FRI 18 - SUN 20 MAY 2017
The cool, brilliant and unmissable in Oxfordshire, Bucks and beyond this weekend.
Witney Food & Drink Festival, Sat 20 May
Alexander Armstrong is patron of this well-heeled food fest – he describes it as a West Oxfordshire foodie Glastonbury no less. This year introduces a clerics cook off (the venue is St Mary’s Church) and a Children’s Tent and remains resolutely local, all run by volunteers with all stalls from within a 35 mile radius (Crayfish excepted!).
Live Friday, The Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, Fri 19 May
Party like it’s the 1600s! Mr Elias Ashmole, founder of the Ashmolean museum, would be 400 years old this year, so this Live Friday includes a parade of Civil War Cavaliers and Courtesans led by King Charles I on horseback at 6.30pm, from Broad Street to the Ashmolean steps. Finally, a chance to dig out my Jacobean ruff and wig… Live Fridays are free (well, apart from the new introduction of the £1 booking fee) and offer multimedia delights amongst the antiquities. For ‘Happy 400th Birthday Mr Ashmole!’ expect period dancing, music, quizzes and a prize for the best dressed.
7pm – 10.3opm. ashmolean.org
Gangsta Granny, Aylesbury Waterside Theatre, Thurs 18 – Sat 21 May
A colourful production of the well-loved David Walliams’ tale of a seemingly boring, cabbage farting granny with a secret jewel thieving past. The world premier from the acclaimed producers of Horrible Histories.
Future Knowledge, Modern Art Oxford, Sat 20 May – Sat 25 June
A five week exhibition that turns the brilliant Modern Art Oxford into a public studio, with artists from different disciplines presenting artworks, projects and events that take ‘Oxford’ as its starting point.
So it includes Kazem Hakimi’s photographs of customers to his East Oxford fish and chip shop; Gustav Metzger’s invitation for visitors to select and out articls to contribute to a growing news item collage; and Playback, a series of 150 short films made by young artist filmmakers. The breadth of the art on display mean you won’t love everything but I bet it’ll be more hit than miss.
Sister Act, New Theatre Oxford, Mon 15 – Sat 20 May
Alexandra Burke has a whole new career as a musical star – having nailed the lead role in The Bodyguard musical for three years (I saw it in Oxford in 2016) she’s taking on Sister Act, another classic film-turned-musical with Burke taking on the Whoopi Goldberg’s comedy shoes as Sister Dolores. Directed and choreographed by Craig Revel Horwood, it should be a corker.
Enchanted Museum, Chiltern Open Air Museum, Sat 20 May
A special late opening for this charming open air museum in Chalfont St Giles, as part of the national after-dark experience ‘Museums at Night’. Families can spend the evening exploring the Museum’s historic local buildings lit up by candle, lantern and firelight, and walk through the woods trying their hands at fairytale crafts and activities. There’s a BBQ on the Village Green, beer, cider and Pimm’s for the over 12s (no, not really just checking you’re still concentrating), and kids can take part in Knight’s School (age 5-12), make candles, toast marshmallows and watch a princess ride a unicorn. As you do.
Babylon Plants and Flowers Open Day (plus Afternoon Tea and Mozart!) Sat 20 May
Usually just open to the trade, the brilliant Babylon Plants and Flowers is opening its doors to the general public for the day as part of the Chelsea Fringe. Plants will be for sale followed by a tea time music concert at 4.30 pm, where the award-winning Carmilla Ensemble will be playing a programme of summery music composed by blokes called Mozart and Beethoven. Entry to the Plant Open Day is free, tickets to concert cost £10 and includes a free drink. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to buy tickets.
On the Town, Regents Park Open Air Theatre, 19 May – 1 July
Strictly finalist hottie Danny Mac dances his way into a new musicals career, starring in the classic Gene Kelly/Frank Sinatra classic On The Town at the acclaimed Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre. Directed and choreographed by Olivier Award-winner Drew McOnie with a score by Leonard Bernstein, Regent’s Park is a 10 minute stroll from the train at Marylebone. What more do you want, good weather while you’re watching it?!