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What’s on this week

MON 16 – SUN 22 APRIL

Dubai Spring Trials Weekend, Newbury Racecourse, Fri 20 and Sat 21 Apr

Stylish racegoers champagne flat racing Newbury racecourse

Fancy a day at the races? Spring heralds the start of the Flat Season, so grab your squad for a fun day out of food, fizz and flutters on horses including your favourite colour and the name of your first pet. But more importantly, your style can win you prizes. The Most Stylish Racegoers (man, women or couple) will be chosen at each Saturday race in 2018. At the last meet of the year, you come back as a VIP and you could win an epic prize. newburyracecourse.co.uk

Banff Film Festival. Hexagon Reading, Tue 17 Apr

Johanna Nordblad lying on the ice in her black wetsuit, facemask, and single fin

Johanna Nordblad, freediver, star of Ian Derry’s short film Johanna

The latest and best films touring around the UK courtesy of the world’s most prestigious mountain film festival. On 17 April at The Hexagon Reading there are 5 short films. My favourite? Johanna by Ian Derry, featuring Finnish freediver Johanna Nordblad. She holds the world record for a 50-metre dive under ice, but she only discovered the sport during recovery from a biking accident. Amazing stuff. readingarts.com/hexagon

Westwood: Punk, Icon, Activist, Showcase Cinema Reading, Thu 19 Apr

Fashion designer Vivienne Westwood – documentary Westwood: Punk, Activist, Icon Berkshire

Anyone else a bit mad about Westwood? And I mean the super cool punk icon, NOT the cheesey DJ – just to be super clear! We’re giddy at the thought of checking out this (first) documentary about the legend’s life and work and, we are gonna make sure we dress appropriately outrageously for the occasion! Yaaaaaaaaa. showcasecinema.co.uk

Elf Lyons: Swan, Fiery Things and The Hope Windsor, Thu 19 April 

comedian Elf Lyons in a cartoon style Swan costume

Elf had to cancel her gig last month because she caught the lurgy. But the sniffles won’t keep the brilliant and kooky Elf Lyons is down for long! The giraffe-limbed clown and raconteur presents her Edinburgh Comedy Award nominated show: a one woman production of Swan Lake. In an hour. (Yes, really). Matthew Bourne would be proud. Think big. Think weird. It’s going to be fun. And sexy. Yeah, let’s throw that word in there too. fireythings.com

Contemporary Art Fair, Rivermead Leisure Complex Reading, Sat 21 – Sun 22 Apr
Bad Dog painting dog wearing hoody in police suspect background holding sign saying Bad Dog

You don’t need to be an art expert to be an art lover, so a fair’s a great place to look at loads different works and buy something original without getting the heebie-jeebies. The Reading Contemporary Art Fair has 130 award-winning and emerging artists and galleries with prices starting at £40, including the hugely talented Victoria Coleman, above. Victoria’s created costume props for Star Wars and Gladiator, artwork for Disney and now paints pimped up pets in Shropshire. readingcontemporaryartfair.co.uk

Ballet Barre, The Swan at Streatley, Sat 21 April

Fitness leggings Ballet shoes on pointe on bricks in studio

Dig out the leotard, it’s back to ballet class we go. Well sort of. Ballet Barre has been trendy in London and New York studios for some time and a pop up workshop is coming to the Swan at Streatley. Expect upbeat music,  high repetitions of barre moves to help craft a long, lean and strong physique. You’ll be Flashdance ready by the end. £10pp. swanatstreatley.com

The Art Of Royal Portraiture, Cliveden House Hotel Taplow,  Fri 20 Apr

Australian artist Ralph Heimans with his official painting of the Queen's for her Diamond Jubilee

Royal portraiture is a tricky ol’ business. You want to be different, stand out but the threat of the tower and risk of public humiliation is high. Join artist Ralph Heimans (who painted the Queen’s official Diamond Jubilee portrait) and Lady Penny Mountbatten (Ralph’s representative and Cliveden Ambassador) for a 3-course lunch with lots of royal and arty chatter. Tickets £95pp. clivedenhouse.co.uk

Great Expectations, Theatre Royal Windsor, Thu 19 – Sat 21 Apr

Nichola McAuliffe as Miss Havisham Great Expectations Theatre Royal Windor

A thrilling and theatrical new adaptation of Great Expectations takes to the stage, starring Nichola McAuliffe as Miss Havisham. Pip is given an unexpected chance to better himself by visiting the reclusive Miss Havisham. In the decaying grandeur of her house he meets Estella and falls in love. Helped by an anonymous benefactor, he moves to the city to pursue his dream of winning Estella’s heart and becoming part of the educated elite. theatreroyalwindsor.co.uk

Menopause the Musical, Hexagon Reading, Mon 16 Apr

four middle age women sing and dance in Menopause the Musical

A cult American show celebrating the change, Menopause the Musical is packed full of one-liners about night sweats, hot flushes and memory loss, backed by an instantly recognisable soundtrack of innuendo-laden versions of 60s, 70s and 80s pop classics. Cultural nirvana tis is not, but it’ll be a giggle with the girls. readingarts.com/hexagon

Lady Boys of Bangkok: Wonder Women, Corn Exchange Newbury, Thu 19 Apr

Ladyboys of Bangkok in feathers and sequins in their hit show wonder woman

Get your sequins and feathers on and brace yourselves – the world famous Lady Boys of Bangkok are coming to Berkshire! This celebration of the Lady Boys’ style icons will be dazzling high-energy and outrageously diamanté studded fun! Expect to see icons of bling Cher, Lady Gaga, Rihanna, Wonder Woman and, er , Mary Poppins. it on. cornexchangenew.com

Crafternoon Tea, Corn Exchange Newbury, Fri 20 Apr

pom poms and tassel handbag charm and keyring

Shake your tassels at this lot. If you’re a bit crafty or just potty about pom poms, then this little crafternoon could be right up your street. The Corn Exchange in Newbury is combining our passion for pom poms and love of scones into a thing. Learn to create a handbag charm or keyring, then let rip at home. DIY nip tassels, you say? cornexchangenew.com

 

BOOK NOW FOR

Royal Windsor Horse Show, Wed 9 – Wed 16 May 

Carl Hester Dressage Royal Windsor Horse Show

Photograph: Peter Nixon

I love the Royal Windsor Horse Show – hanging out casually with the royal family (there’s always a good turn out), top competitors including Olympic gold medallist Carl Hester (above), military pomp and ceremony, the Shetland pony kids’ Grand National, shopping, food. Nuff said, right? This year marks the 75th anniversary of the show and it’s a brilliant day out for all the family whether you’re obsessed with horses or not. Plus you can get a cheeky Muddy discount on general daytime tickets: Quote MUDDY at checkout and you’ll get £3 off weekday; £3.50 on weekend tickets. Alternatively call the Ticket Factory on 0844 581 4960 or visit Windsor Information Centre or call 01753 743589. rwhs.co.uk

Supercar Sunday, Stonor Park, Sun 20 May

Calling all Penelope Pitstops! Get yourselves down to Stonor Park, the idyllic backdrop of this annual supercar event, featuring a parade of pioneering race cars, classic sportscars, and modern hypercars. It’s set to be a fantastic family day out where you can enjoy a picnic – once the cars have left the lawn of course, health and safety fans – try some exciting street food or let loose in the Wonder Woods. Book now and save £3 per ticket. stonor.com

The Little Welly Adventure Course, Culden Faw Estate Henley, Sat 9 – Sun 10 June

Little Welly adventure course pool of foam

Give it some welly and book now for this summer’s much-loved Little Welly kids’ obstacle course (even the most iPad-obsessed nippers can’t resist). It’s 9 and 10 June just over the border in in Henley. Go, go, go! Snap up your tickets. thelittlewelly.co.uk

The Shed at Pub in the Park, Marlow, Sun 20 May

Tom Kerridge has Marlow residents eating out of the palm of his hand (not literally, that would be disgusting). His latest grand plan for the town is a special Sunday lunch at The Shed, followed by VIP Sunday night tickets to Pub in the Park – think bubbles in the private bar and the best view of the stage – and then a stay at The Hand and Flowers for the night. The privilege will cost you £450 per person (*gulp*) but what price 24 hours of gastro happiness? Call 01628 401530 or theshed@thehandandflowers.co.uk.

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