The Muddy Guide

Julia Fordham, Corn Exchange, Newbury, Fri 11 Nov, 7.45pm

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For nearly 30 years, jazz singer songwriter Julia Fordham has been knocking it out of the park with her stunning, sultry voice. Her show, Live by Request, will include a selection of fan favourites (she reached out to fans and asked which of her songs they would like added to the set list) including hits from her latest albums, Mixed; Shaken & Stirred; and Live & Untouched. Tickets £25.

www.cornexchangenew.com

Snow White, Vienna Festival Ballet, Theatre Royal Windsor, until Sat 12 Nov

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Snow White with a difference as the Vienna Festival Ballet asks who is the fairest one of all with world premiere choreography, giving the timeless fairytale a little tippy toe magic! Tickets £13 – £31.

www.theatreroyalwindsor.co.uk

Windsor Contemporary Art Fair, Royal Windsor Racecourse, Sat 12 & Sun 13 Nov

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Windsor Contemporary Art Fair returns for its 12th year this weekend – on Sat 12 Nov from 10am to 6pm, and Sun 13 Nov from 10am to 5pm, at Royal Windsor racecourse. You can buy artwork, ceramics, glassware and sculptures from over 150 exhibitors, if you want a sneak peak here are my top 5 picks of some of the artists who’ll be exhibiting (including Alice Sheridan above). The Fair is well known for its warm and welcoming atmosphere, you can meet the artists, chat about their work, and enjoy wine tasting and other refreshments along the way. The organisers are offering Muddy readers 2 for 1 on tickets for either Saturday 12 or Sunday 13 November, just use the code: WCAF16MS241 when you book online!

The Windsor Contemporary Art Fair, Royal Windsor Racecourse, Maidenhead Road, Windsor SL4 5JJ. Saturday 12 November 10am to 6pm; Sunday 13 November 10am to 5pm. Advance tickets £7 per person book online now.

www.windsorcontemporaryartfair.co.uk

An audience with Craig Revel Horwood, The Concert Hall, Reading, Sun 13 Nov, 6.30pm

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Far from a disaaaaaaster darling, an evening with Strictly’s ‘baddie’ judge, Craig Revel Horwood should be a right laugh. With 11 series of Strictly under his belt he no doubt has some brilliant behind-the-scenes gossip to tell! He’ll also be signing copies of his latest book, Tales from the Dancefloor. Tickets £14.

www.readingarts.com

Lucy Porter – Consequences, Norden Farm, Sun 13 Nov, 8pm

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Yes, you’ve seen her before – Lucy Porter is a regular on QI and Mock the Week – but she’s hitting the comedy circuit with a show all of her own which covers… censorship, generational conflict, theological ethics, home-brewing, quizzing, Britpop of the 90s, falconry and Gary Wilmot. So get your laughing gear around that lot! Suitable for children over 14. Tickets £14

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The Tempest, RSC, Stratford 2016 Family Production, Tues 8 Nov – 21 Jan 2017

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Wow, wow and wow. Simon Russell Beale returns to the RSC after 20 years to play Prospero in this groundbreaking family production of Shakespeare’s The Tempest at the RSC. 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 introdution to Shakespeare for young theatregoers and their families.

Royal Shakespeare Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon. rsc.org.uk

Live screening: Alan Bennett’s Diaries, various venues, Wed 16 Nov

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The event will include a screening of Alan Bennett’s Diaries, a new film about the writer, followed by an exclusive Q&A with Alan with from his local library in Primrose Hill. Inspired by his diaries, the film shows Alan Bennett as he’s never been seen before: following him to New York to accept and award from the city’s public library, to the village in Yorkshire he calls home. Click here to find a screening near you.

alanbennettlive.co.uk

Further afield

Christmas at Blenheim, Woodstock, 25 Nov – 2 Jan 2017

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An early flagwave for Blenheim Palace’s whopper Christmas offering. For the first time, the Blenheim estate will be illuminated for an hour-long festive trail that will transform the Capability Brown-designed Gardens into a winter wonderland. The highlights include a scented Fire Garden, Christmas trees that sing, a swaying lawn of fibre optic colour; the lake filled with brightly-lit boats filled with snowflakes and presents (dont be tempted to swim for it). Other highlights include a fairy-lit arbour and the lakeside boathouse which will become a temporary home for you know who (Ho! Ho! Ho!). A festive no-brainer.

www.blenheimpalace.com

EFG London Jazz Festival, London Southbank, Fri 11 – Sun 20 Nov

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The London Jazz Festival has been going for 24 years now so just imagine how the stops will be pulled out for next year’s celebration. But this year’s not looking too shabby either – a 10 day extravaganza on the South Bank, featuring over 2000 artists, 300+ gigs, 50+ venues and a heady mix of emerging and international artists.

Southbank Centre, London SE1, efglondonjazzfestival.org.uk

Puccini, The Cutty Sark, London, Sat 12 Nov

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So bonkers it has to be included. OperaUpClose seem like the busiest opera company in the biz, and this weekend it”s wobbling the tonsils at the Cutty Sark with its Olivier-Award winning La Bohème starring Rupert Everett’s better looking nephew.

Cutty Sark, King William Walk, Greenwich SE10, rmg.co.uk

The Radical Eye: Modernist Photography from the Sir Elton John Collection – Tate Modern, London – opens 10 Nov to 7 May 2017

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A one-off chance to view one of the world’s greatest private collections of photography, drawn from the classic Modernist period of the 1920s-50s. The exhibition showcases more than 150 prints by 60 artists. It includes a group of Man Ray portraits brought together by Sir Elton over the past 25 years, depicting artists such as Matisse, Picasso and Max Ernst. Work by photographers such as Berenice Abbott, André Kertész, Edward Steichen, Margaret Bourke-White and Alexandr Rodchenko are also on show. Tickets: £16.50.

Tate Modern, Bankside, London, SE1 9TG. Tel: 020 7887 8888. tate.org.uk

Festival Of Light, Longleat Safari Park, Fri 11 Nov – Jan 2017

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Looking to visit Longleat? Then you might want to coincide it with this Festival of Light that includes Europe’s largest Chinese Lantern Festival. To celebrate the Safari Park’s 50th anniversary, there are also giant characters of Beatrix Potter taking centre stage.

Longleat, Warminster, Wilts longleat.co.uk

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The Urban Guide to the Countryside - Berkshire