Long-distance relationships and Oxford: a guide

I imagine life feels pretty good for many of you at the moment. You’ve achieved some amazing grades that have got you into a great university. You have almost six weeks of summer left before you start the next big adventure in your life. You’re ready for new experiences, and yet, despite all these wonderful […]

Continue Reading

Coriolanus: A Passionate and Aggressive Adaptation

The Worcester College Gardens production of Coriolanus is a passionate and aggressive adaptation, one of Shakespeare’s final Roman tragedies. Despite being the second longest play in Shakespeare’s collected works, the production demands the constant and acute attention of its audience. With numerous intense performances from a range of superb lead actors and boasting several dynamic […]

Continue Reading

Henry IV: A Quality Production in which the Actors Really Shine

Henry IV part 1 is perhaps one of Shakespeare’s more confusing plays to follow: some prior knowledge of the Wars of the Roses may be helpful in order to keep straight which Henrys and Richards are who. It is a testament to the quality of FourSevenTwo’s production of this relatively obscure play, then, and to […]

Continue Reading

‘If you’re going to see one Revue show, this is it’: An Interview with the Oxford Revue

The Oxford Revue perform regularly each term, but their biggest night falls this week with The Cambridge Footlights and The Durham Revue at the Oxford Playhouse. We sat down with two of the Revue’s members, Alistair Inglis and Katherine Maniura, to talk about their upcoming performance and what it’s like to be a part of Oxford’s most […]

Continue Reading

Rewritten: Questioning the Success of this Experimental Piece

Rewritten is a commendable, experimental piece of student theatre, attempting to offer a visualisation of the mental post-mortem succeeding an unsuccessful relationship. Unfortunately, as the events of the performance continue to replay in my mind, akin to the reoccurrence of the events within the play itself, I am left uncertain as to whether this particular […]

Continue Reading

Merlot and Royal: A Great Cast and Catchy Tunes Slightly Hampered by New Writing

Merlot & Royal, an original musical by Imogen Mechie, opened at the Tingewick Hall with great potential, but it failed to live up to a promising start. Set in the 1950s, Merlot & Royal concerns the failing eponymous bank, rocked by the numerous scandals of its recently promoted director, brought in at the death of his […]

Continue Reading

Pomona: Blurring the Lines Between Fiction and Reality

Lucy Hayes’ production of Pomona opens with the superbly dead-pan Joe Peden, munching chicken nuggets, and holding forth on the wonders of Indiana Jones. At the centre of the stage is a figure in an octopine mask, toying with a rubix cube, one of several piled by its feet.  Pomona is a dystopian thriller-cum -dark […]

Continue Reading

Reigen: Balancing Subtlety and Boldness in German

The choice of Reigen as the annual Oxford German Play was inspired. Written by the Austrian playwright Arthur Schnitzler, and first performed in Berlin in 1920, contemporary audiences greeted it with outrage, disgust and horror – because Reigen is a play about sex. It is a play, put simply, about human desires and the fulfilment […]

Continue Reading

An Interview with David Raeburn: The Director of Ajax and Greek Play Extraordinaire

The weather is beautifully sunny as I sit in the Warden’s Garden in New College chatting to David Raeburn. This is a man who has just turned 90 years old and has a serious passion for Greek plays: in our conversation I learn more about the man himself and his next production, an outdoor performance […]

Continue Reading

Private Lives: An All Female Production of the Classic Comedy

When Private Lives premiered in London in 1930, Noël Coward said that he wanted to stage a show replete with “cocktails, repartee, and irreverent allusions to copulation.” He started with a tantalizing premise: a comedy of manners that tells the story of Amanda (played by Freya Cunningham) and Eleanor (Jhanie Fender), divorced lovers who find […]

Continue Reading

Merlot and Royal: Feelings of Nostalgia Combined with Pure Excitement

Walking away from St Catherine’s on Saturday morning I couldn’t stop myself humming ‘Merlot and Royal’; it was at this point that I realised that the rehearsal I had just seen was something quite special. Merlot and Royal is a brand new musical which has finally made its way on stage after being written by […]

Continue Reading

I Know You: A Sincere Examination of Complex Characters

I Know You provides a perspective on the supposed intimacy we experience during intercourse. Performed in the Burton Taylor studio, the smallest and most intimate of the Oxford theatres, the play lures its audience into a false sense of security: no matter their proximity to the actors in this play, the audience is never any […]

Continue Reading

Private Lives: The 1930s Comedy with a Twist

Noël Coward’s Private Lives is part screwball comedy, part investigation of the nature of love and passion, which this version at St. Hilda’s aims to emphasise. The 1930s comedy of manners follows a divorced couple, Amanda and Victoria, who end up at the same hotel as each other, staying there with their new partners, Sybil […]

Continue Reading

Christie in Love: Not an Experience for the Faint-hearted

Christie in Love is not a play that you are supposed to enjoy: intended as part of a play cycle exposing a society in decline, Howard Brenton instructed that his compact piece be performed ‘very slowly’, each jerky disjunction in chronology and setting amplifying the sense of Christie’s disturbing sexual kinks. Over a period of […]

Continue Reading

As You Like It: A Fitting Celebration for Corpus Christi College

As You Like It serves beautifully as a vehicle through which to celebrate Corpus Christi’s 500th anniversary. A performance in promenade, the audience is led through the college’s cloisters, gardens, chapel and finally into its hall for Rosalind’s modest epilogue, which seems in all its humility to entreat the approval of not only the play’s […]

Continue Reading