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.
Undermined, 8th September, 20:00
Inspired by the accounts of miners who lived through the strike, Undermined depicts a year where friendships were strengthened and communities came together. Experience events like the infamous Orgreave through the eyes of young miner Dale, as he takes you through his personal story inviting you into the action. This one-man show explores the humour and struggles of the miners’ strike through energetic and gripping storytelling.
Brief Lives, 13th to 17th September, 20:00 and 14:00 on Saturday
It is June, 1697. In a dusty and cluttered room somewhere in Oxford, Mr John Aubrey – gentleman, philosopher, educator, academic, antiquarian, folklorist and biographer – is ready to share the stories he has collected over his long and colourful life. Aubrey has lived through the Civil Wars - one of the most fascinating and turbulent times in English history - and spent much his life mingling with the great and good of society. His affection and fascination for the foibles and frailties of people has led him to record their stories for posterity in his ‘Brief Lives’: stories of scandal and misadventure, medical marvels, infidelity, turbulence and magic – featuring King Charles I, Raleigh, Shakespeare, Thomas Hobbes, and many others whose names have become part of our history. Patrick Garland’s play adapts the colourful and controversial writings of this engaging 17th Century character, and draws you into his world as he goes about his day.
Nine Lives, 29th September, 19:30
Ishmael has fled from his home in Zimbabwe, where a fresh wave of homophobia threatens his life. In Leeds is the prospect of sanctuary, and of a new life among strangers. But will those strangers accept him? The clock is ticking, and his fate is being decided… can Ishmael find a place to call home again? This gripping new play from Zodwa Nyoni threads together humour and humanity to tell the real personal story behind asylum headlines.
Flat 73, 4th October, 19:30 and 8th October, 12:30
Battersby Buildings has 75 flats, so at least 75 people live there – and yet very few know each other. Beryl, aged 68 and recently widowed, lives on the ground floor, daytime television her only companion. In the flat above her lives Chelsea, 18, not long out of care and struggling as a new single mum to Albie, a colicky 18 month old. Along the corridor from her lives Simon, a young man with learning disabilities and a sunny disposition with a passion for ‘flashmobbing’. On the top floor lives Laura who, unbeknownst to them, connects them all, in her role as a Samaritan – they all call Laura when they are feeling at their loneliest. The residents go about their daily lives, passing each other but never seeing one another – until one fateful day when Laura’s past catches up with her, and brings them all together.
Wrecking Ball, 6th October, 19:30
A male photographer is taking a photograph of a female celebrity. She wants to be reinvented. She wants to be For Real. Wrecking Ball is about consent, power, authorship and putting words in other people’s mouths. It’s about the seductive power of make-believe. That’s not a real pineapple she’s holding, that’s not his real cooler full of beers, those aren’t her real thighs, those aren’t his real feelings. But does the real really matter? In an age where the consumption of artifice is its own industry, we are being asked to dream, and we are being asked to buy the sunglasses the woman is wearing in the dream. The woman that looks like every woman in every picture you’ve ever seen: like the woman lying on the beach, like the woman swinging on the wrecking ball , like the woman painted on the side of a bomb.
Cathy, 20th October, 19:30
Candid, poignant and intimate, this new play by award-winning playwright Ali Taylor offers a timely reflection on the social impact of spiralling rents and forced relocation.
Jekyll & Hyde and Nerve: two one act plays, 21st October, 19:30
Described as ‘Mike Leigh meets the Coen Brothers’, Reverend Productions presents two provocative one act plays, designed to play back to back and featuring the same four actors.
Jekyll & Hyde
Brilliant surgeon Ellie Jekyll is feeling the strain of caring for her terminally ill brother, Simon. Luckily, a newfound friendship with her neighbour proves to be just what the doctor ordered. However, when a young girl dies unexpectedly during surgery, her world begins to unravel around her. Inspired by the Gothic novella by Robert Louis Stevenson, this fast paced drama blurs the lines between good and evil, insane imaginings and real life monsters.
Inspired by his bold, decisive approach to life, Sam edges closer to her magnetic new housemate, Danny. But after a violent dispute with their neighbour she is left struggling to locate her moral centre. Her best friend, Tess, is over-whelmed as she approaches the twenty-fourth week of her pregnancy; and local policeman Greg is too lost trying to rekindle his relationship with his ex-wife to notice that their neighbour from Flat B is missing.
In Our Hands, 25th October, 19:30
Alf is a trawler fisherman whose experience, camaraderie and loyalty have put him and his boat at the top of the game. But times are changing and so is the industry. How will Alf adapt in order to survive? Follow a fish’s journey from sea to plate, watch a seagull’s ridiculous attempt to find food and witness a father and son reunite. In Our Hands will transport you out to sea, under the ocean and onto the deck of the Catcher’s Fortune. Using innovative puppetry, a striking set and an original score, join Alf as he journeys from the depths of despair to rise again and rescue the life he loves…
Key Change, 3rd November, 19:30
Devised with women in Her Majesty’s Prison Low Newton to tour to male prisons, Key Change carries the stories of some of the UK’s most marginalised women over the razor wire through an intense, raw and illuminating portrayal of women in prison. The prison van, fences high, a Magpie. One for sorrow. Snatched the babies. The mother fought, but it was too big, and flew too high.
With You Always, 4th to 5th November, 19:30
Four women and two men – all committed to “Overseas Aid” in an unnamed African country. Doing no harm must be the easiest thing in the world, right? Sam and Alex – ambitious accountants judging development projects; Claire from Belper – on a mission to bring hope; Dambisa, Christopher and Edriam – local people engaged in the messy free-for-all of North meets South. These lives intersect in the complex, disturbing and sometimes farcical lived experience on the ground in Africa – a far cry from the neat, sentimental stories often told in fundraising telethons.
Silver Moon, 3rd December, 13:00 and 15:00
Using live music, shadow puppetry, cello, and masked play, French company Compagnie Animotion bring us a poetic and enchanting alternative Christmas tale. Set in Eastern Europe, Compagnie Animotion present a touching story about friendship making the everyday magical and the importance of the imagination. Helda is cold and alone. She may be poor, but her imagination is filled with her grandfather’s folk tales, taught to her through the enchanting voice of the cello. Jurgen is surrounded by beautifully wrapped presents but needs a friend to help make his everyday magical. When the clock strikes midnight and the silver moon is high in the air, the two friends will never be the same again… Completely non-verbal, this is accessible to all audiences and music lovers will enjoy the live cello, and strong musical narrative.
For more details
Go to the web site at www.oldfirestation.info.