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This week

Mon 4 - Sun 10 Feb 2018


MUSICAL: Dirty Dancing, Wycombe Swan, Mon 4 – Sat 9 Feb

Need I say more? I saw Dirty Dancing last year with my mum and we absolutely *loved* it. It’s like seeing an old friend, they really don’t mess with the film version at all, and the only squeamish moment from memory was the sex scene – zipped along on the big screen but my god it felt like a long time being a voyeur in the theatre! Anyway, Johnny this time round is Michael O’Reilly, previously a dancer with Matthew Bourne and also, titillatingly, one of the Magic Mike performers on The X Factor. Bring your watermelons – apparently overwhelmed women have been throwing them at him!

EXHIBITION: An Earthly Paradise: William Morris & the Thames, River & Rowing Museum, Fri 1 Feb – Sun 14 July

Victoria and Albert Museum, London. Wandle furnishing fabric, by William Morris. England, late 19th Century

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.

THEATRE: Art, Oxford Playhouse, Mon 4 Feb – Sat 9 Feb

Can it really be 20 years since Art first swaggered into London theatres? It’s won practically every luvvie award and is still a magnet for actors –  Nigel Havers, Denis Lawson and Stephen Tomkinson are all big name catches for this touring show. Themes of prejudice, tolerance and friendship are beautifully handled in Yasmina Reza’s play.


SUPER CLUB: Food in the Nude, Tap Social Movement, Oxford, Tues 5 Feb 

Food in the nude? In this weather?!  Botley’s hippest hangout Tap Social in collaboration with supperclub supremos Native Feasts and naturist group Dine Naked Oxford (yep, it’s a real thing) will be serving up a four course, locally sourced menu for £25, including roasted winter veg chaat, homemade hummus and confit duck, washed down with the venue’s brewed-on-site beer. And diners will be totally nekkid. I’d like to say I’ll go down to review but…. um.


CULTURE: The Power of Creativity, Pegasus Theatre, Fri 8 Feb 

Patron of central Ox arts hub, Pegasus Theatre, Phillip Pullman (Northern Lights) will be joined by a panel of creatives and journalists to discuss the importance of creativity in the lives of young people. The panel will be followed by an open discussion (with wine) and some short provocation pieces by the theatre’s emerging talent. All proceeds go to Change Makers, an initiative helping young people of all backgrounds experience the arts.


MUSIC: Chiltern Arts Festival, various locations, Sat 9 – Sat 16 Feb

World class musicians are descending on various venues in Bucks and Herts with a series of concerts to delight music lovers. The programme includes renowned pianist Steven Osborne playing Prokofiev, Debussy and Schubert, celebrated baritone Roderick Williams in a performance of Hugo Wolf’s Italian Songbook, and an opening programme by the City of London Sinfonia inspired by the orchestra’s London series, entitled Bach and the Cosmos.


SHOPPING: Artisan Food Market, Waddesdon Manor, Aylesbury, Sat 9 Feb

Supporting local small-scale independent producers, the Waddesdon Artisan Food Market takes place in the visitors’ car park every second Saturday of each month and is a great spot to pick up some delish dishes and ingredients you won’t find in a supermarket. Come prepared – cash only.


MUSIC: Oxford Philharmonic, Sheldonian Theatre, Oxford, Sat 9, Sun 10 & Thurs 21 Feb

Photo credit: John Cairns, Sheldonian Theatre ceiling

Mozart, Oxford Phil, Sheldonian Theatre – perfection right there. Vilde Frang plays the violin and Lawrence Power on the viola in a range of compositions from his Symphony No. 35  and 41, plus Sinfonia Concertante for Violin, Viola and Orchestra in E flat major. Meanwhile On Sun 10 Feb, the three finalists of the Oxfordshire Junior Concerto Competition will battle it out with a concerto of their choice in their bid to be crowned winner.


ART: Ruskin 200 Drawing Weekend, Museum of Natural History, Oxford, Sat 9 – Sun 10 Feb

Launching its Ruskin 200 Drawing Competition, the museum is bringing in artists and laying on free materials for the artistically inclined to get creative, using the museum’s collections and the buildings as inspiration to celebrate 200 years of John Ruskin.


COMEDY: Mandy Muden Cunning Stunts, Old Town Hall, Wycombe Swan, Sun 10 Feb

We met Mandy when she was in Panto last year (read our interview here) and she’s returning to the Wycombe Swan for her own brand new show which combines magic and comedy and lots of audience participation (so be warned). Since appearing on Britain’s Got Talent, her star is rising and she’s performed all over the UK and is a member of London’s Inner Magic Circle.


MUSIC: Ronnie Scott’s All Stars 60th Anniversary, The Stables, Milton Keynes, Sun 10 Feb

It’s 60 years since the iconic jazz venue set up in Soho and to celebrate The Ronnie Scott’s All Stars take you on a guided, musical tour of this music institution, combining the very best world jazz with rare archive video footage and photos. Should be amazing.


EXHIBITION: Antinous: Boy Made God, The Ashmolean, Oxford, until Sun 24 Feb

Boy favourite of Emperor Hadrian, Antinous drowned in the Nile in AD 130 and so began his elevation to god-like status. Hadrian created a city in his name, Antinoopolis, in Egypt and busts and statues were made and spread throughout the empire. More than 80 survive to this day and you can view some of them at this fascinating exhibition ending later this month.


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



EXHIBITION: Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams, Victoria & Albert Museum, London, Sat 2 Feb

Christian Dior by Maria Grazia Chiuri (b. 1964), Éventail de vos hasards, Dress, Haute Couture, Spring/Summer 2018. Dior Héritage collection, Paris

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, Sun 3 Feb – Mon 6 May & Dorothea Tanning Exhibition, Wed 27 Feb to 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.


THEATRE: The Winter’s Tale for Young Audiences, National Theatre, London, Wed 6 – Thurs 21 Feb

This is a great way to introduce primary-age children to Shakespeare (and it’s only an hour long). The Winter’s Tale, the story of Perdita, the girl who was once lost but is found, returns to the National Theatre in February 2019, following a sell-out run at the Dorfman Theatre last year.  Adapted by Justin Audibert and directed by Ruth Mary Johnson, the show is also touring round primary schools in Greater London.

EXHIBITION: Edward Burne-Jones, Tate Britain, until Sun 24 Feb 

In the first solo show of Edward Burne-Jones’ work at Tate since 1933, this exhibition charts the Pre-Raphelite artist’s career with over 150 pieces of his major works, including huge fairytale portraits, wall tapestries and drawings.



Find more ideas here

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