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What’s on this week

MON 7 – SUN 13 MAY

Royal Windsor Horse Show, Windsor,  Wed 9- Wed 16 May

Show jumper Carl Hester jumping Big Ben fence Royal Windsor Horse Show

Image: Kent Farrington

Giddiup! The Royal Windsor Horse Show’s one of the hottest horsey events in the UK. Her Maj and Prince Philip are almost guaranteed to make an appearance (well, it is in their backyard), and the many of the Royal famalam drop in. Expect to see top flight show jumping, dressage, fun kids events, with a bit of pomp and ceremony from the Household Cavalry. It”s a fun, family affair, so trot on and grab a ticket.


DollyWould, South Street Arts Reading, Thu 10 May

Big blonde hair, painted drag faces and Dolly Parton T Shrts in DollyWould

Love Dolly? Who doesn’t?! (Fingers planted in ears to the haters) I love her and by all accounts so do Louise Mothersole and Rebecca Biscuit, the award-winning duo behind Sh!t Theatre. Part theatrical improv, part performance art, SH!t Theatre are renowned for their political satires, but their new show puts the plastic and utterly fantastic Dolly Parton under the microscope. The show was a 100% sell out at Edinburgh Fringe, so book up. 


Hungerford Board Games Night, Town Hall Hungerford, Fri 11 May

Ditch the remote and prize your bottom off the sofa – it’s Game Night! Hungerford Board Games Night is back and offers the perfect opportunity to unplug and battle to the end with the throw of a dice. Get social with a crowd of board game bandits, grab on of the board games or bring one of your own. Some games have naughty adult humour (ooh matron) – suitable for 16+. It costs £3 on the door, fun starts at 7.30pm-11pm.


Lynn Chadwick, Cliveden National Trust Taplow, now – 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.


Comedy In The Brewery, Windsor & Eton Brewery, Sat 12 May

black white picture of comedian performing on the factory floor stage at Eton and Windsor Brewery

Craft beer and comedy, it’s a match made in a brewery. Nothing like a few lagers (don’t panic, they’re serving wine too) to get the giggles at this very cool comedy club, live from the factory floor at Windsor and Eton Brewery. Crack on and organise the proverbial p*** up.


Family Fun Day, Windsor Racecourse, Mon 7 May

big wheel lights up the night sky at a vintage fun fair

No ned to bankrupt yourself over the bank holiday weekend keeping the rug rats enterained, Windsor Racecourse to the rescue. Its annual Family Fun Day is back and for the first time ever the rides are all free as a bean. Yup, they’ll cost nada. There’s an inflatable assault course, dodgems, ferris wheel, pony rides, dragon coaster and loads more. Grown ups have to pay to get in, but under 18s are FREE.


Friday Night Pop Up Bar, Douai Pavillion Woolhampton, from Fri 11 May

bottles of gin lined up on 2 wooden shelves in a bar

Fancy sitting in the sunshine with stunning views across the Berkshire countryside, while your kids safely run feral outside playing games? Sign me up, baby. I’m thinking chilled rosés and gin and tonics and bit of food. This utopia is a reality. Throughout the summer, the lovely team at Birch Associates Events will be running a pop up bar at Douai Pavillion in Woolhampton every Friday night. If you’re in the area, pop in and pop that cork.


BalletBoyz, Hexagon Reading, Fri 11 May

Male dancers BalletBoyz performing FOURTEEN bar chests and wearing tights with exposed leg muscles printed on them

There’s more to these boyz than a beautiful carved physique and the agility of a gazelle, the BalletBoyz are ridiculously talented and the fact they all look pretty hot is just a billy bonus for the rest of us. The company will perform four brand new works, Fourteen Days – named because all choreography and music was created in just 2 weeks – and then return for a crowd-pleaser. A visual treat.


Caversham Arts Trail, various locations, 12-13 and 18-20 May

Julie Simmonds & David Pope Ceramic oriental style bowl painted with red yellow and grey modern design

Hot on the heels of the Henley Arts Trail is this one based around Caversham and Emmer Green, north of Reading. Visit the studios, workshops, homes and gardens of 37 talented local artists (including Julie Simmonds & David Pope Ceramics, above). See their latest projects, ask questions, buy their art and be inspired! 37 artists in 17 venues the trail runs across two weekends: Sat 12 & Sun 13 May and Fri 18, Sat 19 & Sun 20 May, 11am – 5pm.

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A Shot In the Saddle, Queen’s Walk Plaza Reading, Sat 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


Patterns Photographic Exhibition, Forbury Place Reading, Wed 9 May

Woman on bike amid curving lines Tony Sellen photograph called Lines

Image: Tony Sellen

Gawd, I wish I could take a good pic. I guess that’s the difference between an iPhone snap and an expensive camera used by someone who knows what they are doing. Anyhoo, see how the pros do it at the Photographic Angle’s FREE exhibition called Patterns. The photographers have captured hidden geometry that surrounds us, including this image by Tony Sellen called Lines.


NT Live: Macbeth, UK live broadcast, Thu 10 May

Actress Anne Marie Duff Macbeth National Theatre

Best known for her role in Shameless and playing Queen Elizabeth I in The Virgin Queen, Anne Marie Duff takes to Southbank’s National Theatre stage to tackle Shakespeare’s tragedy, Macbeth. The production will be broadcast live, so grab your popcorn and settle in for this post-modern.


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

Mixed media art colourful pledges Sarah Moorcroft textiles

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.


Midsummer Night’s Dream, Watermill Theatre Bagnor, Thu 10 May – Sat 16 Jun

Midnight blue background and purple neon A Midsummer Night's Dream Watermill Theatre Bagnor

The Bard is back! Following on from the huge success of Twelfth Nightand Romeo + Juliet, it’s the turn of A Midsummer Night’s Dream to be performed by the Watermill ensemble. The staging’s always clever, fusing actor musicianship with one of Shakespeare’s greatest comedies.


Carters Vintage Fun Fair, Pinkneys Green Maidenhead, Sat 12 – Sun 13 May

Carter vintage steafair swings and traditional carousel

Scream if you wanna go faster! If you love a funfair with its distinctive aroma of diesel, hot dogs and candy floss, then get yourself down to Palmer Park. Carters Steam Fair rolls into Reading with its spinny whizzy rides dating back to the 1890s and traditional games. Plus it’s free to enter and there’s a free fireworks display on Saturday night.


The Design Museum, London, from Thurs 10 May to Sun 7 Oct

Fascinating exhibition of the sculptor turned couturier, Azzedine Alaïa, who found fans in Michelle Obama, Rhianna and Grace Jones, with his flair for couture and refusal to stick to fashion week deadlines.



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.

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