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4:00pm Thursday 11th April 2013
4:42pm Friday 22nd March 2013
9:09pm Saturday 23rd February 2013
IF you’re a fan of stand-up comedy, here’s your chance to win tickets to see two of the UK’s brightest stars. Andy Parsons and Josh Widdicombe will be bringing their distinctive senses of humour to Oxford and Didcot next month — and the Herald has two pairs of tickets to be won for each gig. With three sell-out national tours and two DVD releases already under his belt, Andy is back on the road with his I’ve Got A Shed tour and arrives at the Oxford Playhouse on Wednesday, March 13. A regular on the award-winning BBC show Mock The Week, Andy has enjoyed success as a writer and performer on television, radio and the live comedy stage. His other TV appearances have included Live At The Apollo and QI, Meanwhile, Josh, of Channel 4’s Last Leg with Adam Hills fame, will be dropping in at the Cornerstone arts centre on with his Josh Widdicombe: The Further Adventures Of show on Saturday, March 30. Josh has numerous other TV appearances to his name including Channel 4’s Stand Up For The Week and BBC1’s Live At The Apollo.
9:07pm Saturday 23rd February 2013
DIRECTING a version of Peter Shaffer’s once-controversial play Equus will fulfil a long-held ambition for Abingdon Drama Club’s Andrea Mardon. Now considered a modern masterpiece, the 40-year-old story of a teenager sentenced to psychiatric treatment for blinding four horses is being staged by the dramatic group next month. Speaking to the Herald, Andrea said: “I’ve always loved Peter Shaffer’s work. The first play of his I read was Amadeus and I was struck how it read like a thriller, you couldn’t put it down until you’d finished it. “Equus is the same. It’s a compelling story told with such sensitivity. It’s a page turner.” With the drama club following the tradition of staging the play in the round, the audience at the Unicorn Theatre, Abingdon, will find themselves seated on the stage close to the action. However, unlike some professional productions, there is no nudity in this version, although its themes still make it unsuitable for children under 13. Andrea said: “I was also compelled to do Equus because I believe it to be a somewhat misunderstood play. “It has a history of controversy for its nudity, most famous in recent years to Harry Potter fans as ‘the play where Daniel Radcliffe gets his kit off’. It is often crudely described in this manner; either as a play about bestiality or about a young boy who fancies horses. “To describe Equus only in terms of its sexual themes does it such a disservice. Equus is a rich and complex play not about deviance but about commonalities, longings which we all share; the need for intimacy, the quest for spirituality and the ever-present existential angst which questions our purpose on this planet.” Newcomer Lawley Barnett takes the leading role of 17-year-old Alan Strang who is held to account for blinding the horses at the stables where he works with a hoof pick. And, as psychiatrist Dr Martin Dysart, played by Jon Crowley, tries to understand the motivation for the crime, he begins to question his profression, also grappling with the realms of sex and religion. Taking the parts of Alan’s parents, Frank and Dora, are Adam Blake and Lynne Smith, with Rosie Hunt as Jill Mason and stables owner Harry Dalton played by Robert Rees. Making up the cast are Lin Beekar as magistrate Hester Salomon, Maria Crocker as the nurse, and Catherine Huckstep, Liz Adams and Robert Rees as horses.
3:31pm Friday 15th February 2013
HENLEY Choral Society will be performing a concert, Jewels of the 18th Century, to bring a little sparkle to a February night. The 100-strong chorus is linking up with the Chameleon Arts Orchestra for the performance at St Mary’s, Henley, on Saturday, February 23, at 7.30pm. It will feature Vivaldi’s Magnificat, Mozart’s Coronation Mass, Haydn’s Symphony No 38 and a polyphonic piece by little-known baroque Czech composer Zelenka, Litanaie de Venerabili Sacramento. The orchestra includes some of the country’s leading freelance players who perform with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, London Philharmonic Orchestra and Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra. Society chairman Melissa Maple said: “We are delighted to be bringing the wonderful talent of the Chameleon Arts Orchestra to Henley for what promises to be an excellent evening of music.” The society will also be joined by the rising musical talent of Julia Sitkovetsky, soprano; Esther Brazil, mezzo-soprano; Guy Cutting, tenor and Peter Collins, bass. Tickets are £12 and under-18s £8 from the ticket secretary on 01491 572795 or Gorvett & Stone, Duke Street, Henley. For information, see: www.henleychoralsociety.org.uk
3:29pm Friday 15th February 2013
SINGER Jim Moray will be bringing his cutting-edge folk music to Abingdon next month. The multi-instrumentalist will be playing a gig in the Roysse Room at the Guildhall on Saturday, March 9. After four acclaimed albums and a clutch of nominations and awards, he has found himself at the forefront of a new folk revival in the UK. Viewed as one of the most consistently inventive musicians in traditional folk music, Moray won the award for the best traditional track at this year’s BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards for Lord Douglas and was also nominated for this year’s Spiral Earth Awards in the best album category. His fifth and latest album, Skulk, was released just over a year ago. Aside from working on his own music, Moray, has branched out as the producer of his sister Jackie Oates’ award-winning Hyperboreans album — Doug Oates being his real name and Jim Moray his stage name. Moray recorded his first album Sweet England in 2003 while still studying classical composition at Birmingham Conservatoire by day and playing drums in power-pop bands by night. He has since been awarded honorary life membership of Birmingham Conservatoire for outstanding achievement in music. His imaginative reimagining of English traditional music blended with orchestral flourishes, guitars and electronics saw him awarded the Best Newcomer and Best Album accolades at the 2004 BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards. After establishing a reputation for his live performances at Glastonbury, Cambridge Folk Festival and WOMAD, and alongside Richard Thompson and Oysterband, Moray followed this with the albums Jim Moray and Low Culture in 2006 and 2008. Awarded the fRoots critics’ poll prize for best album and Mojo magazine’s Folk Album Of The Year accolade, Moray assembled an all-star band, including Saul Rose (Waterson: Carthy, Eliza Carthy Band) and William Bowerman (La Roux), to headline summer festivals throughout 2009. Moray then took the unsual step of giving his fourth album In Modern History away on the cover of Songlines magazine before releasing a deluxe two-disc version in June 2010. Tickets for the 8pm gig are £12 in advance from Seahorse box office, WeGotTickets or See Tickets and, if still available, £14 on the door. Doors open at 7.30pm. l For your chance to win a pair of tickets to Jim Moray’s concert at the Guildhall, Abingdon, simply send your name, address and telephone number in an email labelled Jim Moray Competition to: Heraldcompetitions@nqo.com or send them on a postcard or back of a sealed envelope to: Jim Moray Competition, Herald Series, Promotions Department, Newsquest Oxfordshire, Osney Mead, Oxford, OX2 0EJ, by the contest’s closing date of Wednesday, February 20
1:50pm Sunday 10th February 2013
5:08pm Sunday 3rd February 2013
5:04pm Sunday 3rd February 2013
VILLAGERS will be taking to the stage for Steventon’s pantomime hoping to raise more than just laughs. The village’s biennial show has previously amassed thousands of pounds for the NSPCC charity — and the cast of this year’s offering, Beauty and the Beast, is aiming to do the same again. It tells the tale of a spurned woman who takes revenge on the man who jilted her by turning him into the Beast, but she doesn’t count on what Beauty and her friends can do to save him. One of the panto’s co-writers, Maggi Shellard, a member of the NSPCC committee, said: “The 2011 panto brought in over £4,000 for the charity, but we always try to keep ticket prices down so this year a family of four can come for £22. Refreshments and raffles help raise the money.” The show is being staged at Steventon village hall at 2.30pm on Sunday, February 3, at 7.30pm on Wednesday to Friday, February, 6 to 8, and at 2.30pm and 7.30pm on Saturday, February 9. Tickets are available from the Old Farmhouse Bakery in Steventon or from Margaret Hall by calling 01235 834067 or email: email@example.com
12:00am Wednesday 12th December 2012
THE next concert in the Folk at the Unicorn series offers music fans the chance to hear a new band. Pilgrims’ Way, a three piece from Stockport, will be playing an acoustic set at the Unicorn Theatre, Abingdon, on Thursday, December 13. Named after the Rudyard Kipling poem, their line-up features Tom Kitching, Edwin Beasant and Lucy Wright. Brought together through a series of chance meetings at sessions around the north west of England, they say their aim is to present gimmick-free English folk. While their influences individually are many and varied, they share a respect for the tradition and are inspired some of the most influential bands from the 1960s/1970s revival. Pilgrims’ Way were 2011 BBC Folk award nominees. A Young Folk Award finalist, fiddle player Kitching, also mandolin and vocals, made his name on the British folk scene as one half of a duo with singer-songwriter and guitarist Gren Bartley, as well as performing nationally in a variety of other line-ups. Multi-instrumentalist Beasant (melodeons, guitar and bass) is best known as a box player and for his stint as the drummer with the acoustic dance music outfit Jabadaw. Singer Lucy Wright is an internationally acclaimed jews harp player and second fiddle player in the line-up.