As we move into December there are loads of events this week to keep you warm and entertained in the Banbury area as the temperature drops and we approach Christmas.
Here are five of the best things in and around our town:
The Creation, Banbury Choral Society, St Mary’s church, Banbury, December 2
Banbury Choral Society completes its 75th anniversary year by performing one of the greatest oratorios written for choirs, The Creation by Franz Joseph Haydn.
The choir will be conducted by Julian Harris and accompanied by the Oxford Sinfonia, comprising 33 musicians.
The Creation was composed between 1796 and 1798, with Haydn inspired after hearing Handel’s oratorios in London.
He chose an English text based on Milton’s Paradise Lost. This was then translated into German and developed into a libretto by Baron van Swieten.
After two highly successful performances in Vienna in April 1798, the work was prepared for English performances, the first taking place in London in 1800.
Since then The Creation has been a great favourite of singers and audiences alike, and has remained a fixture in the choral repertoire.
The choir has sung a wide range of music over the 75 years from baroque to contemporary works.
Celebration of Christmas concert, Banbury Town Hall, December 2
The annual concert and festive favourite is an evening of mulled wine, mince pies, seasonal songs and readings.
The event raises money for the Royal British Legion and the town mayor’s charity fund – money that is shared by Banbury good causes at the end of the mayoral year.
The Ballad of Shirley Collins, The Theatre, Chipping Norton, November 30
This documentary charting the life of a singing great who lost her voice is proving a huge hit for a Banbury-born film-maker.
Tim Plester, a former pupil of Drayton School - now North Oxfordshire Academy - enjoyed a red carpet reception and two packed nights at the London Film Festival where The Ballad of Shirley Collins was premiered.
Widely regarded as the 20th century’s most important singer of English traditional song, Shirley Collins, now 82, stood at the centre of the folk music revival during the 1960s and 70s.
However in 1980 she developed a disorder of the vocal chords which robbed her of her unique singing voice and forced her into early retirement. T
Plester – an actor as well as playwright and director – was Black Walder in Game of Thrones and was also in Lockout, Kick-Ass, Cuban Fury and Boris and Theresa, shown on BBC this year.
The screening will include an exclusive introduction and behind-the-scenes insight from the film makers.
Iceland – An Uneasy Calm, Banbury Museum, December 2 to January 20
Iceland is a land of myth, magic and spectacular scenery, where geysers spurt, mud pools boil and steam billows from the ground.
Tim Rudman, acknowledged as one of Britain’s finest landscape photographers, presents his pictures of this breathtaking country.
Dick Whittington, Bodicote Village Hall, December 5 to 9
The thigh-slapping festive favourite returns.
Details: Call 07854 368190