Playhouse Plays On

OP Recommends

Our buildings may be closed but there's plenty to enjoy as part of our Playhouse at Home creative programme.

OP Recommends is here to tell you about the brilliant productions that have played on the main stage at Oxford Playhouse or in our Burton Taylor studio over the years and are available to stream online.

See them for the first time or enjoy watching them all over again from the comfort of your own home.


#OFAvirtual: 18 June to 5 July 2020

Oxford Festival of the Arts have revealed their programme for an 18-day free digital festival, #OFAvirtual.

With theatre, dance, art, workshops, jazz, choral and classical music, opera, politics, history, calligraphy, activities for children and even cookery they have plenty to entertain you wherever you can get to a screen!

Highlights include:

• Celebrated tenor Joseph Calleja who will be recording himself singing an aria exclusively for the festival
• University of Oxford cultural historian, broadcaster and author Dr Janina Ramirez who will be talking about goddesses the subject of her soon-to-be-published book
• Award-winning vocal ensemble ORA Singers will perform works by English Renaissance composer Thomas Tallis paired with new reflections including Sir James MacMillan’s work for 40 voices, premiered exclusively for OFA
• Oxford East MP and Shadow Chancellor Anneliese Dodds in conversation with BBC Political Correspondent Rob Watson
• Professor Suzannah Lipscomb, historian, author, broadcaster, and award-winning professor of history at the University of Roehampton is presenting ‘Women, Sex and Power in the Sixteenth Century’
• There is a fantastic collaboration between OFA, TORCH, Brasenose and Creation Theatre for an hour-long version of Shakespeare’s rarely performed Henry VIII
• Acclaimed cellist Gabriella Swallow will play Bach Suite for unaccompanied violoncello No. 1 in G major and contemporary works for solo cello, including two premieres exclusively for the festival in a tribute to world-famous cellist Jacqueline du Pré, in the year when we mark the 75th anniversary of her birth.

All events are free but booking may be required for some events.

For full listings, please visit

The critically acclaimed Oxford Playhouse's co-production of Emma Rice's Wise Children, from the novel by Angela Carter, is available to watch on now on BBC iPlayer.

If you missed it back in 2018 or fancy seeing it again, check it out for free here:

BBC iPlayer



Looking for your fix of physical theatre? Check out our friends @GeckoTheatre's YouTube where can catch full versions of of shows including The Overcoat and Taylor's Dummies for free.

Oxford Playhouse recommends: We love bringing The Globe to Oxford during the summer. Why not check out their vast collection of shows available on their Globe Player?



The team behind OP-favourites Birdsong, Flare Path and Napoli, Brooklyn have started its own online theatre. Currently playing: The Croft, and Alan Bennett’s The Habit of Art, starring Matthew Kelly and David Yelland, which visited Oxford in 2018.



The Original Theatre Company and Birdsong Productions are releasing Sebastian Faulks’s masterpiece Birdsong as a specially made online production on Wed 1 July 2020 for just 3 days.

With a star cast including Max Bowden, Stephen Boxer, Tom Kay, Madeleine Knight and Tim Treloar and narration by Sebastian Faulks himself.

This uniquely created production will be released as special event to mark the 104th anniversary of The Battle of The Somme.

Told using video technology, live performance, sound design and music all woven together to create a unique portrayal of one of the greatest love stories in modern literature.

Birdsong Online will be raising money for The Royal British Legion.

 Tickets from £12.50 if purchased by Wed 1 July, viewing limited to UK only.


Burton Taylor Studio regular Daniel Bye has put lots of his shows up on YouTube for free, including Going Viral and The Price of Everything

Production photo

Check out our friends @cheekbyjowl YouTube channel where you can catch full versions of shows which have both previously visited OP,  including The Winter's Tale (2017) and Measure for Measure (2015).

Jamboree: The Sensory Sessions is an interactive, creative sessions are inspired by the sensory moments in Oily Cart's show Jamboree. There are 3 sessions - Making Shadows, Colours and Movement, and Making Noise! - which can be enjoyed individually or all together. Jamboree: The Sensory Sessions was made in collaboration with families during lockdown, and is designed to be explored from home and other settings.

Check out the video below.



How do we respond creatively to a global crisis? What will the enduring legacy of this historic pandemic be? 

Headlong and Century Films present a series of 12 digital plays, using digital conference technology, written by a diverse group of celebrated writers in response to the extraordinary circumstances imposed by the Coronavirus pandemic.

These intimate new plays will give an insight into this unprecedented communal experience, meditating on how community, education, work, relationships, family, culture, climate and capitalism are changing on an hourly basis. 

 View on iPlayer:

Further information can be found here:

The BBC have  brand new lockdown comedy, Staged, from Infinity Hill and GCB Films for BBC One.

Starring David Tennant and Michael Sheen, Staged (6x15) features the cast of a play - the cream of the crop of British acting talent - when their upcoming West End production is suddenly brought to a halt. The series follows the cast as they try their best to keep the rehearsals on track in lockdown.

Produced by Victor Glynn, director of the Oxford Playhouse Anniversary Gala.

Check out BBC iPlayer to watch online:


Alex Bloomer and Heidi Goldsmith, who performed in the touring production of David Walliams' 'The Slightly Annoying Elephant', retell the story.


July 2020
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