MON 13 - SUN 19 NOV 2017
As You Like It, Oxford Playhouse, Tue 14 – Sat 18 Nov
Shakespeare is for life, not just jaunty summer productions. Former Oxford Playhouse resident company Shared Experience bring Shakespeare’s much-loved romantic comedy to the theatre. It’s a modern setting for this production, just in case that sways you either way.
Oxford Playhouse, 11-12 Beaumont St, Oxford, oxfordplayhouse.com
Gautier Capuçon, Sheldonian, Oxford, Thurs 16 Nov
I feel a sudden urge to listen to cello recitals… This frankly gorgeous French musician Gautier Capuçon (he could only be called Gaultier) is very good with his hands by all accounts, caressing Mozart’s Divertimento in D major and Symphony No 29 in A major (written, remarkably, when Wolfgang was 16 and 18 respectively) and Haydn’s Cello Concerto No. 1 in C major and Symphony No. 22 in E flat major. The Sheldonian Theatre is the venue, Marios Papadopoulos conducts and the crowd will be set to sigh as Capuçon exhibits his Gallic virtuosity.
Oxford’s Christmas Light Festival, Fri 17 – Sun 19 Nov
Oooh, sparkly lights! This free festival will be taking over the city’s streets and open spaces for three days, with the newly opened Westgate Oxford (let us worship) as one of the main venues, along with Oxford Castle quarter, Gloucester Green and Broad Street. The Westgate will be hosting art installations, and will also form part of the route taken through the city as part of the popular lantern parade. Expect street artists, outdoor exhibitions, markets, music and dance throughout the weekend.
Living Crafts for Christmas, Blenheim Palace, 16 – 19 Nov
The first of the big crafty events that we’re about to bombarded with over the next 6 weeks. This one is more pleasurable than most – more than 150 British designer-makers showcasing their craft in the Churchill and Marlborough Pavilions in the Great Court. Millinery, ceramics, studio glass, leather work, sculpture, textile crafts, photography, toys and puzzles and all that jazz. If you’re looking for a good pub afterwards, head into Woodstock to The Woodstock Arms or The Crown, I’ve eaten in both and can totally recommend.
Blenheim Palace, Woodstock, Oxon, blenheimpalace.com
Hogwarts in the Snow, Harry Potter Studios, Sat 18 Nov – 4 Feb
Hogwarts in the Snow – as regular as Christmas! The festive makeover will see Christmas trees line the Great Hall, the Gryffindor common room dressed for the season and a blanket of filmmaking snow covering the majestic Hogwarts castle model. Visitors will even be able to 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. Trust me, your kids will love it.
Warner Bros. Studio Tour London, Studio Tour Drive, Leavesden, wbstudiotour.co.uk
Tudor Cookery Workshop, Sulgrave Manor, Sat 18 – Sun 19 Nov
Ever wondered what treats the Tudors enjoyed at Christmas time? What do you mean no?! Create and take home your own Tudor sweet, make sweetmeats and your own bottle of spiced Hippocras (go on look it up, I had to). All with course leaders in 16th century costume.
Sulgrave Manor, Sulgrave, Banbury, sulgravemanor.co.uk
Hannah Ryggen, Modern Art Oxford, 11 Nov – 18 Feb 2018I’m always excited when Modern Art Oxford introduces a new exhibition and this one is going to be a corker. 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 corker of a cafe on site too.
Finnish Rooftop Sauna, Queen Elizabeth Roof Terrace, South Bank, Fri 10 Nov – Sat 30 Dec
London Jazz Festival, Fri 10 – Sun 19 Nov
One of the biggest jazz festivals in the world, with ten jam-packed days of international talent. This year the numbers are dizzying – more than 350 performances in 60 venues with many of the events free.
Jon Richardson: Old Man, Aylesbury Waterside, Thurs 16 Nov
Peppa Pig’s Adventure, Aylesbury Waterside Theatre, Sat 18 – Sun 19 Nov
A brand new live show starring everyone’s favourite cochon. Muddy puddles, tents, animal friends and no doubt a large array of Peppa Pig merchandise to plunder.
Aylesbury Waterside Theatre, Exchange St, Aylesbury, atgtickets.com
Peter and the Wolf, Mill Arts Centre, Banbury, Sat 18 Nov
Featuring animal antics of singing birds, waddling ducks, sneaky cats, and a rocking wolf this production features new music lovingly inspired by Prokofiev’s classic – including real musical vegetables (the mind boggles) plus puppetry and physical comedy for kids 4+.
The Mill Arts Centre, Spiceball Park, Spiceball Park Rd, Banbury, themillartscentre.co.uk
Cézanne Portraits, National Portrait Gallery, London, 26 Oct – 11 Feb 2018
This started just last week, Brings together over 50 of Cézanne’s portraits from collections across the world, including works which have never been on public display in the UK . Over a working life of some forty-five years, Cézanne made almost 1,000 paintings of which around 160 are portraits and this exhibition offers a fascinating insight into this central aspect of his work.
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Native Feasts pop up supper clubs, College Farm, Long Crendon, throughout Dec
The Native Feasts dynamic duo of Chris Godfrey (ex Michelin star chef of The Sir Charles Napier in Chinnor) and Greg Jones continue to create gastro evenings in cool locations. Long Crendon is a chocolate box village just on the Bucks/Oxon border (close to Thame), and the lodge is set to be decked out with fairy lights, holly and misteltoe. They’re promising a ‘minc pie martini’ which sounds franklly perilous but I dare say will hit the spot, plus artisan wines and beers. Some of the evenings are already sold out but there’s availability at the time of writing this for Dec 2, 8, 9 and 15 December, plus a New Year’s bash at the cool Coopers industrial cafe space in Marlow. Tickets for the supper clubs are £45 for four courses, complimentary ‘winter warmer’ shooters on arrival and ‘pass the Christmas present’. What more do you want, table service by the elves?