When It Happens Panel Get involved: send your photos, videos, news & views by texting 'OXFORD NEWS' to 80360 or email
10:50am Thursday 23rd May 2013
It’s always good to put a face to a name, but when your names are Sara Coward and Sunny Ormonde, and you’ve been Caroline Sterling and Lilian Bellamy in The Archers for years, the thrill is even more pronounced.
4:47pm Thursday 16th May 2013
The Oh F**k Moment was always going to be a brave idea, not just because of its title, but because it involves audience participation, and as we Brits are rather backward about coming forward, let alone spilling the beans, it seems an occupation more suited to our cousins over the pond.
4:45pm Thursday 16th May 2013
‘High Art? High arse more like!” That’s how the more self-regarding aspects of the theatrical profession are described in a new version of Chekhov’s The Seagull commissioned by Headlong and the Nuffield Theatre, Southampton. “It’s lovely to spit that line out with as much vitriol as possible,” actor Alexander Cobb tells me — he delivers those cutting words in the production, which tours to the Oxford Playhouse next week. “I bumped into Henny Finch, Headlong’s producer, in the beer garden of a South London pub one night,” explains writer John Donnelly.
4:38pm Thursday 9th May 2013
Rarely does a political interview on TV make history. Many are quickly despatched to oblivion, sometimes to the relief of those concerned, no doubt. But the series of interviews between ex-President Richard Nixon and David Frost broadcast in 1977 have remained in the public eye — thanks, not least, to Peter Morgan’s play, and recent film, Frost/Nixon. In the interviews, Nixon eventually conceded that he had participated in the Watergate cover-up and lied to the world about it.
4:23pm Thursday 9th May 2013
Oxfordshire Artweeks continues to engage, surprise and delight as it enters its second week. A week in which South Oxfordshire showcases its talented folk and in which Oxford City’s artists and craftspeople continue to demonstrate skills across a wide range of media.
4:20pm Thursday 9th May 2013
Cal McCrystal can’t stay long. Once Giffords Circus’ latest show is up and running he has to jet off to the USA to work as a comedy consultant on the new Spiderman movie, but until then you’ll find him in a dusty field in Gloucestershire, where the finishing touches are being put to Lucky 13.
9:50am Thursday 2nd May 2013
Julian Clary may be a dangerous mixture of funny and frank, but the ‘queen of innuendo’ still has the same compulsion as all comedians to get up on stage and make people laugh. That Julian does it in his own imitable style, carving a niche for his camp, bitchy, acerbic style of humour, is all the better.
4:21pm Wednesday 1st May 2013
Here’s the brief; take one of the world’s most famous ballet companies, arguably the greatest classical ballet of all time, reduce it from three hours to one, take it on tour around the country and perform it to an audience primarily made up of three-10-year-olds.
4:33pm Thursday 25th April 2013
He is one of our best-loved stars of musical theatre, gracing the West End and the pop charts with his rich singing voice. But, reassuringly, not everything comes naturally to Michael Ball. Like everyone, this Broadway idol still has to practise.
12:00am Thursday 25th April 2013
Richard Alston’s company is one of the world’s leading contemporary dance ensembles, which primarily performs his own works. Alston is one of the most musically motivated and sensitive choreographers, and much of his canon is danced to classical music.
10:30am Thursday 18th April 2013
Calderón de la Barca’s La Vida es sueño (Life is a Dream) is a great masterpiece of Spain’s 17th-century Golden Age of drama sometimes referred to — for its fame and importance rather than its plot — as “the Spanish Hamlet”. It is not as well known in Britain as it ought to be, though a much-lauded production four years ago at the Donmar Warehouse, starring Dominic West, helped to change that.
3:28pm Wednesday 10th April 2013
2:41pm Wednesday 10th April 2013
Having made a career out of playing the most iconic baddies on earth (Star Wars, Indiana Jones, Bond, Harry Potter and Dr Who to name but a few) it is therefore a surprise to find that Julian Glover is particularly gentle in real life, and a delight to interview.
3:31pm Wednesday 3rd April 2013
For people of a certain age — and that includes the present writer — Liverpudlian Roger McGough will for ever be thought of as a pop star. He was one of the members of the trio The Scaffold — the others were Mike McGear, brother of a certain Paul McCartney, and John Gorman — who scored three big hits, including the No 1 Lily the Pink.
10:50am Thursday 28th March 2013
Growing Old Disgracefully is the perfect title for someone who took up stand-up comedy in their 60s. Growing Up At All would have been another suitable description, Virginia Ironside’s well documented battle with depression being an enormous factor in her life. Which makes her latest foray into comedy even more inspiring.
12:00am Thursday 28th March 2013
Phillipa White grew up in Blewbury and attended Didcot Girls’ School. At the same time she was taking ballet classes four days a week at the local Tetlow-Huhme Ballet studio. That sounds like serious intent, but at that stage it wasn’t.
11:45am Thursday 21st March 2013
Gareth Gates has certainly found his spiritual home on stage. This might sound like a prerequisite for someone who found fame on a reality TV show, but having been feted and lauded before being churned up and spat out by pop’s vociferous machine, he has re-emerged as a musical theatre performer and consistently stunned his critics into submission. Having a severe stammer has done little to impede his journey, and interestingly when in character Gareth doesn’t have a speech impediment, only as himself. “When I was a child I was the only person I knew with a stammer, which is a very lonely place to be, and it would have been very helpful to know there was someone in the same situation, because it dictates everything from your job to your personal life,” Gareth Gates says without a scrap of self-pity. His battle to speak normally and in the full glare of the public eye has been a brave one — an entire BBC documentary Stop My Stutter — being dedicated to the subject last year where he discussed the revolutionary McGuire Technique which helped him, and of which he is now a teacher, a role he is hugely proud of. “Speech for me has been a very big part of my life because it’s always something I’ve had to deal with, so to show other people what it’s about and help others is a great feeling for me.” Who can forget watching him appear on our screens for the first time to sing like an angel on Pop Idol, unable to utter a word to the judges? “This is my journey and I’m not ashamed of that at all. It’s made me who I am.” Singing has always been Gareth’s release, and with a classical education that is seldom mentioned, he is the perfect musical star; Joseph, Les Miserables, Legally Blonde and now Boogie Nights meaning he’s a pro. “The last four years have been full-on. I’ve jumped from show to show, so I’m fortunate,” he says. About to wow you in Boogie Nights at the New Theatre, Gareth is in his element: “It’s lots of fun and full of 1970s classics which my parents used to listen to so it’s right up my street,” he says, “and I’m the lucky one who gets to sing with the Osmonds! “It’s the kind of show which gets everyone up on their feet singing and dancing,” he smiles. Unsurprisingly Gareth plays the heartthrob, “Yes,” he laughs embarrassed, changing the subject, “but it’s amazing to work with legends like The Osmonds and an honour, so I wasn’t nervous, more excited. But I do need a break after this.” Until the next one? “Absolutely.”
2:10pm Thursday 14th March 2013
It is Dickens but not quite as we know him as Oxford Playhouse and Theatre Alibi reunite on an updating of The Old Curiosity Shop. The action in Curiosity Shop is shifted from early in the 19th century to present day and the featured business premises deal in vintage records rather than the “odds and ends” of the novel.
12:10pm Thursday 14th March 2013
All comedians have dark sides, some darker than others. But Simon Day’s recent autobiography Comedy And Error goes further than that. Much further. It’s a tale of neglect, survival, punishment, incarceration, violence, addiction, fame, comedy and redemption... in that order.