What’s On in Berks and beyond!

Inside – Artists and Writers in Reading Prison, Sun 4 Sept to Sun 30 Oct

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Enterprising arts organisation Artangel specialise in finding unusual and atmospheric settings for their attention-grabbing contemporary art exhibitions. They’ve surpassed themselves with their latest exhibition, Inside: Artists and Writers in Reading Prison, which opened to the public on Sunday and features artworks from an impressive range of leading artists, performers and writers arranged across the prison’s three levels. The project includes an installation of new works by artists, photographers and sculptures such as Nan Goldin, Marlene Dumas, and Steve McQueen in the cells and corridors; letters from writers around the world including Binyavanga Wainaina, Ai Weiwei, and Anne Carson; and live readings from Oscar Wilde’s De Profundis in the prison chapel on Sundays. Tickets £9.

Reading Prison, Forbury Road, Reading RG1 3HY. artangel.org.uk/inside

Lady Anna: All at Sea, Theatre Royal Windsor, 5-10 Sept

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If you’re a fan of Anthony Trollope then this is one for you – a production inspired by his work, that happens to be getting some great reviews. it’s 1871 and the celebrated novelist is Australia-bound aboard the steamship, Great Britain. He passes the time by writing his latest tale, Lady Anna and eventually fact and fiction overlap. There’s a disputed title, fraud, bigamy, a legal case, madness and even attempted murder to sink your teeth into! Sounds like a riot, well worth a trip to Windsor. Tickets £15-£31.

www.theatreroyalwindsor.co.uk

Blue Collar Reading, Forbury Gardens, 8-10 Sept, midday to 11pm

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Blue Collar Street Food is behind Reading’s newest food festival which will be taking over Forbury Gardens for the next three days. Over 20 indie food stalls serving up deliciousness from across the globe including a few of Reading’s favourites – Pop-Up Reading and The Jam Lady. There’s also an on-site bar, a VW Camper cocktail bar, and non-stop music and entertainment. Go grab a bite, it’s open from midday till 11pm.

www.bluecollarreading.co.uk

The Real Thing, Norden Farm, Fri 9 Sept, 8pm

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The three original vocalists from Britain’s number one soul band (remember ‘You to me are everything, the sweetest song that I could sing, oh baby! oh baby!’ – yeah, I see you dancing round the kitchen) are performing at the Courtyard Theatre with their 5-piece band. They sold three million singles in the 1970s which were then remixed and re-released in the 80s. Time for a revival then! It’s a standing event so prepare to PARRRTEEEEE!

nordenfarm

Highclere Castle Vintage Garden Party, Sat 10 & Sun 11 Sept, 10am to 6pm

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Oh my days. If you have a Downton Abbey fan in your midst you could just about make them the happiest person alive if you splash out on this amazing event! Highclere Castle is going back in time to welcome guests for a vintage weekend including tour of the castle, the Egyptian Exhibition, a traditional fete, vintage cars and marquees on the lawns. I can almost hear Carson pouring the tea! Guests are encouraged to come dressed in period or vintage clothing from the Edwardian era – choose from ‘upstairs’ or ‘downstairs’ and they’ll even provide details of costume hire companies if you need help. Lady Carnarvon will be giving prizes for the best costumes. Tickets are £120 and include a picnic box and glass of Pimms and admission is from 10am, gates close at 6pm.

www.highclerecastle.co.uk

Absolutely Fashion: Inside British Vogue, Thurs 8 Sept, 9pm (BBC2)

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Vogue has always had a complicated reputation in the industry – complaints of cliques from some, lots of gushing about how brilliant it was from others. Make up your own mind with this film by documentary filmmaker Richard Macer, who was given unprecedented access to life at Vogue for nine months as it prepared for, and started celebrating, its centenary year. From the day-to-day running of the office and key fashion photoshoots, to one-on-one interviews with editor-in-chief Alexandra Shulman, the magazine’s editors, and key contributors, the result is a snapshot of all areas of the 100-year-old publication in 2016. It’s very much like blogging of course *cough*, except I have the advantage of going to work in my slippers.

Media Hub’s 3rd Birthday: How to Be a Brilliant Blogger by our mighty leader! Mon 12 Sept, 7.30pm

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It’s a tough life being a blogger [see exhibit A above]. If you’d like to have a crack at it yourself (you too can be photographed with chiselled Greek Gods for a living) then come along to The Media Hub’s third birthday celebrations at The Botanist in Marlow with a blogging masterclass by none other than Ms Muddy herself – Hero Brown, our editor-in-chief, woop-di-woop! There will be complimentary drinks, nibbles and a cocktail-making class, and Hero will be revealing her top 10 tips on how to create a must-read blog (I’ll be taking notes). Tickets available to buy online until tomorrow so come on down and join in the fun. Sadly I can’t guarantee any shirtless male dancers, but here’s hoping. See you there! Tickets £15.

themediahubuk.com

Bjork Digital at Somerset House, 1 Sept to 23 Oct

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Bjork; boundary-pushing creative genius or complete nutter – discuss. Either way, Somerset House is celebrating the Icelandic icon in all her bonkers-ness with an immersive virtual reality exhibition of digital and video works. Whatever you think of her and her music, over the years she has collaborated with some of the world’s best visual artists and programmers so this is bound to take your breath away. Tickets £15.

somersethouse.org.uk

Totally Thames Festival, 1-30 Sept

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Back for another year, Totally Thames is a series of events that brings the 42-mile stretch of the Thames in London to life. There is an ambitious programme of 150 events  including Floating Dreams (pictured) by artist Ik-Joong Kang, an amazing lantern-style installation, three storeys high, bang in the centre of the river constructed from 500 drawing and illuminated from inside. With exhibitions, performances, river cruises, regattas, and the promotion of all kinds of river pursuits including paddle boarding and mud-larking (I have no idea what that is but sounds fun!) there really is something for everyone if you fancy a different kind view of London. See website for all the events and timings.

totallythames.org

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The Urban Guide to the Countryside - Berkshire