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This week



THEATRE: Quimera, Corn Exchange Newbury, 25 Feb

Quimera Corn Exchange Newbury dancers perfrom inside and on top of a giant steel ring

Take dance, circus and a peppering of theatre, throw in the story of Don Quixote and, it’s safe to say, you’re in for a unique night at the theatre. Quimera is a darkly funny performance with quirky and extreme physicality, using contemporary dance, a German Wheel, acrobatics, and stunning aerial circus.


EXHIBITION: A Beautiful World, Bray House Maidenhead, 24–26 Feb

Monkey clinging to a temple pillar

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but when the beholder’s a pro snapper, magic happens. This exhibition reveals the wonders of the natural world, captured by 19 brilliant photographers, that an iPhone simply cannot recreate. Be inspired and take your grid to the next level.


THEATRE: Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Watermill Theatre Newbury, 19 Feb – 7 Mar

Midsummer Night's Dream Watermill Theatre Newbury Berkshire

Head west for the perfect introduction to Shakespeare as A Midsummer Night’s Dream (above) returns to The Watermill Theatre in Newbury (19 Feb – 7 Mar) for a limited run at the end of a UK tour. Fizzing with magic and a large dose of chaos in an enchanted Victorian music hall; secrets, love and mistaken identities collide to the soulful sounds of Nina Simone and Billie Holiday.


THEATRE: Strangers On A Train Set, Corn Exchange Newbury, 27 Feb


‘The Laurel & Hardy of literary deconstruction’, LipService is going off the rails in Newbury with this comedy thriller based on Patricia Highsmith’s novel. But, let’s be honest, we all know it as a Hitchcock film. Challenging a youth to turn down his music, Irene Sparrow, inventor of the left-handed crochet hook (patent pending) finds herself under suspicion of murder after the train emerges from a tunnel with the young man dead. With clever use of projection and multiple train sets, LipService give you a whistle-stop tour that will leave you desperate for the refreshment coach.


TALK: Grace Campbell – Why I’m Never Going Into Politics, Norden Farm Maidenhead, 26 Feb

Grace Campbell daughter of Alistair Campbell in pink jumpsuit laughing – touring her show about growing up in politics

How do you survive a childhood in politics? We’re about to find out, as Grace Campbell – her dad is Labour’s former spin doctor Alastair Campbell – takes to the stage. Grace, who is the co-founder of the feminist group The Pink Protest, will spill her guts on why she’ll never consider a career in Westminster, hanging out with Putin’s kids and throw in the occasional vagina joke.


COMEDY: Comedy Night, Market House Reading, 28 Feb


One of the coolest hangouts in Berkshire, the Market House Reading has drool-worthy interiors and street food aplenty. They also put loads of foxy events. This Friday, it’s comedy night, so you can see out wet Feb in a fit of the giggles. Featuring the best up and coming acts from the comedy circuit, tickets are only a fiver in advance. Book up, it’s usually a sellout.


FOOD & DRINK: Adam invites… Guest Chef Alex Dilling, Coworth Park Ascot, 28 Feb

Chef Adam Smith and Chef Alex Dilling

Love food? Race you to Michelin-starred chef Adam Smith’s restaurant at Coworth Park for a special guest chef collaboration with Alex Dilling, Executive Chef of 2 Michelin Star The Greenhouse. Enjoy a fancy shmancy cook-off as Adam and Alex create a six-course tasting menu, featuring alternating dishes from the two chefs.


WELLBEING: Alternative Friday Night, Orchard Life Midgham, Fri 28 Feb

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 sound meditation.


COMEDY: Josie Long – Tender, The Concert Hall Reading, 29 Feb

Comedian josie-long

In Reading, there’s a stand-up performance by Josie Long. The comedian won her first BBC Comedy Award aged 17 and has been doing the comedy rounds ever since (Russell Howard’s Stand Up Central, Dara O’Briain’s Go 8 Bit) whilst writing for The Guardian.


COMEDY: Andy Parsons: Healing The Nation, Corn Exchange Newbury, 29 Feb

He’s the bearded hobbit you see on the likes of Mock The Week, Live at the Apollo and QI– and now’s you’re chance to see Andy Parson live. Brilliantly funny with a superb economy of words, in Healing The Nation he’ll anaesthetise your worries with a double dose of belly laughs. Forget about Brexit, life in general, the only thing you’ll be worried about is how much your face hurts from laughing.


OUTDOORS: Snowdrop Walks, Welford Park Newbury, now – 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 of 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.


EXHIBITION: Wildlife Photographer of the Year, The Base Greenham Common, 7 Feb – 26 Apr

The Moment, Yongqing Bao Wildlife Photographer o the year fox about to pounce of shocked marmot

Image: Yongqing Bao

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.


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.



CONCERT: Lana Del Rey, O2 Arena, London, 25 Feb

Lana Del Rey follows up last year’s incredible Norman F****** Rockwell album with a new one, White Hot Forever, and will be taking to the stage to share it this month.


EXHIBITION: Kimono – Kyoto to Catwalk, V&A Museum London, from 29 Feb

Kimono Kyoto square

The V&A is turning Japanese to pay tribute to the kimono – an icon of fashion, culture, and status. Expect to see the kimono Alexander McQueen designed for Björk to wear in the cover photo for ‘Homogenic’, the Star Wars costumes inspired by – you’ve guessed it! – kimono and how it is worn today. It’s worth booking a ticket in advance because these babies are always super popular.


NEW EXHIBITION: Steve McQueen, Tate Modern, London, 13 Feb – 11 May 

I love this shot! This solo exhibition of London-born artist and director of Oscar-winning 12 Years a SlaveSteve McQueen’s portfolio features 14 major works spanning his extensive career in film, photography and sculpture and is the first major UK exhibition since he received the Turner Prize in 1999. So, yeah, it’s a pretty big deal! The display will cover the last 25 years of McQueen’s career including personal and intimate works such as his early film on a Super 8 camera and this awesome aerial depiction of the Statue of Liberty above. The show also coincides with McQueen’s latest artwork Year 3on show at Tate Britain until 3 May.


THEATRE: Pretty Woman The Musical, Piccadilly Theatre, London, 13 Feb – 2 Jan 2021

This month I’m excited for the start of Pretty Woman’s West End stint after it’s successful Broadway premier in 2018. The production has some major creds with choreography from two-time Tony Award winner Jerry Mitchell (Kinky Boots, Legally Blonde, Hairspray),  and an original score from Grammy winner Bryan Adams (yes, really!).



Busy last month? There’s still time to see Tutankhamun – Treasures of the Golden Pharaoh at the Saatchi Gallery. One of the biggest cultural events in the winter calendar, the exhibit features 150+ original artefacts found in the Pharaoh’s tomb that was unearthed in 1922 (until 3 May). Elsewhere, at the O2 Arena, there’s ABBA: Super Troupers a journey through the Swedish band’s career featuring personal items and artefacts never seen before in the UK (until 21 Aug 2020). And finally, there’s the fantastically bonkers Tim Walker exhibition (above) at the V&A with snaps from his career as a fashion and portrait photographer, a must-see before it ends on 8 Mar.

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