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The Muddy Guide: What’s On Thurs 17 – Weds 23 March

Loads on this week around Bucks and Oxon – it really feels like the fun is cranking up for Spring. Out you go and have some fun!

Austen’s Women, Arts at the Old Fire Station, Fri 18 March

Mr Darcy! A sell-out Edinburgh Festival hit, this play takes 13 of Jane Austen’s heroines in this bold revisiting of some of literature’s most celebrated works using only Austen’s words. Rebecca Vaughan (Dalloway, I, Elizabeth, Female Gothic) becomes Emma Woodhouse, Lizzy Bennet, Mrs Norris, Miss Bates and nine other beautifully observed women in critical moments from Austen’s major novels and lesser known or unfinished works. Directed by Olivier Award winner, Guy Masterson.

Arts at the Old Fire Station, 40 George St, Oxford,

Hackney Colliery Band, Cornerstone Arts, Didcot, Fri 18 March

The only act to play fully live at the closing ceremony of the London Olympics, Hackney Colliery Band are a supercool 9 piece brass, drum and percussion outfit playing a mix of Balkan beats, jazz, soul, rock, afrobeat and hip hop. They’ve collaborated in the past with Amy Winehouse and Eliza Doolittle, and now they’re coming to the Cornerstone. Should be awesome.

Cornerstone Arts Centre, 25 Station Rd, Didcot,

The Gruffalo Experience, Milton Hall, Centre: MK, now to Sun 10 April


Launched in March last year,  The Gruffalo Experience is an interactive journey into the deep dark wood, as if you’ve stepped into the pages of tehe book, complete with trees, woodland sounds, a fox’s den and the Gruffalo himself. Find it in a temporary structure outside John Lewis inside centre: mk.
£7.95 per person for children and adults Under Two’s are free of charge. Middleton Hall, Centre: MK, the
Single Spies, Oxford Playhouse, Mon 21 – Sat 26 March
single spies

Alan Bennett’s award-winning comedy chronicles the lives of Guy Burgess and Anthony Blunt, two members of the notorious ‘Cambridge Five’ spy ring in the 1950s. Olivier-nominated Rachel Kavanaugh directs a star cast including Nicholas Farrell (The Iron Lady, Legend), Belinda Lang (2point4 Children) and David Robb (Downton Abbey, Wolf Hall).

Oxford Playhouse, Beaumont St,

Goodnight Mister Tom, New Theatre, Oxford, Tues 22 – Sat 26 March

mister tom
The Olivier award-winning Chichester Festival Theatre production of Michelle Magorian’s Goodnight Mister Tom comes to the New Theatre. Set during the dangerous build up to the Second World War, Goodnight Mister Tom follows young William Beech, who is evacuated to the idyllic English countryside and forges a remarkable and heart warming friendship with the elderly recluse, Tom Oakley. All is perfect until William is suddenly summoned by his mother back to London. A real hankie blower.

New Theatre, George St, Oxford,

Gromit Model Making with Aardman Animations, Story Museum, Sat 19 March


Aardman, the creators behind Shaun the Sheep, Wallace & Gromit and Morph offer some ewe-nique workshops and the opportunity to learn from an Aardman expert model maker at Oxford’s The Story Museum. Kids 8+ will make a Gromit clay model to take home and the chance  to ask questions about the tricks of the trade from the Oscar-winning experts.

All children must be accompanied by an adult. Both adults and children must have a ticket to attend. The Story Museum, 42 Pembroke St, Oxford,

Here be Monsters, Chipping Norton Theatre, Sat 19 March


An action packed new version of the hit children’s book is performed by 5 actor musicians, with a mixture of story-telling and music. A sweet option for littlies 3+.

The Theatre Chipping Norton, 2 Spring St, Chipping Norton,

Pub Quiz, The Quince Tree, Stonor, Thurs 17 March

quince tree
I’ve been swotting up on my Top 40 and soaps ready for the first Muddy foray into Pub Quizzes. Nothing less than last place will do. The Quince Tree quiz will be on every Thursday from this first week so I’ll let you know how it goes, but frankly you’ve got to love a Pub Quiz with a ‘rollover’ question for cash, vouchers, drinks and foodie treats.

8pm start every Thursday from 17 March, with a £2.00 entry cost per person & teams can be made up of up to six people. No need to book. The Quince Tree, Henley-on-Thames, Oxfordshire,

Annie, Aylesbury Waterside, Mon 14 – Sat 19 March

Photo Paul Coltas

Photo Paul Coltas

I saw this on Monday and really enjoyed it (read my review here). This well-received production of Annie stars Birds of a Feather’s Lesley Joseph as the tyrannical Miss Hannigan. Leave your cynicism by the front door and bring your tissues, it’s going to be (*sob*) emotional.

Aylesbury Waterside Theatre, Exchange St, Aylesbury,

‘Bed Time’, Burton Taylor Studio, Weds 23 March – Sunday 3 April

bed time
Oxford Playhouse presents Bed Time, a new show for children aged two to six. The third in a series of plays by Toby Hulse, following the success of Bath Time and Tea Time. Surely it’s only a matter of time before he writes Stroppy Time but until then this will do just fine. Kids encouraged to come in their PJs!

The Burton Taylor Studio Theatre, 11 Beaumont St, Oxford,

Norman Jay MBE, Clayton’s Marlow, Sat 19 March

Norm’s back! The fabulous Norman Jay, co-founder of the legendary Good Times Sound System and KISS FM, rocks up at Clayton’s Marlow this weekend. He’s totally awesome –  he’s been given an MBE for services to DJing for crissakes! – and he’s supported by Nick Keir (The Funk & Soul Archive) and Antosh. Only 100 advance tickets available with all remaining tickets will be sold on the door on a first come, first serve basis.
Tickets £15 each, available from Clayton’s Marlow.

Clayton’s Marlow, 16 Oxford Rd, Marlow,


Ruby’s Vintage Fair, Millet’s Farm, Sat 19 March



This vintage fair usually rocks up at The Oxford Town Hall, but for the first time Ruby’s comes to Millett’s farm with its retro jewellery, clothing, homeware, vintage and upcycled furniture.

Entry £2 on the door. Get 50% off admission by downloading this voucher. Open: 10am-4pm. Millets Farm Centre, Kingston Road, Frilford, Nr Abingdon,

Special Exhibition Event  An Evening with Elizabeth Price, Ashmolean, Weds 23 March

a restoration

Arty people unite! Elizabeth Price, the winner of the 2012 Turner Prize and the 2013 Contemporary Art Society Award, gives a special insight into the work and inspiration behind her latest video installation, A RESTORATION, on display in the Ashmolean until 10 April 2016.

Ashmolean Museum, Beaumont St, Oxford,

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