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This weekend

Fri 18 - Sun 20 Oct


SCIENCE: IF Oxford Science & Ideas Festival, various locations in Oxford, 18 – 28 Oct

There are all sorts of science-y talks, activities and events going on in Oxford for IF Oxford Science & Ideas Festival – highlights this week include Westgate Wonderlab in Leiden Square and Vector, an immersive performance at Old Fire Station.


THEATRE: An Inspector Calls, Oxford Playhouse, 15 – 19 Oct 

Following a sell-out London season and US tour, Stephen Daldry’s multi-award winning production for the National Theatre comes to Oxford. It’s Based on JB Priestley’s classic thriller so expect all the usual intrigue, murder and suspense.


MUSIC: Oxford Lieder Festival, various locations in Oxford, 11 – 26 Oct 

In Oxford there’s the 18th Oxford Lieder Festival; one of the leading events of its kind in the world, singers and pianists from all over descend on Oxford for concerts, workshops, masterclasses, talks, and a bit of networking. This year will have over 100 events, with the theme Tales of Beyond: Magic, Myths and Mortals.



EXHIBITION: Daniel Meadows: Now and Then, Western Library, Oxford, until 24 Nov 

This cool new exhibition of photographs taken by leading British photographer Daniel Meadows compares portraits taken in the 70s and then in the 90s.


CULTURE: Thame Arts and Literature Festival, Thame, 17 – 20 Oct 

This small lit fest, now in it’s 10th year, punches above it’s weight with lots of events across the weekend. Muddy’s Associate Editor Kerry Potter will be interviewing author of How Was It For You?, Virginia Nicholson (20 Oct), plus great events for children too including an interactive workshop with illustrator Yuval Zommer, author of The Big Book Of Birds and Wizard School.


COMEDY: Sindhu Vee, The Theatre, Chipping Norton, 18 Oct 

Sindhu Vee, Edinburgh Comedy Award Best Newcomer Nominee 2018, pops up at Chippy Theatre with her critically acclaimed stand up show Sandhog. 


EXHIBITION: George Stubbs: ‘all done from Nature’MK Gallery, Milton Keynes, 12 Oct – 26 Jan

The stunning MK Gallery has a new exhibition for Oct, George Stubbs: ‘all done from Nature’which is the first overview of the British artist’s work in the UK for over 30 years. The collection  brings together 80 paintings, drawings and publications including Stubb’s animal and equestrian paintings which he is best know for.


OPERA: Romeo & JulietStowe House, Bucks, 19 Oct 

Arcadian Opera comes to Stowe armed with  a first rate cast of soloists, Opera Chorus and Orchestra for their production of Gounod’s rarely performed Romeo and Juliet.


EVENT: Stargazing, Stowe House, Bucks, 19 Oct 

Stowe hosts its popular family stargazing evening on the South Front, including a talk about the solar system from UK Astronomy.


EVENT: Biagio the Jeweller’s wedding ring event, Bicester or Thame, 19 – 26 Oct 

Put a ring on it (and save up to 50% while you’re at it) at this annual event from multi Muddy Award-winning Biagio the Jeweller. Book ahead to receive a free mini bottle of Prosecco and lip balm, plus if you purchase your wedding rings on the day you’ll receive 20% off your next purchase and there’s also the chance to win £200 to spend in store. Ding flipping dong!


THEATRE: The Immigrant, The Theatre, Chipping Norton, 19 Oct 

The Immigrant, a slapstick comedy inspired by Charlie Chaplin’s original film, comes to its last Oxon venue, Chippy Theatre, having previously showed in Banbury and central Oxford earlier this month. Chris Michael, who was the first ever clown at the brilliant Giffords Circus, takes the starring role, so laughs are guaranteed.


COMEDY: Frank Skinner, MK Theatre, Milton Keynes, 20 Oct

Frank Skinner is back in the game and appearing at Milton Keynes Theatre with his brand new stand up. Not surprisingly, it’s not recommended for children under 14. You have been warned.


COMEDY: Rob Beckett, New Theatre Oxford, 20 Oct 

If you missed Rob Beckett, or the Mouth from the South as he’s so charmingly known, in Ayslebury at the beginning of the month, you have a second chance to see his show, Wallop, at New Theatre Oxford this week.



Must-see exhibitions on the go this week include  a Kiki Smith show ‘I am Wanderer’, at Modern Art Oxford, which promises to take visitors on a mythological and folkloric journey in her huge tapestries to her exquisitely-fashioned gold shells (until 19 Jan); The Young Turner: Ambitions in Architecture and the Art of Perspective at Banbury Museum, which focuses on the artists work from the 1780s to the 1810s and includes works on loan from The Ashmolean, The Tate and private collections (until 12 Jan); the Ashmolean’s current display, Last Supper in Pompeii, with 400+ exhibits from the ancient Roman site buried by the enormous eruption of Vesuvius in 79 AD (until 12 Jan); An Earthly Paradise: William Morris at Oxfordshire Museum in Woodstock; First Animalsan interesting exploration of the first life on earth at the Oxford University Museum of Natural History (until 24 Feb); the brilliant Bears! exhibit in Henley at the River & Rowing Museum (Muddy review here).



EVENT: Muddy + Bicester Village shopping & styling spectacular!, Bicester Village, 14 Nov

We hate to use the C word just yet but here at Muddy this is the year when we’re finally getting organised with our Christmas shopping and planning. No more dashing around shops on 23 Dec, no sirree! With this in mind, we’ve concocted an amazing Christmas shopping and styling event with Bicester Village for Muddy readers. A ticket will include a talk from Muddy founder Hero Brown on how to buy the perfect gifts, a guide to tablescaping and bringing festive chic to your home by renowned interior designer/florist Willow Crossley (google her gorgeous Cotswolds pubs), expert styling advice from Muddy’s Kerry Potter, brunch/ afternoon tea  provided by Soho House, 10 percent discount for all participating Bicester Village stores throughout the day and a luxury goodie bag. Because self-gifting is a valid part of Christmas, right?!  Tickets here


THEATRE: The Snow Queen, The North Wall Arts Centre, 30 Nov – 5 Jan 

Can’t stand the panto? Muddy favourite Creation Theatre are steering clear and performing The Snow Queen for its Christmas show. If you’ve seen the quirky theatre group’s last few festive shows (Peter Pan, A Christmas Carol, Snow White) you’ll be pleased to know that it’s the same team behind the production. Get booking now as it looks like a goodie.



THEATRE: Lungs, Old Vic theatre, London, 14 Oct – 9 Nov

The Crown alumni Claire Foy and Matt Smith (aka The Queen and Prince Philip, of course) are reunited in Lungs at the Old Vic (14 Oct–9 Nov), playing a couple wrestling with life’s big issues, such as whether to have children, against the backdrop of a world teetering on the edge of environmental and political disaster.



Vogue fashion and portrait photographer Tim Walker‘s enchanting, fantastical, frankly insane work is the subject of a new V&A exhibition (until 8 March). Tilda Swinton, Björk and, er, Sir David Attenborough are among his subjects and he’s also created 10 new works for the show.

Meanwhile this autumn’s big-hitter is William Blake at Tate Britain, below, (until 2 Feb 2020). The visionary painter and poet’s work will be imaginatively displayed – some of it blown up to enormous scale using digital technology, other works in an immersive room that recreates the space in which Blake first showed his art in 1809.

Elsewhere Into the Night: Cabarets & Clubs in Modern Art at the Barbican (4 Oct – 19 Jan) is probably the nearest I’ll get to clubbing this autumn. It’s such a cool concept – a history of cabarets, clubs, dancefloors and party spaces that inspired artists from the 1880s to the 1960s, including the Berlin cabaret scene in Weimar Germany and Harlem’s jazz clubs and lifesize recreations of some of the hotspots.

Then there’s a major retrospective of 88-year-old Bridget Riley‘s life’s work at the Hayward Gallery (23 Oct – 26 Jan), taking in her famous monochrome, makes-your-eyes-go-funny Op Art paintings from the 1960s among its 70 year career span.

And finally, playing “spot the Angel Of The North” as we drive up the A1 to Newcastle is a family ritual in our house (Geordie in-laws, you see), so I’ve got a soft spot for Antony Gormley’s striking sculpture. His new show at the Royal Academy (until 3 Dec) is billed as his most ambitious in a decade and involves six tonnes of steel mesh, eight km of coiled tubing and a gallery flooded with clay and sea water. Blimey!

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