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Reader Treats Just For You!

This weekend

Fri 1 - Sun 3 Nov


SHOP: MK Handmade and Vintage Fair, centre:mk, Milton Keynes, 1 – 3 Nov 

The mega MK Handmade and Vintage Fair, comes to at centre:mk in the cavernous 1800 sq m space outside of John Lewis – it’s huge with over 130 exhibitors selling one-off items from fashion, homewares, furniture, gifts, art, vinyl and more.


Theatre: Kinky Boots, Milton Keynes Theatre, until 9 Nov 

I’m also looking forward to the return of Olivier award-winning Kinky Boots to our ‘hood at MK Theatre, Milton Keynes; it’s won every major Best Musical award (TONY, Grammy, Olivier – you name it) so a dead cert.


EXHIBITION: Felicity Gill: Being HumanThe North Wall, Oxford, 29 Oct – 9 Nov

Meanwhile, at The North Wall, there’s Felicity Gill: Being Human (below), a series of portrait paintings that look at the human subject behind the lens of social media.


Clickety click here for my full fireworks guide for Bucks & Oxon. Kaboom!


KIDS: Tree climbing, Waddesdon Manor, Aylesbury, 1 – 3 Nov

Popping up at Waddesdon this weekend is The Great Big Tree Climb – a fun and safe way for 6+ kids to scale trees, test balance and coordination.

MUSIC:  Sheku Kannek-Mason, Oxford Town Hall, 2 Nov
Superstar cellist (and 2016’s Young Musician of the Year, no less) Sheku Kannek-Mason performs at Oxford Town Hall with a recital of Mendelssohn and Rossini’s major works, among others.


KIDS: Waddesdon Manor Halloween activities, Aylesbury, until 3 Nov 

Need to keep the ankle biters entertained? We’ve got you covered. Waddesdon Manor is hosting a spooky themed afternoon tea especially for children (there’s an adult offering too), featuring ghost meringues and eyeball cupcakes created by The Manor restaurant’s  in-house chef.

Ghost Fest, Oxford Castle and Prison, 26 Oct – 2 Nov 

Oxford Castle’s spook-tactualr Halloween event returns with spooky tours of the prison, Mystic Market seeking all sorts of Goth-y goods, trick or treating and potion making.


KIDS: Peppa Pig’s Best Day EverWycombe Swan, 2 – 3 Nov 

For a rainy afternoon, head to Wycombe Swan for Peppa Pig’s Best Day Ever, a brand new live show full of road trips, songs and games. Let’s be honest, you can’t go wrong with Peppa and her clan.


SCIENCE: Morgan and West’s Unbelievable ScienceCornerstone Arts, Didcot, 3 Nov 

Over in Didcot there’s Morgan and West’s Unbelievable Science show which is promising explosive thrills, chemical spills and a sprinkling of education.


LAST CHANCE: Bears!, River and Rowing Museum, Henley, 3 Nov 

It’s last call for sweet children’s exhibition Bears! at River & Rowing Museum in Henley which finishes on 3 Nov (Muddy review here).


Ongoing must-see exhibitions include The Young Turner: Ambitions in Architecture and the Art of Perspectiveon display at Banbury Museum which is a collection of JMW Turner’s work from the 1780s to the 1810s, on loan from The Ashmolean, The Tate and private collections (until 12 Jan);  George Stubbs: ‘all done from Nature’ , at MK Gallery, the first  first overview of the British artist’s work in the UK for over 30 years (until 26 Jan).

In central Oxford you can see a Kiki Smith show ‘I am Wanderer’ (until 19 Jan), at Modern Art Oxford, which promises to take visitors on a mythological and folkloric journey in her huge tapestries to her exquisitely-fashioned gold shells;  the Ashmolean’s current display, Last Supper in Pompeii, with 400+ exhibits from the ancient Roman site buried by the enormous eruption of Vesuvius in 79 AD (until 12 Jan); First Animalsan interesting exploration of the first life on earth at the Oxford University Museum of Natural History (until 24 Feb).



THEATRE: Lungs, Old Vic theatre, London, 14 Oct – 9 Nov

The Crown alumni Claire Foy and Matt Smith (aka The Queen and Prince Philip, of course) are reunited in Lungs at the Old Vic (14 Oct–9 Nov), playing a couple wrestling with life’s big issues, such as whether to have children, against the backdrop of a world teetering on the edge of environmental and political disaster.



Vogue fashion and portrait photographer Tim Walker‘s enchanting, fantastical, frankly insane work is the subject of a new V&A exhibition (until 8 March). Tilda Swinton, Björk and, er, Sir David Attenborough are among his subjects and he’s also created 10 new works for the show.

Meanwhile this autumn’s big-hitter is William Blake at Tate Britain, below, (until 2 Feb 2020). The visionary painter and poet’s work will be imaginatively displayed – some of it blown up to enormous scale using digital technology, other works in an immersive room that recreates the space in which Blake first showed his art in 1809.

Elsewhere Into the Night: Cabarets & Clubs in Modern Art at the Barbican (4 Oct – 19 Jan) is probably the nearest I’ll get to clubbing this autumn. It’s such a cool concept – a history of cabarets, clubs, dancefloors and party spaces that inspired artists from the 1880s to the 1960s, including the Berlin cabaret scene in Weimar Germany and Harlem’s jazz clubs and lifesize recreations of some of the hotspots.

Then there’s a major retrospective of 88-year-old Bridget Riley‘s life’s work at the Hayward Gallery (23 Oct – 26 Jan), taking in her famous monochrome, makes-your-eyes-go-funny Op Art paintings from the 1960s among its 70 year career span.

And finally, playing “spot the Angel Of The North” as we drive up the A1 to Newcastle is a family ritual in our house (Geordie in-laws, you see), so I’ve got a soft spot for Antony Gormley’s striking sculpture. His new show at the Royal Academy (until 3 Dec) is billed as his most ambitious in a decade and involves six tonnes of steel mesh, eight km of coiled tubing and a gallery flooded with clay and sea water. Blimey!

Find more ideas here

Things to DoThis Weekend

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