The Beacon

The Beacon
Portway, Wantage, Oxfordshire, OX12 9BX
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Events at this venue

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Andrew Martin - Night Trains: The Rise & Fall Of The Sleeper

Historian, barrister and crime writer Andrew Martin has written a compelling social history on a way of travel that now belongs to a bygone age. A prolific and enthusiastic travel writer, Andrew paints a vivid picture of famous trains of yesteryear such as the Orient Express, combining genuine nostalgia with a…

Wed 25 Oct

£8

Ann Thwaite - Goodbye Christopher Robin - A A Milne And The Making Of Winnie The Pooh

AA Milne may be best known as a children's author but, as Whitbread Prize-winning biographer Ann Thwaite reveals, he was considerably more than just that: a playwright, a writer and editor for Punch magazine, a political commentator and a lifelong friend of both H G Wells and J M Barrie. In a talk perfectly timed to…

Fri 27 Oct

£6

Cara Dillon

Cara Dillon has one of those rare talents you only come across a handful times in your life. Her crystalline, angelic voice has the ability to reach inside the soul of a song with profound sweetness, poignancy and depth. Come and join the exceptional Cara Dillon for a night of Christmas songs in what will undoubtedly…

Fri 8 Sep

£20

Chris Parry - Sea Power In The Falklands And Today

Rear Admiral Chris Parry, a 28 year old helicopter observer in the Falklands war, rose to become Commander, Amphibious Task Group before pursuing a career as a writer and broadcaster. He specialises in strategic forecasting in the maritime and marine environment. This talk, based on his books Down South and Super Highway…

Sat 21 Oct

£8

Claire Fuller - Swimming Lessons

Claire Fuller started writing when she was 40. Swimming Lessons tells the thought provoking story of Ingrid Coleman who writes letters to her husband Gil about the truth of their marriage, but decides not to send them. Instead, she decides to hide them within the thousands of books her husband collects. Will they ever be…

Sat 28 Oct

£7

Claire Guest - Medical Detection Dogs

Some animals are just amazing: Bio-detection dogs are trained to detect the odour of diseases such as cancer, while Medical Alert Assistance Dogs detect minute changes in an individual's personal odour to alert them to an impending medical event such as a blood-sugar crash. Dr Claire Guest, the Director and co-founder of…

Tue 24 Oct

£5

Clara Vulliamy - Mary Plain - Family Ticket

Daughter of celebrated Shirley Hughes, Clara Vulliamy has revamped the timeless Mary Plain books by Gwynedd Rae with her delightful illustrations. Mary Plain is a mischievous bear who seems to find herself getting into all sorts of scrapes and adventures. Clara's funny and energetic illustrations bring Mary to life so If…

Thu 26 Oct

£10

Clara Vulliamy - Mary Plain - Individual Ticket

Daughter of celebrated Shirley Hughes, Clara Vulliamy has revamped the timeless Mary Plain books by Gwynedd Rae with her delightful illustrations. Mary Plain is a mischievous bear who seems to find herself getting into all sorts of scrapes and adventures. Clara's funny and energetic illustrations bring Mary to life so If…

Thu 26 Oct

£3

Clover Stroud - The Wild Other Including Afternoon Tea

Following her mother's traumatic riding accident Clover sought solace in wild horses and wild living. She travelled the world before returning to settle in the Vale. Clover is a freelance writer with the national papers.

Tue 24 Oct

£12.50

Comedy Club 4 Kids

Since 2005, the Comedy Club 4 Kids has been getting the best stand-ups and sketch acts from the international circuit to do their thing for an audience of children (aged 6+) and their families… but without the rude bits! A decade later, the company has expanded from one London residency to being countrywide, running shows…

Fri 16 Feb 2018

£9

Comedy: Johnny Cochrane | Tez Ilyas | Kate Lucas | Mo Gilligan

Join us for some festive funs with a fantastic line-up of some of Britain's hottest comic talent. Tez Ilyas achieved phenomenal success with his debut stand-up, with sell-out runs and his own Radio 4 series, with a second series coming this year. Award winning musical comedian Kate Lucas is known for her razor-sharp…

Fri 22 Dec

£15

Dinah Jefferies - Before The Rains

Best selling historical fiction author Dinah Jefferies was born in Malaysia and moved to England when she was eight. Her previous novels include The Tea Planter's Wife and The Silk Merchant's Daughter. Before the Rains is her fourth novel.

Sat 21 Oct

£8

Emily Midorikawa And Emma Claire Sweeney - A Secret Sisterhood

A Secret Sisterhood explores the hidden relationships sometimes supportive, sometimes scandalous, of Jane Austen, Charlotte Brontë, George Eliot, Virginia Wolf, Emily Bronte and others in their lifetimes. Emily Midorikawa and Emma Claire Sweeney co-run 'Something Rhymed', a website celebrating female literary…

Mon 23 Oct

£8

Gary Sheffield - Wellington & Haig

Gary Sheffield is a leading military historian and has published widely, particularly on WWI. Professor of War Studies at Wolverhampton University, Gary is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society, who often appears on radio and television and writes for BBC History Magazine and History Today. This talk on two of the big…

Wed 25 Oct

£5

Geraldine Mccaughrean - Where The World Ends - Family Ticket

Summer 1727; a group of men and boys are put ashore on a remote sea stack to harvest birds for food. No one returns to collect them. Surely nothing but the end of the world can explain their abandonment. How can they survive? Geraldine McCaughrean has written over 170 books. Known best for her children's books The Kite…

Sat 28 Oct

£3

Ghostwriters - Adventures Of The Improvised Sherlock Holmes

The stars of UK comedy improvisation take us on a thrilling new adventure packed with shady villains, red herrings and the brilliant deductions of London's great detective. A completely spontaneous and exceedingly engrossing mystery tale unfolds before you, with rollicking plot twists and hilarious characters based on…

Sat 28 Oct

£12

The Hunting of the Snark

  • Directed by: Gemma Colclough
  • Written by: Gareth Cooper (music & lyrics)

Musical comedy inspired by Lewis Carroll's nonsense poem.

Sun 29 Oct

£12

Jenni Murray - A History Of Britain In 21 Women

Jenni Murray has presented BBC Radio 4's Woman's Hour for nearly thirty years. Her most recent book presents a history of Britain as you've never seen it before. Boadicea, Nancy Astor, Emmeline Pankhurst and Mary Quant are some of the very different women whose lives embodied hope and change. Age 12+. Children under 18…

Sat 28 Oct

£12

Jeremy Hardy

Mr Hardy is a stalwart of BBC Radio 4 comedy including The News Quiz and I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue. Now's your chance to see Jeremy out on his own, peddling his intelligent satire and gentle musings across the country.

Sat 30 Sep

£14

Kate Hamer - The Doll Funeral

Kate Hamer grew up in Pembrokeshire. Her first novel The Girl in the Red Coat was a Sunday Times bestseller and was shortlisted for the Costa First Book Award. Kate will talk about this novel and its compelling follow-up The Doll Funeral a dark and glittering new novel, which is as gripping as it is gorgeously written.

Sun 22 Oct

£7

Korky Paul - Winnie The Witch

Korky Paul, the energetic, interactive illustrator welcomes you to the wonderful world of Winnie the Witch. In this fast-paced, fun-filled reading aloud workshop, Korky demonstrates how to draw for children in a way that is colourful, energetic, witty and animated. This will be an interactive workshop of reading, drawing…

Sat 21 Oct

£3 some concessions

Laura Barnett - Greatest Hits

Laura is a freelance writer, arts journalist and art critic. Her debut novel was Number 1 in The Sunday Times bestseller list. Her latest book Greatest Hits concerns a singer coming out of retirement to produce a greatest hits album. This novel is a collaboration with Mercury singer-songwriter Kathryn Williams, who…

Sun 22 Oct

£7

Lucy Atkins - The Night Visitor

Lucy Atkins is an award-winning feature journalist and author who has written several non-fiction books and novels. Today Lucy talks about her new book, the noir thriller The Night Visitor and also her previous bestselling novels The Missing One and The Other Child. Lucy regularly chairs events at Literary Festivals, and…

Sun 22 Oct

£7

Lucy Ayrton - Poetry

Performance poet Lucy Ayrton takes a look at tragedies she has encountered and questions why we are attracted to stories with an unhappy ending. Warm, funny and entertaining. Ages 12+. Children and young people under 18 must be accompanied by an adult at all times.

Sat 21 Oct

£6

Melanie Windridge - Aurora

Dr Melanie Windridge is a plasma physicist, lecturer and writer with a taste for adventure. Do we really understand the Aurora? Her talk brings together space, place and science in style, and her new book Aurora describes a journey through the Arctic Circle, culminating in a spectacular solar eclipse, whilst exploring the…

Thu 26 Oct

£8

Morgan & West: More Magic For Kids

The time-travelling duo present a show full of feats of magic with cards, blindfolds, cups, balls - and clever references to quantum waveforms and theoretic physics.

Sat 18 Nov

£10

Morgan & West: Time-Travelling Magicians

Time travelling magic duo both claim to have been born into Victorian England in 1865. Their magic is of the old-fashioned, music-hall variety with cards, blindfolds, cups, balls - and clever references to quantum waveforms and theoretic physics. Hipsters will love the steampunk aesthetic, but the kids will just be…

Sat 18 Nov

£13

National Theatre Live: Hamlet

  • 2015
  • 4h
  • 12A
  • Directed by: Lyndsey Turner
  • Cast: Benedict Cumberbatch

Benedict Cumberbatch takes on the title role of Shakespeare’s great tragedy.

Fri 6 Oct

£15

National Theatre Live: Yerma

Billie Piper returns in her Evening Standard Best Actress award-winning role. A young woman is driven to the unthinkable by her desperate desire to have a child in Simon Stone’s radical production of Lorca’s masterpiece. Please note that this performance contains some strobe lighting.

Thu 31 Aug

£15

National Theatre Live: Young Marx

Rory Kinnear (The Threepenny Opera, Penny Dreadful, Othello) is Marx and Oliver Chris (Twelfth Night, Green Wing) is Engels, in this new comedy written by Richard Bean and Clive Coleman. Broadcast live from The Bridge Theatre, London, the production is directed by Nicholas Hytner and reunites the creative team behind…

Mon 18 Dec

£15

Nicholas Rankin - Telegram From Guernica

Nicholas Rankin, author and a BBC World Service journalist for 20 years, talks about George Steer, one of our greatest pre-WWII war correspondents. A legend in his lifetime, Steer covered the Spanish Civil War and alerted the world to the atrocities of Nazi Germany's bombing of Guernica 80 years ago. Steer's dispatches to…

Sun 22 Oct

£10

Opera On Film: L'elisir D'amore'

(The Elixir of Love - Gartano Donisetti) Thursday 14 September | 7.00pm | £12 (inlcuding a complimentary glass of wine / soft drink) Tickets available via The Beacon Box Office: 01235 763 456 An Opera Unmasked presentation of an opera on film: the terrific Vienna State Opera 2005 production, starring Anna Netrebko, Leo…

Thu 14 Sep

Free

Panto: Dick Whittington

"Join our hero ‘Dick Whittington’ on an adventure to London, where the streets are paved with gold, to seek your fortune. TaleGate Theatre Productions is now in it’s ninth year touring the UK. ‘Dick Whittington’ promises to be our funniest and most spectacular pantomime ever! Packed with songs, slapstick, silliness…

Thu 21 Dec

£8.50–£32

Sat 23 Dec

£8.50–£32

Paul Kerensa - Hark! The Biography Of Christmas

BBC Comedy award-winning stand-up comedian Paul Karensa opens the door on twelve dates that make our present Christmas, from Christ to Bing Crosby via Santa, Slade and Scrooge. Its history, as told by Paul, covers ancient traditions and industrial advancements Scandinavian midwinter food storage, Germanic legends and the…

Fri 27 Oct

£7

Piers Bizony - Moonshots: 50 Years Of Nasa Space Exploration

Piers Bizony is a science author, journalist and space historian specialising in outer space and technology. His new book Moonshots, using NASA archives of Hasselblad images, centres on the Apollo voyages of nearly 60 years ago, but also features fabulous images from Gemini missions to the Space Shuttle Programme. Here…

Mon 23 Oct

£8

Piers Brendon - Edward Viii - The Uncrowned King

Cambridge academic Dr Piers Brendon is a freelance journalist and writer. A past Keeper of the Churchill Archives Centre, a repository of the papers of many famous figures, Dr Brendon talks about his highly engaging book on the abdication 80 years ago, an event which continues to cast a long shadow over the monarchy to…

Mon 23 Oct

£9

Rich Hall: 3:10 to Humour

The latest musings from the deadpan grouch, star of ridiculous amount of stuff on the tellybox and a favourite at the Fringe each year.

Fri 27 Oct

Sold out

Rich Hall's Hoedown

Rich Hall and friends host a mash-up of music and stand-up featuring the Hoedown's regular band.

Fri 27 Oct

£17

Rick Stroud - Lonely Courage: The True Story Of The Soe Heroines

Rick Stroud is a writer and television director who has worked on a variety of programmes ranging from Coronation Street to Brideshead Revisited. His latest book presents the moving account of the female Special Operations Executive (SOE) agents who were secretly sent to Nazi-held France to help the Resistance. He focuses…

Wed 25 Oct

£9

Robin Jarossi - The Hunt For The 60s Ripper

Robin Jarossi is a London based freelance journalist and writer with a penchant for crime stories. The Hunt for the 60s Ripper is an evocative and thought-provoking reinvestigation of a meticulous serial killer stalking London prostitutes. Some 8 victims were involved and, despite sparking the biggest police manhunt in…

Sun 22 Oct

£8

Sarah Outen - Dare To Do

Sarah Outen revels in arduous expeditions by land and sea and recently completed a 4½ year loop of the planet using muscle power alone: London2London: Via the World. Her book Dare To Do relates the adventures behind this feat and the many triumphs and trials encountered. Her talk will evoke the spirit of travel, the raw…

Sun 22 Oct

£7

Susie Dent - Modern Tribes

Susie Dent's new book explores the secret languages of Britain. It looks at how groups such as sports fans, members of professional organisations and hobbyists have all developed their own private linguistic codes, and how this has created new tribal identities. A well-known lexicographer and regular contributor on…

Sat 28 Oct

£10

T-Rextasy

Longstanding, respected T-Rex tribute act. Glam rockers, brace yourselves.

Fri 15 Dec

£20

Their Finest

  • 3 stars
  • 2016
  • UK
  • 1h 57min
  • 12A
  • Directed by: Lone Scherfig
  • Cast: Gemma Arterton, Sam Claflin, Bill Nighy
  • UK release: 21 April 2017

London, 1940: fledgling screenwriter Catrin Cole (Arterton) joins the Ministry of Information’s Film Division and starts working on a propaganda movie. Scherfig wraps the war in a cosy cloak of nostalgia in a way that dulls moments of high anxiety, and despite a fine ensemble it’s all too muffled and mild-mannered.

Fri 29 Sep

£5

Tim Wotton - How Have I Cheated Death

Born with the killer illness cystic fibrosis, Tim Wotton truly appreciates that life is fragile and precious. He spends every day overcoming adversity against all odds and typifies the resilience required to endure what cannot be cured, while managing a normal family life and making every day feel extraordinary. Tim's…

Wed 25 Oct

£7

The Zoots

The Zoots perform the sounds of the 60s.

Fri 30 Mar 2018

£15

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