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  • Today's local closing share prices

    AEA Technology 108.5 BMW 2595 Electrocomponents 240.25 Isoft Group 53.75 Oxford Bio 27.75 Oxford Instruments 204 Reed Elsevier 533.25 RM 181 RPS 204.25 Torex Retail 78 read more

  • CRICKET: Williams leads Oxon home

    ROB Williams and Charlie Knightley led Oxfordshire to an impressive five-wicket victory over Cambridgeshire at Challow on Sunday, writes Ed Mezzetti. read more

  • HORSE RACING: Kennedy's delight

    VODAFONE Derby-winning stable groom John Kennedy, who hails from Didcot, has told of how Sir Percy fulfilled his dream by landing the Epsom Classic. read more

  • ROWING: Ejsmond-Frey is new president

    ROBIN Ejsmond-Frey has been elected as the new Oxford University president, writes Mike Rosewell. read more

  • CRICKET: Buckingham knock in vain

    AN excellent knock of 83 off 91 balls from Andy Buckingham was not enough to give Kidlington victory in a tense finish against Burnham in Division 2 West at Stratfield Brake on Saturday. read more

  • CRICKET: Bicester outclassed

    BICESTER & North Oxford were always second best to North Maidenhead on Saturday, but did enough to earn a comfortable draw and pick up seven points in Division 2 West. read more

  • CRICKET: Banbury hang on

    BANBURY were left hanging on for a draw in their Division 1 match against Finchampstead on Saturday. read more

  • CRICKET: Thame up to second

    THAME Town stormed up to second place in Division 2 West after Saturday's comfortable five-wicket win over Basingstoke & North Hants at sundrenched May's Bounty. read more

  • CRICKET: Henley claim spoils

    HENLEY came out on top in Saturday's big derby to put themselves second in the Division 1 table and leave Oxford rooted to the bottom. read more


    An old friend who has recently become a narrowboat dweller telephoned to say that she and her partner were heading towards the area along the Oxford Canal. Could we get together? Charlotte guessed she and Tony would be tying up near Thrupp. Perhaps we could meet there? Lunch on the following day, a Sunday, was settled on, and to me was left as it often is the choice of where we should go. read more

  • Such Good Things and a Restaurant too

    Gill Draycott calls herself a cook, but those who know her and have tasted her food insist she's a chef. After all, the difference between a chef and a cook is not simply a matter of one being a professional and the other not though that's what most dictionaries suggest. The term chef is also defined by the way a person cooking food uses ingredients at their command to create succulent mouthwatering flavours, just as artists blend the colours on their palettes to create works of art. read more

  • One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest: Oxford Playhouse

    One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest is associated in most people's minds with Milos Forman's film adaptation of 1975. Among its seven Oscars was one for Jack Nicholson and his bravura performance as a rebellious inmate fighting the oppressive regime in a state mental hospital. For some years before that, however, Ken Kesey's 1963 novel had been familiar on the American stage through an excellent play fashioned from it by Dale Wasserman. Kirk Douglas had been a big hit in it as the messianic Randle P McMurphy. But the British premiere in 1972 was far from a star-name production. It was put on at the Oxford Playhouse by a group of university students whose talents were widely judged to be ideal for the piece. Thirty-four years on, the same might be said for their successors, who delighted packed house at the same theatre last week with their lucid and gripping production, under director Alison Convey and with a most convincing set designed by Anna Johnson. read more

  • Macbeth: Creation Theatre Company

    Although it's not often found in the outdoor Shakespeare repertoire, Macbeth is of course ideally suited to darkening skies and threatening clouds. For their first production of the summer season the Creation Theatre Company have taken full advantage of their Headington Hill Park setting, with a production that is full of action and well endowed with dark portents. read more

  • Tonight's The Night: New Theatre

    I reviewed Ben Elton's Rod Stewart tribute musical Tonight's The Night when it opened in London three years ago and castigated some of my fellow critics for their po-faced attitude to the show. One called it "eye-poppingly, knee-huggingly, mind-bogglingly awful", while another panned it as "formulaic garbage". "Lighten up, guys and gals!" I advised. "In slating the musical for its tackiness and vulgarity, reviewers have overlooked the fact that this feature of the production is there by design rather than accident a reflection of the persona Rod himself projects." read more

  • Deborah Colker: Wycombe Swan

    Deborah Colker's Knot is a full evening work that falls into two distinct halves, but with one constant theme desire. Her Brazilian company gave a thrilling performance of the piece, created last year, which is by turn shocking, exciting and at times extremely beautiful. read more

  • La Traviata: Milton Keynes Theatre

    There are probably a dozen danced versions of Alexandre Dumas' novel La Dame aux Camelias, the most distinguished being Frederick Ashton's compact one-acter Marguerite et Armand, made for, and for many years danced exclusively by, Fonteyn and Nureyev. After an unconvincing start, in which the ladies of the house look more like Degas ballet girls than sophisticated women experienced in the entertainment of men, Veronica Paeper's work comes into its own in a series solos and duets between the protagonists the consumptive Marguerite, her rich protector', the young Armand and his disapproving, straight-laced father. read more

  • The Sixteen: Sheldonian Theatre

    The Sixteen's concert on Friday was exactly mid-way through their Choral Pilgrimage tour, which began in Cambridge at the beginning of March and continues until November, winding up at Wells Cathedral. Their mission this year is to give a platform to one of the foremost composers of the Spanish Renaissance, Tomas Luis de Victoria, best known for his glorious Requiem of 1605. read more

  • Twelfth Night: Oxford Playhouse

    Oh no! Not only is this Twelfth Night delivered in Russian, at the beginning the whole company marches on to the stage dressed in identical sets of black trousers, black braces, and white shirts. Furthermore, this is an all-male production, so it looks as if we might be in for a confusing evening. read more

  • Thais: Grange Park Opera

    With its heart-searching tune, the Mditation from Massenet's opera Thas was always a firm favourite at Reginald Dixon's Sunday afternoon organ recitals at the Tower Ballroom, Blackpool. Little did I know at the time how appropriate the piece was for a Sunday, for in the three minutes or so it takes to play, Thas is converted from a life of sin to the ways of God officially described as a 'courtesan', in Grange Park's modern-dress production leather-clad Thas seems to have established herself as a highly successful porn movie actress, or rock star. "I return to you in mourning and sorrow," laments monk Athanal on coming home to his monastery. He has encountered Thas in Alexandria, and while he resists her blandishments, she nonetheless features in his lascivious dreams. He wakes up determined to save Thas from her degrading life. read more

  • See the Tate Modern in a new light

    You may think you know the Tate Modern, which after opening in 2000 on London's Bankside rapidly became one of the world's most popular galleries, but it's time to think again. For Tate Modern had just undergone a major rehang, the first since its move to its former power station home, and for many critics long overdue. read more

  • The fruits of my (!) labours

    I have grown used to flying back from Greece three or four times a year with half a dozen litres of gin clanking in my hand luggage. This is absurd, I know no, not the fact of my bringing it (entirely understandable since it costs about a third of the price there, all duty paid) but the fact that I am allowed to. Apart from the waste of fuel involved in lugging the stuff from the UK (where it's made) to Greece and back, there is the matter of security: a heavy glass bottle, smashed, is a more potent weapon, surely, than almost everything the airlines do ban, from corkscrews to crochet hooks. Clearly, large amounts of money depend on this absurdity being allowed to continue. read more

  • Webber fears Silverstone struggle

    Australian Mark Webber will treat this weekend's British Grand Prix as a second home race, but he expects the Grove-based Williams team to find the going tough at Silverstone. read more

  • Today's local share prices

    AEA Technology 107 BMW 2613 Electrocomponents 235 Isoft Group 60.75 Oxford Bio 28 Oxford Instruments 204 Reed Elsevier 534.75 RM 181 RPS 201.25 Torex Retail 79 read more

  • Bodleian Library nets a winner

    What's the connection between the World Cup and the Bodleian Library? The august Oxford University institution is involving itself in questions more usually discussed in the pub, after being given the manuscript of the Rules of Association Football 1863. The scruffy original, which shaped the modern game, was given to the Bodleian by The Football Association and will now be stored by the Oxford University library among some of the most beautiful and valuable books in the world. read more

  • Lunch break linguists

    Languages have never been the greatest strength of British people in general. The reasons are partly historical, with the days of the Empire ensuring that everyone from India to Australia should speak the Queen's (or King's) English, rather than adapt a when in Rome' attitude. read more

  • Business is bubbling

    There is something just a little decadent about sitting in a hot tub, sipping Champagne and contemplating the good life. Many people enjoy this pleasure perhaps without the drink at the gym, but usually time is limited, and you have to share with others. read more

  • Firm intentions – by design

    Sheer hard work and some inspiration have allowed Saeed Khan and Calvin Weaver to be in a position where they have set up their own firm of architects. Mr Kahn, from Oxford, and Mr Weaver, from Swindon, met at Oxford Brookes University but their story predates that encounter by several years. read more

  • Joining the British

    They take arts and crafts seriously in France, and when master joiner Bruno Boulay arrived in Wantage nine years ago from his home town of Linas-Montlhry, near Paris, he was amazed at what he found. read more

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