t’s that time of the year again. Thesps all over Oxford are frantically scouring the OUDS website in search of a ‘free’ ticket to the Fringe: a whole array of shows are heading north in search of the coveted ‘out of Oxford’ fame which may or may not land them with an agent and a fat wad of cash. The stage calls, darling: the boards of the Underbelly and C-Venues lure the darkly pseudo-arty side out of every student that even thought about doing a GCSE in graphic design; the glow paint and skinny jeans are donned in an attempt to ‘scene’ themselves up in time for all those hours they’ll be spending flyering the ‘Mile’. Summer’s here and with it come rushing all the ideas you couldn’t get away with during term time: forget Faustus, screw Shakespeare – let’s get experimental, baby. Here’s a look at what the ivory towers and dreaming spires will be sending the ‘Burgh this August.

 

Xenu is Loose:

Xenu has escaped his eternal prison and is out to destroy the Earth! Only two young Scientologists can stop him, but will they be able to learn enough to defeat his super-advanced alien powers? "A laser-toting, totally brand-new rock musical based on the beliefs of The Church of Scientology. Alien invasion, human purity and a potential legal-battle-waiting-to-happen combine to deliver a spectacle of galactic proportions!"

Tom Richards and Stewart Pringle’s latest piece should be as much of a success as last year’s ‘Top Gun: The Musical’, which sold out within seconds (almost). Don’t miss it: the future of mankind depends on it.

 

 

I’m a Lab Rat, Get Me Out Of Here!

Oxford’s in house playwright Tom Campion pulls another one out of the bag: this time focusing on the world’s first televised drug trial in which five subjects have signed their life over to experimentation. It’s a fairly tongue in cheek look at reality TV, thankfully not taking itself too seriously. An extremely strong cast with some very familiar names involved. Highly Recommended.

 

 

Play On Words

Having won awards in both Oxford and London, Tom Crawshaw’s ‘Play On Words’ goes up to Edinburgh and is sure to cause a stir with some of the critics. Described as a ‘tragi-comedy of quick witted punning and theatrical high-jinx’, it will be interesting to see how the play has developed since it’s run post-NWF. Certainly worth a visit.

 

 

The Oxford Imps

What needs to be said? It’ll be great fun: we’ve seen it before, we’ll go again and again. The Fringe won’t know what’s hit them. Go for a (sort of) night off the weirdness.

 

 

Monsters

Ripping apart American sheen culture from the inside out, this darkly comic/comically dark piece of new writing will force the audience to seek answers to probing questions such as the nature of reality and whether Father Christmas really exists. An exciting play with a hugely talented cast, this is once not to be missed.

 

 

Robin Hood and the Golden Arrow

Join Robin and his merry men and help Sherwood’s legendary outlaw outwit the wiles of the putrid Sherriff of Nottingham and his devious cousin Guy of Gisbourne to win the archery tournament and the heart of his fair lady Marion. The usual Robin Hood shenigans, except the audience has the opportunity to pelt the lead role with rotten eggs. Fun for all the family, then. Go for some light relief from some of the rather more strange things which will be going on.

 

Raz-Mataz

"Raz-Mataz. Post-punk posturing, rock’n’roll swaggering, ice caps melting and a celebration of all the living left to be done. The Ruskin School of Art and Oxford’s Experimental Theatre Company invite you to throw yourself off that velour lounger and into the shiznit". Explanation: electro DJs, dancing, art and a huge, glow-paint-coloured culture clash. Still confused? Go and find out for yourself: I will.

 

 

The Oxford Revue

Oxford’s comic troupe is gracing the Mile again, and with a new show "X" which incorporates the best of their shows this year, along with some new material. With such a talented cast, laughs are expected – but it will be interesting to see if they’ve developed any new material after the mixed reviews in response to their recent collaborative effort with the Footlights and those failed glory hunters the ‘Durham Revue’ (‘Doxbridge’: what a joke…). Consistency expected.