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Something for the weekend? Your fun 5

No plans this weekend? I can help with that: Here are five fab things to do – and most of them are FREE. Including big mouth puppets singing the Spice Girls.

1/ The Lips, Market Place Newbury, Sat 23 April

The Lips Puppet and Gut Theatre Co

Giant lips singing It’s Raining MenI’m So ExcitedSingle Ladies and Spice Up Your Life, where do we sign up? Creative theatre company Puppets With Guts will bring that magical big mouth mix tape to Berkshire the weekend – and it’s a totally FREE outdoor event. In case you’re sitting on the fence, they’ve performed at the 2012 Olympics, a gig for Sir Paul McCartney, the theatre adaptation of Michael Morpurgo’s War Horse, and the Harry Potter film series: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. Starry. Performances are at 2pm, 4pm and 9.15pm. 

2/ #Blossomwatch, 23 April

Loving mother and baby girl on background blooming pink flowers of cherry tree blossom at springtime. Beautiful woman with daughter running to her in park outdoors. Family on nature in Greenwich park, UK

Celebrate #BlossomWatch day (this Saturday). Hay fever sufferers, you have been warned. Pop that Piriton (other brands of antihistamine are available) and take a stroll among the National Trust’s bloomin’ stunning gardens or perhaps walks the carpets or blue in your nearest bluebell wood. Snap away and post on your socials using the hashtag #blossomwatch. If you have teens, they might even get up before midday for this photo op.

3/ National Portrait Gallery: Coming Home, Reading Museum now – 4 June

Duchess of Cambridge at 40 National Portrait Gallery Paolo Riveri

For something a bit more refined, pop along to Reading Museum for a gander at the 40th birthday portraits of the Duchess of Cambridge. Shot by Italian photographer Paolo Roversi at Kew Gardens, the touring portraints are part of the National Portrait Gallery’s roving exhibition Coming Home. Eventually, the images will form part of the National Portrait Gallery’s permanent collection in London. But you get to see them first. While you’re here, take a look at Reading’s Victorian replica of the Bayeux Tapestry. A whopping 93 penises feature on the original. To save the blushes of the embroiderers, they’re all covered up.. *No sniggering at the back.

4/ Changing of the Guard, Windsor, Sat 23 April

Don’t miss this very British tradition – The Changing of the Guard at Windsor Castle. The parade takes place every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday from 11am. The new guard set off from Victoria Barracks on Sheet Street and march through the Town Centre to the Queen’s des res. The ceremony takes place inside the castle and then the old guard head back to barracks at 11.25am. Always a fabulous site that brings this town to a standstill.

5/ Madama Butterfly, The Hexagon Reading, 23 April

EllenKentMadamaButterfly

Turn up the drama and the volume for Puccini’s Japanese tragedy. If you love opera, the award winning Ellen Kent production, featuring the The Ukrainian National Municipal Opera Kyiv, is one to pop on your cultural shortlist. This touching tale of innocent love crushed between two utterly different cultures resonates as strongly as ever in today’s world.

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