The Reading Guild of Artists’ sumptuous summer show

‘After the Rain’ by Calina Lefter

The fabulously creative Reading Guild of Artists (RGA), headed by the inspirational Carole Stephens, have collaborated with Reading University’s final year BA primary education with art specialism (QTS) students in an energised exhibition of extraordinary elan and artistic diversity.

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‘The Art of Trees’ at the Turbine House

By Adrian Lawson.

The Turbine house at Blake’s Lock, part of Reading museum and next door to Bel and the Dragon, is worth a visit on its own; it’s a lovely spot and I could easily gaze out the windows at the waters of the Kennet flowing over the Borough weir.

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Trinity Concert Band sizzling summer concert at Leighton Park

Trinity Concert Band. Image (c) TCB

Last Saturday, on a glorious summer’s evening, the fabulous Trinity Concert Band raised the roof of the Michael Malnick Centre at Leighton Park with an evening of dazzling musical entertainment. The concert, under the supremely skilled baton of Paul Speed, celebrated the best of British, honouring the Queen’s birthday, with memorable musical highlights from every decade of her reign.

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After Dark night club licence reviewed in advance of the ‘Reading Riot!’ event on 22 June

This week, Reading Borough Council (RBC) will again review the premises licence for the After Dark night club on London Street. At the last review in April, there had been complaints by local residents of loud music beyond licensed hours, alleged breaches of noise abatement notices, and concern from Thames Valley Police (TVP) about drug use and violence on the premises.

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‘Error 404’ at the Whiteknights campus

‘Machine Gaze’ by Rachel Wyatt. Image courtesy of the University of Reading School of Art.

The Reading University School of Art has opened its degree show to the public this week. The ‘Error 404’ show is an eclectic vision of the sparkling imaginations of the University’s young artists; this year’s show was more upbeat and personable than the introspective emotional torment that seemed de rigueur in previous years.

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‘Harvey’ with the Shinfield Players

By Gillie Tunley and Brenda Sandilands.

Gordon Bird as Elwood P Dowd in ‘Harvey’ at the Shinfield Players Theatre. Photo: Eilish Phillips

The Shinfield Players are staging the charming Harvey, written by Mary Coyle Chase and deftly directed by Maggie Smith. Members of the audience may remember the original version, a huge Broadway success, and the 1950 film version starring James Stewart as the amiable Elwood P Dowd.

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‘(Un)Commoning Voices and (Non)Communal Bodies’ at Brock Keep

By Jack Taylor.

Tali Keren, The Great Seal (2017). Image courtesy of Reading International

In September 1981, thirty-six women chained themselves to the perimeter fence of Greenham Common, protesting against the placement of nuclear weapons at the Berkshire RAF base. The act precipitated the Women’s Peace Camps that surrounded the compound for nearly twenty years. This month, OpenHand OpenSpace Artists’ Studio (OHOS) on the Oxford Road hosts an exhibition inspired by the creativity and dynamism of these women-led protests, inviting artists to interrogate the relationship between artistic practices and protest movements.

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‘One Million Tiny Plays About Reading’ at the Progress Theatre

By Sue Beckett and Adam Harrington.

One Million Tiny Plays About Reading. Photo (c) Aidan Moran.

All human life in Reading is observed in One Million Tiny Plays About Reading at the Progress Theatre this week, a series of vignettes that includes pet funerals on Caversham bridge, chuggers competing for custom on Broad Street, a boy regretting his choice of barber, an awkward marriage proposal on the Oracle ‘beach’ and a touchingly sad picnic at Reading old Cemetery.

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Children helping children at the Hexagon

By Cathy Doberska, head teacher at English Martyrs’ Catholic Primary School.

Children helping children concert 2019. Photo: James Denny

On Tuesday 19 March, pupils from 11 Reading schools took part in the annual Children Helping Children concert at the Hexagon theatre. This included students from south Reading schools including John Madejski Academy, Whitley Park Primary, Christ the King Catholic Primary, Ridgeway Primary and Geoffrey Field Junior.

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‘Jerusalem’ at the Progress Theatre

By Gillie Tunley and Brenda Sandilands.

‘Jerusalem’ at the Progress Theatre. Photo courtesy of the Progress Theatre.

The inspired Progress Theatre Company are staging Jerusalem, the acclaimed and award-winning play by Jez Butterworth. Tautly directed by the insightful John Goodman, it is a savagely funny and anarchic masterpiece of life in our green and pleasant land whose themes of disaffection, poverty and homelessness resonate still now.

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How Reading MPs Matt Rodda and Alok Sharma voted on the 29 January Brexit amendments

The House of Commons voted on seven amendments to the EU (Withdrawal) Act yesterday evening. Reading MPs, Matt Rodda (Labour MP for Reading East) and Alok Sharma (Conservative MP for Reading West), voted opposite ways on six of the seven amendments.

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‘A Christmas Carol’ at the South Street Arts Centre

The ghost of Christmas present from RBL’s ‘A Christmas Carol’. Photo: VIVA photography.

The Reading Between the Lines theatre group is performing Anna Wheatley’s version of A Christmas Carol at Katesgrove’s South Street Arts Centre throughout December. Charles Dickens’ classic novel about a diligent entrepreneur driven to emotional collapse by the health problems of his employee’s children now includes some blindingly good puppetry, several terrific song-and-dance numbers, and a lot more comedy.

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