What’s on this week
MON 12 – SUN 18 FEB
Stuart Goldsmith, Norden Farm Maidenhead, Wed 14 Feb
It has been scientifically proven that laughter will have you swinging from the chandeliers. Perfect timing for Stuart Goldsmith to drop in at Norden Farm Maidenhead. The Comedian’s Comedian podcast host will perform “the funniest stuff he has ever created”. Laugh until you mascara runs, it’s got to be a great way to spend Valentine’s.
Morgan and West: Time Travelling Magicians, South Street Arts Reading, Thurs 15 Feb
Great Scott! Time-travelling magicians Morgan & West bring a magical extravaganza to a millennium near you! Not content with their lot as the 19th century’s greatest magic duo, these temporal tricksters burst into the 21st century with a show brimming over with baffling magic.
Chinese New Year, Maidenhead, Sat 17 Feb
Welcome to the Year of the Dog. This weekend marks the Chinese New Year, and there are plenty of opportunities to get involved in Berks. Head to Maidenhead High Street for its biggest Chinese New Year celebrations to date. The parade kicks off at 1pm but head to the Nicholson Centre (11am-3pm) to make your own lantern.
Barbara Hepworth: Finding Form, River & Rowing Museum, Henley, now – Sun 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
RSC Live: Twelfth Night, UK cinemas release, Wed 14 Feb
It’s been getting rave reviews, so if you can’t drag yourself up to Stratford-upon-Avon, now’s your chance to catch the RSC’s Twelfth Night starring Adrian Edmonson, Kara Tointon. The play, about mistaken identity and role reversal, will be broadcast live on Valentine’s Day. Ditch the squishy hearts and garage flowers for a cultural comedy.
See it at the Corn Exchange Newbury, South Hill Park Bracknell, Norden Farm Maidenhead and Vue Cinemas
Ascot Chase Raceday, Ascot, Sat 17 Feb
You don’t have to wear head-to-toe tweed or wear an enormous hat to enjoy a day out at Ascot. It’s all a bit more relaxed for the Ascot Chase Raceday, one the most popular jump meetings in the racing calendar. Kids go free and there’s plenty activities and on-the-go food options to keep them busy when the novelty of horses galloping past wears off. Worth a visit.
Ascot Chase Raceday, ascot.co.uk
Murder Mystery Treasure Hunt, Central Reading, Sat 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.
Snowdrop Walk, 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.
Penguin, Corn Exchange Newbury, Tues 13 Feb
Penguin doesn’t give much back. HIs owner, Ben, tickles him, Penguin doesn’t move; he pulls his funniest face; he puts on a happy hat, sings a silly song and does a dizzy dance. Penguin still says nothing… so Ben fires Penguin into OUTER SPACE. It’s a bit like being a parent to young kids but replace outer space with soft play. cornexchangenew.com
Morgan & West’s More Magic For Kids, South Street Arts Reading, Thu 15 Feb
Mutton chops, waistcoats and a cabin set the scene for Morgan & West’s More Magic for Kids (Bigger, bolder, and more brilliant than before!). With lots of Victorian style comic banter, the time-travelling duo perform a boxful of bafflement and impossibility. The magic is mysterious with brain-bursting illusions with a helping of tom-foolery. A heavy dose of silly sounds good to me. readingarts.com/south-street
Winnie-The-Pooh: Exploring A Classic, V&A Museum, until Sun 25 Feb
You loved the Balenciaga exhibition. we all adored the Bowie one. Now take the kids to see Winnie-The-Pooh – a show that invites you into the world created by AA Milne and EH Shepard, in which a tubby teddy and his friends stumble over life lessons. It’s multi sensory and playful exhibition that adds to the magic of this timeless classic. www.vam.ac.uk
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.
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.
Orchid Festival, Kew Gardens, London, now– 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.
National Theatre Posters, National Theatre, South Bank, London, now – 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
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.