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This week

Mon 25 - Sun 3 March


TALK: Stacey Halls, Blackwell’s Bookshop Westgate, Oxford, Thurs 28 Mar 

The Familiars is one of Feb’s best new books according to Muddy’s own Kerry Potter and the author Stacey Halls will tell you all about it at Blackwell’s Westgate locale this week. Set against the backdrop of the Pendle witch trials, it’s the story of a pregnant teenage girl Fleetwood Shuttleworth (brilliantly named and an actual person, apparently) and her friendship with a midwife called Alice.

Tickets here.


THEATRE: Trial by Laughter, Milton Keynes Theatre, Mon 25 Feb – Sun 2 Mar

Ian Hislop’s The Wipers Times went down well with the critics so he and his writing partner, Nick Newman, have once again created a new play based on real life events. Trial by Laughter tells the tale of a satirist called William Hone who was tried in 1817 for blasphemy and libel. Clearly something close to Hislop’s heart so it’ll be interesting to see his take on this true story.


COMEDY: Andrew Bird, The Potters Arms, Amersham, Thurs 28 Feb

Currently supporting Michael McIntyre and previously Rob Brydon on tour, Andrew Bird is making quite the name for himself and he’s in our ‘hood. You also get a main meal included in the ticket price so trot along to newly refurbished The Potters Arms for a fun bargain night out.


EXHIBITION: An Earthly Paradise: William Morris & the Thames, River & Rowing Museum, until Sun 14 July

The Herball, or General Historie of Plantes 1633

I have great memories of taking my family to William Morris’s house in Gloucestershire and having them all sit outside glumly for an hour proclaiming it the most boring thing ever while I drooled over the textiles and furniture. Ah, happy days! Anyway, this exhibition focuses on how the Thames influenced Morris’ work. He had a rural retreat in Oxfordshire, where he loved to boat and fish, ergo the influence of the river in his textiles and designs. Pieces have been collated from the V&A, The William Morris Gallery and the British Library to make this exhibition possible and it also delves into Morris personal life and his politics.


FESTIVAL: Oxford International Women’s Festival, Thurs 28 Feb – Sun 17 Mar

A series of events celebrating women’s successes, strengths and solidarity. This year’s theme is We Will Survive and Thrive and there will be a panel on International Women’s Day on 8 Mar to talk about their experiences around this theme. Guests so far confirmed are Eleanor Smith, MP for Wolverhampton, and Margaret Greer, Unison National Officer for Black Members. Festival events include screenings, talks, workshops, theatre and networking events. Check out the full programme here.


COMEDY: Stephen Bailey, The Stables, Milton Keynes, Thurs 28 Feb

Stephen Bailey is performing his stand up show, Our Kid, full of northern warmth, at The Stables as part of his UK tour. He’s recently been on tour with the brilliant Katherine Ryan (is he ever at home?) and has spent a season at the prestigious Soho Theatre in London so he’s definitely one to watch.


EXHIBITION: Turner, Blenheim Palace, Woodstock, until Mon 22 Apr

The Young Turner: Ambitions in Architecture and the Art of Perspective takes place in Blenheim’s Gallery with works from The Ashmolean, The Tate and private collections. The exhibition celebrates some of his earliest commissions and shows his progress in depicting architecture and perspective in drawings, paintings and engravings from the 1780s – 1810s. You can also see one of Turner’s sketchbooks and some diagrams from a lecture he gave to the Royal Academy on perspective, which have rarely been exhibited before.


ART: Spring Show, Carina Haslam Art, Great Missenden, Thurs 28 Feb – Sat 2 Mar

Janet Shrimpton, Peony Fresco

If you’re contemplating buying some new art, Carina Haslam’s Spring Show is a great place to start. New and existing artists are on display from Feb 28 (drinks 7- 9.30pm to open the exhibition) until Mar 3 when they’ll be packed up ready for London’s Affordable Art Fair in Battersea (7 – 10 Mar). And on that note, Muddy readers can get free tickets to the Affordable Art Fair by emailing Carina Haslam here!


FESTIVAL: Dancin’ Oxford, various locations, Fri 1 – Sun 10 Mar

The annual dance fest returns for its 13th year with an ongoing programme of workshops, talks and performances popping up in theatres and spaces around the city. This month choose from taster classes in Zumba, street, salsa and African dance, as well as performances by young dance collective Rambert2 and renowned physical theatre company Geko. The venture also introduces a new Festival Hub, the Lucy Room in Oxford Playhouse and hosts the Festival Launch on a pop up stage in Westgate Oxford, Sat 2 Mar. Full listings here.


MUSIC: Empowered Women Trilogy, SJE Arts, St John’s Church, Iffley Rd, Fri 1 Mar – Sat 2 Mar 

Music at Oxford celebrate International Women’s Day with a series of intimate performances about extraordinary women. The pieces will be performed by concert-theatre group The Telling who perform through ballads, music, poetry and story-telling. Classical music critic for The Observer, Fiona Maddocks, will give an accompanying talk on Fri Mar 1.


FILM: The Children’s Act, Long Crendon Library, Fri 1 Mar 

I saw Ian McEwan give a reading of this a few years ago at the Sheldonian so I was pretty excited when it was turned into a film- with Emma Thompson and Stanley Tucci no less! Long Crendon Film Club screen the drama in their pop up cinema’s seventh season. Later in the month, Fri 22 Mar, the cinema is also showing The Wife, which saw Glenn Close win the Best Actress Oscar this year.


SCIENCE: Women in Science, History of Science Museum, Oxford, Sat 2 Mar 

Get the kids out of the house and secretly learning (mwahaha!) with the History of Science Museum’s Women in Science day with hands on activities inspired by women in the venue’s rare collection. There’s also a family trail that follows female science buffs from Caroline Herschel, the comet-hunter, to Dorothy Crowfoot Hodgkin, who discovered the structure of insulin. 



Pop up supper club Native Feasts, run by Michelin star chef Chris Godfrey and Greg Jones, celebrates it’s third birthday at The Oxford Artisan Distillery and it’s promising cocktails galore, music from cool local DJs and, of course, super tasty grub, Sat 2 Mar.

KIDS: World Book Day reading, Blackwell’s Westgate, Sat 2 Mar  

Bestselling local duo Adam and Charlotte Guillain host a story time of their latest rhyming picture book The World Book Day Monster in Blackwell’s Westgate- just in time for the date next weekend. It’s about a little girl who dresses up as a monster (seems about right!) and for kids 3+. The pair have also written School for Dads ,Spaghetti With the Yeti and Muffins for Mummies. The event is free but you have to register online.

Register here


EXHIBITION: Fantastic Cities, Modern Art Oxford, until Sun 3 Mar 

You’ve got a few days left to catch the first major exhibit of artist and director Penny Woolcock’s work at this quirky central Oxford gallery. Penny began her artistic career in our ‘hood in the 70s and became a pioneer in contemporary visual culture in the UK. Fantastic Cities explores the grit of real life urban experiences, mixing art with activism- it’s pretty cool so well worth snoop around.


SHOPPING: MK Handmade & Vintage Fair, Centre MK, Sat 2 – Sun 3 Mar

MK is known for its high street shopping so it’s great to see something a little different pop up every now and again. This mahoosive fair parks up in the cavernous 1800sq m space outside of John Lewis with over 130 curated stalls from indie businesses, vintage traders, artists, artisan and craftspeople. All items sold at the event are one-offs (and affordable!) including jewellery, homewares, clothing, art, gifts and a few of the designers are available for bespoke commissions.


FITNESS: Free Yoga, LuluLemon Bicester Village, Sun 3, Sun 10 Mar 

Yep, you’ve read correctly- this really is free! The upmarket Canadian fitness brand (a fave among chic NYC yoga bunnies, doncha know) put on two early morning sessions with local instructors in their Bicester Village store. A few mats will be provided, but bring one if you’ve got one knocking around.

Tickets here


ART: Jeff Koons at The Ashmolean, Oxford, until Sun 9 Jun 

Behemoth of the contemporary art world, Jeff Koons is curating his own exhibition in collaboration with Norman Rosenthal. Spanning Koons’ entire career and showcasing seventeen works, most of which have never been shown in the UK before, the show will include his popular series Equilibrium, Statuary, Banality, Antiquity and his recent Gazing Ball sculptures and paintings.


HOME: Henley House and Garden Show, Market Place, Sat 3 – Sun 3 Mar 

This is a great idea! This show has been running since 2015 and was started by a Henley local interior designer with the idea of bringing together businesses and designers in the area. This year there’ll be around 64 exhibitors in the marquee on Market Place as well as inside the town hall and around Henley centre selling all sorts from furniture and gifts to garden designers, makers, advisors and initiatives that run business workshops all from local businesses.

EXHIBITION: Pop Art in Print, Banbury Museum – finishes on Sun 3 Mar 

You’ve got a few days left to see this awesome exhibit of Pop Art graphics at Banbury Museum that’s on loan from the V&A. There’s over 60 pieces from 30+ artists of the 60s, 70s as well as contemporary pieces. There as some huuuuuge names at this one including Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein and Damien Hirst- catch it while you can.


EXHIBITION: Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams, Victoria & Albert Museum, London, until  Sun 14 July 

This is going to be maaassive! The V&A is showing the largest House of Dior exhibition ever staged in the UK, tracing the history of Christian Dior and the six artistic directors who succeeded him. The exhibition is based on the major exhibition Christian Dior: Couturier du Rêve, organised by the Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Paris, and there’s a new section exploring Dior’s fascination with British culture. A highlight is the Christian Dior dress worn by Princess Margaret for her 21st birthday celebrations, on loan from the Museum of London.


EXHIBITION: Don McCullin Photography, Tate Britain, until Mon 6 May & Dorothea Tanning Exhibition, Wed 27 Feb – Sun Jun 9

Over 250 photographs spanning Don McCullin’s 6o year career are on display at Tate Britain and include his iconic war images, including Vietnam, Northern Island and Syria, as well as some of his work focussing on poverty in England. At the end of the month, Tate Modern is showing over 100 works by Dorothea Tanning, from her 7 decade career as a surrealist artist. And don’t forget the Tate Late session at the Tate Modern on Fri 22 Feb when you can wander the galleries after hours and listen to talks, music and workshops.



Chilterns Live , Pendley Meadow, Tring, Sat 29 June

guitar grass summer

Oooh, new and shiny! There’s a brand new festival near our ‘hood! Chilterns Live will be popping up in Tring with a stellar pop line-up of Busted (this got a few squeals in Muddy HQ), Sophie Ellis Bextor, The Feeling and Top Loader.



BOOK NOW: AniMalcolm, Aylesbury Waterside, Wed 6 – Thurs 7 Mar 

Get booking now for Story Pocket Theatre’s dramatisation of Brit comic and award winning children’s author David Baddiel’s AniMalcolm. The show uses physical theatre and live puppetry to tell the comical tale of Malcolm, a boy who hates animals, as he inhabits the bodies of several farm creatures on a school trip.

Get tickets here


THEATRE: Rain Man, Wycombe Swan, Tue 19 – Sat 23 Mar

Based on the Oscar winning blockbuster, Paul Nicholls (Eastenders) and Chris Fountain (Hollyoaks) star as the road-tripping brothers in acclaimed theatre producer Bill Kenwright’s show.

Find more ideas here

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