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What’s on this week in Berkshire?

Buckle up, there's loads of fun to be had this week in our locale, from nosing around artists' studios and drive-in comedy and nights to West End theatre and more.

ART: Cookham and Maidenhead Arts Trail, various locations, Sat 12 – Sun 13 Sep

Inge Du Plessis blue sky person peeping into shot wearing bowler hat
Image: Inge Du Plessis

Always wondered what artist’s do all day? Now’s your chance to find out. The Covid safe Cookham and Maidenhead Arts Trail is on and gives you the opportunity to have a nose around the studios of the talented creatives working in the area and even buy, it you like. I’m loving the work of figurative painter and Sky Arts Portrait Artist Of The Year finalist Inge Du Plessis (above), the ceramic sculptures of Caroline Gatfield and the work of Michael Restrick.

EXHIBITIONS: Reading Museum reopens, Reading, Tue 8 Sep

bayeux-Tapstry Reading Museum

Courtesy of President Macron, the Bayeux Tapestry will be on loan to the British Museum in 2022. Jeez, who wants to wait two years? No one in Berkshire because we have Britain’s full-size Victorian replica of the Tapestry on display in Reading Museum – which reopens this week and it’s absolutely FREE to visit. It was created in 1885 by the Leek Embroidery Society who went to great efforts to make it as accurate as possible, with one teeny tiny difference. The French embroidery has several ‘ding dong’ naked men, while the British version will spare your blushes, popping on a pair of pants!

DRIVE-IN CINEMA: Ascot Racecourse, Tue 1 – Sun 10 Sep

Drive-2011_Ryan Gosling

Drive-in cinema’s are huuuuge this year – getting you out out but with all the social distancing boxes ticked. Luna Drive In is pitching up at Ascot Racecourse with their big screen They’ve got a smörgåsbord of cinematic greats for your viewing pleasure this week, including: Back To The Future, Knives Out, RocketmanDrive and Jurassic Park.

EXHIBITION: Open Air Sculpture, Shaw House Newbury, now – Sun 27 Sep

Winds of CHange Brendan Murless_1000x666
Winds of Change sculpture by Brendan Murless

Practice your arty-farty face and waft around The Orangery Lawn at Shaw House in Newbury. The postponed Altered States Sculpture exhibition opens this month and gives you the chance to discover artworks by top Uk sculptors in this lovely historic setting. Everything’s for sale so, if you find something you love, you can batter the credit card. Just make sure it’ll fit in the car boot.

NATIONAL THEATRE LIVE: Fleabag, Norden Farm Maidenhead, Wed 9 – Sat 12 Sep

Pheobe Waller Bridge Fleabag actress black and white image head in hands messy hair

Fleabag may seem oversexed, emotionally unfiltered and self-obsessed, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg. The hilarious, award-winning, one-woman show that inspired the BBC’s hit TV series Fleabag, was captured live on stage from London’s West End in 2019. If you didn’t snaffle tickets for Phoebe Waller Bridge’s brilliantly dark comedy, catch the encore now.

FOOD: Macmillan Charity Afternoon Tea, Douai Pavilion Woolhampton, Sun 13 Sep

Cupcake on a plate

Fancy an afternoon of tea, cake and countryside views? Kick back and relax at this very special Macmillan Charity Afternoon Tea at the Douai Pavilion in Woolhampton. Booking is essential, so get your name down by Thu 10 Sep, then enjoy a civilised afternoon in the late summer sun.

FOOD: Wokingham Vegan Market, Wokingham Town Hall, Sun 13 Sep

It’s a meat, honey, eggs, leather and products tested on animals free zone, obviously! Wokingham Vegan market prides itself in offering something for everyone: delicious food, natural skincare, eco-friendly gifts and much more. There’s even live music and children’s entertainment. So much goodness, in fact, it’ll balance out any bad behaviour from now until Christmas.

DRINKS: Pop Up Pub In The Paddock – The Closing Party, Newbury Racecourse, Sat 12 Sep


Missing seeing the gee gees’ thundering past at Newbury Racecourse? While the racing is happening behind closed doors, you don’t need to miss out of the social vibe. Newbury Racecourse opened Pub In The Paddock for the summer and this is the closing party with big screen showing live sport. Trot on, there’s a cold glass of Champers with your name on it in the parade ring.

MUSIC: Voices of the West End, Stonor Park, Henley, 11 – 13 Sep

Stonor Park Henley on Thames

West End stalwarts Earl Carpenter and John Owen-Jones (they played the lead in Andrew Lloyd-Webber’s The Phantom Of the Opera for over nine years between them) will be staging an outdoor production of musical hits against the back drop of the stunning, historic Stonor Park. They will also be joined by Kerry Ellis (Wicked) and Katie Hall (The Phantom Of the Opera).

COMEDY: Drive-in Comedy, Millets Farm, nr Abingdon, Sat 12 Sept

Red beetle in maize field Comedy Drive In Millets Farm Abingdon

If you’re looking for belly laughs, pull up to Millets Farm for an award-winning Jericho Comedy night from the comfort of your motor (if the weather’s nice, you can bring a picnic blanket and watch the show outside your car instead). The show will be broadcast on bluetooth speakers, plus you can pre-order pizza and burgers from the Millets Farm Kitchen.


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

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 when it does on display at Windsor Castle later this month. 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.

WORKSHOP: Creativity On Slate, Stanlake Park Wine Estate, Twyford, Thu 24 Sep

Calligraphy on slate Stanlake Park Wine Estate workshop

Find your creative groove (and nail thoughtful Christmas/ wedding gift giving this year) by designing a personalised cheese/charcuterie slate platter. This two-hour creative workshop explores the art of lettering using faux calligraphy, taught by Michelle from Mint Lettering. Plus, you’ll get to sample Stanlake’s delicious English sparking wine, learn a bit about the estate and its award-winning wine. The slate platter you create is yours to take home and do not pass GO without buying a bottle of vino from the Cellar Shop. All that effort deserves a reward. £60pp.


FESTIVAL: London Design Festival, various locations, 12 – 20 Sept

Now in its 18th year, this cool festival features commissions and installations across the city, including The Hothouse, located in the newly coined International Quarter (Stratford). The glasshouse installation provides a controlled habitat for cultivating plants that would not ordinarily grow within the UK’s climate. 

EXHIBITION: Aubrey Beardsley, Tate Britain, now – 20 Sept

Aubrey Beardsley

Here’s the last call to see this awesome retrospective exhibition of Aubrey Beardsley’s work, from his early medievalist and mythological subjects to his bold illustrations covering themes of sex, death and humour.

EXHIBITION: Electronic: From Kraftwerk to the Chemical Brothers, The Design Museum, London, until 14 Feb

From underground raves to the pioneering sounds used in Dr Who, this exhibition explores the history and culture of electronic music throughout the ages. 

EXHIBITION: Ai Weiwei: History of Bombs, Imperial War Museum, London, now – 24 May 2021

Ai Weiwei imperial war museum

Part of Refugees, a free season of exhibitions, artistic commissions and immersive events taking place across IWM London and IWM North, this exhibition draws on renowned artist Ai Weiwei’s ongoing investigation into politics and power.   

Find more ideas here

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