What’s on this month
Christmas at Legoland, Windsor, throughout Dec
Legoland is all twinkly lights and snow-dusted Christmas magic. Entry price for the Christmas season includes a visit to LEGO Santa in his magic grotto for kids who’ll receive a LEGO gift to take home. Grown ups aren’t forgotten – they’ll receive a free hot drink and cookie and a large double shot of whisky to anaesthesise a day looking after children.
Legoland Windsor Resort, Winkfield Road, Windsor, Berks, legoland.co.uk
Peter Pan, Hexagon Reading, Sat 9 Dec – 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.
RB Live: The Nutcracker, UK cinema release, Tues 5 Dec
A sea of tutus, twinkly lights, sugar plum fairies… it can only be the Nurcracker – a 18th century prequel to Toy Story. The Royal Ballet’s staging of this classic ballet is jawdropping. No need to schlep into London and weep at the ticket price RB Live on the big screen. Pass the popcorn, it’s a cracker.
NT Live: Young Marx, Thurs 7 Dec
The legendary Nicholas Hytner directs a new production of Young Marx starring Rory Kenner as the 32-year-old revolutionary. It’s 1850, and Europe’s most feared terrorist is hiding in Dean Street, Soho. Broke, restless and horny, he’s a frothing combination of intellectual brilliance, invective, satiric wit, and child-like emotional illiteracy. Broadcast live to UK cinemas from The Bridge Theatre, London.
The Borrowers, Watermill Newbury, until 31 Dec
A family of teeny tiny people living under your floorboards taking stuff from you? Don’t panic, this is not an episode of Crimewatch, Mary Norton’s classic tale, The Borrowers,gets The Watermill treatment. Quick, clever and only four inches tall, their lives unravel when they are discovered by a ‘human bean’. Great storytelling, a bit bonkers but utterly brilliant.
Festival of Light, Northbrook St Newbury, Sun 10 Dec
Ooh pretty lights. The annual lantern procession is fast becoming a community Crimbo tradition and the lanterns get more and more elaborate every year. It’s a mazing what you can do with willow and paper when you know what your doing. Good job I’m not involved in the making. Wrap up warm, head to Northbrook Street for the Festival of Light and join the fun at 4.30pm. Don’t miss out, it’s a bit spesh.
Jo Harman, Norden Farm, Maidenhead, Thurs 7 Dec
Soul, blues, gospel and Beatles-worthy pop. These are the core ingredients of singer Jo Harman’s latest album People We Become. Produced and recorded at Nashville’s famed Sound Emporium Studio, Jo has racked up more than half-a-dozen nominations from the British Blues Awards. Take a break from Mariah’s Crimbo hits.
Carnival of Animals, Town Hall Maidenhead, Sat 9 Dec
Ooh and ahh at the twinkly lights in Maidenhead tat the annual Community Lantern Parade It kicks off with live music and entertainment from 4×4 Bhangra – The Kings of Bhangra outside Maidenhead Town Hall from 4.30pm. Tis totes FREE, so wrap up warm and enjoy this Crimbo tradition.
Cliveden Christmas Carols, Cliveden House Hotel, Sun 17 and Mon 18 Dec
You can’t beat a good carol concert (unless Ma Muddy is belting out Silent Night, she can’t sing a note, bless her), but when you have the The Queen’s Six (half of the Lay Clerks of St George’s Chapel) carolling at Cliveden House., all the Xmas feels are guaranteed. Tickets £125 but include bubbles, canapes, the concert an a 3-course festive supper with wines. Book a cab. Ditch the naff festive knit for Black tie.
Gourmet Picture Company, Bisham Abbey Berkshire, Sun 10 Dec – 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, Fri 1 Dec – 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.
Miki, Norden Farm Maidenhead, Tues Nov 21 – Sat 30 Nov
If you haven’t come across Stephen Mackey’s book Miki, take a look. My youngest lovesit. It’s a charming story about Miki, Polar Bear and Penguin who live in a very far away place. One midwinter eve, they make a wish and Miki embarks on a magical adventure in search of a star… It’s a gorge alternative to traditional panto, and will be a stunning stage show.
Beauty & The Beast, South Hill Park Bracknell, Thurs 30 Nov
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, Weds 13 Dec – 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 sell-out, so please don’t leave it too late to book.
New Theatre, George Street, Oxford, atgtickets.com
Christmas at Stonor, Stonor Park, until Sun 10 Dec
Yeah, my fireplace looks just like this one. If you want to see a manor house beautifully decorated (and get a sense of how the other half live – the Stonor family are still in situ) then head to Stonor Park. No I’m not jealous at all. *gnashes teeth*
Stonor Park, Stonor, Henley-on-Thames, stonor.com
Hogwarts in the Snow, Harry Potter Studios, Sat 18 Nov – 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 to 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 to 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, Thurs Nov 2- Feb 24 2018
Winterville, Clapham Common, now – 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, Mon 18 Dec – Thurs 4 Jan 2018
Southbank Centre, Lambeth, London SE1, southbankcentre.co.uk
Christmas at Kew, Kew Gardens, London, now – 1 Jan 2018
Finnish Rooftop Sauna, Queen Elizabeth Roof Terrace, South Bank, now – Sat 30 Dec