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The 2019 Muddy Stilettos Awards

24th April - 22nd May 2019

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What’s on: This Week

Mon 22 – Sun 28 May 2017

Paintings, Prints & Sculpture, Modern Artists Gallery Whitchurch on Thames, Tues 23 – Sat 27 May

Village People by Kate Kessling

Tucked away in the pretty village of Whitchurch on Thames, near Pangbourne, is this hidden gem – Modern Artists Gallery. Specialising in contemporary art, there are two floors of exhibition space so you get to see large paintings and sculpture in this creative tardis. This weekend there are number of artists work on display including one my absolute favourites Kate Kessling. Who bring a sense of humour to country life (and we all need a bit of that). Best to phone first before setting out, tel: 0118 984 5893 . Modern Artists Gallery High St Whitchurch on Thames,Near Pangbourne, Berkshire RG8 7EX.


Dracula: The Bloody Truth, Corn Exchange Newbury, Wed 24 May

It’s a night of garlic and stakes! Sounds delicious but this is not a romance killing meal out – instead, go heavy on the eyeliner and enjoy the Gothic gigglefest Dracula: The Bloody Truth. It’s a theatrical comedy that’ll take you across Europe from the dark and sinister Transylvanian mountains to the, er, Whitby. It’s a show full of song, dance, shadow puppets and some Victorian parlour tricks. Bonkers and brilliant. Tickets £15.


An evening with Steve Backshall a& Helen Glover, Bel & The Dragon Cookham, Wed 24 May

Want to spend the night with the TV hottie Steve Backshall and his stunning wife and rowing superstar Helen Glover? (Oi, keep it clean, it’s not that kind of a evening). There are still some tickets for their World Land Trust fundraiser at the Bel & The Dragon in Cookham. The event starts at 7.30pm, includes supper (tickets £60pp, £30 for kids), and £30 from each ticket will go directly to the World Land Trust). Gentle celeb stalking with a conscience – I like it


House and Garden, The Watermill Newbury, Thur 25 May – Sat 1 Jul

The property porn mag House & Gardens has spent the last 70 years giving us a sneaky peak into the idyllic homes of the rich, famous and stylish (without a Lego brick, plastic dinosaur or empty wine glass to be seen). Here, playwright Alan Ayckbourn’s duo of plays House and Garden, uses the magazine’s name as a cheeky reference to the vision of perfection it portrays. The plays, performed simultaneously by the same cast in the theatre and garden, reveal that nothing is ever quite so perfect behind the ornate gates and brass-knockered doors. One character’s entrance to House is another’s exit from Garden.


Monochrome Exhibition, 3 Forbury Place Reading, Sat 27 May

Everything and everyone looks better in black and white. Simple, dramatic, classic – it hides a multitude of sins and is less distracting (particularly if you’re wearing something eclectic because everything’s in the wash). Joking aside, Monochrome – an exhibition curated by The Photographic Angle – looks beyond colour to reveal mood, atmosphere and raw beauty in black and white photographs. If you love photography, want some tips to improve your Insta. Head to 3 Forbury Place and take a peek at this free exhibition.


RISC Roof Garden, Reading RG8, Sat 27 May – Sat 1 July

We’re used to seeing gardens worthy of Chelsea Flower Show while we’re poking around in the country’s private outdoor spaces, but this weekend you can see something a bit more urban, sustainable and, well, useful. The Reading International Solidarity Centre created its rooftop edible forest garden in 2002.  You’ll discover 185 species of plants form all over the world, in this low maintenance, eco paradise. It’s a mini Eden Project right on the doorstep. 


Berkshire Country Fayre, Englefield Estate, Sun 28 May

The media circus has moved on, Pippa and James are honeymooning in paradise and Carole will be deep cleaning her house after 300 guests partied until 4am. But back at Englefield Estate they’ll be preparing for the annual Country Fayre – a fun, family day out with best show animals, crafty bits and bobs, local produce and a gaggle of young farmers looking for a wife. Wear white, poke around in the church, see the flowers and trundle up the aisle.


We’re Going On A Bear Hunt,  Corn Exchange Newbury, Wed 24 – Sun 28 May 

I reckon I’ve read Michael Rosen’s We’re Going On A Bear Hunt a gazillion times. And I challenge you to recite it word perfect after three large glasses of wine. Go on, you know you can! The kids are in for a treat now they you can see it live, direct from its smash hit run in the West End, on stage at the Corn Exchange Newbury. Join the intrepid family and their musical dog (bit of artistic license there) on their quest to find a bear. Expect a lot of noise, catchy songs and loads of audience interaction. There is a bar if you need a medicinal gin during afterwards. Tickets £12.


Colourscape, Waddesdon Manor, 27 May – 4 June

Back for the fourth year but with a brand new stucture created to exactly fit the Aviary Lawn, Colourscape brings its labyrinth of 56 interlinked chambers to Waddesdon, where you can where you can explore intense light, colour and space.Each day there will be different music and dance performances – expect Hurdy-Gurdy (I’m not joking!), panpipes, dance, music from Norway and on the final day a theatre-piece with dance and acoustic costumes.

10.30am-4.30pm, music plays from 11am-3.30pm.


Common People, Oxford, 27-28 May

Hurray for a city centre festival that it’s easy to get home from – one of my friends watched Primal Scream and Duran Duran headline last year before jumping on the last bus home. Based in the pretty South Park, this is Bestival founder Rob da Bank’s latest venture which is now in its second year. It’s brilliantly organized, the bands are good (this year’s headliners are tbc), ditto the kids’ area. And tent refuseniks will be pleased to hear there’s no camping on site.

South Park, Oxford

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The Urban Guide to the Countryside - Berkshire