FRI 14 - SUN 16 JULY
Rhythms at the Yurt, Haddon Acre, Didcot, Fri 14 July
Take the intimate setting of a Mongolian yurt, add in some of the best views in Oxfordshire and then top it all off with an evening of music from brilliant jazz violinist Ben Holder and friends. Sounds totally awesome.
Haddon Acre, Sires Hill, Didcot, haddonacre.co.uk
Life, Belief & Beyond: Rose Finn-Kelsey Exhibition, Modern Art Oxford, Sat 15 July – Sun 15 Oct
Modern Art Oxford bring us the first posthumous exhibition of avant-garde artist, Rose Finn-Kelsey. She was a ground-breaking and hugely influential conceptual artist in her time and her popularity and influence are stronger than ever. The exhibition will display work from the 1970s up to 2014 and alongside conceptual pieces, it will include photographs, collage, performance documentation, preparatory material and sketches.
Dancin’ On the Green, Gloucester Green, Oxford, Sat 15 July
There’s a whole afternoon of some brilliant outdoor dance going on this Saturday afternoon – all centred around a huge temporary Dance Stage in Oxford’s Gloucester Green in the heart of the city. Sounds as though the whole place will be buzzing – there’ll be food stalls, amazing dance acts and some pop up surprise performances around town. And, best of all, it’s absolutely FREE!
Gloucester Green, Oxford, oxfordplayhouse.com
National Trust Big Camp Weekend, 15 – 16 & 21 – 22 July
Crack out the marshmallows! Fill your hip flask! The National Trust Big Camp Weekends take place in various venues across the region, offering you and the nippers chance to sleep al fresco and stargaze amid beautiful surroundings. In Buscot Park in Oxfordshire, you can camp by the River Thames on Sat 15 July, or you can pitch up Waddesdon or the Ashridge Estate on 21 July.
Much Ado About Nothing, Wadham College, Oxford, all week (now to 19 Aug)
I’ve seen a fair few interpretations of Much Ado over the years – from a 1960s hippy setting to one bizarrely featuring senior citizens Vanessa Redgrave and James Earl Jones as lead characters Beatrice and Benedick. Oxford Shakespeare Company have taken their latest production of this hilarious Shakespeare comedy to a 1943, war-struck Messina where the Italian Resistance meet Mafiosi and it sounds pure brilliance. Catch it now until mid August in the gorgeous outdoor setting of Wadham College Gardens.
Wadham College, Parks Rd, Oxford, ticketsoxford.com
Le Nozze Di Figaro, Garsington Opera, Tues 11, Fri 14 & Sun 16 July
Continuing their oh-too-short season, the super-talented Garsington Opera are performing Mozart’s Le Nozze Di Figaro this week in the stunning grounds of the Wormsley estate in Stokenchurch. Grounds are open from 3.30pm on each performance day so get there early to have a snoop around the Walled Garden, Deer Park or afternoon tea overlooking the beautiful Wormsley Cricket Pitch.
Garsington Opera, Wormsley Estate, Bucks, garsingtonopera.org
The Art of Nature – Metal Sculpture Exhibition, Turrill Garden, Oxford, now until 30 Sept
The Turrill Sculpture Gardens have regularly changing displays of contemporary art by local and national sculptors for sale in this lovely public garden in Summertown. The current expo features some stunning work from Diccon Dadey. If you’re up that way, you can drop in afterwards at Mamma Mia for lunch with the kids (it’s just round the corner and has been awarded Best Independent Pizza Restaurant in the UK!) or if you’re doing the grown up thing, Portabello a few doors down.
Behind the Public Library, South Parade, Summertown, Oxford, turrillsculpturegarden.co.uk
The World’s Greatest Space Cadet, Roald Dahl Museum, Great Missenden, Sun 16 July
There’s a brilliant line up of activities and special events all month at our favourite kids’ author’s home town museum in Bucks. We’re especially loving the sound of The World’s Greatest Space Cadet this Sunday with crazy poet/wild guitarist, James Carter. Next weekend, there’s Gloriumptious Guided Trails on offer with a Countryside Trail at 2pm which includes a romp into the local Chilterns woods which inspired many of Roald Dahl’s stories.
Death of a Salesman, Oxford Playhouse, Tues 11 – Sat 15 July
Olivier nominee Nicholas Woodeson takes the role of Willy Loman in Arthur Miller’s incredible Death of a Salesman, top of my list of the greatest plays of the twentieth century. In Oxford all this week as part of a nationwide tour.
Oxford Playhouse, Beaumont St, Oxford, oxfordplayhouse.com
The Adventures of Book Worm, Story Museum, Oxford, Sat 15 July
Lovely event for littlies ages 0 – 5, skilled puppeteer and writer Emma Boor introduces the character Book Worm with music and interactive fun.
The Story Museum, Pembroke St, Oxford, storymuseum.org
Comedians’ Surgery, The Old Fire Station, Sat 15 July
Comedian and junior doctor Ed Patrick shares hilarious anecdotes and experiences in an Edinburgh preview show with guest comedians Katy Wix and Josh Pugh.
The Old Fire Station, George St, Oxford, oldfirestation.org.uk
Giffords Circus, Stonor Park, 13 – 17 July
Described by the Telegraph as “the nation’s most glamorous troupe”, Giffords arrives at the gorgeous Stonor Park this month for a brand new Baroque-inspired show. No need to stuff your handbag with snacks for the interval -they also bring a 60-seat pop-up restaurant, complete with candle-lit communal oak tables.
Stonor Park, Henley-on-Thames, stonor.com
Chamber Series – Summer Nostalgia, Merton College Chapel, Oxford, Sat 15 July
One of the prettiest Oxford colleges is the setting for a spot of Elgar, Britten, Bach, Purcell and Grieg from The Strings of the Oxford Philharmonic. Yeah, go on then, that’ll do nicely.
Merton College Chapel,Merton St, Oxford, oxfordphil.com
Sunday Morning Coffee Concert, Holywell Music Rooms, Sun 16 Jul
Muddy is a huge fan of these long-standing coffee concerts in the rather delightful Holywell Music Rooms. This Sunday, the Adderbury Ensemble is joined by Viv McLean for a Mozart line-up! Free coffee at the Kings Arms pub or the Vaults Cafe with your ticket btw.
Holywell Music Rooms, Holywell St, Oxford, coffeeconcerts.com
Jane Eyre, Milton Keynes Theatre, Mon 10 – Sat 15 July
Charlotte Brontë’s masterpiece is brought to the stage in a collaboration between the National Theatre and Bristol Old Vic, at MK Theatre this month and it’s a corker. The touring production was given five stars by The Observer and if you’re anywhere near Milton Keynes, this is your last chance to see it in our region. I saw it Aylesbury Waterside a while back and was blown away by it – read my review here.
MK Theatre, atgtickets.com
Winslow Hall Opera Season: Verdi’s Un Ballo in Maschera, Fri 7 – Sun 16 July
The 18th century Bucks mansion designed by Sir Christopher Wren provides a fabulous backdrop for this summer’s opera season. This year Carmen Jakobi directs, Oliver Gilmour conducts and Rosalind Plowright, a recent cover star of Opera Magazine, stars as Ulrica. If you get tickets for a Sunday matinee, you can take a picnic for a pre-show al fresco lunch.
Gin Fest, The Crown at Sydenham, Fri 7 – Sat 15 July
Gin has never been more fashionable, a trend of which we at Muddy heartily approve! For Gin Fest, The Crown at Sydenham has a 4-course gin-inspired tasting menu, accompanied by a ‘gin flight’ of 3 hand-selected gins & mixers , plus a range of cocktails. Bagsy not being designated driver. In other gin news, Gin Festival Oxford runs Fri 21 – Sun 23 July, and promises exclusive gins that’ll be entirely new to you (Gin Festival obviously hasn’t met Muddy.)
Alice, Oxford University Parks, 15 July – 19 Aug
More from quirky Oxford theatre company Creation. This time they invite you to fall down a rabbit hole in the green gorgeousness of University Parks for a family-friendly production of Lewis Carroll’s Alice. This particular wonderland is in a Big Top so inclement weather be damned!
Lovebox Festival, Tower Hamlets, London, 14 – 15 July
Calling all midlife ravers – head to the consistently bangin’ Lovebox in London’s Victoria Park for all your dance music needs this summer. The line-up is strong, with Frank Ocean, Chase & Status, Jamie xx, Solange, and Rag ’n’ Bone Man among the acts.
Victoria Park, Tower Hamlets, London E3, loveboxfestival.com
Romeo & Juliet, Oxford Castle, Mon 3 – Sat 21 July
Sure to be popular, Tomahawk Theatre are mixing it up, throwing in a bit of song and dance but sticking to Shakespeare’s original language for their latest production of Romeo and Juliet. Get there early – it’s first come for seating; all with the stunning background of Oxford Castle.
Kew The Music, Kew Gardens, Tues 11 – Sun 16 July
Amid the tropical palms lurk some major pop stars in Kew Gardens, West London, the gloriously verdant setting for this summer’s picnic concert series. Acts include Razorlight (put your shirt back on Johnny Borrell please, this is genteel Kew), All Saints, James and soul diva Mary J Blige,
British Grand Prix, Silverstone, Fri 14- Sun 16 July
It’s so much more than just a race – the British Grand Prix is basically a weekend-long party, from Thursday through to Sunday. The non-stop entertainment will keep any reluctant petrolheads happy and includes an ’80s party hosted by Sara Cox and gigs from Travis, Reef and The Hoosiers.
Summer Tea Recital, Hartwell House & Spa, Sun 16 July
Quintessential Englishness a-plenty this Sunday afternoon in the ever-so grand drawing rooms of Hartwell House. There’ll be live music tinkling away in the background, courtesy of Paul Harris and friends, a full afternoon tea and champagne and canapés to round it all off. Sounds like heaven to me!
Hartwell House, Oxford Road, Aylesbury, hartwellhouse.co.uk