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9 awesome things to do this weekend – 2-8 Mar

As we hurtle towards the weekend I’m feeling the need for fun, fresh air and an ice cold gin and tonic (or three). Who’s with me?

Seth Lakeman, The Hexagon Reading, Sat 4 Mar

The West Countrys certainly produced a few musical hotties. Chris Martin for starters, Ben Howard and Seth Lakeman (pictured) – the poster boy of folk. Let’s be honest Seth’s not really a boy, more a man… with, er, three kids. He’s still hot though. Anyway, Seth was shortlisted for the Mercury music prize back in 2011, scooped up by a major label, there were festivals a go-go and an invitation to meet Colonel Gaddafi (bit awkward). Basically, he’s single-handedly made folk cool and he’s set to raise the roof of The Hexagon Reading on Saturday night playing tracks from his eighth album Ballads of the Broken Few and live faves. Door opens at 7pm. Tickets: £24.50.


Susan Calman – The Calman Before The Storm, Corn Exchange Newbury, Sat 4 Mar

If you’re up for a laugh this weekend, then you can’t go wrong with comedy hobbit Susan Calman. If you don’t know the name you’ll recognise her face from shows like QI, Have I Got News For You and Mock The Week. What would comedians do without the TV panel show to boost their earnings? Anyway, Susan is back with a brand new 90-minute turn – The Calman Before The Storm. For your information: Susan’s taller than a borrower but shorter than the average 13-year-old. The show? Well, she’s ready to create a storm, set the record straight and stick it to the man. Whoever he is. Tickets: £17.


Kaleidoscope: Life Through A Lens, Norden Farm Maidenhead, Thur 2 – Sun 5 Mar

It’s your last chance to see Journey Through A Lens at Norden Farm. Like all good journeys, this one started in the pub. Six local photographers – John Hailstone, Paul Kirk, Ruth Martin, Andrew Yuille, Mike Mallett and Sue Avery – formed  the Kaleidoscope Photography Group 13 years ago when they were students. Journey is their 11th exhibition showcasing their individual sales, techniques and interpretation of… well, a journey. Expect lots of images from the seats of trains and buses, but other examples include a Cuban travelogue and series on growing up. Entry is free, but you’ll need to book.


Manchester By The Sea, Norden Farm Maidenhead, Thur 2 Mar

It’s really hard to remember who won what at the Oscars after envelope-gate. Although the Best Picture award ended in farce, Best Actor was pretty straightforward. I must confess I have a little (ok, massive) crush on Ryan Gosling, so secretly hoped he would win. That said, Casey Affleck is a freakin’ amazing actor and totally deserved his statuette for Manchester By The Sea. The film, directed by Kenneth Lonergan, is a tough sell. Man returns home to look after his dead brother’s teenage son, doesn’t exactly scream ‘good times’ but for all the raw heartbreak it is incredibly rewarding. Tickets £10.50.


Vineyard & Winery Tasting Tour, Stanlake Park Estate Twyford, Sat 4 Mar

Love wine? Tick. Like tasting wine? Tick Enjoy staggering round a beautiful estate? tick, tick. Then the first Stanlake Park public wine tour of 2017 is going to be right up your strata. Bob down to Twyford and you’ll learn about the ups and downs of English wine-making and neck some seriously good samples of Stanlakes award-winning wines. You’ll see the grape-pressing area, fermentation tanks, barrel room, the ‘fizz’ room (if I lose my group, look here first) and the bottling line. At each stop you’ll taste different varieties, eight in total, so I reckon a taxi home is essential. Price: £17.50 per person.


Faust x2, The Watermill Bagnor, Thur 2 – Sat 25 Mar

The force is strong with this one… Olivier and Tony award-winning actor Ian McDiarmid, best known as Palpatine in Star Wars, will be bringing his supreme skills to The Watermill stage for Faust x2. An atmospheric and moving re-telling of the immortal legend of Faust, Ian will be showing the young cast how it’s done as he brings Goethe’s masterpiece to life in a bold new adaptation. Tickets: from £15.


Wasing Wedding Open Day. Wasing Park Aldermaston, Sun 5 – Mon 6 Mar

Gotta ring on it? Then put down the bridal mags, step away from pinterest and head over to Aldermaston for Wasing Park’s open day. Pop along to this breathtakingly beautiful exclusive-use venue on Sunday 5 Mar form 12noon-5pm or Monday 6 Mar form 4pm-8pm and see the Berkshire venue dressed for the big day. You’ll gets loads of inspiration and advice plus they’ll be serving cocktails and ‘street food’ on the terrace. One ticket covers your whole wedding party (no need to book separate tickets for each person) and you can bring as many people as you like. Reserve your free ticket now. Want to go? I do.


Made In Dagenham The Musical, South Hill Park Bracknell, Tues 14 – Sat 18 Mar

Gemma Arterton in the movie Made In Dagenham (pic credit: Alex James)

The ultimate display of girl power, Made In Dagenham is based on a true story (and the 2010 hit film starring Gemma Arterton), about the 850 women who went on strike at the Ford Dagenham car plant in protest of sexual discrimination. Now you can see the musical comedy at South Hill Park Arts from 14 Mar, performed by the Crowthorne Musical Players. It’s a show about the triumph of the underdog, friendship, love and the importance of fighting for what is right. But to be fair, any production that comes with a warning of ‘industrial’ language has got my vote.  Tickets from £16.



50 Things To Do Before You’re 11¾, Greys Court, Henley-on-Thames, Sun 5 Mar and throughout 2017

Who doesn’t love chucking their kids outdoors in the hope you’ll still recognise them when they surface caked in mud.wearing half a hedge in their hair? Me, me. In 2012 the National Trust launched the 50 Things To Do Before your 11¾ campaign to get kids to enjoy the outdoors because we were turning out a generation of sofa slobs. It’ been a huge success with children swapping screen time for wild time – climbing trees, rolling down hills and making mud pies – and it’s back this weekend. So if you are up for an adventure this weekend, hop over to Greys Court to tick den building, daisy chains, grass trumpets, bug hunting and wild art off your list. The event is FREE! But normal admission fees apply, from £12.50.


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