What’s on this week
MON 5 FEB – SUN 11 FEB
Wildlife of the World, Abbey Gardens Reading, Wed 3 – Sun 11 Feb
In my mind this was the image staring back at Wayne Rooney post hair implant surgery. Bright read head, tufts of black hair. Well, it’s a look. This handsome fella, alongside his wild mates, is part of the brilliant Wildlife of the World free photographic exhibition. The most patient and talent snappers on the planet.
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. rrm.co.uk
Horrible Histories: More Best Of Barmy Britain, Corn Exchange Newbury, 7-10 Feb
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!
Romeo & Juliet, South Hill Park Bracknell, Tues 6 – Sat 10 Feb
Bit of an extreme Valentine’s gesture, so I wouldn’t recommend any Romeo & Juliet style romance. That said, the classic tale of star-crossed lovers and in the hands of director Joe Malyan it is guaranteed to be cinematic, full of drama and a theatrical stunner. It’s a great production to see, especially if you teenager is studying Shakespeare.
Snowdrop Festival, Welford Park Newbury, until Thu 1 Mar
It’s snowdrop time! Choose a dry day (there must be one coming soon, surely?) and wander through drifts of snowdrops at Welford Park. Why Welford Park? It’s only got one the finest natural snowdrop woodlands in the chuffing country – four fabulous acres. Visit Wed-Sun (11am-4pm) until 1 Mar.
The Hound of The Baskervilles, Mill at Sonning, Thu 1 Feb – Sat 17 Mar
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).
Murder Mystery Treasure Hunt, Central Reading, Sat 10, 17, 24 Feb
Murder mystery has shrugged off its dusty Bridge crowd credentials to become cool. A Dish to Die For is the latest case to be solved in Reading. Answer the clues and discover whodunnit – you have just 2hrs and 15 minutes. So there’ll no time to nip into Zara.
Teddy, Watermill Theatre Newbury, now – Sat 10 Feb
Come on January can be sooooo boring. Don’t make it an entirely no-fun zone. The Watermill is hitting 2018 hard with punchy new musical Teddy. After a successful run in London, Teddy is going on tour, first stop Newbury to unleash the teen rebellion. Let the good times rock ‘n’ roll.
Monstersaurus, Theatre Royal Windsor, Thurs 8 – Sun 11 Feb
A brand-new show from the creators of Aliens Love Underpants follows the young inventor Monty as he creates a whole world of whacky inventions and incredible monsters, but now he has made them all, how is he going to get rid of them? It’s an energetic show full of magic, mayhem and audience participation. Pack the emergency Tramadol.
May the Toys be with You at Willis Museum and Sainsbury Gallery, Basingstoke, Jan 13 – April 14
In a galaxy not so far, far away an unmissable exhibition for Star Wars fans young and old has come to Basingstoke. May the Toys be with You is a beautiful exhibition containing rarely seen toys and original posters, spanning the franchise’s 40-year history. From X-Wings and light-sabres to cuddly Ewoks, expect treats for Star Wars fans young and old.
Admission Free, donations welcome.
Imagine Children’s Festival, Southbank Centre, Weds 7 Feb – Sun 18 Feb
12 days of jam-packed half-term fun in this brilliant annual festival by kids for kids. Aimed at 0-12 year olds, there’s a mind-boggling array of activities and events, including a whole clutch of free possibilities in The Clore Ballroom, Roald Dahl’s Revolting Rhymes, dance-theatre Tidy Up, Fun DMC, Bedtime stories, plus debut authors comedian Harry Hill and Radio One’s Greg James.
An Evening with Levison Wood, Guildford Cathedral, Thurs 8 Feb
Variety Night: Grayson Perry, Sir Michael Parkinson, Gareth Malone, New Theatre Oxford, Weds 28 Feb
Perry, Parkinson and Malone. The most unlikely boyband ever? A new firm of solicitors? Actually, the artist, the interviewer and the choirmaster are appearing together, in conversation, on stage for this charity fundraiser. What on earth will they talk about? We’re promised ‘laughs, discussion, insight and costume changes’ (presumably the latter from Perry rather than Parkinson).
Orchid Festival, Kew Gardens, London, 10 Feb – 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.
Speakers, by Nicolas Party, Modern Art Oxford, until 18 Feb 2018
Running since late November at Modern Art Oxford, but if you’re yet to catch it now’s your chance. The Swiss artist Nicolas Party (formerly a graffiti specialist) has produced Speakers, a selection of 5ft female heads, complete with 2-hour looped soundscape that seems to speak to you as you brush past. Weird, and kind of wonderful.
National Theatre Posters, National Theatre, South Bank, London, until 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