The Urban Guide to the Countryside
Bucks & Oxon Edition

Category: Theatre

Muddy reviews: Evita at New Theatre, Oxford

9 Mar 2017

Don’t cry for me, Muddy readers, the truth is I’ll never leave YOUUUUUU…. Fresh from a sell-out West End run and and newly arrived in our ‘hood, Evita has been at the New Theatre this week and lucky old Sascha who works with me at Muddy went along last night with a group of girlies to see it.

The production at Oxford’s New Theatre, which runs until Sat 11 March, stars Emma Hatton, recently seen in Wicked in the West End, as Eva Peron, the rags-to-riches wife of former Argentine dictator Juan Peron – she’s brilliant, according to Sascha, but also it’s worth keeping an eye out for Che played by Gian Marco Schiaretti – very easy on the eye apparently (hey, don’t shoot the messenger!) with lots of muscles and the now obligatory shirt-removal moment.

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Muddy reviews: Wonderland at New Theatre, Oxford

22 Feb 2017

With Hero mainlining pina coladas on a sun lounger in Barbados (while plotting Muddy’s imminent world domination, naturally), we despatched our resident culture vulture, Sarah Taylor, to Oxford’s New Theatre to review the brand new musical, Wonderland, last night. It’s on until Saturday, so nab those tickets pronto! Over to you, Sarah….

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8 things to do this weekend (17-18 Dec)

16 Dec 2016

It’s Christmaaaas! Starting to resemble a mince pie yet? Bailey’s running through your veins? Us too – and we’re not stopping until January. Continue the carousing at one of these excellent local events.


Paul Beatty at the Sheldonian, Fri Dec 16

Literary lovers listen up – this is something of a coup. The winner of this year’s Man Booker Prize, Paul Beatty, is in town this Friday to talk about The Sellout.

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Review: ‘Aladdin’ at the Aylesbury Waterside

12 Dec 2016

I’m just back from Aylesbury Waterside Theatre and onto my computer to give you my hot-off-the-panto press verdict on Aladdin starring EastEnders‘ Michelle Collins and TOWIE‘s Jasmin Walia. To put it succinctly – because I’m knackered! – I think you’ll love it. There, shall I go to bed now? What do you mean no?!


Most pantos cover all the predicable bases of including a couple of strong singers, a couple of strong actors (oh, a bridge too far?) a cross-dresser, a token local performer and core of under-drilled ,over-extended backing dancers. 

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See this: Dirty Dancing reviewed (Aylesbury Waterside)

20 Sep 2016

Watching the first night of the  Dirty Dancing musical at the Aylesbury Waterside last night was almost exactly like watching the movie (which is no bad thing, let’s face it), but with added hysteria and dangerously high oestrogen emissions. Put ten Dreamboys concerts back to back and raise the age of the audience by twenty years and you’re getting the idea.

The script, intonation, movements, dancing, even Baby’s hair for Chrissakes, were doppelgangers for the original which made the theatre experience a very comfortable, almost kitsch experience.

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Peter Pan in Scarlet

6 Jul 2016

If the thought of impending seven weeks of child-led holiday madness is giving you the sweats (*breathe, breathe*), either because you have little people yourself, or because you want to keep other people’s children at arm’s length – or both! – be assured that your trusty Muddy Guide will be taking your hand, giving it a reassuring squeeze and leading you through the very best things to do in Oxon, Bucks and beyond every week through the summer.

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See this: new comedy at The Potters Arms

26 Jun 2016

Just a quickie, because I’ve spotted two new comedy nights approaching at The Potter’s Arms in Winchmore Hill and wanted to let you know about them. We’re pretty well provided for in the big theatre venues for A-list comedians, but this little powerhouse of a pub near Amersham has all the big names wanting to play at it, and in April held a brilliant three day comedy festival headlined by Lee Hurst.

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See this: Matthew Bourne’s Sleeping Beauty

25 May 2016

Just a quickie review this, because I need to let you know before it ends on Saturday.  I went to the Wycombe Swan last night to see the opening night of Matthew Bourne’s Sleeping Beauty and it was every bit as incredible as I’ve been banging on about in the Muddy Guide. This revived 2012 ballet is on its last few days in the UK before it disappears to South Korea, so I am flagwaving madly.

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REVIEW: The Bodyguard, New Theatre Oxford

12 Nov 2015

The outfits! The dancing! The lights! The all-out crowd-pleasing campness! Yes, I’m just back from The Bodyguard at the New Theatre in Oxford, starring Alexandra Burke and some bloke who looks like Eric Cantona (Stuart Reid as it happens, above, no doubt brilliant at the karate tackle) and still slightly dazed by the spectacle.

This is a musical, based of course on the Whitney-and-Kevin snogfest, that makes no apology for all out commercial use of Whitney’s incredible back-catalogue.

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Panto frenzy

11 Nov 2015

Never mind buying Christmas presents or organising your diary for the party season the important question is – have you booked your panto yet? Here on Muddy we take the art of panto very seriously (oh yes we do), and will travel some distance to get to the best one! As usual there are some big names involved, and daft but inspired casting, and we’ve researched all the best local pantos, plus the big guns further afield for your delectation.

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Bucks & Oxon Edition