Was a very busy year for Oxford Playhouse, with our productions appearing all over the county, country and even in America!
The first half of 2019 saw the continuation of our 80th Anniversary programme, with two more OP80 co-productions: OP Associate Artist Barney Norris’s world premiere adaptation of The Remains of the Day, co-produced with Royal and Derngate and Out of Joint; and an electrifying co-production of Richard III, with Tom Mothersdale as Shakespeare’s iconic villain, presented in partnership with Headlong, Alexandra Palace, Bristol Old Vic and Royal and Derngate. These two shows toured extensively over the UK, garlanded with great reviews – regional theatre at its very best.
Meanwhile, it was a delight to welcome our brilliant 17|25 Young Company back to the main stage in the Spring with their vibrant ensemble production of Jessica Swale’s Nell Gwynn, the flagship production in our annual Young Players Festival.
Over the summer the Playhouse Plays Out tent toured once again, taking The History of Everything to every corner of Oxfordshire. Over 6,000 came to see this sixty-minute hurtle through history, and enjoy the crafts and activities on offer. Last year’s tent show One Small Step (about the space race) embarked on a further tour of the UK before a whistle-stop visit to the US, playing in venues including Purdue University, where NASA’s Kennedy Centre astronauts are trained.
2019 saw the 4th year of Offbeat, our festival of new work presented in partnership with Arts at the Old Fire Station, which for the first time offered a programme of support for six artists all at early stages of their careers.
In August, we headed up to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, to present our inaugural Fringe season with three pieces of new writing from artists nurtured through our Artist Development programmes – Doug Crossley, Hidden Track and Kuumba Nia Arts.
To complete the year, we have another wonderful Christmas show coming to the Burton Taylor Studio - The Jolly Christmas Postman, which we have co-produced with Story Pocket Theatre. We’re excited to bring this timeless Christmas tale to life in a brand new show full of puppetry, music and magical storytelling.
And of course, the pantomime you’re about to see is always homegrown, produced by Oxford Playhouse and very much Made for Oxford. Nearly 40,000 see it every year and we love sharing this festive production with so many people.