That Glacier is entertaining us at Oxford’s Old Fire Station over Christmas is a miracle in itself, a result of crowdfunding by OFS when grants failed to materialise.
But then Oxford couldn’t be without the OFS grown-up Christmas play which premieres to hugely appreciative audiences every year.
And this year’s offering Glacier looks no different. Set on Christmas day 2007, three women Lucy, Jools and Dawn meet while swimming at the lake.
‘What is really beautiful about Glacier, is that it doesn’t fall into the trap of pretending that Christmas is always full of cheer and fun’
Over the next 14 years, we watch how their relationships develop and their lives pan out on their annual festive swims as Glacier’s ode to friendship picks up pace.
Written by the award-winning writer and comedian Alison Spittle, and directed by Madelaine Moore, it focuses on how and why these women have ended up at the lake alone on Christmas Day, the OFS Christmas play always focusing on those who don’t always have the rosiest of Christmases.
‘expect A load of belly laughs, tears and a few warm fuzzy feelings to polish it off. We can’t wait to welcome you to Lake Foxleighmere!”‘
“What is really beautiful about Glacier, is that it doesn’t fall into the trap of pretending that Christmas is always full of cheer and fun, and delves into the messiness of modern life, particularly for women who may be responsible of others at Christmas,” Madelaine explains.
“The three characters all have their personal challenges and very distinct personalities, so much of the humour comes from their differences and recognition of them,” Madelaine adds.
‘I think audiences will recognise these characters and be able to empathise, commiserate and celebrate with them as they grow over the years’
“I think audiences will recognise these characters and be able to empathise, commiserate and celebrate with them as they grow over the years. At the same time I wanted them to feel familiar and recognisable as people living in the Oxford area.
So how did Madelaine cast Glacier? “I wanted to find actors who were completely different to each other to play the three women who would never meet under any normal circumstances and Debra, Emma and Sophie play off each other so beautifully.”
Wild swimming also plays a massive part in Glacier, so why that particular device? “Wild swimming is a great leveller because it brings such a brilliantly diverse mix of people from all walks of life together, their one thing in common being a love of jumping into freezing cold water and swimming!”
‘Wild swimming brings such a brilliantly diverse mix of people from all walks of life together over their love of jumping into freezing cold water’
So what can people expect? “A load of belly laughs, some tears and a few warm fuzzy feelings to polish it off. We can’t wait to welcome you to Lake Foxleighmere!”
OFS’ Clara Vaughan agrees: “Glacier is hilarious and poignant; the perfect blend of the two qualities we look for in an OFS Christmas show so we’re thrilled to haveGlacier as our 2023 show.”
Glacier is at OFS from Monday 4 – Saturday December 23 at OFS BOOK HERE