Dr Faustus – A review

Dr Faustus is an eerie play, of that here is no doubt, and this production of it gave a masterclass in atmosphere. From the moment you step down into the Keble O’Reilly’s cemented and unforgiving space showed off with stark brutalism, you know you’re in for one hell of a hair-raising ride. Georgie Murphy’s manic […]

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Woyzeck – A review

National society plays don’t seem to get much in the way of hype, at least not from the usual Oxford theatre outlets. This is a shame, because Woyzeck might be the best play the Burton-Taylor has seen all term. A fragmentary horror story about one soldier’s mental breakdown, it’s a grisly, relentless, thoroughly gripping piece […]

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Arcadia – A review

The detritus on a table slowly builds up, the focal point of one of the cleverest plays ever written. A young child (Thomasina, played by Tallulah Vaughan) ponders on the nature of entropy, on life and atoms, all through the metaphor of rice pudding. “You cannot stir things apart” she says, with the kind of […]

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Altar/Alter – A review

Iphigenia in Aulis is an intense play, one fraught with high tensions, emotional drama and fundamental ethical questions that face the audience and the actors at every turn. Beginning in the middle of Agamemnon’s ethical crisis – should anyone sacrifice their daughter on behalf of their army? – it is destined to be a hugely […]

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Rhinoceros – A preview

As I sat down in the Pilch Studio, and the preview of Gruffdog Theatre’s Rhinoceros commenced, I was flabbergasted. Suddenly, as the cast swirled across the stage with endearing, yet stylish buffoonery, I was in provincial France. Eugene Ionesco’s iconic piece about how a rural French town confronts an endemic of ‘rhinoceritis’ (a disease which […]

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The Fairy Queen – A preview

Walking into a deserted Wadham first quad on a Monday evening, you’d have no idea that somewhere, squirrelled away in the bowels of a crammed performance space, 57 performers and various other crew members were deeply engaged in drawing together Shakespeare’s ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ with Purcell’s musical score to create the semi-opera ‘The Fairy […]

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An interview with Grainne O’Mahony

The focus of theatre is often literary, aiming to explore the plays themselves, but it’s also important to remember that it’s the people behind the production who are instrumental in lifting the words from page to stage. For this reason, we want to get an insight into all different aspects of a production, front and […]

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Orphans – A review

  In some ways, it is fortunate that this page does not contain a transcript of incomprehensible stuttering. This is not because Orphans, directed by Georgia Bruce, was anything but fantastic, but rather that it delivered such a knock-out blow to its audience, that it was difficult to summon words afterwards. Actors: if you felt […]

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Le Petit Prince – A review

There are few works of literature that are so simple, yet so touching, as Saint-Exupéry’s ‘Le Petit Prince’, an enduring fantastical tale that enters into the minds of children as they try to navigate through the world of adults. To adapt such a work of literature into a stage production naturally poses difficulties, particularly regarding […]

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Richard II – A review

‘What would you have me do? I am a subject/ And I challenge law’ I’ll come clean: I was late and had come from the pub. My friend was repeatedly asking who was the goodie and who was the baddie, and I had dropped my last non-coloured pencil into the abyss of the Keble O’Reilly’s […]

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Government Inspector – A preview

To many, the thought of Russian literature conjures up bad memories of trying to read War and Peace, because ‘it’s just one of those things you just have to read’, before giving up and skimming through a summary online instead. And yet, it’s the lighter, less philosophical side of Russian literature that is often less […]

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Hysterical women playwrights

“Why the 23-year-old Sarah Kane chose to write it is her affair. Presumably because she was given a grant by the hitherto admirable Jerwood Foundation in their quest to help new talent. Some will undoubtedly say the money might have been better spent on a course of remedial therapy” Jack Tinker infamously wrote in the […]

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Pripyat – A review

This play begins with an apology. It’s the sort of metatheatrical student show styling it would be easy to snort at, were it not for the confidence and self-deprecating humour with which it was presented. “It’s probably quite self-indulgent, this whole exercise. But then, so is most theatre.” Raw, honest, and self-conscious to a fault, […]

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