FRI 20 – SUN 22 JULY
PICK OF THE WEEK
MUSIC: Wetherbys Supersprint with Craig David, Newbury Racecourse, Sat 21 Jul
You won’t get 7 Days with Craig David, but the guys a fast mover so you’ll who knows what might happen after a few hours at Newbury Races and a Party In the Paddock? Following his Miami wilderness years, the great R&B bearded one is well and truly back – and not to be missed. He’s awesome live and hasn’t aged one bit. I wish I could say the same. Tickets are flying out, so get your mitts sharpish. Tickets from £40.
EVENT: The Labyrinthe Challenge, Reading Outpost Activity Centre, Sat 21 – Sun 22 Jul
Love Total Wipeout? Then this will be right up your strata. The Labyrinthe Challenge is the world’s largest continuous inflatable obstacle course and it’s heading back to Reading this month. More than 30 bonkers, bouncy obstacles spread across five unique themed zones. The idea is to get through in the quickest time possible. If you are feeling fit, then go for it…if not, a leisurely pace is just fine. Suitable for 10+ years, with a mini Labyrinthine Challenge for littlies.
EVENT: Friday night pop up bar, Douai Pavillion Woolhampton, throughout July
Picture the scene: balmy summer evenings, unspoilt countryside, kids happily playing games without the need for you to referee the perpetual bickering, while you enjoy a blissful Friday night sundowner. This utopia is a reality at the Summer Pop Up Bar at Douai Pavillion in Woolhampton. Running every Friday night from 6pm, it’s a great place for the whole family to let off steam. Winner!
THEATRE: Giffords Circus: My Beautiful Circus, Stonor Park Henley, Thu 19 – Mon 23 July
This year the inimitable Giffords Circus is celebrating the birth of circus which happened near Westminster Bridge in London in 1768. It’s all brilliantly bonkers putting on a candle-lit international gymnastic show with dancing horses, a live band and everyone’s favourite clown Tweedy. Stonor Park Henley on Thames, 19-23 July.
FILM: Open Air Cinema, Douai Pavillion Woolhampton, Sun 22 July
Ah Ryan Gosling, you gorgeous specimen of man. Sorry, he stars in La La Land with Emma Stone. Yes it’s a musical of the old school variety, yes it is romantic and if you haven’t seen this Oscar winning hit, now’s your chance. Go, just for Ryan. He’s, I mean it’s, magic. Birch Associates Events are hosting at the idyllic Douai Pavilion in Woolhampton – £15 ticket priceincludes a deckchair. There’s a full bar, hog roast, burgers, hot dogs, candy floss, popcorn, ice creams. Doors open at 5pm for a 7pm viewing. Fab night out with family and friends.
THEATRE; Wayfaring, Basildon Park Lower Basildon, Tue 17 – Sat 21 July
Whether it’s food, drink, film or theatre, in this weather, take it all outside. The stonkingly beautiful Basildon Park will provide the backdrop for Wayfaring – an outdoor event combining installation with live performance and music. Artists and performers from And Now: will work with, not against, the environment; creating structures made from wood and other materials that are available from the landscape.
DANCE: The Dreamboys, The Hexagon Reading, Thu 19 July
Take me back to the 90s and pass the baby oil. Far be it for me to objectify, but feast your eyes on this lot – it’s only The Dreamboys, featuring X Factor reject Jake Quickenden offering to share a six pack or 10. I’ll just leave this image hanging here and let your minds wonder. Tickets are selling faster than these boys can get down to their pants, so be snaffle one while you can.
Little Baby Bum, Corn Exchange Newbury, Fri 20 July
If you’ve got littlies, the chances the digital nanny will have stumbled across Little Big Bum. For the rest of us, it’s a YouTube channel with animated characters singing nursery rhymes with more subscribers than Zoella and Coldplay – 16million people, since you’re asking, with more than 15 billion views. It’s catnip to little kids and now it’s coming live to a theatre near you. Book up, pass the tramadol and polish your parental halo.
Jerusalem, Watermill Theatre Newbury, now – Sat 21 Jul
The Watermill is staging the first major revival of Jez Butterworth’s multi-award-winning play, Jerusalem. A contemporary classic which originally starred Mark Rylance as the anarchic Johnny ‘Rooster’ Byron in 2011. Big shoes to fill for Jasper Britton. Expect fruity language in this wild and defiant rekindling of our national identity. One of the show’s of the summer.
Lynn Chadwick, Cliveden National Trust Taplow, now – Oct 2018
If you loved the Benar Venet sculptures at Cliveden last year, then the new installation of English sculpture and artist Lynn Chadwick’s awesome abstract metal works inspired by the human form and natural world. His big, bold sculptural pieces are doted around the grounds. Take a stroll, admire and then pop into Cliveden House for afternoon tea or lunch at the Astor Grill.
THEATRE: Brian Blessed directs Unexpected Guest, Mill at Sonning, now – Sat 28 Jul
BOOM! The man with the biggest voice in show business is back in Berks. National treasure Brian Blessed in the director’s chair at The Mill at Sonning, following on from his successes with A Spider’s Web and The Hollow. And who better than Flash Gordon to take on Agatha Christie’s classic whodunnit, An Unexpected Guest? Brian has been peddling his acting wares for 60 years and knew and worked with Christie, so you know this will be a corker. And remember, your ticket price also includes a two-course meal.
Open Air cinema, Ascot Racecourse, Thu 19 – Sat 21 Jul
Love a man in the uniform? Then you’re in for a treat – Tom Hardy, Mark Rylance and Cillian Murphy; plus the ‘old enough to their mothers’ lust list Harry Styles, Tom Glynn-Carney and James D’Arcy. Christopher Nolan’s epic WWII drama Dunkirk needs to be seen on the big screen to appreciate the scale of this film as it retells the allied evacuation of occupied France. Rather see something lighter than a Ryvita cracker there’s Bridesmaids, Fri 20 July for laughs and The Greatest Showman, Sat 21 July for a sing a long.
FILM: Mamma Mia, Here We Go Again, from 20 Jul nationwide
Can’t wait for this one. The original cast plus Cher as Sophie’s grandmother, let’s hope it’s as good as the first, full of sunshine-y joyful ABBA hits, a great story and plenty of laughs.
EVENT: Countryfile Live, Blenheim Palace, Thurs 2 – Sun 5 Aug
Can’t get enough of Adam Henson and the Countryfile gang? Roll up, roll up, catch the show while you can at Blenheim Palace as the team showcase the best of the British countryside. Expect live arena shows where Matt Baker does a semi-naked trapeze act while John Craven tames the Fresian cows in top hat and fishnets. Apparently (and this bit is true) there’s also a National Trust theatre, waterside activities, off-road experiences, animal displays and 700 exhibitors. This year, they are also throwing a BBC Countryfile Live Summer Party on the Saturday 6-9pm, headlined by country duo The Shires (a BBC Radio 2 favourite) and supported by Newton Faulkner and Ferris & Sylvester.
THEATRE: True West, Vaudeville Theatre, London, from Fri 23 Nov
Booking is now open for the West End Premiere of Pulitzer Prize-winner Sam Shepard’s ferociously funny, modern classic, True West. Directed by Matthew Dunster, an Olivier-nominated director, playwright, actor and Associate Director at Shakespeare’s Globe, and starring Kit Harington (of Game of Thrones fame) and Johnny Flynn (Genius) as warring brothers, this sure sounds like a goodie.