What’s on this weekend for all ages in Bucks and Oxon
Time to plan your time off - we've got opera, Christmas fairs, festive lights, mud kitchens, indie cinema, art galore, and free classical music. That's everyone in the household covered, right?
Get ready for a bit of sweeping, operatic culture as The Welsh National Opera comes to New Theatre Oxford. From Friday Madame Butterfly gives way to Rossini’s The Barber of Seville, 12-13 Nov, classically performed around a Spanish piazza. Even the staunchest of opera-sceptics can’t resist a bit of Figaro’s Aria…
Need a laugh? Why not kill two birds with one stone and learn something too, by enjoying some Creepy Crawly Comedy on 12 Nov, courtesy of Jericho Comedy at the Oxford Natural History Museum. Expect jokes, gags, and riffs all about insects, paired with educational input from the scientists.
Fancy some epic party choons alongside your burger and cocktail? At Fat Lil’s in Witney you can have the complete package this weekend – the bar, grill and live music venue is hosting two popular local cover bands, W.A.M and The Standard, on 12 & 13 Nov respectively to raise the roof and fill the dance floor.
Meanwhile at the other end of the culture scale, at the Ashmolean you can catch Dante: The Invention of Celebrity until 9 Jan. It’s the 700th anniversary of the death of Dante so this exhibit explores his influence on art and culture throughout the centuries since.
Throughout the middle of the month in honour of Remembrance Day, Waddesdon Manor is introducing Standing with Giants, a largescale art installation of 300 soldier silhouettes and 225 painted poppy wreaths. You can see it 10-21 Nov.
Also worth noting are some of the excellent ongoing exhibitions in the local area – we’re spoilt for choice! Try Skyscape: The limitless art of the sky at River & Rowing Museum, Henley, until 16 Jan, for a focus on aerial landscapes and the sky. Or MK Gallery‘s big exhibition Laura Knight, A Panoramic View, charting 20th century artist Laura Knight’s career, on until 20 Feb. You can also still see this year’s Wildlife Photographer of the Year display at the Banbury Museum until 23 Jan, and Anish Kapoor’s ‘Painting’, at the Modern Art Oxford until 13 Feb.
Get your Christmas shopping done early at the Christmas Craft and Gift Fair at Millets Farm, near Abingdon. Stalls a-plenty to browse through from 11-13 Nov, followed by the arrival of Father Christmas at Santa’s Grotto, 13 Nov – 24 Dec. Ho ho ho, and all that.
On the subject of shopping, the Winter Wonderland autumn and Christmas arts and crafts show has set up shop in West Ox Arts Gallery, Bampton from now until 18 Dec. The stalls and artists change weekly but you can expect glassware, jewellery, watercolour, oils, textile wall art, photography, knitted and felting goodies and sculptures. Tues-Sat 11.30am-4.30pm, Sun 2-4pm.
Got some little ones that need some fresh air and entertainment? Black Pines Camp in Bucks runs weekly Tots Go Wild sessions on Fridays, including 12 Nov, in term time. They’re aimed at walking 2-4 year olds accompanied by an adult. Expect a mud kitchen, digging pit, water play, bug hunting, weaving, balancing and more. Book a single session or block book a term at a time.
Muddy award winners Darl-e and the Bear, in Woodstock, is showing its joint-artist exhibition Presence, celebrating the works of Mary Chamberlain and Tim Steward, 13 – 28 Nov. Both artists take the idea of a caught moment, and move in different directions with it.
At Waddesdon Manor, Christmas also starts early – 13 Nov in fact – and lasts until 23 Dec. Expect a winter lights trail set to music, a festive fair with handmade and unusual gifts sold from little wooden chalets, an exhibition of work by Leo Villareal and even a festive afternoon tea at the Manor Restaurant (check out the website to book ahead). You can also enjoy Christmas dining at The Five Arrows – roast turkey, herb-crusted hake, plant-based bourguignon — clean plates all round we reckon.
Been a while since you’ve been to the flicks? There’s something for everyone at the Everyman Gerrard’s Cross this weekend, including Spencer, the Diana biopic, Eternals, the latest Marvel epic, Dune, a sci-fi, the indie film, The French Dispatch, No Time to Die (needs no explanation) and a couple for the kids – Boss Baby 2 and The Addams Family 2. Henley’s Regal Cinema and Oxford’s indie Phoenix have a similar line-up as well as showing Mothering Sunday with Olivia Coleman and Coco 2D.
Balliol College, Oxford is hosting a free recital performed by the Consone Quartet including works by Schubert, Mozart, Puccini and Mendelssohn on 14 Nov. Doors open at 8pm.
Who let the dogs out! Pets aren’t usually allowed to roam around the landscaped grounds of Waterperry Gardens (no surprise, they’re immaculate), but for one day only — Groundhog Day, 14 Nov — the venue will be allowing Fido to tag along on a lead.