The year began by marking the centenary celebrations of partial suffrage for women. We commissioned On The March, a new piece by Clare Bayley, a Playhouse Playmaker alumni, for our 17|25 Young Company. This promenade piece took place in partnership with Oxford Town Hall and followed the progress of the Women’s Rights movement over the past century.
Throughout the Spring and Summer, we revived the Playhouse Plays Out tent and One Small Step to tour to schools, attractions and parks across Oxfordshire. Over 4,500 people came to see this madcap run through the space race. The tent also provided oodles of space-themed crafts and activities to entertain the whole family.
We also continued with existing collaborations whilst building new ones. Offbeat, our festival collaboration with Arts at the Old Fire Station, entered its third year and for the first time we had acts on the Oxford Playhouse main stage, in Gloucester Green and in a circus tent. As part of our 80th Birthday celebrations, we were co-producing partners on Othello with English Touring Theatre and Shakespeare at the Tobacco Factory, Women in Power with Nuffield Southampton, and Wise Children with Emma Rice’s new company and The Old Vic. 2019 sees upcoming 80th Birthday co-productions – The Remains of the Day and Richard III.
Alby the Penguin Saves Christmas was our BT Christmas show, co-produced with Reading Rep. Last year’s Christmas production, A New Coat for Christmas, swapped homes with Alby and was performed at Reading Rep. Steve Marmion's Dick Whittington rounded off the year with an audience of over 35,000 people.