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7 brilliant things to do in and around Oxford this weekend

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Dia al-Azzawi - Painting Poetry Exhibition at the Ashmolean Museum / Things to do in and around Oxford this weekend
Dia al-Azzawi – Painting Poetry Exhibition at the Ashmolean Museum / Things to do in and around Oxford this weekend

Things to do in and around Oxford this weekend

Need some inspiration for what to do with yourself in Oxford this weekend?

Look no further because we’ve done the work and pulled together some brilliant things for you to do in and around Oxford this coming weekend – you know, the kind of things worth making time for.

It’s January. It’s cold, and it’s dark. You’re probably skint. You’re back at work inundated with emails and meetings. And you’re only a few weeks on some sort of joyless health kick.

Take heart. It’s not all rubbish. There’s loads of good, wholesome fun to be had in Oxford this weekend.

For museum nerds, there’s a smorgasbord of culture to immersive yourself in this weekend, perusing the permanent displays and longer-term exhibitions at the city’s iconic museums – The Ashmolean, the Museum of Natural History and Pitt Rivers Museum.

Otherwise, you can squirrel yourself away in one of the city’s intimate art and cultural venues like the North Wall Arts Centre and Modern Art Oxford, which often put up a bold and ambitious programme of contemporary art.

If, by now, you’ve had enough of long evenings in front of the telly, and the hibernation phase is starting to drag, smooth your way through to spring with short winter walks and explore some glorious places in Bucks, Berks and Oxfordshire.

Alternatively, visit one of our diverse and vibrant range of independent bookshops in Oxfordshire, where you’re sure to find more than meets the eye; perfect for whiling away the tedious hour between brunch and supper.

We hope there’s enough here to pique your interest, but if you still have gaps in your diary, see our full list of what’s on here, or check out our guide to what What’s on in Oxford and across Oxfordshire this February.


  • Evita by Oxford Operatic Society

    Evita by Oxford Operatic Society

    When: 23 to 28 January
    Where: Oxford Playhouse

    Set in Argentina between 1934-1952, this Tony Award-winning musical follows the young and ambitious Eva Duarte on her journey from poverty to the wife of military leader-turned-president Juan Peron – becoming the First Lady of Argentina and the most powerful woman in Latin America, before her untimely death from cancer aged 33.

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  • Khachaturian’s Concerto and Tchaikovsky’s Symphony with Oxford Sinfonia

    Khachaturian’s Concerto and Tchaikovsky’s Symphony with Oxford Sinfonia

    When: 28 January
    Where: Sheldonian Theatre

    The Oxford Sinfonia is very excited to welcome Jennifer Pike to the Sheldonian to perform Khachaturian’s violin concerto. Conducted by Robert Weaver, it will open with Khachaturian’s stirring Adagio from the ballet Spartacus and, after the interval, conclude with Tchaikovsky’s ever-popular 5th Symphony.

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  • Rob Newman Live On Stage

    Rob Newman Live On Stage

    When: 29 January
    Where: Oxford Playhouse

    Fresh from his BBC Radio 4 series Rob Newman On Air, the award-winning comedian’s new show is a stand-up epic that goes from cave paintings to car-free cities to ask: Who are we? Where are we going? And how do spiders fly? Rob Newman tells a story of how dancing in step saved prehistoric humans and how new scientific discoveries may help us take the right steps to a life after oil.

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    Discover more: Oxford Playhouse


  • Tutankhamun: Excavating the Archive

    Tutankhamun: Excavating the Archive

    When: Until 05 February
    Where: Weston Library

    It’s been 100 years since Howard Carter and his team uncovered the tomb of the young king Tutankhamun at Luxor. Using Carter’s archive of photographs, letters, plans, drawings and diaries, this exhibition brings to life the complex stories of the discovery, excavation, documentation and conservation of Tutankhamun’s tomb, including often overlooked Egyptian members of the archaeological team.

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    Discover more: Exhibitions & Displays


  • These Things Matter Exhibition

    These Things Matter Exhibition

    When: 17 November to 19 February
    Where: Weston Library

    In collaboration with the Museum of Colour and Fusion Arts, this exhibition features the work of seven contemporary artists, who have created work in response to artefacts from the Bodleian’s collections which demonstrate how everyday communications maintained the British Empire and Transatlantic Slave Trade – like The Slave Bible (1807) and Clark’s Chart of The World (1822).

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    Discover more: Weston Library


  • Marina Abramović: Gates and Portals

    Marina Abramović: Gates and Portals

    When: Until 05 March
    Where: Modern Art Oxford

    Gates and Portals is a new site-specific performance-based exhibition by pioneering performance artist Marina Abramović, which explores transitional states of being, with each visitor participating as a performer with a small group of others. Expect to encounter gates and portals that prompt contemplation of bodily awareness and elevated consciousness.

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    Discover more: Modern Art Oxford


  • Dia al-Azzawi – Painting Poetry

    Dia al-Azzawi – Painting Poetry

    When: Until 11 June
    Where: Ashmolean Museum

    This free exhibition presents artworks and ‘dafatir’ from Dia al-Azzawi, an internationally recognised Iraqi painter and sculptor who has been living and working in London since the late 1970s. Dia al-Azzawi is best known for monumental and colourful canvasses, and his work spans many genres, including a type of artist book known in Arabic as ‘dafatir’.

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