MON 4 – SUN 10 MAR
MUDDY’S PICK OF THE WEEK
THEATRE: A Super Happy Story About Feeling Super Sad, Corn Exchange Newbury, Sat 9 Mar
It’s a joyful, buoyant, gleeful, slightly silly, sugar-coated, unrelenting and completely super happy show! Except for the bits about depression. Written by Olivier award winner Jon Brittain (Rotterdam and Margaret Thatcher Queen of Soho), this is a funny cabaret musical about depression, that explains, sings, and throws glitter about how it’s OK not to be OK.
EXHIBITION: A Royal Wedding: Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank, Windsor Castle, now – Mon 22 Apr
When you’re the second royal bride in a year, you’re never going to steal the limelight, no matter how much razzle dazzle and how many supermodels you throw at it. Once again, Princess Eugenie is playing second fiddle to the Duchess of Sussex’s Givenchy gown as her Peter Pilotto goes on display at Windsor Castle for A Royal Wedding Exhibition – mark two.
BALLET: Giselle, Theatre Royal Windsor, Mon 4 – Sat 9 Mar
A sea of tulle and elegance will sweep onto the Windsor stage for Giselle – telling a tale ofinnocence, love, betrayal and the madness of heartbreak, performed by the Vienna Ballet Company. Traditionally staged, in a stunning old theatre, Giselle is the perfect way to discover classical ballet.
KIDS: World Book Day, Thu 7 Mar
Get ’em off the iPads and onto the books! Windsor Castle is celebrating with storytelling sessions every Saturday thorughout March and Cliveden has a family trail as well as the Storybook Play Den (just beyond the maze) with a Charlotte’s Web inspired climbing net, Wind in the Willows boat, carved wooden storybook characters more.
MUSIC: The Royal Lounge Music Night, Hind’s Head Bray, Thu 7 Mar
Sink into a battered leather armchair, order the best Espresso martini you have ever tasted (other drinks are available) and enjoy live music in the Hind’s Head’s elegantly eccentric Royal Lounge. The extremely talented Sammie Jay will be singing like a canary while you work your way through the foxy cocktail list and signature snacks. Space is limited £30pp.
EXHIBITION: Seeing Read, Rhubarb Photo Gallery Eton, now – Wed 1 May
Stop staring at blank walls and fill them pronto. If you’ve not come across the Rhubarb Photo Gallery in Eton, hot foot it down, fight your way through the college coattails and set your peepers on their latest exhibition ‘Seeing Red’ – a curated collection of images by Halid Izzet, Salli Woods, Hannah Peachey, Rosie Evans and Stephen Barney. Everything’s for sale, including this woofer and his red balloons. He lost the other 98 chasing Nena through the woods back in 1983.
WALKS: The Gilded Garden, Cliveden National Trust Taplow, now – Tue 30 Apr
Blenheim Pavllion, Cliveden
Say goodbye to snowdrops and a big hello to daffodils that are springing up everywhere. New for 2019 Cliveden present their new programme The Gilded Gardens, inspired by the 24 carat gilded golden gates on the Sounding chamber and thousands of daffodils that grow across the estate- this year the gardening team have added a further 57 varieties to the existing 20 so there grounds really will be carpeted in canary, until Tues 30 April. Head to the Water Garden and Blenheim Pavilion for the best of ’em.
THEATRE: Macbeth, The Watermill Bagnor, now – Sat 30 Mar
The timing of The Watermill’s Macbeth could not be better with our political parties imploding and Brexitaggedon looming. A ruthless, violent struggle for power leads to a devastating coup (we’re talking about the play now, not Westminster am-dram). The Macbeths will stop at nothing to survive, and it’s all played out to a fierce soundtrack of Johnny Cash, The xx and The Rolling Stones. If the last few Shakespeare plays are anything to go by, this will be a corker.
MAGIC: Pete Firman – Marvels, Corn Exchange Newbury, Fri 8 Feb
Prepare to drop your jaw during a fit of the giggles. Not an easy thing to do. But trust me, it’s comedy-magician Pete Firman’s speciality. You’ll have probably seen him on the telly, flinging playing cards all over studio – Tonight at the London Palladium, The John Bishop Show and The Sarah Millican Television Programme, for those who haven’t – all now’s your chance to experience his brilliant act live on stage!
FAMILY FUN: RPO Noisy Kids – Heroes and Villains, Hexagon Reading, Sat 9 Mar
Put on your superhero cape and crusade against dastardly villains in this unmissable family concert. A brilliant opportunity to show your kids that there’s more to music than Baby Shark, thanks to the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. Hear the Orchestra perform pieces that celebrate adventurers, daredevils and scoundrels. (Ages 5-11)
MUSIC: The Vinyl Frontier – ABC vs Tears For Fears, Sat 9 Mar
Let battle commence! Two of 80s pop’s finest groups go head to head showcasing their biggest-selling LPs. No it is not the decade that musical taste forgot, rude. This month’s Vinyl Frontier will pit ABC’s 1983 hit album The Lexicon of Love against Tears for Fears’ 1985 LP Songs From The Big Chair. Shout, shout, let it all out… but which one would you save from a car boot? For me, it’s Tears For Fears, all day long.
Royal Opera House, Cliveden House Hotel, Sun 10 Mar
Who needs a dramatic set design when you’ve got Cliveden House? It has to be the perfect setting for an classy evening of opera. It’s all very Pride & Prejudice as you gather for an intimate performance by the young international stars form the Jette Parker programme of Covent Garden’s Royal Opera House. Plus you get treated to Champagne and a three-course dinner. Dress code is black tie too. Tickets £160 per person.
WEDDINGS: Bride: The Wedding Show, Ascot Racecourse, Sat 9 – Sun 10 Mar
Getting hitched? Before you disappear down a Pinterest/ Instagram bridal rabbit hole, get yourself down to Bride: The Wedding Show at Ascot Racecourse and meet all the beautiful people who can make your big day dreams a reality. The first 100 brides through the doors each day will get a goody bag packed full of treats and favours to take home. Tickets are £5 each or £15 for a group of four in advance.
WELLBEING: Mindful Triathlon, The Great House Sonning, Sun 10 Mar
Triathlons are not my bag – all that running, cycling and swimming, I’m out of breath just thinking about it. But a Mindful Triathlon is something I can get on board with – a 5km walk, followed by yoga and meditation in the beautiful riverside setting of The Great House in Sonning. Treat yourself to mind, body and soul workout – then grab a bit to eat at The Coppa Club before stalking George Clooney. Almost better than 14 hours sleep… zzzzzz.
THEATRE: Dracula, The London Library, London, now – Sat 9 Mar
Oxford’s quirkiest theatre company, Creation Theatre (I once saw them clad in spandex and gallivant round the Westgate for a production of Brave New World) are setting up shop (well, stage) in London for a new, two man production of Dracula that they first staged (from memory) at Blackwell’s in Oxford. Creation’s USP is all about finding weird and wacky places to perform – this production in The London Library, where Bram Stoker wrote his Gothic novel, hits the jugular.
FESTIVAL: Women of the World, Southbank, London, Fri 8 – Sat 9 Mar
Girl power! Women of the World fest returns for it’s ninth year with a fabulous line up of debate, discussion, performance and activism all celebrating female achievement. Highlights this year include conversations with Angela Davis, Fri 8, and renowned journo and activist Naomi Klein, Sat 9.
WORKSHOP: Free Yoga, LuluLemon, Bicester Village, Sun 10 Mar
The upmarket Canadian fitness brand (a fave among chic NYC yoga bunnies) is putting on two early morning sessions with local instructors in their Bicester Village store. A few mats will be provided, but BYO if you’ve got one knocking around. If mornings aren’t your thing (guilty!) the brand are also hosting an evening to celebrate International Women’s Day, Thurs 7 Mar, in the Athletes Centre, Osney Mead with a fitness class followed by a talk and Prosecco.
EXHIBITION: An Earthly Paradise: William Morris & the Thames, River & Rowing Museum, until Sun 14 July
I have great memories of taking my family to William Morris’s house in Gloucestershire and having them all sit outside glumly for an hour proclaiming it the most boring thing ever while I drooled over the textiles and furniture. Ah, happy days! Anyway, this exhibition focuses on how the Thames influenced Morris’ work. He had a rural retreat in Oxfordshire, where he loved to boat and fish, ergo the influence of the river in his textiles and designs. Pieces have been collated from the V&A, The William Morris Gallery and the British Library to make this exhibition possible and it also delves into Morris personal life and his politics.
ART: The Affordable Art Fair, Battersea Park London, Thu 7 – Sun 10 Mar
What to do if you’re art mad but can’t afford to splurge? The Affordable Art Fair is back this month to tempt you with work from over 100 galleries, including former Muddy Award winning best gallery Carina Haslam (go check out the Great Missenden-based gallery at E5 and Craig Mooney’s work, featured above). Tickets £10-15, and children are freeeeee.
EVENT: Orchid Festival, Kew Gardens, London, now – 11 March
Things are going totally tropical this month at London’s gorgeous Kew Gardens. Their annual orchid festival takes in Insta-friendly displays of the vibrant Thai blooms, Thai street food and musical performances, workshops on how to grow these notoriously tricky flowers and Thai afternoon tea at The Botanical restaurant. King prawn, lemongrass and coriander tartlet followed by Thai sticky coconut cream rice with mango salsa? Yes please.
EVENT: London Design Week, Design Centre, Chelsea Harbour, Sun 10 – Fri 15 Mar
There’s a couple of interior shows popping up in London this month if you’re thinking of sprucing up your gaff. First up is London Design Week at Chelsea Harbour Design Centre, Sun 10 – Fri 15 Mar, with 120 showrooms and over of 600 luxury brands- the biggest of its kind in Europe. Later in the month the whopper Ideal Home Show rocks up at Olympia London, Fri 22 Mar – Sun 7 April, with hundreds of free talks, 600 companies and the latest tech. This year the theme is Best of British so expect loads of UK companies. Does anyone else feel a splurge coming on
EXHIBITION: Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams, Victoria & Albert Museum, London, until Sun 14 July
Tickets are selling like hotcakes for this! The V&A is showing the largest House of Dior exhibition ever staged in the UK, tracing the history of Christian Dior and the six artistic directors who succeeded him. The exhibition is based on the major exhibition Christian Dior: Couturier du Rêve, organised by the Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Paris, and there’s a new section exploring Dior’s fascination with British culture. A highlight is the Christian Dior dress worn by Princess Margaret for her 21st birthday celebrations, on loan from the Museum of London.
High School Musical, South Hill Park Bracknell, Wed 17 – Mon 22 Apr
The first High School Musical film came out 13 years ago… THIRTEEN YEARS!!! It means two things 1) we’re all really old and 2) if your children were born in the 2000s, some of you may not have seen it. Guilty as charged, but I’ve also only seen one of the original Star Wars movies. Anyway High School Musical is coming to South Hill Park Bracknell and in the creative hands of director Mark Hooper (Madagascar, Suessical), it’s set to be a corker. Book now Wildcats.
The Little Welly, Henley, Sat 8 – Sun 9 Jun
Have the hose and a hot wash on stand by, this is gonna get messy. Like break your washing machine, kinda messy. Bigger, better and muddier than ever, the UK’s biggest children’s obstacle course returns for the sixth year to the Culden Faw Estate in Henley. Throw your mud-seeking minis (4+) and they’re parents (sorry about that) at the 30 obstacles – including The Big Slide, Tyre Mangle, mud and water pits, Spider’s Web and bouncing round the foam pit. Away from the race’s there’s Laser Tag, circus skill workshops, pony rides, den building and bungee trampolining and more.