CORRECTION (27/1/09): The performance of Hamlet in 3rd week has been cancelled due to being unable to recruit a full cast. AM
There’s something missing from our spreadsheet of student plays next term: Shakespeare. We had trouble believing it, but apparently there is not one student performance of anything by the Immortal Bard, though there are two professional ones: an already-sold-out Othello from the RSC and an experimental version of Hamlet. In fact, classic plays have been almost locked out, with only the medieval morality play Mankind in 3rd representing the 97.96% or so of recorded history before 1900 in the first half of term.
With nothing on in first week, our spreadsheet starts a little later, with two sketch shows in second week: an Oxford Revue performance at the Wheatsheaf on the 27th and Correctness Gone Mad, a sketch show which has chosen the daring approach of not featuring swearing or sexual content, as well as the comedy Blind Date, which follows a date gone wrong, at the Burton Taylor Studio. Third week brings Art by Yazmin Reza, which analyses modern art through seeing how a plain white canvas shatters friendships, and the aforementioned Mankind (set in a tavern) and Hamlet, which involves the actors choosing which parts to play just before the performance and asks the audience to supply props. 4th begins with perhaps the three best comedies of the whole term, The Philadelphia Story, The Entertainer and Black Comedy, as well as Squirrels by Mamet and The Cactus Where Your Heart Should Be, a comedy-murder-mystery at Jowett Walk Theatre.
The best listing of plays on this term is the University Drama Officer’s at http://www.stcatz.ox.ac.uk/udo/listings.asp, but it still doesn’t cover everything; there are several things on this term that we’ve only found out about through friends or that we know little about: if you think something might pass us unnoticed, please comment on this article and tell us.