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What’s on this week in Bucks & Oxon?

Buckle up, there's loads of fun to be had this week in our locale, from drive-in comedy nights to film festivals, West End musicals, opera and more.

COMEDY: Drive-in Comedy, Millets Farm, nr Abingdon, 12 Sept 

If you’re looking for belly laughs, pull up to Millets Farm for an award-winning Jericho Comedy night from the comfort of your motor (if the weather’s nice, you can bring a picnic blanket and watch the show outside your car instead). The show will be broadcast on bluetooth speakers, plus you can pre-order pizza and burgers from the Millets Farm Kitchen.

KIDS: Bushcraft Activities, Blenheim Palace, Woodstock, until 7 Sept 

This one’s all about getting a little bit muddy so, naturally we’re on board! The Bushcraft Company are running two sessions for children: Bushcraft Activities, which involves building shelters, learning how to camouflage (Bear Grylls type stuff), and Tomhawk and Archery sessions. There are only 16 spaces per session so booking is a must.

FILM: Kendal Mountain Film Festival, North Wall Theatre, Oxford, 10 Sept 

Held annually in Cumbria, on the edge of the Lake District, the Kendal Mountain Festival celebrates adventure and the outdoors with brilliant short films from around the globe. The festival goes on tour every year to showcase the films and will be stopping off at the North Wall along with award-winning modern explorer, social entrepreneur and environmental photojournalist Martin Holland as guest speaker. 

EXHIBITION: MK Calling, MK Gallery, Milton Keynes, 11 Sept – 1 Nov

MK Gallery reopens its doors on 11 September and will be extending its pre-lockdown exhibition MK Calling. The show features work from over 130 contemporary artists, both established and up-and-coming, with one third of the pieces produced by local talent.

MUSIC: Voices of the West End, Stonor Park, Henley, 11 – 13 Sept

West End stalwarts Earl Carpenter and John Owen-Jones (they played the lead in Andrew Lloyd-Webber’s The Phantom Of the Opera for over nine years between them) will be staging an outdoor production of musical hits against the back drop of the stunning, historic Stonor Park. They will also be joined by Kerry Ellis (Wicked) and Katie Hall (The Phantom Of the Opera). 

CINEMA: Luna Cinema, Waddesdon Manor, Bucks, 11 – 14 Sept

The ever-popular Luna Cinema returns to Waddesdon Manor with four great films on a big screen situated on the North Lawns. This time around you can watch the brilliant Elton John biopic Rocketman, Eighties classic Dirty Dancing, singalong favourite The Greatest Showmanand the dark, multi-award winner The Joker

MUSIC: Musicals in the Park, The Arches Theatre, nr Olney, 12 Sept 

Fancy seeing some musical theatre here? Well, you’re in luck. The Arches takes its name from the four railway arches used to stage productions, set in the picturesque parkland next to the River Great Ouse and this month, London-based choreographers Scott Coldwell and Lucy Dean are delivering a family musical show, created especially for the setting. There’ll be two performances, one at 2.30pm and one at 7pm. 

MUSIC: Fidelio in Concert, Garsington Opera,  Wormsley Estate, Bucks, 12, 14, 16, 18 & 20 Sept 

The bucolic Wormsley Estate is back in action once again with a series of performances of Beethoven’s Fidelio, last performed by Garsington Opera to great critical acclaim at the Philharmonie in Paris in 2016. With themes of oppression, isolation and hope, it’s perfect for the times.

EXHIBITION: Tools for Life, Modern Art Oxford, Oxford, until 15 March 

Johanna Unzueta, Nocturnal (detail), 2020. Johanna Unzueta: Tools for Life, installation view at Modern Art Oxford, 2020. Photo by Ben Westoby

Modern Art Oxford will be opening its bright and airy galleries, showing Tools for Life, the first solo show from Chilean artist Johanna Unzueta that combines art, clothing, a large-scale felt installation and a short film for a multi-faceted look at function and form.

EXHIBITION: Young Rembrandt, Ashmolean museum, Oxford, until 1 Nov 

I’ve missed our brilliant museums, haven’t you? The Ashmolean has opened it’s doors once again to show it’s major exhibition Young Rembrandt, a chronological journey through the artist’s early career beginning in his native Leiden with paintings, prints and drawings and ending in Amsterdam when his career rocketed to stardom. You’ll get to see 34 paintings by Rembrandt, along with a further 90 drawings and prints including the newly discovered Let the Little Children Come to Me, which is making its public debut at the exhibition.

BOATS: Rowing boat hire, Blenheim Palace, Woodstock, until 30 Sept 

Fancy a laze about on the water? There are 14 boats available to hire at Blenheim to sail across river with idyllic views over the palace and grounds. Boats can hold a family of five or four adults. 

EXHIBITION: Never Alone, Bletchley Park, Milton Keynes, until 2 Feb 2021

Did you know there are now more devices connected to the internet than there are people on the planet? This exhibition in Hut 12 investigates the stories behind the rapidly expanding ‘Internet of Things’ and invites visitors to think about the choices they make while connected to the internet.


FESTIVAL: London Design Festival, various locations, 12 – 20 Sept

Now in its 18th year, this cool festival features commissions and installations across the city, including The Hothouse, located in the newly coined International Quarter (Stratford). The glasshouse installation provides a controlled habitat for cultivating plants that would not ordinarily grow within the UK’s climate. 

EXHIBITION: Aubrey Beardsley, Tate Britain, until 20 Sept 

Aubrey Beardsley

Here’s the last call to see this awesome retrospective exhibition of Aubrey Beardsley’s work, from his early medievalist and mythological subjects to his bold illustrations covering themes of sex, death and humour. 

EXHIBITION: Electronic: From Kraftwerk to the Chemical Brothers, The Design Museum, London, until 14 Feb

From underground raves to the pioneering sounds used in Dr Who, this exhibition explores the history and culture of electronic music throughout the ages. 

EXHIBITION: Ai Weiwei: History of Bombs, Imperial War Museum, London, until 24 May 2021

Part of Refugees, a free season of exhibitions, artistic commissions and immersive events taking place across IWM London and IWM North, this exhibition draws on renowned artist Ai Weiwei’s ongoing investigation into politics and power.   

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