9 fun things to do (or book) this week 5 -11 Jan
It’s a bit of a week of ‘last chances to see’ before new stuff really kicks in for 2017, plus I’m introducing a Forward Planner element to the Muddy Guide, to give you more notice on the stuff that gets booked up fast. I know, I’m nice like that.
Fashioning a Reign, Windsor Castle, until Sun 8 Jan
Christmas just wasn’t Christmas without the annual gawp and stare of Her Maj in Sandringham. As the Queen recovers from a cold, you can still see her royal splendour at this spectacular exhibition marking the Queen’s 90th birthday at Windsor Castle. Fashioning a Reign: 90 Years of Style from The Queen’s Wardrobe closes on Sunday, so dash down to her Berkshire residence and swoon over the stunning evening gowns, day outfits and fancy dress costumes worn by the young Princess Elizabeth. Entry to the exhibition is included in your general admission ticket.
Windsor Castle royalcollection.org.uk
Superslam Wrestling, Aylesbury Waterside Theatre, Fri 6 Jan
I know, I know, but my kids love wrestling and I reckon this would be a great family treat to soothe the pain of the first week back to the grindstone. My wrestling knowledge stops short at Big Daddy but I’m assured this All Star Grapplevine featuring The UK Hooligans and The Henchmen is not to be missed. Just pray there are no re-enactments in the back of the car on the way home.
Staging History, Weston Gallery, Bodleian Library, until 8 Jan 2017
Yeah yeah, I know it sounds esoteric, but it’s in the cool new bit of the Bod and for anyone interested in theatre and history it’s fascinating stuff. Staging History explores how history was told on stage in Regency-era Britain and examines the influence of history and historical events in the writing and staging of theatre, opera and drama from 1780-1840. Expect beautiful set designs, theatrical documents and illustrations from the Bod collections.
Last chance to triple salchow
The local outdoor rinks are now all closed but if you’ve yet to enjoy a twirl on the ice this winter, you’re not too late – you just need to head up to London. The rinks at Somerset House, the National History Museum and Hampton Court all remain open for another few days, just, you, get your skates on. Oh come on, that was brilliant. For more info, refer back to my splendiferous ice skating guide here.
The Pasadena Roof Orchestra, The Mill at Sonning, Sun 8 Jan
Pow! Blast away the winter blues with a dose of big band-style jazz action. This acclaimed 12-piece show band, based in the UK, play all over the world with its mix of swing and dance music. Expect to hear Louis Armstrong, Bing Crosby, Fred Astaire, Duke Ellington and many more. If you’re too cool to tap our toes, send your mum along, she’ll love it.
Panto last calls
I can never quite muster sufficient enthusiasm for a New Year panto, but if you didn’t get around to seeing one before Christmas here’s your chance to wave your light-up wand and enjoy some good British cross-dressing. Until Sunday 8 Jan you can catch Cinderella at Oxford Playhouse, Robinson Crusoe and The Pirate Queen at Chipping Norton Theatre, Snow White at the Hexagon, Reading starring kiddie catnip Justin from CBeebies, PLUS the big London pantos are going on for another week or so, including the one everyone is talking about – Cinderella at the London Palladium starring Amanda Holden, Lee Mead, Nigel Havers, Julien Clary and Paul O’Grady.
BOOK NOW FOR…
Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night-Time, Aylesbury Waterside Theatre, 7-11 Feb
I love this National Theatre adaptation of Mark Haddon’s modern classic so much I’ve already seen it twice (a bit greedy I grant you), and I’m gearing up for a third go as it returns to the Aylesbury Waterside Theatre from 7-11 Feb, before transferring to Oxford in May. My review is here but don’t just take my word for it – it’s won seven Olivier awards and five Tonys so far.
Stewart Lee, Oxford Playhouse, 30 Jan – 4 Feb
Feeling a little misanthropic? Of course you are, it’s January. Kindred spirit Stewart Lee returns to stand-up with Content Provider, his brand new show. Miserableness and moaning has never been so funny.
Oxford Playhouse oxfordplayhouse.com
Degas to Picasso: Creating Modernism In France, Ashmolean, Oxford, 10 Feb – 7 May
After the success of last year’s Andy Warhol exhibition, for fabulous Ashmolean Museum in Oxford spools back to 19th century bohemian Paris where Manet, Pissarro, Cezanne, Degas and Picasso were collectively whipping up era-defining paintings and dreaming up the Modernist movement. It promises to be a doozy. And for a post-culture coffee or bite, don’t miss the chic Ashmolean Dining Rooms on the top floor, with its cute outdoor terrace for when things get a bit warmer.