What’s on this weekend
FRI 6 – SUN 8 OCT
Black History Month, Various Reading venues, Sun 1 – Tues 31 Oct
Love a bit of urban artwork, but this Reading mural, created by artists in 1989, is sadly under threat. It’s symbolic of the positive role black people have played throughout history, including in Reading itself. It seem poignant that October is Black History Month. Join the Reading party with poetry, music, dance, exhibitions and talks to enjoy including the phenomenal talent that is MOBO award winning Beverley Knight.
Henley Literary Festival, Mon 2- Sun 8 Oct
It’s the season of mists and mellow fruitfulness – and a bumper crop of literary festivals. Henley has pulled in some big celebrity names, including Dermot O’Leary (pictured), who’ll be talking about his first children’s book, Toto The Ninja Cat & The Great Escape. Other speakers include Russell Brand, Alison Steadman, Michael Morpurgo, Vince Cable, Fearne Cotton and Victoria Derbyshire, the BBC broadcaster who’s written about her struggle with breast cancer.
Thoroughly Modern Millie, Corn Exchange Newbury, Wed 4 – Sat 7 Oct
Dig out your flapper dress, slick on a red lip and practice your windmill legs, Thoroughly Modern Millie brings the sass and the jazz of 1920s New York to Newbury. Theatre group the Nomads will be bringing the comedy, tap and musical numbers to the Corn Exchange stage. I’m exhausted just thinking about it, but if high-energy musicals are your thing, book it up.
Dressed for ’dinner at 8’, Basildon Park, until Thurs 2 Nov
If you’re looking to raise your dinner party game, then have an ogle at Basildon Park. The crystal’s sparkling, the table is set and the house is ready for guests (no mismatched crockery or foldaway chairs here). Lord and Lady Ilife’s elegant dinner parties were legendary, so probably best not turn up with a cheap bottle of Pinot Grigio and a box of After Dinner Mints. You can leave them with me, if you like.
Vintage funfair, Prospect Park Reading, Sat 7 – Sun 8 Oct
Scream if you wanna go faster! If you love a funfair with its distinctive aroma of diesel, hot dogs and candy floss, then get yourself down to Prospect Park. Carters Steam Fair rolls into Reading with its spinny whizzy rides dating back to the 1890s and traditional games. Plus it’s free to enter and there’s a free fireworks display on Saturday night.
Prospect Park, Reading, Berkshire RG30 2ND, carterssteamfair.co.uk. It moves onto Holyport Green in Maidenhead, Sat 14 – Sun 15 Oct
Perfect Wedding, The Mill at Sonning, until Sat 18 Nov
Theatre’s answer to The Hangover, The Mill at Sonning’s new production The Perfect Wedding is all about the pitfalls of the stag do: naked girls, memory loss, cover ups and a bride on the warpath. The perfect medicine for all those thinking of getting married! Plus all tickets come with a two-course meal. Just in case you needed a clincher.
A Melody For Murder, Queen’s Walk Plaza Reading, Sat 7 and Sat 14 Oct
Following the sell-out success of A Gamble With Death, the team are back with A Melody For Murder. Discover #WhoKilledStellaChord – a mega-rich singing diva murdered during rehearsals – using your smartphone, race around Reading to find hidden evidence, crack clues and converse with dodgy characters. Tickets £20
Loot, The Watermill Newbury, until Sat 21 Oct
A dark comic masterpiece, when Joe Orton’s Loot premiered 5 decades ago, jaws dropped. But a tale about two dodgy mates who stash the proceeds of a bank robbery in an occupied coffin to hide the cash from a psychopathic copper, gold-digging nurse and a grieving widow, will do that to an audience even in the Sixties. Having opened in London, the Michael Fentiman-directed show arrives at The Watermill in Newbury. Not to the missed.
Dark Arts, Harry Potter Warner Bros Studios, Sun 1 Oct – Sun 12 Nov
Harry Potter Warner Bros Studios are brilliant at ringing the changes with their events and for this one the Great Hall will be decorated with over 100 floating pumpkins, just as seen as in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, along with a table laden with a Halloween feast of red apples, pumpkins and cauldrons of lollipops. Kids can also delve into the sinister world of the Dark Art – wand combat techniques and Death Eater duels as well as filmmaking snot, blood and drool. Er, nice!
Warner Bros. Studio Tour london, Studio Tour Dr, Watford, Leavesden, wbstudiotour.co.uk
Fright Nights, Thorpe Park, various dates throughout Oct
Thorpe Park’s Fright Night boasts more terror than ever before with new horror experiences, attractions, and even more scares. It’s the perfect event to get you in the mood for Halloween, so grab your tickets… if you dare.
Blackadder, South Hill Park, Wed 11 – Sun 15 Oct
“Bloody explorers, ponce off to Mumbo Jumbo land, come home with a tropical disease, a suntan and a bag of brown lumpy things, and Bob’s your uncle, everyone’s got a picture of them in the lavatory.” Not the latest Trump tweet, but the return of Blackadder. Enjoy the comic genius of Blackadder, Baldrick, Melchett, Percy, Queenie and more of your favourites at South Hill Park.
Cliveden Literary Festival, Cliveden House Taplow, Sat 14 – Sun 15 Oct
Authors Sebastian Faulks, Tina Brown and Dylan Jones, and historian Lady Antonia Fraser are among the speakers at Cliveden’s refined gathering. The 5 star country house hotel has held literary salons since the 17th century, inspiring writers from Pope to Swift to Tennyson, so you’ll certainly be in rarefied company. And be sure to have a snoop around the exquisite grounds while you’re there.