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Adults only! 20 things to do this week

It's a celeb-packed week of culture! Grayson Perry, David Hockney, Emerald Fennell... Check out these 20 things to do in Berkshire and beyond for the big name hits this week.


The Cherry Orchard Chekhov Windsor Theatre Royal Ian McKellen

The Cherry Orchard, Theatre Royal Windsor, now – 13 Nov

Sir Ian McKellan has been lighting up the Theatre Royal stage in Windsor in Chekhov’s The Cherry Orchard – a dramatic play about an aristocratic landowner who returns to her family estate to find its being sold to pay the family debts. It’s all about social change, mid-life regrets and the hope the next generation will make a difference. A limited number of on-stage seats are available so grab the best seats in the house.

Tom Odell at The Memorial Hall, Marlborough College, 23 October

If Adele’s new single has got you in the mood for more sad songs, head to the intimate Memorial Hall in the ground of Marlborough College to watch Tom Odell blow the crowd away with his emotional music. Call 01672 511106 for tickets

The Dreamboys, The Hexagon Reading, 23 Oct

Take me back to the 90s and pass the baby oil. Lowering the cultural bar a smidge – this weekend The Dreamboys will gyrating into Reading to get you all hot under the collar. Tickets are selling faster than these boys can get down to their pants, so be sure snaffle one while you can.


London Literature FestivalSouthbank Centre21-31 Oct

Over in the big smoke, this week sees the launch of London Literature Festival 2021. The acclaimed annual festival is this year all about friendship. We like the sound of Grayson Perry: A Show for Normal People at the Royal Festival Hall, 22-23 Oct. An “evening in which existentialism descends from worthiness to silliness” — what more could you want.

Oktoberfest, Newbury Racecourse, 22-23 Oct

If you’re more at home with a pint in hand, head to Newbury because this weekend it’s Oktoberfest at Newbury Racecourse. A fab couple of days of racing, plus the Grandstand will be transformed into a Bavarian Beer Hall: expect Oompah music, traditional German grub and, of course, loads of beers.

Cliveden Literary Festival

Cliveden Literary Festival, Cliveden House, 23-24 Oct

A hop and a skip over the Berks border this weekend will bring you to the Cliveden Literary Festival23 – 24 Oct, for which tickets are still available. It’s one hell of a culture-vulture line-up: Oscar-winning writer, actor and director Emerald Fennell, comedian David Baddiel, author Kate Mosse, Michael Gove MP, author Olivette Otele, former political columnist Barbara Amiel, and many more. With the sumptuous hotel as the backdrop, this promises to be a fabulous affair. Tickets from £110. Use MUD10 at checkout and get 10% off the price.

Kew Gardens Autumn Festival: Japan, Kew Gardens Richmond, now – 31 Oct

This month-long celebration of Japan focuses on the country’s beautiful plants, art and culture. Events will include artistic displays, a Momijigari Trail and a mesmerising soundscape. 

IF Oxford, various locations and online, 9-26 Oct

The Oxford Science and Ideas Festival continues to get brows furrowing and hands stroking chins. With a mix of over 100 in-person and digital events for all ages, there’s plenty to pick from. This week we like the sound of Every drop matters, 6pm on Thurs 21 Oct, a multi-sensory event at Somerville College all about water, exploring connections between lifestyles and changing climate patterns.


Sundown Sessions, Go Ape Bracknell and Black Park, now – 30 Oct

For a spooky adrenaline rush, head to Swinley Forest BracknellBlack Park in Slough and Wendover Woods until 30 Oct for a sundown session at Go Ape. Starting at 5pm, this means swinging through the trees in the dark — for your daredevil mates. Wimps need not apply! 

Ghost Tour, Windsor, 23 Oct

Not for the faint hearted! The Windsor Ghost tour promised a theatrical wander around the streets of this royal town. Dialling the scare factor up a few notches will be a series of actors ready to jump and bering the stories to life. With Windsor Castle slap bang in the middle of the town, and historical kings and queens bumping off wives, lovers and traitors, it’s a place for a lot of supernatural action. Starts at 830pm and lasts approximately 75 minutes! Are you brave enough?

Halloween After Dark at Blenheim Palace, 22-31 Oct

It’s all beginning to get rather spooky, and from this Friday you can get a good old-fashioned thrill at Blenheim Palace, from 5.15-10pm. Expect creepy gardens, fire performances, amazing light shows, and a hot toddy or hot chocolate to soothe any frightened nerves.

Spooky Halloween Afternoon Tea, Cantley House Wokingham23 – 31 Oct

What better way to spend a weekend than with tea and cake? Treat yourself to a Spooky Halloween Afternoon Tea at Cantley House. Travel a little further a field to Aylesbury for Waddesdon‘s legendary Halloween tea – loving the sounds of Death by Chocolate & Cherry Opera Cake, or Woodstock and indulge in Blenheim Palace‘s Halloween themed tea – the eyeball punch cocktail is to die for. Woahahaha.

Pick Your Own Pumpkins, various farms, 23-24 Oct

Head out and snap-up a pumpkin for your seasonal soup before it’s too late. This weekend there are sessions at Copas Fruit FieldsCookhamWasing Estate, AldermastonCobbs Farm Shop, Hungerford, and Millets Farm near Abingdon. See more here.


Hockney and Hollywood, The Base Greenham, 22 Oct – 28 Nov

Hockney and Hollywood at The Base Greenham 1000x666

Hockney in Berkshire?? You betcha. The works of Britain’s most famous living artist will go on display at The Base in Greenham – and we’re giddy. The legendary David Hockney’s major photomontage Hockney and Hollywood features an extraordinary life-sized nude photographic study of Theresa Russell, commissioned by film director Nicolas Roeg for the film Insignificance. It starred his then wife Theresa Russell as Marilyn Monroe. Tickets £8 (£7 concs, £5 schools/students, under-16s free).

Anish Kapoor’s ‘Painting’Modern Art Oxford, 2 Oct – 13 Feb 2022

His first show at the gallery in 40 years, this pushes the boundaries between sculpture and painting, and explores perceptions and experiences of the human body. Plenty to sink yer teeth into.

Bond in Motion – No Time to Die, now – 31 Oct, National Motor Museum, Beaulieu

James Bond No Time to Die exhibition National Motor Museum Beaulieu What's On October Hampshire

We’ve been expecting you, Mr. Bond! (For, err, ages). At long last, Bond fever can finally commence. Watch the latest 007 film, No Time To Die then head to the National Motor Museum in Beaulieu to gaze in awe and selfie like mad with gorgeous cars like this iconic silver birch Aston Martin DB5 (no stunt driving, sorry). Also on display, see the latest gadgets from Q Branch and killer costumes in this great new Bond in Motion exhibition.

Skyscape: The Limitless Art of the SkyRiver & Rowing Museum Henley, until 16 Jan

Curated by the Ashmolean, this exhibit features works by the art world’s top dogs – Rembrandt, Dürer, Turner, Palmer, Piper, Nash – with a focus on aerial landscapes and the sky.

The Sounds That Paintings Make, Darl-e and the Bear, Oxford, until 31 Oct

This is an exploration of the works of abstract visual artist, Sandra Beccarelli, and her works which draw from the idea of sound and rhythm.

Affordable Art Fair, Battersea Park London, now – 24 Oct

Affordable art Fair PRINTS

What to do if you’re art mad but can’t afford to splurge? The Affordable Art Fair is back to tempt you with work from over 100 UK and International galleries. Artist Pascal Anson has also curated a showcase of recent graduates’ work from top UK art schools. Spot the stars of the future and bag yourself a bargain, before they hit the big time. You’ll also find a new immersive installation, Fluid Form.

Nero: the man behind the myth, British Museum London, until 24 Oct

Last chance to head over to London and catch this ‘thrilling’ exhibition. Nero: the man behind the myth questions the traditional narrative of Nero, one of Rome’s most infamous rulers, as a ruthless tyrant.

Want to plan next week too? Check our bumper month guide here

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