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What’s on this week

26 – 31 MARCH

Elf Lyons – Swan, Firey Things and The Hope Windsor, Thu 29 Mar

comedian Elf Lyons in a cartoon style Swan costume

Back by (very) popular demand after her sell-out show last year, the brilliant and kooky Elf Lyons is back! The giraffe-limbed clown and raconteur presents her Edinburgh Comedy Award nominated show: a one woman production of Swan Lake. In an hour. (Yes, really). Matthew Bourne would be proud. Think big. Think weird. It’s going to be fun. And sexy. Yeah, let’s throw that word in there too. fireythings.com

 

Birdsong, Theatre Royal Windsor, Mon 26 – Sat 31 Mar

Birdsong theatre production uk tour 2018

A mesmerising story of love and courage, this stage version of Sebastian Faulks’s novel about the Great War is the hottest ticket in town. Note to self: Not. To. Be. Missed. This is the fourth and final tour of Rachel Wagstaff’s adaptation and coincides with the centenary of Armistice in 1918. theatreroyalwindsor.co.uk

 

Testosterone, Norden Farm Maidenhead, Tues 27 Mar

black and white image of multi faceted faces to make up one new image for Testosterone theatre show

The Me Too and Times Up movements have put women’s rights front and centre. So in the current climate it it unusual for a writer to explore what it means to be a man – with a twist. Kit Redstone was 33 when he transitioned, Testosterone wickedly satirises his story with a focus on the cocksure rituals, the preening and signals that masculinity wraps itself in as Redstone finds himself in the male changing rooms facing a cowboy-style showdown over a towel. norden.farm

 

Horrible Histories: More Best of Barmy Britain, Magnet Leisure Centre Maidenhead, 30 – 31 Mar

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! leisurecentre.com

 

Jonathan Pie: Back To The Studio, Hexagon Reading, Thu 29 Mar

Comedian Jonathan Pie Back in the studio

Following a sell-lout show at the London Palladium, Jonathan Pie, the frustrated News reportsr, is back. Pie attempts to host a night of serious discussions on current affairs whilst simultaneously attempting to smash the system from within. Political comedy that descends into chaos. readingarts.com/hexagon

 

Vinyl Frontier: Guilty Pleasures, Norden Farm Maidenhead, Thu 29 Mar

You are what you listen to neon quote Mohammed Metri

Photo: Mohammed Metri/Unsplash

If loving a cheesy choon is a crime, I am guilty as charged. Wham, Spandau Ballet, Take That, Bananarama, I love them all. Vinyl Frontier is hosting  Guilty Pleasures – an evening where 12 volunteers (including a celeb) will spin a vinyl track that they love, but they feel nobody else will (and maybe they shouldn’t…!) The audience will vote for it’s favourite at the end. norden.farm

 

The Rivals, The Watermill Newbury, now – 12 Apr

The Rivals Watermill Theatre newbury pop art poster of blonde woman

Pride & Prejudice meets Absolutely Fabulous… it’s not going to be a museum piece.’ explains director Jonathan Humphreys. You had me at Ab Fab, The Rivals is a funny, fast-moving satirical rom-com  full of desire, intrigue, delusion and a twilight duel. Let the fizz be overflowing, it’s sounds fabulous daaaarlingwatermill.org.uk

 

Hind’s Head Kitchen Takeover, Quo Vadis London, Wed 28 Mar

stained glass parquet floor leather banquette and white table clothes Quo Vadis Soho London

Heston’s Hind’s Head is breaking for the border and heading into London – for one night only. The team will stage a kitchen takeover at Soho staple Quo Vadis, offering a nostalgic menu with the a sprinkling of Heston pizazz . Head Chef Pete Grey’s has curated a special menu for the pop up event on Wednesday 28 March, including braised beef and treacle tart. Book your table – £65pp.

 

FURTHER AFIELD

Ocean Liners: Speed and Style, V&A, London, until 17 Jun

Marlene Dietrich wearing Christian Dior onboard the Queen Elizabeth arriving in New York 1950 V&A Steam and Style Exhibition Getty_Images.

Marlene Dietrich wearing Christian Dior onboard the Queen Elizabeth, arriving in New York in 1950 (Pic: Getty Images/ V&A Museum)

These days the nearest I get to ocean-faring is a packed P&O ferry from Portsmouth to Cherbourg but in the early 20th century travelling by sea was fabulously glamorous and romantic. The V&A’s major Spring exhibition, Ocean Liners: Speed and Style celebrates the golden age of the big boats, looking at their design and cultural impact. Exhibits include Goyard luggage once owned by the Duke of Windsor, 1920s bathing suits and a door panel from the first class lounge of the Titanic. vam.ac.uk

 

Barbara Hepworth: Finding Form, River & Rowing Museum, Henley, now – 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

 

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

 

Michelangelo, Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, now – 2 Apr

Nice earring! And, er, the drawing’s not bad either. Your chance to explore a remarkable group of drawings by Michelangelo, recently returned from New York where they were a central feature of an exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. They’re only on show for four weeks so don’t miss your chance. ashmolean.org

 

The Goblet of Fire, Harry Potter Studios, Leavesden, 30 Mar – 23 Sep

This month sees the launch of a special feature dedicated entirely to Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, the fourth instalment of the film series, revealing secrets behind the characters, costumes and props that made it so special. The Goblet of Fire will be returned to the Great Hall for the first time since filming wrapped in 2010, there’ll be a live Special Effects demonstration showing how the Triwizard Champions’ parchments were expelled from the Goblet, and your kids receive a parchment to remember the visit. wbstudiotour.co.uk

 

 

 

Victorian Giants: The Birth of Art Photography, National Portrait Gallery, London, now – 20 May

A major new exhibition brings together, for the first time, the works of four of the most celebrated figures in art photography, Lewis Carroll (1832–98), Julia Margaret Cameron (1815–79), Oscar Rejlander (1813–75) and Clementina Hawarden (1822-65). These four artists would come to embody the very best in photography of the Victorian era and have influenced photographers ever since. Featuring striking portraits of sitters such as Charles Darwin, Alice Liddell, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Thomas Carlyle, George Frederick Watts, Ellen Terry and Alfred, Lord Tennyson.  npg.org.uk

 

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