Reading on Thames Festival 2018


River On Thames Festival 114With the 2018 Reading on Thames Festival just round the corner, it’s high time to get all the insider knowledge on what’s happening. Following the success of 2017’s inaugural festival, this year things are being taken to the next level with a jam-packed line-up of theatre, music and much more.

The Reading on Thames Festival aims to serve as a catalyst for collaboration and partnership across Reading’s creative and cultural sector, the events in this year’s line-up stays true to this theme.


Wednesday 5th September / 10am – 6pm / Turbine House, Riverside Museum, Blake’s Lock

Landscape Energy Structure Art is an exhibition by local artists, Michael Garaway and Lynda South, who present new work observing changing landscapes in and around Reading. Free entry.


Thursday 6th September / 7:30 - 10:30pm / Concert Hall GRRRL

GRRRL (In Place of War ft. Charlotte Adigéry) features influential artists from around the world who have come together to craft a studio and touring project, as well as new musical collaborations under the direction of GRRRL’s musical director Laima Leyton and guest musical director Charlotte Adigéry exclusive to the Reading on Thames Festival. Taking place in the town’s historic and grand Concert Hall, this show-stopping, power-driven piece is a performance you won’t want to miss.

“GRRRL” is In Place of War’s latest project in the charities 16 year history, the majority of which has been spent trying to understand why people make music and art in times of conflict. Evolving from a research organisation to a creative one, the group released an album called 33rpm, featuring 33 different artists from 33 different sites of conflict and revolution, once again tying in with the Reading on Thames Festival theme of collaboration of creators.

Described as a fusing of the sounds of dark techno, ghetto bass, hip hop, dancehall, reggae, soul and electronica, GRRRL is a musical performance to remember. Tickets for the event are £15, with concessions as low as £8, all of which are available via


theodorezeldinFriday 7th September / 5 & 7pm / The Roost, Floor 14, Thames Tower

Feast of Strangers is a unique concept hosted by renowned Oxford University philosopher, historian and author Theodore Zeldin. As you sample the menu, you and your dining partner will work through a menu of different questions. Each diner will reflect on how they are spending their lives, drawing new conclusions from their own experiences and gaining an understanding of one another.

Tickets for Feast of Strangers are £10 with concessions as low as £5, all bookable via


Saturday 8th September / 6:45 – 11pm / Reading Abbey Ruins

Night in the Ruins is an opportunity to experience a fusion of ancient and modern, with a multitude of music alongside a dazzling lightshow in the spectacular Abbey Ruins. The event is the finale to the Abbey’s summer of reopening events and is a fantastic opportunity to listen to a variety of bands in a magnificent setting with an incredible light display. SOLD OUT.


Tuesday 11th September / 7 – 8:30pm / Concert Hall readingtownhall

The High Sheriff of Berkshire’s Concert presents The London Mozart Players, a performance that will leave you captivated, as they celebrate their 70th year. One of the leading chamber orchestras under the direction of Ruth Rogers, the London Mozart Players will present a programme of classical favourites for the High Sheriff’s concert. Performed in the town’s elegant Concert Hall, the evening celebrates all that pure classical music stands for. Tickets are available for £10, with concessions as low as £5, all bookable via


Tuesday 11th September / 7:30m / Reading Film Theatre

Reading Film Theatre presents The Happy Prince, a performance that looks at the life of Oscar Wilde (Rupert Everett) after his release from the Reading Gaol. Tickets are available for various rates via


Thursday 13th September / 7:30pm / Reading Film Theatre

Reading Film Theatre presents I, Daniel Blake, a performance that tells the story of a widowed carpenter, directed by Ken Loach. Tickets are available for various rates via


Friday 14th September / 7pm / Reading Studio, Reading College

The Reading Rep Young Company presents Glitter Face, a witty and humorous performance crafted to throw a new light on the still taboo subject of mental health and discuss how it’s treatments change for those going through big transitions in life.


cirquebijouSaturday 15th September / 6:30 – 9pm / Caversham Court Gardens

Circus Bijou, A Circus Soiree offers an escape to the circus in the stunning setting of Caversham Court Gardens. Roll up to see the Cirque Bijou and their Circus Soiree, fresh from their involvement at the ground-breaking Lumiere London. To help celebrate the 250th anniversary of circus in Britain and across the country, artists, communities and audiences are coming together to celebrate this most accessible, most thrilling and most liberating art forms.

Set in the beautiful atmospheric backdrop of Caversham Court Gardens, Cirque Bijou bring the party to Reading with an immersive evening of most contemporary circus.

Combining traditional skills and daredevil feats with modern technology, live music and sophisticated styling, you will witness beautiful, graceful and inspiring performances supported by entertainment from the communities of Reading, all within this stunning riverside setting.

Tickets are available for this spectacular event for £8, with concessions as low as £5 via


Saturday 15th September / 6pm – Midnight / Various Venues

The Reading Midnight Run is a walking, arts-filled cultural journey through the town’s urban spaces, with the option of dinner. The Reading Midnight Run aims to break down social barriers and provide a platform for established and emerging creatives, bringing moments of genuine interactive creativity. The Reading Midnight Run is also containment for conversation, and will respond and investigate Reading’s secret histories, its heritage and the town today. Tickets are available for £10 or £20, without or with food respectively, with concessions from £5 to £15, bookable via


Saturday 15th September / 10:30am – 2pm / Caversham Pedestrian Bridge

From Town to Boundary is a guided riverside walk in which you can immerse yourself in Reading’s history, dramatic events, famous people, arts, industries, trees and nature and hear some quirky stories. Tickets for this event are free and are bookable by emailing to register your interest.


Sunday 16th September / 1pm & 4pm / Oracle Riverside readingabbeyrbl

Dedication of Reading Abbey is an outdoor historic spectacle at the Oracle Riverside bought to you by the award-winning theatre company, Reading Between the Lines, who also produced last year’s successful performance, Reading’s Royal Burial. Set on the day of the dedication of Reading Abbey, this preview of RBL’s next major performance Henry II, is sure to make for enthralling viewing. Watch as Reading’s fascinating history comes to life courtesy of the expert team from RBL in The Oracle’s award-winning cultural space.


Saturday 15th September & Sunday 16th September / 11am, 2pm & 6pm / Thames Lido

Up, Down and Along is an opportunity to explore the Thames Pathway with award-winning performer Laura Mugridge for stories, comedy and even some dancing. Tales drawn from residents of Reading will unfold around you whilst you walk. Starting at the Thames Lido, Laura will entertain you with music, laughs and stories. The silent disco (headphones play your music while you dance!) is half-way through the walk. The walk will last approximately 70 minutes and is bought to you by Sitelines, in association with the Reading on Thames Festival. Tickets are £7, with concessions starting at £5, all bookable via


Ongoing Events:


Heritage Open Days / 6th – 9th & 13th – 16th / Numerous Venues

An eight-day celebration of Reading’s heritage across two consecutive weekends, with a jam-packed programme of free talks, walks, activities and special openings. From a centuries-old Abbey Gateway, to stunning gardens and places of worship, there is no shortage of magnificent venues to visit. For a full list of venues visit


Terry’s Walking Tours / 7th, 11th & 15th September / 10am / Various Venues

Reading on Thames Walking Tours are bought to you by Reading patron Terry Dixon, who will host three walking tours. Two of the tours will focus to the 2018 nationwide celebration marking the 100-year anniversary of the Representation of the People Act, with the last walk focusing on more general history of the town, as well its impact on world history.

Vote 100 Walking Tour on the 7th will set off from Talbot House, 55 House Castle Street at 10am, and will last approximately 60-75 mins.

Vote 100 Walking Tour on the 11th will set off from The Horn Pub, 2 Castle Street at 10am, and will last 60-75 mins.

Reading Walkabout Tour on the 15th will set off from the Three Guineas Pub by Reading Station at 10am, and will take roughly 150 mins.

To book any of the tours contact Terry by calling 07505 351517


Reading Film Trail / 6th – 16th September / Various Times & Venues

The Reading Film Trail is a fantastic visual film trail, exclusive to the Reading on Thames Festival, taking place at 5 town venues. The Film Trail is responding to Reading’s waterways, heritage and communities curated by The London Short Film Festival.


For full details on the Reading on Thames Festival visit To keep up to date with what’s on in Reading follow us on Twitter and Instagram @livingreading.


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