Events and things to do in Berkshire - October 2016

PUBLISHED: 15:02 30 September 2016 | UPDATED: 15:02 30 September 2016

Kate is coming to Coworth Park

Kate is coming to Coworth Park


Go behind the scenes of October’s big events in Berkshire as we welcome a feast of autumn entertainment

Fancy a tour of Reading Gaol

This has to be the most fascinating trip we’ve recommended this year – a National Trust guided tour of the Victorian prison finally de-commissioned in 2013. Visitors will have the opportunity to see the austere corridors, wings, and cells, exploring the prisoner entrance, the hospital, the old chapel and Oscar Wilde’s own cell.

The tours, in association with Artangel, run until the end of October and we suggest booking up quick as they are going to be popular with both Wilde fans and the simply curious.

They will tell the history of the gaol and follow how prisoners were processed then housed, be filled with stories of the inmates, the history of the gaol’s executions and snippets of Oscar Wilde’s own works.

Wilde spent two soul-destroying years incarcerated in Reading Prison from 1895-97.

While there he wrote De Profundis, a long and harrowing love letter on spirituality and faith, charting his journey into the depths of degradation as he renounces his debauched lifestyle and celebrates the power of art.

On his release he immortalised the prison in his last work The Ballad Of Reading Gaol: ‘Each narrow cell in which we dwell Is foul and dark latrine, And the fetid breath of living Death Chokes up each grated screen, And all, but Lust, is turned to dust In Humanity’s machine’.

Wilde was not the prison’s only famous resident; film star Stacy Keach also numbered among the illustrious inmates. Artangel are working with over 30 artists to present readings and installations throughout the corridors of Reading Gaol and its empty cells.

Three performances of The Trials of Oscar Wilde inside the prison chapel by Reading Between The Lines Theatre Company are already sold out.

The prison has been opened to the public with permission from The Ministry of Justice. HM Prison Reading is in Forbury Road, Reading, RG1 3HY. Tours are limited to 20 people and must be pre-booked.

Take your pick

This is a great time of year to visit Basildon Park, Lower Basildon, and as well as wildlife walks on Fridays throughout October there is also a volunteer open day on 3 October.

Kate’s Inspiring Story

Paralympic swimmer Kate Grey will be speaking at Coworth Park, Ascot on 19 October. Kate will talk about her experience in the Games, from competing to her more recent days of broadcasting. She is best known as a Paralympic swimmer who represented Great Britain at the Beijing Paralympics and World Championships. Having lost a hand at a very young age, Kate never let her disability hold her back, and alongside swimming has pursued other sports including netball, tennis, athletics and horse riding. Following her retirement from competitive swimming she has been a part of the BBC Paralympic Coverage Team, working as a reporter during the Rio Paralympic Games.

Speaker Events at Coworth Park start at noon and cost £50 per person, including a glass of champagne on arrival and a three-course lunch in Restaurant Coworth Park with a glass of wine, coffee and chocolates.

Other events

• 1 October, Reading Town Meal, Forbury Gardens, Reading, RG1 3BB, tel: 01189 586692

• 2 October, The Henley Ploughing Match, Frizers Farm, Sonning Eye, tel: 01491 413619

• 7-8 October, Ascot Fashion Weekend, Ascot Racecourse, tel: 07766 376410

• 16 October, Simons Wood Nature Trail, Runnymede, North Lodge, Windsor Road, Old Windsor, tel: 01784 432891

• 16 October, The Twilight Walk, Windsor Leisure Centre, tel: 01252 749043

• 21 October, Tears of Laughter, Shaw House, Church Road, Newbury, tel: 01635 279279

• 29 October, Fabulous Fungi, Runnymede, North Lodge, Windsor Road, Old Windsor, tel: 01784 432891

• 29 October, Halloween Murder Mystery – Bell, Book & Scandal, Regency Park Hotel, Newbury, tel: 01635 588706

• 31 October, Family Arts Festival, Sandhurst Memorial Park, Yorktown Road, Sandhurst


South Street Arts Centre, South Street, tel: 01189 606060

25-26 October, Rapunzel and The Tower of Doom; 28 October, Marisa Anderson & Laura Cannell

The Hexagon, Queens Walk, tel: 01189 606060

5 October, Jimmy Osmond; 6 October, The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain; 7-8 October, Professor Brian Cox Live; 13 October, Round the Horne; 14-15 October, All or Nothing; 19 October, Jimmy Carr; 20 October, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra with Leticia Moreno; 22 October, Celine: The Power of Love; 23 October, 10cc; 26 October, Level 42; 27 October, UB40

The Jazz Café, Madjeski Stadium, Reading, tel: 01189 681442

22 October, An evening with Elton John

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

1 October, An Evening with Derren Brown: No Tricks; 8 October, Louis Schwizgebel, Piano; 17 October, Daniel Cook, Organ; 27 October, Julian Clary

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

20-29 October, Dracula

Shinfield Players Theatre, Whitley Wood Lane, tel: 01183 9758880

7-16 October, The King and I

The Mill at Sonning Theatre Ltd, Sonning Eye, tel: 01189 698000

Until 19 November, Blithe Spirit; 16 October, A Gala Night of Classics; 23 October, Voice of the Heart: Karen Carpenter; 30 October, Buddy Holly’s Winter Dance Party


The Watermill Theatre, Bagnor, tel: 01635 46044

Until 29 October, The Wipers Times; 31 October – 4 November, Frankenstein

Corn Exchange, Market Place, tel: 0845 5218218

8 October, Morgan & West: Parlour Tricks; 11-12 October, Frankenstein; 13 October, The Unique Komedy Ukulele Orchestra; 14 October, Lee Nelson; 14 October, RSC Encore: King Lear; 16 October, Bolshoi Live; The Golden Age; 22 October, Steeleye Span; 25 October, Andy Hamilton

Shaw House, Church Road, Newbury, tel: 01635 279279

14 October, Measure to Measure – Music from Shakespeare’s Time


Theatre Royal Windsor, Thames Street, tel: 01753 853888

3-8 October, The Woman in Black; 9 October, Milton Jones; 10-15 October, Hamlet; 17-22 October, Travels with My Aunt; 23 October, The Simon and Garfunkel Story; 25-29 October, Annie The Musical

Eton College, School Hall, tel: 01628 527041

1 October, Windsor & Eton Choral Society


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

6 October, Macbeth: Blood will have Blood; 7 October, The Pendulum Jazz Orchestra; 20 October, Lee Nelson; 23 October, The Rat Pack is Back; 23 October Hannah Sanders and Ben Savage; 24 October, Shark in the Park; 25 October, Music for Flute and Harp; 25 October, Shakespeare’s Stand Up; 26 October, The Tinderbox; 27-28 October, Rapunzel; 27 October, An Intimate Evening with Jo Harman; 30 October, St John’s Chamber Orchestra


South Hill Park, Ringmead, tel: 01344 484123

5-8 October, Legally Blonde – The Musical; 10-12 October, Pride and Prejudice; 18-21 October, Shakespeare Schools Festival; 26-29 October, Breaking The Code; 26 October, Supertonics Big Band Autumn Concert; 27-29 October, Roald Dahl’s: The Magic Finger; 27-29 October, Invisible Friends

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