MON 1 – SUN 7 OCT
CULTURE: Henley Literary Festival, Mon 2 – Sun 8 Oct
It’s the season of mists and mellow fruitfulness – and a bumper crop of literary festivals. Henley has pulled in some big celebrity names, including Fearne Cotton, Bryony Gordon, Kate Mosse (not the one without an e) and Muddy Stilettos (yes, we count as celebs). Behold our stellar panel of three dazzling writers in there Muddy Literary Salon. Viv Groskop, award-winning comedian and author of The Anna Karenina Fix: Life Lessons From Russian Literature, Farrah Storr, Cosmopolitan editor and author of The Discomfort Zone: How To Get What You Want By Living Fearlessly and Caroline O’ Donoghue, whose Promising Young Women is one of the most acclaimed debut novels of 2018. The festival is now one of the biggest in the UK and worth a visit.
THEATRE: Priscilla Queen Of The Desert: The Musical, Corn Exchange Newbury, Wed 3 Oct
Vamp up the camp as Priscilla Queen Of The Desert rolls into Newbury – with an explosion of glamour, sequins, a cracking choon and a lorra laughs. Sadly Guy Pearce was too busy being all Hollywood A list to take to the stage, but you’ll enjoy every minute as a drag queen, cross dresser and transexual hit the road in their bus Priscilla to perform for enthusiastic crowds and homophobic locals. All shades of FAB-U-LOUS.
FILM: A Star is Born, nationwide from Wed 3 Oct
Bradley Cooper’s directorial debut starring himself and Lady Gaga is highly anticipated and the Muddy office can’t wait to see it. The remake tells the story of hard drinking musician (Cooper, orginally played by Kris Kristofferson) who falls in love with a young hopeful singer-songwriter (Gaga, originally Barbra Streisand). The movie has been very well recieved and it sounds like a fabulous musical romantic indulgent treat.
FESTIVAL: Windsor Fringe Festival, various Windsor locations, now until Sat 6 Oct
It’s the final week of Windsor Fringe Festival – the second oldest fringe in the UK after Edinburgh. Expect an eclectic programme of comedy, music, drama, DJs, arts, gin tasting and more, plus the world renowned International Windsor Fringe Award for New Drama Writing, sponsored by the legendary Kenneth Branagh. From Thu 4- Sat 6 Oct, the finalists’ plays – Cut & Paste by Jeff Nolan, The Claykickers’ Chorus by Kevin McMahon and Waiting For Hamlet by David Visick – will be performed each night with the Awards ceremony on Saturday night. Nailbiting.
THEATRE: Trial By Laughter, Watermill Theatre Bagnor, now –Fri 27 Oct
Following on from the record-breaking play The Wipers Times (if you missed it, it’s on at the Oxford Playhouse 3-8 Sep), Ian Hislop and Nick Newman are back at the Watermill Theatre to premiere a new play. This true and extraordinary story is about the trial of William Hone – a forgotten hero of free speech, he was charged with ‘impious blasphemy and seditious libel’. The only crime he had committed was to be funny. Worse than that he was funny by parodying religious texts. And worst of all, he was funny about the despotic government and the debauched monarchy. I enjoy Ian Hislop’s razor-sharp wit so it’s bound to be a fun evening an it’s got a whiff of Private Eye…
FILM: Jonny English Strikes Again, Fri 5 Oct
Rowan Atkinson’s spoof James Bond returns for a third time. Lots of slapstick and silliness that has made audiences laugh despite the critics not being so convinced. Kids seem to love it so if an animated yeti in the movie Small Foot doesn’t appeal for a half term trip to the flicks, perhaps this will?
COMEDY: Harry Hill’s Kids Show: How To Be Funny, Norden Farm Maidenhead, Sat 6 Oct
Part stand up, part careers advice, Harry Hill – the loon off the telly – takes to the Norden Farm stage to give kids the dos and don’ts of comedy. Yes, he’s got a new book to flog, Matt Millz Stands Up!, but the show is packed hull of jokes and top tips. If your kid’s a fancies themselves as comedian, make sure they bring their best jokes. Wet yourself funny. Suitable for ages 6 – 16 years.
DANCE: Big Fish, Little Fish, Hexagon Reading, Sun 7 Oct
Have kids, will party. Want to go raving but too knackered to dance for six hours and get home in the early hours? Big Fish, Little Fish’s bonkers afternoon raves for parents with under eights should hit the spot and get you home in time for Antiques Roadshow. Balloons, bubbles, glitter, parachutes, face painting and arts and crafts accompanied by DJ Chad Jackson (DMC World Champ) and Bunf from Super Furry Animals on the decks. White gloves and whistles at the ready.
WEDDING: Ufton Court Wedding Fayre, Ufton Nervet, Sun 7 Oct
Getting hitched? Before you do anything else read our feature on to the dreamiest venues to say ‘I do’. Then get yourself along to Ufton Court’s Wedding Fayre. We love this venue at Muddy, it’s historic, romantic, with loads of Pinterest-worthy photo opps. The fayre will give you the opportunity to get loads of inspirational ideas for your big day.
EVENT: 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
ART: Frieze Art Fair, Regents Park, London, Fri 5 – Sun 7 Oct
Considered the world leading platform for contemporary and modern art, the Frieze Art Fair unites 160 of the world’s leading galleries. You can view and / or buy art from over 1000 contemporary artists, some emerging talent, others more established. Daily events include talks and performances plus there’s Frieze Sculpture and Frieze Masters (showcasing work from the ancient era and Old Masters) in Regent’s Park. If all this culture makes you hungry, there are loads of delish food pop-ups whilst you contemplate the art and what it’s all trying to say.
THEATRE: The Wider Earth, The Natural History Museum, Tues Oct 2 – Sun 30 Dec
Exciting news – there’s a theatre being opened in the Jerwood Gallery at the Natural History Museum for the European premiere of award-winning drama The Wider Earth, a play about the young Charles Darwin. Puppets, an original score and cinematic animations make this theatrical event a great draw for kids plus they’ll learn a helluva lot in the process.
EXHIBTION: Black Mirror: Art as Social Satire, the Saatchi Gallery, London, now until Sun 13 Jan 2019
In these troubling times, satire can provide some light relief and hold up a mirror to modern-day politics. This new exhibition explores how art and satire can question and commentate in a way that can diffuse situations. All sorts of media have been used, including photography, installations and more obviously caricatures, and what’s even better is it’s completely free (very helpful when in Chelsea flexing the credit card).
EVENT: Fright Nights, Thorpe Park, various dates throughout Oct
Thorpe Park’s Fright Night boasts more terror than ever before with new horror experiences, attractions, and even more scares. It’s the perfect event to get you in the mood for Halloween, so grab your tickets… if you dare.
FOOD: London Restaurant Festival, various London locations, all month
London’s fantastic restaurant scene is in full celebration mode this month, with great value festival menus at loads of great restaurants, plus foodie events like gastronomic weekends, tasting menus, restaurant-hopping tours, tasting menus with famous chefs, talks, films and art.
EXHIBTION: The Shape of Light, Tate Modern, now until Sun 14 Oct
Last couple of weeks to see this exhibition which chronicles 100 years of photography and abstract art. It explores the development of abstraction with photography from early pioneers to our 21st century digital innovators, with over 300 works by artists such as Man Ray and Jackson Pollock.