Discover weekly events and photography in the links above
Cliveden Literary Festival
Cliveden Literary Festival, quickly dubbed the political and literary salon for the 21st century, exploded onto the scene with a stellar line-up just last year and now returns from Saturday, 29 to Sunday, 30 September with another quite extraordinary programme.
It’s the perfect venue for the theme as Cliveden has frequently been a setting for political machinations, romantic intrigues, and intellectual debates for the past 350 years. From royalty and celebrities to poets and prime ministers, Cliveden has long been a favourite of the great, the good and sometimes downright scandalous.
Speakers this year include Sir Antony Beevor, Sarah Waters, Edmund de Waal, Hanif Kureishi, Paula Byrne, Niall Ferguson, Dambisa Moyo, Alain de Botton, Sir Simon Schama, Priti Patel, David Olusoga, Cherie Blair and Armando Iannucci.
And where else will you find panels featuring the likes of Princess Michael of Kent on ‘Queens: How to rule and be Remembered’; or Sir Richard Dearlove, the former head of MI6, on ‘Putin, Spooks and Honeytraps: the inside story of modern espionage’?
Panel topics and sessions for this year’s festival include: reflections on WWI in its centenary year; Russia and espionage in the 21st century; women and power; great literary adaptations for film and television; as well as the festival mainstays of history and politics, with a closing ding-dong debate on Brexit!
Having judged a baking competition in the past with the hilarious Gregg Wallace, star of BBC’s MasterChef, Inside The Factory and Eat Well For Less, we are pretty sure those attending his new live show, ‘Doesn’t Get Tougher Than This’, are in for a treat.
Gregg comes to Maidenhead’s Norden Farm Arts Centre on Saturday, 22 September, so get ready for a feast of behind the scenes tales with demonstrations and audience fun and games. This fun night out for foodie fans comes with a Q&A session as well.
Le G. Bistaki is one of the most original outdoor theatre companies, performing all over the world with their combination of the best of circus and visual effects. Their shows create a surprising performance for all of the family to enjoy – and you can see it free.
Presented as part of the Corn Exchange’s free outdoor arts funded by Greenham Trust and Arts Council England, they will appear at Shaw House in Newbury on Friday, 21 and Saturday 22 September, 7.30pm.
3-8 September: FAME the Musical; 12 September: The King is Back 2018; 15-16 September: Peppa Pig’s Adventure; 17 September: Shaolin Monks; 20 September: The Story of the Beach Boys – A Tribute
Concert Hall, Town Hall, Blagrave Street, tel: 01189 606060
11 September: The High Sheriff of Berkshire’s Concert: The London Mozart Players
Progress Theatre, The Mount, Christchurch, tel: 01183 842169
13-22 September: Jesus Christ Superstar
The Watermill Theatre, Bagnor, tel: 01635 46044
Until 15 September: Sweet Charity; 20 September-27 October: Trial by Laughter
New Era Theatre, St George’s Centre, Andover Road, Wash Common, tel: 07919 916009
6-8 & 11-15 September: Second Person Narrative
The Corn Exchange & New Greenham Arts, tel: 08455 218218
6 September: Marcus Brigstocke; 6 September: NT Live: Julie; 8 September, The Simon & Garfunkel Story; 12 September: RSC Live: The Merry Wives of Windsor; 13 September: Henry Blofeld: 78 Retired; 14-16 September: The Snail and The Whale; 20 September: Susie Dent: The Secret Life of Words; 21 September: Tenors Un Limited; 22 September: The Three Degrees
Theatre Royal Windsor, Thames Street, Windsor, tel: 01753 853888
Until 1 September: Rain Man; 2 September: Bootleg Boss – Born to Run; 3-5 September: The Nightmare Room; 6-8 September: The Scarlet Pimpernel; 10 September: Reginald D Hunter – Stand Up By Royal Appointment; 11-12 September: The Goon Show; 13-15 September: Dick Tracy; 16 September: Voodoo Room -Hendrix, Clapton & Cream; 18-22 September: Cirque Berserk!; 23 September: Russell Watson – Canzoni d’Amore; 25-29 September: My Mother Said I Never Should; 28-30 September: Dinosaur World Live
Norden Farm Centre for the Arts, Altwood Road, tel: 01183 788660
1 September: The Big Berkshire Beach Gig; 2 September: Big Band Concertini; 13 September: Summer Concert: Mozart Plus; 15 September: Martin Turner ex Wishbone Ash; 22 September: Gregg Wallace – 27-29 September: The Marriage of Figaro; 29 September: The Enchanted Garden
South Hill Park, Ringmead, tel: 01344 484123
7 September: Bracknell Town Mayor’s Quiz Night; 12 September: Bracknell Jazz Young Musicians – Olli Martin; 19-20 September: Lee Hurst; 26 September: Sherlock Holmes: The Sign of Four
In October... The Flying Scotsman
Were you one of those keeping an eye out – and ear open – when the iconic Flying Scotsman steamed through the county earlier this year? Well, the engine is returning to Berkshire this autumn to pick up passengers, thanks to train operators Steam Dreams Rail Co.
On Thursday, 4 October the train will leave Theale at around 8.30am, picking up passengers at Newbury 15 minutes later.
They can then sit back and relax in its elegantly restored 1950s and 60s carriages as Flying Scotsman sets off along the old ‘Berks & Hants’ route, following the Kennet and Avon Canal.
At Taunton there will be a chance for passengers to stretch their legs before the train departs, diesel hauled this time, to return to Newbury for 12.45pm and Theale at 1pm.
Steam Dreams Founder Marcus Robertson says: “There is no doubt Flying Scotsman has a certain magic to it. Ever since setting two world records, the first in November 1934 when it reached 100 miles per hour, and the second for the longest non-stop run by a steam locomotive when it ran 422 miles in 1989 in Australia it has captured the nations heart.
“The interest and enthusiasm from passengers to experience the sights, sounds and smells of a steam train as it thunders through the countryside at speeds of up to 75mph is wonderful.”
Passengers can travel in one of four classes, starting from £99 per person in Premium Standard, seated at tables of four, with crisp white tablecloths and complimentary tea and coffee at their seats, right up to £225 in Pullman Style Dining where customers will enjoy a champagne brunch.
Contact the Booking Office on 01483 209888 or visit www.steamdreams.co.uk. You’ll also find details of other trips and Christmas specials there.