FRI 12 - SUN 14 JAN 2018
Air Play, Oxford Playhouse, Fri 12 – Sat 13 Jan
There’s a short video of these guys on the Oxford Playhouse website and their show ticks all the boxes for me – modern circus-type entertainment (without the clown jokes) that delights and surprises and all neatly packed into one hour so you can either go with the kids and get them home at a half decent time – or go with friends and hit the wine bar by 9.Oxford Playhouse, 11-12 Beaumont St, Oxford, oxfordplayhouse.com
Tuba Cushion Concerts, JdP Building, Oxford, Sun 14 Jan
I’ve mentioned Oxford’s Cushion Concerts for kids before, because the idea – short, informal, interactive concerts for 0-10 years olds – is so fab. In these sessions, children and their families get to see and hear different instruments and how they make music, helping nuture a love for music from an early age. Bring your own cushions! jdp.st-hildas.ox.ac.uk
The BFG in Pictures, River and Rowing Museum, Henley, to 21 Jan 2018
Last few weeks to catch this exhibition, curated by Quentin Blake himself, of everyone’s favourite giant. It includes unpublished illustrations that have never been exhibited in public before. The exhibition includes Blake’s first designs that weren’t included in the book, and provide a glimpse of a BFG that might have been in 40 original artworks. Don’t forget there’s the permanent John Piper exhibition at the museum too – that’s well worth seeing in its own right. rrm.co.uk
Early Years Workshops, Modern Art Oxford, 11 Jan – 8 Feb
The brilliant Modern Art Oxford is running Make Play sessions, creating a sensory space for little ones (6 months – 5 yrs) to explore with their parent/carer to explore. To tie in with Hannah Ryggen’s tapestry expo, there’ll be wool, line, colour and more. Sessions run from 11am-12pm. modernartoxford.org.uk
Hannah Ryggen, Modern Art Oxford, until 18 Feb
Another corker of an expo from Modern Art, Oxford. Hannah Ryggen was one of Scandinavia’s most outstanding artistic figures of the 20th century, an impassioned artist responding to the socio-political events of her time, from the the rise of fascism and the Nazi occupation of Norway, to nuclear power and media coverage of the Vietnam War. This is the first major presentation of the artist’s work in the UK and surveys her career from early portraiture through to the intricate tapestries that characterised her career from the 1920s onward. Don’t forget that Modern Art Oxford is free entry, and there’s a brill café on site too. modernartoxford.org.uk
Ugly Duckling, Cornerstone Arts, Didcot, Sun 14 Jan
This is a very cute-sounding one hour show with live music and engaging physical theatre that brings to life the much-loved Hans Christian Anderson story. If an hour’s still too much to sit still (ish) through, your bambinos are welcome to buy a Cornerstone lunch box AND take them into the performance. We LOVE those guys at Cornerstone! cornerstone-arts.org
Hogwarts in the Snow, Harry Potter Studios, until 4 Feb
You’ll have decent elbow room to see Hogwarts in the Snow post-Christmas if you’re still in the mood to indulge your children (er, NO). Christmas trees line the Great Hall, the Gryffindor common room is dressed for the season and a blanket of filmmaking snow covering the majestic Hogwarts castle model. Visitors can touch samples of the different types of ‘snow’ used during production, each selected for its ability to float like falling snow, crunch under foot or glisten in the light like ice.
Warner Bros. Studio Tour London, Studio Tour Drive, Leavesden, wbstudiotour.co.uk
Imagining the Divine – Art and the Rise of World Religions, Ashmolean, Oxford, ends 18 Feb 2018
This major exhibition is the first to look at the art of the five world religions as they spread across continents in the first millennium AD. Brand new research from a major project between The Ashmolean Museum, the British Museum and Oxford Uni, with amazing objects created when the iconography of each of the major religions was still being developed… ashmolean.org
Amadeus, the National Theatre, London from Thurs Jan 11 – Tue April 24
Following a critically lauded sell-out run in 2016, Michael Longhurst’s production of Peter Shaffer’s play returns with the brilliant Lucian Msamati – who played Iago in the RSC’s 2015 production of Othello – as composer Antonio Salieri, who strikes a deal with God and is overtaken by a jealous vendetta against his musical rival, Mozart.
Matthew Bourne’s Cinderella, Sadler’s Wells, London, now until Sat 27 Jan
Matthew Bourne’s productions are always stunning and this is no exception. He transposes the story of Cinderella to London during the Blitz, rebooting it as a wartime romance between our heroine and an RAF pilot. The reviews have been of the rave variety, with Lez Brotherston’s sumptuous costumes and sets winning Olivier Award.
Sadlers Wells, Rosebery Av, London EC1, sadlerswells.com
London Art Fair, Islington, London, Weds 17 – Sun 21 Jan
The London Art Fair in my old stomping ground of Islington, North London, offers punters museum-quality Modern British art alongside contemporary work from today’s leading artists, covering the period from the early 20th century to the present day. Besides the main Fair, there’ll be specially curated contemporary spaces which feature the next generation of artists and collectives. A great chance to find something beautiful for your walls that doesn’t cost the earth.
Business Design Centre, 52 Upper Street, London N1, londonartfair.co.uk