Stage picks: Trinity 2014

Trinity term: a time of sun, picnics, and punts… it’s a shame you’ll probably be spending most of it in a musty old library somewhere. Still, you’ll want to make the most of what’s looking like a vintage crop of shows this Trinity, so here at Stage we’ve decided to shine a spotlight on some of the high points of Oxford’s drama scene in the first few weeks of term.

Kicking off in first week at the Oxford Playhouse is a new production of The History Boys. Now in its tenth year and apparently antique enough to be billed as “the nation’s favourite play,” this student production features a cast of Oxford theatre veterans. [Wed, Thurs, Fri, Sat of 1st ; £11]

Also at the Playhouse is a major new production of Bernard Shaw’s Pygmalion, which has been picking up rave reviews around the country. Buy soon if you’re eager to grab a ticket – although don’t expect the same cutprice rates as student drama. [Tues to Sat of 2nd]

If you’re looking for something slightly less conventional, turn up to Broad Street on Thursday of 1st week  for Soapbox City, a collaboration between the Playhouse and the Pegasus Theatre in which 144 speakers will take to the podium for “12 hours of continuous public address.” [Thurs of 1st; free]

Taking to the soapbox in 2nd week is Eve Ensler’s The Vagina Monologues at Green Templeton College. With all profits going to the Oxford Rape Crisis Centre  and the play promising “a celebration of women’s sexuality and strength,” you can’t go wrong. [Fri, Sat of 2nd; £5]

3rd week sees a double-whammy of student drama. First up, in-vogue musical Into the Woods, which hits the Pichette Auditorium at Pembroke ahead of this year’s screen adaptation. The production promises to be “dark, witty, moving, engaging [and] confusing,” and will unite beloved fairytale characters with music by Sondheim. [Weds,  Thurs, Fri of 3rd]

Striking a markedly different tone will be Lord of the Flies at Keble’s O’Reilly Theatre, an adaptation of William Golding’s classic novel by Screw the Looking Glass (“Judgment at Nuremberg”, “Caucasian Chalk Circle”).  Not for the faint-hearted. [Wed, Thurs, Fri, Sat of 3rd; £8]

Finally, the end of 5th week sees the Oxford Revue and comic co-conspirators the Cambridge Footlights and the Leeds Tealights return to the Playhouse for a healthy dose of sketch comedy and a little live music. [Fri of 5th; £11]

PHOTO/Matthew Parvin