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Easter 2017 – What’s On for Grown Ups

It’s not all about the little people this holiday, and that’s a goddam fact! (she says with children hanging off her legs).  If you’re unencumbered, whoopeee! Or if you have children but want to have some grown up time – no not like that, what sort of site do you think this is? –  here are some top suggestions on cool stuff to do with your mates, significant other, or even (bliss) solo!

BEST OF THE EXHIBITIONS

At Oxford’s AshmoleanDegas to Picasso has had fantastic reviews nationally and covers a lot of ground – 100 paintings, 40 different artists, 150 years – in what was a pretty exciting period in French art, especially in the bohemian salons of Paris. The artworks are borrowed from the private collection of a Chicago art dealer couple who started collecting as students in Paris in the ’50s. As such, the focus here isn’t on blockbuster hits that you’ve seen on a million postcards and it’s more interesting for it.

Blenheim Palace is still running the brilliant exhibition, A Passion for Fashion – 300 Years of Style’ tracing the weird and the wonderful fashions that have passed through Blenheim in its 300 years of history, from metre high wigs to literally drop-dead make up containing arsenic and lead.  There are beautiful Dior vintage dresses from the 50s and more recent high fashion from Louboutin and milliner Stephen Jones. Runs until 23 April.

The John Piper permanent exhibition at Henley’s River & Rowing Museum

The John Piper permanent exhibition at the River & Rowing Museum in Henley is absolutely worth the visit. I absolutely loved it, proving that the RRM offers a fantastic adult art offering (remember Matisse and Hockney?) as well as its famed children’s programme.

Or heading for the big city? Marc Quinn: Drawn from Life is a set of 12 new sculptures by British artist Marc Quinn, set in the super-stunning Sir John Soane’s Museum. This promises to be a brilliant exhibition. Quinn is always surprising – remember his twisted, yogic Kate Moss in solid gold, his Trafalgar Square plinth of naked, pregnant disabled artist Alison Lapper or the gruesome cast of his own head filled with ten pints of his own blood? You can hear a brief, 15-minute intro to the exhibition, every Thursday at 3pm in the Soane Gallery. Tis free, just turn up.

One to get you thinking at the Barbican Art Gallery (until 23 April) is  conceptual documentary photographer Richard Mosse has created an immersive multi-channel video installation, Incoming which is a challenging and thought-provoking artwork about the refugee crisis in the Aegean Sea, off the coast of Libya, in Syria, the Sahara, the Persian Gulf, and beyond.

And finally, if you’re into your renaissance art, it doesn’t get much better than The National Gallery’s latest exhibition Michaelangelo and Sebastiano which explores the 25-year extraordinary friendship and partnership between two great Italian Renaissance masters, Michelangelo and Sebastiano del Piombo.  And don’t forget the fabulous David Hockney at the Tate Britain which still gets the Muddy vote!

BEST THEATRE

It’s 40 years since Beverly in Abigail’s Party first put Donna Summer on the turntable and slow-danced her way across the shag-pile and now she’s back at the Oxford Playhouse from Mon – Sat. Amanda Abbingdon (Mary in Sherlock and the ex Mrs Martin Freeman) steps into Alison Stedman’s shoes so all signs are good for a very funny night. Also – I’m loving this – before the performance and during the interval on Mon 3 April you can take part in Abigail’s Cocktail Party. Your £12 cocktail party ticket includes pre-show cocktail and canapés plus an interval cocktail and pineapple upside-down cake.

Further afield,  Jude Law stars in Obsession at The Barbican in London (from 19 April – 20 May). Almost sold out but a few seats still available as Muddy goes to press – or well worth the wait for returns.

BEST WITH YOUR MATES

Coming Clean: Life as a Naked Housecleaner


Tickets for this London-based show starring Ethan Mechare about naked house cleaning, sexual fantasies and voyeurism are  – unsurprisingly – selling fast. It’s BYO which gives it a wonderfully louche air, and basically sounds hilarious.

For ‘grown ups who’ve forgotten how to play’, Alice’s Adventures Underground is back at Waterloo Vaults and it’s a fabulous immersive theatre experience. Sarah from the Muddy Office has been before and really rates it as a decadent, exciting night out for the girls.

 

BEST LIVE MUSIC

Ooh, hello Chase & Status!

Loads going on at Oxford’s 02 Academy including a Chase & Status DJ set Sat 1 April, Ran Kan Kan on Thurs 27 and Fabio & Grooverider celebrating their 25 year anniversary (OMG I’m so old. And they’re even older!) on Fri 28 April. Practise jogging on the spot in your bedroom, come on, you remember how to dance to Blue Note drum n bass!

The brilliant Caro Emerald brings her smokey, retro sound to  Milton Keynes Theatre on Tues 11 April. Or if classical’s more your thing, the Maundy Thursday Concert at the Sheldonian in Oxford on Thurs 13 April features Mozart’s Requiem (my absolute favourite requiem, thanks for asking!) and there’s the OSJ Ashmolean Proms of Russian and English Music at the Ashmolean on April 11 including Prokofiev’s Visions Fugitives and Vaughan Williams’s House of Life.

SEE THIS

Mad to be Normal – with Q & A at The Ultimate Picture Palace, Cowley Road, Weds 12 April

Dubbed the “high priest of anti-psychiatry”, RD Laing was one of the most charismatic and controversial figures of the 1960s counter-culture, renowned for experimenting with LSD as a means of treating HIS schizophrenic patients. An all star cast of David Tennant, Elisabeth Moss, Michael Gambon, Gabriel Byrne, David Bamber is enough reason to send you to the UPP, but on Weds 12 March there’s also a Q&A session with the director Robert Mullan and cast members Tom Richards and James Utechin.

 

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