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WHAT’S ON: The Muddy Guide 21-27 September

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The very best bits of Bucks/Oxfordshire for the next week, curated by Muddy Stilettos. Have fun peeps!

The Kop Hill Climb 2012, Sat 22-Sun 23 September

Strange the things that amuse us. 12,000 people lined Kop Hill outside Princes Risborough last year to watch 400 vintage car race (or pootle) up the Kop Hill Climb.

This is the fourth commemorative year of the original races of 1910-1925 and it’s getting more extravagant each time. I think I’m understanding this correctly when I say that a Spitfire plane powered by a 27 litre V12 Merlin engine will motor up the hill on Saturday! I think that’s worth the entrance fee on its own.

Classic cars like the McLaren MP4-12C Spider (sorry ladies, am I keeping you awake?) will be all red and shiny and flexing their metal muscles for your delectation, and if you really want to get into the spirit, organisers are also putting on vintage bus and steam train trips.

£10 for the first ticket, then £5 per adult. Under 12s free, and parking free. Kop Hill Road, Princes Risborough, HP27 0LB.

Blue/Orange, Aylesbury Waterside, 25-29 September

Luddite that I am, I’d never heard of the play Blue/Orange before now – well, have you?!! – but this psychological thriller has apparently it’s won every major award going. Oops. This new production, directed by Christopher Luscombe (The Madness of George III, Dandy Dick and Spamalot in the West End) stars the fabulous Robert Bathurst, my favourite character from Cold Feet and most recently Downton Abbey (go on, snog Edith!). The national press have given it rave reviews, with the Telegraph describing its ‘uncommon mixture of sensitivity, wit and daring’. Go and see for yourself and be a Muddy Stilettos critic in the comment box below.

Tickets £10-32.

Nonsense!, The Story Museum, Oxford, 21 September

This event is tonight (Friday)  so there’s not much time to rally the troops, but if you have the energy and your kids aren’t comotose in front of the telly, Nonsense! will be amazing. Michael Rosen, the former Children’s Laureate, hosts an evening of nonsense and jazz with the award-winning Homemade Orchestra at the much-admired Story Museum in central Oxford. It’s described as an ‘off the wall romp through an ever changing musical landscape, igniting the surreal, the playful and the unexpected’. Christ, ditch the kids and just go yourself! Suitable for all ages, 6pm-7.30pm, £10/£8 concessions.

The Story Museum, Rochester House, 42 Pembroke St, Oxford, OX1 1BP. Tel: 01865 790050. [email protected]

Hysteria, general release from Friday 21 September

The Victorian version of the rampant rabbit. Fluffy!

I’ll be frank. This film hasn’t had the greatest reviews. But the idea of bringing out a movie about the invention of the vibrator is just so hilarious I can’t allow the opportunity pass by without telling you about it. Basically it’s a British period comedy-drama about a plucky London doctor who joins the staff of an affluent West End clinic specialising in “female hysteria”. He ends up, shall we say, releasing the tension amongst so many housewives that he gets the Victoria version of RSI and invents the vibrator to give his poor hands a rest. Maggie Gyllenhaal, Ashley Jensen, Felicity Jones and Sheridan Smith are amongst the lucky ladies treated by the dexterous Hugh Dancy.

Henley Literary Festival, Mon 24 – Sun 30 September
We seem to do literary festivals very well in our neck of the woods. Hot on the heels of Woodstock’s success, it’s Henley’s turn to bathe in the literary sunlight. Writers like Jo Jo Moyes, Michael Palin and David Lodge join David Baddiel, Prue Leith, John Major and Rupert Everett to take part in more than 90 events around this gorgeous Thame-side setting. Book tickets to see your favourite authors, or just soak in the atmosphere for the day.
Garsington Manor, open gardens for NGS, on Sunday 23 Sepember
Parents coming down for the weekend? Kids need exercising like dogs? I have just the thing. Garsington Manor gardens (note: not the house itself) is open to prols like you and I on Sunday, as part of the National Gardens Scheme. Enjoy the early monastic fish ponds (not sure what these are – chanting koi karp?), water garden, dovecote from c1700, lake, flower parterre, Italianate terrace and loggie and statues. Gorgeous stuff.

Open between 2-5pm, Admission £5, Children free.

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