Creation Theatre Company
01865 766266 or at
3rd Floor, Cherwell House, 1-5 London Place, Oxford, OX4 1BD.
As You Like It, 28th July to 12th September at Lady Margaret
This summer Creation will return to the beautiful gardens and lawns of Lady Margaret Hall for Shakespeare’s pastoral romantic comedy. A wrestling match, love notes on trees and a healthy amount of boys falling in love with girls dressed as boys, this show promises to be as quirky and fun as you’ve come to expect from Creation; the perfect treat for those long summer evenings.
Alice, 18th August to 13th September at St Hugh's College,
The whole family can fall down the rabbit hole with Creation this summer as we present Alice in the gardens of St Hugh’s College. To mark the 150th anniversary of the publication of Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Creation will set loose the Mad Hatter, the Cheshire Cat and the Queen of Hearts in a new adaptation for Alice fans young and old. With daytime matinees in the school holidays and term time, and grown-up evening shows to enjoy a pimms on the lawns, we’ll be adding magic, music, puppetry and acrobatics to one of Oxford’s most famous stories.
Treasure Island, 4th December to 9th January
Cutlasses and cannon fire on the high seas. Jim and Long John Silver are on the trail of pirate treasure. Leading a crew of the scurviest sea dogs you ever saw and following a battered old map they’ll find more than they bargained for over the horizon. Scramble on deck for Creation’s fifth family Christmas show at The North Wall. From the team behind last year’s riotous and eccentric The Wind in the Willows comes a new adaptation full of sea shanties, swash buckling and sword fights.
Treasure Island is at North Wall Arts Centre (www.thenorthwall.org), South Parade, Oxford, OX2 7NN.
For more details
see Creation's web site at www.creationtheatre.co.uk.
Review of As You Like It
28th July to 12th September 2015.
Review from the Newbury Weekly News.
Resistance is fertile
Creation Theatre: As You Like It, at Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford, until September 12
Tom Littler's immersive, partly-promenade production for Creation Theatre Company of William Shakespeare's As You Like It is set in France in 1943, in Paris and the Ardennes. Shakespeare suggests that there is an innocent, rustic beauty found in Arden, his mother's family name as well as a region in northern France and Belgium. Because Littler knows his history, his Ardennes are now somewhere in southern France as the real Ardennes were not a major location for French resistance in 1943. Lady Margaret Hall's gardens now provide a setting (designer, Ryan Dawson-Laight) to match the Bard's imagination.
Jonathan Oliver doubles as the powerful Duke Frederick, a slick-haired, sieg-heiling Quisling based in Paris, and as the ousted Duke Senior, leader of the Resistance hiding in the forest. The Duke's daughter Celia (Julia Goulding) flees Paris with her friend, Duke Senior's daughter Rosalind (Rhiannon Sommers), because Rosalind's blood-line is tainted.
The Resistance conceit works well as a framing device. Along with popular ’Allo ’Allo references, cryptic radio messages such as 'it's time to pick tomatoes' are broadcast throughout the forest. Fighters react nervously to jokes about Nazis by the clown Touchstone (Morgan Philpott). Jacques (Timothy Allsop) is melancholy because he is a Jewish writer in exile, solitary, family-less and finding some solace in his philosophy.
The handsome Orlando (Joe Eyre) follows Rosalind into the Ardennes. It was his defeat of the wrestler Charles (Allsop, doubling) in a contest echoing Jesse Owens winning the 100m at the Berlin Olympics in front of Hitler, that leads to Rosalind's hasty exile. Orlando's poetic wooing of Rosalind, disguised as the boy Ganymede, normally the heart of the play, is less prominent here. This is because Jonathan Oliver steals the show playing rustics Corin, and Audrey. In one scene Oliver rows across the Cherwell speaking French, saying, in a witty meta-theatrical joke, 'nous sommes les paysans français - c'est le concept'. In the background, a puntfull of bemused tourists float by as unexpected audience members whilst a huge, bright, almost Blue Moon rises overhead. It's a magical and unrepeatable theatrical moment that typifies this imaginative production.
The Wind in the Willows, 5th December 2014 to 10th January 2015. See the review in the archive.
Macbeth, 1st August to 13th September 2014. See the review in the archive.
The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, 6th December 2013 to 4th January 2014. See the review in the archive.
Henry V, 17th August to 14th September 2013. See the review in the archive.
Jekyll & Hyde, 8th June to 6th July 2013. See the review in the archive.
Aladdin and the Magical Lamp, 6th December 2012 to 5th January 2013. See the review in the archive.
The Merchant of Venice, 7th July to 1st September 2012
Richard II, 7th May 2012
The Odyssey, 29th March to 28th April 2012
Hamlet, 5th to 24th March 2012
A Christmas Carol, 8th December 2011 to 7th January 2012. There are reviews in the Oxford Times ("backing up all this ensemble acting is some very strong staging... fine show") and Daily Info ("a flawless performance... one of the most enjoyable shows of this year; don’t miss out on a night full of merriment and Christmas cheer! ").
Antony and Cleopatra, 8th July to 3rd September 2011. See the review in the archive.
King James Bible, 14th May to 11th June 2011 at St Barnabas Church
Dr Faustus, 4th February to 2nd April 2011 at Blackwell's Bookshop
Rapunzel, 26th November 2010 to 15th January 2011. See the review in the archive.
Romeo and Juliet, 19th July to 31st August 2010, at Said Business School Amphitheatre, Oxford
Beauty and the Beast, 27th November 2009 to 16th January 2010. See the review in the archive.
Twelfth Night (July 2009)
A Midsummer Night's Dream, 4th July to 13th September 2008
Othello (April 2009)
Hans Christian Andersen's Magical Tales (December 2008)
Animal Farm, 21st July to 30th August 2008
The Taming of the Shrew, 16th July to 25th August 2007
Hamlet, 1st June to 28th July 2007
Macbeth, 2nd June to 9th September 2006 at Headington Hill Park
Saints and Sinners (June 2008)
Much Ado About Nothing (June 2008)
Measure for Measure (March 2008)
Tales from the Brothers Grimm (November 2007)
The Oxford Passion (August 2007)
Arabian Nights (November 2006)
Robin Hood (July 2006)
The Merchant of Venice (June 2006)
King Lear (February 2006)
The Snow Queen (November 2005)
A Midsummer Night's Dream (July 2005)
The Comedy of Errors (January 2005)
A Christmas Carol (November 2004)
Romeo and Juliet (July 2004)
Much Ado About Nothing (June 2004)
The Winter's Tale (February 2004)
The Tempest (July 2003)
Twelfth Night (June 2003)
A Midsummer Night's Dream (June 2002)
Romeo and Juliet, and As You Like It (July 2001)