Review: Parade

✮✮✮ In 1913, Mary Phagan, a thirteen year-old girl was found strangled in the cellar of a pencil-factory in Georgia. The superintendent of the factory, Jewish Brooklyn-bred Leo Frank, was indicted for the murder, and the case that followed was seen as catalyst for not only the founding of the Anti-Defamation League, but also for […]

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Review: Frankenstein

Photo by Dina Tsesarsky ✮✮✮ This latest devised piece from Rough-Hewn, the brains behind Fear last term, was, in a word, confusing. Not that that is always a bad thing, it could be said that the director effectively cultured a sense of bafflement that held the audience’s curiosity throughout the show; but there were several […]

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Dramatis Personae: Lamorna Ash

  Company of the moment Rough-Hewn Productions are back this week with a fully devised production of Frankenstein, hot on the heels of what OxStu Stage called the “bizarre, disturbing, humorous, exhilirating” Devised Play One: Fear. Talking about their unconventional devising technique, director Tommo Fowler claimed that “the content really all comes from the actors…we […]

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Vico: “A chilling journey”

  ✮✮✮✮ Vico, Douglas Taylor’s original drama which premiered on Tuesday at the BT, is best described as a chilling journey into the psyche of the human mind. The play unfolds in the apparently sanitised safety of a Psychiatrist’s office.  Vico, the protagonist, captivates the audience from her first appearance as Finn, our psychiatrist’s prospective […]

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Gender-bending R&J tries too hard

  ✮✮ Undoubtedly within the Shakespeare canon Romeo and Juliet is one of the most popular to perform, and one of the hardest to get right. It needs vitality, chemistry, and a strange coexistence of superficial lightness with turmoil bubbling below the surface. When the performance is then given a gender swap twist, further complications […]

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The view from the cheap seats

  Hilary Mantel adaptation Wolf Hall/Bring Up the Bodies has been a smash-hit with the critics, garnering four and five stars with the Telegraph and Guardian respectively. The Guardian also features an interview with lead actor Ben Miles, who refers to Mantel’s Thomas Cromwell as the ‘first working-class hero.’ Speaking of which… The director of the […]

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What’s the song and dance about?

  The musical in Oxford has a long and established tradition – with three or four fantastic productions being produced, choreographed, and in some cases even composed on a termly basis. Last term brought Oxford students the incredibly well received Chess, Sweeney Todd and the original musical In Her Eyes. Each offered something that pushed […]

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A funny thing shall happen this Trinity

I see you’re in a dilemma: you need to chill, but have watched all the reruns of your favourite T.V. shows. “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Forum” is the balm to your woes. It’s a farcical play with slapstick humour dished out through rib-tickling song and dance sequences. The story follows the […]

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Preview: Blue Stockings

  The presence of women at university is taken so much for granted today that it’s astonishing to consider how, little more than a hundred years ago, Cambridge University was voting on whether to allow women to graduate with degrees. This vote is the fulcrum of Blue Stockings – the campaign for women’s right to […]

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Review: She Stoops to Conquer

✮✮✮✮ If you were looking for the most quintessentially ‘Oxford’ experience 4th week can serve up – nostalgic finalists, I’m looking at you – one would struggle to do better than this garden production of She Stoops To Conquer. The lush Cathedral gardens of Christ Church are a draw in themselves, even without this slick and […]

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Dramatis Personae: Cameron Abery

  When asked about his interest in acting, Cameron Abery simply pushes his head back and laughs. ‘‘I’m a linguist,’’ he says, clearly bemused. ‘‘When you study French & Portugese, everyday life is merely a collection of masks.’’ But it’s Abery’s various on-stage guises that Oxford audiences are increasingly familiar with, starting in typical fashion […]

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Lord of the Flies bringing anarchy to the O’Reilly?

Editorial note: the following preview is an expanded edit of Alice Strasburger’s virtuoso original piece. Upon reading Alice’s original, the Stage team decided that it was too bold and stylistically challenging to be appreciated by a student audience. We instead decided to publish a less fragmentary piece which tries to aid reader comprehension through the use of those staid old journalistic commonplaces, […]

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The Hollywood-isation of theatre?

  A cliché opening to this article would be to claim that literary adaptation for stage is currently ‘in vogue’, both in Oxford and (gasp) outside of it, on the evidence of recent high-profile productions of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time and Headlong’s 1984 alongside student performances of Gawain and the Green […]

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Dramatis Personae: Madeleine Perham

New OUDS Secretary Madeleine Perham has a storied history in drama. Involved with Stagecoach (a London-based theatre company) since the tender age of 4, Maddy’s first passion was acting, eventually graduating from ‘dancing sunflowers’ to Bertolt Brecht. Coming to Oxford with the intention of becoming a student journalist, directing wasn’t high up on her list […]

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“Truly an Everyman for everyone”?

  In a period of mounting cuts to art budgets nationwide, local arts organisations are increasingly turning to grandiloquent claims in order to justify their continued existence. “It’s every theatre’s duty to try and engage as many people as possible,” argued Vicky Featherstone, director of the Royal Court, in the Guardian last week, while Liverpool’s […]

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