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What’s on this week

MON 3 – SUN 10 DEC

RB Live: The Nutcracker, UK cinema release, Tues 5 Dec

The Nutcracker Mouse King performed by the Royal Ballet

A sea of tutus, twinkly lights, sugar plum fairies… it can only be the Nurcracker – a 18th century prequel to Toy Story. The Royal Ballet’s staging of this classic ballet is jawdropping. No need to schlep into London and weep at the ticket price RB Live on the big screen. Pass the popcorn, it’s a cracker.

roh.org.uk

 

Christmas at Legoland, Windsor, throughout Dec

Lego Father Christmas welcomes a family to Legoland Windsor

Legoland is all twinkly lights and snow-dusted Christmas magic. Entry price for the Christmas season includes a visit to LEGO Santa in his magic grotto for kids who’ll receive a LEGO gift to take home. Grown ups aren’t forgotten  – they’ll receive a free hot drink and cookie and a large double shot of whisky to anaesthesise a day looking after children.

Legoland Windsor Resort, Winkfield Road, Windsor, Berks, legoland.co.uk

 

Peter Pan, Hexagon Reading, Sat 9 Dec – Sun 7 Jan

Mr TUUUUUUUUUMBBBBBLE! The irrepressible CBeebies demi-god Justin Fletcher may make you reach for the gin bottle but any small people in your charge will surely go insane in the membrane at the prospect of seeing him live on stage. He plays hapless trainee pirate Mr Smee in his 6th panto for The Hexagon.

readingarts.com/hexagon

 

NT Live: Young Marx, Thurs 7 Dec

Young Marx clinging to a lamppost i the National Theatre performances

The  legendary Nicholas Hytner directs a new production of Young Marx starring Rory Kenner as the 32-year-old revolutionary. It’s 1850, and Europe’s most feared terrorist is hiding in Dean Street, Soho. Broke, restless and horny, he’s a frothing combination of intellectual brilliance, invective, satiric wit, and child-like emotional illiteracy. Broadcast live to UK cinemas from The Bridge Theatre, London.

ntlive.nationaltheatre.org.uk

 

The Borrowers, Watermill Newbury, now until 31 Dec

A family of teeny tiny people living  under your floorboards taking stuff from you? Don’t panic, this is not an episode of Crimewatch, Mary Norton’s classic tale, The Borrowers,gets The Watermill treatment. Quick, clever and only four inches tall, their lives unravel when they are discovered by a ‘human bean’. Great storytelling, a bit bonkers but utterly brilliant.

watermill.org.uk

 

Festival of Light, Northbrook St Newbury, Sun 10 Dec

Ooh pretty lights. The annual lantern procession is fast becoming a community Crimbo tradition and the lanterns get more and more elaborate every year. It’s a mazing what you can do with willow and paper  when you know what your doing. Good job I’m not involved in the making. Wrap up warm, head to Northbrook Street for the Festival of Light and join the fun at 4.30pm. Don’t miss out, it’s a bit spesh.

cornexchangenew.com

 

Jo Harman, Norden Farm Maidenhead, Thurs 7 Dec

musican Jo Harman wearing a brown coat and wide brimmed hat for a photoshoot

Soul, blues, gospel and Beatles-worthy pop. These are the core ingredients of singer Jo Harman’s latest album People We Become. Produced and recorded at Nashville’s famed Sound Emporium Studio, Jo has racked up more than half-a-dozen nominations from the British Blues Awards. Take a break from Mariah’s Crimbo hits.

Norden.farm

 

Carnival of Animals, Town Hall Maidenhead, Sat 9 Dec

Ooh and ahh at the twinkly lights in Maidenhead at the annual Community Lantern Parade It kicks off with live music and entertainment from 4×4 Bhangra –  The Kings of Bhangra outside Maidenhead Town Hall from 4.30pm. Tis totes FREE, so wrap up warm and enjoy this Crimbo tradition.

norden.farm

 

Gourmet Picture Company, Bisham Abbey Berkshire, Sun 10 Dec – Fri 5 Jan

Following the sell out screenings at Cliveden House this Summer, Tom Kerridge is back with his pimped up daddy of pop-up cinemas. The stunning Tudor grandness of Bisham Abbey will be the setting, Atol Kochhar and Rick Stein will be cooking, while you settle in for classics like Romeo & Juliet, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, The Great Escape, Life of Pi, to name a few.

gourmetpicturecompany.co.uk

 

Beauty & The Beast, Corn Exchange Newbury, Fri 1 Dec – Sun 7 Jan

Breton stripes and beret, can can dancers and a post in orange dungarees – mets the cast of Beauty and The Beast at the Corn Exchange Newbury

Not one but two Beauties in Berkshire. You won’t find big name celebs here, but you will find a talented bunch of actors who bring the feel-good fun, festive cheer, panto clichés and pop songs. Cue much swaying in your seats (a few too many wines, in my case). Proper Crimbo vibes right here.

cornexchangenew.com

 

Miki, Norden Farm Maidenhead, now until Sat 30 Nov

Christmas show Miki ≠ puppet penguin's close encounter with a dancing crab wearing gold boots

If you haven’t come across Stephen Mackey’s book Miki, take a look. My youngest lovesit. It’s a charming story about Miki, Polar Bear and Penguin who live in a very far away place. One midwinter eve, they make a wish and Miki embarks on a magical adventure in search of a star… It’s a gorge alternative to traditional panto, and will be a stunning stage show.

norden.farm

 

Beauty & The Beast, South Hill Park Bracknell, now until Wed 3 Jan

There’s nothing like a dame, so brace yourselves for the OTT panto season of fake boobs, heavy slap, innuendo and lots of daft fun knitted into the Disney classic, Beauty & The Beast. Brad Clapson as the Good Fairy and Faye Allen as Belle will be rocking the big frocks, fighting over the blusher backstage to bring Christmas alive at the Wilde Theatre. Adults only, signed and autism friendly performances available.

southhillpark.org.uk

 

Christmas at Stonor, Stonor Park, until Sun 10 Dec

Yeah, my fireplace looks just like this one. If you want to see a manor house beautifully decorated (and get a sense of how the other half live – the Stonor family are still in situ) then head to Stonor Park. No I’m not jealous at all. *gnashes teeth*

Stonor Park, Stonor, Henley-on-Thames, stonor.com

 

Hogwarts in the Snow, Harry Potter Studios, now until 4 Feb

Hogwarts in the Snow – as regular as Christmas!  The festive makeover will see Christmas trees line the Great Hall, the Gryffindor common room dressed for the season and a blanket of filmmaking snow covering the majestic Hogwarts castle model. Visitors will even be able to touch samples of the different types of ‘snow’ used during production, each selected for its ability to float like falling snow, crunch under foot or glisten in the light like ice. Trust me, your kids will love it.

Warner Bros. Studio Tour London, Studio Tour Drive, Leavesden, wbstudiotour.co.uk

 

The BFG in Pictures, River and Rowing Museum, Henley, now to 21 Jan 2018

Curated by Quentin Blake himself, the exhibition of everyone’s favourite giant includes unpublished illustrations that have never been exhibited in public before. The exhibition includes Blake’s first designs that weren’t included in the book, and provide a glimpse of a BFG that might have been in 40 original artworks. Don’t forget there’s the permanent John Piper exhibition at the museum too – that’s well worth seeing in its own right.

rrm.co.uk

 

FURTHER AFIELD…

North – Fashioning Identity, Somerset House, now to Feb 4 2018

Alice-Hawkins, LOVE magazine, ‘The Liver Birds’, 2012

Forget the north/south divide, London doffs its hat to Manchester, Newcastle et al in this new exhibition. Social documentary film and photography detailing life in the north of England in the mid-20th century sits alongside works by photographers, designers and artists inspired by the parts of our green and pleasant land beyond the Watford Gap. Contributors include Nottingham’s finest Paul Smith and Manchester’s Factory Records designer Peter Saville. If you visit after 15 Nov,  you can also take a twirl on Somerset House’s gorgeous outdoor ice rink.

somersethouse.org.uk

 

Twelfth Night, RST, Stratford, until Feb 24 2018

Dinita Gohil as Viola. Photo: Manuel Harlan (c) RSC

The RSC’s winter production Twelfth Night sees Ade Edmondson, of The Young Ones and Bottom fame, as Olivia – Kara Tointon’s dour steward Malvolio in Shakespeare’s bittersweet comedy. Directed by Christopher Luscombe, who recreated Warwickshire’s Charlecote Park on stage for the RSC’s fabulous Love’s Labour’s Lost and Much Ado About Nothing, it’s set in Victorian BritainAlso starring Birmingham’s Dinita Gohil as Viola and Michael Cochrane as Sir Andrew Aguecheek.

rsc.org.uk.org.uk

 

Winterville, Clapham Common, now  – 1 Jan 2018

If you’re in Sarf London over Christmas, Winterville on Clapham Common’s  is well worth a look. There’s everything from an outdoor Ice Rink to a fairground, roller disco and free kids’ entertainment, but there’s lots more unusual stuff than at your standard Christmas Fair. We’re particularly loving the sound of  the Spiegeltent, where you’ll find cabaret, bingo, kids raves and, er, Mexican wrestling. What next, ‘Yoga On Ice’? Oh, I see, they have that too.

winterville.co.uk

 

Slava’s Snowshow, Southbank Centre, London, Mon 18 Dec – Thurs 4 Jan 2018

Part of Wintertime at the Southbank, this show’s been all over the world (80 countries, no less) and piled up heaps of awards so they’ve had plenty of time to refine their offering. It’s suitable for kids 8+ and is full of clowning and feel-good fun stuff for all ages.

Southbank Centre, Lambeth, London SE1, southbankcentre.co.uk

 

Cézanne Portraits, National Portrait Gallery, London, now – 11 Feb 2018This started just last week, Brings together over 50 of Cézanne’s portraits from collections across the world, including works which have never been on public display in the UK . Over a working life of some forty-five years, Cézanne made almost 1,000 paintings of which around 160 are portraits and this exhibition offers a fascinating insight into this central aspect of his work. npg.org.uk

Christmas at Kew, Kew Gardens, London, now –  1 Jan 2018

Such a brilliant time to visit Kew as they do the Crimbo thing so well with it one mile sparkling path winding its way through the world-famous Gardens. This year they promise a million twinkling lights, Singing Trees, ribbons of light and a flickering Fire Garden, plus Father C and his elves at the North Pole Village, vintage fairground rides (a fee for that one) and shopping. Worth going with the fam. kew.org

Modigliani, Tate Modern, now – 2 April 2018

The Tate Modern’s comprehensive retrospective of Modigliani’s work is quite a treat. During his brief, turbulent life Modigliani developed a unique and instantly recognisable style. His nudes that are a highlight of the exhibition – with 12 nudes on display, this is the largest group ever reunited in the UK. First shown in 1917, police closed down his only ever solo exhibition on the grounds of indecency. Also expect sculptures, and portraits of his friends, lovers and supporters, including Pablo Picasso and his partner Jeanne Hébuterne. tate.org.uk

Finnish Rooftop Sauna, Queen Elizabeth Roof Terrace, South Bank, now – Sat 30 Dec

woman sauna finnish

Warm up and unwind in a one-of-a-kind Finnish sauna experience in the heart of London – it’s what you’ve always wanted to do in London!  There’s a specially designed Nordic sauna that on the Queen Elizabeth Roof Terrace on the South Bank, combining beautiful Nordic design with a bespoke artistic commission. If 90 degrees celsius is a bit sweaty for you, cool down in the open air (or with cold water buckets – go on, dare you!), while enjoying some stonking views of the Thames below. southbankcentre.co.uk 

Enchanted Christmas Illuminated Trail, Westonbirt Arboretum, Fri 1 – Mon 18 Dec

Trees illuminated with coloured lights at the Westonbirt arboretum

A lovely little pushchair, wheelchair and mobility scooter-friendly 45 minute stroll around the Arboretum’s paths, you can also pop in to visit not just Father but also Mother Christmas at the Christmas Village where’s there’s music, rides on a trad carousel and tasty warming food in the restaurant.Westonbirt, The National Arboretum, Tetbury, Gloucs, forestry.gov.uk

Santa Sleepovers, Warwick Castle, Dates throughout December

Loving the sound of these sleepovers –  family stay in the Knight’s village or straight-from-a-fairytale Tower Suite and cute Christmassy stuff like stories with Santa and a wake up call from an Elf.  Still some dates left but be quick. warwickcastlebreaks.com

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