The Muddy Guide 4 – 10 July
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The Taming of the Shrew, by The Globe Theatre on Tour, Bodleian Library, Oxford, 9 – 17 July
Performed by an all-female cast, Shakespeare’s outrageous comedy The Taming of the Shrew introduces one of theatre’s great screwball double-acts: Katherina and Petruchio, a couple hell-bent on confusing and outwitting each other right up to its controversial conclusion. The Oxford Playhouse and the Bodleian Library’s stunning Old Schools Quadrangle play host to the touring Globe Theatre team who know a thing or two about the Bard. If you’re interested, there are free pre-performance talks 7pm in Convocation House, Bodleian Library, by members of the Faculty of English, University of Oxford, before all evening performances. Book your place via the Ticket Office.
Tickets £19.50. Book here.
Henley Regatta (until 7 July) and Festival ( 10-14 July)
It’s lycra and biceps ahoy as the Henley Regatta continues until Sunday, and with the weather report so positive it’s ideal for a picnic and a perv (sorry, I can’t quite believe I wrote that but it felt so good). Henley Festival starts on 10 July and as ever it’s slick, with the likes of Paloma Faith, above, and Jamie Cullum headlining. Definitely worth a close look at the schedule.
Alice’s Day, Oxford, 6 July
This is a really fantastic day in Oxford, celebrating the first telling, in Oxford, of Lewis Caroll’s Alice’s Adventure’s in Wonderland. It’s a massive event, with more than 20 historic locations and world class venues taking part, including the Ashmolean, the Bodleian Christ Church. and The Story Museum. ‘Nonsense’ is the theme this year, with Teatro Vivo taking over The Story Museum, all day face-painting and balloon making at Blackwells, Surreality with Salvador Dali at Bodleian Library and loads more. For a full list of whats’ on, click here.
El Bulli: Feran Adria and the Art of Food, Somerset House, London, 5 July – 29 Sept
One for foodies, but as the world’s first exhibition dedicated to a chef and his restaurant it’s worthy of a Muddy mention. This summer, Somerset House will host a major retrospective exhibition on chef Ferran Adrià, a global icon of gastronomy, and elBulli, the restaurant he built to become the world’s best. The retrospective will showcase the art of cuisine and cuisine as art (their words, not mine!) by taking a behind-the-scenes look at the internationally renowned restaurant, which delighted diners in Cala Montjoi, a small picturesque bay on the Catalan coast near Roses, for over 50 years.
Tickets £10, £5 on Mondays (excluding bank hols). Book tickets now.
Cornbury Festival, Gifford’s Circus – Oxford Parks, 5-7 July
I went to this festival with Mr Muddy and 3 bratlets in tow last year and it was just great. So middle of the road, David Cameron rocked up and was proclaimed cool (well, almost), this is no Glasto, but it’s a well-run, picturesque, family friendly festival, with Keane, Squeeze, Van Morrison, Imelda May, King Charles and, um, James Arthur all sharing stage space. A fab day out or, if you have greater stamina than me, the whole weekend. Whatever you do, you’d better read my tips on surviving festivals. They were written after, um, Cornbury!
Your last chance to see this magical ‘village green’ circus before it moves back into Gloucestershire. It’s hard to overstate what a great use of your family funds this circus is. I’ve written about it several times already so won’t yack on too much but here’s my official verdict from the performance in Stadhampton last month.
Independents Day, 4 July, nationwide
We all love independent shops – and this is our chance to support them. Independents Day is a cute marketing invention with a deadly serious aim to flagwave the importance of our little high street shops. Make a plan this week to take a look in an independent shop you haven’t been in before and support the people who keep our towns unique. By the way, if you’re Buckingham way, they’ve come up with a cute spin on the day – a Disloyalty Card. Participating shops are encouraging their customers to visit other retailers with this disloyalty card. When the card gets 6 stamps from visiting the various shops they will receive a Buckingham branded bag with vouchers and fliers for even more shops. Clever, non?
(Image by Charlotte Vallance)
Joseph and his Technicolour Dreamcoat, New Theatre, Oxford, 9-13 July
I saw this joyously fromage-heavy performance in Aylesbury a few months back and enjoyed every minute. Admittedly Joseph not as moving or funny as Matilda, as visually arresting as The Lion King or the hot ticket like Charlie & The Chocolate Factory, but it’s standing the test of time and still has much appeal. Read my review here. This time it’s Ian ‘H’ Watkins (restrain yourselves, Steps fans) who steps into the title role. Oh come on, if Jason Donovan can do it, anyone can.
Tickets £12.90 – £33.40 (plus booking fee). Book tickets here
As You Like It, Waterperry Gardens, 12 July
Megads! A second dose of Shakespeare for your delectation, this time at the glorious Waterperry Gardens in Wheatley. There’s a school matinee that I’d avoid like the plague and a rather more lovely adult evening performance of Shakespeare’s comedy As You Like It by The Lord Chamberlain’s Men in the outdoor theatre. A summer’s night treat. Just consult your weather report before you book!
Tickets: £17.50. http://www.waterperrygardens.co.uk