The Muddy Guide: Thurs 19 – Weds 25 May
Matthew Bourne’s Sleeping Beauty, Wycombe Swan, 24 – 28 May
Hero over at Muddy Bucks & Oxon is seeing this next week so I’ll share her review when she reports back. This is the final week of the UK tour so don’t miss out. Everything I’ve seen from Matthew Bourne – The Car Man, Swan Lake – has been incredible. His gothic take on this classic tale includes magic, fairies, vampires and romance, and you know, a whole lot of men in tights. Just saying.
Sleeping Beauty, tickets £28 – £41.50.
Laila the Musical, Theatre Royal Windsor, Tues 24 – Sat 28 May
Bollywood comes to Berkshire! Well, sort of. From the creators of the award-winning Britain’s Got Bhangra (which won People’s Favourite Musical in the recent Off West End Awards) comes a new contemporary musical, retelling the greatest love story from the east. The bittersweet story of star-crossed lovers Laila and Majnu, has been passed down through verse and song over centuries. The story of young love and feuding families is given a modern musical twist and the show is getting great reviews, being described as a joyful experience, sounds like brilliant fun! Tickets £13 to £29.
Dawn Chorus, Cliveden, Sat 21 May, 5.30am to 8.30am (yes, you read that right!)
Rise and shine Mudsters! The early bird and all that… Cliveden is doing guided walks through the estate gardens and woodlands to hear the resident birds bursting into song, followed by a hearty English breakfast in the Orangery Café. For an early bird like me, this is music to my ears, though my husband looked at me like I was insane when I suggested it would be ‘romantic’. The first walk is on Saturday 21st May, beginning at 5:30am – pyjamas and bunny slippers optional. Oops, there goes the romance. Ah well. Full details here.
Stig of the Dump, South Hill Park, Bracknell, Thurs 19 – Sat 21 May
Aww, this was Mr P’s favourite book as a boy, and now our son has just read it and loved it too! I um, haven’t read it, but I think you can sum it up as boy falls into a chalk pit and meets a caveman (as you do). If you want the full story then head to South Hill Park in Bracknell where the London Contemporary Theatre Company’s brilliant adaptation of Clive King’s classic children’s book Stig of the Dump runs for three days from Thursday. Tickets: Adults £14, children £11, family £35. Book here.
Let’s Rock the Moor, Marsh Meadow, Cookham, Sat 21 May
Blue mascara? Check. Yellow eyeshadow? Check. Hair backcombed to the max? Check. (and that’s just the boys). Then you’re ready to hit the 80s love fest that is Let’s Rock the Moor in Cookham this Saturday. A little birdie (Twitter actually) told me that there are still some tickets left, and with a line-up including The Human League, Belinda Carlisle, Jason Donovan, Jimmy Somerville, Hue and Cry, Aswad and Chesney Hawkes why on why would you ever miss it?
The Great Ball Run, Basildon Park, Lower Basildon, 14 – 31 May
Oh how the mudlets love this gentle but really fun challenge – we do it every single year and they never get bored of it. The Great Ball Run is back at Basildon Park for 2016, with all new runs for your children to figure out (don’t ask me, I took flipping ages to work them out last year). There are gold, silver and bronze stickers to be won when completing the ball runs. Take part by buying the Great Ball Run Kit (valid for the whole summer once bought), it costs £3 from the visitor centre.
Mum2Mum Market, St Gabriel’s School, Newbury, Sat 21 May, 10.30am to 12.30pm
Looking for a baby bargain? Check out the Mum2Mum Market this weekend in Newbury or there are further markets in Cookham in June and Caversham and Thatcham in July. You might have seen this company on Dragons’ Den? It’s the place, for pre-loved children’s stuff — y’know, all the gubbins they need, clothes, highchairs, prams, toys, books, the lot. And if you want to offload some of what yours don’t need anymore, you can sell it too. Entry £2 on the door.
John Piper Gallery, River & Rowing Museum, Henley
Can you believe the quality of art around these parts of late? Sooo many good exhibitions. Blazing a trail is the RRM which launches an impressive crowdfunding campaign today through Art Fund to create a world leading gallery dedicated to the work of local artist John Piper. Who he? Well, Piper was a major contributor to the artistic landscape of 20th century Britain and led the way in bringing modern and abstract art to this country (I know – why haven’t we heard more about him?!). He spent most of his life at his farmhouse in Fawley with its pottery and a studio large enough to house his full size stained glass creations. The new RRM gallery will be the largest permanent exhibition of his work in the world, bringing together some of his greatest creations, including rare pieces from private collections rarely seen by the public. For more info or to donate visit: www.artfund.org/get-involved/art-happens
Chateau Marmot pop-up at Henley Regatta, Wed 29 & Thurs 30 June, 10am to 5pm
Yippee! Unfurl the bunting and wiggle into your best super-hot-look-at-me frock – for two days only, Chateau Marmot’s fabulous pop-up restaurant will be hosting an intimate enclosure at Henley Regatta. Everybody say ‘Rah!’. There will be a four-course tasting menu with the usual attention to detail, fab local ingredients and seasonal flavours. Plus, beautifully crafted cocktails, plenty of fizz, live music, fabulous flowers and more. The perfect quintessential summer day by the river with a super funky twist. If you’ve never been to a Chateau Marmot pop up before, this might be the perfect chance to um, pop your pop-up cherry. Tickets £85 per person, available from the website.
London Wine Week, Mon 23 – Sun 29 May
Does it need any more introduction? Cleverly they have incorporated the late May bank holiday into this festival – yeah come on, STAMPEDE!! – with more than 100 venues across the capital creating created discounted wine flights, paired menus and drop-in tastings when you flash your London Wine Week wristband *hic*.