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What’s on this week in Bucks & Oxon?

Mon 21 - Sun 27 Sept: Ready to charge headfirst into the week? From jousting and lit fests to comedy and hot new exhibitions - it's all going on in my weekly guide.

EVENT: Jousting, Stonor Park, nr Henley, 26 – 27 Sept

Chaaaarge! If you’re looking for a fun, socially distanced family day out this weekend then hotfoot it over to Stonor Park for the historic venue’s Medieval Jousting Tournament. Tickets must be booked in advance to reserve a two metre viewing circle to watch the action with your social bubble, plus there’ll also be meaty grub (hello, hog roast!), archery and falconry displays and Medieval costumes galore.

EXHIBITION: Cecily Brown, Blenheim Palace, until 3 Jan

Part of the Blenheim’s Art Foundation programme, this exhibition by celebrated Brit artist Cecily Brown, is the first to be shown at the Palace to be composed of entirely new work. The series references masterpieces by Sir Joshua Reynolds and Sir Anthony Van Dyck on view at the Palace, as well as family heraldry, armorial banners and the martial scenes of the Blenheim Tapestries that line the State Rooms.

COMEDY: Jericho Comedy, North Wall Theatre, 26 Sept

Jericho Comedy are popping up at The North Wall this weekend for an indoor gig with a surprise line up of acts. One ticket will reserve two seats for you and an a member of your social bubble.

BOOKS: Henley Literature Festival, online, 26 Sept – 4 Oct

We love a literature festival at Muddy, so are pleased to hear that instead of postponing, Henley Lit Fest is heading online for the first time. Speakers this year include Bake Off‘s breakout star Nadiya HussainMichael Morpurgo (tickets for his talks sell like hotcakes so be quick off the mark), social media stars Candice Brathwaite, Florence Given & Bryony GordonFern Britton, plus Russell & Laura Brand who’ll be reading from Judith Kerr’s The Tiger Who Came to Tea for the little people. 

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.

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. 

KIDS: PYO Pumpkins, Millerts Farm, nr Abingdon, 26 & 27 Sept 

Halloween isn’t until next month but Millets is opening its PYO pumpkin fields a little early this year giving us all valuable practise time. Because those ornate pumpkin designs aren’t going to appear all by themselves now, are they? 


ART: Arrivals + Departures by YARA + DAVINA (Somerset House, until 10 October)

A particularly poignant outdoor installation, considering the year we’ve all had, this open air interactive piece at Somerset House invites visitors to add names of those they’ve lost (or gained!) in 2020 in the form of an airport arrivals and departures board. Every Wednesday until 10 October, artist duo YARA + DAVINA will be inviting specialist speakers to take over the installation, with talks on the subject of lockdown births, grief, and race and social justice.

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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