MUDDY’S PICK OF THE WEEK
COMEDY: Hal Cruttendon – Chubster, Norden Farm Maidenhead, Fri 11 – Sat 12 Jan
Heard of Hal Cruttendon? If you don’t know the name, you’ll definitely recognise the face. He’s a comedian permanently on the telly – BBC1’s Have I Got News For You and Mock The Week, BBC2’s The Apprentice: You’re Fired, C4’s Bake Off: Extra Slice and BBC’s Live at the Apollo. Now he’s on tour and a diet. His daughters chose the title of new stand-up show, ‘Chubster’, so like the rest of his he’ll be ordering the chicken salad at the Maccies drive thru.
MUSIC: The Vinyl Frontier 2019 Album Championships, Norden Farm Maidenhead, Sat 12 Jan
It’s the vinyl countdown: 8 contestants bring their fave LP to battle it out to be crowned 2019 Vinyl Frontier Album Champion. The audience chooses the winner of each round. Last year’s winner was The Special’s debut LP. Come and have a go if you think you’re muso enough.
THEATRE: The Lady Vanishes, Theatre Royal Windsor, Wed 9 – Sat 19 Jan
Hitchcock’s cinema classic: The Lady Vanishes – a very civilised whodunnit
The Theatre Royal Windsor always kicks off the new year with a theatrical whodunit – and 2019 is no exception. The Lady Vanishes is a gripping crime story, based on Alfred Hitchcock’s cinema classic, with a solid cast of actors including Juliet Mills (Wild At Heart) and Maxwell Caulfield (Dynasty). Grab your fur collar and seamed stockings, slick on a red lippie and pour yourself a martini, it’s that kinda show.
HOME: Messy Moo Decluttering Workshop, Sonning Common, Thurs 10 Jan
The perfect thing to do for the New Year – have a clear out! Messy Moo Organised Lifestyle and Lucy Cavendish Counselling will be helping you to declutter your life and mind at a workshop to set you up for a more peaceful and mindful new year. Feel cleansed, calm and damn right pleased with yourself as you ditch the stuff that you just don’t need or want. The £20 workshop includes refreshments.
WALKS: Winter walk, National Trust Cliveden, throughout 2019
If you’ve been cooped up for days at the relis or nursing a monumental NYE hangover, pop some pills get some fresh air at Cliveden. There’s s stonking 375 acres of gardens, woodland and riverside walks to explore. Plus the hotel is on hand for a coffee or hair of the dog.
EXHIBITION: Stanley Spencer: Friends and Family, Stanley Spencer Gallery Cookham, now – Mar 2019
Youth and experience” Self portraits of Berkshire-born Stanley Spencer
Not a loyalty scheme, but the latest exhibition at the brilliant Stanley Spencer Gallery on Cookham High Street. Although more famous for his local landscapes, his portraits are world class – in fact one on his first self portraits hangs in the Tate Britain. This new exhibition is an intimate snapshot of the artist’s private life, demonstrating his immense talent at capturing the mood and character of those closest to him.
Guy & Dolls, Mill at Sonning, until Sat 23 Feb
Get your glad rags on because The Mill at Sonning are bringing New York to Berks with Guys & Dolls. Director Joseph Pitcher and Conductor Charles Ingles, who put on last year’s My Fair Lady, are back along with the promise of post-show piano tunes on Friday and Saturday evenings and cocktails from the Waterwheel Bar – music to my ears. First person to spy George wins Christmas at the Clooneys (joke, obvs). Ticket price also includes lunch/dinner.
A Royal Wedding: The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, Windsor Castle, until Sat 26 Jan
Roll up roll up, it’s your last chance to see Meghan’s Givenchy bridal gown designed by Artistic Director Clare Waight Keller is, her 5m veil embroidered with flora symbolising the 53 Commonwealth countries and the 1932 Queen Mary diamond and platinum tiara loaned to the Duchess by the Queen. We can all look forward to the collection of Royal maternity clothes in the summer. (Only joking).
The Favourite, from Tues 1 Jan
Olivia Coleman, Rachel Weisz and Emma Stone star in this love-triangle / power battle that looks wonderfully bitchy. Olivia Coleman is Queen Anne, dominated by her scheming courtier Rachel Weisz. When Emma Stone appears at court she is determined to win the Queen’s favour. What ensues is a jaw-dropping power struggle, played out against the backdrop of England during the Restoration.
COMEDY: Adam Kay – This is Going to Hurt: Secret Diaries of a Junior Doctor, Oxford Playhouse, Thurs 10 & Fri 11 Jan
After sell-out shows at the Edinburgh Fringe 2016, 2017 and 2018, Adam Kay’s best selling book is now being turned into a BBC Series. His hilarious and sometimes stomach-churning observations on his time as a junior doctor are certainly causing a stir and you can catch him for yourself at the Oxford Playhouse.
THEATRE: Macbeth, New Theatre Oxford, Tues 8 – Sat 12 Jan
Following its sell out in London, the National Theatre’s production of Macbeth goes on tour round the UK and lands in Oxford this month. Directed by the National’s Artistic Director Rufus Norris, and with the designer of War Horse, Rae Smith on board, this new production takes place in a post-apocalyptic anarchic world. Every possible sign of brilliance, right here.
EXHIBITION: Great War Propaganda, Abingdon Museum, Oxon, now until Thurs 31 Jan
Extended by popular demand, this collection of conscription and propaganda posters explores the social attitudes and underlying stories of the Great War period, giving us some insight into life at home and on the front line one hundred years ago.
MUSIC: Oxford Philharmonic Anniversary Concert, Barbican, London, Sat 12 Jan
The Orchestra is celebrating its 20th anniversary with a concert involving three world-class soloists – Maxim Vengerov, Anne-Sophie Mutter (performing Bach’s Concerto for Two Violins) and Martha Argerich performing Schumann’s piano concerto. The second half of the programme is dedicated to Beethoven’s ground-breaking Eroica Symphony.
THEATRE: A Christmas Carol, The Old Vic, London, until 19 Jan
The smash hit of Dickens’ classic adapted by Jack Thorne (Harry Potter and the Cursed Child) and directed by Matthew Warchus returns to the Old Vic and this time Stephen Tompkinson stars as Ebenezer Scrooge. This big-hearted and warm production’s unique staging immerses the audience in the story and there’s music and mince pies if you’re still feeling festive.
KIDS: Hogwarts in the Snow, Harry Potter Studios, Watford, until Sun 27 Jan
Hogwarts in the Snow – as regular as Christmas! The festive makeover sees Christmas trees line the Great Hall, the Gryffindor common room dressed for the season and a blanket of filmmaking snow covering the majestic Hogwarts castle model. Visitors can touch samples of the different types of ‘snow’ used during production, each selected for its ability to float, crunch under foot or glisten in the light like ice. Trust me, your kids will love it.