MON 10 – SUN 16 FEB
MUDDY’S PICK OF THE WEEK
The Last Temptation of Boris Johnson. Theatre Royal Windsor, 10-15 Feb
We’re out. Brexit is done. I’m not sure there could be a more exciting and relevant time to see The Last Temptation of Boris Johnson when it arrives in Windsor as part of a UK tour. If you like your politicians skewered with satire and your politics raw, this is for you. As befits the fastest moving story of our time, the script will be updated – nightly if necessary – to reflect events. The scriptwriters could be very very busy.
FILM: The Notebook, Hurley House Hotel Maidenhead, 11 Feb
If you get the raging thigh sweats for Ryan Gosling or you’re a sucker for a love story, then The Notebook is a must-watch. Hurley House Hotel will be rolling out the red carpet and inviting you to take your seats for its fancy film night. No soggy nachos, just wine, Champagne, popcorn and a cheese box.
EXHIBITION: A Splash of Colour, Landmark Place Slough 12–16 Feb
Don’t let colour bring you out in hives. You don’t have to wear it to appreciate it. A much safer and enjoyable way of embracing the rainbow is art. A Splash of Colour is a touring photographic exhibition created by The Photographic Angle. This exhibition brings together a full spectrum of colour images from all aspects of our lives and it is a beauty. Stunning images from very talented artists. Pop along and see it. Rude not to when it’s free.
THEATRE: One Million Tiny Plays About Britain, The Watermill Theatre Newbury, now–15 Feb
A critically-acclaimed jumble of micro plays about everyday life, The Watermill’s One Million Tiny Plays About Britain is funny and heartbreakingly moving. Listen hard and see the daily dramas – from a couple peering into an estate agent’s window and two sports fans having a heart-to-heart to a daughter questioning her mother’s love life, it’s a fascinating window into our world.
THEATRE: Kinky Boots: The Musical, Corn Exchange Newbury, 13–14 Feb
Kinky Boots: The Musical, filmed live at the Adelphi Theatre in the heart of London’s West End, is strutting onto the big screen! With songs from Grammy and Tony award-winning pop icon Cyndi Lauper, book by legendary Broadway playwright Harvey Fierstein (La Cage Aux Folles), and direction and choreography by Jerry Mitchell (Legally Blonde, Hairspray), the musical is based on the film written by Geoff Deane and Tim Firth. Grab a girlfriend, get a drink at the bar and enjoy an evening of music with this high-heeled hit!
OUTDOORS: Snowdrop Walks, Welford Park Newbury, now – 3 Mar
It’s snowdrop time! Choose a dry-ish day and wander through drifts of snowdrops at Welford Park. Why Welford Park? It’s only got one of the finest natural snowdrop woodlands in the chuffing country – four fabulous acres. Visit Wed-Sun (11am-4pm) until Sun 3 Mar. You can find more snowdrop walks here.
EXHIBITION: Wildlife Photographer of the Year, The Base Greenham Common, now – 26 Apr
Wildlife photography requires patience, lightning reactions and a little bit of luck. But when they get the money shot… POW! the results are extraordinary. This year’s prestigious Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition is being held at The Base at Greenham Common Business Park in Newbury. It’s an international showcase of 100 images taken by the very best in nature photographers around the world.
COMEDY: Sophie Hagen – The Bumswing, Norden Farm Maidenhead, 15 Feb
Winner of the Edinburgh Fringe’s Best Newcomer Award, podcaster, and author of Happy Fat Sophie Hagen (above) comes to Norden Farm in Maidenhead to perform her brilliantly titled show The Bumswing for one night only.
EXHIBITION: India & Me, Basildon Park Lower Basildon, 13 Feb – 23 Dec
Basildon Park’s India-inspired Zuber wallpaper was designed in 1806 by a French artist who had never been to India. It makes the new audio-visual exhibition in the mansion’s Garden Room even more extraordinary, as it looks at personal stories from Basildon’s collaboration with the Reading Indian Centre.
MUSIC: Haven’t Stopped Dancing Yet, Disco Love Fest, Norden Farm Maidenhead, 14 Feb
If Valentine’s Day brings you out in hives, body swerve the cheesy love fest and get ready to boogie at Haven’t Stopped Dancing Yet, a funk-tastic, feelgood 70s and 80s night. There’s dancer-led ‘line-ups’ to get you into the groove, prizes for the best retro outfits (you don’t have to dress up but lots do) and all the eco-glitter.
MUSIC: Sorry, Face Bar Reading, 16 Feb
Dazed & Confused magazine described Sorry as “one of the UK’s most inventive new guitar groups” and were crowned The Sunday Times’ Breaking Act last year. The list of accolades goes on and on. The band centres around childhood besties Asha Lorenz and Louis O’Bryen, with Sorry’s line-up completed by Lincoln Barrett on drums and bassist Campbell Baum. They have a 90s sound with melodies that are both romantic and eerie. Sorry release their debut album 925 this spring.
THEATRE: Madama Butterfly, The Hexagon Reading, 16 Feb
The award-winning Opera International returns with Madama Butterfly and brings with them a Japanese garden and a suitcase full of antique wedding kimonos. One of the world’s most popular operas, Puccini’s Madama Butterly tells the heart-breaking story of a beautiful young Japanese girl who falls in love with an American naval lieutenant – with dramatic results.
FAMILY FUN: Imagine Children’s Festival, Southbank Centre, 12-23 Feb
Twelve days of jam-packed half-term fun in this brilliant annual kids festival. Aimed at 0-12-year-olds, there’s a mind-boggling array of activities and events, hang out with Michael Rosen, Dermot O’Leary, Cressida Cowell and Konnie Huqs, plus the chance to play in the soundpit.
NEW EXHIBITION: Steve McQueen, Tate Modern, London, 13 Feb – 11 May
I love this shot! This solo exhibition of London-born artist and director of Oscar-winning 12 Years a Slave, Steve McQueen’s portfolio features 14 major works spanning his extensive career in film, photography and sculpture and is the first major UK exhibition since he received the Turner Prize in 1999. So, yeah, it’s a pretty big deal! The display will cover the last 25 years of McQueen’s career including personal and intimate works such as his early film on a Super 8 camera and this awesome aerial depiction of the Statue of Liberty above. The show also coincides with McQueen’s latest artwork Year 3, on show at Tate Britain until 3 May. tate.org.uk
THEATRE: Pretty Woman The Musical, Piccadilly Theatre, London, 13 Feb – 2 Jan 2021
This month I’m excited for the start of Pretty Woman’s West End stint after it’s successful Broadway premier in 2018. The production has some major creds with choreography from two-time Tony Award winner Jerry Mitchell (Kinky Boots, Legally Blonde, Hairspray), and an original score from Grammy winner Bryan Adams (yes, really!).
LAST CHANCE: Madonna, London Palladium, until 16 Feb
Looking sultry Madge! This month you have 15 chances to see the Queen of Pop herself at the London Palladium. Dig out your 80s garb and snaffle tickets quick as it’s bound to be a sell out.
Busy last month? There’s still time to see Tutankhamun – Treasures of the Golden Pharaoh at the Saatchi Gallery. One of the biggest cultural events in the winter calendar, the exhibit features 150+ original artefacts found in the Pharaoh’s tomb that was unearthed in 1922 (until 3 May). Elsewhere, at the O2 Arena, there’s ABBA: Super Troupers, a journey through the Swedish band’s career featuring personal items and artefacts never seen before in the UK (until 21 Aug 2020). And finally, there’s the fantastically bonkers Tim Walker exhibition (above) at the V&A with snaps from his career as a fashion and portrait photographer, a must-see before it ends on 8 Mar.