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The perils of parenthood
Ellie Taylor is back with her show ‘This Guy’, coming to Reading’s South Street Arts Centre on 23 February. Married and in her 30s, Ellie has overcome the surprise of being in a dreadfully happy marriage only for society to test her with a new question – whether or not she wants to breed. If Ellie had been given a pound every time she’s been asked ‘Are you going to have a baby?’ she could have bought a really expensive baby.
But with the maternal instinct of a pitta bread, Ellie has questions, such as how do you know if you’re ready to be a parent? Should you just take the risk regardless? And what if Ellie does have a baby and her career stalls, or her marriage breaks down or more terrifying of all, the kid has a monobrow? Following the huge success of her 2016 Fringe show, Infidelity, Ellie has since completed another successful 2017 Fringe run and a nationwide tour of ‘This Guy’. Her credits include BBC’s Live At The Apollo, Lets Sing and Dance for Comic Relief, Mock the Week, The John Bishop show, The Now Show (BBC Radio 4) as well as a lead role in the new series of Disney’s television programme The Lodge and Comedy Central’s Brotherhood.
The 2018 UK and Ireland Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour takes in more than 100 shows this year and arrives at Reading’s Hexagon on 27 February.Tour Director Nell Teasdale says: “UK and Irish audiences have a huge passion for adventure, so we’re delighted to be able to share these amazing films and their intrepid characters with wider audiences and even more venues.”
The tour’s films are chosen from hundreds of films entered into the prestigious Banff Mountain Film Festival, which takes place every year in the Canadian Rockies. Each screening offers a real sense of community, bringing together outdoor enthusiasts who are into all sorts of outdoor pursuits, and there are free prize giveaways at every event too.
It’s part of the wider Banff World Tour, which travels the globe each year, visiting nearly 50 countries and reaching more than 400,000 people worldwide. Programme highlights include The Frozen Road, where Yorkshireman Ben Page embarks on a solo bikepacking journey in the Canadian Arctic.
In Into Twin Galaxies – a Greenland Epic, adventurers Ben Stookesberry, Sarah McNair-Landry and Erik Boomer are on an extreme mission in Greenland, usingkite skis to tow their white-water kayaks 1,000km over the Greenland Ice Cap to reach the northernmost river ever paddled.
From spectacular live shows and family sing-a-long sessions, to a flexible half term holiday club, there’s plenty to keep the family busy at the Corn Exchange Newbury and Learning Centre.
Horrible Histories: More Best of Barmy Britain provides a who’s who of British history and is perfect for children aged five plus and their families. It’s presented by the acclaimed Birmingham Stage Company, from Wednesday, 7 to Saturday, 10 February and is a journey through time to meet the likes of vicious Vikings, Queen Elizabeth I, the Puritans, the Romans, and King Charles, to name a few.
For those aged two to eight, Long Nose Puppets bring Polly Dunbar’s award-winning children’s book, Penguin to life on Tuesday 13 February at 11am and 2pm. Disney-themed includes sing-a-long-a screenings of the 2017’s Beauty and the Beast (PG) on Thursday, 15 February, 2pm & 7pm. A sing-a-long-a host will help you celebrate this magical tale with a goody bag and a fancy dress competition for those who come dressed as their favourite character.
On Saturday, 17 February at 10.30am, children aged eight and under and their parents can get in tune at a popular Nick Cope: Family Music session, with songs about everything from counting to how plants grow. Children ages four to eight can also attend the Make & Do Holiday Club at the Learning Centre, from Monday, 12 – Friday, 16 February. Creative activities, from arts and crafts to drama and dance, are led by professional practitioners. Book children for all five sessions, or pick and choose individual days. Sessions start at 9am and finish at 5pm, but children can be dropped off from 8.30am and picked up before 5.30pm.
South Street Arts Centre, South Street, tel: 01189 606060
1 February, Mark Thomas: Showtime from the Frontline; 15 February, Morgan and West: More Magic for Kids; 15 February, Morgan and West: Time Travelling Magicians; 17 February, Limehouse Lizzy; 23 February, Ellie Taylor: This Guy
The Hexagon, Queens Walk, tel: 01189 606060
Until 3 February, Monty Python’s Spamalot; 6 February, Children Helping Children; 8 February, Arrival: The Hits of ABBA; 9 February, Anton and Erin 2018; 10 February, The Amazons; 11 February, American Superslam Wrestling; 15-17 February, The Wizard of Oz; 18 February, Sing-a-long-a Beauty and the Beast; 25 February, Frank Bruno: Let Me Be Frank; 26 February, Russian State Philharmonic Orchestra with Hyejin Kim
Progress Theatre, The Mount, Christchurch, tel: 01183 842169
19-24 February, A Clockwork Orange
The Watermill Theatre, Bagnor, tel: 01635 46044
Until 10 February, Teddy
The Corn Exchange & New Greenham Arts, tel: 08455 218218
3 February, Some Guys Have All The Luck; 4 February, Bolshoi Encore: The Lady of The Camellias; 7-10 February, Horrible Histories: More Best of Barmy Britain; 13 February, Penguin; 14 February, RSC Live: Twelfth Night; 15 February, Sing-a-long- a Beauty and The Beast; 16 February, Griff Rhys Jones: Where Was I?; 22 February; Barb Jungr: Float Like A Butterfly – The Sting Project; 23 February, Mark Steel; 24 February, Lee Mead
Theatre Royal Windsor, Thames Street, tel: 01753 853888
Until 3 February, This is Elvis; 4 February, My Pure Land; 5 February, Kings Ov Leon; 6 February, The Police Force; 7-10 February, Forever Dusty; 8-11 February, Monstersaurus; 11 February, Bowie Experience – The Golden Years; 12-17 February, New Jersey Nights; 18 February, Feeling Good – The Michael Buble Tribute show; 19-24 February, Life Could Be A Dream; 25 February, The Barron Knights – The Last Joust; 26 February, Rollin Stoned; 27 February, Professor Robert Winston – Modifying Humans; 28 February – 3 March; Dracula – The Bloody Truth
Norden Farm Centre for the Arts, Altwood Road, tel: 01183 788660
2-3 February, Jonathan Pie; 3 February, Rob Newman; 4 February, Papa Truck; 9 February, Horns of Plenty with Martin Shaw; 9 February, The Bob Dylan Story; 13-14 February, Three Billy Goats Gruff & Other Furry Tails; 13 February, Griff Rhys Jones – Where Was I? 14 February, Stuart Goldsmith; 16 February, Mark Watson 16-17 February, Little Red Riding Hood’s Musical Adventure
South Hill Park, Ringmead, tel: 01344 484123
2 February, Bracknell Jazz – The Ridout Family; 6-10 February, Romeo and Juliet; 13-17 February, South East Berks Gang Show; 21-24 February, The Elixir of Love; 24 February, Bracknell Jazz Young Musicians – Simon Allen; 25 February, Oliver Jeffers’ Lost and Found; 27 February, Joss Arnott Dance; 28 February, Alun Cochrane