From a popular musical to an evening with a dance favourite, there's lots to enjoy...
Pippin, Wykham Theatre, Banbury Academy, July 28 and 29
Odyssey Youth will follow up their award-winning 2016 show Loserville with a production of Pippin, the seminal musical by Stephen Schwarz, who is best known for Wicked and Godspell. This classic Broadway show brings to life the tale of a young man in search of fulfilment, and the trials and frustrations of his journey.
A troupe of travelling players tells the story of the young prince Pippin’s quest for true happiness. He explores the glories of war, the temptations of love and the intrigues of political power before discovering happiness lies not in the extraordinary but in the ordinary moments of every day. The show is billed as a technicolour extravaganza of music and dance, with choreography by Sharon Green and costumes by Jeanette Gee of Wacky Wardrobes.
“This is a truly creative musical, as we are telling a story within a story,” said director Andy Aldcroft. “We stage it in a week, and are blessed again to have such a talented group of young people working with us. As a summer school, each member of the cast is challenged through the week, and we expect that final result to be a stunning spectacle.”
Arlene!, The Theatre, Chipping Norton, July 28 and 29
Arlene Phillips reveals all from 40 years in showbusiness, having worked with the likes of Freddie Mercury and Whitney Houston and on shows including Starlight Express. Choreographer to the stars, creator of the world’s most iconic musicals, and the unforgettable judge on Strictly Come Dancing, Arlene gossips with Jacquie Storey about a lifetime in dance and reveals the truth from behind the curtains.
They Live Next Door and Encore, The Mill, Banbury, July 29
This double bill will feature choreographer Ieva Kuniskis’ show They Live next Door with professional dancers, together with Encore, created with and performed by Remarkable Dance Company, formed at the theatre in March.
This new company of 18 people, features some ex-professionals and some of who have never danced on a stage before. It includes two who are in their 8os, one of who danced internationally with the Rambert Dance Company. They Live Next Door reveals the touching and sometimes gritty stories of neighbours, weaving memories, expectations and rituals of modern life.
Pre-show music is provided by the Rusty Musicians, all of who are over 50.
Jazz on the Lawn, Upton House, July 29
Andy Kirkland and the Swinging Bass Band will be bringing you the tunes and of the 1920s. There’s also a jazz taster class with 1920s dance teachers.
Victorian Zoolab, Blenheim Palace, July 29 and 30
Travel back in time to discover what life was like for a Victorian street urchin in these interactive “zoolab” workshops. Find out about everything from rat-catchers and cholera to alternative medicine and prison hulk ships with the help of live rats, spiders and scorpions.