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Things to do this week in Berkshire

Looking for fun? Then you'll be needing my curated guide to the best local events near you from live theatre and West End screenings to cool comedy and exhibitions.

DANCE: Matthew Bourne’s red Shoes, Corn Exchange Newbury, Thu 8 Oct

Red Shoes Matthew Bourne

Head to Corn Exchange in Newbury for your culture fix. The live screening of Matthew Bourne’s acclaimed stage adaptation of The Red Shoes is back for an encore and it is not to be missed. Set to romantic music of golden-age Hollywood composer Bernard Herrmann, the story follows a girl’s dream of becoming the greatest dancer in the world – and it’s Matthew Bourne, so there’s no doubt the moves will be excellent.

COMEDY: Matt Richardson – Imposter, Norden Farm Maidenhead, Fri 9 Oct

Matt-Richardson 1000x666

A high wattage stand-up with so much charisma, he lights his own stage. Matt Richardson, you’ll probably recognise him off the telly ( ITV2’s The Stand Up Sketch Show, Celebrity Juice, Love Island: Aftersun and Comedy Central’s Roast Battle) is on the road with a brand-new nationwide tour and you can see it in Maidenhead this week. Let’s be honest, we could all do with a laugh.

THEATRE: Simon Slater in Bloodshot, The Watermill Theatre Bagnor, now – Sat 17 Oct

Simon Slater Bloodshot Watermill Theatre Newbury

Theatres are dipping their toe into socially-distant waters, putting on shows with small audiences and often a one-man show. Case in point, The Watermill Theatre in Newbury is putting on its first indoor production – Simon Slater in Bloodshot. A thriller set in 1957 London, policeman-turned-photographer Derek Eveleigh is down on his luck, but a mysterious envelope of money arrives it looks like his fortunes are about to change. Simon’s a man of many talents – acts, plays the ukulele and sax and even throws in the odd conjuring trick!

COMEDY: Harry and Chris: Live, Streamed And Just Very Excited To Be Out Of The House, Norden Farm Maidenhead, Thu 8 Oct

Harry_and_Chris_Norden Farm Maidenhead

Harry and Chris old out three Edinburgh shows, appeared on the Russell Howard Hour and were called ‘fabulously entertaining’ by Jonathan Ross. From the ridiculous to the sublime, the world’s greatest comedy-rap-jazz duo bring award-winning wordplay, awe-inspiring musicality, eyebrow-raising bromance and unashamed joy to one of their favourite venues from their last two national tours.

KIDS THEATRE: toooB, Corn Exchange Newbury, Sun 11 Oct

toooB Corn Exchange Newbury

Like all kids TV and theatre, there’s something a bit trippy about toooB, but your littlies will be go bananas for this friendly shape-shifting creature who stars in the wordless show for babes aged 6-24 months. It’s a gentle sensory adventure with an original soundtrack and gentle humour. And yes, there is element of joining in. Sorry. You’ll have earned a glass of wine at the end.

THEATRE: NT Encore – Hansard, Norden Farm Maidenhead, Wed 7 and Sat 10 Oct

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 Covid, Boris and Brexit, Boris and [oh, insert you’re own gripe here], the National Theatre’s repeat 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.

EXHIBITION: HRH Princess Beatrice Wedding Dress, Windsor Castle, Thu 24 Sep – Sun 22 Nov

princess-beatrice-WEDDING GOWN ON display

No fuss, no pomp or ceremony, on the 17 Jul 2020 Princess Beatrice quietly married Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi at Royal Chapel of All Saints in Windsor wearing her ‘something borrowed’ vintage Norman Hartnell borrowed from Granny. It helps she’s the Queen. Now we get to see this masterclass in craftsmanship up close now that it is on display at Windsor Castle. The queen famously wore this gown to the premiere of Lawrence Arabia at the Oden Leicester Square in 1962. It was nothing short of perfection.

EXHIBITION: Quentin Blake and John Yoeman – 50 Years of Children’s Books, The Base Greenham, now – Sun 6 Dec

Just like wine and cheese, Quentin Blake and Roald Dahl trip off the tongue. But a new exhibition at The Base in Greenham Common reveals Quentin Blake’s longest collaboration was in fact with the author John Yeoman. House of Illustration’s 50 Years of Children’s Books exhibition is the first to celebrate this partnership. It features the original drawings for A Drink of Water, and 10 other projects – from picture books and short novels.


EVENT:  IF Oxford Science & Ideas Festival, online, 1 Oct – 17 Nov 

The city’s annual science and tech fest is taking everything online this year with loads of digital events across the month including virtual tours of Oxford’s museums, activities for kids, talks and at-home pub quizzes.

EXHIBITION: Nick Knight: Roses from my Garden, Waddesdon Manor, until 25 Oct 

Isn’t this just beautiful? The image was taken by legendary fashion (Jil Sander) and celebrity (The Queen, Lady Gaga) photographer Nick Knight. He’s coming up roses with an exhibition at Waddesdon Manor, which features manipulated photographs of roses inspired by the work of 16th- and 17th-century still life painters like Jan Brueghel the Elder and Jan van Huysum. Read our interview with Nick here.

EXHIBITION: Among The Trees, The Hayward Gallery, Southbank, until 31 Oct

From Colombian rainforests and remote Japanese islands to olive orchards in Israel and a 9,550-year-old spruce in Sweden, this mixed media exhibition explores trees relationship to humans, featuring work from 37 international artists. You’re right on the Southbank so plenty of foodie options to head to after your culture fix.

Find more ideas here

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