Five of the best: Entertainment for the Banburyshire area

Banbury Choral Society will sing in St Mary's Church this weekend, accompanied by the Oxford Sinfonia
Banbury Choral Society will sing in St Mary's Church this weekend, accompanied by the Oxford Sinfonia

Here’s what’s happening over the next week from rock and pop to theatre and panto.

1 MUSIC

Lighthorne Drama Group presents Jack and the Beanstalk

Lighthorne Drama Group presents Jack and the Beanstalk

Banbury Choral Society, St Mary’s Church, Banbury, December 1

The choir will be performing a Christmas concert programme that includes Bach’s Magnificat in D, and two choral works by Charpentier - Messe de Minuit pour Noël and Te Deum. The choir will be accompanied by the Oxford Sinfonia and conducted by Julian Harris.

The Magnificat is one of Johann Sebastian Bach’s most striking choral pieces from the Baroque period.

He wrote the work in 1723 for Christmas Vespers at St Thomas’s Church in Leipzig after being appointed cantor. The Magnificat is divided up into 12 short movements, each one a musical gem in its own right.

Ian Bramble plays in Cropredy this weekend

Ian Bramble plays in Cropredy this weekend

Marc-Antoine Charpentier, an outstanding musician of the late 17th century Baroque era, was particularly drawn to Christmas music and wrote his Christmas Mass, Messe de Minuit pour Noël, in around 1690. His mass combines nine noëls all with a dance-like quality. Te Deum was also written around this time and Charpentier used a much larger instrumental band combined with choir and solo voices to bring a dramatic and ceremonial feel to the music.

Details: banburychoralsoc.co.uk

2 More MUSIC

Ian Bramble, The Brasenose, Cropredy, December 1

Ian Bramble’s career thus far has been remarkable – and his return to The Brasenose is likely to prove emotional. Ian has played all around the world in different bands, with BB King clamouring for his autograph, and Ian taking over from Johnny Depp as guitarist for The Popes, originally formed by Shane MacGowan.

But he still says his most memorable gig was with John Coghlan on drums, the original and founder member of Status Quo, and Maart Allcock on bass, in The Brasenose.

Ian will give his pay and money from CDs and downloads to Macmillan Cancer Support and support to musicians with arthritis.

Playing with Ian will be Spencer ‘Kansas’ Richards on harmonica, Pete ‘The Knife’ McNamara on violin, Nicky ‘Nice’ Bramble on vocals and Richy ‘Machine Gun’ Hoy on lead guitar, with Ian on slide guitar, piano and vocals.

The gig follows the death of Maart Allcock, who played for Fairport Convention and Jethro Tull; Ian last played with Maart at the Brasenose last year.

Details: brasenosearms.com.

3 PANTOMIME

Jack and the Beanstalk, Lighthorne Village Hall, December 5 to 8

Lighthorne Drama Group’s traditional Christmas panto is heading for a sell-out success.

Chairman Peter Amis said: “This has been a huge community effort, both on stage and off stage, from Lighthorne and surrounding villages.” The panto was written by Alan P Frayn and is directed by Dawn Gazey-Lewis.

Details: Call 01926 651411

4 THEATRE

Coram Boy, Bloxham School, November 29 to December 1

Set in 18th century England, Coram Boy is a sweeping saga of growing up, struggle, tradition and corruption, and involves more than 100 students.

Details: bloxhamschool.com

5 PANTOMIME

Aladdin, The Theatre, Chipping Norton, until January 13

The annual festive extravaganza draws audiences from far and wide and continues on its mammoth run, oh yes it does!

Details: chippingnortontheatre.co.uk