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This week

MON 26 FEB - SUN 4 MAR 2018

Hugh Grant in Conversation, Oxford Playhouse, 4 Mar

Just a teeny smattering of tickets left for this one-night-only with Hugh Grant – the actor talks life, career and his battles with the press no doubt with a large dose of self-deprication and wit. Not usually proceeds from the night go to the Hacked Off campaign.


Intergalactic Adventure: FUNomusica Family Concert, Oxford Town Hall, Sun 4 Mar

If you have little people in your life, you can’t do much better than take them to one of these informal FUNomusica concerts at Oxford Town Hall. Conductor Alasdair Malloy has been running these successfully for years with the Oxford Philharmonic and they’re really relaxed and good fun – a great way to introduce little ears to classical music. Today they travel through space and time – cue a little Holst and no doubt the theme from Star Wars. Pre-concert craft activities at 2pm.


Vintage Cinema: Singing in the Rain, Marlow, 4 Mar

One for your mum. Vintage Cinema has teamed up with the Flying Tearoom to bring a special screening of Singing in the Rain with afternoon tea in the attractive Liston Hall. Afternoon tea includes finger sandwiches, scones with cream & jam, cakes, pastries and soft drinks. Rock n roll!


Oxfordshire International Women’s Festival, 24 Feb – Sun 11 March

It’s the 29th year of this festival and the pressure’s on to make it really count in the 100th year of women’s suffrage and with International Women’s Day on 8 March. It kicked off last weekend but there’s still plenty to do including Suffragette walks around Oxford, talks on everything from Sylvia Pankhurst to gender diversity, housing to, er, the menopause (I’m not even joking!) plus music and art in the mix.


Rob Brydon, The Potters Arms, Winchmore Hill, Bucks, Weds 28 Feb

A mega-impressive booking for this Bucks village pub cum comedy venue – as such it’s sold out so you’re going to have to beg, borrow or steal a ticket to catch The Trip and Gavin & Stacey star’s acclaimed stand-up show. If you draw a blank, there’s still availability for Patrick Monahan on 29 March. An interval meal is included in the ticket price.


Variety Night: Grayson Perry, Sir Michael Parkinson, Gareth Malone, New Theatre Oxford, Weds 28 Feb

Perry, Parkinson and Malone. The most unlikely boyband ever? A new firm of solicitors? Actually, the artist, the interviewer and the choirmaster are appearing together, in conversation, on stage for this charity fundraiser. What on earth will they talk about? We’re promised ‘laughs, discussion, insight and costume changes’ (presumably the latter from Perry rather than Parkinson).


Ric James, Chapel Arts, Cheltenham, Wed 28 Feb to Sat 24 March

Marilyn Monroe red lips stars blue background

Strongly inspired by the New York arts scene, multi-media artist Ric James’ work takes a journey across the Atlantic with a mixture of reality-based and abstract work referencing Jackson Pollock, Roy Lichtenstein and Mark Rothko. Fantastic work on canvas and in sculpture – bring your credit card fully flexed!


Nick Sharratt’s Big Draw Along, Corn Exchange Newbury, Sat 3 Mar 

Illustrator Nick Sharratt Big Draw Along Corn exchange Newbury

Worth hopping over the border into Berkshire in search of a good book? We think so. Nick Sharratt has illustrated close to 260 books – everything from board books for babies to novels for teens – for the likes of Julia Donaldson, Michael Rosen, and Dame Jacqueline Wilson. A great chance for kids to join Nick for a fun draw-along, as he reveals the secrets to drawing Tracy Beaker and Timothy Pope, kings and cats and all kinds of crazy creatures.

First Aid Kit: Ruins UK tour, Mon Feb 26 – Fri March 2

The melodic Swedish sisters have four UK dates in Manchester’s Albert Hall and The Roundhouse, London this week before jetting off around Europe, Scandinavia, Australia and the US. Then they’ll be returning for the summer festival season playing in various Muddy county locations, including Larmer Tree Festival in Salisbury, Cambridge Folk Festival, and Bestival. firstaidkitband



Barbara Hepworth: Finding Form, River & Rowing Museum, Henley, 9 Feb – 3 June

I love Barbara Hepworth’s work – if you’re ever in St Ives, be sure to visit her gorgeous house/studio, with its striking sculptures dotted all around the pretty garden. So I’m very excited about this – and what a coup for Henley’s little museum. This retrospective covers the sculptor’s work from the 1930s to the 1960s, borrowing pieces from the Tate and National Portrait Gallery. A must-see.


World Book Day, Windsor Castle, Fri 2 – Sat 3 Mar

Windsor Castle rare and antique books World Book Day

‘Hooray for World Book Day!’ said no parent ever, as we cobble together a passable character. My son is going in this year as footballer Sergio Aguero and nicked one of his sister’s diamante magnetic earrings (the shame). But World Book Day’s not just a chance for kids to play dress up. Windsor Castle is giving you the chance to see someof its finest books from the Royal Library, including exquisite illuminated manuscripts alongside books owned by Henry VIII and Charles I.


Only a couple of days left to stamp on a star! Oxford’s Star Light, Star Bright installation is a set of seven step-activated lights representing different constellations, including Cassiopeia and Orion – constellations that are normally visible in the winter skies above Oxford. You can get each constellation to light up on the pavement around you, but you need to work as a group to press the buttons. Yes, you may have to interact with strangers (*thud*).



Coming Out: Sexuality, Gender and Identity, Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery, until April 15

More than 80 modern and contemporary artworks by internationally renowned artists including Andy Warhol, Sarah Lucas, Grayson Perry, David Hockney, Francis Bacon, Steve McQueen, Derek Jarman, Sunil Gupta, Chila Kumari Burman and Gillian Wearing exploring themes of gender, sexuality and identity in art. birminghammuseums


National Theatre Posters, National Theatre, South Bank, London,  until 31 March 2018

Theatre posters advertising National Theatre productions from 1963 to the present day are on display in a free exhibition at the building until March. Curated by Rick Poynor, professor of Design and Visual Culture at the University of Reading. it explores changing promotional styles and features some famous productions.


Orchid Festival, Kew Gardens, London, 10 Feb – 11 March

Things are going totally tropical this month at London’s gorgeous Kew Gardens. Their annual orchid festival takes in Insta-friendly displays of the vibrant Thai blooms, Thai street food and musical performances, workshops on how to grow these notoriously tricky flowers and Thai afternoon tea at The Botanical restaurant. King prawn, lemongrass and coriander tartlet followed by Thai sticky coconut cream rice with mango salsa? Yes please.


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