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What’s on this weekend

FRI 4 – SUN 6 MAY

Lynn Chadwick, Cliveden National Trust Taplow, Wed 1 May – Oct 2018

Lynn Chadwick metal work sculptures of human form at Cliveden House

If you loved the Benar Venet sculptures at Cliveden last year, then the new installation of English sculpture and artist Lynn Chadwick’s awesome abstract metal works inspired by the human form and natural world. His big, bold sculptural pieces are doted around the grounds. Take a stroll, admire and then pop into Cliveden House for afternoon tea or lunch at the Astor Grill. nationaltrust.org.uk/cliveden

 

One Woman Sex And The City, South Hill Park, Fri 4 May

theatrical comedian Kerry Ipema sits with hand splayed next to her face as she sits on stage performing One Woman Sex And The City – 6 series, 24 characters, 1 woman

SATC  is back… in Berkshire. But not as you know it. While Sarah Jessica Parker and Kim Cattrall are knocking chunks out of each other with their Manolos, New Yorker Kerry Ipema will take to the Bracknell stage in her One Woman Sex And the City: A Parody of Love, Friendship and Shoes. Longest name for a show ever! Grab a Cosmo and laugh until it hurts as the tantric sex demo, post-it note, and “he’s just not that into you” episodes come flooding back. southhillpark.org.uk

Street Kitchen BBQ, Swan At Streatley, Sun 6 May

Not only is this the last day you can nominate your favourite lifestyle businesses in the Muddy Awards 2018, it’s also The Swan at Streatley’s Spring shindig. I’ve booked the sunshine, Sear Street Kitchen are cooking on a live fire – already drooling at the thought go smoked chicken tacos, barbecued lamb buns and slow cooked pork. The Swan’s got the bar and stunning riverside view covered. Fun starts at 12pm-6pm. theswanatstreatley.com

 

A Brave Face, South Street Arts Reading, Fri 4 May

A Brave Face soldier and child Vamos Theatre

A Brave Face explores Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, an unseen and often unrecognised injury of war, and the impact it can have on even the closest of families. With compassion, humour and fearlessness, Vamos brings its trademark, wordless, full mask style to a story that needs to be told. readingarts.com/south-street/

 

Legoland, Star Wars Day, Legoland Windsor, Sat 5 – Mon 7 May

Star wars Lego troopers marching across tower Bridge Big Ben and London Eye in the background

May the Fourth be with you! Or as it turns out the 5th, but what’s 24 hrs between fans. The force is strong at Legoland this May Bank Holiday with its hugely popular (I’ll say) Star Wars Days returning once again. Get ready to join in a galaxy of Star Wars-themed activities including a Wookie Scavanger Hunt, and there will be plenty of meet and greet and selfie opportunities with Darth Vader, Chewie and the rest of the gang. www.legoland.co.uk

 

Grumpy Old Women To The Rescue, Hexagon Reading, Sun 6 May

Grumpy Old Women starring Jenny Eclair, Dillie Keane and Lizzie Roper

Fed up with flogging their guts out and alway having to be in charge? Join the Grumpy Old Women (Jenny Eclair, Dillie Keane, Lizzie Roper) who have put their knobbly old feet up in glorious retirement, free at last to practise their extreme colouring-in, ukelele orchestra and novelty fudge-making. A riot of truth be told laughs. readingarts.com/hexagon

A Shot In the Saddle, Queen’s Walk Plaza Reading, Sat 5 and 12 May

Wooden stable block for horses

Great for teens and tech obsessives who could do with seeing daylight – vitamin D levels running dangerously low. A Shot in The Saddle is a murder mystery treasure hunt against the clock. Reading is the set for this real life whodunnit, fusing live action, escape room style puzzles  and cryptic clue cracking using smartphones. #WhoKilledGideonUp ashotinthesaddle.com

 

The Band At The End Of The World, Market Place Newbury, Fri 4 May

Steam Punk musicians perform on a wheeled one machine band Newbury Market Place

The end of the world is nigh! These clowns think it could happen right here, right now. Ramshackilious will ride into Newbury in a cloud of raucous, brass heavy music, driving their homemade, water spurting, flaming and smoking battle-church, dressed in punk marching band attire to educate and entertain us as we edge towards an apocalyptic micro-climate. Bonkers. Free event.

Dear Zoo, Corn Exchange Newbury, Sat 5 – Sun 6 May

Dear Zoo stage show three actors lean on the red box delivery saying Danger from the the zoo

Nostalgia fest as Rod Campbell’s 1982 kid’s classic is brought to life on stage for the first time ever. Bit of shocker since it has sold more than 8million copies worldwide. My boys loved this story about a child writing to the zoo for a pet. Expect puppets and a catchy tune. cornexchangenew.com

Open Studio: 30 Years, West Berks and North Hants, now – Thu 31May

Amazing art in open studios and private spaces across West Berkshire and North Hampshire throughout May and totally free! Simply go to the Open Studios website, find an artist and pop along for a nose. The main exhibition is INSIGHT at Arlington Arts Centre where 123 artists will show their pieces. My faves include Tom Cartmill’s drawings at his Burghfield studio and textile artist Sarah Moorcroft (she’s worked for everyone from Monsoon to Missoni) at Lower Way Farm Thatcham. openstudios.org.uk

 

Spring Jousting Tournament, Blenheim Palace, Sat 5 – Mon 7 May

knights on horseback charging in joust contest Blenheim Palace

Charrrrrrge! The annual Blenheim Palace ye olde joustingy thingy on the South Lawn featuring ‘The Knights of Royal England’. Falconry displays, archery, puppet shows, jesters and knights on horseback charging in the traditional tilt, and battling on foot with the mighty mace and quarter staff. Are you yawning? Well cheer up, lift your visor and head for the Champagne and Pimms tent!  blenheimpalace.com

 

Mapledurham Food Festival, Mapledurham House, Sat 5 – Mon 7 May

Grab your biggest pair of pants and head of to the 16th Century Mapledurham House for its much-loved food festival. I cannot think of a more beautiful place to stuff my face than on the banks of the River Thames. Enjoy the street food avenue, producers’ market, celebrity and local chef demonstrations, master classes and more. Plus there’s a new health and wellbeing element for those less greedy than me. mapledurhamfestival.co.uk

 

Reading Beer and Cider Festival, Christchurch Meadows Caversham, now – Sun 6 May

bottles craft beer in ice

If you’d rather hit the May Bank Holiday with more liquid refreshment, this weekend is the 24th Reading Beer and Cider Festival. There’s more than 550 craft beers and ciders to sample, food to soak it up and music. Tickets are from £21.40 in advance and include priority access, drinks vouchers and a souvenir glass. Taxiiiiiii! readingbeerfestival.org.uk

 

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, 9-10 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

FURTHER AFIELD

Fashioned By Naturem V&A London, now – 27 Jan 2019

Model with bull skull wearing French embroidered waistcoat, black trousers, holding pheasant feathers – V&A Fashioned By Nature

Embroidered silk waistcoat, France, 1780-9. Image: Vee Speers © V&A

Love a tassel earring? How about the heads of two real Honeycreeper birds? Very fashionable in 1875, but a step too far for me. The V&A’s new exhibition Fashioned By Nature takes the idea of fashion victim to a new level in an exhibition that traces 400 years of fashion and its cost on the environment. Check out the dress embellished with beetle wings, Jean Paul Gaultier’s beaded leopard dress and innovative fabrics like Vegea’s Grape gown made from the waste in wine production. Permission to pour a large one. You’re drinking with a conscience. vam.ac.uk

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