What’s on January 2018
Make 2018 Our Happiest Year Yet, FastTrack Fit Camp, Wokingham Cricket Club, Sat 6 Jan
It’s time to drag yourself off the sofa, ditch the overly ambitious resolutions and focus on YOU. Heidi Strickland-Clark of FastTrack Fit Camp is running a free (yup, totes FREE) 3-hour event that helps you see through the fog and focuses on the positives, helping you see what’s holding you back, why and what you can do about it – from family to food, fitness to fun and finances. Space is limited, book up.
Where I Come From Exhibition, Cumberland Lodge Windsor, until Sat 6 Jan
In other news… while we fighting a losing battle with wrapping paper and sticky tape the ghost of Christmas present know as Brexit continues, so there’s no better time to see portrait photographer Bill Knight’s new exhibition Where I Come From – a celebration of freedom of movement and immigration in Britain. Positive stories rather than hysterical headlines.
Winter walk, National Trust Cliveden, throughout 2018
If you’ve been cooped up for days at the relis or nursing a monumental NYE hangover, pop some pills get some fresh air at Cliveden. There’s s stonking 375 acres of gardens, woodland and riverside walks to explore. Plus the hotel is on hand for a coffee or hair of the dog.
Teddy, Watermill Theatre Newbury, Thurs 11 Jan – Sat 10 Feb
Come on January can be sooooo boring. Don’t make it an entirely no-fun zone. The Watermill is hitting 2018 hard with punchy new musical Teddy. After a successful run in London, Teddy is going on tour, first stop Newbury to unleash the teen rebellion. Let the good times rock ‘n’ roll.
The Case of the Frightened Lady, Theatre Royal Windsor, 10 Jan
The Theatre Royal Windsor always kicks off the new year with a theatrical whodunit – and 2018 is no exception. The Case Of The Frightened Lady is a gripping crime story by the legendary Edgar Wallace, with a solid cast of actors including flame-haired firecracker Rula Lenska.
Space, The Look Out Discovery Centre Bracknell, Thurs 18 and Fri 19 Jan
If you have littlies, the post Crimbo come down can be, well, challenging. Prepare them for a special mission at The Lookout Discovery Centre for an intergalactic crafts, stories and face painting. There’s even prizes for out of this world fancy dress. 3… 2… 1… BLAST OFF!
Clarence House Chase Raceday, Ascot Racecourse, Sat 20 Jan
Love a day at the races but can’t wait for Royal Ascot? Saddle up for a January raceday with a little less pomp and ceremony (ok a lot less), but the fashion is fabulous (coats, faux fur and boots) and you can have a little flutter to spend on the totally unnecessary shoes you have seen in the sales.
The Vinyl Frontier 2018 Album Championships, Norden Farm, Sat 20 Jan
It’s the vinyl countdown: 8 contestants bring their fave LP to battle it out to be crowned 2018 Vinyl Frontier Album Champion. The audience chooses the winner of each round. Last year’s winner was American Idiot by Green Day. Come and have a go if you think you’re muso enough.
Bolshoi Live: Romeo & Juliet, UK cinema release, Sun 21 Jan
Former Bolshoi artistic director Alexei Ratmansky’s, Romeo & Juliet a reboot cranks up the drama live from Moscow. Standard star-crossed lovers, warring families, ending in heart-wrenching tragedy, but in the hands of the brilliant Bolshoi… you’ll be on the edge of your seat.
The Horne Section, Corn Exchange Newbury, Thurs 25 Jan
A night with the Horne. Not a seedy sex club to spice things up, but the outlandish musical and comic talent of Alex Horne. The man has had a hit series on Radio 4, sell out shows at Edinburgh Fringe and in London’s West End, Dictionary Corner faves on 8 Out of 10 Cats Does Countdown.
Teechers, South Hill Park Bracknell, Thurs 25 – Fri 26 Jan; then Whitty Theatre Wokingham Mon 29 Jan
Dig out your old uniform and back to skool you go for John Godber’s comedy show Teechers. Berkshire-based Blackeyed Theatre kicks off its 47-date UK tour at South Hill Park Bracknell and Wokingham’s Whitty Theatre about 3 hopeless year 11 school leavers and the state of education.
Windsor Winter Half Marathon, Dorney Lake Eton, Sun 21 Jan
If you’re on of those smug people who has managed to keep on running despite the wine and cheese tempting you to fall off the wagon – good on you. You might be interested in shifting unwantedCrimho pounds with a easy peasy 13-mile Sunday jog. I’ll see you at the start line… one day.
Spamalot, The Hexagon Reading, 30 Jan
Monty Python’s award-winning musical Spamalot is coming to Reading. Yup, it really is. Lovingly ripped off from the 1975 film, this spammier than ever production is a riotous comedy full of misfit knights, killer rabbits, dancing nuns and ferocious Frenchmen. It’ll sell out in a flash.
Brendan Cole All Night Long, The Hexagon Reading, Fri 26 Jan
Paddles at the ready. If your Saturday night has not been the same since Joe McFadden cha cha’d off with the Strictly disco ball, then this is going to be right up your strata. Brendan Cole will be showing off his fancy foot work, with special effects and a few surprises thrown in.
The Circus of Horrors, The Hexagon Reading, Sat 27 Jan
The only circus to reach the BGT finals, The Circus of Horrors rolls into Reading with its fantastical and grotesque show. If you can keep your eyes uncovered long enough, you’ll witness a performance that pushes the limits of what is humanly possible. Let’s hope there’s a doctor in the house.
Paul Sinha: Shout Out to My Ex, South Street Reading, Fri 26 Jan
If daytime telly is a guilty pleasure, you’ll be familiar with Paul Sinha – one of The Chase‘s super brains. You might not know he’s also a comedian, with his 2015 Edinburgh Fringe show going down a storm. In his search for happiness and parental approval, for Paul, the chase is on…
From Ibiza To The Norfolk Broads, South Hill Park Bracknell, Sat 27 – Sun 28 Jan
Just a couple of weeks after the 2nd anniversary of David Bowie’s death, From Ibiza to the Norfolk Broads, Adrian Berry’s powerful production paints Bowie as the patron saint of outcasts, as seen through the eyes of a troubled teen super-fan. Moving, darkly funny with a blistering choon,
Windsor Auctions Antiques and Collectables, Unit 18B Vansittart Estate Windsor, Sat 27 Jan
The High Street this is not, but there’s something satisfying about discovering a unique gem, built to last whether it be furniture, knick knacks, art or jewellery. Windsor Auction’s monthly sale is a goodie and Celebrity Antique Road Trip are filming too. Get ready for your close up.
Gin Tasting, Thames St Windsor, Fri 19 Jan
Dry January? Er, what’s that? No me neither, not a clue. Ginuary on the other hand, has my name written all over it. Head along to Thames Valley Wine School, get in the spirit and learn some stuff, quaff the good stuff and leave with plenty of ginspiration. Taaaaaaxi!
The Privileged by Jamal Harewood, South Street Reading, Thurs 25 Jan
Have you ever seen a polar bear? Here’s your chance to fill David Attenborough’s gilded shoes– as you’re about to encounter the Arctic’s whitest predator, with black skin. Be one of the privileged few to say they have pet, played with, and fed a polar bear. Well sort of…
Stephen K Amos: Bread and Circuses, Norden Farm Maidenhead, Thurs 25 – Fri 26 Jan
Brexit. Trump: things have been looking bleak. Comic maestro Stephen K Amos might not be able to provide bread to the hungry masses, but no one else is going to put on a better circus. Leave your problems behind and who knows? Maybe the world will seem just a little bit brighter.
Meet The Expert, Windsor Castle, Sat 27 Jan
Between now until May, it’ll be wall to wall coverage of Harry and Meghan’s Windsor Castle shindig. So don’t miss this chance to have a nose around the State Apartments and St George’s Chapel and meet to the conservationists who have been applying gold leaf and restoring paintings.
Yoga & Meditation pop up, B The Lifestyle Shop Newbury, Tues 30 Jan
Namasté my yogi pals. If you’re mission for 2018 is find time for you, then this could be right up your street. B The Lifestyle Shop in Newbury is running a yoga and meditation workshop with Laura Routh-Parsons to bring some calm and yogi flow to your mind, body and soul. Bliss out baby.
Peter Pan, Hexagon Reading, now – Sun 7 Jan
Mr TUUUUUUUUUMBBBBBLE! The irrepressible CBeebies demi-god Justin Fletcher may make you reach for the gin bottle but any small people in your charge will surely go insane in the membrane at the prospect of seeing him live on stage. He plays hapless trainee pirate Mr Smee in his 6th panto for The Hexagon – and it’s a cracker. Tickets are selling fast, so book now.
Windsor On Ice Alexandra Gardens Windsor, until 7 Jan
Windsor On Ice is back for the winter and whether you’re Olympic standard or a ‘cling on’ like me, they’re great for a family day out, or a fun slippy-slidey Christmas party. There are two rinks here. The main one is under cover and there’s a smaller open-air rink. There’s also food and other attractions including an ice bar and grill. Sessions are for 45 mins. See you in A&E, I mean on the ice.
Winter Magic, Saville Garden Windsor, Mon 1 Jan
While you’re trying to keep a lid on the bubbling excitement this week, why not trot along to The Savill Garden for bit of fresh air and Winter Magic. Let the kids run riot on the Gingerbread Trail, take a spin on the Edwardian Carousel, throw in some face painting and finish off with sweet treats in the Savill Garden Kitchen. Then hit the bottle by bedtime.
My Fair Lady, Mill at Sonning, until 27 Jan
Can you Adam and Eve it, it’s not panto, it’s not a Christmas show, but it is a classic. Eliza Dolittle will be breaking into song for the musical My Fair Lady at the Mill at Sonning. If Crimbo theatre doesn’t get your jingle bell ringing, then this just might. Make a date with your mum… Wouldn’t it be Loverly?
Christmas at Windsor, Windsor Castle, until Fri 5 Jan
Visit the post where Harry and Meghan will say ‘I do’ – currently all decked out for Crimbo. To commemorate the 20th anniversary of the Windsor Castle restoration following the fire of Nov 1992, the State Apartments will be dressed with gold decs inspired by the intricate gilding work that was undertaken to restore the Castle’s interiors to their former glory.
Gourmet Picture Company, Bisham Abbey Berkshire, until Fri 5 Jan
Following the sell out screenings at Cliveden House this Summer, Tom Kerridge is back with his pimped up daddy of pop-up cinemas. The stunning Tudor grandness of Bisham Abbey will be the setting, Atol Kochhar and Rick Stein will be cooking, while you settle in for classics like Romeo & Juliet, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, The Great Escape, Life of Pi, to name a few.
Beauty & The Beast, Corn Exchange Newbury, until Sun 7 Jan
Not one but two Beauties in Berkshire. You won’t find big name celebs here, but you will find a talented bunch of actors who bring the feel-good fun, festive cheer, panto clichés and pop songs. Cue much swaying in your seats (a few too many wines, in my case). Proper Crimbo vibes right here.
Beauty & The Beast, South Hill Park Bracknell, until Sun 7 Jan
There’s nothing like a dame, so brace yourselves for the OTT panto season of fake boobs, heavy slap, innuendo and lots of daft fun knitted into the Disney classic, Beauty & The Beast. Brad Clapson as the Good Fairy and Faye Allen as Belle will be rocking the big frocks, fighting over the blusher backstage to bring Christmas alive at the Wilde Theatre. Adults only, signed and autism friendly performances available.
War Horse, New Theatre Oxford, until Sat 6 Jan 2018
Soooo excited that the outstanding National Theatre production of War Horse is coming to Oxford New Theatre this month. Based on the novel by Michael Morpurgo and featuring those incredible, life-size puppets of the horses, it’s nearly sold out, so please don’t leave it too late to book.
New Theatre, George Street, Oxford, atgtickets.com
Hogwarts in the Snow, Harry Potter Studios, now – 4 Feb
Hogwarts in the Snow – as regular as Christmas! The festive makeover will see Christmas trees line the Great Hall, the Gryffindor common room dressed for the season and a blanket of filmmaking snow covering the majestic Hogwarts castle model. Visitors will even be able to touch samples of the different types of ‘snow’ used during production, each selected for its ability to float like falling snow, crunch under foot or glisten in the light like ice. Trust me, your kids will love it.
Warner Bros. Studio Tour London, Studio Tour Drive, Leavesden, wbstudiotour.co.uk
The BFG in Pictures, River and Rowing Museum, Henley, now – 21 Jan 2018
Curated by Quentin Blake himself, the exhibition of everyone’s favourite giant includes unpublished illustrations that have never been exhibited in public before. The exhibition includes Blake’s first designs that weren’t included in the book, and provide a glimpse of a BFG that might have been in 40 original artworks. Don’t forget there’s the permanent John Piper exhibition at the museum too – that’s well worth seeing in its own right.
North – Fashioning Identity, Somerset House, now – Feb 4 2018
Forget the north/south divide, London doffs its hat to Manchester, Newcastle et al in this new exhibition. Social documentary film and photography detailing life in the north of England in the mid-20th century sits alongside works by photographers, designers and artists inspired by the parts of our green and pleasant land beyond the Watford Gap. Contributors include Nottingham’s finest Paul Smith and Manchester’s Factory Records designer Peter Saville. If you visit after 15 Nov, you can also take a twirl on Somerset House’s gorgeous outdoor ice rink.
Twelfth Night, RST, Stratford, now – Feb 24 2018
Winterville, Clapham Common, Mon 1 Jan 2018
If you’re in Sarf London over Christmas, Winterville on Clapham Common’s is well worth a look. There’s everything from an outdoor Ice Rink to a fairground, roller disco and free kids’ entertainment, but there’s lots more unusual stuff than at your standard Christmas Fair. We’re particularly loving the sound of the Spiegeltent, where you’ll find cabaret, bingo, kids raves and, er, Mexican wrestling. What next, ‘Yoga On Ice’? Oh, I see, they have that too.
Slava’s Snowshow, Southbank Centre, London, now – Thurs 4 Jan 2018
Southbank Centre, Lambeth, London SE1, southbankcentre.co.uk
Christmas at Kew, Kew Gardens, London, Mon 1 Jan 2018