9 cool things to do this week – 15-22 Feb

Yippee! We’re over the hump of half term, so treat yourself to some time out – Muddy style. We’ve got theatrical trampolining and opera to a world-class exhibition in a greasy spoon and Michelin BBQ. Whatever floats your boat, the fun starts here.

Fisheye by Daniel Jamieson, South Street Arts Reading, Tues 21 Feb

Neighbourhood Watch stalwart Pam becomes a one-woman MI6 after someone pinches her Elizabethan sideboard, so she ramps up her operation from curtain twitching to hiding cameras in hand-knitted novelties and discovers that everyone around her is a thief, pervert or a terrorist. This is a dark comedy inspired by the incessant monitoring of our lives, very timely with the new bill deciding going through Parliament. Theatre Alibi always put on a great show – plus the poster’s brilliant. Tickets £12.

South Street Arts Reading, readingarts.com/south-street/ 

 

Bilal Zafar – Cakes, Norden Farm Maidenhead, Thur 16 Feb

Social media invades our lives 24/7. Pinging away, for each new image, observation, comment, cute cat video, or the latest  jaw-dropping tweet from Donald Trumps (seriously check out his twitter – funny and scary at the same time). But comedian Bilal Zafar’s experience was so extreme it gave him enough material to create his debut show, Cakes. Bilal takes you on the fascinating journey of how his twitter handle, @zafarcakes, caused a social media stir when a joke with his brother became the focal point for the misguided rage of the global far right when it was mistaken for the account of a Muslim-only bakery. Bilal uses humour to respond the prejudice and abuse increasingly face by Muslims today. Tickets: £12.

Studio Theatre, Norden Farm Maidenhead, norden.farm

 

Eggy & Seedy exhibition, Munchees Café Reading, Sat 18 Feb

If you’re heading into Reading this weekend, take a little detour to check out a Tate-worthy exhibition in a greasy spoon caff! Any art that includes a bacon and egg roll screams WINNER in my eyes. Matt Copson and Alastair MacKinven’s Eggy & Seedy project forms part of the Reading International Art Festival. Cops and MacKiven’s work features paintings, installations and performances –  including a musical collaboration with The Streets’ Mike Skinner. It’s achingly cool. Head to Munchees Cafe, Butter Market Reading from 6pm.

Munchees Café, Butter Market, Reading. readinginternational.org

 

Anyday, Corn Exchange Newbury, Tues 21 Feb

I know you crazy kids love something unique – and this is it. Anyday is a brilliant comic, absurd and surreal trampoline show. You heard that right, it’s a theatrical trampoline show. What’s not to love? Max Calaf is a contemporary circus artist. Through astounding acrobatics and physical theatre he explores the heart-breaking world he shares with his bird – while bouncing. Don’t try this at home, not sure the kids trampoline (or the neighbours) are ready for my interpretation. Tickets: £15.

Corn Exchange Newbury, cornexchangenew.com

 

NT Live: Saint Joan, South Hill Park Ringmead, Thur 16 Feb

This NT Live show is not to be missed. Hollywood actress Gemma Arterton takes on the role of Joan of Arc in the intimate space of the Donmar Warehouse. What can you expect? Well, this is a modern interpretation of Bernard Shaw’s classic play, following Joan’s mission to drive the English from France. As a protestant and nationalist she threatens the fabric of feudal society. Her isolation laid bare by staging the Gemma’s medievally-dressed Joan in a rotating glass boardroom surrounded by men in grey suits. Cool staging, quality acting. Who could ask for more. Tickets £20.

South Hill Park Ringmead, southhillpark.org.uk  (An Encore screening can be seen at Norden Farm Maidenhead on Sat 18 Feb)

 

Ascot Chase Raceday, Ascot, Sat 18 Feb

You don’t have to wear head-to-toe tweed or wear an enormous hat to enjoy a day out at Ascot. It’s all a bit more relaxed for the Ascot Chase Raceday, one the most popular jump meetings in the racing calendar. Kids go free and there’s plenty activities and on-the-go food options to keep them busy when the novelty of horses galloping past wears off. Worth a visit. Tickets from £28.

Ascot Chase Raceday, ascot.co.uk

 

Run for Chocolate 5km, Eton College Dorney Lake, Sat 18 Feb

Did someone say chocolate! Brace yourself for a stampede – there’s just the little business of covering 5km before you get it. Walk, jog or run, simply pop on your trainers whizz round Dorney Lake and a warm luxury hot chocolate will be waiting for you at the finish line (and a giant bar of Galaxy too, just me then). The event is open to all ages and abilities, starts at 9am, entry from £15.

Run for Chocolate 5km Windsor, Dorney Lake, Eton, f3events.co.uk

 

Rigoletto, Wilde Theatre, South Hill Park Ringmead, Wed 22 Feb – Sun 25 Feb

We love a bit of Opera here at Muddy. Forget the idea it’s all stuffy and high brow, cos its not. Park Opera are a friendly, talented bunch who bring opera to the masses, singing in English with a full orchestra and quality performers. They want us all to enjoy the music and drama of a damn good night at the opera. One of the shows presented in 2017 is Rigoletto, Verdi’s dramatic yarn about an unhappy jester who seeks revenge when his innocent daughter is cruelly seduced. Newbies try it you might like it. Opera vets, enjoy. Tickets from £22.50.

Wilde Theatre, South Hill Park, Ringmead, southhillpark.org.uk

 

DON’T MISS OUT – BOOK NOW

The Spring Smokehouse, Crown at Bray, Sun 2 Apr

Holy smoke, it’s the hottest ticket in town! Heston’s throwing a BBQ and we’re invited. OK, so Mr B won’t be flipping burgers, but the gang at his award-winning Crown at Bray pub will be taming the flames to mark the launch of the boss man’s swanky new Everdure outdoor grill range. The first Spring Smokehouse sold out so fast, they’ve added an extra date. I’m giving you the heads up to grab yours now. In true American BBQ style, it’s all you can eat, includes a drink on arrival and live band. It’s Sun 2 Apr, 1pm-5pm. Tickets are £49. To book, tel: 01628 621936 or email: reservations@thecrownatbray.com

thecrownatbray.com

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The Urban Guide to the Countryside - Berkshire