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The Muddy Guide: Thurs 9 – Weds 16 March

Oxford Literary Festival early heads up, Sat 2 – Sun 10 April


The biggest event in Oxfordshire’s literary calendar is ready to find a leather sofa, curl up in the corner with a good glass of wine and shine a light on some of the most admired authors in the UK. This is an early heads up as tickets are already selling quickly for author events such as Jacqueline WilsonDavid Baddiel and this years’s Writer in Residence, Joanne Harris.


Annie, Aylesbury Waterside, Mon 14 – Sat 19 March


Regular readers of Muddy will know that I’m a latecomer to musicals, but – sue me – I’ve become a big fan of the uplifting schmaltz. This well-received production of Annie is currently touring the UK and arrives at Aylesbury Waterside next week, starring Birds of a Feather’s Lesley Joseph as the tyrannical Miss Hannigan. Leave your cynicism by the front door and bring your tissues, it’s going to be (*sob*) emotional.

Aylesbury Waterside Theatre, Exchange St, Aylesbury,

Pub Quiz, The Quince Tree, Stonor, Thurs 17 March


Paxo, are you listening? An early heads up that I’m bringing a Muddy team to this, so watch me go all University Challenge (or, ahem, perhaps a little more Blockbusters). I’m going to do a feature on the best pub quizzes in Bucks/Oxon soon, so please feel free to send me through your suggestions, and in the meantime try The Quince Tree quiz every Thursday night from next week – you’ve gotta love a Pub Quiz with a ‘rollover’ question for cash, vouchers, drinks and foodie treats…

8pm start every Thursday from 17 March, with a £2.00 entry cost per person & teams can be made up of up to six people. No need to book. The Quince Tree, Henley-on-Thames, Oxfordshire,

FUNomusica Family Concert: Bugs! Oxford Town Hall, Sun 13 March


These lovely Fun-o-Musica concerts by Oxford Philomusica and presenter Alasdair Malloy are massively worth taking your kids to. An informal, fun introduction to classical music for children 4-8, the professional musicians take the theme of ‘Bugs’ as a jumping point to explore music from tarantellas to The Flight of the Bumble Bee. Kids are able to move around (within reason!), it’s all very  jolly and you get the sense that the musicians really enjoy themselves too. There are pre-concert craft activities at 2pm, and the concert ends at 4pm, so there’s two hours of glorious educational parental smuggery right there.

Pre-concert craft activities at 2pm. Concert ends 4pm. Most suitable for ages 4-8 Oxford Town Hall, St Aldate’s, Oxford,

Horrible Histories: Groovy Greeks and Incredible Invaders, Wycombe Swan, Weds 9- Sat 14 March

horrible histories

My kids are totally into Horrible Histories and I’m probably even more of a fan – I think their Westlife rendition of The Four Georges will stay with me forever (seen it? here, have a look!). The live show comes to the Wycombe Swan from next Tuesday with – Groovy Greeks (starting Wednesday) and Incredible Invaders (starting Thursday). Choose which one as any modern parent would – according to the school syllabus!

Wycombe Swan Theatre, St Mary St, High Wycombe, Bucks,

George’s Marvellous Medicine, Science Oxford at Roald Dahl Museum, Sun 13 March

Congratulations (of sorts) to Roald Dahl – it’s 100 years since his birth this year. No idea what that has to do with this Science Oxford workshop, but let’s just roll with it because letting kids create their own marvellous medicines sounds rather fun. For 8-12 year olds, this event promises chemistry, scented concoctions and colour changes. No mentinoof phizz-whizzing bangs, but we live in hope.

The Roald Dahl Museum and Story Centre, 81-83 High Street, Great Missenden, Bucks,

The Birthday Party by Harold Pinter, Chipping Norton Theatre, Thurs 10 March

Chippy theatre-054-620x360
I haven’t seen Harold Pinter’s The Birthday Party but I’m very tempted by this production at Chippy Theatre, presented by London Classic Theatre. This was Pinter’s first major work, and if you don’t know the synopsis, it about an elderly couple in an English seaside boarding house who take care of a solitary guest. Two enigmatic strangers arrive, seemingly offering a welcome distraction from their mundane lives until an impromptu birthday party turns into a deadly game of cat and mouse. Der, der, DERRRRRRRR!

The Theatre Chipping Norton, 2 Spring St, Chipping Norton,

Requiem Oxford Bach Choir Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Sat 12 March



When Italian writer Alessandro Manzoni died in 1873, all of Italy mourned, and Verdi resolved to compose a substantial work in memory of his literary hero. One year later, on the first anniversary of the writer’s death, Verdi conducted the premiere of his Requiem in San Marco, Milan, to enormous public acclaim. It’s an incredibly emotive, beautiful work, performed in the Oxford Town Hall by the Oxford Bach Choir and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. Should be amazing.
Oxford Town Hall, Oxford,

Amazing Animals and You, Story Museum, Oxford, Sat 12 March



Have you ever wondered which animal is the stinkiest? Or why whales grow so big? Yeah, I spend a lot of time thinking about that stuff too. This interactive family show focuses on the astonishing record breakers of the natural world. Catnip for 6+ year olds.

£6. The Story Museum, Pembroke St, Oxford ,

Missy Malone and Friends Burlesque Revue, Mill Arts, Banbury, Fri 11 March


Over 16’s only

Burlesque seems to have gone off the boil a bit – no-one really bats an eye at twirling nipple tassels flicking around champagne these days – but having been to a burlesque night or two I can vouch that it’s all good clean (ish) fun.  Scottish burlesque artiste Missy Malone and her friends present a glorious evening of tassels, tease, and marabou tickling.

The Mill Arts Centre, Spiceball Park, Spiceball Park Rd, Banbury,

Bodleian Treasures: 24 pairs, Weston Library, now to 19 Feb 2017


An cool way to display 48 of the most magnificent of the 12 million (12 milion!!) items in the Bodleian’s collections. 24 Pairs features rare and renowned items including Tolkien’s illustrations from The Hobbit, Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, the Bay Psalm Book,  and the venerated Shikshapatri. Esoteric yes, but a totally awesome opportunity to get close and personal to extraordinary literary treasures.

Hamlet, RSC Stratford, Sat 12 March – 13 Aug

It’s as easy to go up to Stratford upon Avon for me as down to London (god bless the Chiltern railway line) so I should keep a closer eye on the RSC. New for March, this production of Hamlet, starring Paapa Essiedu as hamlet and directed by Simon Godwin. Desdamona’s never been the same for me since I watched Leroy singing about her in Fame but if you can overcome that heavy obstacle it’s a winner.

Royal Shakespeare Theatre, Waterside, Stratford-upon-Avon,

Warhol Late Exhibition Evening Event, Ashmolean, Thurs 10 March



To celebrate The Andy Warhol exhibition, the Ashmolean opens its doors after-hours on Thursday for late night happenings in the museum, promising a mix of live music, pop-up films, silent discos, DJs etc, all taking inspiration from Warhol’s artwork. Groovy.

Tickets are £10 and include exhibition entry (booking essential). 6‒8.30pm. Ashmolean Museum, Beaumont St, Oxford,

Under 5 event: A Little Look at… Lamps, Pitt Rivers, Thurs 10 March

An active 30 minute hands-on exploration telling the tales of objects in the Museum. especially for under 5s. Sweeeet!

10.30am & 11.30am. Pitt Rivers Museum, South Parks Rd, Oxford,

The Broke ‘n’ Beat Collective, Pegasus, Thurs 10 – Fri 11 March

 broke and

If like me you love to showcase your b-boy pop and lock skills on a busy teenage dance floor – I mean, I never tire of those admiring glances – you’ll love this  unique mash up of hip-hop, theatre and puppetry from the The Broke ‘n’ Beat Collective. Beat-boxer Hobbit, b-boy Ryan LoGisTic Harston, singer/rapper Elektric and puppeteer Mohsen Nouri will make you feel Very. Very. Old. But *sniff* your kids might like it.

Post show on Thursday there’ll be a talk with the company. On Friday is a post show jam where audience and performers can enjoy an informal music session. Ages 13 plus. This performance contains drug and sexual references and strong language.

Pegasus, Magdalen Rd, Oxford,

Bach to Baby,  Chalfont St Peter, Fri 11 March

bach to baby

I haven’t been to this one before, but Bach to Baby aims to do in Bucks what Cushion Concerts do in Oxford, introducing little ones to classical music. This Friday it’s all about the gee-tar with Amanda Cook plucking the strings.

St. Peter’s Church, Chalfont St. Peter, Gerrards Cross,
Oxford Fashion Week Runway Show, Ashmolean, Sat 12 March



Forget London, Milan and Paris – elbow you way to the front row seat at Oxford Fashion Week. The lovely Randolph Sculpture Gallery at the Ashmolean plays host to a champagne black tie reception. ‘Concept and couture collections’ are promised, and the evening is all for a good cause, the Oxfordshire Youth charity.

Ashmolean, Beaumont St,


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