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The Muddy Guide to going out

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Despite the rubbish weather, I’m starting to feel little tingles of cool stuff coming through Oxfordshire & Buckinghamshire.

Loads to try this week, you lucky lot, and just you wait for next week when you get the Half Term ‘Saviour’ Muddy Guide. Oh I’m good to you.

The Bible: The Complete Word of God, Reduced Shakespeare Company, The Cornerstone, Didcot, 8 Feb

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Nothing like a bit of controversy to spice up a theatre event, and the Belfast council’s initial ban on the Reduced Shakespeare Company’s performance of The Bible: The Complete Word of God has seen sell-out ticket sales ever since. The irreverent show races from fig leaves to Final Judgment as the three actors tackle the great theological questions: Did Adam and Eve have navels? And did Moses really look like Charlton Heston? A rare philosophical night out.

7pm, The Cornerstone Arts Centre, Didcot. £16, £14.50 (concs) £55 (family ticket)
Ages 12+ and adults

Orchids at Kew, opening Sat 8 Feb

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For a nature-related activity that doesn’t actually involve being freezing flippin cold, head to the annual orchid festival at Kew Gardens, which opens this Saturday (8 Feb) for a month-long run. It’s totally gorgeous and with kids going free, it ends up being good value too.

Adults £14.50, kids under 16 free.

West Side Story, Aylesbury Waterside Theatre, 11-15 Feb

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Loved loved loved this when I saw it in October at the New Theatre, Oxford (see my review here) and very excited that more Muddy readers can get the chance to see it too. The story remains as relevant today as it did at its premiere in 1957.

Tickets £17.90 – £ 53.40. Buy tickets

Open Model Castings, Oxford Fashion Week, Sat 8 to Sun 9 February, Malmaison, Oxford

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Anyone who was passed over by Elite and Premier first time around (I mean, like, their loss), get ready for your second chance at fame and fortune. Head to Malmaison in Central Oxford this weekend between 2-5pm make-up free, radiating confidence, and wearing something that shows off your figure to best advantage  (hmmm, I know I’ve got that boob tube and hotpants somewhere) and you could be strutting your stuff down the Oxford Fashion Week catwalk. And gentlemen, lest you are rolling your eyes at this point at the vanity of women, the OFW team is also looking for male models. Yeah that’s it, off you go, run for the dumbells!

Ironic Valentine’s Day movies, early heads up!

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All set to treat your beloved to a Valentine’s night candle-lit meal, rose petals on the bed,  Baby Oil massage to Barry White (uhhhhh! feels so goooood), followed by the inevitable climax (by which of course, I mean the drunken argument)?

I love the sound of these gently ironic film nights as an alternative to the usual cheesefest.  Phoenix Picture House in Jericho Oxford is screening Breakfast at Tiffany’s, with complementary glass of bubbles and no doubt a smattering of Oxford’s finest Audrey Hepburn drag queens. Alternatively, over at the deliciousy Deco The Rex Berkhamsted, they’re going one better with a screening of Ghost. Potters Wheel optional, but Extra Strong Mints essential for teenage back row snogging.

Phoenix Picturehouse at 6.15pm. Adult ticket £9.50. The Rex Berkhamsted at 7.30pm Standard ticket £8

Family printing workshop, The Story Museum, Central Oxford, Sat 8 Feb

the story museum

The Bodleian libraries antique presses, some dating from 1669,  found their way out of the vaults and into the light of Oxford’s The Story Museum last summer. This family workshop allows kids the amazing experience of printing by hand on these presses, and the children can make a keepsake of their own name to take home. Such a great idea, I’m dying to do it myself!

Suitable for 8+, only 16 places, and kids must be accompanied by an adult. 2-4pm, www.thestorymuseum.org.uk. £8 per person. The Story Museum, Rochester House, 42 Pembroke Street, Oxford. OX1 1BP. Tel: 01865 790090.

 Sunday Morning concerts

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Feed the soul and beat the hangover with a cleansing classical concert on Sunday 9 Feb. The Ashmolean Museum in Oxford continues its Sunday lunchtime concerts, with Abbey Oboes, a one hour concert of Beethoven, Redgate, Trievensee and Powning, on the lower ground floor for a brilliant £6 (free to under 18s) with no booking required.

Meanwhile, down the road, the Holywell Music Rooms are offering Beethoven, Ernst and Prokofiev in its Coffee Concert series. Soloists are violist Benjamin Baker and Petr Limonov on piano (above) who frankly looks like he’s been loaned to Oxford by the Burberry modelling team. Now that is how to get your daughters interested in classical music.

If that sounds a bit intense for a weekend, opt for a breakfast jazz instead at Blenheim Palace. The musicians play in the Pantry, so you can stuff your children with cake, pastries, porridge (as if!) and the like, while you nod knowingly at the syncopation. Coooool.

The Cuddington Village Picture House, open for business!

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Loving this flash pop up cinema, up and running in the 16th century village hall in the gorgeous mid-Bucks village of Cuddington. Cuddingon successfully applied for lottery funding as is nowone of only two village halls in the UK licensed to show live and pre-recorded National Theatre productions. But if iambic pentameter drives you to the nearest pub (and there’s a perfectly good one around the corner) it also screens current blockbusters and classic movies. The chairs are plush, there’s hi definition surround sound, and there’s even popcorn, snacks and a fully licensed bar. Tonight’s film is Rush (still a few tickets at time of writing) and for March two screenings of the National Theatre production of War Horse. Tickets are already sold out for the first screening, but you can still nab ones for Sat 15 March at a very non-multiplex £4 per ticket!

Tickets are £4 and £3 with a concession (under 18, student, over 60).  Buy tickets

Temperance pop-up restaurant Chesham, Feb-March

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I can’t vouch for this personally (please write in if you can) but I like the sound of it – a pop up restaurant Temperance at the The Little Theatre by the Park in Chesham every Saturday night through February and March. A three-course meal is yours for £25, created for your delectation by local chef Tim Zekki of The Lop Eared Pig, using local produce.

The pop-up is BYO with no corkage charge (loving it already), and the organisers have conveniently teamed up with Chesham Brewery Shop just around the corner, who are on hand until 9pm to advise you on that perfect tipple to compliment the menu.

@tempereranceSEH
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Oxford International Art Fair, Oxford Town Hall, 6 – 8 Feb

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The estabished Oxford Art Fair has tired of British borders and now boasts an international raft of emerging artists, showing at Oxford Town Hall this weekend in its first Oxford Interational Art Fair. Pick up a classic-in-waiting, or just mooch around and enjoy the vibe. If the weather picks up, you’re around the corner from Christchurch and Port Meadow, and if the weather is hopeless, you’re five minutes away from all the city centre cinema, icerink, museum options.

Free entry. www.oxfordinternationalartfair.com

Additional research: Alanna Maxwell

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