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What’s on this weekend

FRI 22 – SUN 24 SEPT

The Picture of Dorian Grey, The Watermill Newbury, Mon 18 – Sat 23 Sept

If you were offered the chance of ageless beauty would you take it? Judging by the plumped up, looks of astonishment on The X Factor panel, Simon, Louis, Sharon and Nicole have all said a million per cent YES! An all-female cast take on Oscar Wilde’s  gothic masterpiece The Picture Of Dorian Grey, which paints a vivid picture of vanity, cruelty and corrupted innocence in the desire to remain youthful.
The Big Picnic, Alexandra Gardens Windsor, Sat 23 Sept

A festival in September is a pretty bold move – rain, wind and plummeting temperatures to contend with. But that’s where a few bevvies and a waterproof quote come into play. The cool peeps from The Firestation are hosting an all-day free festival of music, pop-up food stalls at Alexandra Garden to raise some cold hard cash for local good causes. Join the feel-good fun.


The Gruffalo, Corn Exchange Newbury, Fri 22 – Sun 24 Sept 

Stage show of The Gruffalo, actor dressed as made up monster with the actor playing the fox

If you don’t know the words to The Gruffalo – where have you been? It is pretty much the only kids book read in our house. Now you can take a stroll with Mouse, Owl, Fox, Snake and the Gruffalo as they step out on stage. Songs, laughs and scary fun for children aged 3 + and their grown-ups. Oh help, oh no, it’s the Gruffalo!

 The Night Pirates 2017, The Hexagon Reading, Sat 23 Sept 

The Night Pirates by Peter Harris and Deborah Allwright, is one of my fave kids books about a group of little girl pirates who descend on a young boy called Tom at bedtime. So I am thrilled to see the stage production coming to Reading, courtesy of A Rose Theatre Kingston & Nick Brooke. Brilliant set design, fab story – perfect for pirates.


Windsor Fringe Festival, Sat 23 Sept – Sat 7 Oct

If you like your arts fresh out of the box, head to Windsor Fringe Festival – the second oldest fringe in the UK after Edinburgh. Expect an eclectic programme of events and shows, plus the world reknowned International Windsor Fringe Award for New Drama Writing judged by Hilary Mantel, Fay Weldon and Kenneth Branagh, to name a few.


Flashdance, New Theatre, Mon 18 – Sat 23 Sept 

joanne clifton in black underwear dancing on stage

Pass me my legwarmers, high leg leotard, and heavy dute welding visor – I’m ready for my Flashdancecloseup. Eh, what do you mean Joanne Clifton already has the lead role? (*sigh*) Yes tis true, the current Strictly champion continues her successful foray into musicals taking on the role of Alex, tomboy building site worker by day, gyrating sweaty permahaired foxtress by night. She stars with A1’s Ben Adams in this touring production that has me more excited than I dare express.

Age guidance: 11+. Book tickets


London Design Festival, various locations, 16 – 24 Sept

This festival, now in its 15th year, is just incredible – hundreds of events taking place across the city at venues including the V&A where you can see this stunning Reflection Room, by designer Flynn Talbot,  an immersive coloured light experience that will be the first London Design Festival installation to be housed in the Prince Consort Gallery.


Legally Blonde, Wycombe Swan, Mon 25 – Sat 30 Sept

pink stilettos with a pug dog and a small dog on a lead
I took my mum to a production of Legally Blonde last year and we both hooted our way through it, it was much funnier than I thought it would be. This new show has a celeb cast  – Rita Simons (Roxy Mitchell in BBC’s EastEnders)  Lucie Jones (Eurovision UK representative 2017) and the delicious Bill Ward (James Barton in Emmerdale, Charlie Stubbs in Coronation Street) as Professor Callahan. Grab a group of girlies and go have a giggle.

Book tickets


Cliveden Literary Festival, Sat 14 – Sun 15 Oct

clivden house side view os grand stone building foggy garden

The River Café’s Ruth Rogers, novelists Robert Harris and Ian McEwan, and historian Lady Antonia Fraser are among the speakers at Cliveden’s refined gathering. The 5 star country house hotel has held literary salons since the 17th century, inspiring writers from Pope to Swift to Tennyson, so you’ll certainly be in rarefied company. And be sure to have a snoop around the exquisite grounds while you’re there.

Find more ideas here

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