WHAT’S ON THIS WEEK: Thurs 14 – Weds 20 May
Plenty to tantalise, amuse and culturise you this week in the Muddy Guide, if you’re in the mood for fun. Enjoy!
The Car Man, Wycombe Swan, until Saturday
Sweat, oil, and a lot of writhing in this Matthew Bourne re-imagining of Bizet’s Carmen. It’s had great reviews in London, and went last night at Wycombe Swan and loved it (check out my review). If you can still get tickets, go.
A Night At The Museum, River & Rowing Museum, Henley, Thurs 14 May
River and Rowing Museum in Henley are going all funky tonight (Thurs) with a special evening event. Music, drinks and live music are on offer with a free drinkie on arrival (presumably a vintage Dom Pérignon?) and the bar open all evening. Other entertainment includes dressing up for the selfie station using your own props from themed crafts – I know, the mind fair boggles – and giant games including a giant keyboard to make your own music. Blimey.
River & Rowing Museum, Mill Meadows, Henley on Thames, rrm.co.uk
Sensations at The Pitt Rivers, Oxford, Fri 15 May
I know, you wait months for an after-hours event at a museum and then three come at once. Here’s the second, a chance to grab a free torch and explore the hidden nooks and crannies of Oxford’s Museum of Natural History while sound artists Mike Blow and Alex Allmont improvise live with a Theremuino (me neither -but apparently it’s some kind of infrared electronic instrument/synth). Sounds like a unique, slightly bonkers way to experience what’s already a pretty wacky museum.
7- 10pm, Entry £5 (includes torch) Pitt Rivers Museum, South Park Road, Oxford, prm.ox.ac.uk
Live Friday ‘Social Animals’, Late Night Opening at The Ashmolean, Oxford, Fri 15 May
And last but not least, the brilliant (and free) Live Friday returns to The Asmolean Museum. It’s been a while since it the last one, but these are massively worth going to. Tonight’s theme is Social Animals and looks at what makes people and societies tick through music, talks, art and performance. Don’t forget to head up to the rooftop dining room for drinkies and dinner when you’ve had your fill of all that culture.
7 – 10.30pm. ashmolean.org
Witney Festival of Food and Drink, Sat 16 May
This local event, now in its third year attracts its fair share of celeb visitors (David Cameron and festival patron Alexander Armstrong were amongst those hob-nobbing and scoffing falafels last year) but there’s plenty on offer aside from the star-spotting. There are 70 stalls of local producers, a dedicated kids tent where they can learn how to sow seeds, make butter and milk a pretend cow (no kidding), a Skills tent where you can watch cookery techniques from sausage making to how to prep crayfish, plus morris dancers and bell ringers. All that’s missing is a Midsomer Murder. DI Barnaby, get ready for duty.
St. Mary’s Church, Church Green, Witney, witneyfoodfestival.co.uk
Oxford Art Weeks, Oxford City Centre, until 17 May
The wonderful Oxford Art Weeks is into its second phase, and focuses on art and galleries in Oxford City. The website is amazing with a fantastic map feature that makes it super easy for you to find out what’s on where.
Bring Me Laughter, Banbury Museum, now until 4 July
This is the first chance to see this exhibition outside of London and it’s well worth a trip to the Banbury Museum to see original artwork from some of the 20th century’s most respected cartoonists like Anton, H.M. Bateman, Disney Studio, Giles, Max Beerbohm, Ronald Searle, Trog.
Banbury Museum, Spiceball Park Road, Banbury banburymuseum.org
The Complete History of Comedy (Abridged), The Theatre, Chipping Norton, Fri 15 May
Looking for a laugh? The brilliant Reduced Shakespeare Company bring their fast-paced, roller-coaster ride of story-telling to Chipping Norton to tell the whole history of comedy in 90 minutes.
The Theatre, 2 Spring Street, Chipping Norton, chippingnortontheatre.co.uk
Sir András Schiff and Oxford Philomusica, Sheldonian Theatre, Sat 16 May
You of course, ahem, know András Schiff, the world famous pianist and conductor? Well, he’s bringing his tails and baton to the Shedonian Theatre on Saturday night to conduct Schubert’s Rosamunde Overture, before skipping over to the piano stool for Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 1, and then jauntily returning to the podium to conduct Haydn’s moving Mass No. 10 in C major. What a work ethic, what a man, what a night!
Oxford Brookes Fine Art Degree Show, Headington Campus, Sat 16 – Fri 22 May
I confess I don’t really know how brilliant the fine art course is at Oxford Brookes (could be amazing, could be a bit meh) , but I’m always drawn to fine art degree shows. It’s a bit l like dabbling with the Lottery – there’s always that delicious chance you’ll strike the artistic jackpot. The show is described as ‘nourishing to the eye and challenging to the mind’ (well, they’re artists, they’re allowed this kind of waffle), and focuses on the 33 artists in mediums from photography to sculpture who ‘resist categorisation’. Ah yes, of course they do!
10am – 5pm Daily (Thursday & Friday 10am – 7pm). The Glass Tank, Abercrombie Atrium, Headington Campus, Gipsy Lane, brookes.ac.uk
NT Live Screening Man and Superman, Thurs 14 May
Grab your chance to see this sell-out show from the comfort of your local cinema. This production has had amazing reviews and Ralph Fiennes is apparently brilliant as Jack Tanner in George Bernard Shaw’s thought-provoking play. A quick check on the NTLive website will find you your nearest screening – all the towns from Witney and Didcot, Aylesbury to Oxford are in on this one.
Oxford Coffee Concerts, Holywell Music Room, Sun 17 May
I’m a big fan of these coffee concerts – chamber recitals by world class musicians in the lovely Holywell music room in central Oxford. There’s coffee at The Vaults cafe from 9am, then the concert starts at 11.15 and you’ll be out in time for a restorative sharing platter at TVC or a pub lunch at The Rickety Press in no time. This week it’s Petr Liminov performing Bach: Partita no. 4 Schubert: 4 Impromptus op. 90 and Scriabin: Sonata no. 4.
Holywell Music Room, Oxford, coffeeconcerts.co.uk