Events and things to do in Berkshire and Buckinghamshire - January 2015
PUBLISHED: 15:41 05 January 2015 | UPDATED: 15:41 05 January 2015
A selection of events to enjoy in the region this month
The Full Monty
We’re not surprised that this stage version of the 1997 film about six out-of-work steelworkers with nothing to lose has been receiving standing ovations on tour. There’s an excellent cast and Simon Beaufoy, the Oscar winning writer of the film, has gone all the way with this hilarious and heartfelt adaptation.
Now the production is coming to Milton Keynes Theatre for six nights (with two matinees) from 19 January. The cast includes some familiar TV faces, such as Gary Lucy (The Bill, EastEnders and much more); Andrew Lunn (Tony in Dinnerladies); Louis Emerick, Bobby Schofield and Rupert Hill (Jamie Baldwin in Coronation Street).
Directed by Roger Haines, the show also includes the iconic songs from the film by Donna Summer, Hot Chocolate and Tom Jones.
Tickets from £13.40 - £37.90 depending on performance, with reductions for Theatre Cub members, see www.atgtickets.com, tel 0844 871 7652
Tom Conti at Windsor
Our favourite actor Tom Conti is coming to the Theatre Royal in January when the mesmerising Twelve Angry Men begins a nationwide tour after huge critical acclaim and sold-out performances at London’s Garrick Theatre.
Bill Kenwright’s production of Twelve Angry Men sees Conti play Juror Number 8, the role made famous by Henry Fonda in the 1957 film version. It is directed by Christopher Haydon and designed by Michael Pavelka.
A reminder of the story: jurors have murder on their minds and a life in their hands as they decide the fate of a young delinquent accused of killing his father.
Prejudices and preconceived ideas are revealed as their decision-making reaches a nail-biting climax.
Of course, we’re not the only people to adore Conti, he and Dame Judi Dench were recently jointly voted the Most Popular Actors in the West End in the last 25 years.
Be quick to grab those tickets – Twelve Angry Man is at Windsor from 27 January to 7 February and then off to prestigious venues across the UK until May.
Tel 01753 853888, www.theatreroyalwindsor.co.uk
Strictly Come Dancing’s Brendan Cole brings his new show, A Night To Remember, to Wycombe Swan Theatre on 31 January. He’s joined by a super cast of dancers, musicians and singers for a dazzling spectacle. Tickets £32.50/ £35.50, tel: 01494 512000, see wycombeswan.co.uk.
Still rocking the globe and coming our way
Sometimes you wonder who will last longer… Mick Jagger and crew, or The Counterfeit Stones, the tribute band the grizzled old rocker once described as ‘The most famous Stones band in England’.
The real Stones, of course, have continued what seems to be a remarkable lifetime tour, having played eight shows in Australia and New Zealand in October and November, clocking up some 18,000 miles. They’ve now been going an incredible 52 years, which makes the Counterfeits ‘babies’ by comparison as they pass the 24 years mark. But their musicianship and popularity has taken them around the world, from playing at Chelsea Football Club and Buckingham Palace to performances in Barcelona and the US.
Now they’re coming to Newbury’s Corn Exchange on 30 January during their ‘Grass Me Up’ tour covering five decades of Stones adoration, with a lot of fun and fashion to go with the music. Tickets £20, book at www.cornexchangenew.com.
Meanwhile, there’s a chance to see another acclaimed tribute performance, The Johnny Cash Roadshow, at Reading’s Hexagon on 28 January. Accomplished singer and songwriter Clive John has become known across Europe as ‘the voice of Johnny Cash’ in this theatre production with The Spirit Band, and Jill Schoonjans as June Carter. It’s a show endorsed by the Cash and Carter families, featuring Cash’s life and hits from the 1950s to 2002, with a video backdrop showing of evocative
images of the legend.
Tickets £21.50, see www.readingarts.com.
The Light Fantastic
It’s not every day you see flamboyant light installations in a formal Victorian garden, or a field full of moons next to an aviary of exotic birds. But that’s exactly what’s on offer at Waddesdon Manor till 4 January – the perfect way to brighten up a winter day, writes Venetia Hawkes.
‘Winter Light’ features dramatic art works by Bruce Munro, with inspirations as diverse as the lamp-post of Narnia and the squawking parrots of Australia. The rose-garden has been transformed into a First World War centenary poppy-field of remembrance, replanted with softly illuminating seed-heads.
Munro’s work has shown at the V&A, The Eden Project and the Guggenheim Museum and he returns to Waddesdon Manor after the success of last year’s exhibition there, praised by The Independent as “Discovery of the Year”. As Henry Moore said, “Sculpture gains by finding a setting that suits its mood and when that happens there is gain for both the sculpture and setting.”
Munro’s playful ‘Moon-Harvest’ at Waddesdon transforms round hay-bales in their black plastic wrappers into a galaxy come to earth. A visual pun on ‘Harvest Moon’ after Munro pondered what a harvest of moons would look like. “I’m interested in looking at everyday objects to see if you can create a little bit of magic from them”, he explained.
The glowing igloo-like ‘Beacon’ was originally constructed on a hill near the artist’s Wiltshire home to raise money and awareness for breast cancer charity Cancerkin. Munro said, “I lost a dear friend very young to breast cancer. By illuminating the night sky for a brief moment, I hope to send the message ‘you are not alone’.”
‘Winter Light’ by Bruce Munro is at Waddesdon Manor till 4 January 2015, illuminating from 4pm, with a further installation inside the house – a projection of peacefully blanketing snow, the flakes made of the Morse code for various words for ‘snow’. See www.waddesdon.org.uk.
From the Jam
Perhaps you have to be of a certain age, but we’re thrilled that From the Jam are including Aylesbury’s Waterside Theatre in their January tour. With us fans having given up all hope of a full The Jam revival (you can guarantee at least any two of the original line-up will ‘not be on talking terms’) there’s still huge enjoyment for fans in From the Jam, led by original bassist Bruce Foxton.
Foxton’s joined by guitarist and vocalist Russell Hastings, the only frontman other than Paul Weller to have worked with both Foxton and Rick Buckler (former The Jam drummer). The line up is completed by sought after drummer Steve ‘Smiley’ Barnard.
Their shows includes classic Jam hits such as ‘Down In The Tube Station At Midnight’, ‘Going Underground’, ‘Town Called Malice’ and ‘The Modern World’ as well as other favourites and songs from Foxton’s own solo career. For some 15 years post-Jam he played with Stiff Little Fingers.
From The Jam are joined at Aylesbury by blues masters Nine Below Zero with the classic line-up of all four original band members; Dennis Greaves (guitar/vocals), Mark Feltham (harmonica), Mickey ‘Stix’ Burkey (drums) and Brian Bethell (bass).
See them both at Aylesbury on 22 January, tickets from £25.90, www.atgtickets.com.
• Until 4 January, Starlab – Inflatable Planetarium, The Look Out Discovery Centre, Nine Mile Ride, Bracknell, tel: 01344 354400
• Until 4 January, Reading Winter on Ice - Forbury Gardens, Reading, firstname.lastname@example.org
• 7 January, Family History Talk: Discovery, The National Archives Online Catalogue - Methodist Church Hall, Queensway, Bletchley, Milton Keynes, www.bucksfhs.org.uk
• 7/14/21/28 January, Visit Wednesdays - UK Wolf Conservation Trust, Butlers Farm, Beenham, Reading, tel: 0118 9713330
• 10 January, Winter Tree Walk - Bowdown Woods, Bury’s Bank Road, Thatcham, tel: 01635 500886
• 13 January, Family History Talk: Migration - Community Centre, Wakeman Road, Bourne End, www.bucksfhs.org.uk
• 17 January, Ultimate Lupine Experience - UK Wolf Conservation Trust, Butlers Farm, Beenham, Reading, tel: 0118 9713330
• 17 January, Family History Talk: Illicit and Clandestine Marriages 1700-1900 - Prebendal Farm Community Centre, Somerville Way, Fowler Road, Aylesbury, www.bucksfhs.org.uk
• 20-21 January, Toddler Days - The Look Out Discovery Centre, Nine Mile Ride, Bracknell, tel: 01344 354400
• 24 January, Ayres & Graces: An Evening with Samuel Pepys - York House Centre, London Road, Stony Stratford, tel: 01280 812364
• 25 January, Photographic Day - UK Wolf Conservation Trust, Butlers Farm, Beenham, Reading, tel: 0118 9713330
• 28 January, The Canal du Midi - Little Chalfont Village Hall, Cokes Lane, Little Chalfont, tel: 01932 248178
• 29 January, Unusual Herbaceous - Plants, Village Hall, Victoria Road, Tilehurst, email@example.com