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What’s on this week

MON 12 – SUN 18 MAR

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

The Me Too and Times Up movements have put women’s rights front and centre. It’s pretty ballsy 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. cornexchangenew.com

 

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 Live at the Apollo and sell-out run at the Edinburgh Fringe – Dane explores our appetite for wealth, power and pleasure in G.O.D. (Gold.Oil. Drugs). A fantastic emerging talent, not to be missed. readingarts.com/south-street

 

The Rivals, The Watermill Newbury, Thu 15 Mar – 12 Apr

The Rivals Watermill Theatre newbury pop art poster of blonde woman

Pride & Prejudice meets Absolutely Fabulous… it’s not going to be a museum piece.’ explains director Jonathan Humphreys. You had me at Ab Fab, The Rivals is a funny, fast-moving satirical rom-com  full of desire, intrigue, delusion and a twilight duel. Let the fizz be overflowing, it’s sounds fabulous daaaarlingwatermill.org.uk

 

The Ministry of Biscuits, Swallowfield Parish Hall, Fri 16 – Sun 18 Mar

Biscuit floating in orange mug

Gotta love dunking a biscuit into a piping hot cuppa… unless half of it flops in and you’re left with floaters. Gross. If you love a biccy or a laugh, book your seat for The Ministry of Biscuits, a comedy with music, inspired by Ealing comedy and Orwell’s 1984. It’s been written by author Philip Reeve and The Foundry Group artistic Director Brian Mitchell, so you know it’s going to be as good as chocolate Hob Nob. Swallowfield Parish Hall, Swallowfield, Reading RG7 1QX – Door open 7pm; tickets, £12.

 

Royal Windsor Weddings Walk, Royal Windsor Information Centre, Sun 18 Mar

If your invites got lost in the post *cough* like mine, then we can console ourselves with a Royal Windsor Wedding Walk. Brush up on your stalking skills and swat up on your Royal Wedding bants for Harry and Meghan’s big day on Royal Windsor Weddings Walk, part of the Spring Leap Festival. windsorfestival.com/spring

 

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). millatsonning.com

 

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. cornexchangenew.com

 

Blissful Yoga & Meditation Workshop, The Gym at The Swan At Streatley, Sun 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.

 

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. southhillpark.org.uk

 

FURTHER AFIELD

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. vam.ac.uk

 

Flight of The Conchords, Milton Keynes Theatre, Tue 13 – Thu 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? atgtickets.com

 

Barbara Hepworth: Finding Form, River & Rowing Museum, Henley, now – 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. rrm.co.uk

 

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. nationaltheatre.org.uk

 

Michelangelo, Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, now – 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. ashmolean.org

 

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.  npg.org.uk

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