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Offbeat Oxford





Offbeat is now over for 2017. Our 2017 coverage is below.

“It’s a festival of brand-new theatre, comedy, dance, family shows, spoken word and music. It’s a place for you to see something which wouldn’t usually come here. It’s a blind date with a show you could fall in love with. And – lucky you – it’s right on your doorstep. Take a chance on something exciting.”

HOT TICKETS at Offbeat Oxford – The FringeReview Daily Pick

We Are Ian

Here are our day by day picks for Offbeat Oxford…




25th: COW 





30th: WE ARE IAN 


1st: HIP  

2nd: 6 WOMEN 

Essential Links

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Here are the theatre shows

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Our Top 12 Recommended Theatre Shows at Offbeat Oxford

1 – HIP


“Based around found objects, this semi-autobiographical one-woman-show introduces a flat caught between two timelines: the home of Anne Clarke during 70s bohemian Brighton, and a squat established in 2002.HIP transports the audience, in this extra-live performance, to a cosy living room with hypnotic OHP, cushions, incense, tequila and nibbles. Jolie’s soothing and passionate storytelling interweaves Anne’s real letters and diaries with vestiges from her own life to reveal an immediate and clear association.”



“A fiercely political convergence of death metal and theatre, #TORYCORE vocalises a response to Conservative Party policies through music, speeches, powerpoint and rage. It’s a guttural, expressive experience made up of Tory doctrine, political contexts and the impact of austerity over the past five years.”

3 – Hervé


“This provocative and humorous show is based on a true story. A busker of French African descent tells the extraordinary tale of his adoption and upbringing by an unconventional white Belgian couple who travelled the world. Delving into issues of race and individuality, the show explores why Hervé is the man he is today. A highly entertaining piece about a deadly serious matter – diversity.”

4 – Mr Mineshaft

Mr Mineshaft

“Mr Mineshaft rediscovers the extraordinary life and work of forgotten virtuoso black composer Julius Eastman, articulating his pitiful fall from the heights of America’s classical avant-garde, to depths of drug addiction and vagrancy.”

5 = Cow


“Beth wants to borrow a tractor, but she won’t say why. Cow is about a girl, a cow and the ways people ask for help.”

6 = Finding Mr Paramour

Finding Mr Paramour

“Tim Paramour was Deputy Head of a large primary school when he walked away from the profession that had been his life for over twelve years. A year on Tim shares his story in a poignant and unexpected way with documentary theatre experts, Kinoteater, from Estonia.”

7 – A Hundred Different Words for Love

A Hundred Different Words For Love

“A storytelling show about Love… I’m aware there isn’t much art made about love so I thought I’d wade in and nail the definitive article before anyone else tried to. There will be some music in it.”

8 –  Unconditional


“Me and my mum want to make a show together. We don’t know yet what it will be. She wants it to be called Unconditional. I’m not sure about that title yet but she will probably get her way… We want to test where the word ‘unconditional’ will lead us. Mothers, daughters, love and LIMITS. Is this ‘bond’ unbreakable?”

9 – Mine


“A new play: Mine is an intense monologue, examining what a parent must overcome when their child is arrested for something unspeakable. Written to highlight the importance of a tragic events, often forgotten victims, it explores the notions of guilt, shame, courage and good parenting.”

10 – Wrecked


“Sam is on the run. She has stolen a car, crashed it and is trapped with no way out. What happens when you hit a dead end and it feels like your life is a write off? Join her only seconds after she has crashed it; be one of just six passengers as Sam attempts to unravel her past and find a way out as she attempts to put the pieces of her life back together.”

11 – We are Ian

We Are Ian

“1989. The year that everything changed from black and white into technicolour. A frenzy of drugs, beats and bucket hats. Remember it? Because we don’t. We weren’t even born. But Ian was. And Ian does remember. We’ve got fuck all now (Ian tells us). So, we’re going back to 1989. We’re gonna neck a brown biscuit. We’re gonna get off our peanuts. We’re gonna bounce around like idiots. And Ian’s going to show us how…”

12 – Confessions of a Sex Addict

Confessions of a Sex Addict

“Frank has everything going for him. Exciting job, loving wife, beautiful daughter. But Frank has a secret – he is one of the thousands of sex addicts living in the UK. Watch Frank as his life unravels and join him on his descent into a shadow world of compulsivity and excess. A darkly humorous and unsettling account of one man’s search for redemption.”

Must See: Todd and God

Todd & God

“Fringe First-winner (Dirty Great Love Story) puts the mess into Messiah. Rebooting religion, God picks atheist Todd as her Chosen One. Now Todd’s doing good… badly. A comic drama about why we believe. What would you do, if you could change the world?”


Five Comedy Shows to see at Offbeat Oxford


1 – Juliette Burton. Buttefly Effect (Edinburgh Fringe Preview)

Juliette Burton: Butterfly Effect (Edinburgh Fringe preview)

“Following total sell-out shows at Edinburgh Fringe 2015 & 2016, award-winning comedian Juliette Burton investigates the power of kindness in a brand new docu-comedy.”

2 = Viv Grsokop: Anchorwoman

Viv Groskop: Anchorwoman

“Following her five star sold-out 2016 Edinburgh show Be More Margo, BBC Radio 4’s Viv Groskop presents her latest work-in-progress. Anchorwoman is a show exploring our relationship with the news, asking why exactly all the news is so annoying at the moment.”

3 – Mark Thomas: A Show that Gambles on the Future

Mark Thomas: A Show That Gambles On The Future

“This show is all about gambling on the future. Based along the lines of his 2011 show ‘Manifesto’ Mark takes suggestions from the audience to create a snapshot of the future.”

4 – Eleanor Coville – Bigamous

Eleanor Colville: Bigamous

“A brand spanking new character comedy. A big energy, silly-voiced extravaganza peeking into the pits of humanity.”

5 = Chris Coltrane: Make Love and smash Fascism

Chris Coltrane: Make Love and Smash Fascism.

“Comedian and activist Chris Coltrane makes his Oxford debut with another hour of uplifting, Tory-smashing comedy.”

Comedy must see

How Not to Steal a Llama

How Not To Steal A Llama

“Sameena Zehra (winner ‘Outstanding Performer’ NZ Fringe 2017) brings her caustic wit and absurd mind to a storytelling comedy (in zygote form) about journeys, borders & almost stealing a llama on a 4-day trek to Machu Picchu.”

I want to see… at Offbeat Oxford

Twin Replica

Here’s our unique guide to help you find a show to see at Reading Fringe. We’ve pulled out the popular, the weird and the eclectic. So, scan down and get booking!

I want to see…

… a theatre scratch night. Then see Theatre Scratch Night

… something political. Then see #TORYCORE

… an interactive sensory adventure through the seasons for 0 – 3 years old and their grown ups. Then see Aleena’s Garden

… alternative biopic very loosely based on a real life hot dog stand. Then see Nathan and Ida’s Hot Dog Stand

… a solo comedy show about the story of how she went blind but now she can see…literally.. Then see Georgie Morreli: Then see A Poke in the Eye

… a dizzying take on Mozart’s Marriage of Figar. Then see The Marriage of Kim K

… a wild and imaginative gig-theatre retelling of the ancient Greek tragedy, Medea, set in the technological turbulence of the 1980s. Then see Medea Electronica

… a solo show exploring non-binary gender. Then see She’s a Good Boy

… some new writing. Then see Fran & Leni

… a new hour of satirical gags and nonsense musings. Then see Tiernan Douieb: Miserably Happy

… some pre-Edinburgh comedy. Then see 2 Girls, 1 Hoare

… a theatre production with dance, original live music and storytelling. Then see Four Corners

… an award-winning promenade play. Then see I’m Standing Next to You

… some comedy for all the family. Then see Dr. Zeiffel, Dr Zeigal and The Hippo that Can Never Be Caught

… a work-in-progress comedy show. Then see Sajeela Kershi: Paradise Beneath Her Feet

… an extraordinary musician who has become known for his ‘alternative and unique’ approach. Then see Duotone

… an all new musical storytelling extravaganza to celebrate 40 years of Ronda and David Armitage’s The Lighthouse Keeper’s Lunch. Then see The Lighthouse Keeper’s Lunch.

… a comedy about breast cancer. Then see The Fourth Dog

… a contemporary dance piece fusing contemporary dance with British Sign Language . Then see Signs

… a musical about Boris Johnson. Then see Boris – The Musical!

… some debut spoken word from an award-winning poet. Then see What We Leave Behind

… a locally produced play about identity. Then see Orange Juice

… some Indian Dance. Then see Aunusthan

… some tap dancing. Then see Fall Out


… some family-friendly theatre. Then see Me & My Bee

… a solo show with music, dance and stories. Then see Hervé

… theatre clowning and choreography. Then see The Submission

… a five-piece jazz-electronic band from Oxford. Then see Wandering Wires or see an off beat electro-synth duo called Twin Replica

… something different, themed on Shakespeare. Then see Mercutio and Tybalt

… an insane ballet comedy mime spectacle full of joy and weirdness. Then see Swan

… some bold physical theatre. Then see Collector of Tears

… an evening of potentially hilarious songs you’ve probably never heard. Then see Matt Pearson

… a show for anyone who has ever felt absolutely dreadful. Then see What if the Plane Falls Out of the Sky?

… a new dark comedy. Then see Richard Carpenter is Close to You

… a storytelling show about Love. Then see A Hundred Different Words for Love

… some gentle interactive theatre for babies, very young children and their grown ups. Then see The Paper Moon

… a solo theatre piece about the life of a loner. Then see Ballistic

… some unique theatre for just one audience member. Then see Room

… some theatre based. on a remarkable true story. Then see The Deep

… some new, in-development, work-in-progress theatre. Then see Though Lovers Be Lost

… a new comedy show about life as fully exposed idiot. Then see When the Going Gets Duff

… some spoken word comedy poetry with video. Then see Massive Sense of Urgency

… the extraordinary life and work of forgotten virtuoso black composer Julius Eastman. Then see Mr Mineshaft

Link Collage

A new way to explore Offbeat Oxford – our essential links to navigate the Fringe… Simply click on an image to reveal details of a recommended show. Follow your artistic instincts…

Though Lovers Be Lost Medea Electronica

What If The Plane Falls Out Of The Sky? The Paper Moon

Wrecked Searching Shadows

HIPThe Ocean Queen

Nathan & Ida's Hot Dog Stand

6 Women Todd & God

Organic Entity

Keyword Chaos


Another way to find a show at Offbeat Oxford. We’ve trawled the programme and our own knowledge base and selected the most intriguing phrases in programme line up. So, choose the phrase that draws you in, click on the link and get booking. Use your intuition…

I’m not sure about that title yet but she will probably get her way…

A fiercely political convergence of death metal and theatre.”

John Hastings is done pretending he is not smarter than you. Or is he? He is! Other topics include the time John was a drag queen.

A darkly comic grapple with the awkward task of expression, inviting you into the mind of a person who stammers.

It will feature six women each from a different decade of their lives, aged between 20-80, and will ask what it is like to be a woman today and how much age changes one’s perspective.

Rosie is going on an adventure. Rosie also has dementia. She knows she needs to save Henry, but how? And where did he go?

In 27 fragments (because there are 27 bones in the human hand) she pieces together the unusual life of her grandfather and the birth of radiology to recount a tale of travelling, of bones become visible, of lighting and searching shadows.

What does it mean to be part of a family?  How does our heredity influence the way we love and hate, live and die?

It’s about always being an imposter and trying to remember how to speak in your own voice… I’ve been thinking about it for a lifetime.

This is a show about unconditional love, anxiety, peeing on things and being a wolf.

In a landscape of Afro-Latin and Hip Hop, four females cluck, fight & undress our preconceptions of what it is to be ‘Ladylike’.

a low-budget, one-man nature documentary set in a future where our worst predictions came true – following ecological collapse, thousands of endangered species are extinct, including the BBC.

Something’s triggered him to stand up for himself. He’s got a new plan and he’s going to reassert his worth. But does he have the balls to go through with it?

More to come

News Wire

All the headlines from Offbeat Oxford…


22nd June 2017: Out of the box and off the wall: Offbeat Festival Oxford is a feast of new theatre (The Oxford Times)

4th June 2017: Try something new for Oxford’s Offbeat Festival’ at Old Fire Station and Oxford Playhouse (The Oxford Times)

19th May 2017: Fluttering into city fringe fest (Oxfordshire Guardian)

15th May 2017: Offbeat announces full programme for second annual festival (Oxford Today)


More to come.