FRI 28 FEB – SUN 1 MAR
MUDDY’S PICK OF THE WEEKEND
FOOD & DRINK: Adam invites… Guest Chef Alex Dilling, Coworth Park Ascot, 28 Feb
Love food? Race you to Michelin-starred chef Adam Smith’s restaurant at Coworth Park for a special guest chef collaboration with Alex Dilling, Executive Chef of 2 Michelin Star The Greenhouse. Enjoy a fancy shmancy cook-off as Adam and Alex create a six-course tasting menu, featuring alternating dishes from the two chefs.
THEATRE: Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Watermill Theatre Newbury, 19 Feb – 7 Mar
Head west for the perfect introduction to Shakespeare as A Midsummer Night’s Dream (above) returns to The Watermill Theatre in Newbury (19 Feb – 7 Mar) for a limited run at the end of a UK tour. Fizzing with magic and a large dose of chaos in an enchanted Victorian music hall; secrets, love and mistaken identities collide to the soulful sounds of Nina Simone and Billie Holiday.
COMEDY: Comedy Night, Market House Reading, 28 Feb
One of the coolest hangouts in Berkshire, the Market House Reading has drool-worthy interiors and street food aplenty. They also put loads of foxy events. This Friday, it’s comedy night, so you can see out wet Feb in a fit of the giggles. Featuring the best up and coming acts from the comedy circuit, tickets are only a fiver in advance. Book up, it’s usually a sellout.
WELLBEING: Alternative Friday Night, Orchard Life Midgham, Fri 28 Feb
Spend your Friday nights flat on your back in a state of total bliss. And on this occasion, you won’t have emptied a bottle of wine. Friday nights have never looked so good… no, seriously, you’ll be polishing your halo after an evening with Laura of The Wellbeing Feeling’s deep reiki infused meditations, Yoga Nidra (yogic sleep) and sound meditation.
COMEDY: Josie Long – Tender, The Concert Hall Reading, 29 Feb
In Reading, there’s a stand-up performance by Josie Long. The comedian won her first BBC Comedy Award aged 17 and has been doing the comedy rounds ever since (Russell Howard’s Stand Up Central, Dara O’Briain’s Go 8 Bit) whilst writing for The Guardian.
DAYS OUT: Bonnets, Bustles and Top Hats, Windsor Castle, 29 Feb
Best bib and tucker for a visit to see the queen at Windsor Castle… Queen Victoria, that is. Let your kids run wild-ish and immerse themselves in the bonkers world of Victorian fashion, try on a costume and make a fashion accessory. Plus you’ll get to hear the inside scoop on Queen Victoria’s wedding, which took place 180 years ago this month.
COMEDY: Andy Parsons: Healing The Nation, Corn Exchange Newbury, 29 Feb
He’s the bearded hobbit you see on the likes of Mock The Week, Live at the Apollo and QI– and now’s you’re chance to see Andy Parson live. Brilliantly funny with a superb economy of words, in Healing The Nation he’ll anaesthetise your worries with a double dose of belly laughs. Forget about Brexit, life in general, the only thing you’ll be worried about is how much your face hurts from laughing.
OUTDOORS: Snowdrop Walks, Welford Park Newbury, now – 3 Mar
It’s snowdrop time! Choose a dry-ish day and wander through drifts of snowdrops at Welford Park. Why Welford Park? It’s only got one of the finest natural snowdrop woodlands in the chuffing country – four fabulous acres. Visit Wed-Sun (11am-4pm) until Sun 3 Mar. You can find more snowdrop walks here.
EXHIBITION: Wildlife Photographer of the Year, The Base Greenham Common, 7 Feb – 26 Apr
Wildlife photography requires patience, lightning 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 Greenham Common Business Park in Newbury. It’s an international showcase of 100 images taken by the very best in nature photographers around the world.
EXHIBITION: India & Me, Basildon Park Lower Basildon, now – 23 Dec
Basildon Park’s India-inspired Zuber wallpaper was designed in 1806 by a French artist who had never been to India. It makes the new audio-visual exhibition in the mansion’s Garden Room even more extraordinary, as it looks at personal stories from Basildon’s collaboration with the Reading Indian Centre.
CONCERT: Lana Del Rey, O2 Arena, London, 25 Feb
Lana Del Rey follows up last year’s incredible Norman F****** Rockwell album with a new one, White Hot Forever, and will be taking to the stage to share it this month.
EXHIBITION: Kimono – Kyoto to Catwalk, V&A Museum London, from 29 Feb
The V&A is turning Japanese to pay tribute to the kimono – an icon of fashion, culture, and status. Expect to see the kimono Alexander McQueen designed for Björk to wear in the cover photo for ‘Homogenic’, the Star Wars costumes inspired by – you’ve guessed it! – kimono and how it is worn today. It’s worth booking a ticket in advance because these babies are always super popular.
NEW EXHIBITION: Steve McQueen, Tate Modern, London, 13 Feb – 11 May
I love this shot! This solo exhibition of London-born artist and director of Oscar-winning 12 Years a Slave, Steve McQueen’s portfolio features 14 major works spanning his extensive career in film, photography and sculpture and is the first major UK exhibition since he received the Turner Prize in 1999. So, yeah, it’s a pretty big deal! The display will cover the last 25 years of McQueen’s career including personal and intimate works such as his early film on a Super 8 camera and this awesome aerial depiction of the Statue of Liberty above. The show also coincides with McQueen’s latest artwork Year 3, on show at Tate Britain until 3 May. tate.org.uk
THEATRE: Pretty Woman The Musical, Piccadilly Theatre, London, 13 Feb – 2 Jan 2021
This month I’m excited for the start of Pretty Woman’s West End stint after it’s successful Broadway premier in 2018. The production has some major creds with choreography from two-time Tony Award winner Jerry Mitchell (Kinky Boots, Legally Blonde, Hairspray), and an original score from Grammy winner Bryan Adams (yes, really!).
Busy last month? There’s still time to see Tutankhamun – Treasures of the Golden Pharaoh at the Saatchi Gallery. One of the biggest cultural events in the winter calendar, the exhibit features 150+ original artefacts found in the Pharaoh’s tomb that was unearthed in 1922 (until 3 May). Elsewhere, at the O2 Arena, there’s ABBA: Super Troupers, a journey through the Swedish band’s career featuring personal items and artefacts never seen before in the UK (until 21 Aug 2020). And finally, there’s the fantastically bonkers Tim Walker exhibition (above) at the V&A with snaps from his career as a fashion and portrait photographer, a must-see before it ends on 8 Mar.