill Theatre in Bagnor. In true Elizabethan style, a small group of actors (3 to be precise), will juggle a variety of roles in this fast and furious version of Midsummer Night’s Dream. Like a live version of CliffsNotes but better.



So many displays to write about I’m ready to combust. Read here. for my full fireworks guide for Berkshire. KABOOM!


WALKS: Illuminated Walks, Basildon Park Upper Basildon, now – 31 Jan

illuminated woods Basildon park Berkshire

Wrap up, wellies on and trudge through the woods to see the trees in all their glory – preferably before the leaves get blown off. Now that we are spending most of our time in darkness, we might as well get something out of it. In this case, an enchanting woodland walk, twinkly lights and all the Winter wonderland magic that goes with it. No need to book.


THEATRE: Oliver!, South Hill Park Bracknell, Tue 5 – Sat 9 Nov

Oliver! South Hill Park illustration poster

Consider yourself out out for the well known family favourite, Oliver!. If you and your fam love a toe-tapping show choon, book up for Oliver! – performed by the EBOS Musical Theatre company – and you’ll be singing and swaying in unison for weeks afterwards. Please, Sir, I want more, may wear thin after a few weeks.


FILM: Screen Season, The Hexagon Reading, Wed 6 – Fri 8 Nov

Singing In the Rain Gene Kelly hanging from lampost holding umbrella

Doodoo-doo-doo-doo… I’m singing in the rain. Not a status update from yours truly, but the iconic number from the Gene Kelly. If you fancy a nostaglia fest, love a musical or just fancy a night at the movies, then tootle along to The Hexagon’s Screen Season. Singing In The Rain is bring screened on Wed 6 Nov, Yesterday Thu 7 Nov and Downton Abbey Fri 8 Nov.


TALK: Jewellery designer Kiki McDonough, Cowoth Park Ascot, Wed 6 Nov

British Jewellery designer Kiki McDonough rose gold and diamond rings

Bling it on, baby. Lunch dripping in diamonds, beats last night’s leftovers any day of the week. British jewellery designer Kiki McDonough – seen often on the royal ear lobes of Kate, Duchess of Cambridge – will be telling her brand story. How is started, where it is heading and she’ll bring all the party baubles for you to lust after.


SHOPPING: Christmas Shopping Evening, Camp Hopson Newbury, Thu 7 Nov

Fashion model in black heels and basque draped over red gift boxes – christmas shopping

I’m calling it, it’s November and we can officially start the Christmas countdown. To get this party started, Camp Hopson are pulling out all the stops to get shake their jingle bells. On Thursday 7 November from 9am to 9pm, head to Camps for fun, fizz and an awesome 20% off almost everything. There’s a demos, lucky dip, Santa will make a guest appearance – and you work your way through that gift list like someone pulled by Prosecco.


DRINKIES: Gin Tasting, The Globe Newbury, Thu 7 Nov

137 Gin Lumber's Bartholomew Country Garden wooden block limes stripy straw

When you’re drinking for charity, make it doubles and keep ’em coming. The Globe in Newbury is hosting a gin tasting evening in aid of Swings & Smiles – a charity that provides fun activities for children with disabilities and special needs. Sample 137 Gin, No.3 London Dry Gin, Tickle Drinks, Fever-Tree and more with nibbles to soak up some of that booze from Made For Drink and Colline’s Kitchen. Tickets £25pp inc all samples, nibbles and two gin and tonics of your choice.


EVENT:  Painting and Prosecco Night, Wellington Farm Shop, Thu 7 Nov

water colour paint palette and brush

I think I do my best work when fuelled with fizz – throw painting into the mix and I think I could be Picasso. Head to Wellington Farm Shop for a fun night out with a glass in one hand and a paint brush in the other. No experience required – drinking or painting! Sound perfect to us.


THEATRE: NT Live – Hansard, UK live cinema broadcast, Thu 7 Nov

NT Live Hansard Tpry MP wearing suit and blue rosette with wife in blue suit

Timing is everything, so if you’re not sick of political fighting, Boris and Brexit, the National Theatre’s live broadcast of Hansard is a must watch. Starring two-time Olivier Award winners, Lindsay Duncan and Alex Jennings, it’s a play offering a witty and devastating portrait of the governing class, as the drama moves from Westminster to the marital home.


ART: The Contemporary Art Fair, Windsor Racecourse, Fri 8 – Sun 10 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.


THEATRE: Circus of Horrors, Corn Exchange Newbury Fri 8 Nov

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. Welcome to the Psycho Asylum is set in Victorian London in 1899, with 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. It sounds like the kind of show you’ll watch from behind your hands. Grimly compelling


TALK: Clare Balding – Women In Power Lunch, Cliveden House Hotel Taplow, Fri 8 Nov

Clare Balding

Is there anything Clare Balding can’t do? She’s worked on every Olympic Games since 1996, every Paralympics since 2000 and she’s on speed dial for pretty much every major sporting and Royal event, including the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. If that’s not enough Clare’s a best-selling author of two memoirs and three children’s novels, with the latest The Racehorse Who Learned to Dance, published this summer. Should make for a fab Women In Power Lunch.



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.


LAST CHANCE: Anthony Caro, Cliveden House Taplow, until 10 Nov

Cliveden National Trust and Cliveden House Hotel Taplow Berkshire modern metal sculpture by Anthony Caro on grass by river thames

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.



TALK: Ben Fogle: Tales from the Wilderness, New Theatre, Oxford, 4 Nov 

The serial adventurer (he’s climbed Everest, dodged pirates and walked to the South Pole to name just a few of his achievements) will be discussing his past expeditions and answering questions from the audience.



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 (below), 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.

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