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The Muddy Guide: What’s On, Thurs 4 – Weds 10 Feb ’16

Ready to head out and have some fun this week? Then I’ll begin!

Andy Warhol: Works from the Hall Collection, Ashmolean, Thurs 4 Feb – 15 May


Your two week window at The Ashmolean Museum to catch at a never-before-seen collection of Andy Warhol’s work from a private collection. The exhibition features over a hundred works from the Hall Collection (USA), plus loans of artist films from the Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh including iconic pieces from the Sixxties to the experimental works of Warhol’s last decade.

Ashmolean, Oxford,

Kaleidoscope at Modern Art Oxford, from Friday 5 Feb for the year to come


>Another great opportunity to see awesome art. Modern Art Oxford celebrates 50 years with Kaleidoscope, a year long celebration of exhibitions and events reflecting some of the biggest shows in Modern Art Oxford’s history. It starts with The Indivisible Present from tomorrow (Fri 5 Feb) Friday, an exhibition that includes Turner prize-winning artist Douglas Gordon and his film installation 24 Hour Psycho (he slowed down the classic Hitchcock film Psycho to play over a 24-hour period). Also Yoko Ono’s Eye Blink which was part of her 1997 solo exhibition at Modern Art Oxford featuring a close-up of Ono’s eye opening and closing very slowly (pictured). Take your lunch in with you, you’ll be there a while!

Ulla’s Odyssey, OperaUpClose, Fri 12 February 2016

An early prod about this one, as it will be too late to book tickets next week. The Olivier Award winning OperaUpClose, presents this new opera inspired by Homer’s Odyssey. It’s very much aimed at families, suitable for kids 7+ with live music and puppetry and an accessible storyline about 16 year old Ulla, attempting to become the youngest person to sail around the world single-handedly with her cat Binnacle for company.  Robotic customs officials, mythical  creatures and the calls from home make it less than plain sailing… A great way to introduce little people to opera.

Ulla’s Odyssey, The North Wall, Oxford. 1.30pm & 7pm. Visit website

Chateau Marmot pop up, Fawley woodland lodge, Henley, Fri 12 Feb


Pop-up-tastic! The awesome Chateau Marmot return to the Woodland Lodge in Fawley for a weekend of supper clubbing. Saturday 13 Feb is already sold out but the hot Muddy news is that there are still 8 tickets left for next Friday if you’re quick-smart. Tim Yates, formerly of London’s 100 Hoxton and currently at the Southbanks’ Mondrian Hotel, promises a 7 course menu using game from the estate and local producers. It’s £65 for the 7 courses – drinks are extra but expect cocktails, wine from independent growers (chosen with ex-Decanter editor Rosalind Cooper), craft beers and all that jazz. It’s a very special, intimate venue with tickets strictly limited to 32 each night, so you can expect service to be brilliant. Book tickets

David Hockney: From the Beginning, River and Rowing Museum, Henley, Sat 13 Feb – 5 June


Can you believe the quality of the art around Oxfordshire at the moment? Here’s another one – only flippin’David Hockney! One of the most influential and iconic artists of the 20th century, this 30-work exhibition at the River & Rowing Museum in Henley brings together a unique selection of paintings and prints dating from the 1960s to 1978, which chart the early development of his style, interests, and sexuality. I’m going to the press launch next week  so I’ll report back asap, probably in raptures.

River & Rowing Museum, Mill Meadows, Henley on Thames,
Rambert – The 3 Dancers, plus other works, Aylesbury Waterside, Thurs 11- Sat 13 Feb

A scene from Frames by Alexander Whitley for the Rambert Dance Company @ Theatre Royal Glasgow(Opening 5-03-15)©Tristram Kenton 02/15(3 Raveley Street, LONDON NW5 2HX TEL 0207 267 5550 Mob 07973 617 355)email:

Another one that will be too late to remind you about next week. Love, desire and betrayal, the ingredients of the shocking true story which inspired Picasso’s masterpiece, The Three Dancers, and the brilliant UK dance company Rambert springs Picasso’s painting from the canvas to the stage, to create a portrait of doomed passion. The 3 Dancers forms the centrepiece of a triple bill which also includes the atmospheric Terra Incognita, plus a new work from company dancer Patricia Okenwa. Dead cert brilliant.

Aylesbury Waterside,

Grand Viennese Ball, Oxford Town Hall, Sat 13 Feb 2016

The Oxford Philharmonic Orchestra has a brilliant reputation, so if you’re yet to listen to them you could do worse than start with the Grand Viennese Ball next Saturday at the Oxford Town Hall. Led by John Georgiadis, the orchestra is set to play Strauss ‘s waltzes, polkas, marches and quadrilles, recreating the grandeur of the great Viennese balls of the past. If dancing isn’t your thing, just watch others on the 19th century Strictly Ballroom floor and get ready with your marks out of ten, daaaarling.

8pm. Dress: white tie or period costume. Tickets can be reserved on 01865 980 980 (no online bookings). Food platters available: must be pre-booked. Save 5% for groups 10+. Concert and dancing £55; Concert only £25. End time: 11.15pm Optional dance lesson 12.15-2.15pm for £6.

Cushion Concert:The Tuba, St Hilda’s College, Oxford, Sun 7 Feb


I often include these in the Muddy Guides because they’re lovely relaxed concerts for younger children and bang in the middle of Oxford if you want to wander down into the Botanical Gardens or go down to the river afterwards. This Sunday Roz and Mr Cello introduce children to the tuba in an informal 45 minute concert. Bring a cushion, let your kids hang out in the lovely Jaqueline du Pre music building, and feel suitably smug that you’ve ticked the ‘education’ box without your kids even realising it.

10am & 11am for under 5s; 12pm for over 5’s. £5 for parents and children (babies under 1 year free) £16 family ticket (4 spaces). Jacqueline du Pre Building, St Hilda’s College, Oxford,

Flamenco sin Fronteras, The Mill Arts Centre, Banbury, Sat 6 Feb

The Mill Arts Centre has been putting on these Spanish nights for 5 years, but this time they’re throwing lots of new elements into the mix. New Flamenco company ‘Flamenco sin Fronteras’ perform with the first female singer at one of these nights, dancer Cristina la Jose, a Spaniard based in New York, will be dancing in the UK for the first time and guitarist Ramon Ruiz, currently Spanish and Flamenco guitar at the Royal College of Music. is performing for the first time too. So it’s all muy auténtico, with the room laid out cabaret style with complimenary tapas and sangria all round. Olé!

8pm,  £14.50. The Mill Arts Centre, Spiceball Park, Banbury,

Family Fun Day, The Bate Collection, Oxford, Sat 6 Feb


I spent a fantastic day for BBC Oxford last year at the Bate Collection in Oxford – it’s one of those museums that gets overlooked but they have an extraordinary range of musical instruments in there dating right back to the 17th century. There’s an extraordinary range of harpsichords and clavichords there – I massacred a prelude on Handel’s personal harpsichord which was a personal highlight, while the Muddy bratlets bashed away at the less priceless instruments on show. Anyway there’s a family-friendly day of activities from 10am-4pm including gallery trails, colouring and musical demonstrations. You won’t be in there for more than an hour but you’re right by Christchurch Meadows for a wander down to the river afterwards. An interesting experiment.

10am-2pm; The Bate Collection of Musical Instruments, Faculty of Music, St Aldate’s, Oxford,

Orchids 2016, Kew Gardens, Sat 6 Feb – 6 March


Starting this weekend, it’s the month-long annual orchid display at Kew Gardens. Isn’t it gorgeous? An enchanted forest of Brazilian beauties, before you pass through a tunnel of tropical plants. Look out two enormous Rainforest Tree sculptures covered in orchids and bromeliads, plus this pond display with an explosion of Brazilian colour. Part of the regular ticket price into Kew.

Kew Gardens, Richmond, Surrey,

Magical Lantern Festical, Chiswick House and Gardens, Weds 3 Feb – 6 March


Two days left to catch The Magical Lantern Festival, making its UK Premiere at Chiswick House & Gardens. An outdoor event (so be warned!) it’s festival of light and illumination celebrating Chinese New Year 2016 and the Year of the Monkey with a 66n long dragon centerpiece and a 10m tall lantern recreation of Beijing’s Temple of Heaven. You’re given 75 minutes to explore the picturesque garden trail through Corridors of Light leading to vividly themed zones in the stunning grounds of Chiswick House.

Chiswick House Gardens, Chiswick, London W4 2QN,

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