Things to do in Reading | Entertainment

From live music to West End musicals, and laugh out loud comedy sessions to table-topping sporting action, there’s so much to see and do in Reading.


While there’s no huge live music venue that dominates the scene in Reading, there are several smaller spaces which cater to a wide range of musical acts.

The Purple Turtle is a genuine Reading icon. Running since 1990, the two-level club puts on a variety of club nights and live music sessions spanning hip-hop, funk, indie, reggae and more. And, if you need to give your ears a break, head to their heated garden for a game of table football.

Purple Turtle


Just as important is Sub89 located on Friar Street, a short walk from the train station. Opened in 2009, the venue has welcomed a huge array of stars to its underground space including Ed Sheeran, Gary Numan and Babyshambles as well as DJ sets from 2ManyDJs and Subfocus.  

Spread over two rooms, Face Bar can hold up to 500 guests and largely books rock, blues and metal acts as well as running popular alternative club nights. They also do a strong line of tribute acts including Motorhead and Pearl Jam.


A leading light in Reading’s entertainment scene, The Hexagon is a 1,700-capacity theatre that programs a wide array of events including live music, theatrical shows, musicals and stand-up comedy.

Built in a hexagon shape for acoustic reasons, the venue dates back to 1977 and has welcomed big-name guests including Morrissey, Jimmy Carr and the English National Ballet to its stage. Close to the Broad Street Mall, the Hexagon is only a short walk from our Reading Central hotel.

The Hexagon

Set up in 1947, the Progress Theatre is the oldest producing theatre in town. Located to the south of the town centre off Christchurch Road, this intimate theatre holds just 96 seats, with several self-funded productions running each month spanning musicals, family events and original plays.

A unique proposition, The Mill at Sonning is the UK’s only dinner theatre and has been running for 30 years. A self-contained night out, you can rock up for drinks at the Water Wheel Bar overlooking the Thames, tuck into the buffet-style food and then head to the 215-seat theatre where they put on a range of self-produced plays and shows. And, on Friday and Saturday evenings, the party continues back in the bar with the resident live band.


With 21 sides spanning men’s, women’s, girls’ and junior rugby teams, there’s always a match to watch at Reading Rugby Club. The first XV play in the Southern Counties North league, effectively the sixth tier of the national rugby league. Home games are held at their ground in Sonning, several miles to the east of the town centre, and while they’re an amateur club, the rugby is often of a good and competitive standard.

An athletics venue with its own velodrome, Palmer Park Sports Stadium is located near the Reading Rugby Club in Sonning. Set across gorgeous parkland, the stadium has a full athletics field, floodlit football pitch, gym, children’s playground and café and runs a series of classes and sessions including spinning, boot camp and yoga.

Reading Football Club and London Irish rugby union both play home matches at the Madejski Stadium which is a 10-minute drive away from our Reading South hotel.

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