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This week

MON 8 - SUN 14 JAN 2018

Russian State Ballet of Siberia’s  Snow Maiden & Nutcracker, New Theatre Oxford, Mon 8  – Weds 10 Jan

Fluffing its feathers and getting ready with the pirouettes, the Russian State Ballet of Siberia, one of Russia’s leading ballet companies, comes to Oxford’s New Theatre on Monday 8 to perform The Snow MaidenA quick costume change and they’re out on stage again  on Tuesday and Wednesday with The Nutcracker.


Tuba Cushion Concerts, JdP Building, Oxford, Sun 14 Jan

I’ve mentioned Oxford’s Cushion Concerts for kids before, because the idea – short, informal, interactive concerts for 0-10 years olds – is so fab. In these sessions, children and their families get to see and hear different instruments and how they make music, helping nuture a love for music from an early age. Bring your own cushions!


Air Play, Oxford Playhouse, Fri 12 Jan

There’s a short video of these guys on the Oxford Playhouse website and their show ticks all the boxes for me – modern circus-type entertainment (without the clown jokes) that delights and surprises and all neatly packed into one hour so you can either go with the kids and get them home at a half decent time – or go with friends and hit the wine bar by 9.Oxford Playhouse, 11-12 Beaumont St, Oxford,


Vintage Cinema: About Time, Kings Chapel, Old Amersham, Thurs 11 Jan

Back for 2018, The Vintage Cinema is kicking off the season with the first of its new fortnightly ‘Food & Film’ screenings. The launch will take place at the stunning Kings Chapel in Old Amersham with the Richard Cutis (Love Actually, Four Weddings and a Funeral) favourite, About Time. Forget popcorn, the time-travelling rom-com will be accompanied by a hearty serving of traditional bangers and mash, freshly prepared on site.


Early Years Workshops, Modern Art Oxford, 11 Jan – 8 Feb

The brilliant Modern Art Oxford is running Make Play sessions, creating a sensory space for little ones (6 months – 5 yrs) to explore with their parent/carer to explore. To tie in with Hannah Ryggen’s tapestry expo, there’ll be wool, line, colour and more. Sessions run from 11am-12pm.


The Magic Flute: Opera Up Close, Oxford Playhouse, Thurs 11 Jan

Touring the UK with their latest re-imagining of Mozart’s The Magic Flute, OperaUpClose stop off at Oxford’s Playhouse for one night with a surprising, creative, upbeat production that, I’m convinced, has the power to convert anyone to opera!

Oxford Playhouse, 11-12 Beaumont St, Oxford,


Ugly Duckling, Cornerstone Arts, Didcot, Sun 14 Jan

This is a very cute-sounding one hour show with live music and engaging physical theatre that brings to life the much-loved Hans Christian Anderson story. If an hour’s still too much to sit still (ish) through, your bambinos are welcome to buy a Cornerstone lunch box AND take them into the performance. We LOVE those guys at Cornerstone!


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

Last few weeks to catch this exhibition, curated by Quentin Blake himself, of everyone’s favourite giant. It 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.


Decluttering Your Life and Mind Workshop, Sonning Common, Wed 10 Jan

Decluttering is all the range as we struggle to contain the craziness of life (fact: my house is a total hovel). Organisation guru Messy Moo and Lucy Cavendish Counselling have teamed up to help you dust away those post Christmas blues with this unique ‘Decluttering Your Life and Mind’ workshop. Book now to see things more clearly and turbo charge your 2018!


Imagining the Divine – Art and the Rise of World Religions, Ashmolean, Oxford, ends 18 Feb 2018

This major exhibition is the first to look at the art of the five world religions as they spread across continents in the first millennium AD. 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…


Hogwarts in the Snow, Harry Potter Studios, until 4 Feb

You’ll have decent elbow room to see Hogwarts in the Snow post-Christmas if you’re still in the mood to indulge your children (er, NO).  Christmas trees line the Great Hall, the Gryffindor common room is dressed for the season and a blanket of filmmaking snow covering the majestic Hogwarts castle model. Visitors can 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.

Warner Bros. Studio Tour London, Studio Tour Drive, Leavesden,


Hannah Ryggen, Modern Art Oxford, until 18 Feb 

Another corker of an expo from Modern Art, Oxford. 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 brill café on site too.



Matthew Bourne’s Cinderella, Sadler’s Wells, London, now until Sat 27 Jan

Matthew Bourne’s productions are always stunning and this is no exception. He transposes the story of Cinderella to London during the Blitz, rebooting it as a wartime romance between our heroine and an RAF pilot. The reviews have been of the rave variety, with Lez Brotherston’s sumptuous costumes and sets winning Olivier Award.

Sadlers Wells, Rosebery Av, London EC1,


London Art Fair, Islington, London, Weds 17 – Sun 21 Jan

The London Art Fair in my old stomping ground of Islington, North London, offers punters museum-quality Modern British art alongside contemporary work from today’s leading artists, covering the period from the early 20th century to the present day. Besides the main Fair, there’ll be specially curated contemporary spaces which feature the next generation of artists and collectives. A great chance to find something beautiful for your walls that doesn’t cost the earth.

Business Design Centre, 52 Upper Street,  London N1,


Cézanne Portraits, National Portrait Gallery, London, until 11 Feb 2018

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.


Modigliani, Tate Modern, until 2 April 2018

The Tate Modern’s comprehensive retrospective of Modigliani’s work is quite a treat. During his brief, turbulent life Modigliani developed a unique and instantly recognisable style. His nudes that are a highlight of the exhibition – with 12 nudes on display, this is the largest group ever reunited in the UK. First shown in 1917, police closed down his only ever solo exhibition on the grounds of indecency. Also expect sculptures, and portraits of his friends, lovers and supporters, including Pablo Picasso and his partner Jeanne Hébuterne.


Twelfth Night, RST, Stratford, until Feb 24 

Dinita Gohil as Viola. Pic credit: Manuel Harlan (c) RSC

The RSC’s winter production Twelfth Night is set in Victorian Britain and sees Ade Edmondson, of The Young Ones and Bottom fame, as Olivia. Directed by Christopher Luscombe, also stars Dinita Gohil as Viola and Michael Cochrane as Sir Andrew.

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