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What’s on this week

MON 19 – SUN 25 MAR

Lucy Porter: Choose Your Battles, Norden Farm Maidenhead, Fri 23 Mar

Comedian Lucy Porter superhero style standing in front of gold beam

Lucy Porter’ a regular on the telly box and now she’s back in Berks with her new stand-up tour. Her new show deals the big issues: Trump, Brexit, equal pay, Hollywood sex pests – how do we know which causes are worth fighting for? Lucy will help you decide.


A Brave Face, Corn Exchange Newbury, Wed 21 Mar

A Brave Face soldier and child Vamos Theatre

A Brave Face explores Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, an unseen and often unrecognised injury of war, and the impact it can have on even the closest of families. With compassion, humour and fearlessness, Vamos brings its trademark, wordless, full mask style to a story that needs to be told.


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 Rivals, The Watermill Newbury, now – 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


Islands In the Stream, Theatre Royal Windsor, Tue, 20 Mar

Island on the stream neon sign with cowboy boots and hat Dolly Parton and Kenny Rogers

If there’s one song that cheers me up on the darkest days, it’s the distinctive tone of Dolly Parton belting out 9 To 5. For that very reason a tribute act has made it into the Muddy Guide. I wouldn’t ordinarily say ‘go see’, but Islands In The Stream is going to be a cheese fest of epic proportions, that’s guaranteed to make you very very happy. I’m sold.


Be Wiser Jumps Season Finale, Newbury Racecourse, Fri 23 – Sat 24 Mar

Rachel Jane Muddy Stilettos Editor wearing navy hat and orange feather to Newbury Races

Muddy racegoer reporting for duty

A day at the races, you say? No need to ask me twice. Any excuse to wear at hat and drink bubbles that doesn’t involve buying a wedding present. Apparently t’s the Jumps Season finale, so saddle up, get your glad rags on there are prize to be won at Newbury Racecourse. A guy, gal or couple will be crowned Most Stylish Racegoers, so keep the tan light, the hemlines long and wear a sensible shoe, there’s a chance to walk the course on the Friday at 11.30am, in aid of Sport Relief.


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.


NT Live: Julius Ceasar, UK live cinema release, Thu 22 Mar

Julius Caesar gets the Nicholas Hytner treatment at the National Theatre, starring heavy weights Ben Wishaw, David Morrissey, David Calder and Michelle Fairley. No need to scramble for a ticket, head to South Hill Park, Corn Exchange Newbury or Vue Reading and see this critically acclaimed production on the big screen. Could there be a better time to stage a modern production about the self-regarding political elite, seemingly out of touch with the popular will. nutlike.


Spring Family Raceday, Ascot Racecourse, Sun 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.


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.



Julius Caesar: First Encounters, RSC Stratford, Thu 22 – Sat 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).


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.


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.


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, 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.


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.

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