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15 things to do locally this week

Calling all culture vultures! The biggest and brightest offerings in Bucks and Oxon are ready and waiting this week. From Russian ballet to illuminated art exhibits, here's what not to miss.

ENJOY THE STAGE & SCREEN

Quick! Don’t miss the Moscow City Ballet’s performance of The Nutcracker, performing on 11 Jan at Aylesbury Waterside Theatre. A genre-defining classic and a knockout Russian ballet troupe with full orchestra: this is sure to be an evening to remember.

Or, if you’re after a laugh, catch Jericho Comedy’s Oxfordshire Mind Comedy Gala at The Oxford Playhouse, featuring Rosie Jones, Angela Barnes, and Esther Manito among others, on 15 Jan. Sure to tickle a funny bone or two, and all for a good cause!

Then, try a Coffee Concert at Holywell Music Room, Oxford. They run every Sunday morning at 11.15am: this week (16 Jan) the performance is by the Carducci Quartet, an internationally renowned Anglo-Irish string quartet. (Psst: it takes place in the oldest concert hall in Europe. Pretty neat!)

Why not treat yourself to a luxe screen filming this week? Our pick is Licorice Pizza (above) at the Curzon cinema, Oxford, a critically-acclaimed coming-of-age comedy-drama, starring Alana Haim (from HAIM, the band!). Another guaranteed good time is gratuitous historical romp The King’s Man, a prequel to the Kingsman films, on at the MK Gallery from 14-18 Jan. Also on at the MK Gallery from 14-18 Jan is The Electrical Life of Louis Wain, about an eccentric artist, starring Benedict Cumberbatch and the fabulous Claire Foy (who so recently nailed it in A Very British Scandal).

TAKE IN THE ART

Time to get your art fix! Waddesdon Manor has a great winter pick-me-up on until 27 Feb in the form of its exhibition Illumination: Works by Leo Villareal. An American light artist, Leo Villareal has recently completed the longest public art commission in the world by lighting the nine central London bridges across the Thames. This exhibit celebrates his project, and displays other great works by him.

Over at Blenheim Palace, there’s a new exhibition (created in partnership with the Zuleika Gallery) on Weavescapes, running until 31 March. This presents several different series of woven artworks by Oxford-based artist Julia Engelhardt, and explores the painterly and sculptural qualities of yarns and fibres.

If you’re trying to shoehorn more culture into your reluctant children (guilty!), then the family tour of the Anish Kapoor: Painting exhibition at the Modern Art Oxford, happening this Saturday (15 Jan), is the one for you .

Or, see the new SIT and PLAY art exhibition at The Discover Bucks Museum in Aylesbury, opening this Saturday (15 Jan). With 12 chair-like sculptures made out of recycled plastic, this explores what can be made from waste, and acts as both an exhibit and a play experience.

And if you haven’t had a chance yet, don’t miss the exhibition on at the River & Rowing Museum in Henley, Skyscape: The limitless art of the sky, which is in its last week and ends 16 Jan. It focuses on aerial landscapes and the sky throughout 500 years of art.

Over at the Oxford Natural History Museum, the ‘Meat The Future’ exhibit has been extended until May 2022, but is extra relevant for Veganuary! The exhibition presents cutting edge research on the environmental and health impacts of eating meat.

GET OUTSIDE

Spotted any of the first snowdrops yet? Celebrate the best of these bright harbingers of spring at Eythrope’s private parkland, near Waddesdon Manor, when you sign up for the Manor’s Spectacular Snowdrops experience. This rather refined day out also includes afternoon tea and entry to the Winter Light trail, and has dates this week on 13 and 14 Jan.

You can also see more of the best local snowdrop walks here, or other dreamy, Muddy-approved meanders here.

PLAN AHEAD

White dress in your future? For wedding inspo, you’ll want to head over to the Muddy-award-winning Tythe Barn Launton for its Wedding Showcase on 29-30 Jan. The charming cluster of 14th century thatched barns in rural Oxon will be fully decked out, plus you’ll get a peek at the 17th century farmhouse accommodation launching June 2022.Mark your calendars now, and register your interest here.

Want more ideas? See our bumper guide to what’s on this month.

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