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In or out? Give your week social CPR

The social calendar is finally coming out of hibernation. Going out? Staying in? We've got your back what's latest local events and streaming hits for Berkshire fun seekers.

THEATRE: Reading Fringe Festival, Fri 17 Jul – Fri 31 Jul

Need a cool culture fix? Look no further than Reading Fringe Festival and its curated collection of talent bringing their alternative acts to Berks. Due to the coronavirus the event is entering a virtual space to showcase the eclectic talents of local performers, comedians and international acts. Lots of free events, but with the arts really struggling right now, donations are always welcome. One’s to watch…

THEATRE: Sary, Fri 17 Jul

Hare and human face for theatre production – Scary

Like an intimate production of a National Theatre play, Sary is a feminist folk-horror based on an old Sussex tale of shapeshifting. In it, award-winning writer Sam Chittenden explores female sexuality, ageing and loss as kinds of alchemy. “When a man says a woman turns into a hare, it means she were too quick for him!” Tell us something we didn’t know.

THEATRE: Freud The Musical, Fri 17 Jul

From the writer of Clown Sex comes Freud the Musical a comedy that gleefully annihilates the father of modern psychology in a flurry of live music, crude puppetry and penis jokes. With an entirely original score, including maybe the finest song ever written about sticking rats up your bottom.

COMEDY: Chicken Biscuit, Fri 17 Jul

What is the connection between chickens and custard creams? This and other metaphysical questions will be addressed in this short comic film from the Rising Sun’s Zap Project – a theatre and comedy project run by people with learning disabilities.

THEATRE: Love, Sex and Zombies, Fri 17 – Fri 31 Jul

Love-Sex-and-Zombies_small (1)

Combining theatre and dance, drawing together artists from four countries, Love, Sex and Zombies explores intimacy and connection in a post apocalyptic world; reminding us that even in the midst of chaos and disorder, we still have the capacity for fierce, redemptive love. Sign of times, peeps.

COMEDY: Crayola’s Rainbow, Sun 19 Jul

Crayola the Queen is a Reading Fringe favourite. Here she presents her blend of interactive story-telling and song, to create a playful, family friendly drag show to inspire and delight audience members of all ages! Be warned her outfits are so bright, you’ll need to wear shades.

HERITAGE: Shaw House, Newbury, 18 Jul

Shaw House Newbury Ghost SLeepover

Fresh air with an old relic. I’m not suggesting you’re past your sell by date, Shaw House in Newbury reopens for weekend visits from Saturday 18 July, 11am – 4pm. It’s one of the best examples of Elizabethan architecture, has had visits from royalty, played a role in the English Civil War and was even a school once. History lesson over, more importantly it has tons of outdoor space. Let the kids of the leash and take a breath.

SHOP: Giant Car Boot Sale, Taplow, Sun 19 Jul

vintage collectables flea market

If lockdown gave you the opportunity ti Marie Kondo the hell out of your house, then a car boot is the perfect place to offload your most unwanted to the bargain buying public. The Giant Car Boot Sale is on this weekend in Taplow. Sellers enter at 9.30am before the bargain hunters charge at 10.30M.

EVENT: Tom Kerridge’s Drive & Dine Theatre, Henley Showground, Tue 14 – Sat 18 Jul

Retro drive thru car 900x525

Stranded at the drive in, but Tom Kerridge is cooking, so we’re good.There are 11 films on the Marlow movie reel (The Henley Showground to be exact) including La La Land (14 Jul), 1917 (16 Jul), Back To The Future (19 Jul), plus it wouldn’t be a drive-in without Grease (16 Jul)! There’ll also be a comedy set from Mark Watson’s Carpool Comedy Club (18 July only). Tickets are on sale now and are sure to sell like hot chocolate-glazed choux buns (well we are talking Michelin star quality here!), so snap a parking spot pronto.

SPORT: Newbury From Home, Newbury Racecourse, Sat 18 – Sun 19 Jul

Grandstand white rank and grass running track Newbur Racecourse Berkshire

Summer racing is in the Berkshire DNA – there’s not much we wouldn’t for a day of fizzy fun in the sun. While the parties in the paddock are on ice, you can get your racing fix by watching all the action live at Newbury Racecourse this weekend – live from your living room. Tune in via ITV/ITV4, Racing TV channel and, dress up, grab a hat and picnic on your carpet.

FILM: Luna Drive-In Cinema, Blenheim Palace, Woodstock, Mon 13 and Thu 16 Jul

Blenheim Palace Luna Drive In Cinema

Pull up to the bumper, baby, at Blenheim Palace. So fancy. The ever-popular Luna Cinema is back with a drive-in makeover. Expect giant HD LED screens, state-of-the-art digital in-car speakers and one stonking backdrop. We love the sound of the Luna Bar – order food and drink from your car by scanning the QR code on the front of the in-car speaker you’re given and hey presto, they’ll roller-skate it over to you. Blenheim Palace is hosting 14 fabulous films inclusing A Star is Born (16 July).

EXHIBITON: Nick Knight Roses From My Garden, Waddesdon Manor, now – 25 Oct


Break for the border and head to Waddesdon Manor for a stunning new exhibition by the legendary fashion and celebrity photographer Nick Knight. Nick’s been photographing roses from his garden using his iPhone. Head to The Coach House Gallery and then mooch around Waddesdon’s grounds and see what you can achieve with your own smartphone. Mine look nothing like this.



Stacey Dooley Glow up

Join Stacey Dooley and 10 aspiring make up artists as they battle out in the new series of Glow Up. Their first assignment is to assist on an ad campaign for sports shop JD, where the make-up needs to be perfect but cannot distract from the clothing. Then, back at Glow Up HQ, the competitors are tasked with creating looks based on their own identity.

Stateless Netflix woman at wire fence

In the market for a new mini series? Sink your teeth into Netflix’s harrowing six-parter Stateless – about the paths of several characters caught up in an Australian immigration detention centre in Oz. Initially the focus is Sofie (Yvonne Strahovski, The Handmaid’s Tale), a well-heeled flight attendant with a tricky personal life who finds herself under the spell of charismatic but sinister self-help gurus, played by Dominic West and Cate Blanchett, who also co-created the drama.

Kiera Knightly The Duchess

A Kiera Knightley bodice ripper – is there any other kind? Our Kiera loves a historical script, fabulous costumes and plenty of ‘pass smelling salts’ sex scenes. The Duchess has it all as we air the Duchess of Devonshire’s dirty laundry – abusive marriage, forced to live under the same roof as his mistress, and her own affair with a young politician. See it Sat 18 Jul, BBC2, 9.15pm



The National Theatre continues to bring high brow theatre to the masses this week with a 2018 archive recording of Peter Shaffer’s iconic Amadeus. This was a new production, directed by Michael Longhurst, exposes the jealousy and rivalry between young musical prodigy Mozart and court composer Salieri. The show is streaming on YouTube from 16-23 Jul.

Romeo and Juliet_Royal Opera House Kenneth Macmillan 2019

Kenneth MacMillan’s powerful Shakespearean adaptation is one of the great 20th-century classics in the Royal Ballet’s repertoire. It has been performed more than 400 times by the company. MacMillan’s choreography manages to suck you in and spit you out – romantic, dramatic, with Prokofiev’s pumped up score to bring the bard’s words to ballet. Available on the Royal Opera House’s YouTube and at, now – 23 Jul.

Dancing at Dusk film about the restaging of Pina Bausch’s 1975 creation The Rite of Spring performed on a beach in Senegal

Want more? How about 38 dancers from 14 African countries dancing on a beach in Senegal? Sadler’s Wells is streaming the film Dancing At Dusk, about the restaging of Pina Bausch’s 1975 creation The Rite of Spring. It was filmed just as lockdown was beginning, and documents the dancers’ preparations for what would have been an international tour of this new production. Instead, you can see it for £5 at until July 31.


Music legend Elton John knows how to entertain a crowd, even in lockdown. He’s streaming a special series of classic concert performances, available digitally for the first time on his YouTube channel. The weekly serieskicked off on July 3 with footage of his concert at the Edinburgh Playhouse in 1976. The setlist includes Rocket ManDanielBennie and the Jets and Saturday Night’s Alright (for Fighting). A new two-hour concert premieres every Saturday at 5pm for six weeks. This Saturday we’re travelling back in time to his 1989 gig at Arena Di Verona.

An ode to the season that never was. Garsington Opera’s recorded a concert from its Wormsley theatre, featuring singers such as Roderick Williams, Soraya Mafi and Brindley Sherratt. Unmute features extracts from Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro and the string sextet from Strauss’s Capriccio, which features players from the Philharmonia. Tune into Garsington’s YouTube channel and watch it all for free.

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