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What’s on this weekend

FRI 23 – SUN 25 MAR

Lucy Porter: Choose Your Battles, Norden Farm Maidenhead, Fri 23 Mar

Comedian Lucy Porter superhero style standing in front of gold beam

Lucy Porter’ a regular on the telly box and now she’s back in Berks with her new stand-up tour. Her new show deals the big issues: Trump, Brexit, equal pay, Hollywood sex pests – how do we know which causes are worth fighting for? Lucy will help you decide.


The Great British Dog Walk, Culden Faw Estate, Henley, 24 Mar

Muddy Stilettos Berkshire Hungarian Vizsla Benson

Walkies! This is a nice idea to get you, your family and your pooch out into the Spring air, while raising funds for the charity Hearing Dogs For Deaf People. The Great British Dog Walk takes in a 4km family route or an 11k scenic one around the Culden Faw private estate, where you might just spot deer or wallabies. There’s also various stalls, activities and refreshments. It’s £10 for an advance adult ticket, with children under the age of 16 go free. Plus you get a free doggie bandanna to jazz up Rover.


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


Be Wiser Jumps Season Finale, Newbury Racecourse, Fri 23 – Sat 24 Mar

Rachel Jane Muddy Stilettos Editor wearing navy hat and orange feather to Newbury Races

Muddy racegoer reporting for duty

A day at the races, you say? No need to ask me twice. Any excuse to wear at hat and drink bubbles that doesn’t involve buying a wedding present. Apparently t’s the Jumps Season finale, so saddle up, get your glad rags on there are prize to be won at Newbury Racecourse. A guy, gal or couple will be crowned Most Stylish Racegoers, so keep the tan light, the hemlines long and wear a sensible shoe, there’s a chance to walk the course on the Friday at 11.30am, in aid of Sport Relief.


Spring Family Raceday, Ascot Racecourse, Sun 25 Mar

Racecourses are generally kid-free zones – probably due to all-day bubbles and focus on the horses, but the Spring Family Raceday is a brilliant day with loooooads to entertain the kids –the legendary Lamb National, featuring six Herdwick sheep, infamous ‘Red Ram’, ‘Mint Sauce’ and friends will take to the Queen Anne Lawns for a race over mini fences, the Quack Pack, a petting zoo, free pony rides. Plus the Gruffalo and Peter Rabbit dropping by too. Oh and there’s some actual jump racing too, if that floats your boat. Tickets from £24, but under 18s go FREE.


Newbury Artisan Market, Sun 25 Mar

Hmm the smell of fresh bread and sizzling street food is enough to get me out of bed for a Sunday market, but the Newbury Artisan Market is much more. Think quality produce, original art, designer crafts, all mixed in with family activities, music and more… From 10am to 4pm, get up and mooch and grab yourself something unique from Berkshire’s finest.


Norman Jay MBE at Clayton’s Marlow, 24 Mar

Ahhh Norman! Fond memories of nights in London in days gone by (though Mr M came across you asleep at an Idris Elba gig in Pikes Hotel s a few summer’s ago – naughty!). Anyway, the co-founder of the legendary Good Times Sound System and KISS FM is bringing his hat and vinyl collection to Clayton’s Marlow for one night only. Tickets £20.


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

Birdsong theatre production uk tour 2018

Birdsong is coming to Berkshire. Windsor in fact. The 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.


Julius Caesar: First Encounters, RSC Stratford, Thu 22 – Sat 24 Mar

yellow red Julius Cesar animation for royal Shakespeare company children's production

Great idea this. A new version of Julius Caesar for 8 -13 year olds. Part of the RSC’s First Encounters with Shakespeare series, these engaging adaptations are 90 minutes long, use Shakespeare’s original language and ask audiences to participate in the story. Beats Lett’s Notes any day (come on admit it, you used them too).


The EY Exhibition Picasso 1932: Love, Fame, Tragedy, Until 9 Sep 

I can’t wait to see this first ever solo Pablo Picasso exhibition at Tate Modern, focusing on 100 paintings, sculptures and drawings, mixed with family photographs and rare glimpses into his personal life. Three of his extraordinary paintings featuring his lover Marie-Thérèse Walter are shown together for the first time since they were created over a period of just five days in March 1932.

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.


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.

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.

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.

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.

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