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What’s On this week in Bucks & Oxon

Louise Redknapp in Aylesbury, Anish Kapoor in Oxford, Ruby Wax in Henley, and giant pumpkins in Abingdon... there are autumn happenings galore in your area this week.

MUSIC

Tonight (Tues 28 Sept) is opening night for Louise Redknapp, when she goes all Dolly Parton on us with her lead role in 9 to 5 the Musical at Aylesbury Waterside Theatre. Snap up your ticket now – it’s only on until Oct 2.

The Oxford Chamber Music Festival 2021 is underway and taking place in gorgeously atmospheric venues around Oxford until 4 Oct. ‘Beyond the Clouds’ in Christ Church Cathedral is one highlight, along with ‘Transcending Heights’ at the Sheldonian. Tickets online, with some free tickets available for 18-25 year olds.

ART

LAST CHANCE to catch Waddesdon’s much-lauded Gustave Moreau exhibition, on until 17 Oct and while you’re at it, Open Furniture Month comes to a close on 30 Sept, so if you want to peek inside the lids/drawers and cubby holes that remain shut the rest of the year, get there sharpish.

Banbury Museum is offering us kids of the Eighties a nostalgic romp through Betamax, BMX, the Rubik’s Cube, Transformers, Dunlop Greenflash and the like with its I Grew Up 80s, a seriously indulgent showcase of toys, tech, fashion, food, books, TV, and more from the decade of neon and Marty McFly. At Banbury Museum until 3 Oct. If the 70s is more your era, you’re in luck… it’s all over fashion, food and interiors this season.

The Ashmolean Museum is host to an exhibition exploring one of the most tricky subjects for artists… hands! In Praise of Hands: Woodcuts by Naoko Matsubara is a vibrant exhibition that will appeal to all ages, and it’s free! On until 15 March 2022.

Lexicon lover? This one’s for you. A group of Oxfordshire artists, from students to poets and playwrights, have been brought together for Sign Symbol Sound, an exploration of creativity and language at Modern Art Oxford, running from 4 Sept-11 Oct.

Another ongoing exhibition is the Oxford Natural History Museum’s ‘Meat The Future’ exhibit. Running until 16 Jan 2022, it presents cutting edge research on the environmental and health impacts of eating meat, and (spoiler) it isn’t good news for the fry-up.

Have you got your tickets for the BIG ONE starting this Saturday? Anish Kapoor’s ‘Painting’, at Modern Art Oxford on 2 Oct 2021 -13 Feb 2022. It’s his first show at the gallery in 40 years and is sure to make waves ‘pushing the boundaries between sculpture and painting as he explores our perception and experience of the body’.

EVENTS

Also starting this weekend is the plucky Henley Literary Festival, which runs 2-10 Oct. Though sadly we’re not holding the Muddy Salon there this year due to the fact we’re absolutely knackered running the site, the festival boasts a rack of big names like Cecilia Aherne, Sebastian Faulks, Elizabeth Day, Frank Gardner, Kate Mosse, Ruby Wax and Rob Biddulph. There are talks, workshops and signings for all ages, and there’s a particularly strong children’s section this year. Perhaps this is the inspo you need to finally get that novel written?

Anyone not suitably put off by the trials and tribulations of the Grand Designs projects and wanting to have a crack at building their own home should earmark this event. Build It Live Bicester 2021 on 2 Oct sees hundreds of suppliers showcasing their wares, alongside a line-up of free seminars, demonstrations and workshops.

BACK TO NATURE

It’s prime pumpkin-picking time, so head to the PYO at Millets Farm near Abingdon for its pumpkin sessions, from now up until 31 Oct. It costs £1 to enter the patch and then you pay for what you pick.

Just quietly hopping across the Herts border (hey, it’s allowed!) to The Boxmoor Trust in Hemel Hempstead which is hosting an afternoon of guided walks and activities on 29 Sept. There’s pond-dipping and a chance to use the bird hide so it’s a good one for pre-schoolers as well as nature lovers. Tickets cost £4.50.

Bekonscot

Little and big kids alert! Bekonscot Model Village is offering a ticketed after hours tour on 30 Sept 6-8pm (£6-15). See the workings behind the scenes, the village lit up at dusk and listen to short talks about the history of Bekonscot and how the models were built. The Bekonscot Light Railway will even be running. Choo choo!

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