What’s on this weekend
FRI 20 – SUN 22 OCT
Ellie Taylor: This Guy, Norden Farm Maidenhead, Fri 20 Oct
Following a sell-out Edinburgh Festival season and 2016 tour, comedian Ellie Taylor presents an unmissable new stand-up show discussing whether or not she should breed. She’s been getting around in all the right ways, as the star of BBC’s Live at the Apollo, Mock the Week and The John Bishop Show, Channel 4’s 8 Out of 10 Cats, and BBC Radio 4’s The Now Show.
The Hunting of the Snark, The Hexagon Reading, Fri 20 Oct
All aboard! All children, animals and silly people welcome! Fresh from London’s West End, The Hunting Of The Snark features life-like puppets, fantastical characters, and lashings of daft humour. Enter the imaginative world of Lewis Carroll, in this brand new, highly original, ultra-modern adaptation inspired by his classic poem.
Starboard Demo Day, Bray Lake Watersports Maidenhead, Sun 22 Oct
While we are basking in his *coughs Indian Summer, here’s your chance to try the fastest growing watersport in the UK. Yes, I’m banging on about paddle boarding again, because it’s great fun to do with the fam or the girls. Bray Lake Watersports is hosting a demo day on Sunday, so have a go and then sample the famous Bray Lake Barbecue. Tickets available to buy in the cafe at £10.•
Black History Month, Various Reading venues, Sun 1 – Tues 31 Oct
Love a bit of urban artwork, but this Reading mural, created by artists in 1989, is sadly under threat. It’s symbolic of the positive role black people have played throughout history, including in Reading itself. It seem poignant that October is Black History Month. Join the Reading party with poetry, music, dance, exhibitions and talks to enjoy including the phenomenal talent that is MOBO award winning Beverley Knight.
Hamlet, Progress Theatre, Reading, until Sat 21 Oct
Shakespeare’s most famous play is given a new spin on the Progress stage. In a world which parallels our own, Hamlet mourns the loss of her royal father whilst her uncle seizes the throne and takes her newly-widowed mother as his Queen. An encounter with her father’s ghost drives Hamlet to agonies of despair and the edge of madness. Should she suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune? Or take arms against a sea of troubles?
Dressed for ’dinner at 8’, Basildon Park, until Thurs 2 Nov
If you’re looking to raise your dinner party game, then have an ogle at Basildon Park. The crystal’s sparkling, the table is set and the house is ready for guests (no mismatched crockery or foldaway chairs here). Lord and Lady Ilife’s elegant dinner parties were legendary, so probably best not turn up with a cheap bottle of Pinot Grigio and a box of After Dinner Mints. You can leave them with me, if you like.
Private Lives, The Hexagon Reading, Tues 17 – Wed 18 Oct
Champagne corks are popping and the windows are steaming up in Noel Coward’s classic comedy Private Lives takes to The Hexagon stage in Reading. Full of razor-sharp wit and quick-fire dialogue it’s a battle of politeness over passion when 2 newly-married couples occupy adjoining honeymoon suites in the same hotel.
Loot, The Watermill Newbury, until Sat 21 Oct
A dark comic masterpiece, when Joe Orton’s Loot premiered 5 decades ago, jaws dropped. But a tale about two dodgy mates who stash the proceeds of a bank robbery in an occupied coffin to hide the cash from a psychopathic copper, gold-digging nurse and a grieving widow, will do that to an audience even in the Sixties. Having opened in London, the Michael Fentiman-directed show arrives at The Watermill in Newbury. Not to the missed.
The BFG in Pictures, River and Rowing Museum, Henley, Thurs 19 Oct – 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.
Perfect Wedding, The Mill at Sonning, until Sat 18 Nov
Theatre’s answer to The Hangover, The Mill at Sonning’s new production The Perfect Wedding is all about the pitfalls of the stag do: naked girls, memory loss, cover ups and a bride on the warpath. The perfect medicine for all those thinking of getting married! Plus all tickets come with a two-course meal. Just in case you needed a clincher.
Brick or Treat, Legoland, Windsor, Sat 14 – Mon 30 Oct
I’ve run out of jokes about Brick or Treat – that’s how long this Legoland event has been running! Over 55 ‘spooktacular’ rides, live shows and attractions, plus firework displays on 21, 22, 27 & 28 October. Don’t forget to read my tips on how to survive Legoland.
Dark Arts, Harry Potter Warner Bros Studios, until Sun 12 Nov
Harry Potter Warner Bros Studios are brilliant at ringing the changes with their events and for this one the Great Hall will be decorated with over 100 floating pumpkins, just as seen as in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, along with a table laden with a Halloween feast of red apples, pumpkins and cauldrons of lollipops. Kids can also delve into the sinister world of the Dark Art – wand combat techniques and Death Eater duels as well as filmmaking snot, blood and drool. Er, nice!
Warner Bros. Studio Tour london, Studio Tour Dr, Watford, Leavesden, wbstudiotour.co.uk
Fright Nights, Thorpe Park, various dates throughout Oct
Thorpe Park’s Fright Night boasts more terror than ever before with new horror experiences, attractions, and even more scares. It’s the perfect event to get you in the mood for Halloween, so grab your tickets… if you dare.
DATES FOR YOUR DIARY
The Railway Children, South Hill Park Bracknell, Wed 25 – Sat 28 Oct
Edith Nesbit’s classic tale The Railway Children is coming to the South Hill Park stage in Bracknell. The iconic steam train, prim fashion (very AW17) and flag waving bloomers, it’s a cross-generational rite of passage. The staging is going to be epic, so don’t miss the chance to take your kids along during half term. Just stop yourself from flashing your undies. Recommended for ages 5+.
1st BirthdayParty, No1 George Street Kingsclere, 14 Nov
I know we’re not really talking about Christmas, but let’s be honest, we’re thinking about it. Make the shopping bubble and fizz with prosecco, a canapé or six and 10% off . No1 George Street just over the border in Kingsclere, Hants, is celebrating its 1st birthday and you’re all invited. Pop along on Tues 14 Nov 8.30am-8pm and discover unique homeware and beautiful fashion and accessories – the Christmas list will be ticked off in no time.
No1 George Street, Kingsclere RG20 5NH