Events and things to do in Berkshire - February 2015

PUBLISHED: 12:19 29 January 2015 | UPDATED: 12:22 29 January 2015

Radio show host Christian O’'Connell has taken to the road. © Steve Ullathorne

Radio show host Christian O’'Connell has taken to the road. © Steve Ullathorne

(C)2013 steve ullathorne, all rights reserved

A selection of events and things to do this February in Berkshire

For dads… and those who know them!

Regular listeners to Christian O’Connell’s daily Absolute Radio show will know that he has that uncanny knack of taking a conversation in a direction, or relating an anecdote that has you thinking ‘Yes, that happened to me’ or ‘I know someone just like that!’.

It’s helped to make him a multi-award winning host, but now he’s hitting the road in his first ever national comedy tour, Breaking Dad. Following two sell out stand-up shows at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe as well as performing to a 500 strong crowd in London’s West End, O’Connell is taking the witty brand of anecdotal comedy which has made him a British radio mainstay and bringing it to the stage.

Breaking Dad explores his experiences within the realms of parenthood as he attempts to navigate beloved pet death, pensioner sex advice and the inherent evil of Peppa Pig. It’s a brave step for someone who might ‘rest on his laurels’, having picked up a record 12 Radio Academy Awards and three Arqiva Commercial Radio Awards, including this year’s Broadcaster of the Year.

The Guardian describes the show as being ‘furiously funny’, so if you’ve ever been a dad/had a dad/known a dad then this is the show for you. Christian’s turn to comedy has already one him a legion of celebrity fans, including Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant describing him as ‘always funny and charming’.

Christian comes to Newbury’s Corn Exchange on 28 February, tickets £12, see, tel: 0845 5218218.


Captivating theatre at Bracknell

See an excellent version of Blood Brothers (the Play), Willy Russell’s story of twin boys separated at birth, at South Hill Park from 10-14 February. Directed by Mark Hooper and Casey Jay Andrews, this amateur production pulls out all the stops in telling a fascinating but tragic story. This version features the iconic ‘Marilyn Munro’ song, together with new music arranged by Ron McAllister, and cabaret songs will continue in the new venue The Wilde Upstairs before the show and during the interval.

Tickets £16, see, tel 01344 484123


Two beautiful ballets at Reading

The Russian State Ballet and Orchestra of Siberia come to Reading for two days in February, presenting two favourites which will delight both first-time ballet goers and those who are regular attendees.

The first performance, at 2.30pm on Sunday 22 February, is particularly suited to newcomers and families. It’s Coppélia, a light-hearted charming comedy of errors, set in a doll maker’s workshop and combining antics and abracadabra. All the joys of mistaken identity and subsequently confused lovers abound, with sparkling choreography and the animated score of Delibes.

Monday, 23 February at 7.30pm sees a performance of that all-time favourite, Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake with its superb costumes and the dual role of Odette/Odile, one of ballet’s most unmissable technical challenges.

Tickets range from £31.50 to £36.50, with £5 off if you book both productions. See, tel 01189 606060.


Meet Naomi at historic Welford Park church

Our gardening expert Naomi Slade will help raise funds for the beautiful church in Welford at 2pm on 
7 February with a talk.

Welford Park is famous for its fabulous snowdrop woods and the flowers are abundant around the adjacent church. Naomi’s book ‘The Plant Lover’s Guide to Snowdrops’, contains pictures of Welford Park and the church itself. Naomi says: “In my many visits I have become fond of it and feel that it is important to preserve churches not only for their architectural and historic value, but for the benefit of the community in years to come.”

Tickets, £10, include access to the snowdrop wood and flowers in the walled garden. See

Naomi will also be signing copies of her book at the event.


Performance highlights


5 February, 10cc & Special Guests; 6 February, La Traviata; 7 February, Brendan Cole: A Night To Remember; 8 February, Fascinating Aida: Charm Offensive; 13-14 February, The Ghost Train, 18 February, English Chamber Orchestra; 21 February, Sing-A-Long-Sound of Music; 22-23 February, Russian State Ballet of Siberia; 25-26 February, Octonauts and the Deep Sea Volcano Adventure

• The Hexagon, Queens Walk, tel: 01189 606060


6 February, Boris Giltburg, Piano; 20 February, Tommy Tiernan

• Concert Hall, Town Hall, Blagrave Street, tel: 01189 606060


6 February, The Bowie Experience; 12 February, Toyah Wilcox ‘Up Close & Personal’; 27 February, The Oasis Experience performing ‘Definitely Maybe’

• Sub 89, Friar Street, tel: 01189 595395


23-28 February, Gaslight

• Progress Theatre, The Mount, Christchurch, tel: 0118 384 2195



12 February – 21 March, Agatha Christie’s The Secret Adversary

• The Watermill Theatre, Bagnor, tel: 01635 46044


9-10 February, Fascinating Aida – Charm Offensive; 12 February, Live and Lyrical; 13 February, Monster Ceilidh Band; 13 February, Matt Parker now in 4D; 22-24 February, Dancing Queen; 26 February, Dreaming of Kate – A Tribute to Kate Bush; 27 February, Café Concert: Hohenthal Trio; 28 February, Christian O’Connell: Breaking Dad

• Corn Exchange, Market Place, tel: 0845 5218218



Until 7 February, Twelve Angry Men; 1 February, Stand Up By Royal Appointment; 11-21 February, Noel Coward’s Brief Encounter On Air; 15 February, BLAKE in Concert; 22 February, Stand Up by Royal Appointment; 23-28 February, Three Men in a Boat

• Theatre Royal Windsor, Thames Street, Tel: 01753 853888



7 February, Austentatious: An Improvised Jane Austen Novel; 12 February, The John Horler and Dankworth Duo; 14 February, Valentines Ceilidh; 19 February, The Florin Ensemble; 26 February, The Kast Off Kinks; 28 February, Laurie Holloway in Concert with Taplow Girls Choir;

• Norden Farm Centre for the Arts, Altwood Road, tel: 01183 788660



1 February, Robin’s Winter Adventure; 6 February, The London Swing Orchestra; 10-14 February, Blood Brothers (The Play); 13 February, Bracknell Jazz; 15 February, West Forest Sinfonia; 16-21 February, South East Berks Gang Show; 20-22 February, Lord of the Flies 26-28 February, The Barber of Seville

• South Hill Park, Ringmead, tel: 01344 484123



15 February, Pete Allen – A Unique Jazz Solo Music Show

• Regency Park Hotel, tel: 01635 44806



18-21 February, Whistle Down the Wind – Hungerford Town Show

• The John O’Gaunt School, Priory Road, tel: 01488 684011


Other events:

• 1 February, Miniature Train Rides, Prospect Park, Bath Road, Reading, tel: 07779 099321

• 1 February, Ultimate Lupine Experience, UK Wolf Conservation Trust, Butlers Farm, Beenham, tel: 01189 713330

• 1 February, Real Vintage and The Good Food Market, The Hexagon, Reading, tel: 01189 372065

• 7 February, Love Craft, Craft Fair, South Hill Park, Ringmead, Bracknell, tel: 01344 484123

• 14 February, Croydon and Southern Counties Cat Club Championship Show, Bracknell Sport and Leisure Centre

• 15 February, Readings Mega Baby & Children’s Market, Meadway Sports Centre, Conwy Close, Tilehurst, tel: 07809 628701

• 20 February, Howl Night, UK Wolf Conservation Trust, Butlers Farm, Beenham, Reading, tel: 01189 713330

• 28 February, Tilhurst Amateur Dramatic Society – Murder Mystery Evening with Fish & Chip Supper, Tilehurst Village Hall, Victoria Road, Tilehurst, tel: 01189 429984

Latest from the Berkshire Life