Old Fire Station, Oxford
Arts at the Old Fire Station is a new charity and social enterprise based in Oxford’s hub for creativity. "We are committed to helping local artists make and showcase their work as well as providing great entertainment and exhibitions. Within our building, you will find a shop selling original artwork, a gallery with a wide range of exhibitions, a theatre and studio for dance, drama and music and workshops for artists. We also have space to hire for classes, rehearsals and meetings."
The Old Fire Station, 40 George Street, Oxford, OX1 2AQ. 01865 263980.
The Psychic Project, 27th January, 19:30
A mind-reading show based on the true story of the Cold War’s psychic spies. In 1972, the Cold War took an unusual turn. The CIA learnt that Russia was investing in mind-control research and achieving some remarkable results. Not wanting to be left behind, US scientists began a secret project to train civilians as psychic spies: stealing secrets, manipulating memories and finding out if thoughts can kill. Drawing on 100,000 pages of declassified documents, David Narayan attempts the CIA’s experiments, seeing if a modern audience can use the same techniques. A show that’s as disturbing as it is astonishing.
Butterfly, 9th February, 19:30
Beatrice, an unlikely heroine in a story of not-so-everyday survival, sits in isolation, waiting for the outcome of a forced mental health assessment. She loved Bowie, the Buzzcocks and the Bay City Rollers back in the day, and now revisits a personal history she only just remembers. But there is an important detail she has forgotten, and she thinks they are putting words into her mouth. She just wants a quiet life, to live under the radar, but her hand has been forced. She could hide forever, like Elizabeth, or become a reclaimer, in an increasingly hostile state. Boudica and Butterfly guide her through both big historical moments and small personal details to re-imagine the corner she feels she has been painted into. But, if she could change the past, would she? Beatrice examines whether the chaos theory of stigma has informed the status of people in her present. Whenever that is. Butterfly is not about suffering from, or surviving, a condition. It is about history, stigma, about misunderstandings and misrepresentations. It is about setting the record straight. This clever, funny, dark piece allows us to assess how we treat human beings in the 21st century, expertly performed by Jacqueline Phillips.
Spillikin – A Love Story, 10th to 11th February, 19:30
It’s the ’70s. Sally likes Debbie Harry, Raymond likes making robots; they’re an unlikely pair. Flash forward to 2030. After a long, childless and sometimes bumpy marriage, Sally has Alzheimers. Before Raymond died he created a robot, uploaded with his memories, to keep her company. It’s the ultimate love letter from beyond the grave: an endlessly patient memory-jogger and singing partner, it gives order to her confusion, and becomes a new partner in the oddest of odd-couple romances. But as Sally’s mind fades, will the robot be more of a comfort or a threat? Spillikin will make you laugh, cry, and ponder big questions of love, death, and technology.
Dare Devil Rides to Jarama, 16th February, 19:30
SPAIN 1936: When Fascism clutched at the throat of the Spanish people threatening a foul tyranny and the menace of war in Europe, Clem “Dare Devil” Beckett felt at once that his place was in freedom’s rank and joined many other volunteers that formed the International Brigades. Not for nothing did he earn the name, “Dare Devil”. He was loved by the masses for his great daring, courage and skill on the Speedway track. He was a man of the people, and the same fight he used against money-sharks and corruption in his sport, he used to defend democracy against Franco’s rising fascist army. In Spain Clem developed an unlikely friendship with literary critic, writer and poet Christopher Caudwell; but a common cause had brought them together and they died at their machine gun post covering their battalion’s retreat at the Battle of Jarama in February 1937.
The Vanishing Man, 17th February, 19:30
“I’ve been able to work out, deconstruct and rebuild every trick I’ve ever seen. Except this one.” Hugo Cedar was an Edwardian magician known as “The Vanishing Man”; he created the perfect trick and then disappeared forever, but his story lives on… A time-hopping, misdirection-abusing, mind-bending examination of what really happens when a man, in full sight of his audience, simply ceases to be. This is the story of a magic trick: the greatest one ever performed.
The Vanishing Man, 18th February, 20:00
This is a show about work. Some people work to make money. Some people work to feel fulfilled. Some people don’t work at all. For the last two decades, Katy has been at the frontline of the customer service industry. From getting you high to supersizing your whopper meal, she has done everything she can to make you happy. She isn’t sure if she has much left to give but, for this show (like the true professional she is), she will put herself out there one more time. Join Katy for a very personal story of the ups and downs of what it means to serve you – the great British Public.
I Am Beast, 4th March, 19:30
What happens when the wildest parts of our imagination take control? After the death of her mother, Ellie escapes into her own fantasy world of comic book superheroes and bewitching strangers, recreating herself as the ultimate vigilante. Running a-midst dark alley ways and sinister villains, she soon meets the wild and mysterious Beast and together they seek revenge. But as the walls of her new world begin to crumble, Ellie must finally face the truth behind her fantasies.
Meet Fred, 9th March, 19:30
Meet Fred, the two foot tall cloth puppet who fights prejudice every day. He just wants to be a regular guy, part of the real world, to get a job and meet a girl, but when threatened with losing his PLA (Puppetry Living Allowance), Fred’s life begins to spiral out of his control. Packed full of first-rate theatrical invention, irreverent revelling, and with an urgent human story at its heart, Meet Fred is a real marvel. Essential viewing for humans and puppets everywhere.
Fish Eye, 14th March, 19:30
Pam’s already got a low opinion of her neighbours. So when someone pinches her Elizabethan sideboard, it’s all-out war: she becomes a one-woman MI6, ramping up her operation from curtain twitching to spy cameras hidden in hand-knitted novelties. But what Pam unearths is what she already suspects – that everyone around her is a thief, a pervert or a terrorist… Join Pam as she lets you in on her covert operations. Let her amuse, intrigue and bewilder you as she shares her tale of nosiness gone wild…
Diary of a Hounslow Girl, 17th March, 19:30
You’ve heard of an Essex Girl or even a Chelsea Girl – but what is a Hounslow Girl? From traditional Pakistani weddings to fights on the night bus, The Diary of a Hounslow Girl is told through the eyes of a hooped-earring, headscarf-wearing 16 year old British Muslim girl growing up in West London. A funny, bold, provocative play highlighting the challenges of being brought up as a young woman in a traditional Muslim family, alongside the temptations and influences growing up in and around London.
Earthquakes in London, 25th to 26th March, 19:30
An epic rollercoaster of a play travelling from 1968 to 2525 and back again, driven by an all-pervasive fear of the future and a guilty pleasure in the excesses of the present. A fast and furious metropolitan crash of people, scenes and decades, as three sisters attempt to navigate their dislocated lives and loves, while their dysfunctional father, a brilliant scientist, predicts global catastrophe.
For more details
Go to the web site at www.oldfirestation.info.