Oxford Festival of the Arts is back with a month-long schedule of events packed with big names, fun, excitement, insight and culture at fantastic venues all over Oxford.
The aptly titled festival Around the World in 80 Ways features comedy, music, art, theatre, history, talks, films, food, celebrities, concerts, classical, sculpture, community events, family fun and a week of Shakespeare’s Globe, offering something for everyone!
Think An Evening With the legendary Brian Blessed to The Mad Hatters Tea Party on Broad Street, try rowing or tennis, enjoy comedy from Phil Wang, Rosie Jones and Sara Barron, hear The Rt Hon Theresa May MP in conversation with Neil Record, watch films at the Ultimate Picture Palace, madrigals on the river, dance in Oxford city centre, listen to Maya Youssef the ‘queen of the qanun,’ the Tenebrae Choir with Juliet Stevenson, Fran Lebowitz at the New Theatre and An Evening with renowned British photographer Rankin, or book Julius Caesar by Shakespeare’s Globe…. the list goes on and on.
Running from June 24 – July 25, Around the World in 80 Ways is a truly collaborative cultural festival involving numerous local and international partnerships in venues all around the city and further afield.
The New Theatre is booked for two epic performances by Mugenkyo Taiko Drummers https://www.atgtickets.com/shows/mugenkyo-taiko-drummers/new-theatre-oxford/and An Evening with Fran Lebowitz – the famous American social commentator. https://www.atgtickets.com/shows/an-evening-with-fran-lebowitz/new-theatre-oxford/
Up the road at Oxford Playhouse there’s a double-Bill: Leave it to Puck!– (a celebration of family, fairy dust and fun in a modern day enchanted wood) and Birdland a collaboration between renowned choral composer Bob Chilcott and award-winning poet/librettist Charles Bennett. https://www.oxfordplayhouse.com/events/birdland-and-leave-it-to-puck#dates-and-times
Blackwell’s is hosting The Wolf Hall Debate exploring where history and literature collide concerning Thomas Cromwell and Henry VIII. https://artsfestivaloxford.ticketsolve.com/shows/873626655
Brand new site Albion Barn‘s sculpture park for example hasn’t even opened yet, while Shakespeare’s Globe is setting up in Magdalen College School grounds for a whole week.
More sculpture can be seen from Bicester Sculpture Group in the MCS Rose Garden, or catch the British Society of Master Glass Painters‘ Centenary Touring Exhibition in The Chapter House at Christ Church Cathedral.
Experts gather at Weston Library will discuss The Art of Illumination: makers and users of medieval manuscripts, with some workshops also programmed in. https://artsfestivaloxford.ticketsolve.com/shows/873626819
And see Becky Paton‘s commissioned mosaic portrait of Gentleman Jack in the image of the actor Suranne Jones, commissioned by Sally Wainwright who wrote and directed the acclaimed TV series. Sally Wainwright will also be ‘in conversation with’ in the Festival Marquee.
At Modern Art Oxford book in for a private curated tours of nw exhibition Ruth Asawa: Citizen of the Universe, the first public solo exhibition in Europe of work by the visionary artist, educator and activist featuring her signature hanging sculptures in looped and tied wire. https://artsfestivaloxford.ticketsolve.com/shows/873626903
Numerous concerts are being held at SJE Arts from OSJ’s The Seasons https://www.osj.org.uk/osjevent/the-seasons-7pm-at-sje-arts/, Schubert: Die schöne Müllerin starring Sebastian Hill, and William Harmer https://sje-arts.org/event/schubert-die-schone-mullerin/, SIROCCO: Abel Selaocoe with Chesaba and Manchester Collective https://www.ticketsoxford.com/events/sirocco, ‘Britain: Old and New’ with the National Youth Choir of Great Britain Fellowship Octet https://www.ticketsoxford.com/events/nycgb-fellowship-2019-2020 or the highly anticipated Humanity and Liberty: Tenebrae Choir with Juliet Stevenson. https://www.ticketsoxford.com/events/tenebrae-with-juliet-stevenson
Other classical excitements include E Lucevan le Stelle starring world renowned tenor Joseph Calleja & Simon Lepper (https://artsfestivaloxford.ticketsolve.com/shows/873626708), The Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment at Oxford Town Hall in collaborations with Oxford Botanic Garden, Festival Evensong in Magdalen College Chapel with the renowned Choir of Magdalen College, plus Music for the Royal Fireworks with the Academy of Ancient Music and Guildhall School of Music & Drama. https://artsfestivaloxford.ticketsolve.com/shows/873626678
The WOW duo of Tricia Dawn Williams on piano and Beibei Wang on percussion makes its international debut in the Jacqueline du Pré Music Building. https://artsfestivaloxford.ticketsolve.com/shows/873626615
Or for something a bit different get down to St Mary the Virgin University Church Tower for Let the Bells Ring with the Oxford Society of Change Ringers, book to see Around the World in 80 Tunes with Harry the Piano https://artsfestivaloxford.ticketsolve.com/shows/873626675, catch acclaimed jazz musicians Julian Joseph Trio (book: https://artsfestivaloxford.ticketsolve.com/shows/873626778) or admire Maya Youssef, hailed as ‘queen of the qanun.’ https://artsfestivaloxford.ticketsolve.com/shows/873626612
Community events include Can I Take Your Picture? – The North Wall’s inaugural Camera Club in association with the Cutteslowe and Sunnymead community alongside famous photographer Rory Carnegie, and an all-day bazaar in partnership with Asylum Welcome to mark Refugee Week 2022.
On a more light-hearted note join The Mad Hatter’s Tea Party on Broad Street with The Story Museum and Fairtrade at St Michael’s for food, fancy dress, games and fun, or get down to Oxford’s Westgate shopping centre for Dance in the City with Dancin’ Oxford.
As for Shakespeare’s Globe, it’s a massive coup to have the famous travelling theatre troupe setting up camp at MCS for a week to portray JULIUS CAESAR in association with Oxford Playhouse. https://www.oxfordplayhouse.com/events/julius-caesar
This is just a tip of the iceberg in terms of what’s on offer in the month long festival so get booking to ensure you get the best seats, see the biggest names and absorb the most fun and entertainment possible.
“I’m absolutely thrilled that after everything the arts has gone through in the past few years that we are now able to offer such a diverse programme that reflects the kaleidoscope of worldwide culture on offer, and bring it to Oxford for everyone to enjoy,” festival director Michelle Castelletti says. “We can’t wait – there’s a tsunami of entertainment just waiting to happen so it’s really exciting. Bring on June 25!”
Around the World in 80 Ways runs from June 24 – July 25, for more details go to https://artsfestivaloxford.org/whats-on/