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This week

MON 7 - SUN 13 MAY 2018

Another week, another reason to make the most of where you live! Have fun in the sun. x


Native Feasts, Coopers Marlow, 11 & 12 May

Long time Muddy faves, the super-slick Native Feasts (created by Michelin-starred chef Chris Godfrey), are back on 11/12 May at Coopers Marlow in Bucks with ‘Local Plates’ (think crispy artichoke hearts, and Hogget croquetas, mint & chilli salsa). You can also book up for a two-nighter on May 16 & 17 at TVC in central Oxford with Smoke & Thyme.


An Evening with Rory Bremner, Arts at Stowe, Wed 9 May

Rory Bremner

I’m liking the scheduling at Arts at Stowe, one of the underated (and most beautiful) venues in North Bucks. In aid of the wildlife charity Tusk, patron Rory Bremner will be performing anecdotes, impressions and a Q&A in the elegant Roxburgh Hall at Stowe.  There’s also a VIP package that includes dinner and drinks in the state music room for £100 a pop. That fee does, however, include Rory’s a capella rendition of the high C aria from The Magic Flute (er, one bit of this isn’t true).


Pop up cinema, Firefly Events at Hambleden, Fri 11 – Mon 14 May

Pop up cinema specialists, Firefly Events, are taking residence at Culden Faw estate near Hambleden and going al fresco with a weekend of movies, starting with Eighties classic Pretty Woman. No perm, no entry! Well, it should be the rule. Stick with the perm for Saturday’s showing of The Breakfast Club, the first of the Brat Pack movies, but if you really want to have your hair stand on end, feast your eyes on horror movie IT showing on Sunday night. The last offering (we’ll bring you news of their other events this summer) is musical spectacular The Greatest Showman on Monday. Each film starts at 9pm but doors open at 7pm so you can enjoy some music, tuck into some food care of The Bowlers and Cuxham Mill and line up some drinks from mobile cocktail bar, The Tipsy Flamingo.


Royal Windsor Horse Show, Windsor,  now – Wed 16 May

Show jumper Carl Hester jumping Big Ben fence Royal Windsor Horse Show

Image: Kent Farrington

Giddiup! The Royal Windsor Horse Show’s one of the hottest horsey events in the UK – and it’s celebrating its 75th anniversary. Her Maj and Prince Philip are almost guaranteed to make an appearance (well, it is in their backyard), and the many of the Royal famalam drop in. Expect to see top flight show jumping, dressage, fun kids events, with a bit of pomp and ceremony from the Household Cavalry. It”s a fun, family affair, so trot on and grab a ticket.


The Family in Disorder, Modern Art Oxford – now until 27 May

modern art Oxford

No, this is not the Muddy office during the Awards but it could be a fair representation of my fried brain at the moment. Popping into Modern Art Oxford the other day I was stopped in my tracks by this dramatic art installation by Cinthia Marcelle, one of Brazil’s most significant artists. Having created two barrier-like structures out of a mix of materials, Cinthia then invited six local artists (Aaron Head, Chris Jackson, Kamila Janska, Andy Owen, Sebastian Thomas and Aline Tima) to destroy them and then rebuild one of the structures. Apparently it’s saying something about political protest against patriarchal structures in these troubled times. Right on, sister!


Paul Kidby exhibition, Bucks County Museum, Aylesbury, now – Sat 30 June

death Terry Pratchett

Copyright: Paul Kidby

The artist of choice for Terry Pratchett and his Discworld novels, this exhibition features Pratchett characters including Death by illustrator Paul Kidby, as well as some of his own fantasy pictures from British folklore. I’m just off to ask my teenage son if he knows his Rincewind from his Wee Free Men. The mind boggles.


Chilterns Vintage Cinema, The Natural History Museum, Tring, Fri 11 May

Here’s another pop-up popping up in unusual places. The Chilterns Vintage Cinema is showing Night at the Museum 2 and Deadpool at The Natural History Museum, Tring (yes the museum with all the spooky stuffed animals in it. Gah!).


Oxford Beer Week, various pubs, now– 13 May

There’s nothing quite like an ice cold beer on a sunny day but I’m too much of a champers freak to stick at a brew or ale for long. But if you and yours are partial to the golden nectar, Oxford Beer Week will hit the mark. A collaboration between breweries in Oxon and Bucks designed to showcase the huuuuuuge range of beers crafted locally, the highlights include The Perch’s beer fest in Binsey (5-7 May), The 7th Witney Beer Festival (Sat 5 May) in St Mary’s Church (SACRILEGE!), XT Brewery Open Day (Sat 12 May) in Long Crendon, Bucks; Seven Stars – Beer, Bangers, Mash & Music (Thurs 10 May); and the Hook Norton Mini Beer Festival (Sun 13 May). Frankly if you’re still sober by mid May it will be a miracle.


Joseph Morpurgo: Hammerhead, The North Wall Arts Centre, Oxford – Sat 12 May


Hammerhead has monster credentials – a sell out at the Edinburgh Fringe and London’s Soho Theatre, it’s a multimedia, boundary-smashing show from award-winning comic Joseph’s Morpugo. It pays homage to Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein and there’s a fair bit of audience interaction so be warned!


Artisan Food Market, Waddesdon Manor, Sat 12 May

This monthly market is actually held in the car park, so no beautiful Chateau to admire but it spares you the cost of entry to Waddesdon. And let’s face it, as car parks go it’s pretty damn, well pretty, with rolling hills and trees a plenty. Small local independent producers are the focus here with seasonal fruit, veg, meat, fish and baked goods on offer in exchange for your hard earned cash (some stall holders don’t accept card payments).

Waddesdon Manor


Oxford International Film Festival, Curzon and The Ultimate Picture Palace, Oxford, Fri 11 – Sun 13 May

Love a bit of independent cinema at Muddy and this year the new Curzon, Westgate, and the Ultimate Picture Palace are joining forces to give us some of the best independent cinema from around the world. There’s all sorts of categories but I’m particularly liking the look of Rosamund Pike in The Human Voice, adapted from the play by Jean Cocteau, an unflinching portrait of heartbreak as two lovers have their final phone conservation. What’s more we’ve just heard in our shell like that Rosamund Pike will be doing a Q&A after the screening on Sunday night.


An Officer & A Gentleman, Wycombe Swan, High Wycombe, Mon 7 – Sat 12 May

This is a movie etched forever on my brain – anyone else have happy teenage memories of Richard Gere in full navals (or maybe, er, half navals)? Like all films pre 1990 An Officer & A Gentleman has now been judged ripe for a musical makeover, and this is its premiere season, having started last month in Leicester’s Curve theatre. The soundtrack includes the hit song from the movie Up Where We Belong along with Eighties anthems including Girls Just Want to Have FunLivin’ On A PrayerHeart of Glass, Material Girl, and ‘The Final Countdown’.  The Muddy fromage-ometer is riper than a blue cheese in the midday sun but pass those goddam crackers and fill up my wine glass, I’m grabbing my girl posse and GOING!


Oxford Art Weeks, various venues in Oxon, now – Mon 28 May

James jackman art

Painting by James Jackman. Exhibiting at Dornley Barn, Westcote Burton, near Chipping Norton

Be inspired to get your canvas out with this free county-wide art festival. Works will be popping up all over the place as the artists of Oxfordshire show us how it’s done. Painting, sculpture, furniture, digital art and much more in some unexpected venues, you can buy, have a go yourself or just admire the spectrum of talent on display.


Lynn Chadwick, Cliveden National Trust Taplow, now – Oct 2018

Lynn Chadwick metal work sculptures of human form at Cliveden House

If you loved the Benar Venet sculptures at Cliveden last year, then the new installation of English sculpture and artist Lynn Chadwick’s awesome abstract metal works inspired by the human form and natural world. His big, bold sculptural pieces are doted around the grounds. Take a stroll, admire and then pop into Cliveden House for afternoon tea or lunch at the Astor Grill.



The Design Museum, London, from Thurs 10 May to Sun 7 Oct

Fascinating exhibition of the sculptor turned couturier, Azzedine Alaïa, who found fans in Michelle Obama, Rhianna and Grace Jones, with his flair for couture and refusal to stick to fashion week deadlines.



Colourscape, Waddesdon Manor, Sat 26 May – Sun 3rd June

For the fourth year in a row, the spectacular Colourscape returns to Waddesdon with 56 interlinked chambers for the trippiest experience outside of Glastonbury. There’s a new structure to fit the Aviary glade with long views of intense colour and light plus music and dance performances inside the larger spaces. To be honest, the performances are a bit bonkers but you can easily whizz off down another bouncy tunnel if they’re just too, erm, ethnic, for you. Obviously, it’s great for kids too so although the queues are often daunting, persevere as it’s one of the most unusual experiences around.


Peterley Manor Farm, Pop-up Food & Film, Great Missenden, Bucks Fri 15 – Sat 16 June

There’s more pop-ups than you can shake a stick at this time of year and here’s one for the dads – Father’s Day film and food evenings at Peterley Manor Farm. They’ll be local street food or handmade food from the cafe, straw bales, blankets and fire pits with posh ‘s’mores’. Friday’s offering is Hot Fuzz with Top Gun following on the Saturday.  Quite frankly, I’d be happy to go with a gaggle of girlfriends – always been one for a uniform.


Marlow Town Regatta and Festival, Marlow, Oxon, Sat 16 – Sun 17 June

If the Muddy team were the sort to ogle some fit men, we might suggest a trip to Marlow Town’s Regatta. A weekend of messing about on the river with competitive rowing on the Saturday and family fun with the Dragon Boat Festival, live entertainment, and food and drink and craft stalls on the Sunday. Brit Pop band Toploader are headlining the finale on Saturday night to celebrate 18 years of this quinessentially British event. Pass the Pimms!


The Little Welly Adventure Course, Culden Faw Estate Henley, 9-10 June

Little Welly adventure course pool of foam

Give it some welly and book now for this summer’s much-loved Little Welly kids’ obstacle course (even the most iPad-obsessed nippers can’t resist). It’s 9 and 10 June just over the border in in Henley. Go, go, go! Snap up your tickets.

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