MON 21 - SUN 27 AUG 2017
Reading Festival 2017, Richfield Avenue Reading, Fri 25 Aug
Are you ready to rock? Music fans will be swarming into the Richfield Avenue site to see headliners Kasabian, Eminem and Muse at Reading Festival. There will be mosh pits, warm beer, overpriced dirty burgers and the likelihood of being struck by a bottle of wee is pretty high. Music and mayhem guaranteed.
It’s not a menu that will enhance your beach body (not that I remember the last time I had one), but who cares? The Wandering Feast returns to the Swan At Streatley on Thursday 2 August for a night of live music and seriously good nosh. Sink your gnashers into gourmet borders, topped iff with ice cream and sorbets, washed down with a glass of rose on the banks of the river Thames. Stick a fork in me, I’m done.
The Big Tree Climb, Hughenden, Weds 2, Weds 16 & Mon 21 Aug
I’m never organised enough to get my kids to one of these tree climbs (yup, the irony is not lost) but they seem really good fun. Two instructors are on hand to help your kids into the canopies, while you wave at them with a cappuccino down below.
Hugenden Manor, High Wycombe, Bucks, nationaltrust.org.uk
The Cambridge Shakespeare Festival 2017, Cambridge Colleges, Mon 10 July – Sat 26 Aug
Cambridge Shakespeare Festival returns to the University’s beautiful college gardens on 13 July, offering an eclectic programme of plays throughout July and into August. Performed in full Elizabethan costume, in a unique outdoor setting with live music as accompaniment. Bring a picnic to enjoy before the performance and enjoy the idyllic surroundings. The diverse programme ensures there’s Shakespeare for everyone whether you prefer a comedy (The Merry Wives of Windsor), a romance (Romeo and Juliet), a drama (Hamlet) or a touch of fairyland (A Midsummer Night’s Dream). There’s eight plays in total spread out around the stunning city colleges grounds – including the Fellows’ Garden at Trinity College – a hidden gem that not even the students are allowed access to.
Cambridge Voices 30 Anniversary Celebration, Ely Cathedral, Mon 28 Aug
16 voices become 40 for a choral extravaganza which will raise the roof of the world-famous Lady Chapel this bank holiday. This choir is one of the busiest in Europe and their annual choral concert (no. 30 this year) will include Duruflé’s Requiem alongside De Massini’s setting of the Spiritual, Do what the Spirit says!specially commissioned for this concert. The first half of the concert will include works by Tallis, Gibbons, Stanford and Rubbra, as well as the finale from Widor’s Toccata and Vaughan Williams.
Ely Cathedral, Chapter House, The College, Ely CB7 4DL elycathedral.org
Evolver Prize 2017 Exhibition, Thelma Hulbert Gallery, Honiton, Until Sat 26 August
This exhibition is an ideal opportunity to come and have a nose at the work of some of the south west’s best artists, photographers and designers; even more so this year, as there will be 100 works of art instead of the usual 50 to celebrate the 100th edition of Evolver Magazine. It’s the result of a competition run annually where the prize sees the winner’s work featured on the front cover of the magazine, along with a decent wad of wonga.
Open Air Cinema at Tinside Lido, Plymouth, Fri 25 – Sat 26 August
The irony that Singin’ in the Rain is the first of two films showing on Plymouth’s waterfront this weekend is not lost on me. Still, there’s no such thing as the wrong weather, just the wrong clothes. So bring a brolly and a blanket or two and you’ll be fine. And if shark attacks are more your thing, then head down to the Lido on Saturday night, for a screening of The Shallows. The Shark Trust and National Marine Aquarium will be in residence for talks and demo’s, too.
The Big Batsford Bug Hunt, Batsford Arboretum, until Thu 31 Aug
Love creepy crawlies? (er, NO). Well never mind, your children will love peering among the foliage, finding the bugs and marking their locations to win a prize. No need to book, just turn up and ‘enjoy’. £2.50 per child, plus Arboretum admission fee.
Batsford Arboretum and Garden Centre, Batsford, Moreton-in-Marsh, batsarb.co.uk
Merry Wives of Windsor, Woodchester Mansion, Thu 24 August
The Festival Players are rocking up at the atmospheric Woodchester Mansion to put on an all-male production of Shakespeare’s rollicking comedy. There’s a keep calm and carry on attitude, so the show will go on whatever the weather. Fingers crossed, everyone will be packing suncream and shades, not brollies and capes. Grounds open at 5.30pm for picnics, with the show kicking off at 6.30pm. woodchestermansion.org.uk
Car Fest, 25 – 27 Aug, Laverstoke Park Farm
Calling all petrol heads; petrol heads with kids; and lovers of live music with a distinctly nineties twist. Yes Car-Fest roars into Hampshire’s Laverstoke Park, think, yup you guessed it, cars of all guises plus a veritable role call of big musical hitters from the nineties/early noughties: Dodgy, Kaiser Chiefs, Sophie Ellis-Bexter and erm, Coldplace. A nod to the days when a certain russet headed DJ ruled the Radio One waves, per chance? TFI Car Fest.
Chilli Festival, Benington Lordship, Sat 26 – Mon 28 Aug
This has become a searingly hot annual event in the beautiful gardens of a manor house. Usually associated with winter walks and snowdrops, during the August Bank Holiday, Benington Lordship gardens sizzle, regardless of the weather. (And let’s face it, Bank Holiday Mondays can be dodgy.) Arrive hungry. It’s impossible to leave without buying a chilli plant. 10am-5pm.
This is a summer residence not to missed. The spectacular summer show includes the beautiful Bonita Brophy all the way from Australia with her Hoola Hoop sensation, Matthew is a UK based artist with his unique cube manipulation, watch how he spins the giant metal shape with ease – It’s going to be mesmerising from start to finish. Tom is from Russia and will amaze you with his fabulous routine as he balances on one hand, Tom definitely has the OMG factor!! Charlotte Rose can be seen swinging high in the roof of the big top on her trapeze, her dare devil act will have you on the edge of your seats, Marishka will astound you all with her magic tricks and of course we have the funny clowns all the way from spain to ensure all round laughter is guaranteed. Shows are daily at 2pm & 4:30pm, with ticket prices starting at £5.99 (buy on arrival only).
Billing Aquadrome Northamptonshire NN3 9DA
Henley Handmade Fair, Stonor Park, Fri 25 – Mon 28 Aug
Arts and crafts, handmade jewellery, hand-finished furniture and glassware and everything in between at the Henley Handmade Fair that rocks up at the lovely Stonor Park this weekend. The ticket includes entry to Wonder Woods, a falcon show from The Hawking Centre, terrier racing and chocolate workshops. As it happens your local superblog has 10 lots of two tickets to give away, so if you fancy a freebie head over to our Facebook page with a friendly follow and a reason why you’d like the tickets and they could be winging their way to you!
Stonor Park, Henley on Thames, thecraftshows.co.uk
The Big Feastival, Alex James’s Farm, The Cotswolds, Fri 25 – Sun 27 Aug
This three day festival with Jamie Oliver and Alex James is a middle-class foodie fest, awash with live music performances from Olly Murs, Madness and Haçienda Classical, plus top chefs including Rick Stein, Nathan Outlaw, DJ BBQ, Gizzie Erskine and Carluccio. It’s immensely family friendly so there’s a Neff Little Kitchen for small cooks, Justin Fletcher (surely the richest children’s entertainer in the UK by now?) has his own spot, there’s tree-climbing, crayons and crafts and a kids’ den.
Churchill Heath Farm, Kingham, Chipping Norton, thebigfeastival.com
Bowlore Mediaeval Weekend, Bishop’s Palace, Wells, Sat 26-Mon 28 August
Archery and sword fights galore in the Palace gardens – watch the pros then have a go yourselves. 10am-6pm.
The Giant Shepton flea market, Bath & West Showground, Shepton Mallet, Sun 27 August
Does what it says on the can: have a root around more than 250 stalls and see what you discover.
Derren Brown: Underground, New Victoria Theatre, Woking, Mon 21 – Tues 23 Aug
Direct from its sell-out London run, Underground is the latest stage show from the master of psychological illusion. Bringing together a collection of the best of Derren’s previous stage work, it’s billed as a spell-binding experience of showmanship and magical genius. atgtickets.com
Arundel Festival, various locations, Sat 19 – Mon 28 August
This 10-day event really is an eclectic mix, with everything from treasure hunts to talks to mountain biking to music and stand-up comedy. Pop-up food stalls, sports cars, brass bands and historic tours mean there really is something for everyone of all ages. What’s more, it’s in the gorgeous setting of this historic town. C’mon, it’s on for 10 days, so you’ve no excuses. The full list of events is far too long, so check it out.
Henry Matisse, original lithographs selling exhibition, Murmurations Gallery, Bexhill, until 27 Aug
Yes, you read that right. Here’s a rare chance to see and even snap up a Matisse right here in Sussex. This exhibition brings together over 50 of the artists’ original lithographs from his Poem Illustrations and Paper Cut-outs produced in his later years. All artworks are for sale – some are even signed – with prices ranging from £350 – £3000. Too early to call it a Xmas present to self?
Make a Scene and See your Set in Action, Shakespeare Family Homes, Aug Bank Hol Weekend
Help artists design 5 scenes for 5 different Shakespeare performances at Shakespeare’s Family homes – a South Asian inspired performance space with artists from the Sonia Sabri Company for The Tempest at Shakespeare’s Birthplace (Sat Aug 26 – 10am, 12pm, 2pm). Join Russian artist Evgenia Golubia in making a scene for Romeo and Juliet at Shakespeare’s New Place (Sun Aug 27– 11am & 2pm). Unleash your inner Michelangelo and become an architect of the stage for Shakespeare’s Aloud’s Twelfth Night performance at Hall’s Croft on (Sun Aug 27 – 12pm &4pm). Help resident artist Lisa Yardley transform the woodland stage into a Japanese wonderland at Anne Hathaway’s Cottage for A Midsummer’s Night’s Dream (Mon Aug 28 -10am & 12pm) & prepare for a Moorish-style As You Like It at Mary Arden’s Farm (Mon Aug 28 – 2pm & 4pm).
Fairytale acrobatic theatre company Nicole & Martin, Kenilworth Castle, Thurs Aug 24, Fri Aug 25 and Sat Aug 26
This award-winning travelling circus theatre company Nicole & Martin will be pitching up their magical White Tent at Kenilworth Castle for 3 days, and telling tales by Grimm – Iron John, The Musicians of Bremen and The Girl Without Hands. Their 70-min stows combine theatre, music, song, dance, juggling, acrobatics and laughter. For the whole family, adults and teenagers too! Oh and they’ll serve you French crêpes, brownies, and Italian coffee. You’ll need to book as limited seating available.
Tel: 0370 333 1183 (Mon – Fri 8.30am – 5.30pm Sat 9am – 5pm).
Tractor Ted Diggers & Dumpers Weekend, Bowood House and Gardens, 19-20 Aug
Those pesky tractors take over serene Bowood for the weekend. The daily lure of Tractor Ted’s Little Farm at Bowood goes into full throttle over these dates as the UK’s favourite little green tractor, Tractor Ted, launches its very first ‘Diggers & Dumpers Weekend“. Children and older fans of big construction and farm machinery will have the chance to discover them at close quarters: climbing on board a dumper truck or sitting in the driver’s seat of a digger, for instance.While you’re there check out the fab-tastic Adventure Playground, plus there’ll be fun farm-related activities from welly-wanging and tractor and trailer rides to a visit to Tractor Ted’s Little Farm to meet the residents including pigs, lambs and pygmy goats. Perhaps there’ll be the chance to watch a chick hatching…