Splendour – A preview

Splendour is a play which delights in being enigmatic. Written by Abi Morgan, screenwriter of Suffragette and The Iron Lady, this claustrophobic character study manages to be disorientating, roundabout, and yet urgently compelling. Kathryn (Natalie Woodward), a photojournalist, is sent to the lavish house of a dictator and his wife, Micheline (Rosie Richards), in “a […]

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A streetcar named Desire – Another review

Iconic, powerful and heartbreaking are words I would use to describe Tennessee Williams’ 1947 play, A Streetcar Named Desire. The version that I saw on Thursday evening, directed by Anna Seacombe and Harry Lukakis at the Keble O’Reilly, fits the bill perfectly. I attended a very full opening night performance, which was intense, full of […]

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Colin and Katya – A review

In the small, modern North Wall Arts Centre stands a large, buzzing swarm of thesps and arty types. Each sporting their own unique variation on the traditional indie look of edgy eyebrows, unexpected hairstyles, distressed denim and a smattering of eclectic patterned vintage, these eager culture vultures await show time. What has brought this lively […]

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Farenheit 451- A review

Biblioclasm. Libricide. Book-burning. These are all words that roll off the tongue trippingly. But this action, this destruction of books, a nightmare for any student, is a concrete, or rather ashy, reality for the inhabitants of the dystopian society of Fahrenheit 451. Here, all books have been outlawed, and the government employs ‘firemen’ to burn […]

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No Exit – A review

Three characters, Inéz, Garcin, and Estelle, are in hell. And where is hell, you may ask? Hell turns out to be a stuffy “second empire drawing room” with no way out. There are no conventional devils, or instruments of torture, but instead the trio are doomed to become one another’s torturers. The intimate space of […]

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Queueue – A preview

The style of Queueue: A Coffee Shop Musical is best described as a kind of gentrified cyberpunk. A free-form, genre-mixing musical, Queueue unites some of the finest talent of the Oxford theatre scene for a show about life, love and cyber-stalking, all set inside one painfully hipsterish coffee house. Set to be performed this weekend […]

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No Exit – A preview

‘L’enfer, c’est les Autres’. Sartre’s heavily quoted – and often misunderstood – line ‘Hell is other people’ is at the core of the English version of his original ‘Huis Clos’, and, despite its misinterpretations, is a very good place to start when we consider what this play is actually about. Having died, three people find […]

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Mine – A review

Polly’s Teale’s poignant drama Mine is very much a play for today: not least because of its exploration of the pressures of modern motherhood, and its emphasis on middleclass guilt. It shows the breakdown of relationships in a society so preoccupied by smart phones and emails, that characters often do not listen to each other, […]

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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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Cymbeline: a comedy with menace

‘Cymbeline’ is one of Shakespeare’s longer plays, consisting of five acts replete with mistaken identity, miscommunication and more witty repartee than one can shake a stick at. The action begins with Imogen, daughter of Cymbeline, the King of Britain, having enraged her father by marrying a commoner named Posthumus, played by the velvety Irish-burred Jonjo […]

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