Things to do in Berkshire this March 2014

PUBLISHED: 15:19 07 March 2014 | UPDATED: 15:19 07 March 2014

Berkshire Life March 2014 front cover

Berkshire Life March 2014 front cover


Events and dates for your diary in Berkshire this month

Behind the scenes at Cliveden

A trip to Cliveden can offer two experiences – enjoyment of the grounds overseen by the National Trust, or a visit to the Cliveden House Hotel, perhaps as a guest or for a dining occasion.

Once in a while though, there’s a chance to enjoy the delights of both, and such an occasion is on Thursday, 13 March, when the Trust and hotel join forces to offer the rare chance to explore Cliveden House, including many rooms normally only enjoyed only by hotel guests.

It’s an opportunity to enjoy a tour of house, taking in the impressive Great Hall, cosy Library, the glittering French Dining Room and some of the grandest Parterre view bedroom suites. If you’ve not been to such an event, we can recommend it.

The National Trust’s guides are on hand to tell stories about the history of Cliveden and its former residents and guests, including royalty and statesmen.

To make the most of these tours we strongly recommend booking in advance and there will be few better opportunities to enjoy afternoon tea in the new André Garrett Restaurant at Cliveden House.

Entry to the house will be via timed tickets available at 10 minute intervals from 10.30am until 4pm. Tours tickets cost £7.50 per person (including NT members) and usual National Trust admission charges to the grounds also apply. Book on 0844 249 1895 or via

Afternoon tea that day will be served in the restaurant from noon to 5pm. Advance booking is required on 01628 668 561. House tour ticket holders can book afternoon tea at the special rate of £24.50 per person (usually £29.50).

Cliveden, Taplow, Maidenhead, Buckinghamshire SL6 0JA

For admission prices and garden opening times see or call 01628 605 069


911 come to Reading

Boy bands never go away it seems – they just get a little bit older and even develop a new set of fans. Just look at Gary Barlow. Now Nineties band 911 have reformed and during a nationwide tour come to Reading’s Hexagon on 31 March. Tickets are £22/24 or £57 for a premium seat which includes ‘meet and greet’ plus a photo and autograph opportunity, if you can’t get enough.


Jump to it…

Ascot Racecourse stages the Country Fair Raceday on 30 March. It’s the last day of the jumps season, with countryside inspired activities on the Plaza Lawns., tel: 0844 3463000.

Newbury brings the season to an end with a Saturday Finale on 22 March., tel 01635 40015.


Let the memories flow

News that Eric & Ern, the affectionate homage to the great comedy duo is coming to Windsor’s Theatre Royal in March will bring back memories for many local people who recall the late Ernie and his wife Doreen spending their later years together at their home next to the Thames near Maidenhead.

But did you know Ernie made the first ever mobile phone call in the UK? He called Vodafone’s HQ in Newbury from London on 1 January 1985.

Eric & Ern, played by Ian Ashpitel and Jonty Stephens, recreates cherished moments from the stars’ shows and include new material they themselves have created (what I wrote, as Ernie might say!).

See them at the Theatre Royal from 13 to 15 March., tel 01753 853888.


So who’s your favourite?

It’s a good thing most of the rivalry stays Strictly on stage as both Brendan Cole and Anton du Beke are bringing their shows to Berkshire within days of each other in March.

Brendan hasn’t been too happy in the past when ‘fans’ have mistaken him for Anton, but while the BBC dance stars are both appearing at The Hexagon, Reading, it has to be said that their shows are quite different. So why not grab tickets for the two if a Strictly-style feast appeals?

Cole’s Licensed to Thrill extravaganza on 5 March features 20 musicians and dancers and lots of Latin sizzle, plus ballroom magic. Tickets £38, £36.

Du Beke’s Ballroom to Broadway show on 8 March has music from Cole Porter, Gershwin, Jerry Herman and Andrew Lloyd Webber, with lead vocalist Lance Ellington and the Raymond Gubbay Big Band Orchestra. Tickets £36.50, £44.50. See


It’s springtime, so enjoy the local natural world

12 March, BBOWT: Greenham Common Bird Walk, Greenham Common, tel: 01635 874381

13-16 March, Rivers and Environmental Spaces Clean Up Event, sponsored by Thames Water. Various location throughout Reading,
14 March, Howl Night, UK Wolf Conservation Trust, Butlers Farm, Beenham, tel: 01189 713330

27 March, Tilehurst Horticultural Association – Origins of Garden Flowers, Village Hall, Victoria Road, Tilehurst, tel: 01189 425245


Performance Highlights


8 March, Anton Du Beke: Ballroom to Broadway

9 March, Henley Symphony Orchestra

11-15 March, Horrible Histories: Barmy Britain

18 March, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra; March, Runrig – Party on the Tour

31 March, 911: Illuminate – The Hits and More Tour

The Hexagon, Queens Walk, Reading, Tel: 01189 606060


8 March, Imogen Cooper – Piano

15 March, Naturally 7

Concert Hall, Town Hall, Blagrave Street, Reading, Tel: 01189 606060


28 March, Jazz at Progress: Roger Beaujolias Quartet

The Progress Theatre, The Mount, Christchurch Road, Tel: 0845 8679845



Until 22 March, All My Sons

8 March, David Wood – The Gingerbread Man

14 March, An Audience with…Nicholas Parsons

16 March, Poetry Reading with Brian Patten

26-29 March, Life Lessons

The Watermill Theatre, Bagnor, tel: 01635 46044



9 March, The Kevin Cruise Comedy Cabaret Show

10 March, Derek Acorah – The Enlightenment Tour

13-15 March, Eric And Little Ern

16 March, Fifty One Shades of Maggie

18-22 March, Liza Liza Liza

23 March, Rat Pack Live

24,27,29 March, Ayckbourn Ensemble: Arrivals and Departures

25,26,28,29 March, Ayckbourn Ensemble, Time Of My Life

28 March, Ayckbourn Ensemble, Farcicles

30 March, Heidi Rhodes School of Dancing Presents A Few of our Favourite Things

Theatre Royal Windsor, Thames Street, Tel: 01753 853888



11-15 March, A Festival of One Act Plays

27 March, Elio Pace plays the Billy Joel Songbook

29 March, Laurie Holloway in Concert with the East Berks Jazz Orchestra

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



11-13 March, Hopelessly Devoted

11-15 March, Witches of Eastwick

16 March, The Marriage of Figaro

17 March, 33

19 March, Circus of Horrors

20 March, Wayzeck

23-26 March, The Vackees

25 March, For Their Own Good

30 March, Kidnapped

South Hill Park, Ringmead, Bracknell, tel: 01344 484123


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