FESTIVAL: IF Oxford, various locations and online, 9-26 Oct
Thinking caps on everybody, this month it’s the Oxford Science and Ideas Festival. With a mix of over 100 in-person and digital events for all ages, there’s plenty to pick from. From this weekend’s 10 events we like the sound of multi-sensory workshop for kids The Cloud Factory (9 Oct) and exhibition Digitising Disease (9-30 Oct), which places artificial intelligence under the microscope. Have a flick through the full events list here; you can sort by age group, theme, and type.
EAT: Artisan Food Tour, Waddesdon Manor, 9 Oct
Now, who’s hungry? Head on over to Bucks’ stunning Rothschild manor for its Artisan Food Tour: a dazzling array of seasonal produce, sugary treats, and savoury snacks.
THEATRE: Charlie and Stan, The Oxford Playhouse, Oxford, until 9 Oct
But what’s on at the theatre, you cry! Worry not, dear reader: Muddy knows all. Try this all go-go-go, high-energy show about when Charlie Chaplin and Stan Laurel shared a cabin on a ship from Liverpool to New York in 1910. Yep, this really happened: the play offers the remarkable story of the greatest double act that nearly was, and celebrates two figures that changed the world of comedy forever.
CULTURE: Henley Literary Festival, various locations in Henley, until 10 Oct
It’s the last week of this plucky lit fest with talks, workshops and signings for all ages (and a particularly strong children’s section this year). This weekend you can see get fit king Joe Wicks, local author Clover Stroud in conversation with Margaret Reynolds, or for the little people there’s national treasure Michael Morpurgo.
COMEDY: Sindhu Vee, The Oxford Playhouse, Oxford, 10 Oct
If you’re angling for a laugh, Sindhu Vee (who you may have seen on Live at the Apollo, QI, Have I Got News for You and recently Netflix’s Sex Education) is popping up in Oxford with her new shoes Alphabet where she’ll be talking hairdos, friends and the difference between virus and viral.
Up first on our whistle-stop tour to autumn culture in Bucks and Oxon is Anish Kapoor’s ‘Painting’, at the Modern Art Oxford on from 2 Oct – 13 Feb 2022. His first show at the gallery in 40 years, this pushes the boundaries between sculpture and painting, and explores perceptions and experiences of the human body. Plenty to sink yer teeth into.
Elsewhere, at Henley’s River & Rowing Museum you can see new Skyscape: The Limitless Art of the Sky (until 16 Jan). Curated by the Ashmolean, the exhibit features works by the art world’s top dogs – Rembrandt, Dürer, Turner, Palmer, Piper, Nash – with a focus on aerial landscapes and the sky.
The Dressing Room at Dury Lane, 1922, Oil on canvas, on loan from and photo courtesy The Atkinson, Lord Street, Southport. Reproduced with permission of The Estate of Dame Laura Knight DBE RA 2021. All Rights Reserved.
Then, from 9 Oct – 20 Feb 2022 there’s a big new exhibition on at the MK Gallery: Laura Knight, A Panoramic View. Exploring one of the most popular English artists of the twentieth century, this charts the long, unconventional, and ground-breaking career of the female painter Laura Knight. There will be displays of rare works, as well as her more iconic pieces.
And don’t miss out on the various ongoing exhibitions. Try the exploration of creativity and language Sign Symbol Sound on at Modern Art Oxford until 11 Oct, or Waddesdon’s much-lauded Gustave Moreau exhibition, on until 17 Oct, as well as their A Rothschild Treasury exhibition, which displays an amazing range of precious historic objects, on until 31 Oct.
Over at the Ashmolean Museum, you can see a vibrant (and free!) exhibition exploring one of that trickiest of art subjects: hands. In Praise of Hands: Woodcuts is on until 15 Mar 2022.
Another ongoing exhibition is the Oxford Natural History Museum’s ‘Meat The Future’ exhibit. Running until 16 Jan 2022, it presents cutting edge research on the environmental and health impacts of eating meat, and (spoiler) it isn’t good news for the fry-up.
THEATRE: The Shark is Broken, Ambassadors Theatre, London’s West End, 9 Oct – 15 Jan
This new comedy play (on stage one year later than planned, no prizes for guessing why) takes the audience to Cape Cod in 1974, and the making of Jaws. The mechanical shark has stopped working, and the lead actors are getting cranky. Reviews so far are rave.