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This week

MON 5 - SUN 11 NOV 2018


THEATRE: Horrible Histories, Wycombe Swan, Tues 6 – Sat 10 Nov

Terrible Family favourite Horrible Histories is back on tour with shows Terrible Tudors and Awful Egyptians, bringing us mummy-making, tomb excavations and an Armada sailing into the audience. I saw the first night of Terrible Tudors last night and it was really funny – I could have watched it without my kids! – and it’s an amazingly accessible way for kids to digest history. It’s fairly short too at 1 hour 10, with an interval so we were back for 9pm. A big Muddy recommendation.


CULTURE: James Ivory in Oxford, Tues 6 & Wed 7 Nov

Director and screenwriter James Ivory will be in Oxford as a visiting TORCH (The Oxford Research Centre in the Humanities) professor. On Tues 6, the Curzon is screening Autobiography of a Princess which Mr Ivory directed, followed by a Q&A with the man himself. On Wed he’s in conversation at the Sheldonian discussing tales of love and history, diversity and equality. He’ll be joined by distinguished academics Richard Parkinson (Professor of Egyptology at the University and the author of A Little Gay History: Desire and Diversity Across the World), Katherine Harloe (Associate Professor of Classics at the University of Reading who is currently working on an edition of the love-letter of Johann Joachim Winkelmann) and Jennifer Ingleheart (Professor of Classics at the University of Durham and author of Masculine Plural: Queer Classics, Sex, and Education).


SHOPPING: British Fashion Council Pop-up, Bicester Village, Thurs 1 – Sun 11 Nov

Calling all fashion mavens! Hot foot it down to Bicester Village this week for a unique edit of some of the UK’s top emerging names and more established brands, as curated by The British Fashion Council (these guys organise London Fashion Week and promote British fashion around the world so they know what they’re doing). Big names in the pop-up boutique include Christopher Kane, Emilia Wickstead, Teatum Jones and Sharon Wauchob. Sharpened elbows at the ready as you attack those rails…


ART: Approaching Thunder, River & Rowing Museum, Henley, 5 Oct – 13 Jan

John Minton, ‘St. Florent, Corsica’, 1947, (Wakefield Permanent Art Collection). Photograph: Diane Feather

With Remembrance Sunday approaching, now’s a good time to visit the River & Rowing Museum to see their exhibition of 1940s prints and drawings by leading 20th Century British artists. With materials strictly rationed and a stagnant art market, artists including Edward Bawden, John Piper and Vanessa Bell turned to paper to record their experiences of life in wartime Britain.


THEATRE: The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists, Ruskin College, Oxford, Thurs 8 Nov

A one man show with writer and actor Neil Gore, it includes an Edwardian Magic Lantern show, political conjuring tricks and live music and song. Based on the 1914 novel by Robert Tressell, it charts a year in the life of a group of painters and decorators at the turn of the last century. Townsend Productions are making a name for themselves creating compelling political theatre so if that’s your bag, it’s worth checking out.


ART: Autumn Show, Carina Haslam Art, Great Missenden, Thurs 8 Nov 

White Lilac Tulips Against Grey Umber by Alison McWhirter

An evening exhibition with drinks (ears prick up) of paintings and sculpture by the most popular artists from Carina Haslam Art. Carina’s aim is to promote the most original, vibrant, accessible and, importantly, affordable art by both well-known artists and emerging talent, specialising in oils and bronzes.


MUSIC: Classical concert, SJE Arts, St John the Evangelist, Oxford, Sat 10 Nov

The pairing of violin and piano is one of the most beautiful and here British violinist Alda Dizdari and pianist Tom Blach move from Debussy to Enescu, to Elgar and Ravel in a musical journey that sounds sublime in the lovely setting of this Oxford church on the Iffley Road.


SHOPPING: Arts & Craft Fair, Queens Park Arts Centre, Aylesbury, Sat 10 Nov

textile sewing fabric arts and crafts

Our region’s best art and craft makers are gathering to sell their jewellery, glass, textiles, cards, paintings and ceramics at this dynamic arts centre so you can get ahead on your Christmas shopping. Craft activities and Santa’s Grotto are laid on for little ones, plus they’ll be homemade cakes, a BBQ and a bar for adults.



MUSIC: Jazz at St Giles, Oxford, Sat 10 Nov

Saxophonist great Art Themen returns to St Giles Church this Saturday with his quintet. This is the fourth concert in this charity series and features a star-studded line up which they are keeping under wraps at the time of writing.


SHOPPING: Christmas Fair and Carnival, Waddesdon Manor, Sat 10 Nov – Wed 2 Jan

Using the amazing artworks in the Waddesdon collection for inspiration, the house and grounds are a feast for the senses this Christmas. The house is decorated beautifully, as always, and the manor is hosting its biggest Christmas fair ever with food and gifts on offer from charming wooden chalets. There’s also a light show by the Guildhall School, this year projected onto the stables, and featuring Waddesdon’s objects, gardens and architecture.


MUSIC: Acoustic & Gin Tasting, Wycombe Museum, Bucks, Sun 11 Nov

Music to my ears – gin tasting with a musical soundtrack. Head down to Wycombe Museum on Sunday evening to hear local musician and singer-songwriter Alice Jane perform her latest folky single Run Back as well as some new tunes whilst you try a tasting board of local gins. Don’t mind if I do…


MUSIC: Remembrance Day Concert, Sheldonian Theatre, Oxford, Sun 11 Nov

To mark 100 years since the end of the First World War, Owen Rees conducts his own Choir of The Queen’s College in a performance of Johannes Brahms’s requiem, plus a piece by George Butterworth, a graduate of Trinity College, killed at the Somme. The programme also includes Vaughan Williams’s An Oxford Elegy, narrated by Rowan Atkinson who studied at Queen’s.




SCREENING: 2001: A  Space Odyssey, Science Museum, London, Thurs 1 Nov – Sat 24 Nov

To celebrate 50 years of the 1968 epic, you can head to the Science Museum’s IMAX cinema to watch Stanley Kubrick’s masterpiece exploring our prehistoric past and the rise of man versus machine. Oscar winning director Christopher Nolan has created a new print from the original which will look stunning on the giant IMAX screen. Then follow the museum’s Kubrick trail to discover the rich collection of objects from the history of space travel.


ART: Whistler and Nature, Compton Verney, Warks, 20 Oct – 16 Dec 

James McNeill Whistler, Battersea Reach from Lindsey Houses © The Hunterian, University of Glasgow

Warwickshire’s Compton Verney is casting a new light on the work of the great late-Victorian master, James McNeill Whistler, in Whistler and Nature (Sat Oct 20 – Dec 16), curated in partnership with The Hunterian at the University of Glasgow. The exhibition, which includes 90 oil paintings, explores the artist’s revolutionary attitude towards the natural world.


THEATRE: Shakespeare’s Troilus and CressidaRST, Stratford-upon-Avon, 12 Oct  17 Nov

Directed by RSC Artistic Director Gregory Doran, this is the company’s first gender-equal production of Shakespeare’s “most testosterone-fuelled” play. Set in a futuristic dystopian Troy, it will involve close collaboration with the virtuoso percussionist, Evelyn Glennie.



CULTURE: Month of Sundays Festival, Royal Opera House, London, Sun 4 – Sun 25 Nov

The Royal Opera House is opening itself up for a month of interactive fun. They’ll be live demos from technicians and craftspeople who work on the ROH productions, you can take guided tours and learn new moves in a dance class, sing tunes from opera classics and make something crafty to take home. The Royal Ballet and the Royal Opera artists will be performing in the public areas and there’s a sound installation that explores the history of the Opera House.


ART: Edward Burne-Jones, Tate Britain, London, until 24 Feb

Sir Edward Coley Burne-Jones ‘Love Among the Ruins’ 1870-1973 Private Collection

Pre-Raphaelite artist Burne-Jones was one of the most influential British talents of the 19th century and this exhibition will bring together 150 works including paintings, stained glass and tapestry in a major new retrospective. Rejecting the starched world of the Victorians, he looked to myths, legends and the Bible to create his otherworldly work. He wanted to bring beautiful design to everyone and along with his friend William Morris, pioneered the Arts and Crafts Movement.



THEATRE: The Girl on the Train, Milton Keynes Theatre, Wed 23- Sat 26 Jan 2019

I loved this book by Paula Hawkins and enjoyed the film (although shame it was set in the US instead of London) and now there’s a stage play. Starring Samantha Womack (Eastenders, Game On and Kingsman) critics are raving about it. Even if you already know the story of Rachel Watson and her obsession with her past life, apparently there are plenty of surprises in this gripping new play.


ART: Jeff Koons, Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, Thurs 7 Feb – Sun 9 Jun

Behemoth of the contemporary art world, Jeff Koons will curate his own exhibition in collaboration with Norman Rosenthal. It will span Koons’ entire career and showcase seventeen works, most of which have never been shown in the UK before. It will include his popular series Equilibrium, Statuary, Banality, Antiquity and his recent Gazing Ball sculptures and paintings.


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