FILM: Northampton Filmhouse, throughout Feb
Oscar season is in full swing so what better time to head to the cinema? See this season’s best picks at the Northampton Filmhouse or indulge in the brilliant new independent films. They’re series of screenings aimed at 16-25 year-olds, are perfect for the not so little Mudlets!
FILM: Can you ever Forgive Me? (15) out in cinemas from Fri 1 Feb
Melissa McCarthy, is Oscar nominated for her turn as Lee Israel, a failing writer making money selling forged celebrity letters in this amusing true-crime bleak comedy with Richard E Grant – also Oscar nominated for Best Supporting Actor – reliving his Withnail & I days as her drinking buddy.
FASHION: Celebrating China pop-up boutique, Bicester Village, now until Sun 17 Feb
Curated by fashion influencer Susie Bubble, this pop-up boutique of ten cutting-edge Chinese designers is opening to celebrate Chinese New Year. It includes rising stars Ryan Lo, Mukzin and I Am Chen and with Chinese designers starting to make their mark on catwalks around the world it’s definitely worth checking out what they have to offer.
MUSIC: Northampton Symphony Orchestra, Northampton High School, Sat 2 Feb
Come along and celebrate 125 years of the Northampton Symphony Orchestra in this spectacular concert. Featuring the Dvorak Symphony No.9 “From the New World” composed in 1893, this is a celebration that everyone is invited to! This is a show that will be remembered for a long time and the perfect event to get your family together and listen to some classical music. For one night only, you can grab tickets and find out more information on their website.
Get a behind the scenes experience of Lyveden Manor–currently not open to the public. They’ll be opening up the ground floor of the manor to special booked-visits this winter only. You’ll also be part of the new opportunities to tell Sir Thomas Tresham’s story. Each visit will be totes unique as the team try out new storytelling and interactive methods. Booking is ABSOLUTELY essential and can be done via Phone: 0344 249 1895.
ARTS: Storytelling at the Feast of Fools, Northampton Delapre Abbey, Wed 6 Feb
The Feast of Fools storytelling club are bringing in Sarah Liisa Wilkinson for one night only this February. Acclaimed as one of the most exciting, interesting storytellers after taking the Oxford Storytelling Festival by storm, this is sure to be a fun night. Sarah Liisa is half Finnish, half English and is bringing her storytelling skills to Delapre Abbey on 6th February.
The Hidden Garden, Blacks Design, from Thurs 7 Feb
Philippa Jeffrey’s latest series of contemporary paintings will be exhibited in Brackley, hosted by Black Designs. Black Designs work with UK based artists who have a story to tell and Philippa’s exhibition will run for two months.
EVENT: The Church – Relaunch Party, The Church Restaurant, Fri 8 Feb
The new owners of this fabulous venue are ready to relaunch! You’ll get to see the new restaurant and bar and get to taste canapés from their exciting new à la carte menu, there’ll be prosecco on arrival too! It’s a Muddy Award winning restaurant and we’re looking forward to seeing how it’s changed, but in the meantime here’s the review we did…
THEATRE: West Side Story, Lighthouse Theatre, Fri 8 & Sat 9 Feb
This musical follows the story of a modern day Romeo and Juliet who are involved in street gangs on the Upper West Side of New York. Two gangs battle for control of the turf whilst the situation becomes complicated when a gang member falls in love with the rival’s sister. This show is sure to be an exciting, thrilling experience which will leave you wanting more. Showing for 2 days only, you can find out more information and purchase tickets on the website.
FILM: A Private War, out in cinemas Feb 8
The late Marie Colvin, a respected Sunday Times war correspondent killed in Syria in 2012, is the subject of new biopic A Private War starring Rosamund Pike, with Jamie Dornan as her photographer colleague.
ART: Mixed Media Madness, Vitreus Art, Fri 15 Feb
Is painting something you have always wanted to do but haven’t had the confidence or skills to start? This workshop is your first step to becoming the next Leonardo da Vinci. This aims to teach you the basics of incorporating colours, textures and different art materials.
Valentine’s Dinner & Dance, Delapre Abbey, Fri 15 Feb
Enjoy a wonderful 4 course meal in a collaboration with Burnt Lemon Catering & Lincoln Noel’s Jazz Trio. This doesn’t have to just be for couples, make it a Palentine’s date with your friends as group booking are available. It’s £95 for a couple and £300 for a group of 8, this includes all your food and entertainment.
KIDS: Romeo & Juliet – Mad Blood Stirring, The Core at Corby Cube, Sat 16 Feb
Are you wondering where to take your kids this half term? This theatre adaptation of Romeo & Juliet is made specifically for children and their families. Aiming towards KS2 and lower KS3 pupils, Mad Blood Stirring is narrated by the Friar speaking in modern English and is sure to have your children amazed with the spectacular visual and sound effects. For more information and to book tickets, check out their website.
FAMILY: Canons Ashby Muddy Explorers Trail, Canons Ashby, from Sat 16 Feb
This half term, why not go out for a family walk in the beautiful countryside? Swap the stilettos for wellies and join the Muddy Explorers Trail with the kids for a long, peaceful walk to embrace the muddy February we have coming!
FAMILY: Stunt Fest, Santa Pod Raceway, Sat 16 Feb
Looking for an alternative event to take the kids to this half term? Why not head down to the Santa Pod Raceway and enjoy an afternoon of awesome stunts and displays for all the family. Tickets must be booked online and be quick because they’re selling fast! Family tickets start from £35 with children under 5 going free!
THEATRE: Avenue Q, Royal & Derngate, Mon 18 – Sat 23 Feb
The laugh-out-loud musical is back with all your fave characters on a downtown New York street trying to make sense of life’s burning issues. What do you do with a BA in English? How do you find your purpose? And is the internet really just for….nevermind. Missed all the fuzz last time round? Don’t let your life suck.
FOOD: Vegan Fest, Vintage Retreat, Sat 23 Feb
This free event is going to be celebrating all things vegan this February! Supporting local businesses, there is going to be a selection of food and alcohol stalls, delicious treats, cosmetics and more! They will also be on hand to offer advice and information on being vegan so if you are looking to try something new this February, head down to the Vegan Fest and try out new products and food!
TV: Fleabag, series two, BBC3, Feb
Phoebe Waller-Bridge, fresh from writing mega-hit Killing Eve, is back with a new, darker season of Fleabag, one of the best things on TV in 2016.
THEATRE: All About Eve, Noel Coward Theatre, London, Sat Feb 2 – Sat May 11
Not the recent fabulous TV series but a play based on the award-winning 1950s film starring Bette Davis as Margo Channing, a Broadway star, and her young fan, Eve Harrington, who inveigles her way into her life. With Gillian Anderson and Lilly James in the starring roles, director Ivo van Hove at the helm, and with the themes of celebrity and youth at its core, this looks like a dead cert for success.
NEW HOTEL: Hotel Indigo, Stratford-upon-Avon, opens Mon Feb 4
This restored 93-room boutique hotel, formerly The Falcon Hotel, will open its doors at the end of Jan and officially open on Feb 4 after a multi-million pound major restoration project. The Grade 2 listed historic building, which dates back to the 16th century, has been painstakingly restored over an 18-month period and is the biggest refurbishment in the hotel’s long history. Mike Robinson, who owns London’s only Michelin starred pub, The Harwood Arms, is very excited about bringing the best of British seasonal ingredients to Stratford at the new Woodman Restaurant, including wild deer and game from the Cotswolds.
COMEDY: Mandy Muden Cunning Stunts, Old Town Hall, Wycombe Swan, Sun 10 Feb
We met Mandy when she was in Panto last year (read our interview here) and she’s returning to the Wycombe Swan for her own brand new show which combines magic and comedy and lots of audience participation (so be warned). Since appearing on Britain’s Got Talent, her star is rising and she’s performed all over the UK and is a member of London’s Inner Magic Circle.
LITTLIES: Elmer the Patchwork Elephant, Main Stage, Royal Spa Centre, Feb 22
To celebrate David McKee’s iconic colourful elephant’s 30th birthday, Elmer is going on tour. The show features 21 puppets, vibrant colours, cheeky humour and at a short 45 minutes looks perfect for children under seven.
FESTIVAL: Oxford International Women’s Festival, Thurs 28 Feb – Sun 17 Mar
A series of events celebrating women’s successes, strengths and solidarity. This year’s theme is We Will Survive and Thrive and there will be a panel on International Women’s Day on 8 Mar to talk about their experiences around this theme. Guests so far confirmed are Eleanor Smith, MP for Wolverhampton, and Margaret Greer, Unison National Officer for Black Members. Festival events include screenings, talks, workshops, theatre and networking events. Check out the full programme here.
EXHIBITION: Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams, Victoria & Albert Museum, London, until Sun July 14
This is going to be maaassive! 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 will be a new section exploring Dior’s fascination with British culture. A highlight will be the Christian Dior dress worn by Princess Margaret for her 21st birthday celebrations, on loan from the Museum of London.