FRI 13 - SUN 15 OCT 2017
Dancin’ Oxford Family Dance Week, Sat 7 – Sun 15 Oct
Dust off your dancing shoes for this weeklong boogiethon at various venues across Oxford. There are dance workshops and performances suitable for the whole family, including Tipping Point, which sees five groovers use metal poles to create fantasy landscapes. And if you get a lot of comedy mileage in your household from mocking the moves of the family patriarch, then send him down to Disco Dadz, a 2 hour session for rug-cutters and their rug-rats, with a live DJ and – crucially – a dance tutor. Off you go, Mr Muddy.
Million Dollar Quartet, Wycombe Swan, Mon 9 – Sat 14 Oct
This West End and Broadway musical focuses on the famous recording session that brought together rock ‘n’ roll icons Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis and Carl Perkins for the first and only time. Martin Kemp, formerly partial to the headband and polyester shiny shirtlings of Spandau Ballet, now silver fox, TV regular and Muddy secret heart-throb, plays legendary record producer Sam Phillips who does a svengali and magics up the sweet music. Trust me, your mum will love it.
Luisa Omielan: Am I Right Ladies?, The Hexagon Reading, Sat 14 Oct
Comedy phenomenon Luisa Omielan is bringing her smash hit show Am I Right Ladies!? to Reading. Her joke on the Thigh Gap went viral with currently over 40 million views (add to the view count here). If you like this you will LOVE the show. It’s a party with jokes in! Be quick guaranteed to be a sell out.
Cliveden Literary Festival, Sat 14 – Sun 15 Oct
Literary festival venues don’t come more insanely gorgeous than Cliveden House. Its current owner Natalie Livingstone (the author of The Mistresses of Cliveden, who we interviewed here) is impeccably connected, as her impressive line-up demonstrates. Speakers include Ian McEwan, Sebastian Faulks, Robert Harris and The River Café’s Ruth Rogers. And if you need a breather from all that highbrow chat, hotfoot it to the newly refurbished and utterly divine spa.
Cliveden, Cliveden Rd, Taplow, Maidenhead, clivedenliteraryfestival.org
Sculpt at Kew, Kew Gardens, London, until Sun 15 Oct
If you’re heading to London, this is hands-down the best time of year to visit Kew Gardens, as you’re treated to nature’s own technicolour art display in the form of the turning of the leaves. This autumn you can also explore a sculpture exhibition set within the gardens – 70 works by British and international artists including this magnificent Fallen Deodar by Jilly Sutton. Access to show is included in the general admission ticket. kew.org
Pick Your Own Pumpkins, Farmer Paul’s, Weedon, October
Surprisingly not many pick your own pumpkin farms in the area – clearly we’re all too middle class to get our hands dirty! The end of the first week in October is usually when the pumpkins are perfect for plucking. Check out Weedon Hill Farm outside Aylesbury, and Millet’s Farm in Abingdon, and if anyone else knows of any, let me know.
Blenheim Palace Festival of Literature, Film and Music, Thurs 12 – Sun 15 Oct
Goblin’s Peter and the Wolf, Cornerstone Arts, Didcot, Sun 15 Oct
Featuring animal antics of singing birds, waddling ducks, sneaky cats, and a rocking wolf this production features new music lovingly inspired by Prokofiev’s classic – including real musical vegetables (the mind boggles) plus puppetry and physical comedy for kids 4+.
Cornerstone Arts Centre, 25 Station Rd, Didcot, cornerstone-arts.org
London Literature Festival, Southbank, London, Fri 13 Oct – Weds 1 Nov
The big ticket here is Hillary Clinton, who’ll be talking about her new book, What Happened – and you probably don’t need me to spell out what that refers to. In equally exciting news, Hollywood megastar Tom Hanks (pictured) will close the festival with a reading from his book of short stories (if you’ve never listened to his Desert Island Discs, look it up – it’s a doozy). Philip Pullman and Annie Leibovitz are also in attendance at this twenty day marathon event at the Southbank Centre. Definitely worth a jaunt to the big smoke.
Dark Arts, Harry Potter Warner Bros Studios, Sun 1 Oct – Sun 12 Nov
Harry Potter Warner Bros Studios are brilliant at ringing the changes with their events and for this one the Great Hall will be decorated with over 100 floating pumpkins, just as seen as in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, along with a table laden with a Halloween feast of red apples, pumpkins and cauldrons of lollipops. Kids can also delve into the sinister world of the Dark Art – wand combat techniques and Death Eater duels as well as filmmaking snot, blood and drool. Er, nice!
Warner Bros. Studio Tour london, Studio Tour Dr, Watford, Leavesden, wbstudiotour.co.uk
Oh come now, you’ve always wanted to go to a Lieder Festival! Lots of Mahler knocking around, plus a talk on the history of music in silent films by author Matthew Sweet, and a narrated recital of My Dearest Hedgehog by Henrietta Bredin, exploring the relationship between Richard Strauss and his wife, Pauline. Strauss wrote many of his greatest songs with her voice in mind and the fascinating and witty narrative, delivered by two renowned actors, is interspersed with a number of these works.