From theatre to comedy to music, Oxide Arts will give you a quick 30 minute run down on all the exciting upcoming events in the world of Oxford University arts!
Actors, directors and musicians will join Kirsten weekly where they’ll be talking and giving listeners a unique insight into their upcoming shows.
If you would like your show to appear on the Oxide Arts, contact Kirsten on firstname.lastname@example.org or alternatively drop her a FB message
Season 1 Michaelmas 2018
The Threepenny Opera and The Oxford Revue, Week 2
Cast members Marcus Knight-Adams and Ella Tournes join me to talk about their production of Stephens’ adaption of Brecht’s The Threepenny Opera at the Oxford Playhouse. Crime, sex, blood but also humour abound in this play, and Marcus and Ella tell me how all these themes are reconciled. Tune in to hear about the fun they had with singing and dancing, and also their thoughts on the notions of right and wrong this play explores. The Co-President of the Oxford Revue, Verity, joins us to give a run down of everything you can expect from this term in the world of comedy.
Top Girls, Week 3
I speak to director Adam Radford-Diaper and leading lady Katie Cook this week about their upcoming production of Churchill’s Top Girls at the Michael Pilch Studio. Set in the Thatcher era, Adam and Katie talk to me about the individualist concept of feminism this play examines and how their notions of femininity and feminism developed through working on this play. Tune in to hear about how they approached THAT famous opening scene and how Katie worked on getting into the character of the ruthless Marlene!
Citizenship, Election and OUDS New Writing Festival, Week 4
This week I am joined by Citizenship’s director Anna Myrmus and producer Tracey Mwaniki to discuss their adaptation of Mark Ravenhill’s Citizenship, a darkly funny coming of age story about male bisexuality. As New Writing Festival reps, Anna and Tracey give all the information you need to know about the festival - from how you can get involved to their top tips! Later in the show we have the writer of Election, Kimberley Chiu and cast member Jack Blowers who tell me about how this outwardly political play is really about the relationships that underpin university experience. Tune in to hear how Kimberley felt having her creation brought to life and how Jack ends up being punched!
The Cement Garden, How to Save a Rock with a Circle and Journey’s End, Week 5
It’s a busy week this week with 3 student productions taking place. In this episode I have a series of quick-fire interviews with directors Hal Mcnulty and Kitty Low and producer Krishan Emmanuel from The Cement Garden (an adaptation of Ian McEwan’s novel), with director Bea Udale-Smith and producer Conky Kampfner from How to Save a Rock with a Circle, and Journey’s End director Agnes Pethers. Hal, Kitty and Krishan talk to me about how they went about staging such a dark and explicit story, while Bea and Conky discuss dating polar bears and the challenges of creating a completely carbon neutral production. Finally, tune in to hear about the decision to stage Journey’s End for Remembrance in the wake of the 100th anniversary of the end of WW1.
Mojo, Week 6
Louis Beer, director of this adaptation of Mojo, joins me to discuss Jez Butterworth’s dark comedy. Set in 1950s London, Louis gives us an insight into how he went about incorporating the violence of gang warfare into the play - will we get to see a body chopped in half? Should we be laughing at this violent ‘comedy’? Tune in to find out the answers to these questions as well as why a drummer is so essential to this piece.
Little Eyolf, Week 7
Director of this new adaptation of Little Eyolf, Amitai Landau-Pope, talks to me about the part comedy, part drama, part devised piece of theatre he has produced. Eager to keep his reimagining of the plot under wraps, Amitai explains how he and the cast worked on creating a new script to bring the 1800s classic into the modern day. Disturbing themes are mashed with comedy in this production and we can find out whether this adaptation retains the realism that afforded Ibsen the title ‘Father of Realism’.
The Winter’s Tale and The Admirable Crichton, Week 8
Agnes Pethers joins me again as she directs Shakespeare’s classic The Winter’s Tale - a fitting end to Michaelmas term. I learn from her about how she’s approached the problem play and what it’s like having the Shakespeare expert Sir Jonathan Bate perform in this student production. Later in the episode I am joined by director Caleb Barron and cast members Brian Chenard and Gemma Daubenay who discuss their modern adaptation of J M Barrie’s The Admirable Crichton. A satire originally directed at the class issue that was so prevalent in the late Victorian age, my guests give me their insights on how this problem is still relevant today and how they went about modernising the play.
Season 2 hilary 2019
Frog’s Legs and The Only Way is Suffrage, Week 2
It’s a new term and what better way to start it off than with some comic relief from Hughie Shepherd-Cross and Sam Scruton as they share hilarious anecdotes with me from the production of the show Frog’s Legs, an original work by Hughie. Tune in to hear how Dermot O’Leary and Rain Man will get involved! Later in the episode, I hear from director Issy Paul, actor Beth Evans and playwright Charlotte Delaney about The Only Way is Suffrage. Charlotte Delaney is the writer-in-residence at Oxford Women in Humanities and this is the first time her play is being performed. Set in 1911 during the fight for women’s suffrage, they talk to me about how the play offers a new angle on the theme in emphasising the class divide as Bathsheba gives a voice to the working class.
The Pitchfork Disney, Week 3
Director Bertie Harrison-Broninski and producer and actor Lou Lou join me to discuss their adaptation of Ridley’s 1991 The Pitchfork Disney. This play was revolutionary as a new style of ‘in-yer-face’ theatre and acted as a foundation text for the writing to come in the next decade. I talk to Bertie and Lou about how they’ve managed to incorporate so many differing elements and how challenging this has been as this play promises dreamlike surrealism. barbaric and magical imagery, dark comedy, violence and sexual acts. Will this adaptation leave you fainting like the play did with audience members in its original performance? Tune in to find out…
Numbers and Waiting for Gary, Week 4
Director and writer Alex Blanc and producer Morag Campbell discuss with me their new play Numbers which depicts mental health and eating disorder issues in a light-hearted and hopeful manner. Alex believes that even though there has been a lot of exposure on these issues. his play presents them in a new light so tune in to hear what his aim is with this new work. Later in the episode, director Agnes Pethers and writer Katie Sayer talk to me about Katie’s new play Waiting for Gary. Waiting for Gary is a hilarious 2 man comedy where two divorcees are forced to stay together in a waiting room until the birth of their grandchild. Full of nervous energy, Agnes and Katie promise audiences enough social awkwardness for a lifetime!
How to Make Friends and then Kill Them, Made in Dagenham, and Skin a Cat, Week 5
First up I talk to How to Make Friends’ assistant director Arthur James about the decisions behind choosing to put on this play as its performance in Oxford marks the European premiere. Tune in to hear why How to Make Friends is so perfect for the Oxford student stage…Later in the episode I hear from the director of Made in Dagenham Miranda Mackay which is on at the Oxford Playhouse. Set in 1968, Rita and her female colleagues at Ford Dagenham battle for equal pay in this feel-good musical. Miranda offers her thoughts on why this real-life period piece is still relevant today. Finally, directors Kitty Low and Martha West discuss their adaptation of Isley Linn’s Skin a Cat and why they think that this play about sex and the issue of vaginismus is universal. If you want to know how they’ve decided to stage that much sex in a student play at the BT, have a listen!
Many Moons and Cutting Room, Week 6
Director Rudi Gray talks to me about her directorial vision for Alice Birch’s debut play Many Moons which consists of a series of monologues. I discuss with Rudi what she believes to be the integral message of the play and how these monologues explore loneliness in a society that is inextricably bound by fate. Writer Arthur Charlesworth and director Django Pinter share with me insights on the production of Arthur’s play Cutting Room which is competing in the OUDS New Writing Festival. Set in an office, workers answer telephones in the midst of council cuts repeating the phrase ‘until we’ve taken back control’. Arthur and Django discuss how they’ve adapted the play for the stage through reworking and (ironically) cutting, and the humour involved in one-sided telephone conversation.
Redacted Arachnid and Bandages. Week 7
Co-writer and director Caleb Barron and actor Daniel Ergas talk to me about their fun original play Redacted Arachnid which is based off a real life Broadway musical that went wrong. Tune in to hear a few spoilers on what disasters befall the actors as they try to put on this crazy comic book rock opera circus extravaganza! Later in the episode I speak with writer and co-director Chloe Jacobs who discusses her play Bandages which was longlisted for the National Theatre’s New View competition. Chloe informs me on how a play with such a dark premise of self-mutilation can be radically feminist and experimental.
You are Frogs and What Comes After, Week 8
In the final week of term I talk to director Joel Stanley about why he chose this absurdist unheard-of play and how he’s approached directing 2 frogs and a metal puppet! In his time at Oxford this is the production he is most proud of - tune in to find out why… Later in the episode I catch up with writer and director Math Roberts and musical director Josh Cottell who discuss their new musical What Comes After. Math takes me through the writing process and why he chose to include 14 characters for 2 actors.
Season 3 Trinity 2019
Love/Sick, Bonnie and Clyde and The Merry Wives of Windsor, Week 2
Starting off Trinity Term with a bang, I hear from students from 3 different plays. Love/Sick’s co-directors Olivia Marshall and Luke Dunne catch me up with what we can expect from this unusual play which tackles the whole spectrum of relationships, providing satisfaction for the cynical side in us. Next up I go and visit the cast and crew of Bonnie and Clyde the musical. 5 members from the team give me the low-down on this exciting and action-packed tale with an insight on which musical numbers to look out for. Finally I talk to actors Philomena Wills and Ruby Gold about Shakespeare’s The Merry Wives and Windsor which is being performed in Wadham Gardens and all the fun they’ve been getting up to!
The Ruling Class and Four Men in Their Respective Cells, Week 3
First off I hear from director Eddie H-M about his adaptation of Barnes’ The Ruling Class and why he chose to put on this dark satire about a hippy who thinks he’s Jesus Christ in a world of tight-nosed toffs. Listen to find out how they’ve decided to stage an asphyxiation by hanging…Next I discuss the new psychological drama Four Men in their Respective Cells with writer and director Malgorzata Kaczmarek and she tells me how this play challenges what we really know about ourselves, our limits and our reality.
A Woman of No Importance and Marilyn Forever, Week 4
Directors Emily Osborne and Henry Sleight talk to me about their adaptation of Wilde’s A Woman of No Importance in the Magdalen President’s Gardens and why the space there is so special for a Wilde play. Despite being critically assessed as one of Wilde’s weaker plays, Emily and Henry argue how the so-called detractions have been turned into strengths in their adaptation. Later on in the programme I speak to Zerlina Vulliamy who is the director of the upcoming opera Marilyn Forever which is having its UK premiere. Listen to find out the interesting process of why she chose this opera and how she set up the Oxford Contemporary Opera Society!
My Mother Runs in Zig-Zags and Lemons Lemons Lemons Lemons Lemons, Week 5
This week I discuss the all new BAME play My Mother Runs in Zig-Zags with its assistant director Jiaqi Kang and singer Leanne Yau. They tell me how the play developed in a process of collaboration from writer Zad El Bacha’s one-woman show - a dramatisation of her mother’s experiences in the Lebanese civil war. Tune in to hear them discuss how they’ve incorporated narration, prose tracts, poetry, dance and live music into this performance. Later I talk to director Ksenia Dugaeva, producer Aurelia Aslangul and actors Louis Cunningham and Mattie Williams about their two-man play Lemons Lemons Lemons Lemons Lemons. Listen to hear their views on how this play teaches us to communicate.
A View from the Bridge and The First Last, Week 6
Directors Joe Woodman and Joel Stanley and actor Philomena Wills discuss their new adaptation of Arthur Miller’s classic A View from the Bridge. They talk to me about how the culture clashes the play explores are still relevant today and how they’ve decided to stage the famous relationship between Eddie and Catherine. Later I hear from writer Matt Kenyon about his new play The First Last which provides a new angle to the LGBTQ theatre scene. Tune in to find out about the exciting writing process involved!
Oxford Revue Showcase, The Witch of Edmonton and Hustlers, Week 7
First off I hear from the president of the Oxford Revue Katie Sayer about the end of year showcase at the Oxford Playhouse. Collaborating with the Durham Revue and the Cambridge Footlights, Katie reveals how this comedy gala will have something for everyone. Director and writer Bertie Harrison-Broninski and actor Fran Burt join me next to discuss the original adaptation of the Jacobean play The Witch of Edmonton. By forefronting the true story of the accused witch Elizabeth Sawyer and through the use of multimedia, Bertie and Felix radically alter the original script. Tune in to hear more about a demonic dog and how the crew have incorporated bondage. Finally, writer, actor and director Lou Lou Curry and marketing manager Emma Rumford tell me how we should ‘expect the unexpected’ with Lou Lou’s new play Hustlers which deals with an issue currently underrepresented in the media.
The Oxford Revue, Week 8
As things wind down in Week 8, listen to a replay of my interview with Katie Sayer (President of the Oxford Revue) about their final showcase of the year the Oxford Revue and Friends.