Fun incoming! 20 fab things to do this week
Vintage treasures, more top comedy than your can shake a tickling stick at, exhibitions and a saucy ventriloquist... it's all going on in our 'hood this week.
THEATRE: Paul Zerdin: Hands Free, Corn Exchange Newbury, 23 Sep
Ventriloquist and America’s Got Talent winner Paul Zerdin is finally back on tour with his team of puppets – Baby Sam, Old Man Albert and newbie Roger the Bodyguard. Paul is very funny bloke, who uses puppets, cool tech (created by the Star Wars guys) comedy and magic, to create a show that’ll leave your howling. You can read my interview with him here. He talks about dressing up as Maggie Thatcher, weird fan mail and his beef with Barney the Dinosaur.
SHOPPING: Henley Decor Fair, Greenlands Park Henley, 23 Sep
In Henley, there’s the Henley Decor Fair. Held over Thurs 23 – Sun 26 Sept at Greenlands Park and costing £20 for the Friday, and £15 for the weekend (note: Thursday is trade-only), there’s some serious interiors inspiration from some of the top dealers in the UK, and what we love about the Henley Decor Fair is the breadth on offer – so whether you’re into French furniture or mid century lighting, garden sculpture to fairground signage, you’re going to find something unique and beautiful amongst the 180+ dealers converging on this exquisite part of South Oxon.
COMEDY: Iain Stirling – Tour Warm Up, South Street Arts Reading, 23 Sep
Bafta-winning stand-up and voice of Love Island is back on UK stages with a warm-up show. There was no Majorcan summer for Iain, so the poor love has been huddling around a four-bar fire like the rest of us. Join Iain as he uses you lot as guinea pigs to try out his new material. It’s a 60-minute show with no interval.
SHOPPING: Winter Pop up sale, Bucklebury Farm, 23 – 24 Sep
On your marks, gets set… SHOP at Bucklebury Farm! Nail your Christmas gifts early or treat yourself to something gorgeous from some of the best small businesses on the block. Gift Pop Boutique, Bridie & Bert, Spots & Stripes, Millie Pink, Forage Somerset, Stripe & Stare, Donna Ida, Summer House Collection and many are all popping up, in aid of the Charlie Waller Trust. Shop til you drop between 8.30am and 2.30pm each day. See you there.
COMEDY: The Big Comedy Bash, The Hexagon Reading, 23 Sep
It’s the comedy equivalent of a BOGOFF. The Big Comedy Bash is back with a stellar comic line-up including Jack Dee, Jo Brand, Pippa Evans and Arthur Smith who will be firing gags at you in aid of the Slapstick Festival. Not to be missed.
THEATRE: Sir Ian McKellan’s Hamlet, Theatre Royal Windsor, now – 25 Sep
Sir Ian McKellan has been lighting up the Theatre Royal stage in Windsor in an electrifying production of Hamlet. At the age of 82, McKellen is the oldest Prince of Denmark the UK has ever seen. It is also a production that is age, colour and gender blind.
COMEDY: David Baddiel, Trolls Not The Dolls, The Hexagon Reading, 24 Sep
Following his five-star Olivier-nominated hit My Family: Not The Sitcom, David Baddiel returns with his rescheduled one-man show Trolls: Not The Dolls. The show takes a look at his experience of trolls and how to (er… or how NOT to) deal with them. *hint* not with a witty retort!
THEATRE: Lone Flyer, Watermill Theatre Newbury, now – 25 Sep
Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No it’s Superwoman! AKA Amy Johnson – the first woman to fly solo from England to Australia in 1930. In a plane, obvs. A trailblazing adventurer, she lived fast and died young, breaking a host of records before crashing to her death at the age of 37. In this revival of Ade Morris’s 2001 play about her life, we glimpse the woman behind the celebrity pilot, as frustrated by social convention as she was determined to embrace adventure.
EXHIBITION: Open Studios, The Base Greenham, now – 25 Sep
Amazing art in open studios and private spaces across West Berkshire and North Hampshire and it’s totally free! The main exhibition is INSIGHT at The Base Greenham where more than 100 artists will show their work.
WORKSHOP: TEA. CAKE. CREATE, Made By Tamalia Caversham, 26 Sep
Create something pretty while sipping tea and eating cake. Where do we sign up? MADEby Tamaliaruns loads of cool workshops in Caversham. The next Tea.Cake.Create is on 26 Sep and you’ll be making these cool eco-resin planters.
Windsor Festival, The Old Court Windsor and other location, now – 3 Oct
Windsor Festival is pulling out all the stops in 2021 with a series of cultural events over two weeks. Expect talks, music and walks, including top-selling author Alison Weir on Henry VIII’s sixth wife Katherine Parr at The Old Court Windsor (22 Sep), Giles Brandreth talking about his old mate Prince Philip (25 Sep), an exhibition celebrating Six Centuries of Food and Dining at Eton College and a concert of music by American composers.
SHOPPING: Great Antiques & Vintage Car Boot Sale, Stonor Park Henley, 26 Sep
Stonor Park is putting on a Great Antiques & Vintage Car Boot Fair on 26 Sept, which has been historically one of its most popular events, and for good reason! Pick out your most comfortable shoes, rifle through the wares of over 150 quality sellers, and bag yourself some beautiful bargains. Autumn home revamp, here we come.
Heritage Open Days, various venues, throughout September
This national campaign to encourage people to learn more about our history and culture includes tonnes of free events and opportunities to explore usually unseen places. It runs all month long and there’s plenty going on in Berkshire, including local artist tours, intimate live performances, guided walks and exhibitions. This year’s theme is Edible England – learn about Medieval Munchies, Berkshire’s brewing heritage, a foraged feast at the MERL in Reading and the chance to go up Green Park’s iconic wind turbine.
FILM: The Screen, The Old Court Windsor, now – 25 Sep
Windsor has not had a cinema for nearly 40 years! Stop crying into your empty popcorn carton, The Old Court in Windsor is a super cool arts venue with loads of films top scratch that Hollywood itch. This week you can see The Father starring Olivia Colman and Anthony Hopkins (now-23 Sep) and award-winning documentary Summer of Soul tells the story of the 1969 Harlem Cultural Festival, dubbed the ‘Black Woodstock’ (25 Sep).
MUSIC: Janine Johnson: A Night of Bond, Norden Farm, 25 Sep
To get you warmed up for the latest Bond blockbuster No Time To Die (in cinemas 30 Sep) jazz/ soul singer Janine Johnson will be belting out the hits of 007s past. Expect to hear Goldfinger, Live and Let Die, License to Kill, Skyfall, and many more. Janine’s a musical powerhouse having collaborated with Paloma Faith, Take That, George Michael, Ray Davies, The Who, Kaiser Chiefs and the list continues.
SHOPPING: Newbury Artisan Market, Northbrook St Newbury, 26 Sep
Hmm the smell of fresh bread and sizzling street food is enough to get me out of bed for a Sunday market, but the Newbury Artisan Market is much more. Think quality produce, original art, designer crafts, all mixed in with family activities, music and more… From 10am to 4pm, get up and mooch and grab yourself something unique from Berkshire’s finest.
FAMILY FUN: The Sunshine Family Festival, Palmer Park Reading, 26 Sep
Make some noise! Little Mix, Spice Girls, Justin Bieber and Dua Lipa will be headlining at Palmer Park. Well, their tribute twins will be. Shh! Don’t tell the kids they’ll never know. There’s plenty to entertain the whole family including live DJs, fun fair, play areas – plus special guest appearances from hey Duggee and Paw Patrol. A pear cider should take the edge off for the grown ups.