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What’s on: The Muddy Guide 4 – 10 Dec 2014

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Looking for something fun and different to try in this week? Ah well, you’ve come to the right place. Here are my curated tips for the best bits in your next 7 days.

Hero x

Love is Enough: William Morris & Andy Warhol exhibition, Modern Art Oxford, opens Sat 6 Dec


I saw this yesterday in a press preview (it actually opens this Saturday) and it is sooooo cool. Love is Enough is a mash-up of Andy Warhol (including the piece above, a tapestry of Marilyn Monroe never seen in the UK before and 19th century printing and interiors visionary William Morris, all curated by Turner-winning artist Jeremy Deller. One to please modernists, William Morris fans, kids who want space to roam, really what’s not to like?

Dirty Dancing, New Theatre, Oxford, Tues 9 Dec – Sat 3 Jan


OMG!!! I’m going to this show with three girlfriends next week – in a taxi, with cocktails attached –  and I reckon it’s the only way to see it. This is the touring version of the West End hit and will be an utter attack of kitsch, with Hungry Eyes, Hey Baby, Do You Love Me? and I’ve Had The Time of My Life blasting out at the New Theatre, Oxford. I interviewed the guy playing Johnny a few weeks ago who was telling all about his fitness regime to get the Swayze bod. I think you should go, just to check he’s succeeded – don’t you?

Christmas Creations, River and Rowing Museum, Henley, Sat 6 Dec 


Love the sound of this for kids. It’s basically a craft attack at the River & Rowing Museum. They are really well set up for this kind of activity, with a dedicated open plan craft area on the first floor of the museum. Kids can choose between table or tree-top angels, folded stars, fir-cone figures, running reindeers and colourful caskets. This workshop is for kids 4-11years, but if your kids are 7+ you’ll be having a quiet snigger, as you can leave them at hte workshop while you go and shop-til-you-drop in Henley. Ho, ho, ho!

£8.50 per child (includes general admission), booking advised.  10.30am-12.30pm; 4 – 11yrs.

Cushion Concerts for Kids, St Hilda’s College, Oxford, Sun Dec 7

I wrote about this earlier in the week, so this is just a prod to remind you if you’re interested in trying out the Christmas brass Cushion Concert for kids this Sunday –  trombone, trumpet and french horn are introduced in a short, interactive 45 min concert. Children can get up, sing, wander around, pick their nose or loll looking on the floor while they subliminally absorb a classical education. Nice one!

0-5yrs (10am and 11am),  5+ (12pm). £5 each, or £16 for a family of four.Website

It’s all happening in the towns!


Tonight (Thurs) it’s Marlow’s late night shopping (from 6pm) which includes a Stars Wars character procession through the town (worth seeing in its own right in case Darth Vader imprisons the guy with the white beard); Watlington has its Christmas Fair on Sat 6 Dec (10am-2pm), and inlcudes Santa’s grotto, pony rides, Santa on his sleigh and the town crier. Wallingford is going all retro on us with its 1940s Wartime Christmas festival on Sunday 7 Dec, from 12pm. The kids fancy dress competition is vintage (finally you can put them in that tank top your mum knitted), there’ll be a pop up hairdresser and make up artist in Market Place so you can go Forties, and – get this – the WI will be selling spam fritters. Knock them down quickly with a cocktail from the vintage bus. Sounds like the sort of event that could only happen in an English town!

The Abominable Snowman, Pegasus Theatre, Oxford, Sun 7 Dec


Puppetry, interactive songs, clowning and the chance to meet the puppet stars after the show – never mind the kids, they had me at meet the puppets. The Abominable Snowman tells the snowy tale of a lazy boy, a greedy woodcutter and a large and lonely snowman. Sounds good.

11am, 2pm. Show 45 minutes, meeting the puppet cast, 15 minutes

Best Made Local, Stratford Stoney, Sat 6 Dec, 10-4pm

best made local

Best Made Local will be back at the lovely York House Stony Stratford this weekend, its fifth event showcasing a wide range of artists and makers from Bucks, Beds and Northants if you’re looking for something a bit unusual this Xmas. It coincides with Shop Local Saturday, a nationwide iniative to encourage people to step away from the John Lewis hotline and support their local businesses. Muddy hearts that idea, don’t you?

10-4pm, free entry.

John Lydon in conversation with David Freeman, Blackwell’s, Oxford, Mon 8 Dec


How cool is this? John Lydon is coming to the Sheldonian Theatre to discuss his hardback autobiography Anger is an Energy. It’s hard to remember how incendiary Lydon was in his Sex Pistols/Johnny Rotten days since he’s been in the jungle and starred in adverts for teabags, but in the Seventies he was discussed in parliament, under the Traitors and Treasons Act, which still carries the death penalty! You can book tickets for £20 that includes a pre-signed copy of anger is an Energy, or just pay a fiver for a general unallocated seating ticket for the event.

7 – 8pm. Book onlineGavin-Spokes

One Man, Two Guvnors, Wycombe Swan, until Sat 6 Dec


Falling trousers, flying fish heads, star-crossed lovers, cross-dressing mobsters and an on-stage band are just some of what awaits at the National Theatre’s massive award-winning hit starring Gavin Spokes. Two days left to see it before leaves the Wycombe Swan it zips out of the area for good *sob*!

Carols by Candlelight, Magdalen College Chapel, Sat 6 and Sun 7 Dec

mag college chapel

I’m yet to make it to one of these but I’ve heard they’re beautiful. Magdalen College Choir is one of the three major the three ancient choral foundations of Oxford University, founded in 1480 (I mean, come on, that’s impressive!) and has performed at the BBC Proms, with the Britten Sinfonia and as soundtrack artists to Blue Planet and Shadowlands. They’re performing Carols by Candleight at 6pm on both days this weekend, and given their credentials I think you can go confident that they’ll nail We Three Kings and The Holly and the Ivy!

6pm. Tickets for ‘Carols by Candlelight’ cost £7.50 each, with a maximum of four tickets per booking; the proceeds will go to a range of local, national, and international charities.

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