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This Weekend

FRI 27 - SUN 29 OCT 2017

Oxford Ceramics Fair, 28 – 29 Oct

Sometimes 99p white plates from Ikea just won’t cut it. If you’re in search of unique, quirky pieces to sex up your shelves, check out the Oxford Ceramics Fair this weekend. Now in its 18th year, it features 60 of the UK’s leading potters and ceramics makers who’ll be exhibiting and selling their crafts. Plate, bowl and vase nirvana, basically.

St Edward’s School,Woodstock Road, Oxford,


Founders Festival & LiveFriday Late Night, Ashmolean, Oxford, Fri 27 – Sun 29 Oct

Elias Ashmole funny glasses candles birthday

This weekend kicks off with another late night LiveFriday opening where you get to to experience the museum after dark: essentially it means fewer school kids and tourists and a more sophisticated crowd. The whole weekend’s all about celebrating the life and times of Ashmolean founder Elias Ashmole so expect seventeenth century-themed theatre, talks, music and quizzes galore – and all for free.

Ashmolean, Beaumont St, Oxford,


P P Arnold, Kenton Theatre, Henley, Fri 27 Oct

One of the most in-demand singers of the last five decades, PP Arnold, an original Ikette, has worked with everyone from Rod Stewart, Roger Waters and Jimi Hendrix to Paul Weller, Peter Gabriel and Primal Scream. She comes to the Kenton the same month the long-awaited album The Turning Tide is released, with tracks produced by Barry Gibb and Eric Clapton, songs written by Van Morrison and Steve Winwood. Frankly, this sounds awesome.


In-Light II and Museums at Night, Compton Verney, Sat Oct 28 – Sun Oct 29

The combination of dark autumnal skies and a rural location makes Compton Verney the ideal place to experience a spectacular and contemporary ‘son et lumière’. Celebrated light artist Luxmuralis will draw upon poetry and nature to create a series of stunning light projections. Wrap up warm and prepare to see the written word and a colourful palette projected onto the famous house’s Georgian façade. You can also join Antonia Harrison, the curator of Compton’s major autumn exhibition The Lost Words, writer Robert Macfarlane and artist Jackie Morris as they reveal the ideas and inspirations that led to the show.  The talk takes place in the recently restored Chapel, and is followed by a book signing.


The Secret Keeper, The North Wall, Sat 28 Oct

A political fairytale for adults – with songs, magpies and a murderous gothic heart. A father confides in his daughter and lifts a sad weight from his heart and soon the whole town is confessing to her – including a murder. Der, der, DERRRRRRRRR!


The Budapest Café Orchestra, Stowe, Fri 27 Oct

men hats fiddle violin accordian

Trad folk meets gypsy campfire music, these guys rock the house with fast and furious toe-tapping fiddling. I defy you to sit still!

Ugland Auditorium, Stowe House, Stowe, Buckingham,


Imagining the Divine – Art and the Rise of World Religions, Ashmolean, Oxford, until 18 Feb

Could have had a catchier title truth be told! But anyhoo, this major exhibition will be the first to look at the art of the five world religions as they spread across continents in the first millennium AD. Blimey! 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.


October Half-term at Waddesdon Manor, Bucks, Sat 21 – Sun 29 Oct

Waddesdon Manor has more pumpkin carving, trails and spooky afternoon teas (above) than your kids can handle!  There’s also the Fête Worse than Death this weekend (full marks to whoever came up with the name of that one), a two day Halloween party filled with games, stalls, live music, face painting and dress up photo booths.


Halloween Half Term at Stonor Park, Sat 21 – Sun 29 Oct

Go on, exhaust the buggers! Stonor Park has a full list of Halloween Half Term activities, from pumpkin carving to trails and all with the Wonder Woods adventure playground thrown in free for good measure.

Stonor Park, Henley-on-Thames, Oxford,


The BFG in Pictures, River and Rowing Museum, Henley, until 21 Jan 2018

Curated by Quentin Blake himself, the exhibition of everyone’s favourite giant 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.


October Steaming Days, Bucks Railway Centre, Quainton, Dates throughout Oct

Can’t get your fill of Thomas the Tank Engine? Go give the Fat Controller some cholesterol advice on Sundays throughout October with the Bucks Railway Centre’s  Steam Days.


Brick or Treat, Legoland, Windsor, until Mon 30 Oct

I’ve run out of jokes about Brick or Treat – that’s how long this Legoland event has been running! Over 55 ‘spooktacular’ rides, live shows and attractions, plus firework displays on 21, 22, 27 & 28 October. Don’t forget to read my tips on how to survive Legoland.


London Restaurant Festival, 1 – 31 Oct

Rack up the plates, here I come with my elasticated pants. The London Restaurant Festival is taking place in 350 restaurants across the Smoke, from neighbourhood favourites to Michelin-starred fancy pants eateries, so it’s your perfect excuse to try somewhere new with chef-hosted lunches and tasting menus on offer until the end of the month.


Dark Arts, Harry Potter Warner Bros Studios, Sun 1 Oct – Sun 12 Nov

Harry Potter Warner Bros Studios are brilliant at ringing the changes with their events and for this one the Great Hall will be decorated with over 100 floating pumpkins, just as seen as in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, along with a table laden with a Halloween feast of red apples, pumpkins and cauldrons of lollipops. Kids can also delve into the sinister world of the Dark Art – wand combat techniques and Death Eater duels as well as filmmaking snot, blood and drool. Er, nice!

Warner Bros. Studio Tour london, Studio Tour Dr, Watford, Leavesden,



Flashdance, Aylesbury Waterside, Mon 20 – Sat 25 Nov

joanne clifton in black underwear dancing on stage

Pass me my legwarmers, high leg leotard, and heavy dute welding visor – I’m ready for my Flashdancecloseup. Eh, what do you mean Joanne Clifton already has the lead role? (*sigh*) Yes tis true, the current Strictly champion continues her successful foray into musicals taking on the role of Alex, tomboy building site worker by day, gyrating sweaty permahaired foxtress by night. She stars with A1’s Ben Adams in this touring production that has me more excited than I dare express.


ROH’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Aylesbury Waterside, Mon 30 Oct

Follow Alice down the rabbit hole in Christopher Wheeldon’s exuberant ballet. Danced by The Royal Ballet and inspired by Lewis Carroll’s much-loved book, this production, first performed in 2011, takes the humour and macabre elements of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland in equal measure, from a playing-card corps de ballet,  tap-dancing Mad Hatter, and an eerily disembodied Cheshire Cat.


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