Creation Theatre Company
01865 766266 or at
3rd Floor, Cherwell House, 1-5 London Place, Oxford, OX4 1BD.
The Wind in the Willows, 5th December to 10th January
Toad hasn’t been seen since the most recent of his escapades backfired, Badger doesn’t react well to visitors in the winter and Ratty and Mole have tucked themselves away eating sardines and telling tales of sunnier days. How will we drive the wild-wooders back where they belong? Warm your feet by the fire, toast yourself a crumpet and let us thrill you with the daring adventures of Mr Toad, as his friends try to put him off his latest scheme while the seasons turn on the riverbank. This year, we return to the North Wall to transform it into the banks of the bubbling Thames, country inns and the open road as we bring Kenneth Grahame’s family classic to life with music, fun and laughter.
Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford
For more details
see Creation's web site at www.creationtheatre.co.uk.
Review of Macbeth
1st August to 13th September 2014.
Review from the Newbury Weekly News.
Shell-shock and awe
The Scottish play relocates to the First World War in the grounds of Lady Margaret Hall
Creation Theatre: Macbeth, at Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford, until September 13
Creation Theatre Company's summer production is a thrilling rethinking of William Shakespeare's Macbeth. The play is set in the rustic gardens of Lady Margaret Hall, next to the University Parks on the River CherwelL
Jonathan Holloway, long-time founder-director of Red Shift Theatre Company, has used the anniversary of the beginning of the First World War to locate Macbeth in a hospital for recuperating soldiers. The effect is that the dramas might be a result of the 'heat-oppressed brains' of the wounded men. Trim nurses push soldiers in wheelchairs while apparitions in gas masks wander the flowerbeds. There's a hallucinatory feel with slow-motion dances, grotesque injuries and dreamlike voice-overs for the witches.
The performances are so good that it's hard to believe there is a cast of only six. The play opens with a funeral, the coffin draped in the Saltire prominent on the lawn. It emerges that Macbeth, (the bearded Scott Ainslee) and Lady Macbeth (Laura Murray) are mourning the death of their son in battle. Macbeth's subsequent order of the slaughter of Banquo, and of Lady Macduff (Madeleine Joseph) and her son (portrayed as a twitching soldier in a wheelchair) must be seen in the light of the loss of his bloodline. The mimed killings are more horrific for allowing much to take place in the imagination, rifle butts swishing in the air, daggers piercing the grass.
Holloway has made a remarkably good use of the imposing frontage of the building with three long black drapes flowing from the high roof to the ground and a forest of black flags blowing strongly in the wind (design, Ryan Dawson Laight) - so useful when Birnam Wood moves to Dunsinane.
Scenes take place on the roof, in a first-floor window and among the cabaret-style tables of the audience. The actors' lines are amplified through carefully-hidden speakers so an intimacy is gained even when they are several hundred yards away.
Holloway likes having numerous music cues. The eerie sound design (Matt Eaton) has echoes of horror/slasher films, while a haunting piano melody reflects the supernatural and martial themes of the play.
Macbeth, 1st August to 13th September 2014
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)