What’s on: this week
Ursula Martinez: Free Admission, South Street Arts Reading, Wed 21 June
Ursula Martinez is all about over sharing. She has paraded her naked parents on stage, introduced audiences to ex-lovers and spent more than 15 years whipping her kit off in various comic burlesque routines. Now the Olivier Award-winning performance provocateur is back on her dirty soapbox to muse about social-media and online privacy. Subtle this is not. Includes nudity and on-stage masonry.
Rick Stein’s Sunset Cinema, Cliveden House, 21 June – 11 July)
Lose the remote, quit the Netflix bingeathon, because Rick Stein’s Sunset Cinema is almost her. No soggy nachos here just Ricks Stein’s amaaaazing nosh and a classic movie watched in the Spa Garden at Cliveden House. It will be a night to remember. Many nights are sold out, but tickets are available on Fri 23 June (La La Land); Wed 28 June (Forrest Gump); Thurs 29 June (About Time), Fri 7 July (The Great Gatsby).
Rick Stein’s Sunset Cinema, The Pop Up Picture Company, Cliveden House Hotel, Taplow, Berkshire SL1 8NS popuppicturecompany.co.uk
Royal Ascot 2017, Ascot Racecourse, Tues 20 – Sat 24 June
So many fashion rules to remember, but one of the great highlights of the social calendar is here. Royal Ascot has come around again, so grab your hat, keep the hemlines long, the fake tan light and enjoy a day of *cough* sunshine, celeb spotting and apparently there are few horses running too. It’s the perfect place to people watch, just don’t overdo the bubbles for fear of making it into the Daily Mail. Tickets are still available from £37.
A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Stubbings House Maidenhead, Tues 20 – Sat 24 June
If you go down to the woods tonight, you’re in for a big surprise? Particularly if you’re in the woods near Stubbings House near Maidenhead. Mischievous fairies and star-crossed lovers, comic labourers, an ass-headed monster and a hungry lion will be performing A Midsummer Night’s Dream in aid of Child Bereavement UK. Have a picnic on the lawns from 5.30pm before being led up the garden path to see the Garden Players’ production. Tickets £18.
Well Thumbed, Rising Sun Arts Centre Reading, Fri 23 June
Classic Vehicle Day, Yattendon, Sunday 25 June
A slick of red lipstick, retro shades and embrace the vintage vibes for Yattendon’s annual Classic Vehicle Day. See the coolest cars, check out the vintage stalls and hit the Prosecco van. Jimmy Chow’s Military Field Kitchen will be on hand to soak up the bubbles and there’s vintage afternoon teas. I can only pray for a French Fancy a slice of Battenberg.
House and Garden, The Watermill Newbury, Thur 25 May – Sat 1 Jul
The property porn mag House & Gardens has spent the last 70 years giving us a sneaky peak into the idyllic homes of the rich, famous and stylish (without a Lego brick, plastic dinosaur or empty wine glass to be seen). Here, playwright Alan Ayckbourn’s duo of plays House and Garden, uses the magazine’s name as a cheeky reference to the vision of perfection it portrays. The plays, performed simultaneously by the same cast in the theatre and garden, reveal that nothing is ever quite so perfect behind the ornate gates and brass-knockered doors. One character’s entrance to House is another’s exit from Garden.
NT Live: Salomé, various cinemas, Thurs 22 June
More great theatre, shown live without leaving the county. Salomé received rave review – described by critics as ‘epic’ and a ‘near-perfect production’. The story is familiar. An occupied desert nation. A radical on hunger strike. A girl whose mysterious dance will change the course of the world. It’s an infamous biblical tale turned on its head, placing the girl we call Salomé at the centre of a revolution.
Dr John Cooper Clark, Firestation Arts Centre Windsor, Wed 21 June
The punk poet John Cooper Clarke has spanned cultures, audiences, art forms and continents. At 68, he’s still influencing pop culture, collaborating with the Artic Monkeys and Plan B most recently. The man’s a cultural colossus. JCC’s latest show is a mix of classic verse, extraordinary new material, hilarious ponderings on modern life, gags, riffs and chat – a chance to witness a living legend at the top of his game.
Victoria Melody: Ugly Chief, South Street Arts Reading, Thurs 22 June
Ugly Chief is a comedy based on true events performed by a genuine father and daughter. Mike Melody (TV antique dealer) was diagnosed with a terminal illness. Victoria was put in charge of planning her dad’s funeral her Dad. A year later the doctors realised they had misdiagnosed Mike. Bit awkward but great news. But they are going ahead with the funeral anyway… Tickets 13.
Offbeat Festival, Oxford, Fri 23 June – Sun 2 July
The Little Welly Goes Wild, Henley, Sat 24 – Sun 25 June
Persil at the ready? Then I’ll begin. Bigger, better and muddier than ever, the UK’s biggest children’s obstacle course returns for the fourth year to the Culden Faw Estate in Henley. We’re talking 30 obstacles over a 3km course for kids 4+ (and they’re parents – sorry about that!) braving The Big Slide, Tyre Mangle, mud and water pits, Spider’s Web and bouncing round the foam pit. Away from the race’s there’s Laser Tag, Parkour demonstrations & workshops, pony rides, den building and bungee trampolining. Seriously good fun.