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What’s on in March

MARCH 2018

Birdsong, Theatre Royal Windsor, Mon 26 – Sat 31 Mar

Birdsong theatre production uk tour 2018

A mesmerising story of love and courage, this stage version of Sebastian Faulks’s novel about the Great War is the hottest ticket in town. Note to self: Not. To. Be. Missed. This is the fourth and final tour of Rachel Wagstaff’s adaptation and coincides with the centenary of Armistice in 1918.


Katherine Ryan: Glitter Room, Hexagon Reading, Fri 2 Mar

Comedian Katherine Ryan Canadian Reading Arts Hexagon

If you haven’t heard of Katherine Ryan, where the hell have you been? She’s ruthlesslessly funny and all over the telly box. Her latest show Glitter Ball is a celebration of single motherhood. Who needs a lover in your life to unzip your tight dresses when you’ve got an eight-year-old or (if desperate) an Uber driver on hand? The woman is a force of nature, be prepared for a girl crush.


Testosterone, Corn Exchange Newbury, Fri 16 – Sat 17 Mar

The Me Too and Times Up movements have put women’s rights front and centre. So in the current climate it it unusual for a writer to explore what it means to be a man – with a twist. Kit Redstone was 33 when he transitioned, Testosterone wickedly satirises his story with a focus on the cocksure rituals, the preening and signals that masculinity wraps itself in as Redstone finds himself in the male changing rooms facing a cowboy-style showdown over a towel.


Dane Baptiste: G.O.D (Gold. Oil .Drugs), South Street Arts reading, Fri 16 Mar

Dane Baptise G.O.D at Te Hexagon Reading

Pic: Steve Ullathorne

It’s all about the money, money, money… Dane Baptiste – fresh from hosting <em>Live at the Apollo</em> and sell-out run at the Edinburgh Fringe – Dane explores a spacious appetite for wealth, power and pleasure in G.O.D. (Gold.Oil. Drugs). A fantastic emerging talent, not to be missed.


Lunch with Heather White Smith, The Vineyard Hotel Stockcross, Mon 5 Mar

I’m putting it out there, Gary Oldman will be crowned Best Actor at the Oscars for his portrayal of Winston Churchill in The Darkest Hour. So having ogled the frocks and checked out the winners over breakfast, why not join Heather White-Smith, Lady Churchill’s secretary for lunch.She’ll be giving you the goss from her years with the Prime Minister, his family, friends and world-famous visitors. Plus there’s a pretty fabulous 3-course lunch to scoff too.


Furrow Collective, Arlington Arts Centre Newbury, Fri 2 Mar

Furrow Collective folk band Arlington Arts Centre Newbury

Award-winning folk band Furrow Collective are clearly doing a better job than Nicola Sturgeon and Theresa May in showing a united front. This English/ Scottish band formed in 2013, drawn by a shared love of traditional songs and an open intuitive approach to collaboration. Mojo mag described them as ‘mouthwatering’, so don’t miss the chance to see something truly unique.

Legoland Opens, Legoland Windsor, Fri 9 Mar

OMG. Protect your credit card, it’s gonna get a hammering. 2018 marks 60 years of the brick and to celebrate there are a horde of new attractions including ‘Mini Land’ replicating world-famous landmarks and LEGO® Reef where you can build your very own digital fish. Watch out for the gift shop at the end – it’s a killer.


ROH Live: Carmen, UK cinema release, Tues 6 Mar

ROH Live Carmen woman walking down steps in black gown with a vast train rippling behind her

Ooh, we love opera at Muddy, all that dramatic warbling and it doesn’t get much better than a live performance of Carmen – a tale of passion, sensuality and violence – from London’s Royal Opera House, without leaving the county. No expensive ticket prices, just you a large glass of  a Pinot, a bag of popcorn and a local artsy cinema.,,

World Book Day, Windsor Castle, Fri 2 – Sat 3 Mar

Windsor Castle rare and antique books World Book Day

‘Hooray for World Book Day!’ said no parent ever, as we cobble together a passable character. But World Book Day’s not just a chance for kids to play dress up. Windsor Castle is giving you the chance to see someof its finest books from the Royal Library, including exquisite illuminated manuscripts alongside books owned by Henry VIII and Charles I.


Translunar Paradise, Corn Exchange Newbury, Thu 1 Mar 

Translunar Paradise masked theatre Corn Exchange Newbury

Experience a journey of life, death and enduring love from multi award-winning theatre company, Theatre Ad Infinitum. Using masks and mime the show explores the loss of a loved one as William escapes to a paradise of fantasy and past memories when his wife Rose dies. Returning from beyond the grave, she revisits her widowed companion to perform one last act of love: helping him let go.


The Great British Dog Walk, Culden Faw Estate, Henley, 24 Mar

Muddy Stilettos Berkshire Hungarian Vizsla Benson

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 11k scenic one around the Culden Faw private estate, where you might just spot deer or wallabies. There’s also various stalls, activities and refreshments. It’s £10 for an advance adult ticket, with children under the age of 16 go free. Plus you get a free doggie bandanna to jazz up Rover.


The Hound of The Baskervilles, Mill at Sonning, now – 17 Mar

James Tucker and Darrell Brockis in The Hound of the Baskervilles at Mill at Sonning.

Dartmoor is a pretty creepy place even in daylight. My impression of it didn’t improve after reading Arthur Conan Doyle’s Hound  of the Baskervilles. But if you love a terrifying mystery on a dark winter’s night, Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson using their powers of deduction at the Mill at Sonning. Hopefully George Clooney will console me (he was in the audience with Amal to seeMy Fair Lady – just saying).



Hyena, Corn Exchange Newbury, Fri 9 Mar

You spin me right round, baby right round… Alula Cyr is the first all-female troupe, and they’re exploding onto the UK circus scene with Hyena – a whirlwind of women, wheels, acrobatics, dance and song. These wild women epitomise their fierce friendship and tribal solidarity with this creation of thrilling physical ritual and a heart-wrenching need to belong. Don’t try this at home… although I know a cracking osteopath if you do.


Education, Education, Education, Corn Exchange Newbury, Wed 14 Mar

Where were you in 1997? I was a rookie journo working on a local paper in Aberdeen trying to make sense of working life and the Scottish accent. Elsewhere Tony Blair had won the election. Channel 5 was a month old. And Cool Britannia was a thing. Eduction Education Education is a love letter to the 90s. Things can only get better.


Jason Manford: Muddle Class, Hexagon Reading, Wed 21 Mar

Ooh, isn’t Jason Manford the man of the moment. He’s telly hosting Big Heads (laugh ’til you cry funny, btw) and What Would Your Kids Do? AND he’s just kicked off a huge tour. ‘Muddle Class’ will cover Jason’s life, growing up working class but growing into middle class – causing much confusion!


Candlemaking Workshop, B The Lifestyle Shop Newbury, Weds 21 Mar

Love a scented candle, but you often feel in order to buy one, you may have to forfeit the weekly food shop – who am I kidding, the wine order. Not anymore. Newbury based candle makers Literati & Light is running a workshop at the supercool B the Lifestyle Shop . You’ll create your own hand-poured artisan candle,  scented with a fragrance from Literati & Light’s carefully curated library of fragrances. £39pp.



Blissful Yoga & Meditation Workshop, The Gym at The Swan At Streatley, 18 Mar

If you’ve been cooped up with the kids following school closures and ‘Snow Days’,then this is your chance to escape and set the dial to YOU! Head to The Gym at The Swan at Streatley and enjoy the peace and tranquility of the river for a 2-hour yoga workshop. Plus there’s  a bit of light meditation that’s almost as good as an afternoon nana nap. Perfect for beginners. £21pp.



Royal Opera House, Cliveden House Hotel, Sun 11 Mar

Royal Opera House young stars perform at Cliveden House Hotel Taplow Berkshire

Who needs a dramatic set design when you’ve got Cliveden House? It has to be the perfect setting for an classy evening of opera. It’s all very Pride & Prejudice as you gather for an intimate performance by the young international stars form the Jette Parker programme of Covent Garden’s Royal Opera House. Plus you get treated to Champagne and a three-course dinner. Dress code is black tie too. Tickets £140 per person.


Griff Rhys Jones – Where Was I?, Norden Farm Maidenhead, Mon 5 Mar

Griff Rhys Jones Norden Farm new material

The chance to to get up close and personal with Griff Rhys Jones – but not so close he’ll need a restraining order. Griff  is coming to Norden Farm Maidenhead, a bijou theatre perfect for comedy. And Griff plans to talk to you about the highs and lows of his holidays as he reflects n the perils of TV travel. 


Spring Family Raceday, Ascot Racecourse, 25 Mar

Racecourses are generally kid-free zones – probably due to all-day bubbles and focus on the horses, but the Spring Family Raceday is a brilliant day with loooooads to entertain the kids –the legendary Lamb National, featuring six Herdwick sheep, infamous ‘Red Ram’, ‘Mint Sauce’ and friends will take to the Queen Anne Lawns for a race over mini fences, the Quack Pack, a petting zoo, free pony rides. Plus the Gruffalo and Peter Rabbit dropping by too. Oh and there’s some actual jump racing too, if that floats your boat. Tickets from £24, but under 18s go FREE.


Horrible Histories: More Best of Barmy Britain, Magnet Leisure Centre Maidenhead, 30 – 31 Mar

Love Horrible Histories and watch it without the kids (don’t judge, it’s hilarious). More Best of Barmy Britain is the dinner party you’d never want to host as HH bring back the dead so you get to meet all  faves from Britain’s barmy past – from Elizabeth I to the Vikings!


Bride: The Wedding Show, Ascot Racecourse, Sat 10 – Sun 11 Mar

Getting hitched? Before you disappear down a Pinterest/ Instagram bridal rabbit hole, get yourself down to Bride: The Wedding Show at Ascot Racecourse and meet all the beautiful people who can make your big day dreams a reality. The first 100 brides through the doors each day will get a goody bag packed full of treats and favours to take home. Tickets are £5 each or £15 for a group of four in advance.


Newbury Artisan Market, Sun 25 Mar

Hmm the smell of fresh bread and sizzling street food is enough to get me out of bed for a Sunday market, but the Newbury Artisan Market is much more. Think quality produce, original art, designer crafts, all mixed in with family activities, music and more… From 10am to 4pm, get up and mooch and grab yourself something unique from Berkshire’s finest.


The Barber of Seville, South Hill Park Bracknell, Sun 18 Mar

vintage barbers chair, razors and brushes

Not gonna lie, The Barber of Seville is one of my fave operas. Largely, because it’s funny. Not sure you’re supposed to get the giggles at these dos, but this is how I roll. The Swansea City Opera will be swinging into South Hill Park with their hugely successful production – razor-sharp and full of twists and turns.


Nick Sharratt’s Big Draw Along, Corn Exchange Newbury, Sat 3 Mar 

Illustrator Nick Sharratt Big Draw Along Corn exchange Newbury

Nick Sharratt has illustrated close to 260 books. They range from board books for babies to novels for teens. He’s worked with top authors including Julia Donaldson, Michael Rosen, and Dame Jacqueline Wilson. Up your doodle game, and join Nick for a fun draw-along, as he reveals the secrets to drawing Tracy Beaker and Timothy Pope, kings and cats and all kinds of crazy creatures.


Jonathan Pie: Back To The Studio, Hexagon Reading, Thu 29 Mar

Comedian Jonathan Pie Back in the studio

Following a sell-lout show at the London Palladium, Jonathan Pie, the frustrated News reportsr, is back. Pie attempts to host a night of serious discussions on current affairs whilst simultaneously attempting to smash the system from within. Political comedy that descends into chaos.


Dracula: The Bloody Truth, Theatre Royal Windsor, now – Sat 3 Mar

It’s a night of garlic and stakes! Sounds delicious but this is not a romance killing meal out – instead, go heavy on the eyeliner and enjoy the Gothic gigglefest Dracula: The Bloody Truth. It’s a theatrical comedy that’ll take you across Europe from the dark and sinister Transylvanian mountains to the, er, Whitby. It’s a show full of song, dance, shadow puppets and Victorian parlour tricks.


Stephen Bailey: Can’t Think Straight, Norden Farm Maidenhead, Fri 2 Mar

Comedian Stephen Bailey Norden Farm Maidenhead

Meet your new potty-mouthed best friend, who supported Katherine Ryan and Jenny Éclair on their recent sell-out UK tours. Stephen Bailey’s friendly, gossipy humour has made him one of the most enjoyable acts on the UK comedy circuit today. He was also named one of Attitude Magazine’s Top 100 Bachelors of the Year… just saying. Looking for love or a laugh, check out Stephen at Norden Farm.



Julius Caesar: First Encounters, RSC Stratford, 22 – 24 Mar

yellow red Julius Cesar animation for royal Shakespeare company children's production

Great idea this. A new version of Julius Caesar for 8 -13 year olds. Part of the RSC’s First Encounters with Shakespeare series, these engaging adaptations are 90 minutes long, use Shakespeare’s original language and ask audiences to participate in the story. Beats Lett’s Notes any day (come on admit it, you used them too).


The Glamour Beauty Festival, Saatchi Gallery, London, 9-11 Mar

beauty products, make up brushes and eyelash curlers

The original incarnation of Glamour magazine folded last year but it’s back as a biannual beauty magazine and site, aimed squarely at millennials and teens. That said, beauty junkies of any age will find lots to entertain them at this Saatchi Gallery event (and if you’ve got a teenage girl in your life, it’d make a sweet day trip this Mothering Sunday weekend). Nars, Elizabeth Arden, Laura Mercier, Revlon, Guerlain, Pixi, GHD and others will have stalls offering complimentary treatments and advice, plus there’s a programme of talks from celebrities (Scarlett Moffatt’s confidence masterclass sounds fun), influencers and make-up artists. Ticket prices include a free goodie bag worth £180.


Ocean Liners: Speed and Style, V&A, London, until 17 Jun

Marlene Dietrich wearing Christian Dior onboard the Queen Elizabeth arriving in New York 1950 V&A Steam and Style Exhibition Getty_Images.

Marlene Dietrich wearing Christian Dior onboard the Queen Elizabeth, arriving in New York in 1950 (Pic: Getty Images/ V&A Museum)

These days the nearest I get to ocean-faring is a packed P&O ferry from Portsmouth to Cherbourg but in the early 20th century travelling by sea was fabulously glamorous and romantic. The V&A’s major Spring exhibition, Ocean Liners: Speed and Style celebrates the golden age of the big boats, looking at their design and cultural impact. Exhibits include Goyard luggage once owned by the Duke of Windsor, 1920s bathing suits and a door panel from the first class lounge of the Titanic.


Flight of The Conchords, Milton Keynes Theatre, 13 – 15 Mar

flight of the conchords twopence band holding old musical instruments grey background

It’s business time! This rare UK tour from the hilariously hapless New Zealand comedy/musical duo, Jermaine Clement and Bret McKenzie, sold out in a millisecond so you’ll need to beg, borrow or steal a ticket to catch the lo-fi Kiwi crew as they roll into Milton Keynes. But will their dogged manager Murray be present to take the register at the beginning of the show?


Barbara Hepworth: Finding Form, River & Rowing Museum, Henley, 9 Feb – 3 June

I love Barbara Hepworth’s work – if you’re ever in St Ives, be sure to visit her gorgeous house/studio, with its striking sculptures dotted all around the pretty garden. So I’m very excited about this – and what a coup for Henley’s little museum. This retrospective covers the sculptor’s work from the 1930s to the 1960s, borrowing pieces from the Tate and National Portrait Gallery. A must-see.


The Affordable Art Fair, Battersea Park London, 7 – 11 Mar

What to do if you’re art mad but can’t afford to splurge? The Affordable Art Fair is back this month to tempt you with work from over 100 galleries, including former Muddy Award winning best gallery Carina Haslam (go check out the Great Missenden-based gallery at E5 and Craig Mooney’s work, featured above). Tickets £10-15, and children are freeeeee.

Orchid Festival, Kew Gardens, London, now – 11 March

Things are going totally tropical this month at London’s gorgeous Kew Gardens. Their annual orchid festival takes in Insta-friendly displays of the vibrant Thai blooms, Thai street food and musical performances, workshops on how to grow these notoriously tricky flowers and Thai afternoon tea at The Botanical restaurant. King prawn, lemongrass and coriander tartlet followed by Thai sticky coconut cream rice with mango salsa? Yes please.


National Theatre Posters, National Theatre, South Bank, London, now – 31 March 2018

Theatre posters advertising National Theatre productions from 1963 to the present day are on display in a free exhibition at the building until March. Curated by Rick Poynor, professor of Design and Visual Culture at the University of Reading. it explores changing promotional styles and features some famous productions.


Michelangelo, Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, 6 Mar – 2 Apr

Nice earring! And, er, the drawing’s not bad either. Your chance to explore a remarkable group of drawings by Michelangelo, recently returned from New York where they were a central feature of an exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. They’re only on show for four weeks so don’t miss your chance.


The Goblet of Fire, Harry Potter Studios, Leavesden, 30 Mar – 23 Sep

This month sees the launch of a special feature dedicated entirely to Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, the fourth instalment of the film series, revealing secrets behind the characters, costumes and props that made it so special. The Goblet of Fire will be returned to the Great Hall for the first time since filming wrapped in 2010, there’ll be a live Special Effects demonstration showing how the Triwizard Champions’ parchments were expelled from the Goblet, and your kids receive a parchment to remember the visit.


London Design Week, Design Centre, Chelsea Harbour, Sun 4 – Thurs 8 Mar

Scandi inspired interior design, Ikea geometric rug, plants, industrial mismatched chairs

Calling interiors mavens, this one’s for you. More than 120 international exhibitors, 100 immersive experiences and a whole load of bespoke pop-ups in this celebration of new season interiors trends. A new initiative this year is ‘Legends’, where leaders from the worlds of design and decoration, art, fashion and architecture collaborate to transform showroom windows and show what you can do with imagination, wit and a lovely length of damask.


Victorian Giants: The Birth of Art Photography, National Portrait Gallery, London, now – 20 May

A major new exhibition brings together, for the first time, the works of four of the most celebrated figures in art photography, Lewis Carroll (1832–98), Julia Margaret Cameron (1815–79), Oscar Rejlander (1813–75) and Clementina Hawarden (1822-65). These four artists would come to embody the very best in photography of the Victorian era and have influenced photographers ever since. Featuring striking portraits of sitters such as Charles Darwin, Alice Liddell, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Thomas Carlyle, George Frederick Watts, Ellen Terry and Alfred, Lord Tennyson.


Women of the World Festival, Southbank Centre London,  7 – 11 Mar

The Southbank’s 8th WOW Women of the World festival is, as you’d expect, thought-provoking, eclectic and celebratory in turns. Loads of events to choose from including a panel on equality in the creative industries, a portrait project supporting those against genital mutilation, Joan (drag king comedy last seen locally at Cornerstone Arts) and Yap Yap Yap, a hilariously irreverent and teary recreation of women’s speeches throughout history.

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