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 Tempest, 21st to 22nd March, 19:30 and 14:30 on Saturday
Prospero has waited a long time for revenge. Marooned with his baby daughter 12 years ago on a desert island, he has become a powerful magician. Now he raises a storm to bring his enemies to him. What will he do now they are in his power? And what will his daughter, who has never seen a man except her father, make of these new beings who enter her world? Oxford Chamber Theatre, a professional classical company founded in 1976 to tour Europe with British Council support, presents a spare and incisive prodction of one of only two works whose plot is entirely Shakespeare’s own invention. “This isle is full of noises”: music is the magic in this magical tale. Here it is composed and sung by David Jones as Ariel, Prospero’s chief spirit. Ariel longs to be free. Will Prospero finally fulfil his promise and release him?
The Cap and Bells, 3rd to 5th April, 19:30
The Cap and Bells (Il berretto a sonagli) was written in 1916 and performed the next year in Rome. Italy was in crisis: the First World War was raging; Pirandello had two sons in the army, one of whom had been captured by the Austrians. The author’s paranoiac wife had become deeply insane and was convinced he was committing incest with their daughter; the daughter tried to kill herself, then absconded. It is against this dramatic background that the Cap and Bells must be placed. Marital discord, carried to the extremes of madness, is the play’s driving force. The play was written in Sicilian dialect, then translated by the playwright into Italian. It was largely neglected as a theatre piece until taken up by the great Neapolitan actor-manager Eduardo de Filippo in 1935, at Pirandello’s suggestion. Eduardo included it in his repertoire for more than forty years. A television version came out in 1980, when the actor, still playing the protagonist Ciampa, was eighty years old. Ciampa, the sharp minded clerk, is acknowledged as one of the most difficult roles in modern Italian drama; and the Sicilian novelist Leonardo Sciascia considered the Cap and Bells to be Pirandello’s ‘most perfect play’. We enter the arena of combat between the obsessed mind and the rational intelligence, circling each other, fencing, testing the limits of endurance. But are they really distinct?
For more details
Go to the web site at www.oldfirestation.info.