This show promised huge energy, masculine physicality and comedy, and it didn’t disappoint. Playing out the power shifts between an older and younger man, the piece cleverly portrayed an ever-changing relationship. At once reliant and rejecting, the pair circled each other endlessly (both literally and metaphorically), each trying to gain – or retain – dominance.

The opening sequence set a striking, almost macabre tone: a series of frozen tableaus depicting the power play between the two characters was set against a dramatic score and even more dramatic lighting.   From this intense beginning, a much lighter and more accessible office comedy then played out. A pared-down but very funny script was performed seamlessly by Joshua Thomson and Gavin Webber; there was such a sense of flow and ease that I wondered how much of this was improvised – clearly the two men were having a lot of fun, playing games and sparring with one another. (more…)

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A cross between The Office and a cage-fight, Australian style: straight from their critically acclaimed performances in Australia, The Farm presents the first UK tour of Cockfight, an exhilarating duet of extreme physical theatre that explores male behaviour and intergenerational conflicts. Coming to Pegasus Theatre on Friday 20 October as part of Oxford Playhouse’s Playhouse Plays Out scheme, it illustrates the interaction between two men from different generations, trapped in an all too familiar and universal environment – the office.

Born out of a very real relationship between performers Joshua (33 years old) and Gavin (50 years old), this is about two men who exist side by side, share space, resources, time and responsibility and justify their existence in relation to each other. Their physical action is underpinned by a fierce co-dependency in a duet of slow-motion fight sequences, interlocking rolls and tackles and Buster Keaton-esque battles of supremacy.

The Farm is an international network of highly respected artists, ranging from choreographers and independent dancers to musicians and designers. The artistic direction of the company is led by Gavin Webber and Grayson Millwood who have been making work together for the past fifteen years across four continents. Performed by Gavin Webber and Joshua Thomson, and developed by The Farm in partnership with guest artist Julian Louis, Cockfight is a powerful physical performance about male dominance and the exhibition of masculinity.

Performance:  Friday 20th October 7.30pm

Venue:  Pegasus Theatre, Magdalen Rd, Oxford OX4 1RE

Tickets:  £19 available from the Playhouse Ticket Office on 01865 305305 or book online at www.oxfordplayhouse.com

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…)

Oxford based company Justice in Motion is making waves with work which is a compelling and passionate mixture of dynamic physical theatre, dance, music, spoken word and film, creating entertaining and thought provoking experiences dealing with topical issues for today’s challenging audiences.  The company returns to the Old Fire Station for three performances at the beginning of June.  Inspired by true accounts of human trafficking, of dreams, broken promises, resilience and above all hope, BOUND tells of three people’s journeys into the unknown.

The show, suitable for 14 years and over, is followed by a post show discussion with the performers and human trafficking experts.

How far would you go for a better life?

★★★★ ‘Despair and compassion with moving brilliance’   Oxford Times

‘It was fantastic seeing and hearing how visibly moved the large audiences of visitors were by your performances’ Ashmolean Museum LiveFriday Curator

Performances:  Friday 2nd June 7.30pm, Saturday 3rd June 2.30pm and 7.30pm

Venue:  Arts at The Old Fire Station, 40 George Street, Oxford OX1 2AQ

Tickets:  Full price £12, concessions £10

Book online here or call the Box Office on 01865 263990

Bound trailer – Justice in Motion from Justice In Motion on Vimeo.

 We offer a free companion ticket to disabled patrons. Please book via phone (01865 263990) or e-mail (tickets@oldfirestation.org.uk) to claim this.
Are you a member of Crisis Skylight Oxford? We share the building with Crisis and offer 4 free tickets per show to homeless clients. Sign up in advance at Reception.

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…)

If you go down to the woods today, you’re sure of a big surprise…

Let’s All Dance returns to the Old Fire Station with  Teddy Bear’s Picnic, a delightful treat for very young audiences. Combining classical ballet, physical theatre, gorgeous visuals and crystal-clear story telling, this fresh, innovative dance company pitches another production perfectly to engage and enthrall all children, including those with special needs.

Our teddies would love you to join them as they eat, dance, play and have fun! Little ones can bring their own teddy, clap along and have their photo taken with the dancers!

Running time: 30 mins + photo opportunity.

Suitable for all, especially 0 – 5 years, children with special needs, families and nurseries.

Performances:  Saturday 13th May 1.00pm & 3.00pm

Venue:  Arts at the Old Fire Station, 40 George Street, Oxford OX1 2AQ

Tickets:  Full Price £8.50, concessions £7.00, babies £2, Family ticket £28

Book online here, or call 01865 263990

We offer a free companion ticket to disabled patrons. Please book via phone (01865 263990) or e-mail (tickets@oldfirestation.org.uk) to claim this.

Lost Dog was originally formed to create work that crosses the borderline between theatre and dance, and Ben Duke’s one man response to Milton’s epic poem Paradise Lost is a fascinating multimedia hybrid that fuses genres, morphing between verbal story telling and physical theatre, stand-up comedy and dance.

The space is defined by a circular white tarpaulin floor with a single wooden chair. In a nondescript grey work suit Duke shambles in with a well thumbed paperback of Milton. His self-deprecating gently shambolic opening apologia addressing the audience is comically at odds with the apparent grandiosity of his ambition, and sets up a portrayal of God refreshingly and provocatively different from the notion of all powerful deity; initially diffident, uncertain, fumbling and having second thoughts. (more…)