FRI 12 – SUN 14 OCT
TALKS: Ayesha Hazarika — ‘Girl on Girl: The Fight for Feminism’, Norden Farm Maidenhead, Friday 12 Oct
‘Phew! After Weinstein and #MeToo, women of the world have finally united… Who cares about smashing the patriarchy when you can go full-on Prisoner: Cell-Block H? So, what happened to feminism? Is it too posh? Too white? When did Germaine Greer become Richard Littlejohn? Whose feminism is it anyway?’ Political pundit Ayesha Hazarika tackles the F word.
THEATRE: Trial By Laughter, Watermill Theatre Bagnor, now –Fri 27 Oct
Following on from the record-breaking play The Wipers Times (if you missed it, it’s on at the Oxford Playhouse 3-8 Sep), Ian Hislop and Nick Newman are back at the Watermill Theatre to premiere a new play. This true and extraordinary story is about the trial of William Hone – a forgotten hero of free speech, he was charged with ‘impious blasphemy and seditious libel’. The only crime he had committed was to be funny. Worse than that he was funny by parodying religious texts. And worst of all, he was funny about the despotic government and the debauched monarchy. I enjoy Ian Hislop’s razor-sharp wit so it’s bound to be a fun evening an it’s got a whiff of Private Eye…
FAMILY FUN: Carters Vintage Fair, Prospect Park Reading, Sat 13 – Sun 14 Oct
Scream if you wanna go faster! If you love a funfair with its distinctive aroma of diesel, hot dogs and candy floss, then get yourself down to Prospect Park. Carters Steam Fair rolls into Reading with its spinny whizzy rides dating back to the 1890s and traditional games. Plus it’s free to enter and there’s a free fireworks display on Saturday night.
SPORT: Maverick Ions-8 Original Trail Trace, Stonor Park Henley, Sat 13 Oct
Now I’m assuming any race that covers 324 square miles of countryside requires a bit of training. Unless you’re Jessica Ellis, of course, in which case best of luck. The Maverick Original Oxfordshire Trail Race kicks off from Stonor Park this Saturday covering South Oxon, Bucks, Beds and Herts. See the runners off then hit the coffee and cake hard, mooch round the gardens and play in the Wonder Woods. It’s practically community service, just do it.
SPORT: British Beer Run, Alexandra Park Windsor, Sat 13 Oct
Starting and finishing next door to the Windsor & Eton Brewery this scenic run covers fantastic views of the River Thames, and Windsor Castle. A medal is great, but let’s be honest, beer is better… At the end of this run you can enjoy a free pint post-race straight from the brewery. I hate to break it to you but there’s no excuses for not joining in, as there’s a race for all abilities. Pick from a chip-timed Half Marathon, 10km, 5km or 1km event. There’s even a family run and the good news is, unlike the beer, the race is flat.
Walk in the footsteps of Reading’s most notorious criminals. Join crime writer Angela Buckley for a sinister stroll around the river and surrounding roads of Caversham, associated with the notorious Victorian baby killer Amelia Dyer. It is suspected than many of the children in her care over three decades were strangled and dumped in the Thames. A light lunch might be in order.
TALKS: Gregg Wallace: Doesn’t Get Tougher Than This, Corn Exchange Newbury, Sat 13 Oct
Leaping out of the frying pan into the fire, Gregg Wallace is putting his fork down long enough to make his stand up debut. What can your expect from the former greengrocer cum Masterchef presenter? Funny behind the scenes tales with demos and audience fun and games. He’ll answer anything, shares classic anecdotes and dishes up MasterChef’s juiciest bits. Just don’t spell his name wrong on social…
SHOPPING: Ascot Fashion Weekend, Ascot Racecourse, Fri 12– Sat 13 Oct
Need to give the credit card a battering? Ascot Racecourse is hosting an AW18 fashion frenzy. Designers and boutiques will be wafting about like peacocks at the Ascot Fashion Weekend. Whether you just need a trend injection, have a party to go to or your looking for something to see you through the new season, you’ll find it here. Grab the girls, join the stampede and shop till you drop.
WALKS: Windsor Ghost Tour, Windsor Castle, Sun 14 Oct
Things that go bump in the night. Not Prince Philip falling out of bed, but a ghost tour in the shadow of the Queen’s gaff. Put your big girl pants, knock back a stiff drink and discover the bloody tales of Windsor in this theatrical ghost tour featuring live actors, scary stories and Windsor’s best haunts. Starts at 8.30pm and lasts approximately 75 minutes!
THEATRE: Matthew Bourne’s Swan Lake, Wycombe Swan, now – Sat 13 Oct
Worth hopping over the Bucks border to see Matthew Bourne’s menacing, witty and unique production of Swan Lake. It’s won tons of awards and rightly so. It’s best known for the all male corps-de-ballet – unheard of in the ballet world before – but it’s an all-round winner even if you’re not a ballet fan.
FAMILY FUN: World Conker Championships, Southwick, Northants, Sun 13 Oct
Watch the experts as they battle it out to see who is the best at playing conkers in the world! It’s a big event with a kids’ conker competition, stalls, guide dog displays, bumper cars, climbing wall, food offerings, a tea and cake tent, Morris dancers, juggling workshops, a ukuleke band and praise be, a bar.
THEATRE: The Wider Earth, The Natural History Museum, now until Sun 30 Dec
Exciting news – there’s a theatre now open in the Jerwood Gallery at the Natural History Museum for the European premiere of award-winning drama The Wider Earth, a play about the young Charles Darwin. Puppets, an original score and cinematic animations make this theatrical event a great draw for kids plus they’ll learn a helluva lot in the process.
EVENT: Dark Arts, Harry Potter Warner Bros Studios, Sun 1 Oct – Sun 12 Nov
Harry Potter Warner Bros Studios are brilliant at ringing the changes with their events and for this one the Great Hall will be decorated with over 100 floating pumpkins, just as seen as in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, along with a table laden with a Halloween feast of red apples, pumpkins and cauldrons of lollipops. Kids can also delve into the sinister world of the Dark Art – wand combat techniques and Death Eater duels as well as filmmaking snot, blood and drool. Er, nice!
Warner Bros. Studio Tour london, Studio Tour Dr, Watford, Leavesden, wbstudiotour.co.uk
EVENT: Fright Nights, Thorpe Park, various dates throughout Oct
Thorpe Park’s Fright Night boasts more terror than ever before with new horror experiences, attractions, and even more scares. It’s the perfect event to get you in the mood for Halloween, so grab your tickets… if you dare.
FOOD: London Restaurant Festival, various London locations, all month
London’s fantastic restaurant scene is in full celebration mode this month, with great value festival menus at loads of great restaurants, plus foodie events like gastronomic weekends, tasting menus, restaurant-hopping tours, tasting menus with famous chefs, talks, films and art.
EXHIBTION: The Shape of Light, Tate Modern, now – Sun 14 Oct
Last couple of weeks to see this exhibition which chronicles 100 years of photography and abstract art. It explores thCArftere development of abstraction with photography from early pioneers to our 21st century digital innovators, with over 300 works by artists such as Man Ray and Jackson Pollock.