Rain or shine, find your fun this weekend
What’s on near you, you ask? I know, I know! Let the good times roll this weekend. Head out and enjoy outdoor film nights, posh gigs, cool circus and much more.
MUDDY’S PICK OF THE WEEKEND
MUSIC: Heritage Live, Englefield House Theale, 23-24 Jul
If your teens are dressing like you did in the 90s, Brit Pop band Supergrass (originally from Oxford) could be right up their street. They will be headlining a summer outdoor gig in the grounds of Englefield House on 22 July. Part of the Heritage Live Concert series, the band will take to the stage at this impressive stately home in Theale supported by Feeder and Sports Team. The following night (23 July) Boy George and Culture Club will perform with Lulu, Kim Wilde and Gabrielle. Tickets from £50pp.
THEATRE: Gifford’s Circus, Stonor Park, Henley, 22 Jul – 2 Aug
Roll up, roll up, Gifford’s Circus is coming to town! From the imagination of the brilliant late Nell Gifford, the trope’s brand new show The Hooley will feature Celtic dance, fairies, pixies, trolls and a whole host of magical creatures alongside Gifford stalwart (and my all time favourite clown) Tweedy. Adult tickets £25, Kids £15.
KIDS: Kite making workshops, Norden Farm On Demand, 1-31 Jul
Make like Mary Poppins and join Zoom kite-making workshop. This is your time to shine and create a kite to send into the sky. The classes usually take place to create windy wonders for Norden Farm’s annual kite-flying festival. Get ready for launch. Altogether now! Let’s go fly a kite… and send it soaring.
EXHIBITIONS: Game Plan – Board Games Rediscovered, The Base Greenham, now – 5 Sep
Ah, remember when gaming required more than one player and came out of a box? Take a screen break and head to The Base’s new exhibition – Game Plan – Board Games Rediscovered – on load from London’s V&A. It’s not a look and don’t touch exhibition, there’s plenty on display that you can try out and a nice reminder how much fun (and competitive) getting friends and family round a game can be.
THEATRE: As You Like It, The Watermill Theatre, Bagnor
As usual, there’s loads of treats on at The Watermill Theatre. This bijou theatre takes it outside during the summer – making the most of the gardens and the theatre’s stunning riverside location. Don’t miss Shakespeare’s comedy As You Like It (until 24 Jul) which will have a eco set and costume with music inspired by Mumford & Sons, Fleet Foxes, Bon Iver and Taylor Swift. Loving the sound of that.
OUTDOORS: Romeo & Juliet, Progress Theatre @ The Abbey Ruins Reading, now – 24 Jul
If you’re looking for a backdrop that atmospheric, dramatic and nails the period brief, the Reading’s Abbey Ruins – originally founded by Henry I in 1112– is it. Outdoor theatre has been performed here since extensive conservation work completed. This month, to mark the 900th anniversary of the Abbey, the Progress Theatre will perform Shakespeare’s romantic tragedy Romeo & Juliet (14-24 July). Tickets from £18.
DAYS OUT: Prince Philip: A Celebration, Windsor Castle, Windsor
A portrait of The Duke of Edinburgh by Ralph Heimans is the centrepiece of a new 120-piece exhibition at Windsor Castle celebrating his life. Prince Philip: A Celebration has been curated by the Royal Collection Trust and features items marking key moments during his official duties for the Queen. From the coronation robe and coronet he wore during the Queen’s Coronation in 1953 and his personal desk to a giant grasshopper wine cooler, it’s a moving tribute to the UK’s longest serving consort.
OUTDOOR CINEMA: Summer Screens, Caversham Court Gardens, Reading, 22-24 Jul
Caversham Courts Gardens is an under-rated riverside park and now it has the Summer Screens cinema too. Balmy evening staring at the big screen? Race you. There are three films on the Caversham movie reel kicking off in July with The Breakfast Club (22 Jul); Grease (23 Jul) and Thelma & Louise (24 Jul). You last chance to snag your spot will 17 and 18 Sep, but the films are TBC. A selection of cinema drinks and snacks will be available. Doors open at 7.30pm, film starts at 9pm.
THEATRE: Smashed2, Welford Park Newbury, 23 Jul
It’s going to get messy – 80 oranges, seven watermelons and nine performers. Smashed2 is juggling reinvented, using plenty of explosive fruit and slow-motion comedy as they take is witty look at the strained relations between men and women. Inspired by the work of the great choreographer Pina Bausch, Gandini Juggling combine juggling in a dance theatre style, performed with meticulous unison and split-second timing.
MUSICA: Last Night Of The Heritage Proms, Englefield House Theale, 25 Jul
Opera star and I’m A Celebrity inmate Russell Watson will perform The Last Night Of the Heritage Proms at Englefield House in Theale on 25 July. The concert will feature the Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra conducted by David Arnold, composer, arranger and producer Mike Moran, coloratura soprano Christina Johnston, and very special guests The NHS Choir. There will also be a Spitfire flypast and fireworks finale. Union Jack flags at the ready for a patriotic sway to Land Of Hope And Glory – £1 from every ticket sold will be donated towards NHS charities.
THEATRE: Romeo & Juliet, Shaw House, Newbury, 25 Jul
Immersion Theatre is a multi-award-winning company taking a few productions outside this summer – and they’re making a couple of stops at the historic Shaw House in Newbury. Starting with an evening performance of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet on 25 Jul (adult tickets £12). Book now.
DANCE Classic Ibiza, Bowood, 23 July
If you can’t get to the White Isle this summer, then let it come to you, when the grounds of Bowood turn into an outdoor club complete with lasers and all the classic ‘toons’ you can shake a (glow) stick at. The evening kicks off with a chilled vibe, courtesy of Pacha and Ministry of Sound DJ, Jose Luis, before ramping up to what we’ve all been waiting for, the dance set with anthems from Faithless, Underworld and The Prodigy – you know the drill. But look sharp, tickets are going fast. Adult tickets £45.
COMEDY: Sarah Millican, 25 July, the Mayflower, Southampton
The brilliant Sarah Millican is back on the road with a real Bobby Dazzler of a show at Southampton’s Mayflower Theatre. Typically off-limits, this time, you’ll hear her explain how throw poo over a wall and tell all about a surprisingly funny smear test, among the usual array of belly-laugh stories. Love it.
COMEDY: Shazia Mirza, 25 July, Hanger Farm Arts Centre, Minstead
Turns out brilliant female comedians are like buses. You wait ages… Reflecting on a year when the world got turned on its head and Meghan Markle “turned into the new Yoko Ono”, the totally fantastic Shazia Mirza is back in Hampshire at the New Forest’s Hanger Arts Centre this month.
Millets Maize Maze, Millets Farm Abingdon, from 20 July
That great summer staple the Millets Maize Maze at Millets Farm, near Abingdon will reopen 20 July. The theme this year is bees, so kids can work their way through a great games pack of quizzes and puzzles to solve, all about our good friend the bumblebee. As well as the maze, there will be trampolines, tractor rides, pedal go-karts (for adults, too!), crazy golf, and more. Sounds like a dead cert day-out to us.
DAYS OUT: Great War Event, Chiltern Open Air Museum, Chalfont St Giles, 24-25 July
If you want to shove something slightly more educational down their throats, don’t miss the Great War event on at The Chiltern Open Air Museum, 24-25 July. Costumed re-enactors, oodles of information about WWI, stories of local heroes… the whole shebang.
Van Gogh Alive, Kensington Palace London, from 4 Jun
Well worth whizzing into London for! Kensington Gardens will be lit up with Van Gogh Alive, a multi-sensory experience that’s been touring the world and has seen 65 cities so far. Expect a feast for all the senses: 3D painting recreations, a sunflower room, sounds, smells, and light shows. Tickets are £24.
FOOD: Secret Adventures Foraging, Greenmoor Wood, Checkendon, 24 July
Totally over shop-bought ingredients, or just like the idea of eating like a woodland fairy? Secret Adventures Foraging is for you, friend. Rock up to Greenmoor Wood, South Oxon on 24 July to spend a dreamy afternoon learning to forage with trained herbalist and forager Justine Gens, before cooking your findings over an open campfire.
FESTIVAL: Guildford Beer Festival 2021, Guildford Cricket Club, Guildford, 23 – 25 July
The eleventh Guildford Beer Festival is here! The event will play host to around 100 cask ales and chilled craft beers sourced from independent and micro-breweries in Surrey, Hampshire, Sussex and Berkshire. The sessions are timed due to Covid-19, so be sure to book ahead to avoid disappointment! tickets.visitguildford.com
OUTDOOR FUN: The Garden Show at Loseley Park, Guildford, 23 – 25 July
Over 200 exhibitors attend this three-day event targeting outdoor lovers and families! Visit Loseley Park’s walled gardens, relax to the sounds of the wandering Jazz Trio, and entertain the kids with the garden show jester, archery, puppet shows, face painting, birds of prey, fete entertainment and a funfair. thegardenshowonline.com
EXHIBITION: David Hockney: The Arrival of Spring, Royal Academy of Art London, from 23 May
A David Hockney exhibition never disappoints and this one is particularly poignant. The Arrival of Spring (from £19) will display the over 100 optimistic works Hockney did on the unfolding of spring during the height of the pandemic, all done on his iPad.