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Offbeat Festival 2022

11 July to 17 July

Offbeat Festival

About Offbeat Festival 2022

Offbeat Festival is a hive of new performances in Oxford.

It’s 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.

Offbeat Festival is a collaboration between Oxford Playhouse and Arts at the Old Fire Station, with live and prerecorded performances, streamed from the Old Fire Station and BT Studio.

What’s on at Offbeat Festival 2022

Mon
11

7.00pm to 8.00pm

Pop Art

Meet Lisa (of Mona Lisa fame). She’s been stuck in a frame for 500 years, but now she’s itching to see the wider world.

Join musical theatre company leo&hyde on a digital adventure on the platform gather.town. You’ll follow Lisa through a digital art gallery, as she meets iconic artists from art history, from Michelangelo and Da Vinci to Van Frida Kahlo and Van Gogh. Each one of them - with their own pop banger - has an important story to share on Lisa’s journey of self-discovery.

Pop Art is art as you’ve never seen - or heard - it before.

This show takes place online, using the platform gather.town

Age guidance: Ages 7+

Book tickets

Pop Art

Mon
11

7.30pm to 8.30pm

Interdimensional Phishing Scam

An interactive audio experience where you, the audience, receive a phone call by mistake about some compensation that a version of you from an alternate dimension is owed.

As you try and claim the compensation, you are pulled through a series of different call centres from parallel universes in a randomly generated audio experience full of surreal comedy and unforeseen consequences of the breaching of the laws of the universe that your quest for compensation has created.

You’ll need a Smartphone or tablet with latest version of Android or iOS and enough storage space for downloading an app. Your performance link will be included on your e-ticket.

Book tickets

Interdimensional Phishing Scam

Tue
12

7.00pm to 8.00pm

Pop Art

Meet Lisa (of Mona Lisa fame). She’s been stuck in a frame for 500 years, but now she’s itching to see the wider world.

Join musical theatre company leo&hyde on a digital adventure on the platform gather.town. You’ll follow Lisa through a digital art gallery, as she meets iconic artists from art history, from Michelangelo and Da Vinci to Van Frida Kahlo and Van Gogh. Each one of them - with their own pop banger - has an important story to share on Lisa’s journey of self-discovery.

Pop Art is art as you’ve never seen - or heard - it before.

This show takes place online, using the platform gather.town

Age guidance: Ages 7+

Book tickets

Pop Art

Tue
12

7.30pm to 8.30pm

Interdimensional Phishing Scam

An interactive audio experience where you, the audience, receive a phone call by mistake about some compensation that a version of you from an alternate dimension is owed.

As you try and claim the compensation, you are pulled through a series of different call centres from parallel universes in a randomly generated audio experience full of surreal comedy and unforeseen consequences of the breaching of the laws of the universe that your quest for compensation has created.

You’ll need a Smartphone or tablet with latest version of Android or iOS and enough storage space for downloading an app. Your performance link will be included on your e-ticket.

Book tickets

Interdimensional Phishing Scam

Tue
12

1.00pm to 2.00pm

Old Fire Station

True Birth: A Ritual

How Many Towels Do You Need for a Home Birth? Who Should Pop the Gender Reveal Balloon? Got Baby Home, Now What?

These and other important questions are explored through a unique one-off ritual performance starring real mothers and babies. A ritual is a live creative process and a way of marking what has been and transforming it into something new. We share our truth through stories. Come along and be a witness. Led by Dramatherapist, Director and Mum Harriet Garbas.

A Must See for Anyone Who Has Had or is Thinking of Having a Baby!

Book tickets

True Birth: A Ritual

Tue
12

8.00pm to 9.00pm

Old Fire Station & Livestream

And I’ll Blow Your House Down

The Big Bad Wolf’s blown your house down.

Now how’s a pig like you going to start again?

Lived experience meets folklore in this funny and furious performance about dealing with a terrible diagnosis.

What if everything you expected from life, for yourself and for the people you love, had to change? Could you rise to the challenge, or would you be the pig whose house fell down at the first puff? A heartfelt and ridiculous tale, brought to you from the frontline of family disability.

Book tickets Book livestream tickets

And I'll Blow Your House Down

Wed
13

7.30pm to 8.30pm

Interdimensional Phishing Scam

An interactive audio experience where you, the audience, receive a phone call by mistake about some compensation that a version of you from an alternate dimension is owed.

As you try and claim the compensation, you are pulled through a series of different call centres from parallel universes in a randomly generated audio experience full of surreal comedy and unforeseen consequences of the breaching of the laws of the universe that your quest for compensation has created.

You’ll need a Smartphone or tablet with latest version of Android or iOS and enough storage space for downloading an app. Your performance link will be included on your e-ticket.

Book tickets

Interdimensional Phishing Scam

Wed
13

6.30pm to 7.30pm

Old Fire Station

Decommissioned

A “clever, witty and intense” play about living and loving in the climate crisis.

Two young adults are reunited in the Welsh village where they grew up together. Gwen is a researcher in climate policy. Elis is a teacher and youth worker. Elis’s job is to look after children, and comfort them in a world that is beginning to change. Gwen’s job is to tell the truth about how that change will impact everything they know and love.

As secrets pour out and the weather gets weirder, Gwen and Elis’s commitment to each other and the future is tested.

This performance is a work in progress.

Age guidance: 15+

Book tickets

Decommissioned

Wed
13

6.30pm to 7.40pm

Oxford Playhouse

The Land’s Heart is Greater Than Its Map

Join a guided tour of a distant city where nothing seems to make sense. Its people are silenced and its landscape is disappearing.

There is a far away city which cannot be named. Its people are silenced and its landscape is disappearing.

In this distant city, daily life is stranger than fiction: you can see the sea but are forbidden to touch it, being honest is illegal and those with ancestral connections to the city are forbidden to enter it.

Propelled by a need to tell the city’s story before it is forever forgotten, a resident records the stories behind his favourite places.

This alternative guided tour allows you to wander through the streets of his hometown. Your journey to this distant city will take place within the streets of Oxford and requires only comfortable shoes and an open imagination.

The content of the stories that our resident tour guide will tell you are not what you might expect; they do not focus on historic landmarks and holy sites. Instead his chosen ‘stops’ on the tour are at the hidden and seemingly insignificant areas and sites of memory that one holds dearly when the threat of exile and erasure hangs over your head.

An emotional, cartographic resistance piece which actively questions who has the right to claim the history of places and objects and how we can imaginatively salvage shrinking landscapes.

“An invitation to share experience and a provocation to look beyond surfaces.” —The Observer

The entire experience will be outdoor and consist of a guided tour through Oxford – the start point will be Oxford Playhouse.

Age guidance: 12+

Book tickets

The Land’s Heart is Greater Than Its Map

Wed
13

6.45pm to 7.45pm

New Theatre Oxford

Larkhall: Say You’re With Me

Algorithms are art. Coding is creative. Not convinced? Let Larkhall persuade you.

After his first album The Sea Was Never Blue hit #2 on the iTunes Classical chart, Larkhall returns with a stunning new show combining heart-breaking piano compositions with mind-blowing live-reactive visual interpretations. Centred around his experience overcoming depression after the birth of his second son, Say You’re With Me is Larkhall’s newest album— treat yourself to a sumptuous hour in his smart and honest company. The Chicago Sun-Times called his work ‘vividly beautiful’ – and so will you.

“An new exciting voice on the contemporary scene” —Hannah MacInnes, Times Radio

Please note: This venue is not accessible to wheelchair users, as it is at basement level and can only be accessed via a staircase.

Book tickets

Larkhall: Say You’re With Me

Wed
13

7.45pm to 9.00pm

BT Studio

Bad Boy Disco

What do we do when someone we’ve admired turns out to be a Bad Boy? Can we still enjoy their art? Isn’t it a shame we’ll never know who wrote Father Ted? These are just some of the questions CB4 Theatre are out to answer.

Armed with verbatim interviews, digital interaction, and a wheelbarrow full of beer, BadBoy Disco takes a deep dive into social media, celebrity and fandom. Join two friends who hope to discover how to navigate a world where your heroes aren’t who youthought they were.

CB4’s DIY approach to theatre making sees them sing, quote, and dance their waythrough awkward conversations and hastily deleted tweets. This timely productiontakes the conversation around cancel culture and turns it on its head, centering theexperiences of the victims of problematic artists and challenging the opinions of staleold white men.

Age guidance: 14+

Book tickets

Bad Boy Disco

Wed
13

8.00pm to 9.00pm

Old Fire Station

Commonality

Shared experiences in a world of division, with Thomas Page Dances.

Featuring contemporary dance, a unique score, live photography and an interactive set, ‘Commonality’ looks at the parts of life that everyone has in common. Through the exploration of shared experiences and feelings, this performance paints the possibilities of coming together as one community.

Duration: 60 minutes

Book tickets

Commonality

Thu
14

7.30pm to 8.30pm

Interdimensional Phishing Scam

An interactive audio experience where you, the audience, receive a phone call by mistake about some compensation that a version of you from an alternate dimension is owed.

As you try and claim the compensation, you are pulled through a series of different call centres from parallel universes in a randomly generated audio experience full of surreal comedy and unforeseen consequences of the breaching of the laws of the universe that your quest for compensation has created.

You’ll need a Smartphone or tablet with latest version of Android or iOS and enough storage space for downloading an app. Your performance link will be included on your e-ticket.

Book tickets

Interdimensional Phishing Scam

Thu
14

6.30pm to 7.40pm

Oxford Playhouse

The Land’s Heart is Greater Than Its Map

Join a guided tour of a distant city where nothing seems to make sense. Its people are silenced and its landscape is disappearing.

There is a far away city which cannot be named. Its people are silenced and its landscape is disappearing.

In this distant city, daily life is stranger than fiction: you can see the sea but are forbidden to touch it, being honest is illegal and those with ancestral connections to the city are forbidden to enter it.

Propelled by a need to tell the city’s story before it is forever forgotten, a resident records the stories behind his favourite places.

This alternative guided tour allows you to wander through the streets of his hometown. Your journey to this distant city will take place within the streets of Oxford and requires only comfortable shoes and an open imagination.

The content of the stories that our resident tour guide will tell you are not what you might expect; they do not focus on historic landmarks and holy sites. Instead his chosen ‘stops’ on the tour are at the hidden and seemingly insignificant areas and sites of memory that one holds dearly when the threat of exile and erasure hangs over your head.

An emotional, cartographic resistance piece which actively questions who has the right to claim the history of places and objects and how we can imaginatively salvage shrinking landscapes.

“An invitation to share experience and a provocation to look beyond surfaces.” —The Observer

The entire experience will be outdoor and consist of a guided tour through Oxford – the start point will be Oxford Playhouse.

Age guidance: 12+

Book tickets

The Land’s Heart is Greater Than Its Map

Thu
14

10.30am, noon, 2.00pm & 3.30pm

As We Run We Become

Get your running shoes on…

…join Jennifer Jackson’s running encounter as she invites women to run with her on a one-to-one basis for ‘up to’ 40 minutes.

Whilst you travel, she will chat about your experiences of exercising and moving through public spaces. Jenni may record your experiences of running, but this isn’t a pre-requisite for signing up. Post run/show you will cool down over a civilised cup of tea at the Old Fire Station.

Please come dressed to run. Participants will meet Jenni in the foyer at Oxford Playhouse, then walk with her to the Oxford Canal Tow Path on Hythe Bridge (about a 5-minute walk from Oxford Playhouse).

The run will take place along the canal path, for up to 40 minutes, ending at the Old Fire Station Cafe, where Jenni will share a tea/coffee with them. Book your time slot now.

Age guidance: 16+

Book tickets

As We Run We Become

Thu
14

11.30am to 5.30pm

New Theatre Oxford

Producer Gathering

Producer Gathering will be heading to Oxford this year as part of Offbeat Festival in partnership with Marlborough Productions and the Old Fire Station, Oxford.

Join the Producer Gathering, Marlborough Productions and Offbeat teams for a day of knowledge sharing, mutual support and provocation as we explore the role of the independent producer in the cultural sector in 2022.

Producer Gatherings are a space to exchange information, experiences, and models of working, whilst meeting others to strengthen your networks.

You can expect free training sessions led by a range of inspirational producers, and a chance to gather and offer insights into independent producing practices happening across the arts sector right now.

Visit the website to find out more about Producer Gathering.

This event is suitable for all levels of experience and all career stages - everyone is welcome.

Please note: This venue is not accessible to wheelchair users, as it is at basement level and can only be accessed via a staircase.

Duration: 60 minutes

Book tickets

Producer Gathering

Thu
14

9.00pm to 10.00pm

Old Fire Station

Naughty

“You look 15, but I like that. I like women that look young.” 

NAUGHTY is an electric, one-woman comedy exploring sexualisation of young girls and infantilisation of women. A power game between the patriarchy and a 6 year old girl in pink crocs.

Pushing the boundaries of the male gaze, NAUGHTY confronts the disturbing image of innocence and youth as sexy. Naughty is powered by The Pleasance Fringe Futures, won the funniest moment award at Oslo Fringe in 2021 ★★★★★ (Vilde Bodsberg, Journalist) and was listed as ‘unmissable’ by ToDoList.

From the director of the “innovative and heartfelt” (★★★★ The Scotsman) and “divinely silly” (★★★★ ToDoList) London hit ‘Forbruker’.

Age guidance: 14+

Book tickets

Naughty

Thu
14

7.45pm to 8.45pm

New Theatre Oxford (Ambassador Lounge)

I Heart Michael Ball

It’s the 10th bi-annual meeting of the Michael Ball Appreciation Society and Alex, their founder, has a special surprise to mark the occasion.

Alex has been obsessed with Michael Ball since he was a young boy, when he first heard The Very Best of Michael Ball in his brother’s car. Just as the conductor directs his musicians, Alex orchestrates a fiendish plan to finally meet the blue-eyed boy from Bromsgrove.

I Heart Michael Ball is a one-hour one-man show exploring themes of grief and obsession through audience interaction.

“Everyone needs to see Alex Millington in I Heart Michael Ball!” —Michael Ball

Please note: This venue is not accessible to wheelchair users, as it is at basement level and can only be accessed via a staircase.

Age guidance: 14+

Book tickets

I Heart Michael Ball

Thu
14

8.00pm to 9.00pm

Old Fire Station

Cell Outs

“Don’t you think it’s pretty f*cked that a lot of stuff we do in the prison, like if we were to do that in the street we’d get arrested straight off.”

A dark comedy written and performed by two ex-prison officers, Cell Outs follows the true experiences of two young women, as they stare down the injustices of the UK prison system, and attempt to unpick the dangerous effects of power and privilege. Cell Outs is ‘an unflinching look into the pair’s anger and trauma’ (Medium, 5 stars), it uses song, silliness and ‘hilariously biting criticisms’ to explore the brutality of what prison officers face, prisoners endure, and the sacrifices we make to survive.

★★★★ ‘A moving and insightful story’ —London Theatre

★★★★ ‘Church and Troup are chameleonic in their ability to rapidly shift between characters’ —The Reviews Hub

‘It was like watching my life on stage, I want all my family and friends to go see it’ —ex-Prison Officer

Age guidance: 14+

Book tickets

Cell Outs

Fri
15

7.30pm to 8.30pm

Interdimensional Phishing Scam

An interactive audio experience where you, the audience, receive a phone call by mistake about some compensation that a version of you from an alternate dimension is owed.

As you try and claim the compensation, you are pulled through a series of different call centres from parallel universes in a randomly generated audio experience full of surreal comedy and unforeseen consequences of the breaching of the laws of the universe that your quest for compensation has created.

You’ll need a Smartphone or tablet with latest version of Android or iOS and enough storage space for downloading an app. Your performance link will be included on your e-ticket.

Book tickets

Interdimensional Phishing Scam

Fri
15

6.30pm to 7.40pm

Oxford Playhouse

The Land’s Heart is Greater Than Its Map

Join a guided tour of a distant city where nothing seems to make sense. Its people are silenced and its landscape is disappearing.

There is a far away city which cannot be named. Its people are silenced and its landscape is disappearing.

In this distant city, daily life is stranger than fiction: you can see the sea but are forbidden to touch it, being honest is illegal and those with ancestral connections to the city are forbidden to enter it.

Propelled by a need to tell the city’s story before it is forever forgotten, a resident records the stories behind his favourite places.

This alternative guided tour allows you to wander through the streets of his hometown. Your journey to this distant city will take place within the streets of Oxford and requires only comfortable shoes and an open imagination.

The content of the stories that our resident tour guide will tell you are not what you might expect; they do not focus on historic landmarks and holy sites. Instead his chosen ‘stops’ on the tour are at the hidden and seemingly insignificant areas and sites of memory that one holds dearly when the threat of exile and erasure hangs over your head.

An emotional, cartographic resistance piece which actively questions who has the right to claim the history of places and objects and how we can imaginatively salvage shrinking landscapes.

“An invitation to share experience and a provocation to look beyond surfaces.” —The Observer

The entire experience will be outdoor and consist of a guided tour through Oxford – the start point will be Oxford Playhouse.

Age guidance: 12+

Book tickets

The Land’s Heart is Greater Than Its Map

Fri
15

10.30am, noon, 2.00pm & 3.30pm

As We Run We Become

Get your running shoes on…

…join Jennifer Jackson’s running encounter as she invites women to run with her on a one-to-one basis for ‘up to’ 40 minutes.

Whilst you travel, she will chat about your experiences of exercising and moving through public spaces. Jenni may record your experiences of running, but this isn’t a pre-requisite for signing up. Post run/show you will cool down over a civilised cup of tea at the Old Fire Station.

Please come dressed to run. Participants will meet Jenni in the foyer at Oxford Playhouse, then walk with her to the Oxford Canal Tow Path on Hythe Bridge (about a 5-minute walk from Oxford Playhouse).

The run will take place along the canal path, for up to 40 minutes, ending at the Old Fire Station Cafe, where Jenni will share a tea/coffee with them. Book your time slot now.

Age guidance: 16+

Book tickets

As We Run We Become

Fri
15

10.00am to 3.00pm

Gloucester Green Market

Interactive market stalls

A feast of stories, arts, games and pop-up performances designed to make you see your favourite local market in a whole new way.

ImagiNATION Factory

Play games, draw pictures and have a go at screen-printing with theatre-maker and artist Flavia Bertram. Dream up new ways of being and explore playful possibilities to help build the ImagiNATION!

Museum of Maths: Th3 Fr34k 5h0w!

Jump headfirst into the weird and wonderful side of maths. Make hexaflexaflexagons, discover more about mobius, and learn how to mind-read. Solve puzzles, and make your own shapes to take away. Fed up with school maths? This is the stall for you!

Town Time

Did you know that until 1840, each town in the UK had its own different timezone? When the whole country changed its clocks so that everyone used the same time, we all lost – or gained – a few minutes.

Join artists Bennett & McDermott for a fun activity lasting exactly five minutes and two seconds – the amount of time that Oxford ‘lost’ in the switch.

Take off your watch for a bit, and discover what you could do with a little bit of extra time.

Take A Chance

Join the artists of MF Collective for an interactive art installation on the theme of ‘chance’. Roll a dice to see if you are selecting an artwork from the collection, or creating a brand new one! Join in with an exchange of art and ideas.

Interactive Pavement Chalking

Join Jane Gallagher from Florence Park Chalking on her colourful, playful chalking journey around the festival site on Friday and Saturday - find the chalked words, pictures, puzzles, games, interactive chalkings and messages that are for YOU.

If you have an idea for something to be chalked, ask Jane and she will try to bring your ideas to life! Expect some chalktastic fun that makes you think, smile, ponder, chat and wonder.

Interactive market stalls

Fri
15

6.30pm to 7.30pm

New Theatre Oxford (Piano Bar)

Késia Decoté: Recollection - piano, toy piano & stories

Immerse yourself in a concert of piano and toy piano music which tell stories - real and imaginary ones - from the UK, Brazil, Japan, and more.

Késia Decoté will play piano and toy piano pieces by R. Schumann, Heitor Villa-Lobos, Dai Fujikura, Yfat Soul Zisso, Toru Takemitsu, Silvia Berg and Stephen Montague. The music will be interwoven with stories and scenes about childhood memories, Brazilian legends and landscapes, Japanese literature, and the fascinating story of a piano that survived the atomic bomb, bringing nowadays a message of peace.

Please note: This venue is not accessible to wheelchair users, as it is at basement level and can only be accessed via a staircase.

Duration: 60 minutes

Book tickets

Késia Decoté: Recollection - piano, toy piano & stories

Fri
15

7.45pm to 8.45pm

New Theatre Oxford

Unmade

This is a love story you can find yourself in. There’s this bedroom. The Bedroom. Unmade.

Charting a love story across the years, this unmade bedroom is home to immaterial hauntings through time. Capturing a mother and her daughter, their love stories, their goodbyes, and their tender quiet moments emanate from this immersive set which you will find yourself in. Move inside the bedroom, unmade.

Ask these questions with us:

Does love look different at different moments in time?
How do our objects make us?
How does a space change and do we change with it?

This is a work in progress from Paper Moon Theatre.

Please note: This venue is not accessible to all wheelchair users, due to the width of the door. Please contact the New Theatre to find out more.

Duration: 60 minutes

Book tickets

Unmade

Fri
15

8.00pm to 9.00pm

Old Fire Station

Going Global

Aradhana Arts are excited to bring Going Global to the Old Fire Station as part of Offbeat Festival! Going Global brings together an ensemble of talented musicians presenting a rich mix of music from around the globe.

The ensemble is led by the critically acclaimed Tabla Master Sanju Sahai and features versatile violinist Alice Barron, talented Sitarist and Vocalist Debipriya Sircar and North Indian classical Kathak dance by Jaymini Sahai.

Please join us for an exciting evening of dance and music!

Age guidance: All ages

Book tickets

Going Global

Sat
16

7.30pm to 8.30pm

Interdimensional Phishing Scam

An interactive audio experience where you, the audience, receive a phone call by mistake about some compensation that a version of you from an alternate dimension is owed.

As you try and claim the compensation, you are pulled through a series of different call centres from parallel universes in a randomly generated audio experience full of surreal comedy and unforeseen consequences of the breaching of the laws of the universe that your quest for compensation has created.

You’ll need a Smartphone or tablet with latest version of Android or iOS and enough storage space for downloading an app. Your performance link will be included on your e-ticket.

Book tickets

Interdimensional Phishing Scam

Sat
16

3.00pm & 6.30pm

Oxford Playhouse

The Land’s Heart is Greater Than Its Map

Join a guided tour of a distant city where nothing seems to make sense. Its people are silenced and its landscape is disappearing.

There is a far away city which cannot be named. Its people are silenced and its landscape is disappearing.

In this distant city, daily life is stranger than fiction: you can see the sea but are forbidden to touch it, being honest is illegal and those with ancestral connections to the city are forbidden to enter it.

Propelled by a need to tell the city’s story before it is forever forgotten, a resident records the stories behind his favourite places.

This alternative guided tour allows you to wander through the streets of his hometown. Your journey to this distant city will take place within the streets of Oxford and requires only comfortable shoes and an open imagination.

The content of the stories that our resident tour guide will tell you are not what you might expect; they do not focus on historic landmarks and holy sites. Instead his chosen ‘stops’ on the tour are at the hidden and seemingly insignificant areas and sites of memory that one holds dearly when the threat of exile and erasure hangs over your head.

An emotional, cartographic resistance piece which actively questions who has the right to claim the history of places and objects and how we can imaginatively salvage shrinking landscapes.

“An invitation to share experience and a provocation to look beyond surfaces.” —The Observer

The entire experience will be outdoor and consist of a guided tour through Oxford – the start point will be Oxford Playhouse.

Age guidance: 12+

Book tickets

The Land’s Heart is Greater Than Its Map

Sat
16

10.30am, noon, 2.00pm & 3.30pm

As We Run We Become

Get your running shoes on…

…join Jennifer Jackson’s running encounter as she invites women to run with her on a one-to-one basis for ‘up to’ 40 minutes.

Whilst you travel, she will chat about your experiences of exercising and moving through public spaces. Jenni may record your experiences of running, but this isn’t a pre-requisite for signing up. Post run/show you will cool down over a civilised cup of tea at the Old Fire Station.

Please come dressed to run. Participants will meet Jenni in the foyer at Oxford Playhouse, then walk with her to the Oxford Canal Tow Path on Hythe Bridge (about a 5-minute walk from Oxford Playhouse).

The run will take place along the canal path, for up to 40 minutes, ending at the Old Fire Station Cafe, where Jenni will share a tea/coffee with them. Book your time slot now.

Age guidance: 16+

Book tickets

As We Run We Become

Sat
16

10.00am to 3.00pm

Gloucester Green Market

Interactive market stalls

A feast of stories, arts, games and pop-up performances designed to make you see your favourite local market in a whole new way.

ImagiNATION Factory

Play games, draw pictures and have a go at screen-printing with theatre-maker and artist Flavia Bertram. Dream up new ways of being and explore playful possibilities to help build the ImagiNATION!

Museum of Maths: Th3 Fr34k 5h0w!

Jump headfirst into the weird and wonderful side of maths. Make hexaflexaflexagons, discover more about mobius, and learn how to mind-read. Solve puzzles, and make your own shapes to take away. Fed up with school maths? This is the stall for you!

Town Time

Did you know that until 1840, each town in the UK had its own different timezone? When the whole country changed its clocks so that everyone used the same time, we all lost – or gained – a few minutes.

Join artists Bennett & McDermott for a fun activity lasting exactly five minutes and two seconds – the amount of time that Oxford ‘lost’ in the switch.

Take off your watch for a bit, and discover what you could do with a little bit of extra time.

Take A Chance

Join the artists of MF Collective for an interactive art installation on the theme of ‘chance’. Roll a dice to see if you are selecting an artwork from the collection, or creating a brand new one! Join in with an exchange of art and ideas.

Interactive Pavement Chalking

Join Jane Gallagher from Florence Park Chalking on her colourful, playful chalking journey around the festival site on Friday and Saturday - find the chalked words, pictures, puzzles, games, interactive chalkings and messages that are for YOU.

If you have an idea for something to be chalked, ask Jane and she will try to bring your ideas to life! Expect some chalktastic fun that makes you think, smile, ponder, chat and wonder.

Interactive market stalls

Sat
16

11.00am to Noon

Wellington Square Gardens

Catch That Beast!

The Royal Society of Beastologists are a group with one mission: to track down mythical beasts. They can’t wait to come to Oxford, meet their new members and capture the ’Orrible Beast of Oxford. They’ve heard it’s been causing all sorts of nuisance.

But Jessy, the youngest Beastologist, has her doubts about beast hunting. What if beasts don’t want to be found? When Jessy is left behind at camp, an encounter with the Beast could help her transform the ways of the Beastologists for good…

Catch That Beast! is a magical, deliciously silly show about how we interact with wild things and how the youngest among us might bring about change. Full of humour, live music, inventive puppetry and audience participation, it is suitable for everybody aged 5+.

Age guidance: 5+

Book tickets

Catch That Beast!

Sat
16

2.30pm

Gloucester Green

Once Upon An Umbrella

here was an umbrella who lived a happy yet practical life. It found its job rewarding, protecting its owner from the rain.

On one wet and windy summer morning, the umbrella tried to shield its owner with all their might. But alas! A gust of wind snapped the umbrella in two and it was discaded. Broken, abandoned never to be used again…

Come and meet some broken brollies in an interactive, physical theatre performance to do with all things weather!

This performance is a work in progress.

Age guidance: All ages

No need to book - just come along!

Once Upon An Umbrella

Sat
16

6.30pm to 7.30pm

Old Fire Station

Fifteen Years Of Granite

‘That was the beginning of it all. That first night in The Barn, the start of that final week. The start of the whole thing with Alex and me and that ghost...’

Sam’s got a confession, fifteen years in the making. Are you ready to listen? Join Fifth Knuckle Theatre for their nail-biting one-man show about the disappearance of a boy on Dartmoor, a haunted barn, and the kind of secrets best left buried.

Age guidance: 18+

Book tickets

Fifteen Years Of Granite

Sat
16

8.00pm to 9.00pm

Old Fire Station

London, Paris, Amsterdam

A spoken word performance from Jahmar Ngozi exploring love, creativity and identity. Venturing through London, Paris and Amsterdam a poet has an incredible journey that celebrates culture, inspiration and romance.

Age guidance: 16+

Book tickets

Jamie D’Souza at the Oxford Comedy Festival

Sun
17

7.30pm to 8.30pm

Interdimensional Phishing Scam

An interactive audio experience where you, the audience, receive a phone call by mistake about some compensation that a version of you from an alternate dimension is owed.

As you try and claim the compensation, you are pulled through a series of different call centres from parallel universes in a randomly generated audio experience full of surreal comedy and unforeseen consequences of the breaching of the laws of the universe that your quest for compensation has created.

You’ll need a Smartphone or tablet with latest version of Android or iOS and enough storage space for downloading an app. Your performance link will be included on your e-ticket.

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Interdimensional Phishing Scam

Sun
17

3.00pm & 6.30pm

Oxford Playhouse

The Land’s Heart is Greater Than Its Map

Join a guided tour of a distant city where nothing seems to make sense. Its people are silenced and its landscape is disappearing.

There is a far away city which cannot be named. Its people are silenced and its landscape is disappearing.

In this distant city, daily life is stranger than fiction: you can see the sea but are forbidden to touch it, being honest is illegal and those with ancestral connections to the city are forbidden to enter it.

Propelled by a need to tell the city’s story before it is forever forgotten, a resident records the stories behind his favourite places.

This alternative guided tour allows you to wander through the streets of his hometown. Your journey to this distant city will take place within the streets of Oxford and requires only comfortable shoes and an open imagination.

The content of the stories that our resident tour guide will tell you are not what you might expect; they do not focus on historic landmarks and holy sites. Instead his chosen ‘stops’ on the tour are at the hidden and seemingly insignificant areas and sites of memory that one holds dearly when the threat of exile and erasure hangs over your head.

An emotional, cartographic resistance piece which actively questions who has the right to claim the history of places and objects and how we can imaginatively salvage shrinking landscapes.

“An invitation to share experience and a provocation to look beyond surfaces.” —The Observer

The entire experience will be outdoor and consist of a guided tour through Oxford – the start point will be Oxford Playhouse.

Age guidance: 12+

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The Land’s Heart is Greater Than Its Map

Sun
17

11.00am to Noon

Wellington Square Garden

The Stealer Of Stories

In a distant land, a long time ago before electricity and espresso, stood a little town called Harmony.

The self sustaining town lived peacefully and never was a place more joyous. But Grimm, an unhappy soul steals all the story books he can find, locking them away from curious eyes.

One stormy night Grimm is visited by spirits of the story book characters he holds captive, and learning the importance of simply kindness his cold heart melts away.

The Stealer of Stories is an interactive, relaxed family friendly performance aimed at the child in all of us. Exploring the importance of compassion, community and inclusion through storytelling.

This performance is a work in progress.

Age guidance: 5+

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The Stealer Of Stories

Sun
17

11.00am to Noon

BT Studio

Apple ‘n’ Spice

Introduce children to storytelling, dance and shadow puppetry with Apple ‘N’ Spice, an original, interactive and multi-cultural dance performance.

This new fairy tale tells the story of two stepmothers; one from the East and one from the West, watch the plot thicken as their stories entwine.

“Children and their families watched on in awe.” —Colchester and North Essex Gazette

Age guidance: 5+

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Apple ‘n’ Spice

Sun
17

11.30am & 2.00pm

Cornmarket Street

Blockbuster Factory

Blockbuster Factory stars the great American Movie Director Martin Beilsperg and the great English Actor Charles Bexley Heath, together with the help of Phil the AD, they are making Blockbuster Movies in this highly immersive walkabout to circle show.

The public happily join in as the stars and crew of Blockbuster movies starring Action Heroes, Sporting Heroes, Space battles, Superheroes, Dragons, Detectives, etc etc etc. We have had up to 100 people participating in one ‘movie’.

NB All film equipment, props and special fx are created with BANANAS 🍌🍌

Age guidance: All ages

Free - no need to book, just come along!

Blockbuster Factory

Sun
17

12.15pm to 12.45pm

Gloucester Green

Riki Cycle

Riki is in training to become a refuse collector! With help from his puppet friends Ali, Woodz and Tic, he learns what, where, and why we should recycle.

Join us for a live musical performance inclusing puppetry, movement and original songs. The perfect way to introduce children to recycling in an exciting, rewarding and entertaining way.

Duration: 30 minutes

No need to book - just come along!

Riki Cycle

Sun
17

3.00pm to 4.00pm

Old Fire Station

Rhinoceros

Mandala Young Company’s adaptation of Ionesco’s Rhinoceros is a commentary on society today, a chilling observation on conformity amid chaos and the struggle to know what the truth is, amongst so much propaganda and misinformation.

In a vibrant physical theatre performance, we see a young man’s transformation, from apathy to responsibility, as the world around him descends into violence, division, and greater levels of absurdity, with him realising that he has now become the monstrous outsider, in a world of conformist rhinos. The cast of ethnically diverse and white working-class young performers bring a refreshing, funny and insightful perspective on what is happening today with a frame of reference that is both personal and global.

The play will be performed in Ramallah, Palestine, to an international audience before having its UK premiere at Offbeat in Oxford at the Old Fire Station,

Age guidance: 12+

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Rhinoceros by Mandala Young Company

Sun
17

3.30pm to 4.30pm

BT Studio

The Munch Mission!

Oh help, our Munch is missing!

Do you possess the wit, nerve and skill to become the next CIA agent?

There’s been a theft of world famous artwork from Oslo National Museum. Work with Agents Kahlo and Dali of the Company of International Artists to solve a fiendishly sneaky art heist. Help them to chase leads, decipher clues and interrogate suspects to retrieve the missing artwork in this globe-trotting adventure.

Full of mystery, nods to film noir and a broad streak of quirky comedy, ‘The Munch Mission’ is a playable family theatre show from award-winning theatre company Brave Bold Drama.

Age guidance: 6+

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The Munch Mission!

Sun
17

8.00pm to 9.00pm

Old Fire Station

Ojo Taiye: One Poem Is Enough

A poetry performance live-screened from Nigeria. One Poem Is Enough circles around ideas of motherhood, intimacy, selfhood, mental health and nostalgia. It explores the body through theuse of memory and dialect and the interplay of distance and closeness.

Ojo Taiye is an emerging artist and a dreamer. As someone who believes in the power of language, he is always investigating the imaginative potential of language to capture the minutiae of daily life and the natural world. Alongside working for a rural hospital, Taiye is a freelance writer for multiple of magazines and organizations. His poetry muses on power struggles, race and culture, the damage of capitalism, and the tender fragility of hope.

Duration: 60 minutes

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Ojo Taiye: One Poem Is Enough

Details

Start:
11 July
End:
17 July
Event Category:

Venue

Oxford City Centre
Oxford City Centre
Oxford,
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