Five of the best things to see in and around Banbury in the coming days

Our pick of theatre, comedy and more that can be enjoyed on our doorstep

By David Philip
Wednesday, 12th January 2022, 2:45 pm
Stewart Lee returns to the Oxford Playhouse.
Stewart Lee returns to the Oxford Playhouse.

1 Stewart Lee: Snowflake/Tornado

Oxford Playhouse, January 17 to 22

After a sell-out in spring 2020, Stewart Lee returns due to popular demand to Oxford Playhouse with his double bill of two 60-minute sets. The first half, Snowflake, will be heavily rewritten in the light of the two years the show has been laid off, looking at how the Covid-Brexit era has impacted on the culture war declared on what he calls “lovely woke snowflakes by horrible people”. The second half, Tornado, questions Stew’s position in the comedy marketplace after Netflix mistakenly listed his show as “reports of sharks falling from the skies are on the rise again. Nobody on the Eastern Seaboard is safe.”

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Visit oxfordplayhouse.com to book.

2 Soul Kinda Wonderful

The Mill Arts Centre, Banbury, January 15

Soul Kinda Wonderful are one of the UK’s leading tributes to the legendary Drifters, and award winners at the National Tribute Awards 2013, 2016 and 2017. Their show combines The Drifters’ greatest hits along with other classic Motown and soul favourites from artists such as The Four Tops and The Temptations. Lead vocalist Richie Sampson has performed alongside former long-standing members of The Drifters such as Ray Lewis, Billy Lewis, Butch Leake and Roy Hemmings. The band breathe new life into classic Drifters hits such as Under the Boardwalk, Save the Last Dance for Me, Up On The Roof and Kissing in the Back Row of the Movies. The group also pay tribute to the great original members such as Ben E King and his solo hits Spanish Harlem and Stand By Me, Clyde McPhatter and Johnny Moore. Visit themillartscentre.co.uk or call 01295 279002 to book.

3 Aladdin

Adderbury Institute, January 27 to 29

After a year’s enforced absence – the first in a 42-year history – Adderbury Theatre Workshop is back with its pantomime. The story follows the traditional plot of Aladdin, determined to win the hand of Princess Blossom, while hounded by Uncle Abaneezer and ‘assisted’ by his hapless family. His mother, Widow Twankey, runs the local laundry with Aladdin’s brother. The pantomime is written and directed by group member Jamie Cox, with a cast of locals. Visit www.adderburytheatreworkshop.org.uk to book.

4 Lauren South

Banbury Folk Club, Butchers Row, Banbury, January 19

Lauren South is a singer and multi-instrumentalist whose self-penned and traditional songs have gained her a reputation as one of Warwickshire’s foremost up-and-coming folk musicians. A mixture of tenor guitar, fiddle, piano and shruti box provides backing for smooth vocals. Internationally renowned singer/songwriter Reg Meuross said: “I love Lauren’s voice – it has a distinctive and unique beauty that allows her to turn every word into a kind of magic formula.” Call 07845 821041 to book.

5 Mark Watson: This Can’t Be It

The Mill Arts Centre, Banbury, January 20

Multi-award winning comedian, author and Taskmaster survivor Mark Watson is bringing his new tour to Milton Keynes. This Can’t Be It is inspired by taking a life expectancy test using an app on his phone and discovering he could expect to reach 78. In other words, he’s just over halfway to, as it were, the finish line. Mark will be asking what we should be doing with our time on Earth, and how we can do it better. Visit stables.org or call 01908 280800 to book or for more information.