What’s on this weekend
FRI 1 – SUN 3 DEC
Beauty & The Beast, South Hill Park Bracknell, until Wed 3 Jan
There’s nothing like a dame, so brace yourselves for the OTT panto season of fake boobs, heavy slap, innuendo and lots of daft fun knitted into the Disney classic, Beauty & The Beast. Brad Clapson as the Good Fairy and Faye Allen as Belle will be rocking the big frocks, fighting over the blusher backstage to bring Christmas alive at the Wilde Theatre in Bracknell. Adults only, signed and autism friendly performances available.
Christmas at Stonor, Stonor Park Henley, until Sun 10 Dec
Yeah, my fireplace totally looks just like this one. While you think about throwing a few decs at your tree, see how the pros do Crimbo at Stonor Park. No I’m not jealous at all. *gnashes teeth* The fun begins on Wed 29 Nov. Plenty of time to buy marshmallows to roast on this very fire (go on, I dare you)!
Stonor Park, Stonor, Henley-on-Thames, stonor.com
Beauty & The Beast, Corn Exchange Newbury, Fri 1 Dec – Sun 7 Jan
Not one but two Beauties in Berkshire. You won’t find big name celebs here, but you will find a talented bunch of actors who bring the feel-good fun, festive cheer, panto clichés and pop songs. Cue much swaying in your seats (a few too many wines, in my case). Proper Crimbo vibes right here.
Ed Byrne Spoiler Alert, Hexagon Reading, Fri 1 Dec
Ed Byrne’s been on every comedy panel show invented for TV. But he’s ditched the glitz and glamour of the green room to embark on a UK tour. HIs how, Spoiler Alert! questions whether we really have anything to complain about or are we all just a bunch of whiny brats? Come and watch as Byrne takes this question, turns it upside down and shakes it until the funny falls out. Plus who doesn’t love a man in a tux with a chainsaw. You can smell the testosterone for here.
Miki, Norden Farm Maidenhead, until Sat 30 Dec
Lantern Making Workshop, 01 Outdoor Arts Creation Space, Greenham Business Park, Sat 2 Dec
Oooh, sparkly lights! The annual Newbury lantern parade is a really special event. Rather than ooh and ahh on the sidelines, why not make a lantern and take part in the procession on Sun 10 Dec. Work with pros to create a traditional pyramid Lantern out of willow and paper, to carry in our Festival of Light! It takes between 1- 2 hours to make, then join the fun and light up!
The Borrowers, Watermill Newbury, until 31 Dec
A family of teeny tiny people living under your floorboards taking stuff from you? Don’t panic, this is not an episode of Crimewatch, Mary Norton’s classic tale, The Borrowers, gets The Watermill treatment. Quick, clever and only four inches tall, their lives unravel when they are discovered by a ‘human bean’. Great storytelling, a bit bonkers but utterly brilliant.
Joyeaux Noel, Basildon Park, Lower Basildon, Fri 1 Dec – Sat 6 Jan
Basildon Park is blinged out for Noël, inspired by Lady Iliffe’s French-Mauritian roots. The family usually spent Crimbo in France, where they would party with Grace Kelly. Does it get more fabulous than that? Every 10th year they celebratedt at Basildon Park. Large piles of presents will sit under traditionally French decorated trees, and as you wander around, listen to the French Christmas music playing. You’ll find me slumped in a corner in a wine and cheese coma.
Windsor On Ice Alexandra Gardens Windsor, until 7 Jan
Windsor On Ice is back for the winter and whether you’re Olympic standard or a ‘cling on’ like me, they’re great for a family day out, or a fun slippy-slidey Christmas party. There are two rinks here. The main one is under cover and there’s a smaller open-air rink. There’s also food and other attractions including an ice bar and grill. Sessions are for 45 mins. See you in A&E, I mean on the ice.
My Fair Lady, Mill at Sonning, until 27 Jan
Can you Adam and Eve it, it’s not panto, it’s not a Christmas show, but it is a classic. Eliza Dolittle will be breaking into song for the musical My Fair Lady at the Mill at Sonning. If Crimbo theatre doesn’t get your jingle bell ringing, then this just might. Make a date with your mum… Wouldn’t it be Loverly?
Sleeping Beauty, Theatre Royal Windsor, until Sun 7 Jan
No I can’t wait, I can’t wait another minute… Cheeky 5 Star reference in honour of Denise Pearson, hoping she’ll be shining like a glitter ball in a sequin shoulder padded jacket and matching glove. Denise is starring alongside Tom Baker, Mike Read, Basil Brush and The Vixen from The Chase, in this year’s Theatre Royal panto Sleeping Beauty
Christmas Trail: Angel Academy, National Trust Cliveden, throughout December
Cliveden’s new Christmas trail offers little ones the opportunity to train at Angel Academy; a fun mission-style trail around the estate where kids will complete tasks in order to graduate. They’ll learn how to ‘fly’, perfect their magic and complete other activities which, if successfully completed, they’ll be presented with their angel wings. The Christmas trail runs weekends in December and from Wednesday 20 December to Saturday 23 December.
The BFG in Pictures, River and Rowing Museum, Henley, until 21 Jan 2018
Curated by Quentin Blake himself, the exhibition of everyone’s favourite giant includes unpublished illustrations that have never been exhibited in public before. The exhibition includes Blake’s first designs that weren’t included in the book, and provide a glimpse of a BFG that might have been in 40 original artworks. Don’t forget there’s the permanent John Piper exhibition at the museum too – that’s well worth seeing in its own right.
Christmas at Windsor, Windsor Castle, until Fri 5 Jan
Queenie’s gone to town this year with the Windsor decs. To commemorate the 20th anniversary of the Windsor Castle restoration following the devastating fire of Nov 1992, the State Apartments will be decked with gold decorations inspired by the intricate gilding work that was undertaken to restore the Castle’s interiors to their former glory. And in case you missed it, there’s a whopping 20ft Nordmann Fir at the end of St George’s Hall.