Phizzical Productions present their brand new show Bring on the Bollywood, bursting in to Oxford Playhouse on Tuesday 15 to Saturday 19 August. With a dynamic cast of celebrated British Asian performers and young rising stars, the comedic musical of East meets West brings the explosive colour, vibrancy and beauty of classic Bollywood to the British stage. Bring on the Bollywood opens in Oxford on the 70th anniversary of Indian Independence.

New and old collide in this vivid comedy, full of intertwined love stories, dazzling dance and a sensational soundtrack. Bring on the Bollywood takes a love story inspired by real life, filters it through classical comedies from Goldsmith to Shakespeare and infuses it with all the energy of a great Bollywood musical. Come and join Katrina, our headstrong heroine, as she leaves London and returns to her ancestral home, the shabby and un-chic Lakshman Villa, for her brother’s wedding. Here she finds a meddling mother, a line of suitors and, just possibly, true love…

Created and directed by Samir Bhamra, Artistic Director of Phizzical Productions and Creative Director of the London Asian Film Festival, this dynamic nationwide touring production brings a kaleidoscope of colour and Bollywood magic for this delightfully romantic riot of Anglo-Indian exuberance.

Newcomer Nisha Aaliya plays the fiery heroine Dr. Katrina Pawar and is accompanied by a cast of 13 fellow Bollywood performers including Avita Jay (Spare, New Diorama Theatre) and Anthony Sahota a recent finalist on Gary Barlow’s Let It Shine (BBC One). Making his professional acting debut is Robby Khela, whose work in music has seen him support pop acts such as Craig David, Blue, Lemar, Girls Aloud and Misteeq on tour.

Bring on The Bollywood is a love letter to traditional Bollywood, innovated for musical theatre aficionados and contemporary Bollywood lovers alike.

Performances:  Tuesday 15 to Saturday 19 August

Times: Tues to Thurs & Sat eves: 7.30pm | Fri: 8pm | Thu & Sat mats: 2.30pm

Venue:  Oxford Playhouse, Beaumont Street, Oxford OX1 2LW

Tickets: £11.50 to £28 | Discounts available

Book online here, or call the Box Office on 01865 305305

Age guideline: 8+ 

Phizzical Productions specialises in producing and commissioning classical, contemporary and popular arts influenced by Asian, Arabic and African cultures. It develops new talent, produce and tour new work across all art forms. Recent successes include Ram Lila, an outdoor commission by Leicester City Council for the largest Diwali celebrations outside India, a national tour of Shakespeare’s Cymbeline, and singer Navin Kundra’s Tribute to Rajesh Khanna the first superstar of Bollywood.  Find out more about Phizzical Productions here

OffBeat is a hive of new performance in Oxford, a festival of brand-new theatre, comedy, dance, family shows, spoken word and music. It’s a place for you to see something which wouldn’t usually come here. It’s a blind date with a show you could fall in love with. And – lucky you – it’s right on your doorstep.  Take a chance on something exciting.

A collaboration between Oxford Playhouse and Arts at the Old Fire Station, with short performances across the Old Fire Station and BT Studio.  See below for a summary of shows for dance lovers: (more…)

Renowned innovator Mark Murphy’s action packed production, Out Of This World, explodes onto the Playhouse stage in this psychological thriller and heart-rending, medical drama. Within a world of projected film and animation, it combines stunning aerial choreography, impressive special effects and edge of the seat storytelling to create a show that propels its audience through one woman’s descent into the depths of a medically induced coma.

Set in the mind of Ellen following a car crash, the show pieces together the scattered remnants of Ellen’s memory creating a vivid inward cinema in which she reviews her life. After discovering a shocking truth, she begins a very real fight to survive. (more…)

Last week, Richard Alston Dance Company brought Oxford Playhouse a programme that was all about surprising encounters: tango and contemporary dance; Britten and Purcell; Scarlatti and Andalusia; Indian and Western classicism.

The evening opened with Martin Lawrance’s Tangent, a clever take on tango for four couples, set to Piazzolla’s Las Cuatro Estaciones Porteñas, which was played at the grand piano on stage by Jason Ridgway. Lawrance uses steps such as picked up foot-crossing walks, sharp changes of direction and occasional close holds to hint at tango, but this contemporary dance piece is not at all like ‘Strictly’, although there is plenty of spectacle. (more…)

World renowned Richard Alston Dance Company return to Oxford Playhouse with a brand new programme of critically acclaimed work. This triple bill features work inspired by some of the world’s greatest composers, as well as an appearance by BBC Young Dancer of the Year 2015 grand finalist Vidya Patel.

With nearly 50 years choreographing dance, Richard Alston is one of the most influential artists in modern dance. Known for his instinctive musicality, he is renowned for working closely with the music he uses, seeking to use it as both a partner to the dancers, as well as stimulus for the creation of the choreographic work. This triple bill is a thrilling example, with dances inspired by composers from Italy, Argentina and Britain.

In Tangent, Associate Choreographer Martin Lawrance explores the vivid accents and attack of tango. Four couples glide through the Four Seasons of Buenos Aires by tango master Piazzolla. Chacony, Alston’s newest dance, is inspired by Britten’s tribute to Purcell’s Chaconne. The dance celebrates the richness and nobility of Purcell, reaching into darker places before reaffirming hope for humanity. Alston’s An Italian in Madrid is influenced by the sonatas of Scarlatti, a baroque composer hugely influenced by Spanish guitar music.

Performances:  Friday 12th & Saturday 13th May, 7.30pm

Venue:  Oxford Playhouse, Beaumont Street, Oxford OX1 2LW

Tickets:  £11.50 – £22 (discounts available)

Call the Ticket Office on 01865 305305 or book online here

If his more recent works are Hollywood blockbusters, Matthew Bourne’s Early Adventures is more like quaint, arthouse cinema (a metaphor that seems very apt regarding Bourne’s filmic inspirations). The whole evening has a gentle feel, more subdued and less emotionally diverse than Bourne’s full length productions. This is presumably attributed to the fact that all three works deal more with concepts and ideas opposed to narrative storylines (which more naturally lend themselves to an emotional journey), however this style of choreography brings its own charm, creating a light-hearted and relaxed atmosphere. (more…)

Dancin’ Oxford’s annual Spring Festival offers something for everyone. From international choreographers, to free outdoor experiences, a Dance-A-Thon, professional and amateur companies, plus shows for children and workshops, Dancin’ Oxford 2017 has programmed a festival of treats.

Now in its 11th year and funded by Oxford City Council and Arts Council England, Dancin’ Oxford goes from strength to strength. Claire Thompson, Oxford City Council Dance Officer said “We find that each new festival is rewarding in so many ways. Oxford’s vibrant dance scene love it as do many people who have never experienced dance before. The free dance event in the city brings a variety of dance styles to the shoppers some of whom have been known to join in.’

Dancin’ Spaces (4 March), in and around the City Centre, is a variety of programmed dance performances and promenade pieces. Shoppers might find they are chosen to be ‘protected and defended’ by dancing Bodyguards, discover a dance about football fusing hip hop with contemporary dance, watch a performance for children in the Museum of History of Science or a duet in the Weston Library foyer. All this runs alongside a plethora of local dance companies which will entertain and delight shoppers. (more…)