The Woman in Black Oxford Playhouse
Based on Susan Hill’s novel and recently inexplicably spawned into a movie franchise, The Woman in Black is currently touring theatres around the country. It follows an elderly Arthur Kipps narrating Hill’s classic story of Eel Marsh House to a young actor. What makes the play so scary is its ability to make the whole theatre its set; no audience member feels quite comfortable. The old creaky Fortune Theatre, its home since 1989, is perfect for this so it will be interesting to see how it transfers to the relatively modern surrounds of the Playhouse. Regardless, there is a reason this play is, and has been, so popular and so the opportunity to see it in Oxford is exciting.
Spamalot New Theatre
West-End favourite Spamalot embarks on a national tour beginning in January following its great success in the West End and the incredibly successful Monty Python reunion this Summer. Given that it parodies the legend of King Arthur and his Roundtable, English students and a few History students could argue it as revision…well, maybe not. But Eric Idle says this fan-favourite will be “more like a Python show” and with its new director Christopher Luscombe it has a “whole different spirit”. Sounds good to us.
Macbeth Oxford Playhouse
With the original idea of a Macbeth adaptation, the Fliter Theatre Company will be bringing their show to the playhouse in February. Whilst this will probably the tenth adaptation of Macbeth you’ve seen since coming to Oxford, they are offering something new with their focus on sound and music at the heart of the play and their use of a minimal set with few actors. This is an experimental and innovative piece and it will be intriguing to see how the risk pays off. Although I’m not sure it can beat the adaptation of Macbeth set after a night in Park End at Cuppers this year…
One Man, Two Guvnors New Theatre
Based on the Commedia Dell’Arte piece A Servant to Two Masters, the hugely successful One Man, Two Guvnors continues its national tour at the New Theatre. The hilarious production reinvents itself with a new cast including Barry from Eastenders (Shaun Williamson) and Alicia Davies. A great chance to see a good dose of cross-dressing and star-crossed lovers outside of Shakespeare, this slapstick comedy is perfect for escapism.
The Man Who Would Be King BT Studio
Falling just short of term time is this adaptation of Rudyard Kipling’s novella that was a firm favourite at the Fringe this year. It follows Peachy Carnehan and Daniel Dravot as soldiers who come up with a plan to become Kings in Northern Afghanistan. The play has just two actors with the invisible Colonel supposedly seated in the audience. The intensity and audience involvement of this will be exciting to see in the intimate setting of the BT Studio.