13 things to do or book this weekend (12-18 Jan)
Awards season has kicked off and like a spinning disco ball this week’s Muddy Guide has a liberal sprinkling of glitz and glamour. It’s a good time to get out of your PJs, the red carpet has been rolled out – a weekend of wonder (and a massive wine) awaits.
La La Land, general release in UK cinemas, Thurs 12 Jan
Yes, this is a gratuitous shot of Ryan Gosling. Don’t judge me. He’s hot. Really hot *ahem*… In the week La La Land scooped a record-breaking 7 Golden Globes and received 11 Baftas nominations, this is a film that screaming from the Hollywood Hills: ‘Watch me!’ As for the film (sadly it’s not all about Ryan), director Damian Chazelle’s romantic homage to the golden age of musicals, is a guaranteed box office hit. It tells the story of Mia (Emma Stone) an aspiring actress and Sebastian (Gosling) a jazz musician, struggling to make ends meet while pursuing the Hollywood dream. It’s a sweet-natured film. The perfect antidote to the blah-ness of January. See it and comment. I’d love hear from you.
Last call: High Society, Mill at Sonning, until Sat 14 Jan
Before I catch you swinging round lamp posts and leaping off park benches, there is more musical magic to gorge on at the Mill at Sonning. High Society invites you to the wedding of the year (no, not Pippa Middleton’s. Although I think we’re all expecting an invite, right?). Bride-to-be Tracy Lord is planning her big day with bucketload of Champers, but who will be the groom? Her dull fiancé George, her ex Dexter or reporter Mike? The 1956 film starred Bing Crosby, Grace Kelly and Frank Sinatra. It’s a classic packed with fab dance routines and songs like Who Wants To Be A Millionaire. Tickets from £53, including a two-course meal.
Russell Howard Warm-up, Hexagon Reading, Wed 25 Jan
Why is January such a rubbish month? We see it in with a BANG! POW! and then go and ruin it by banning the fun stuff like booze and carbs. Laughter is the only medicine. And Berkshire peeps we’re in for a treat. Just before Mock The Week star Russell Howard embarks on a massive arena tour, he’s doing a series of warm-up gigs – and his razor-sharp comedy is coming to Reading for one night only. Tickets are £22 and selling fast, so grab one and you’ll be rolling in the aisles (with or without a few wines).
Good Me Bad Me by Ali Land, published Thurs 12 Jan
Every year I promise myself to read more. Time is the issue. But I’m making time for Ali Land’s hotly-anticipated debut, Good Me Bad Me. Reviewers awarded it so many stars at it, it’ll have its own spot on the Hollywood Walk of Fame – it’s that good. If you love a dark psychological thriller, you’ll lurrrrrrve this. It’s about a teenage girl called Annie. Her mother’s a serial killer and the only way to stop her is to hand her into the police. But out of sight is not out of mind. Annie is placed with a foster family, given a new name, Milly, and a fresh start – ‘NEW NAME, NEW FAMILY. SHINY. NEW. ME’. She can be whoever she wants to be. But Annie’s mother is a serial killer and, as the trial looms, blood is thicker than water. A blockbuster movie will follow, mark my words. Published in the UK from 12 Jan, £12.99. Or grab a copy from Hungerford Bookshop, Chapter One Woodley or Bookends in Wokingham.
RSC Live: The Tempest NT Encore, Norden Farm, Sun 15 Jan
If you missed Simon Russell Beale’s blazing performance as Prospero in the RSC’s groundbreaking production of Shakespeare’s The Tempest, head to Norden Farm for the cinematic encore. The Tempest’s tale of Prospero, a magician able to control the very elements and bend nature to his will is being produced in partnership with Intel – you read it right – using advanced technology in a bold reimagining of the play, so the mind fair boggles but it sounds like the perfect introduction to Shakespeare for young theatregoers and their families. Tickets £15
Storytime: Captain Beastlie’s Pirate Party, The Mill at Sonning, Wed 18 Jan
Did someone say cake? Yes they did. There could be a stampede in Sonning – and that’s just me trying to get first dibs. Your tiddlers are in for a treat, as the very very popular storytime is back with Captain Beastlie’s Pirate Party. Watch on as the kids become totally enthralled by Lucy Coats’ disgustingly funny tale of a fantastically filthy captain, as he is brought to life. There’s also singing, colouring and dressing up to be enjoyed too. So book now to avoid disappointment. Entry is £3.50 per child and includes a healthy snack and a drink.
Mini Professors Course, South Hill Park, Fri 13 Jan – Fri 24 Mar
Science is officially cool – think Prof Brian Cox and Major Tim Peake bringing some science swagger to the party. Now for the first time you can introduce pre-schoolers to the exciting world of experiments, potions and oozy stuff. Sign your mini Einstein up for the 11-week Mini Professors course at South Hill Park Arts Centre in Bracknell (it’s the first ever in the UK) and they will be making erupting volcanoes, digging for fossils and even making poo! Book now £68, places limited.
The Circus of Horrors, Hexagon Reading, Fri 19 Jan
The Hoff and Simon Cowell raved about The Circus of Horrors after its terrifying performances on Britain’s Got Talent. Providing their high-waisted trews weren’t clouding their judgement, this is show is not to be missed when it rolls into Reading next week. The Never-ending Nightmare is a mix of bizarre, brave and beautiful acts in an Alice in Horrorland style story. Mad, bad and dangerous, if you can keep your eyes uncovered long enough, you will witness a theatrical performance that pushes the limits of what is humanly possible. Let’s hope there’s a doctor in the house. Tickets from £18.
Winter Wonderland Showcase at Wasing Park, until Sun 22 Jan
Planning your big day? Always dreamt of a romantic winter wedding on your own on a beautiful country estate? Head to Wasing Park’s Winter Wonderland Wedding Showcase for lots of inspirational ideas and advice. The exclusive-use venue in Aldermaston is set in stunning parkland and has more photo ops than the Oscars red carpet. The Castle Barn is charmingly rustic; The Garden Room with it’s huuuge windows bring the outside in and St Nicholas Church is the perfect backdrop for photographs in the snow. By appointment only: until Sun 22 Jan.
wasing.co.uk Tel 0118 971 3634
Timpany’s 50% off designer sale, Sunninghill, Sat Jan 14
I love a bargain! Shamefully I once tried to rugby tackle a woman to the ground for a pair of reduced Gina sandals. Mr Muddy often shudders at the memory (not the first or last time). On Saturday, head to Timpany’s Dress Agency, Sunninghill, and sharpen your elbows for its infamous 50% sale. The pre-loved boutique opens at 10.30am, but expect to queue (it’s that popular), and nab yourself this beautiful Lanvin bag, pictured above. You’ll also find goodies by Louis Vuitton, Chloe, Alexander Wang and many more top designers – all half price.
Timpany’s, 3 Sunninghill Rd, SL5 7BX
HOP OVER THE BORDER…
Big Fish Little Fish, Wycombe Swan, Sat 21 Jan
Glow sticks and whistles at the ready, old skool ravers are back in business. Don’t worry about the kids, no need for a babysitter. It’s Saturday (afternoon), and we’re hopping over the border to go dancin’. Big Fish Little Fish is a family rave aimed at parents and little ones aged 0-8. Hannah Saunders kicked off her parties in Brixton, the rest of London joined her on the dance floor and now we get to throw some shapes too. The legendary 2 Bad Mice are on the decks playing club classics with bubbles at the Wycombe Swan, High Wycombe, from 2pm on Saturday 21 Jan. Tickets: adults £10; kids £7. All the smilie faces in the Muddy household.
Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night-Time, Aylesbury Waterside Theatre, Tues 7 – Sat 11 Feb
Hero, the Muddy Bucks/Oxon Editor loved this National Theatre adaptation of Mark Haddon’s modern classic so much she’s already seen it twice (a bit greedy I grant you), and I’m gearing up to see it when it returns to the Aylesbury Waterside Theatre from 7-11 Feb, before transferring to Oxford in May. It’s won seven Olivier awards and five Tonys so far. Read Hero’s Muddy review here.
Degas to Picasso: Creating Modernism In France, Ashmolean, Oxford, 10 Feb – 7 May
After the success of last year’s Andy Warhol exhibition, for fabulous Ashmolean Museum in Oxford spools back to 19th century bohemian Paris where Manet, Pissarro, Cezanne, Degas and Picasso were collectively whipping up era-defining paintings and dreaming up the Modernist movement. It promises to be a doozy. And for a post-culture coffee or bite, don’t miss the chic Ashmolean Dining Rooms on the top floor, with its cute outdoor terrace for when things get a bit warmer.