Freedom of the City Preview

Experience male nudity, some good ol’ Irish drunkenness and momentary bouts of incomprehension in Brian Friel’s Freedom of the City. Oh, and probably a good deal of emotional attachment and heartbreak. Lily, Michael and Skinner (Niamh Furey, Dominic Ballard and Andrew Wynne-Owne, respectively) mistakenly wind up in the Derry’s guildhall following a tear-gassed civil rights march. […]

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Review: Life Sentence

What would I do if I were diagnosed with immortality? There are two obvious options. Either living each day without fear of consequence: eating loads of those little crispy M&Ms that come in the blue packet; getting arrested for excessive public nudity and breeding piranhas in my bath. Alternatively the ‘Bill Murray in Groundhog Day’ […]

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Interview: Michael Rosen

We meet in Oxford’s new ‘Story Museum’, a dilapidated little farmyard renovation on Pembroke Street. The plan is “to open in 2015 as a magical new centre of children’s literature and storytelling”, right now, it’s a little too ‘atmospheric’ to act as residence of childlike wonder and imagination for five eight-hour days a week, so […]

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Theatrical Oxonians: Tom Hooper

For all his youthful artistic endeavours (making a short film aged thirteen; writing his first professional short film aged 16), Tom Hooper’s early life was hardly bohemian. Westminster, gap year, Univ. Hooper read English in the 90s, during which time he was a big player in OUDS, directing Kate Beckinsale in a production of A […]

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The Odyssey at the Story Museum

The Story Museum, in its own words, “exists to celebrate children’s stories and to share enjoyable ways for young people to learn through stories as they grow”. So where better a place for Michael Rosen (yes, he is the one who wrote ‘We’re Going on a Bear Hunt’) to talk to two writers on the […]

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It’s a Knockout is no such thing

Watching It’s a Knockout is the comedic equivalent of The Wedding at Cana: after an hour of predictable games, just as I’m about to slip into stupor, Kevin Tomlinson takes to the Pegasus stage and miraculously delivers the show from total mediocrity. Water becomes wine. However, one should not be fooled by this last minute transformation; […]

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Operatic disaster for La Boheme

Whilst it is not an uncommon occurrence for tenors to embarrass themselves on stage by cracking high notes, or for a technical hitch to result in a dead character accidentally ‘coming back’ to life, or for wardrobe malfunctions to come dangerously close to appearing, it happens rarely that an entire production humiliates itself – in […]

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