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This weekend

FRI 19 – SUN 21 OCT

THEATRE: Jamie Raven: Making Magic, Corn Exchange Newbury, Fri 19 Oct

Magician James Raven surrounded by book top hat and illustrations of magic stick man and a cat

Britain’s Got Talent Runner up, Jamie Raven, has wasted no time pulling a rabbit out the hat crowd-pleasing show to take on tour. If you’ve magic and have members of your family claiming they know how it is done (yes I am talking to your Mr Muddy), then see this show. Jamie explores how and why magic works, and what it means to so many different types of people. However, as with everything that he does, things are not always as they seem.


ROYALTY: HM The Queen Visit, The Lexicon Bracknell, Fri 19 Oct

HM Queen Elizabeth II pale blue coat matching hat diamond brooch

If you haven’t visited The Lexicon Bracknell yet, seriously what have you been doing? It’s been open a year and if Fenwick isn’t going to entice you, I’m not sure what will. Her Majesty the Queen, perhaps? Hot on the heels of Eugenie and Jack’s rock ‘n’ royal wedding, the queen will be popping down the round to see the regeneration of Bracknell’s town centre. Let me know if you get a glimpse…


COMEDY: Croft & Pearce: Double Take, South Street Arts Reading, Fri 19 Oct

Croft and Pearce Double Take mirror images of brown hair comedians wearing black vests

Photo: Steve Ullathorne

Not to be missed! Croft & Pearce are back on tour with a brand new show and, if it’s anything like the others, it’ll be a sell out. So hurry. Stars of BBC Radio 4’s The Croft & Pearce Show and Sketchorama, winners of the Mervyn Stutter Spirit of the Fringe Award, recipients of the official Edinburgh Fringe ‘Total Sell-Out Show’ laurel and WhatsOnLondon Comedy Award nominees 2017. The list goes on and on. Buy a ticket and see why everyone loves these gals.


EVENT: Halloween: The Bats Lair, Cliveden National Trust Taplow, Sat 20 – Sun 28 Oct

Half week is looming  large (don’t worry, we’ll be helping you survive the week a little late in the month) but if you’re kids want to DO Halloween but you’re not keen on Trick or Treating, do this instead. Dress your gruesome kids in Halloween costumes, let them go bat sh*% crazy around Cliveden’s 376 acres while while hanging out with Cliveden’s old bats. No, not Lady Astor… Say that again and she’ll haunt you.

FILM: Halloween, nationwide, From Fri 19 Oct

Although the film is the eleventh instalment, it takes the story back to where the first one finished with Jamie Lee Curtis returning to the role of Laurie Strode. Expect real visceral horror with the film returning to its roots plus some funny moments to release the tension. Fans of the original are raving about it.


SPORT: Water of Life 10k and Half Marathon, Bisham Abbey, Sun 21 Oct

Let’s get physical! Lycra up baby and get yourself to the start line of the Water of Life 10k/ half marathon. Start and finish in the stunning riverside setting of Bisham Abbey before heading over the border into Bucks/Oxon on a multi terrain course through Marlow and Henley, looping back into the safety of Berks. Run or watch, he choice is yours.


EVENT: Musical Bingo, The Botanist Reading, Sun 21 Oct

Love music, a big dabber pen and the chance the win prizes? HOUSE! No need to join the blue rinse brigade at your local Gala, get yourself down to the The Botanist Reading for bingo with a cool twist.  A super-talented musician will play live music every round. Listen carefully and, if you recognise the song on your Botanist bingo card, mark it off. There’s prizes, cocktails and food. More importantly, there are cocktails.


THEATRE: Trial By Laughter, Watermill Theatre Bagnor, now –Fri 27 Oc

Trial By Laughter Ian Hislop courtroom comedy judge in back grown in wig and red gownpmus man reading hand written statement to court

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…



DAYS OUT: Brick or Treat, Legoland, Windsor, now – Fri 2 Nov

Lifesize Lego Halloween figures dracula orange lego brick with lashes and witches hat and frankenstein

I’ve run out of jokes about Brick or Treat – that’s how long this Legoland event has been running! Over 55 ‘spooktacular’ rides, live shows and attractions, plus firework displays on 20, 21, 26 & 27 October. Don’t forget to read our tips on how to survive Legoland.





CULTURE: London Literary Festival, Southbank Centre, London, Thurs 18 – Sun 28 Oct

Lots of literary luminaries like Sir Salman Rushdie and Barbara Kingsolver plus a dollop of celebs like Sally Field, Sue Perkins, Roger Daltrey, Mary Beard and Melvyn Bragg will be heading to the South Bank for the 12th London Lit Fest. The burning issues of today will be discussed and with Homer’s The Oddessy at the heart of the festival – readings, talks and discussions – there’s your culture fix in the bag.


EVENT: Dark Arts, Harry Potter Warner Bros Studios, now – 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,


THEATRE: The Wider Earth, The Natural History Museum, now – Sun 30 Dec

Exciting news – there’s a theatre being opened 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.


EXHIBTION: Black Mirror: Art as Social Satire, the Saatchi Gallery, London, now – Sun 13 Jan 2019

Turbulent Tumble Tumble by Clayton Brothers

In these troubling times, satire can provide some light relief and hold up a mirror to modern-day politics. This new exhibition explores how art and satire can question and commentate in a way that can diffuse situations. All sorts of media have been used, including photography, installations and more obviously caricatures, and what’s even better is it’s completely free (very helpful when in Chelsea flexing the credit card).


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

The Montagu Kitchen

It’s worth popping into town this month as London’s fantastic restaurant scene is in full celebration mode with great value festival menus at loads of top-notch restaurants, plus foodie events like gastronomic weekends, tasting menus, restaurant-hopping tours, tasting menus with famous chefs, talks, films and art.

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