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.
All Day Permanent Red, 18th to 21st February, 19:30 and 14:30 on Thursday and Saturday
All Day Permanent Red, the 1960s tag line for the new Revlon lipstick, lends itself as the title of the poetic tale of rage and damnation in Christopher Logue’s retelling of Homer’s Iliad. Written in 2003, it is part of a series of works in which Logue’s fascination with language is focused on the stirrings of the Trojan war and its consequences for the modern world. Drawing his vocabulary from the mish mash of contemporary subculture, this is the first adaptation for the stage of this seminal work in which we see the war at first hand as Homer’s audience would have done.
The Honey Man, 12th to 13th March, 19:30
Honey Man is an ageing West Indian recluse, trying to save his dying bees in a derelict cottage on the edge of rural England. Into his world bursts a sixteen year old girl called Misty. His stormy encounter with this fiery, weed-smoking heir to the nearby manor house leads to an unlikely friendship, and the discovery of a secret which connects their past, present and destiny in ways they could never have imagined. Birmingham writer and actor Tyrone Huggins plays the title role in this compelling contemporary staging featuring sparkling dialogue, an atmospheric soundscape, and a visually imaginative design.
Sammy and the Snow Leopard, 31st March to 1st April, daytimes
Sammy is 9 years old and likes animals. No…he LOVES animals. The problem is his Mum won’t let him have any pets. But when his best friend Hokey Pokey tells him about the ‘Adopt a Snow Leopard’ programme, Sammy reckons he’s found a way to have a pet that doesn’t actually come to the house. Perfect! But then Sammy gets an unexpected gift – and finds himself on an adventure that quickly spirals out of control… This is a high-energy show involving stuffed animals, evil neighbours, school projects and limes that will enchant everyone over 6.
Lorraine and Alan, 10th April, 19:30
Alan. 23. Recent graduate in Marine Biology. (High 2.2.) Son of Blakeney, Norfolk. Bedroom dweller and seal tour guide extraordinaire. When Alan discovers a mysterious young woman lying amongst the seals their lives become irreversibly entwined. But who is Lorraine? Where does she come from? And why does she take so long in the bath? Lorraine and Alan is a modern re-telling of the Selkie myth with live electronic sound design, song and several hundred plastic bottles. It is about co-dependency and how those we love shape who we are. It is about moving out of your parents’ house and the sleepiness of little England. It is about delicious salty peanuts and a woman who eats them.
Blood, 5th to 6th June, 19:30
Caneze meets Sully in the college canteen. The heat rises over triple chilli sauce in Nando’s. She makes her move in the sweet smoke of a shisha bar. A touchpaper is lit… but neither of them bargained on the lengths to which her brother would go to keep them apart. Blood is a heartfelt new play by the critically acclaimed writer of Tamasha’s Sweet Cider.
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.
The Snow Queen, 5th December 2014 to 4th January 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.