Candide: a wonderful, whimsical adventure

This term, the Oxford Playhouse is putting forward a dynamic cure to 5th Week Blues: a light-hearted romp across the 18th-century world, complete with a motley crew of characters who gather around the hapless young Candide. Even in Oxford – where no one questions the inclusion of Philosophical Consultants in the crew of your operetta […]

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The Oxford Revue and ‘Friends’: A Review

Oxford, Cambridge, Durham: an alliance (or rivalry) for the ages. Although the title of the evening was ‘The Oxford Revue and Friends’, the rivalry and tension between each university’s comedic troupes were clear in this one-off performance at the Playhouse.  With three great groups determined to out-perform each other, all while emceed by a professional […]

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Review: The Oxford Revue and Friends

A packed Oxford Playhouse played host on Saturday night to the Oxford Revue and their friends – talented Oxfordian performers, the Cambridge Footlights and the professional comedian (and Oxonian), Ivo Graham. The night, it has to be said, did start somewhat slowly. Whilst he’s funny enough to have one the ‘So You Think You’re Funny’ […]

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1984 staged: audience complicit in Orwell’s dystopian nightmare

✮✮✮✮✮ Adapting George Orwell’s dystopia Nineteen Eighty-Four is no small feat, but one which Robert Icke and Duncan Macmillan master within 101 fraught, uninterrupted minutes. The collaborative effort of the Almeida Theatre with Nottingham Playhouse and Headlong delivers an alarmingly convincing resurrection of Orwell’s totalitarian nightmare and conjures a new creation that interrogates the purpose […]

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Semi-monde, fully-fun

Surprises abound in Semi-Monde, a delightfully dishonest comedy by Noel Coward on at The Playhouse this term. Concerned with the comings-and-goings of almost thirty characters at the Hôtel Ritz, Paris, Semi-Monde oozes 1920s excess and opulence. The numerous back-and-forths between the characters are pithy and charming, while the script often has several conversations going on […]

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Witchcraft and woe in The Death of Maria

Love triangles, it turns out, exist in 17th century baby-eating witch-hunting Germany just as passionately as in teen vampire sagas. Written and directed by 3rd year historian Camilla Rees, the play that proves this, The Death of Maria, revolves around the real figure Maria Hollin from Mindelburg. Accused of witchcraft by the appropriately evil-named Ursula […]

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This never happens: Stoppard’s Arcadia comes to Oxford

Why choose Arcadia as a play? It’s about intellectual discovery, friction between characters, and it gives a sense that you have tapped into a romanticised Oxford. It has been done loads of times, but we really wanted to bring it to the Playhouse. But what is your own personal and original take on the play? […]

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Out of the Shadow dazzles bright

✮✮✮✮✮ The premier production of the full length version of Out of the Shadow opens with dramatic orchestral music, strong spotlights and throbbing black-clad bodies. The dark mass gives little away until a single white figure bursts out to guide the audience from prehistoric origins, through the recognizable trials of a modern life, and finally […]

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Review: Radio Times, Oxford Playhouse

Walking into the Oxford Playhouse on this especially rainy and overcast evening to watch the new wartime musical Radio Times, one could easily imagine themselves damp-nylon-stocking-clad and gas-mask at the ready for an ensuing air-raid. The atmosphere was one of vintage good-cheer and Englishness above all things; all I could think was: Nanny Clayton would […]

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