While the idea of Trinity conjures up dreams of permanent sunshine, the English summer would have it otherwise. Rainy days spent in Oxford’s theatres instead may prove to be the more viable option, with a range of brilliant new events through which to escape when necessary:
Living Together at The Oxford Playhouse – Olivier and Tony Award-winning playwright Alan Ayckbourn’s Living Together runs in 2nd Week (Wednesday 6th to Saturday 9th May) as the main piece of student drama at the Playhouse this season. The chaos of family and one man’s attempts at reconciling its ever-fraying ties are explored in this pithy comedy, which is not to be missed.
Mess at The North Wall – Thursday of 4th week (21st May) brings Caroline Horton’s newest play Mess to The North Wall Arts Centre in Summertown. The group won the 2012 Stage Award Winner for Best Ensemble and this latest piece, in association with the UK’s Eating Disorder Charity Beat, has garnered rave reviews all round. Anorexia and addiction are big themes to confront in a three person play but so are staples of the everyday, like getting out of bed. It is through observing the presence of these big themes within small actions that the company poignantly tackles what has previously often been treated as a taboo topic in this brilliant tragi-comedy.
Richard Alston Dance Company at The Oxford Playhouse – One of Britain’s foremost choreographers brings his company to Oxford in 5th Week (Tuesday 26th and Wednesday 27th May). The company celebrated its 20th anniversary last year and its founder Richard Alston is a stalwart of British dance, known for his lyrical pieces centered around music. The set being brought to the Playhouse is no different, taking three pieces by the British composer Benjamin Britten and the words of the poets Christopher Smart, Friedrich Hölderlin and Arthur Rimbaud as their inspiration. The corresponding pieces move through the energetic religious fervour of ‘Rejoice in the Lamb’ and the vivid images of Rimbaud’s Illuminations. A free pre-show talk being offered at the Playhouse on Tuesday offers the rare chance to hear insights from Alston himself about his 45-year career in the British dance scene and looks to be a fantastic event.
The Oxford Revue and Friends at The Oxford Playhouse – The Revue is collaborating with the Cambridge Footlights and The Leeds Tealights to bring you a fun-filled finale to their year’s work in 6th week (Saturday 6th June). Having already had a sell-out success last year, this is an event to indulge in before the stress of exams pervades and all your friends seem to disappear into the aether.