FRI 26 – SUN 28 APR
MUDDY’S PICK OF THE WEEKEND
THEATRE: Avenue Q, Hexagon Reading, Fri 26 – Sat 27 Apr
Avenue Q is Sesame Street for grown ups – introducing Trekkie Monster, Lucy the Slut, Christmas Eve and many more. It’s like the puppets’ PG rebellion while tanked on tequila. Robert Lopez, Jeff Marx and Jeff Whitty’s homage to the puppet TV shows of our childhood is unashamedly frank, exploring the lives, hopes and dreams of an eclectic mix of characters in downtown Manhattan. You’ll appreciate the smutty humour. Suitable for ages 14+.
EXHIBITION: Wildlife Photographer Of The Year, The Base Greenham Common, Fri 26 – Sun 28 Apr
Wildlife photography requires patience, lightening reactions and a little bit of luck. But when they get the money shot… POW! the results are extraordinary. This year’s prestigious Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition is being held at The Base at Green ham Common Business Park in Newbury. It’s an international showcase of 100 images taken by the very best in nature photographers around the world.
WALKS: The Gilded Garden, Cliveden National Trust Taplow
Say goodbye to snowdrops and a big hello to daffodils that are springing up everywhere. New for 2019 Cliveden present their new programme The Gilded Gardens, inspired by the 24 carat gilded golden gates on the Sounding chamber and thousands of daffodils that grow across the estate- this year the gardening team have added a further 57 varieties to the existing 20 so there grounds really will be carpeted in canary, until Tues 30 April. Head to the Water Garden and Blenheim Pavilion for the best of ‘em.
THEATRE: Crimes Of The Nile, Theatre Royal Windsor, Fri 26 Apr – Sat 27 Apr
If you love an Agatha Christie, but need a good belly laugh, then feast your eyes on New Old Friends’ The Crimes Of the Nile. Four hyperactive actors, led by company founder Feargus Woods Dunlop, work at breakneck speed around the familiar Christie plot of Belgian detective extraordinaire, Artemis Arinae, enjoying a Nile cruise and the passengers and crew start dropping liker flies. Will Arinae’s little grey cells identify the murderer in time? Last year’s show was a sell out.
WALKS: Bluebell walks, various locations
Bluebell season has arriived. We’re so lucky to have the most incredible number of bluebell woods in Berkshire. These stunning fields of blue only last a few weeks, so, chop chop! You can rely on the National Trust Basildon Park and Cliveden to put on a fine display, but check out Rushell Farm and Fernygrove Farm open their ancient woodland especially for you to enjoy. For more bluebell hot spots, the full list can be found here, with pubby pit stops.
MUSIC: Are You Listening Festival 2019, South Street Arts Reading, Sat 27 Apr
The opportunity to see bands before they get mahoosive – and raise money for charity. Reading’s fab multi-venue one day festival caters for all tastes but we’re sitting up like meerkats for Krafty Kuts, a legendary DJ who’s soundtracked everything from Masterchef adverts to Guy Richie films, and gigged with The Rolling Stones. Add rising Indie rock stars Gengahr who supported The Strokes and played Reading Festival last year and Radio 1 DJ Phil Taggert, and you know it’s a bit spesh.
COMEDY: The Adam Riches Experience, Norden Farm Maidenhead, Sat 27 Apr
Adam Riches’ act is wet-you-pants funny. In fact every ticket sold comes with a pair of Tena pants (joke). The Edinburgh Comedy Award Winner’s show is off the wall, absurd and with edge of your seat audience participation.
NGS Open Garden, Rockwood Farm House, Stockcross, Sun 28 Apr
Nothing quite like a good nose around a beautiful private garden to see how it is done when you actually know what you’re doing. Mine doesn’t meet the standard, trust me. Part of the National Garden Scheme, Rockwood Farm House, Stockcross is opening it’s gates. Enjoy the rose covered pergola, fabulous tulips, giant alliums, and kitchen garden.
WALKIES: The Great British Dog Walk, Culden Faw Estate Henley, Sun 28 Apr
Walkies! This is a nice idea to get you, your family and your pooch out into the Spring air, while raising funds for the charity Hearing Dogs For Deaf People. The Great British Dog Walk takes in a 4km family route or an 7k scenic one around Culden Faw Estate in Henley. Plus there is tea and cake… just saying. It’s £10 for an advance adult ticket, under 16s go free. Plus you get a free doggie bandanna to jazz up Rover. hearingdogs.org.uk
SPORT: London Marathon, Sun 28 Apr
The idea of running for hours around London is my idea of hell, unless it involves shopping and drinking cocktails. But for the 42,000 people who will be hauling ass around London, good luck. Sir Andy Murray will be ringing the starter bell, and the crowds will be lining the 26.2-mile route. See you at the finish line.
EXHIBITION: Edvard Munch: Love and Angst, British Museum London, now – Sun 21 Jul
For lovers of the scream emoji (guilty), this British Museum exhibition has your name written all over it. Edvard Munch’s famous Scream is the star attraction, but there are many less famous but equally emotive and powerful images to see. The last time a Scream was a sold it went for a whopping £74million in 2012, so take it slow you’re a bit clumsy, otherwise this will be the look on the faces of everyone around you.
EXHIBITION: Jenny Holzer – Artists Rooms, Tate Modern London, now – Wed 31 Jul
Whether you’re a lover a quote or not, I think you’ll love American artist Jenny Holzer’s exhibition at the Tate Modern right not. The American artist asks us to consider the words and messages that surround us – presenting them on stone benches, projections, signs, posters, paintings, plaques and textiles. It’s not huge, but it’s bright, funky and deceptively ‘easy’.
EXHIBITION: Matilda at 30,Roald Dahl Museum and Story Centre, Great Missenden, now – Sun 2 Jun
To celebrate Matilda’s 30th birthday, the Lower Babbling Room has a mini exhibition of eight new drawings by Roald Dahl’s illustrator Quentin Blake, each showing a different version of a grown-up Matilda. The museum is also piling on the activities for the Easter period (Sat 6 – Mon 22). Kids can make crazy glasses and kaleidoscopes at Matilda’s Phizz-whizzing Eye Tricks workshop (try saying that after a couple of gins), mould their own villainous Miss Trunchbull out of clay, learn about opposites at Miss Honey’s Science School and more.
EXHIBITION: Mary Quant, Victoria & Albert Museum, London, from Sat 6 Apr
This is awesome! The iconic 1960s designer and the mother of miniskirts, Mary Quant, gets her own exhibit at the V&A with over 200 garments, accessories and exclusive unseen pieces from the designer’s personal archive.
DAY OUT:Warner Bros. Studios, Herts, from Sat 6 Apr
Just when you think the Harry Potter hype is finally over, Warner Bros figure out another way to get us through the door. On Sat 6 Apr, the studios unveil their biggest expansion to date, Gringotts Wizarding Bank full of with crystal chandeliers, original film props and, er, a gallery of goblins. The new set will be a permanent addition to the tour.
DAY OUT: Great Brick Safari, ZSL Whipsnade Zoo, Beds, now – Sun 2 Jun
More Lego! New for Easter, Whipsnade Zoo introduces its Brick Safari- there’ll be loads of LEGO brick beasts and animals around the mammoth zoo (it’s the biggest in the UK doncha know) made from over one million bricks, as well as hands-on family activities. Included in entry price.
KIDS: The Falconers Quest & Horrible Histories Maze, Warwick Castle, Berks, from Sat 6 Apr
It’s a jam-packed Easter over at Warwick Castle with the brand new Falconer’s Quest – the biggest birds of prey show in the UK, with 70 majestic birds taking to the skies and doing all sorts of aerial acrobatics. Plus the world’s largest siege machine fires twice a day in a brand new show as well as the first Horrible Histories adventure maze featuring fun challenges, Terrible Tudors, Vicious Vikings, Storming’ Normals and more.
ART: Chihuly Trail, Kew Gardens, from Sat 13 Apr
Run free my pretties but watch out for the delicate glass sculptures. Iconic artist Dale Chihuly’s stunning pieces are on display at Kew Gardens from Easter weekend, but I fear it’s an accident waiting to happen. Kids smashing the place up, children skewered on a giant flower. A true test of your parenting skills… but an Insta winner.
EXHIBITION: Van Gogh and Britain, Tate Britain, London, until Tues 27 Aug
This new major exhibition will be the first to explore the artist’s relationship with Britain and the literature, art and culture that inspired his work. Over 45 works by the artist from public and private collections including Starry Night on the Rhône 1888 from the Musée d’Orsay, Paris, and the rarely loaned Sunflowers 1888 from the National Gallery, London. There’ll also be work by British artist who were influenced by Van Gogh’s work including Francis Bacon and David Bomberg.
EXHIBITION: Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams, Victoria & Albert Museum, London, until Sun 14 July
This exhibition, the largest House of Dior collection ever staged in the UK, has been HUGE- it is sold out but there are a few first-come, first served tickets available from 10am (from the Grand Entrance) and it’s well worth trying your luck. Or you can see the exhibit by purchasing a membership for the V&A (plus you get loads of added extras like sneak previews, a magazine subscription and access to the members room). Tracing the history of Christian Dior and the six artistic directors who succeeded him, it’s based on the a Parisian exhibition but with a new section exploring Dior’s fascination with British culture. A highlight is the Christian Dior dress worn by Princess Margaret for her 21st birthday celebrations, on loan from the Museum of London.
The Little Welly obstacle course and festival, Henley, Sat 8 – Sun 9 June
This is all about getting Muddy so we are IN! A 3km hop, skip, jump and dash through 30 challenges, taking in streams, trails, mud and woodland The Little Welly’s obstacle course is the largest in the UK for kids. There’s also an accompanying festival with – deep breath – kart racing, rope climbing, circus skills workshops, live music, helter skelter, laser tag, climbing wall, pony rides and loads of family activities. I think it’s such a fantastic idea – get them away from screens, into the fresh air and doing some exercise.