Oxford Takes The Fringe

Katie Sayer presents Cherwell's comprehensive guide to the 2017 Edinburgh Festival Fringe

The Oxford performing arts scene is well and truly thriving at the Edinburgh Fringe this year. With acts that include improvised comedy, a capella singing groups, and an opera about Kim Kardashian–it’s easy to get lost in the number of exciting new performances. So, to make your trip to Edinburgh easier, we’ve compiled this guide to the Fringe so you can support some of Oxford’s brightest upcoming talents without the stress of organising an itinerary:

The Oxford Revue

What?

In their own words: the critically acclaimed Oxford Revue is returning to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival for its 53rd year. Written and performed by the country’s finest student comedians, this hour of sharp and subversive comedy, including sketches, songs, and satire, is sure to keep you entertained. Since being founded in the 1950s, the Oxford Revue has produced many of the UK’s best-loved comedians including Rowan Atkinson, Alan Bennett and Michael Palin. To quote a previous Fringe review, ‘Is there anything the Oxford Revue can’t do?’

When?

3rd – 28th August, 16:20

Where?

Assembly George Square Studios (Venue 17)

How much?

£8 – £9

 

The Oxford Revue (Free)

What?

Alternatively, The Oxford Revue are presenting a rotating cast of the country’s brightest young comedians in a stand-up extravaganza. Given that former Revue performers have included Sally Phillips and Armando Iannucci, this is the perfect opportunity to come along and catch a rising star in action (completely gratas).

When?

3rd – 19th August, 15:45

Where?

Laughing Horse @Moriarty’s (Venue 332)

How much?

Free

 

The Oxford Imps

What?

In their own words: back from several international tours and brimming with infectious enthusiasm, Oxford’s favourite improvisers play games, sing songs and invent stories to delight and entertain, from Broadway musicals to Shakespearean verse on the spot. Each performance is a wholly original blend of clever, family-friendly comedy, and the show will feature special guests from across the international improv limelight to jam along with these ‘devastatingly funny’ (EdFringeReview.com) home-grown improvisers.

When?

2nd – 28th August, 13:30

Where?

Gilded Balloon Terriot (Venue 14)

How much?

£8 – £10

 

Witch Hunt

What?

In their own words: an American, a Scot and a woman walk into a bar – they’re three of the Oxford Revue’s finest returning to Edinburgh with an hour of character comedy. They’ve got a suitcase full of wigs and they’re not afraid to use them.

When?

12th – 26th August (not 21st), 15:45

Where?

Subway (Venue 56)

How much?

Free

 

The Oxford Gargoyles

What?

In their own words: the Gargoyles are Oxford’s world-renowned jazz a cappella group. Having toured internationally and competed across the UK, including as finalists in BBC’s Choir Of The Year in 2012 and 2014, the Gargoyles have confirmed themselves as a staple of the UK and Edinburgh a cappella scene, and are excited to be returning for their 12th consecutive Fringe. Their stellar mix of impeccable musicality, black-tie charm, slick wit and slicker dancing delights audiences far and wide, and with toe-tapping jazz standards and grooving funk tunes, the Gargoyles will dazzle you with an unforgettable performance

When?

5th – 19th August, 14:00

Where?

C Venues (Venue 34)

How much?

£8.50 – £11.50

 

Alternotive Acapella

What?

In their own words: fresh from a starring appearance on BBC One’s Pitch Battle, Oxford’s premier contemporary mixed a cappella group return to the fringe for the eighth year running. Featuring songs from Muse to Michael Jackson, from Disclosure to David Bowie, from Cinematic Orchestra to Christina Perri, the group’s complex and fun arrangements are guaranteed to leave you with a smile on your face.

When?

3rd – 19th August, 13:00

Where?

C Venues (Venue 34)

How much?

£7.50 – £11.50

 

William Rees: The Splash

What?

In their own words: DJing and poetry is surely a combination that deserves greater exploration. Thankfully in this show it is given just that. Ploughing aggressively through such topics as love, war and agriculture, William Rees (The Oxford Revue) dives into the calm before the storm, the puddle before The Splash.

When?

4th – 31st August, 00:10

Where?

Laughing Horse @ The Cellar Monkey (Venue 293)

How much?

Free

 

Out of the Blue

What?

In their own words: prepare to be hooked by Oxford’s premiere all-male a cappella troupe – with over 15 million hits on YouTube, the Fringe’s biggest selling student show is sure to bring smiles all round. Expect vocal acrobatics, eclectic repertoire, and ludicrous choreography which never fails to delight – for their fourteenth year in a row, Out of the Blue are well and truly back. The show will also be supporting  Helen and Douglas House, the world’s first children’s hospice.

When?

3rd – 28th August, 13:30

Where?

Assembly George Square Theatre (Venue 8)

How much?

£9 – £12

 

The Optimists

What?

In their own words: when Daniel accidentally dopes a professional football team a day before their drug test, kidnapping the club’s owner seems like the simplest way out. Or it would be, if the neighbourhood Communist Society weren’t out to get him. A farcical comedy, fresh from the OUDS New Writing Festival, asking important questions such as ‘how do four communists split a bill of £6.71?

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When?

14th – 26th August (not Sundays), 22:15

Where?

The Space on Niddry Street (Venue 9)

How much?

£6 – £8

 

About the Unsaid

What?

In their own words: this touching new musical by Maria Shepard explores the interior monologues of three interconnected characters through acoustic songs, focusing on their lack of communication and the difference between what they think and say. Genuine, heartfelt and boldly thought-provoking: About the Unsaid is a daring fusion of folk genres and musical theatre that examines universally timeless dilemmas in relationships.

When?

22nd – 26th August, 13:55

Where?

The Space on the North Bridge (Venue 36)

How much?

£6 – £8

 

Dates

What?

In their own words: Dates is an original sketch show comedy satirising dating in the modern age. From sketches such as ‘Tudor Tinder’ and ‘Menopausal Match.com’ to ‘Pay Tribute to the Patriarchy’, this raucous hour of sketch comedy explores the trials and tribulations of modern romance. The show is somewhat unique in that all the sketches hinge on a female perspective; the funniest characters, dialogue and scenarios are reserved for female performers

When?

2nd – 19th August, 15:20

Where?

C Royale (Venue 6)

How much?

£6.50 – £9.50

 

Fantastic Beats and Where to Find Them (In The Pink)

What?

In their own words: Join In the Pink on a bewitching journey as we bring Oxford a cappella to Edinburgh! After receiving that all-important letter from Hogwarts – or in the girls’ case, from the University Admissions Office – what to do when the daily grind turns excitement into tedium? Fantastic Beats promises to re-inject the magic into the monotonous by seeking out the music in every aspect of student life, from Bridge to the Bod.

When?

14th -19th August, 17:55

Where?

The Space on Niddry Street (Venue 9)

How much?

£6 – £8

 

Girls Will Be Girls

What?

In their own words: Girls will be Girls, a collaboration from Chucked Up Theatre and FourSevenTwo Productions, follows seven very different teenage girls over a school day which leads up to the all-important release of offers from Oxford University. Moving from class to class, these girls embark on the extra-curricular assignment of how to become women but quickly find themselves caught between demanding body images; phallocentric sexual experiences; and sky-high academic expectations.

When?

14th – 26th August (not 20th), 11:40

Where?

Greenside @ Infirmary Street (Venue 236)

How much?

£8 – £10

 

The Inevitable Quiet of the Crash

What?

In their own words: three women struggle to overcome the anxieties of living in modern-day London after a man is killed in a train crash. Having pinned their hopes on a city that won’t stop moving, they must now come to terms with the unforgiving consumer society on which they have become addicted. This critically acclaimed musical features an all-female cast and contemporary jazz drumming score.

When?

2nd – 28th August, 18:00

Where?

C Venues, Studio 6 (Venue 6)

How much?

£8.50 – £10.50

 

Radio

What?

In their own words: You ate someone’s crisps? You shoplifted once? You cheated on your girlfriend? You killed your grandmother? What would the voice on the radio say if it started to spill your deepest, darkest secrets to your housemates… Sunscreen Productions presents Archie Thomson’s blistering new play about six students, one radio, and the dirt under everyone’s fingernails.

When?

5th – 19th August (not 13th), 21:05

Where?

Paradise in Augustines (Venue 152)

How much?

£5 – £8

 

The Red Emerald: A Farce for the Colourblind

What?

In their own words: Two thieves. One emerald. No refunds. The Red Emerald is a blisteringly funny farce set in a crumbling, old German castle across from the Guildford Tesco’s. Herr Falkenstein’s broke. All he has left is his maid, his cat and his 12,000 acre estate. He throws a party to steal the Red Emerald – the most valuable jewel in the world, because nobody can quite work out whether it’s red or green. But more than one person wants to steal it… ‘

When?

14th – 19th August at 12pm, then 21st – 26th August at 17:45

Where?

The Space on Niddry Street (Venue 9)

How much?

£5 – £10

 

Doctor Faustus

What?

In their own words: Medical researcher Dr Emma Faustus is on a personal mission to cure Valdes’ disease. With no hope of funding, she turns to Mephistopheles for a more extreme solution. Lucifer’s company will provide her with everything she ever wanted – for a price. The electrifying new musical Doctor Faustus embarks on a national tour this summer. Based on the legend of Faust, this new adaptation brings the myth into the modern day, featuring an electronic score and the stark setting of the corporate world. No magic, no souls, no demons, just science. How far would you go to get what you want?

When?

5th – 27th August (not Sundays), 17:30

Where?

Paradise in Augustines (Venue 152)

How much?

£9 – £12

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Peer Gynt

What?

In their own words: Gruffdog Theatre’s Peer Gynt is a sprawling, cinematic tale of magic and monsters, told using the company’s distinctive combination of puppetry, ensemble movement and live music. After winning Best Theatre Show at the Buxton Festival Fringe earlier this month, Gruffdog are excited to be heading to Edinburgh for a full month run at ZOO venues. Armed with a cast of 10 identically dressed Peers and a 8 foot troll puppet, this fierce rendition of Henrik Ibsen’s poetic classic should be a valuable addition to your Edinburgh lineup.

When?

4th – 28th August, 13.55

Where?

Zoo (Venue 124)

How much?

£10 – £12

 

Stop: The musical

What?

In their own words: STOP – this years OUDS National Tour – is a new musical set at a London bus stop. Four people are just trying to get on with a normal day – unaware of the consequences that getting on the bus will hold for them. But the bus stop can see whats in store, and has other ideas… Developed with and fundraising for mental health charity SANE, and workshopped with composer of Les Miserables Claude Michel Schönberg, STOP is the ‘deeply moving and grounding’ dramatisation of mental health that the modern world needs.

When?

3rd – 28th August (not 15th), 14.45pm

Where?

C South (Venue 58)

How much?

£7.50 – £9.50

 

Columns

What?

In their own words: Joe’s parents have vanished. Sophie says she can help find them – but can he trust her? As Joe’s hope falters, the narrators add truths from their own lives to the story, and ask the audience to do the same. Part storytelling spectacle, part bold confession, Columns is theatre at its most challenging, charming and sincere. From the writer of Sleepless Theatre’s ‘mind-blowing’ (ThreeWeeks) The Master and Margarita. Thursdays: specially adapted Relaxed Performances. Those with a learning disability, autistic spectrum condition, or sensory or communication disorder are especially welcome.

When?

14th – 26th August, 10.55am

Where?

The Space on the Mile (Venue 39)

How much?

£7 – £9

 

Hotter

What?

In their own words: ‘People are more fixated on flesh than ever before in history’ – Ann, 97. “What gets you hot?”, HOTTER has asked everyone, from grannies to drag artists.  Joined by the voices of women and non-binary people interviewed around the country, including Ann, we are two women embarking on a battle against embarrassment.  Using sketch theatre, song and dance, HOTTER is a show about blushing, sweating, pinkness and pleasure. Be prepared to boogie. Be prepared to sweat.

When?

5th -27th August, 22:45

Where?

Paradise in Augustines (Venue 152)

How much?

£8 – £10

 

Bacchae

What?

In their own words: Flying Pig Theatre’s new adaption of Euripides’ dizzying ancient tragedy sees Thebes transported to a crumbling Victorian mansion. Imaginatively retold through physical theatre and original music, with cutting edge sound technology, this classical piece is brought to dazzling new life.

When?

4th – 26th August (not Sundays)

Where?

The Space at Surgeon’s Hall (Venue 53)

How much?

£8 – £10

 

Ruby Redfort

What?

In their own words: The first ever stage adaptation of Lauren Child’s bestselling mystery series, ‘one of the best things to happen to British fiction’ (Sunday Times). When the world’s greatest criminal masterminds target a supernatural statue, it’s up to Ruby – code-breaker, special agent and 13-year-old girl – to crack the case. This quirky, hilarious spy thriller takes us into a world of terrifying villains, cutting-edge gadgets and death-defying escapes, in a race to prove that being a spy is actually child’s play.

When?

3rd – 28th August (not 14th or 21st), 11am

Where?

The Box, Assembly George Square Theatre (Venue 8)

How much?

£9

 

Sex Education

What?

In their own words: The teenagers in this class think they know it all when it comes to sex. So why are they so frustrated? Their teacher thinks a new and daring approach could blast away their misconceptions and help them have happier, healthier relationships. But is it already too late?

When?

21st – 27th August, 17:50

Where?

Paradise in the Vault (Venue 29)

How much?

£7-9

 

The Marriage of Kim K

What?

In their own words: What do Mozart and Kim Kardashian have in common? Kim’s marriage to NBA star Kris Humphries began with a televised fairytale wedding. It ended 72 days later with a mysterious divorce. This epic failure of love is one of three marriages at the heart of this hilarious and vaultingly ambitious rewrite of Mozart’s Marriage of Figaro. Three squabbling couples. Three styles of music. One big problem: how to love in a world of differences? Bitingly satirical romp through Mozart’s masterpiece. A reminder of the power of love in a divided era. A musical without boundaries.

When?

2nd – 28th August, 21:50

Where?

C Venues (Venue 34)

How much?

£11.50 – £13.50

 

Cherwell would like to wish good luck to all the Oxford shows appearing at the Fringe, and we feel proud to be part of a university that has produced such a diverse range of talented acts.