Pegasus Theatre, Oxford
Magdalen Road, Oxford, OX4 1RE
Pegasus Theatre is a unique organisation that brings together the work of young people, professional companies and emerging artists in all fields of performance.
Electric Dreams, 10th October, 19:30
Electric Dreams is the new show by critically acclaimed company, Dumbshow, inspired by the ideas in Naomi Klein’s The Shock Doctrine. Rose can’t remember the first 18 years of her life. What happened to her? Seeking to unravel this mystery she turns investigator, piecing together her history from fragmented memories, documents and dreams. Using live music and video, Electric Dreams journeys from 1950’s Canada to the Iraq war; but does exploring the past offer a warning for the future?
My Father and Other Superheroes, 15th October, 19:30
The day Nick Makoha realised he was going to become a father, he also realised he had no idea how to be one… Spending most of his life without a father figure, Nick realised that Superman, Luke Skywalker and Spider Man (among others) had filled that role as he grew up, inadvertently providing the blueprints of how to be a good father. My Father and Other Superheroes follows Nick’s journey – from being smuggled out of his home country of Uganda at a young age, to the UK, Saudi Arabia and Kenya – to learn what it takes to truly become a hero. For most of his life, he has been without a father figure. With such impossible shoes to fill, and a distinct lack of special powers, My Father and Other Superheroes follows Nick’s journey to discover what it takes for a man to become a hero, and ultimately the conclusion that a hero can be just a man. My Father and Other Superheroes is a one-man show that tackles the universal subjects of fatherhood, loss, heroes and hope by innovatively fusing story-telling, physical theatre and contemporary spoken word in a powerful one hour performance.
Hurricane Boy, 24th October, 14:00 and 16:00
An imaginative tale of chaos and calm, Hurricane Boy is a delight of physical storytelling and live music, much loved by children and their families. A lonely boy lives alone, each day rebuilding his house from the rubbish whipped up by the winds. A girl appears and brings him through the gales and the rain. Together they share a summer of blue skies and warm sun. But when the hurricane takes her away, the boy has to find his way, on his own.
Festival of Shorts, 25th October, 18:30
Young Pegasus writers present their short plays for the first time in front of an audience. The Writing for Performance group, whose members are 11-25 year old, has been working with Artistic Director Jonathan Lloyd to polish their scripts ready for this rehearsed reading. This very talented group has tackled all kinds of topics in a wide variety of styles to give you an evening full of delightful surprises.
Once Upon a Snowflake, 7th November, 11:00 and 14:00
Liza has gone missing, and no-one knows where she can be. One thing’s for certain: those mysterious Winter Sprites have something to do with it. Appearing every winter, these tiny elf-like creatures can be found hiding in pockets, shoes and sock drawers, watching everything and hearing everyone. But how are they connected with Liza’s disappearance? Will they help to find her? And what is inside the mysterious Winter Sprite’s strange white suitcase? Follow Liza into a colourful whirlwind of stories and adventure, led by a tiny Sprite with a fascination for snowflakes and where things may never be the same again. Using a captivating blend of shadow puppetry, storytelling and enchanting original songs, Paper Balloon present this funny, quirky and enchanting show for family audiences aged 3 and up.
A Christmas Carol, 4th December to 2nd January
Our festive season shows take a well-known, familiar story and add a Pegasus ‘twist’ – funny, playful, with emotional clout and a hint of something darker. A Christmas Carol – Charles Dickens’ classic tale of how the miserly, miserable Scrooge learns the true meaning of Christmas – is no exception. It is inventive and moving, spooky in all the right places, laugh-out loud funny with a generous helping of Christmas magic, music and adventure.
Reviews of The Snow Queen
5th December 2014 to 4th January 2015.
Review from the Newbury Weekly News.
Chillout Queen has heart of cold
A winter highlight at Oxford's Pegasus theatre
The Snow Queen, at Pegasus Theatre, Oxford, until January 4
One of the theatrical highlights of the season is the Pegasus Theatre Christmas production, Mike Kenny's 2005 adaptation of Hans Christian Andersen's The Snow Queen. Directed by the Pegasus artistic director Jonathan Lloyd, the story is framed in a children's playground, where four kids enact the story of the Snow Queen.
At the heart of the play is the friendship of Gerda (Abigail Hood) and Kai (Oliver Wellington), their Scandinavian-ness hinted at subtly because they wear Nordic patterned cardigans. Kai is infected with evil when two shards of a magician's shattered mirror land in his eye and heart. He forgets his past, and Gerda becomes a distant memory. He lives as a minion of the Snow Queen in her palace at the North Pole, endlessly failing to solve a riddle which would set him free.
Gerda sets off on a quest to find Kai. She encounters a fast-flowing river, a witch who grows narcotic flowers, a scary robber-girl (Gehane Strehler), a friendly crow (Jeremy Barlow), an authoritarian royal family, a cutesy reindeer and a mysterious Inuit lady on her way to the frozen north. Most of the elderly women are played with gusto by the game Barlow.
The staging is clever. A dome-shaped climbing frame and two metal ladders are magically transformed into a horse and carriage and an Inuit's igloo (designer Liz Cooke). While the stage is uncluttered, vast film projections are beamed on to the back wall to become the Snow Queen, arms outstretched like the gnarled branches of a leafless tree, her head framed like the top of the Statue of Liberty.
The coldness of the north is conjured up with projections of snow falling, but the most arresting image is that of the green-tinged Northern Lights, created out of strong, rotating beams of light shining through a fog of dry ice (Arnim Freiss, lighting and animation). Flashing lights catch on shards of shining snowflakes suspended on the side walls to convey the whiteness of the north. Simplicity and complexity merge in a delightful production for young and old.
Hugely recommended for the holidays.
There are reviews from the Oxford Times ("the overall effect is magical and full of surprises... [The Snow Queen] contains real psychological depth and subtlety and this fine production, which runs until the new year, does it proud") and Daily Info ("the show is a bit edgy, and my daughter grasped my hand fairly tightly at times... a moving tale of friendship and challenge, and they handled it both sensitively and innovatively").
For more details
see Pegasus' web site at www.pegasustheatre.org.uk.
Every Brilliant Thing, 2nd to 3rd October 2015
Into the Woods, 26th to 29th August 2015
The Snow Queen, 5th December 2014 to 4th January 2015
I’m an Aristocrat Get Me Out of Here, 6th December 2013 to 5th January 2014. See the review in the archive.
What the Dickens, 30th November to 30th December 2012. See the reviews in the Archive.