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Celebrating arts & culture – University of Reading

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Celebrating arts & culture

Supported by University Arts CommitteeThe University has a rich cultural heritage and our campuses are alive with activity all year round. Each summer the University becomes a hive of activity, showcasing our very best in the arts, music, museums, film and theatre, showcasing our talented students and staff from across the institution.

See below for highlights of our 2016 Celebration:

Harris Garden Charity Open Days

Harris Garden charity open dayJoin the Friends of the Harris Garden as they open up the University's beautiful 12 acre garden to raise money for good causes.

Find out more about the Friends of the Harris Garden

Reading Film Theatre

Reading Film TheatreReading Film Theatre is an independent, not-for-profit cinema run by volunteers who are passionate about film. The University is delighted to support RFT, which is based on the Whiteknights campus.

Find out more about Reading Film Theatre

Image: Hail, Caesar! (12A) showing on Tuesday 19 April

Music Recitals: BA (Ed) final year students

Wednesday 20 April and Friday 22 April |12.30pm - 1.45pm
Wednesday 11 May | 9.30am - 12.00pm

G01, Music Centre, Building L29, London Road campus

BA ed recitals 2016The Institute of Education presents this special showcase of performances by finalists studying BA (Ed) Primary Education with music specialism. Come and enjoy a mixed programme of solo recitals from our third year students, and experience a range of different musical  styles and genres.

Admission free, all welcome. For more information, contact Rebecca Berkley: 
or call 0118 378 2694

Inside Robot Theatre

What happens when robots (and children) take  to the stage?

Wednesday 20 April | 7.30pm
Minghella Building, Whiteknights campus

Inside Robot TheatreThe Department of Film, Theatre & Television is delighted to present this special event. This performance-lecture asks: if we think about the robot as a performer, what does this teach us about performance, theatre and ourselves as human beings in a post-human world?

Admission free, places are limited.
Click here to book your place

Lunchtime Concert Series

Music Centre, Building L29, London Road campus

Ensemble in Residence 2016We host a free series of lunchtime concert that take place on the first Wednesday of the month during term-time. Concerts feature a wide variety of performers, from solo artists to large ensembles. They showcase our talented students and staff, as well as visiting professionals

Wednesday 4 May | 1.10pm - 1.50pm

University of Reading Ensemble in Residence: Perfect Fifth

Wednesday 1 June | 1.10pm - 1.50pm

Luca Luciano, clarinet and Paolo Lossi, piano

Admission free, all welcome.

Image: Perfect Fifth

Theatre Arts, Education and Deaf Studies Productions

Experience unique visual theatre performances by students at the Institute of Education.

Second year productions

Thursday 5 May | 2.00pm and 7.30pm
Van Emden Theatre, HumSS Building, Whiteknights campus

Students in their second year of study will delight and amaze the audience with two visual theatre performances incorporating the use of Sign Theatre, which is uniquely delivered at Reading. Once piece is based on scenes from Shakespeare's Macbeth, and the other from George Buchner's Woyzeck.

First year productions

Wednesday 11 May | 11.00am and 7.30pm
TAEDS Studio, Building L05, London Road campus

Students in their first year of study will present a Sign and Visual Theatre adaptation of The Pastor's Speech from Henrik Ibsen's Peer Gynt. A play that tells a story addressing diversity, society, trust, honour and disability, this classic from 1867 still resonates in the world today.

Admission free, places are limited. To book a place, contact or call 0118 378 2611

Find out more about our Institute of Education

In Conversation with Duncan Macmillan

Thursday 5 May | 6.00pm
Minghella Building, Whiteknights campus

Duncan MacmillanThe Department of Film, Theatre & Television is delighted to present this event with prize winning playwright and director Duncan Macmillan, an alumnus of the Department.

Duncan has written extensively for theatre in addition to working in radio, television and film. After a sold-out run at the National Theatre, his play People, Places and Things, which has been nominated for an Olivier Award for Best New Play, has recently transferred to the Wyndhams Theatre London.

Admission free, places are limited. To book a place, contact

Choral Gala

Saturday 4 June | 7.00pm
Reading Concert Hall, Blagrave Street, Reading RG1 1QH

Choral Gala 2016A special concert bringing together the University of Reading Chorus, Chamber Choir and Symphony Orchestra with local schoolchildren.

Holst: St Paul's Suite

George Shearing: Songs and Sonnets from Shakespeare

Handel: Zadok the Priest

Conductors: Rebecca Berkley, Paul Cox and Sam Evans

Tickets: £15 / £12 concessions (inclusive of booking fee). 

Click here to buy tickets from the Reading Arts Box Office

The Big Band Big Lunch

Sunday 5 June | from 12.00pm onwards
London Road campus

Big Band Big Lunch 2016We're delighted to present the second annual Big Band Big Lunch on our historic London Road campus. Join the festivities as we bring the University and local communities together over lunch, and celebrate the University's 90th Anniversary year.

Featuring music from the University of Reading Big Band throughout the afternoon, plus family-friendly activities.

Admission free, all welcome.

Department of Art degree show

Friday 3 - Sunday 12 June | 10.00am - 4.00pm
Department of Art, Building TOB1, Earley Gate, Whiteknights campus

Art Degree Show 2016The Department of Art presents their finalist degree show, showcasing the exciting work from our talented artists at Reading. See thoughtful, witty and striking pieces, including painting, installations, performances and film from graduating students.

The exhibition will also be part of the Whiteknights Studio Trail 

Admission free, all welcome.  Find out more about our Department of Art

Reading University Drama Society's 24-hour musical

Tuesday 7 June | 7.30pm
3 Sixty, Reading University Students' Union

RUDS 24-hr musical 2016The RUDS 24-hour charity musical is a spectacular event cast, rehearsed and performed in the space of 24 hours. All in aid of the Ollie Young Foundation, the Reading University Drama Society are back for a fourth year, creating another full-scale musical in just 24 hours!

Fun for all the family, and definitely not one to miss...

The Ollie Young Foundation is a local charity that funds targeted paediatric brain tumour research and support:

Tickets: £10 / £8 concessions / £5 U17s

Click here to buy tickets

Typography & Graphic Communication degree show

Tuesday 7 - Saturday 11 June | 9.00am - 5.00pm
Department of Typography & Graphic Communication, Building TOB2, Earley Gate, Whiteknights campus

Typography & Graphic Communication degree show 2016Shows featuring a wide spectrum of design projects for print and screen by students on our BA Graphic Communication, MA Book Design, and MA Information Design programmes. Work includes books, magazines, packaging, branding, websites, apps, exhibitions, wayfinding systems, motion image, and much more.

Admission free, all welcome. Find out more about our Department of Typography and Graphic Communication

Reading University Music Society Summer Concert

Friday 10 June | 7.00pm
Wantage Hall, Upper Redlands Road, RG1 5JG

RUMS summer concert 2016You are warmly invited to join the Reading University Music Society for their annual Summer Concert. Bring your own picnic and listen to a variety of music from the Samba Band, Jazz Band, Choir and many more of our talented student ensembles.

Admission free, all welcome.

Find out more, visit the Reading University Music Society website

Whiteknights Studio Trail

Saturday 11 - Sunday 12 June | 11.00am - 6.00pm
University area

Whiteknights studio trail 2016This year's trail includes the University's Department of Art degree show.

The Whiteknights Studio Trail is a fantastic opportunity to see a fabulous range of art and crafts in the Whiteknights area of Reading. This free event, in its 16th year, gives visitors the unique chance to meet local artists and see their work, methods and tools in their studios, homes and public buildings.

Find out more about the Whiteknights Studio Trail

Image by Celeste Kelly

Reading Guild of Artists' Summer Show: featuring the Institute of Education BA (Ed) Art

Thursday 16 - Sunday 26 June | 10.00am - 4.00pm
Art Building (L04), London Road campus

RGA and IoE Art exhibition 2016The Institute of Education is delighted to host the Reading Guild of Artists' Summer Show, ten days of workshops and activities around a stunning exhibition, which features work by our final year students studying BA (Ed) Art.

Admission to the exhibition is free. For some of the workshops there may be a charge. 

Find out more about the Reading Guild of Artists 


Museums and Special Collections events

Our University museums offer a host of events and activities inspired by the collections held here at Reading.

  • Find out about the exciting Our Country Lives redevelopment project at the Museum of English Rural Life, and the events and exhibitions that are running at the museum
  • Visit the Ure Museum of Greek Archaeology and take part in a fantastic family activity

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