23 May 2023

23 May 2023
New Theatre Oxford
24-26 George Street

23 May @ 7.00pm

24-26 George Street
Oxford, OX1 2AG
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Sparks at New Theatre Oxford
Sparks at New Theatre Oxford

About Sparks

Levels of interest in the work of Sparks are at heights unsurpassed in their 50+ year career, with the ultimate cult band now centre stage in the full beam of the spotlight.

Most people, with even a passing acquaintance with Sparks, will know the basics by now how Californian brothers Ron and Russell Mael, both students at UCLA, began making music together in the late Sixties, originally under the name Halfnelson. 

How their Top Of The Pops debut with This Town Ain’t Big Enough For Both Of Us stunned a generation and nearly scored them a UK No.1. How their career moved through many phases, including (but not limited to) art rock, glam, big band swing, electro-disco, new wave and synthpop, taking in collaborations with Todd Rundgren, Les Rita Mitsouko, Tony Visconti Franz Ferdinand and Giorgio Moroder.

How keyboardist and songwriter Ron’s intricate staccato arrangements combine with the hysteria-pitch falsetto in which Russell delivers his brother’s always-on-point lyrics. How Ron’s stillness and stern, intimidating visage contrasts onstage with Russell’s hyperactivity. 

How their popularity has spiked unpredictably in different territories at different times – Britain, France, Germany, Scandinavia, Japan, and their homeland United States. And how the influence of “the greatest band you’ve never heard of” or “your favourite band’s favourite band” has been recognised by successive generations of artists from Joy Division to Duran Duran to Depeche Mode to Bjork to Beck to The Darkness and beyond.

Now into their sixth decade of music making, Sparks have never been more relevant.

Once more Top 10 regulars, with studio albums Hippopotamus (2017) and A Steady Drip, Drip, Drip (2020) both reaching No.7 in the UK and receiving global acclaim, the lauded career-spanning documentary film The Sparks Brothers, directed by Edgar Wright (Shaun Of The DeadHot FuzzBaby Driver) and released in 2021, brought an awareness of Sparks to parts they previously hadn’t reached.

Sparks’ 2021 film musical Annette, directed by Leos Carax and starring Adam Driver and Marion Cotillard, was showered with awards, especially in France, where Carax won Best Director at Cannes and where the film won three Lumières Awards and five César Awards, including Best Original Music for Ron and Russell. Focus Features have recently announced the studio is developing X-Crucior, a musical epic written by Ron and Russell.

A new studio album is due in 2023.


From £40.72

Please see important booking information below.

Ticketing information

Prices: £40.72
Tickets are subject to a transaction fee

Age guidance:
Under 16’s to be accompanied by an adult 21+
No under 5’s

Doors open: 7.00pm

About New Theatre Oxford

There has been a theatre on George Street for almost 170 years. The first theatre was built in 1836, and a second in 1886. In 1934, the third New Theatre opened.

The theatre has been owned by several different companies and undergone several name changes. It is now owned by the Ambassador Theatre Group and hosts everything from ballet and opera to musicals.

On performance days, the Box Office opens at noon and closes 15 minutes after the show starts. If there is a performance on a Sunday or Bank Holiday, Box Office will open 2 hours before the show begins and close 15 minutes after the show starts.

There is a large air-conditioned bar with seating located below the Stalls Foyer, two further bars in the Circle Foyer and an additional one at the back of the balcony. All stocked with an array of drinks and snacks.

There is a cloakroom located in the stalls bar. If this is closed, please speak to a member of staff. £1 per item. It is free to ATG Theatre Card members.

See important information about Getting there and Access here