Throwaway! at South Street

Throwaway! was a hilariously funny show; two actresses and a sound man from Det Andre Teatret in Oslo improvised on discarded and broken objects, some of which had been brought along by the audience.

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Conversations with Trees: Friday night at the Fringe

From L to R: Fiona Talkington, Thomas Strønen, Jackie Oates, Zsuzsi Lindsay, Hannah James, Helen Jukes

Friday night was a BIG NIGHT for the Reading Fringe. Conversations with Trees was a unique musical collaboration specially curated by Fiona Talkington with Thomas Strønen, Hannah James and Jackie Oates. The group had only been brought together a few days before and delivered a thoughtful, tense and emotional piece which was rapturously received by the audience in St Mary’s Minster.

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HARTMANNMUELLER at Reading Fringe

The Fringe team with Simon HARTMANN and Daniel Ernesto MUELLER (third and fourth from left)

As the hottest day of the year so far cooled into the evening, there could have been few better places to be than in the garden of the Museum of English Rural Life (MERL) on Redlands Road waiting for HARTMANNMUELLER‘s performance of In Danger [German title: in noT] to begin. Gradually, conversations in the audience halted as we realised that it had already started – what had we missed?

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A spellbinding ‘King Lear’ at Reading Abbey

By Gillie Tunley and Brenda Sandilands.

King Lear at Reading Abbey (2019). Photo (c) Richard Brown.

The prodigiously talented Progress Theatre Company are staging Shakespeare’s King Lear in the atmospheric surrounds of Reading Abbey this month. This harrowing tale of human folly is directed with shimmering insight by Dan Clarke, assisted by Louisa Cowell and Matt Urwin and produced by the inspirational Carole Brown.

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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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