News Story

The performer Jenni Jackson running down small alley way, in between two brick walls. Jenni is wearing a running vest and shorts.
Credit: Photo from As We Run We Become by Jenni Jackson

Offbeat returns with a bumper programme of exciting shows and events for 2022

Offbeat, the annual theatre festival hosted by Oxford Playhouse and Old Fire Station is back! The full programme of events is now onsale, including those taking place at new partner venue New Theatre Oxford, from Monday 11 to Sunday 17 July 2022.

Over 6 days the jam-packed programme of shows, stories, games, art and pop-up performance will take place mostly in-person this year, with events taking place in the theatres and at various locations around the city. A select few offerings will be available online.

With a choice of live theatre, dance, comedy, new writing, spoken word, and outdoor experiences, as well as many events being free, there’s something to tempt everyone to make an Offbeat visit.

Across the three theatre venues, Oxford Playhouse, Old Fire Station and New Theatre Oxford, audiences can enjoy everything from award-winning comedy and fun, interactive family theatre, to a funny and confronting play about the climate emergency.

Moving outdoors, Offbeat makes use of Oxford’s open spaces. Gloucester Green, Wellington Square Gardens, and Cornmarket Street will be transformed into spaces where the magic of creativity will flourish. Notably, from Fri 15 to Sun 17 July, Gloucester Green will become a hub for drop in, interactive performances and activities that are all completely free!

Digital offerings come in the form of Interdimensional Phishing Scam, a surreal comedy audio experience and Pop Art, a brand-new digital musical featuring characters from art history.

Sarah Weatherall, New Work Producer at Oxford Playhouse commented:

“Our very own fringe festival full of exciting new shows and emerging talent is always a special week in the Oxford arts calendar! It’s a joy to work with the Old Fire Station, and this year we’ve added the New Theatre too. Following the success of last year’s socially-distanced and virtual festival, we’re delighted to be back with a whole host of live shows for families and grown-ups, and plenty of opportunities to get hands-on and creative too.”

Jeremy Spafford, Director of Old Fire Station, Oxford added:

"We're so proud of Offbeat's place in the city. Since 2016 we've been working with our friends at the Oxford Playhouse to make a festival we love - and we hope you'll love it too. This year you can get creative with interactive stalls on Gloucester Green, and see a brilliant line-up of shows - some in-person, some online. We've given seed funding grants to five Oxford-based artists, to support current and future projects. We're thrilled to bring Oxford something new, exciting and different to take a chance on."

Tickets for Oxford Playhouse, Burton Taylor Studio and Digital shows are available from the Oxford Playhouse Box Office on 01865 305305 or online at

Tickets for all Old Fire Station and New Theatre Oxford shows are available from the Old Fire Station Box Office on 01865 263990 or online at

Offbeat 2022 is made possible with support from Arts Council England and Oxford City Council.