Five of the Best: Entertainment options for the coming week

Banbury Cross Players present the Alan Ayckbourn comedy GamePlan at The Mill next week. Picture: Jim Muller
Banbury Cross Players present the Alan Ayckbourn comedy GamePlan at The Mill next week. Picture: Jim Muller

Panto, theatre and music, it’s all happening in Banburyshire during the coming week.

1 MUSIC

Signs of Spring

Signs of Spring

Signs of Spring, St Mary’s Church, Banbury, February 10

Orchestra Pro Anima and Banbury Youth Choir are teaming up to bring some colour to a winter’s evening this weekend. Signs of Spring features Vivaldi’s Spring from the Four Seasons, Bach’s Air on the G String, Mozart’s Symphony no.30, Bottesini’s Fantasia I Puritani and the much-loved Adagio from Albinoni’s organ concerto.

Orchestra Pro Anima features several international musicians connected with the Banbury area: Michael Bochmann MBE, violinist and director of the orchestra, Thomas Martin, double bass player and soloist, Peter Adams, cellist, and Kieron Galliard, the organist and choirmaster at St Mary’s. Banbury Youth Choir is under the direction of Rachael Bee and Frances McMillan.

Details: eventbrite.co.uk

Vikki Stone

Vikki Stone

2 THEATRE

GamePlan, The Mill, Banbury, February 13 to 16

Banbury Cross Players present this Alan Ayckbourn comedy. Set in a riverside apartment in London’s Docklands, Lynette finds herself a single parent with a dwindling lifestyle when her Internet business collapses and her husband disappears. She reckons without teenage daughter Sorrel’s last-ditch attempt to save them both – aided and abetted by her less than worldly-wise school friend, Kelly. Troubles follow aplenty for Sorrel and Kelly with their first client. Prostitution, police questioning and media intrusion all feature in a play awash with twists, turns and surprises.

Details: themillartscentre.co.uk

Brackley Players pantomime Aladdin, February 2019. Jim Howson as Abanazar and Ian Bell as Widow Twankey PNL-190121-111041004

Brackley Players pantomime Aladdin, February 2019. Jim Howson as Abanazar and Ian Bell as Widow Twankey PNL-190121-111041004

3 MUSIC

Phil Beer, The Theatre, Chipping Norton, February 9

Charming, disarming, multi-instrumentalist Phil Beer is something of a national treasure on the folk, roots and acoustic scene. One-half of award-winning powerhouse Show of Hands, Beer is just as in demand for his solo shows.

Details: chippingnortontheatre.com

4 COMEDY

Vikki Stone, The Mill, Banbury, February 8

Award winning musical comedian Vikki Stone is best known for her original comedy songs, but is also an actress, musician and composer. The Scotsman has called her “the love child of Victoria Wood and Tim Minchin”.

Details: themillartscentre.co.uk

5 PANTOMIME

Aladdin, Magdalen College School, Brackley, February 7 to 9

Brackley Players present this magical family pantomime. The cast has been rehearsing since November to bring together an all-singing, all-dancing production which promises to entertain adults and children alike. Audiences will be transported to the streets of Old Peking and be taken on a magical adventure to discover hidden treasures. The pantomime will be directed by first-time director Emma Wilberforce, and audiences can expect to see the usual panto characters, including Wishee Washee, Abanazar, Aladdin and, of course, the dame of the panto, Widow Twankey, who will be played by Ian Bell. Musical direction comes from Drew Cowburn, who will also be providing live musical accompaniment, alongside local drummer Lee Smith. Charlotte Boardman, principal of Starlight Dance Academy, will be putting the cast through their paces, alongside young dancers from her dance school.

Details: www.ticketsource.co.uk/brackleyplayers