The Muddy Guide: What’s On Thurs 21 – Weds 27 Jan
Last Night A DJ Saved My Life, New Theatre Oxford, Tues 26 – Sat 30 Jan
Hello The Hoff! This cheesy musical could have disaster written all over it, but if you can take the kitsch it might yet be OK. It’s pitched as Friends Meets Ibiza uncovered – yeah go on, imagine that one – and stars Hasselhoff as Ross, Ibiza’s top 80s DJ who doesn’t realize that disco is out and clubbing is in. His daughter has become a wild child who falls for the holiday rep, he’s trying to keep up with the times with Mandy, his new younger girlfriend. The play hoovers up the 80s and 90s songs – Pump up the Jam, The Only Way Is Up, Spice Up Your Life, Never Gonna Give you Up. There’s a cast of 18 performers and musicians in the show so, success or failure – one way or the other it will be spectacular.
New Theatre Oxford, atgtickets.com
Josh Widdicombe: What Do I Do Now? Oxford Playhouse, Thurs 21 – Fri 22 Jan
Josh Widdicombe is on a bit of a roll at the m0 with his new sitcom Josh on BBC3, plus his Channel 5 show The Last Leg, hosting 5 Live’s Saturday morning sports show and popping up as a regular on Mock the Week, QI, Live at the Apollo and Have I Got News for You. Still, seems he’s had time to create a new touring show What Do I Do Now? Friday is already sold out but there are tickets left for tonight if you’re speedy.
Oxford Playhouse, Beaumont St, oxfordplayhouse.com
Kite, North Wall Theatre, Oxford, Sat 23 Jan
Love the sound of this family show at The North Wall. Inspired by stories such as The Snowman Kite is a play without words, with originally composed music, dance, puppetry (and of course kites). The basic story is that alonely girl is taken to live in her grandma’s airless flat where the windows are shut tight. Her memories of seagulls and sand dunes begin to fade in the silence, but one night a handmade kite comes to life and starts on her on a wild adventure of what seemed lost forever. Der, der, DERRRRRRRRRR.
Performances 2pm & 6.30pm. North Wall, South Parade, Oxford, thenorthwall.com
Pitt Rivers After Hours Guided Tour, Oxford, Fri 22 Jan
Have you done one of these yet? Me neither but it sounds like a great idea to have a private after-hours expert guided tour of the Museum – maximum groups of 15, then the chance to browse the Museum at your leisure away from the busy daily crowds. Dare you to put on one of those Papa New Guinean war masks!
Pitt Rivers, Oxford, prm.ox.ac.uk
J.D. ‘Okhai Ojeikere: Hairstyles and Headdresses, River and Rowing Museum, now to 10 April
WOW. Isn’t this photo amazing? It’s from a Hayward Touring exhibition, showing at the River & Rowing Museum in Henley, showcases the work of one of the most important African photographers, J.D. ‘Okhai Ojeikere. Ojeikere has documented the unique cultural phenomenon of Nigerian hairstyles and headdresses, with the designs symbolises key life events, and often reflect social status – with unique family hairstyles being passed down through generations. Sure beats the Muddy bedhead.
River and Rowing Museum, Henley, rrm.co.uk
Vadim Repin & Oxford Philharmonic Orchestra, Sheldonian Theatre, Oxford, Sat 23 Jan
My daughter has just started the violin (the pain, the pain). This how it should be played, with foxy Vadim Repin giving it some welly with the Oxford Philharmonic Orchestra. Shostakovich’s First Violin Concerto was outlawed by Stalin for years after its composition, whilst Ravel’s arrangement of Mussorgsky’s Pictures at An Exhibition tours artist Victor Hartmann’s Parisian catacombs, old castles and a witch’s den. One for the afficionados.
Sheldonian Theatre, Oxford, oxfordphil.com
Cook it Healthy for Mamas & Papas, All Day Course, Daylesford Organics, Sat 23 Jan
One thing Daylesford does extraordinarily well is food. Organic, local, beautiful to look at. If you’re out that way, The Cookery School is holding a day course to inspire parents to cook healthy, delicious meals, snacks, breakfasts and lunch boxes (wot, no cheese strings?). Lots of tastings throughout the day apparently and you’ll get to eat all of your creations – bonza!
Full Day Course: 9.30am -4pm £185 per person; includes all course materials and refreshments provided throughout the day. Daylesford Organics Cookery School, near Kingham, Gloucs, daylesfordcookeryschool.co.uk
Swan Lake, Russian State Ballet of Siberia, Wycombe Swan, Sat 23 Jan
Fluffing its feathers and getting ready with the pirhouettes, the Russian State Ballet of Siberia, one of Russia’s leading ballet companies, comes to the Wycombe Swan this Saturday to perform Swan Lake. Should be amazing.
Wycombe Swan Theatre, St Mary St, High Wycombe, Bucks, wycombeswan.co.uk
Matthew Bourne’s Sleeping Beauty: A Gothic Romance, Milton Keynes Theatre, Tues 26 – Sat 30 Jan
Part of a small national tour that is actually still in Sadler’s Wells at the moment and moves to MK from next Tuesday , Matthew Bourne’s Sleeping Beauty: A Gothic Romance, is another of his all-male productions. Premiered in 2012, it’s set in the late Edwardian era going through to the modern day, and full of magic, fairies, vampires, love and *sigh* Princess Aurora waiting for her true love. Go see it if you can, it will be amazing.
Milton Keynes Theatre, atgtickets.com
An Inspector Calls , Milton Keynes Theatre, Tues 23 – Sat 27 Jan
Another MK Theatre entry this week, and no surprise since this National Theatre production of J.B. Priestley’s thriller An Inspector Calls has won more national awards than any other play in history – 19 of them! No surprise when you discover that the utterly amazing Stephen Daldry (The Reader, The Hours, Billy Elliott) is the director. The Telegraph gushed over its ‘superbly tense, breathtaking daring and faultless execution’, so go see for yourself if the plaudits are deserved.
Milton Keynes Theatre, atgtickets.com
Utopia 2016, Somerset House, London, launches Mon 25 Jan
A whole year of creative brilliance unfolds at Somerset House from next Monday, in celebration of the 500th anniversary of Thomas More’s text Utopia. So much going on as you can imagine from post-war public art and international fashion to architecture and night school. Some of it is a bit esoteric but I’ll check it out regularly to squirrel out the best bits for you. In the meantime if you want to check out the website, be my guest!
Somerset House, Strand, London WC2, utopia.somersethouse.org.uk
The Noise Next Door at the Mill Arts Centre Banbury (Fri 22 Jan) and Cornerstone Arts Centre Didcot (Sat 23 Jan)
Comedy improvisation reached its zenith in the 90s, but there’s still demand for it, if The Noise Next Door are anything to judge by. Embarking on their third national tour, these guys have sold out 8 consecutive years at the Edinburgh Fringe, and have been described as ‘comedy gold’ by The Guardian. Check them out in Banbury on Friday or Didcot on Saturday and see if you agree.
Last two weeks for Hogwarts in the Snow at Warner Bros Studios in 30 Jan
If you fancy a little trip out into leafy Herts with your kidlets, it’s the last two weeks to catch Hogwarts in the Snow, the Harry Potter film series’ most iconic sets decorated for festive scenes. So eight Christmas trees will line the Great Hall, the Gryffindor common room is be dressed for the season and a blanket of filmmaking snow covers the Hogwarts castle model.
Warner Bros. Studio Tour, Leavesden, WD25 7LR, wbstudiotour.co.uk