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This week

Mon 4 - Sun 10 March 2019


KIDS: AniMalcom, Aylesbury Waterside, Wed 6 – Thurs 7 Mar 

Story Pocket Theatre dramatises 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.


FESTIVAL: Dancin’ Oxford, various locations, until 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.


FESTIVAL: Oxford International Women’s Festival, until 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.


WORKSHOP: Free Yoga, LuluLemon, Bicester Village, Sun 10 Mar 

The upmarket Canadian fitness brand (a fave among chic NYC yoga bunnies) is putting on an early morning session with a local instructor in its Bicester Village store. A few mats will be provided, but BYO if you’ve got one knocking around. If mornings aren’t your thing (guilty!) the brand are also hosting an evening to celebrate International Women’s Day, Thurs 7 Mar, in the Athletes Centre, Osney Mead with a fitness class followed by a talk and Prosecco.

Tickets here


SAFARI: Crocodiles! Longleat Safari Park

Two critically endangered crocs have just moved into purpose built digs at Longleat.    The display has a high acrylic window  above and below the waterline letting you get super close to the snappy creatures. They’ll also be joined by loads of freshwater fish (poor them) and dozens of exotic butterflies.


EXHIBITION: British Comics Frame by Frame, Blackwell Hall, Weston Library, Oxford, until Sun 28 April

This cool exhibit explores the evolution of the British comic from medieval block books to the anarchy of V for Vendetta and modern indie comics.


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.


KIDS: Super Science Saturday, Museum of Natural history, Oxford, Sat 9 Mar

Get the kids out the house and secretly learning (mwahaha) with Super science Saturday. It’s a science fair style event with experts  giving talks about how fossils can tell us about creatures that lived millions of  years ago. 8+


THEATRE: Annie The Musical, New Theatre Oxford, Mon 4 – Sun 9 Mar 

Direct from a stint on the West End, Anita Dobson (EastEnders, Wicked, Loose Women, Chicago, Call The Midwife) plays the tyrannical Miss Hannigan in Tony Award winning Annie The Musical at Oxford’s New Theatre. The show will be the third of this brand new UK tour.

Tickets here


MUSIC: Vonda Shepard and Sharon Corr, The Stables MK, Mon 4 Mar 

I reckon this is the sleeper hit of the month. The Corrs’ Sharon Corr and her bestie Vonda Shepard, the musical star of 90s hit Ally McBeal, team up for a night at The Stables MK. They’ll be singing songs from their solo careers as well as the classics that shot them to fame. 


THEATRE: The Life I Lead, Oxford Playhouse, Tues 5 – Wed 6 Mar

Miles Jupp, of Mock the Week and The Durrells fame (but your kids will probably recognise him as Archie from Balamory) stars in this comic and moving production about David Tomlinson, a.k.a. Mr Banks in Disney’s original Mary Poppins. 12+


KIDS: Zog, The Stables MK, Wed 6 – Thurs 7 Mar 

From the writer and illustrator team behind kid’s classic The Gruffalo (I can’t tell you how many times that’s been read in my house!) Zog is a young dragon eager to win a golden star at Madam Dragon’s school. If your kids have seen Tiddler and Other Terrific Tales and Tabby McTat, it’s a sure fire winner as it’s the same team behind the production. You can also catch Zog at Wycombe Swan Wed 13 – Thurs 14 Mar. 


KIDS: World Book Day Weekend, Sat 9 – Sun 10 Mar

Get ’em off the iPads and onto the books! Stowe and Hughenden celebrate the date with drop-in storytelling sessions, the latter also has a bookworm trail around the grounds. Cliveden has a family trail as well as the Storybook Play Den (just beyond the maze) with a Charlotte’s Web inspired climbing net, Wind in the Willows boat, carved wooden storybook characters more. At both venues, kids can swap their World Book Day tokens for limited edition books. All are National Trust so there’ll be your usual cafés and shops- don’t forget to dress up!


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

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.



Blenheim Pavllion, Cliveden

Say goodbye to snowdrops and a big hello to daffodils that are springing up everywhere. New for 2019 Cliveden present their new programme The Gilded Gardens, inspired by the 24 carat gilded golden gates on the Sounding chamber and thousands of daffodils that grow across the estate- this year the gardening team have added a further 57 varieties to the existing 20 so there grounds really will be carpeted in canary, until Tues 30 April. Head to the Water Garden and Blenheim Pavilion for the best of ‘em. Stowe will also be brimming with the yellow bloomer, along with other pretty spring foliage. Or head to Waddesdon who’ve named a whole patch of the grounds after the flower, Daffodil Valley.


OUT OF HIBERNATION: Claydon, Bucks, Sat 9 Mar 

Claydon’s ‘marmite room’- you love it or you hate it!

Claydon reopens its house and gardens this week. There’s some really awesome interiors to check out along with great walks around the grounds.


KIDS: Toy Brick Show, Millets Farm, Sat  9  – Sun 10 Mar 

Calling all little builders and makers! New to Millets is the Toy Brick Show- a day of challenges and activities with the famous brick, as we all as free play for kids to  build their own creations.  The room will also be filled with displays and models including a brick farm,  full size Darth Vader and more.  5 – 11 years.


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.



THEATRE: Dracula, The London Library, London, Fri 1 – Sat 9 Mar

Oxford’s quirkiest theatre company, Creation Theatre (I once saw them clad in spandex and gallivant round the Westgate for a production of Brave New World) are setting up shop (well, stage) in London for a new, two man production of Dracula that they first staged (from memory) at Blackwell’s in Oxford. Creation’s USP is all about finding weird and wacky places to perform – this production in The London Library, where Bram Stoker wrote his Gothic novel, hits the jugular.



London Design Week at Chelsea Harbour Design Centre, kicks off at the end of on Sun 10  –  Fri 15 Mar, with 120 showrooms and over of 600 luxury brands- the biggest of its kind in Europe. Later in the month the whopper Ideal Home Show rocks up at Olympia London, Fri 22 Mar – Sun 7 April, with hundreds of free talks, 600 companies and the latest tech. This year the theme is Best of British so expect loads of UK companies. Does anyone else feel a splurge coming on?


FESTIVAL: Women of the World, Southbank, London, Fri 8 – Sat 9 Mar

Girl power! Women of the World fest returns for it’s ninth year with a fabulous line up of debate, discussion, performance and activism all celebrating female achievement. Highlights this year include conversations with Angela Davis, Fri 8, and renowned journo and activist Naomi Klein, Sat 9.


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

Tickets are selling like hotcakes for this! 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.



FESTIVAL: Chilfest, 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.


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

I really want to see this one. Based on the Oscar winning blockbuster, the brilliant Paul Nicholls (Eastenders, The C-Word, Death in Paradise, Bridget Jones 2) and Chris Fountain (Hollyoaks) star as the road-tripping brothers in this touring show.

Find more ideas here

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