OXFORD STAGE COMPANY
Artistic Policy & Vision
Our aim is to expand the recognised canon of great plays - often rediscovering neglected plays or writers, sometimes breathing fresh life into established classics or occasionally presenting adventurous new work, but always ensuring accessible and entertaining theatre of merit.
Our choice of plays is eclectic but we have worked with both established and emerging directors such as Dominic Dromgoole, Sean Holmes, Kathy Burke, Thea Sharrock and Mark Rosenblatt, designers such as Jonathan Fensom and Anthony Lamble, developed relationships with some of the best modern writers such as David Storey, Caryl Churchill, Trevor Griffiths, John Arden, Peter Flannery and Billy Roche, forged links with the country's best regional theatres, premiered new plays by Eric Schlosser, Naomi Wallace and Murray Gold, and presented new adaptations of two great Chekhov classics - Three Sisters and The Cherry Orchard.
Our vision is to continue working tirelessly to produce excellent, inspiring and timeless theatre, to keep surprising and delighting audiences everywhere and to go on finding opportunities for new artistic talent.
'Under the daringly ambitious
stewardship of Dominic Dromgoole,
Oxford Stage Company has been one of the great success stories of recent years'
Charles Spencer, Daily Telegraph
Oxford Stage Company was established in 1974, when The Oxford Playhouse was closed for refurbishment and the old producing company needed a new home. The Playhouse re-opened as a presenting theatre and Oxford Stage Company then received funding from the Arts Council to tour, being one of the 'Matrix' companies including Shared Experience, English Touring Theatre and Cambridge Theatre Company, which became Method & Madness.
Oxford Stage Company used to be based in Oxford but relocated to London at the end of 2001 to our current premises in Covent Garden. The name has sometimes presented problems as there is an assumption that we are a theatre building in Oxford - of which we are neither - and when the company were in Oxford, there were often confusions with the two bus companies!
Dominic Dromgoole has been Artistic Director of Oxford Stage Company since 1999 and since then OSC has produced many highly acclaimed and well received shows, both on tour and in London. In 1999, OSC hosted a season of work at the Whitehall Theatre including Making Noise Quietly, Three Sisters, A Penny for a Song and 50 Revolutions and Troilus & Cressida had a run at The Old Vic Theatre.
'Oxford Stage Company has developed
an enviable reputation
for retrieving neglected plays'
Michael Billington, The Guardian
Since 2000, OSC has developed a distinct niche for rediscovering modern British
plays or writers that have been neglected such as The Wexford Trilogy by Billy
Roche, The Contractor by David Storey, Comedians by Trevor Griffiths, Serjeant
Musgrave's Dance by John Arden, Singer by Peter Flannery and The Quare Fellow
by Brendan Behan. We collaborated on a hugely successful revival of Caryl Churchill's
Top Girls which toured the UK and had a sell-out run at the Aldwych Theatre.
We have revived forgotten plays by well-known writers such as The Circle by Somerset Maugham, Hay Fever by Noel Coward, After The Dance by Terence Rattigan and Candida by Bernard Shaw, and we have brought a fresh lease of life to established classics by Shakespeare and Chekhov. We have presented world premieres of The Inland Sea by Naomi Wallace and Americans, the first play written by Eric Schlosser, best known for his best-selling book Fast Food Nation.
What They Say About Us
'I've nothing but praise for the company's initiative, under the inspiring leadership of Dominic Dromgoole, whose infusing enthusiasm spreads its influence to the unlikeliest and neediest places, broadening perception as well as appreciation.'
'Oxford Stage Company has a habit of diving down
after forgotten or buried treasure and to their credit, when they find it they
polish it and shine it and present it to the world renewed and reclaimed.'
'Oxford Stage Company looks set fair to become
our pre-eminent touring theatre company. I'd urge anyone with a bob or two to
spare and a care for the future of British theatre to give them their support.'
And our reviews speak for themselves:
“Grips and entertains throughout in this
richly enjoyable revival by Oxford Stage Company”
Daily Telegraph – The Circle
“What I felt in 1992, when they were first
presented in tandem, I now know for sure. Roche’s Wexford Trilogy is a
The Times – The Wexford Trilogy
“This is a beautiful, wise and fascinating
play, and Oxford Stage Company has given it the fine, long overdue revival it
so richly deserves”
Daily Telegraph – The Contractor
“A dizzily enjoyable evening”
The Times – Hay Fever
“One of the most enjoyable evenings in
the theatre for years”
The Independent on Sunday – Top Girls
“A magnificent production: funny, nasty
and intellectually provocative in all the right places…In a word: go”
Daily Telegraph – Comedians
“Theatre of scope, imagination and bloody-minded
ambition…we should cherish it”
The Guardian – The Inland Sea
“A well-nigh perfect production”
The Independent – After the Dance
“Finely acted drama”
The Times – The Cherry Orchard
“Sean Holmes’ excellent Oxford Stage
The Guardian - Serjeant Musgrave’s Dance
“One of the most reverberating evenings
of the year”
The Observer - Americans
“Cracking ensemble stuff…Terrific”
The Financial Times– The Quare Fellow
“Sean Holmes’s fine production”
The Guardian - Singer
Daily Telegraph – Candida
If you want to become a Friend of Oxford Stage Company, visit our website and receive benefits such as advanced information on new productions, 2 best seats for the price of 1 at opening nights of OSC productions, and an opportunity to meet the cast at opening nights. Or if you just want to join our free mailing list, please get in touch [email protected].