Wildlife photography requires patience, lightning reactions and a little bit of luck. But when they get the money shot… POW! the results are extraordinary. This year’s prestigious Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition is being held at The Base at Greenham Common Business Park in Newbury. It’s an international showcase of 100 images taken by the very best in nature photographers around the world.
It’s a veritable phwoar fest. Hollywood hottie James McAvoy returns to the stage in an inventive new adaptation of Cyrano de Bergerac, broadcast live to cinemas from the West End in London. Fierce with a pen and notorious in combat, Cyrano almost has it all – if only he could win the heart of his true love Roxane. There’s just one big problem: he has a nose as huge as his heart. *Insert joke and general smuttiness here.
Following last year’s sell-out shows at the Edinburgh Festival, London’s Soho Theatre, national UK tour and at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival, musical comedy sisters Flo & Joan have a new hour of their dark and waggish songs to parade about the place. You’ll laugh so hard you’ll need Tena pants.
WORKSHOPS: Literary Candle Making, West Berkshire Museum, 7 Mar
I cannot think of a better way to spend Mother’s Day (unless 14 hours’ sleep on a sun lounger counts) but in second place would be a dose of ‘me time’ – and this bookish candle making course is a cracker. Run by Berkshire-based Literati & Light, the workshop takes place at West Berkshire Museum and you’ll be making a scented candle. It’s a few weeks before the big day, but part two of the pressie is sitting with your feet up all day with a good book. £20pp.
EXHIBITION: Art of the Wild: Gertrude Hermes and the Natural World, River & Rowing Museum Henley, now – 4 May
Just a smidge over the border in Henley is the River & Rowing Museum’s new exhibition Art of the Wild: Gertrude Hermes and the Natural World. The exhibition features innovative prints on loan from the Ashmolean Museum, from Jazz Age wood engravings of birds, fish and flowers to her monumental coloured linocuts of the 1950s.
EXHIBITION: India & Me, Basildon Park Lower Basildon, now – 23 Dec
Basildon Park’s India-inspired Zuber wallpaper was designed in 1806 by a French artist who had never been to India. It makes the new audio-visual exhibition in the mansion’s Garden Room even more extraordinary, as it looks at personal stories from Basildon’s collaboration with the Reading Indian Centre.
EVENT: Reading Brick Show, Rivermead Leisure Centre Reading, 7-8 Mar
Bonkers for the brick? If you have mini builders then the Reading Brick Show is their answer to Glastonbury. The two-day LEGO® show is sure to spark imagination, promote creativity and inspire everyone who walks through the doors. The show will feature LEGO® models from the best builders in the UK, including a large great ball contraption, spaceships, train layouts, fairground rides, and much more.
WORKSHOP: Macrame Workshops, Craft Coop Maidenhead, 7 and 21 Mar
Macrame was huge in 2019, but if you didn’t get round to making a 70s-style hanging plant holder or a wall hanging, now’s your chance. The Craft Coop is running workshops at its Maidenhead shop on 7 and 21 Mar. Book up and make something crafty in advance of the big day or team up and tie yourselves in knots together. All materials provided, £10pp.
WEDDINGS: Signature Wedding Show, Ascot Racecourse, 8 Mar
Getting hitched? Before you disappear down a Pinterest/ Instagram bridal rabbit hole, get yourself down to the Signature Wedding Show at Ascot Racecourse and meet all the beautiful people who can make your big-day dreams a reality. It’s free to enter so grab the whole wedding party, grab your FROW seats for the fashion show and then pick up as much bridal swag as you can carry.
THEATRE: Time Machine, London Library, London, until 5 April
The Creation Theatre crew are heading to the Big Smoke! In this moving (literally) production, small audiences will be led through the vast London Library as Time Machine, which explores themes of neuroscience, big data, genomics and global connectedness, unfolds. Knowing Creation, it’s bound to be brilliant.
EXHIBITION: Herstory, Maddox Gallery, London, 2 – 24 Mar
To mark International Women’s Day, this new exhibition aims to redefine the conversation around women in art and raise awareness for brilliant female artists that champion women in their work. Artists exhibiting include Coco Davez, Sophia Tea and Lauren Baker.
Puss In Boots – Easter Panto, The Hexagon Reading, 8-11 Apr
Panto’s not just for Christmas… Oh yes it is! Oh no it isn’t. Oh… (OK, I’ll stop now). Easter is jumping on the panto bandwagon, so slap your thigh and slip into a pair of knees highs for Puss In Boots. Starring Hear’Say popstrel Suzanne Shaw and CBeebie’s Chris Jarvis star. Trouble is brewing and only a mangy moggy wearing nothing boots and a hat can save the day.
Alice In Wonderland, South Hill Park Bracknell, 15-19 Apr
Make mine a double gin and I’ll happily disappear down a rabbit hole into the trippy world of Alice in Wonderland. Your kids will love it for entirely different reasons. South Hill Park always put on a damn fine school holiday musical with spectacular staging. They’re a talented bunch. Book in or the Red Queen will be “frumious”.
The Little Welly, Henley Showground, 6-7 Jun
Have the hose and a hot wash on stand by, this is gonna get really messy. The UK’s biggest children’s obstacle course returns to Henley for the sixth year – and it is going to be epic. It’s in a new location at Henley Showground, it offers a longer course option for kids with the energy of a Duracell bunny, new obstacles, activities and entertainers. Oh, and you can camp too. Throw your mud-seeking minis (4+) and they’re parents (sorry about that) at the slip-and-slide, the big tubes and new climbing rig. Or have a blast at Laser Tag, circus skill workshops, bungee trampolining and more.