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Hidden away in the Record Department of the sprawling Ministry of Truth, Winston Smith skillfully rewrites the past to suit the needs of the Party. Yet he inwardly rebels against the harsh totalitarian world he lives in which demands absolute obedience and controls him through the all-seeing telescreens and the watchful eye of Big Brother, symbolic head of the Party.
Our latest site-specific production will be set amidst the astonishing space-age elegance of Oxford's Mathematical Institute. Jonathan Holloway's adaptation of 1984 launches Orwell's genre-defining dystopian tragedy out of post-WWll period gloom and into today's data dominated world. Everything is seen and recorded and the true gravity of our situation lurks behind the benign smile of global connectivity.
This event takes place at the Mathematical Institute, Andrew Wiles Building, University of Oxford, Radcliffe Observatory Quarter, Woodstock Road, Oxford OX2 6GG
Set in 1970's suburbia, where Beverly and her husband Laurence are hosting a drinks party for their neighbours. There is plenty of alcohol, an array of cheese-pineapple savoury bites and olives, and Demis Roussos on the record player. As prejudices are unmasked and tempers flare, the evening can only end in disaster...
Alchymy: Plays from the Lab is the North Wall's festival of new writing. The festival celebrates the power of the imagination and the process of transforming ideas from page to stage. We're taking the work out of the Lab and into the world. Over three days, we'll be presenting over 15 new plays, some fully-staged, some rehearsed readings, all written and directed by ArtsLab graduates. There will also be workshops, talks and panel discussions by celebrated playwrights, theatre directors and cultural commentators. The festival opens with the culmination of our 10-day Easter ArtsLab residency: a performance of six new works by young writers aged 18-25, selected from a national call-out. Here, they share the results of their experiments with the public for the first time.
A trio of top counsellors psychoanalyse some of the Bard's most well-known characters in a riveting series of uproarious encounters. Delve into the psyches of Hamlet, Titania, Lord and Lady Macbeth. A madcap comedy from Ruff Trade Theatre, thoroughly accessible yet peppered with enough textual references to satisfy the scholars. Why is Hamlet so riddled with doubts and ruminations? What strange childhood trauma led to Queen Titania's wanton fixation with donkeys? The answers are all here in a series of revealing counselling sessions made open to the public for the first time. Watch in awe as a trio of top analysts exorcise the demons from the Bard's finest and get to the heart of the Iambic Id.
When Stella sets off to visit London with her parents, Lord and Lady Saxby, she has no idea her life is in danger! Waking up three months later, only her Aunt Alberta can tell Stella what has happened. But not everything Aunt Alberta tells her turns out to be true and Stella quickly discovers she's in for the fight of her life against her very own awful Auntie!
Charles Condomine, a successful author, is happily married to Ruth. To collect material for his latest book he invites Madam Acarti, the medium, to conduct a seance at his home unwittingly releasing the ghost of his first wife Elvira who it would appear wants him back! One of Coward's great comedies.
Bubble Schmeisis is about Nick's experiences in the steam baths of East London with his blind grandfather, featuring cigars, cab drivers and circumcisions...the whole magillah.
Bucket List tells the story of Mexican orphan, Milagros, her journey from the sweatshops of Cuidad Acuna to Harvard University, and what happens when the promise of a better life begins to unravel. Part rags-to-riches, part revenge story, Bucket List utilises an extreme style of physical storytelling, live instrumental music and song, to explore themes of social mobility, neo-colonialism and freedom versus fate in modern Mexico.
Christopher, fifteen years old, stands beside Mrs Shears' dead dog. It has been speared with a garden fork, it is seven minutes after midnight and Christopher is under suspicion. He records each fact in the book he is writing to solve the mystery of who murdered Wellington. I made a decision. I did this by thinking of all the things I could do and deciding whether they were the right decision or not. He has an extraordinary brain, exceptional at maths while ill-equipped to interpret everyday life. He has never ventured alone beyond the end of his road, he detests being touched and he distrusts strangers. But his detective work, forbidden by his father, takes him on a frightening journey that upturns his world. My name is Christopher John Francis Boone. I know all the countries of the world and the capital cities. And every prime number up to 7507.
The Diary of a Hounslow Girl is told through the eyes of a 16 year old British Muslim Girl growing up in West London. From traditional Pakistani weddings to fights on the night bus this is a funny, bold, provocative play highlighting the challenges of being brought up as a young woman in a traditional Muslim family alongside the temptations and influences growing up in and around London.
The Explorer is a delightful new marionette show performed by puppeteer, Lori Hopkins (currently performing in We're Going on a Bear Hunt). After crash landing on an unusual island, the brave Explorer encounters wild beasts, rough seas and futuristic technologies. Will she ever make it back home?
Part of Little Angel Theatre FIRSTS programme
A dark comedy about nosiness gone wild... Pam's already got a low opinion of her neighbours. So when someone pinches her Elizabethan sideboard, it's all-out war: she becomes a one-woman MI6, ramping up her operation from curtain twitching to spy cameras hidden in hand-knitted novelties. But what Pam unearths is what she already suspects - that everyone around her is a thief, a pervert or a terrorist... Fish Eye shows how the hacking of every inch of our lives has run way out of control. Like Alan Bennett's A Lady of Letters, Pam tells her own funny and deeply dodgy story, accompanied by live music and projection.
Welcome to the world of war veteran Zach. As the last man standing, he has retreated into a tiny dugout under a barrage of hostile fire. His enemies are cunning, using every trick in the book to mess with his mind. Even the landscape is weird: audibly, chemically and, most of all, physically... it is a cardboard box, in Zach's kitchen, in Port Talbot. His wife whispers, kindly, that it's safe to come out. But is it a trap? For if the real enemy is Zach then who will win if he loses?
When Tom witnesses the suicide of a stranger he has had a chance encounter with on the London Underground, he makes it his mission to understand why the events unfolded as they did. He tears apart his own world view while trying to piece together the life and mind of a man he will never know. How We Think We Think is a performance which strikes up conversation.
What happens when the wildest parts of our imagination take control? Yearning for escape, Ellie journeys through a flickering world of bewitching strangers and comic book superheroes. But as the walls of her new world begin to crumble, Ellie must finally face the truth behind her fantasies. Following the acclaimed success of Killing Roger, Sparkle and Dark return with a visually stunning exploration of the power of grief and childish imagination, using original live music and life-sized puppetry.
Infinity Pool takes the anniversary of the publication of Madame Bovary - a novel that scandalized France - as the starting point for this tragi-comic love story. In the sticky, polyester heat of summer on a Devonshire trading estate Emma Barnicott dreams of a life beyond the dusty venetian blinds of her office. Voicemails unanswered, bills unopened, Emma whiles away the tedious hours looking at luxury honeymoons for her imaginary marriage to a man she's never met. When her online lover suggests meeting, Emma's elaborate web of debt and deceit begins to pull her stable world apart.
A landmark in the history of English literature. Jane simple governess, wins the heart of Edward Fairfax Rochester, the brooding and mysterious master of Thornfield Hall. Questioning the boundaries of class and gender, it is one of the most heartrending and powerful tales of romance and suspense ever told.
The story of wide-eyed Gelsomina, who is sold by her penniless mother to Zampano, a travelling sideshow strongman, unfolds as they journey through the Italian countryside performing for their keep. Their perilous road trip leads them to a ragtag travelling circus where they meet Il Matto the tightrope walker who rekindles Gelsomina's spirit with a new found confidence.
Based on the subject and script work by Federico Fellini, Ennio Flaiano and Tullio Pinelli
95 years go by in a flash. An afternoon lasts an eternity. In a care home lounge somewhere in the South of England, 97-year old Marsha Hewitt begins the last day of her life. But she cannot go quietly. As the radiators burn and Jeremy Kyle blares, festering rivalries, estranged relatives and murderous impulses jostle for space on the Axminster carpet. A riot is brewing. Extreme old age is the fastest growing sector of the population. We are voyaging into a new realm of human life that has hardly existed before, an age where nearly one in five people currently in the UK will live to see their 100th birthday. The Lounge looks at the way we as a nation cope, or fail to cope, with the process of ageing we are all engaged in, young and old.
Meet Fred. He's just a regular guy who wants to get on in life: get a job, find a nice girl, settle down. The only problem is that Fred is a puppet, and that's where his dependency issues start. Day to day life is tough when you rely on three other guys being with you at all times. Out for a quiet walk, on a date, in the bathroom, life is never simple for the puppets amongst us. Created in association with puppetry experts Blind Summit, this "massively entertaining" comedy theatre show is about an outsider trying to make his mark in a world in which he needs a lot of help. Witty, poignant and full of Fred's badass attitude, Meet Fred features a mouthy puppet and, as with all Hijinx productions, live performance by actors with and without learning disabilities.
Devised by the company.
Playing amongst the enigmatic instructions of Yoko Ono's art works, in the shadow of Lennon's death, O No! is a psychedelic ride, a wonky homage to the woman damned for destroying the Beatles.
'You're an octopus. All mixed up, like me. One leg something, and one leg something else.' Three women have been called in for interview. Sara looks kind of Asian. Scheherazade kind of Middle Eastern. And Sarah is kind of white. But how British are they? Staged against the backdrop of Brexit and the refugee crisis, Octopus is set in a dystopian world of bureaucratic box ticking. It explores what it's like to be treated as a foreigner in your own land...and the power of punk.
It is 1881. It is 1921. It is 2017. Four women from across the centuries live, breathe, and play football. Whilst each of them face very different obstacles in pursuing their dream profession, the possibility that the beautiful game will change their futures - and the world - is tantalisingly close. Offside is told through lyrical dialogue, poetry, and punchy prose, placing the audience on the touchline of the game of a lifetime.
Richard Willey, a Government Junior Minister plans an evening with Jane Worthington, one of the Opposition's typist, but things go disastrously wrong, beginning with the discovery of a 'body' trapped in the hotel's only unreliable sash window. Richard calls for his Principal Private Secretary, George Pigden who, through Richard's lies, sinks deeper into trouble with everybody and goes through an identity crisis. Things go from bad to worse with the arrival of Ronnie, Jane's distraught young husband: with the addition of an unscrupulous waiter, Mrs Willey and Nurse Foster, things really come to a head.
Emma was having the time of her life. Now she's in rehab. Her first step is to admit that she has a problem. But the problem isn't with Emma, it's with everything else. She needs to tell the truth. But she's smart enough to know that there's no such thing. When intoxication feels like the only way to survive the modern world, how can she ever sober up?
Shaw's dramatisation of a Cockney flower girl's metamorphosis into a lady is not only a delightful fantasy but also has much to say about social class, money, spiritual freedom and womens' independence. Its combination of ideas and social comment, together with its rich comic characterization, make it one of the most enduring and entertaining of English comedies. Henry Higgins, Professor of Linguistics and confirmed bachelor, wagers that within six months he will transform flower seller, Eliza Doolittle, into a lady who can take her place in high society. Shaw's masterpiece is both brilliantly funny and a devastating critique of the English class system. This play formed the basis of "My Fair Lady".
On one dark and stormy night in the upper day room of the Silver Retirement Home, five elderly ladies are trading stories of their remarkable lives. With the storm floods rising and no rescue team in sight, the ladies are faced with the sudden realisation that in order to survive they are going to have to do what they have done for their entire lives - do it themselves!
World Premiere. Silver Lining is the hilarious new comedy by writer, actor, presenter and political activist Sandi Toksvig. It tells the tale of five extraordinary yet forgotten women, who come together one treacherous night to recreate The Great Escape... senior citizen style!
Set a few years into the future, Swallows probes the impact of a controversial new law, demanding all hospices, hospitals and residential homes provide a suitable 'dying room' for those who wish to end their lives. This moving play explores with sensitivity the choices facing Professor Raymond Parker and the conflict which exists between the different ethical and emotional viewpoints of his son and the medical profession.
An all-women company play Tamburlaine, his friends, his enemies, and his sons, travelling to the heart of identity and power, and challenging the nature masculinity and violence. What makes a king? What makes a father? What makes a man? In a play filled with princesses, wives, and sacrificial virgins, what forms of power can women wield in the face of oppression and war? In the modern world, where chemical weapons and reckless referendums are means to cling on to power; where retaliatory air strikes are applauded as strength; where social justice is a luxury that must give way to economic expansionism; Tamburlaine will hold a mirror up to the cruelties within ourselves. Marlowe is known as the father of English tragedy. But his radical ideas of history, religion, morality, and poetic justice will be provocative to those familiar with Shakespeare. Even his later play, Doctor Faustus, will be considered tame compared to Tamburlaine, which questions the very meaning of theatre, and whether it should console or disrupt.
Ambition. Subjugation. Immortality. Yellow Earth Theatre presents Christopher Marlowe's thrilling, controversial, and at times darkly comical story of Tamburlaine, the Scythian shepherd who rises to power through violence to conquer Central Asia, the Middle East, and half of Europe.
Friends Renton, Sick Boy, Spud and Begbie embark on a horrific journey to the heart of a hellhole world peopled by psychos, junkies, wide-boys and no-hopers. Hilarious but harrowing it charts the disintegration of their friendship as they hurtle towards self-destruction. This production contians nudity and scenes that may shock - not suitable for children.
Bella's life is messy and difficult but at least she has Sean Barnet: Sean Barnet, the fittest, cleverest boy in the whole school. The only problem is, she's never spoken a work to him. As Bella tries to become part of Sean's life, she discovers things she never expected and struggles to understand.
Commissioned by Oxfordshire County Council's Public Health Directorate, Under My Skin is a fast-paced, funny and hard-hitting play about self-harm, touring to schools across the county.
I want you to do yourself proud, Joey. You go and drive those Germans back where they've come from, and then come home to me. At the outbreak of World War one, Joey, young Albert's beloved horse, is sold to the cavalry and shipped to France. he's soon caught up in enemy fire, and fate takes him on an extraordinary odyssey, serving on both sides before finding himself alone in no man's land. but Albert cannot forget Joey and, still not old enough to enlist, he embarks on a treacherous mission to find him and bring him home. Do I look like I know the latest on every effing ?orse in the war? Do I look like an effing equine expert or even an effing equestrian enthusiast? Your squadron no longer exists. That's all I know, Private. Suitable for 12yrs+
18 OCTOBER - 11 NOVEMBER
15 SEPTEMBER - 14 OCTOBER
MARLOWE THEATRE, CANTERBURY
15 NOVEMBER - 2 DECEMBER
LIVERPOOL EMPIRE THEATRE, LIVERPOOL
14 FEBRUARY - 10 MARCH
ALHAMBRA THEATRE, BRADFORD
14 MARCH - 7 APRIL
THEATRE ROYAL CONCERT HALL, NOTTINGHAM
25 JANUARY - 10 FEBRUARY
BRIGHTON CENTRE, BRIGHTON
13 DECEMBER - 6 JANUARY
NEW THEATRE, OXFORD
Eddie and Carol were lovers once, but their lives went in different directions. Now they meet again on a park bench in a town full of memories, and find something still burns between them. On the country's southern margin where the towns give way to the English Channel, both search for the centre of their lives. Will they find a way to let go of the past for the sake of their futures?
'Pray you, sit by us, and tell's a tale. Merry or sad shall't be? As merry as you will. A sad tale's best for winter.' A tale of passion, jealousy, fantasy and fairytale, the play charts the transition from winter to spring, tragedy to comedy, and revenge to romance. It is the story of high adventure where an angry King falsely accuses and discards his family to his later regret