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Oxford Festival of the Arts

Cowley Place,
Oxford, Oxfordshire OX4 1DZ United Kingdom
01865 242191

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Oxford Festival of the Arts is a fortnight of events across the city, which takes place each summer from the third week of June onwards.

It attracts nationally and internationally renowned performers and artists, as well as exciting newcomers and wonderful home-grown talent to the festival. They commission new work and through their many cultural partnerships they collaborate on innovative projects and make use of the buildings, open spaces and performance venues that the beautiful city of Oxford has to offer.

They curate a broad programme of performances, events and experiences embracing music; classical, contemporary and new (they are proud to have presented numerous world premieres across the years), theatre, visual art, film, dance, literature, workshops, talks, comedy and more.

They celebrate Oxford’s diverse communities and offer something for everyone, whatever their age, background or artistic experience.

Many famous names have graced the OFA stages: Sir Sam Mendes, Ronnie Scott’s Big Band, Joseph Calleja, Nish Kumar, Professor Suzannah Lipscomb, Mahan Esfahani, Dame Sarah Connelly, Dr Janina Ramirez, ORA Singers, Prue Leith, Sophie von Otter, Marcus Brigstock, Dame Darcey Bussell and many many more.

The two weeks of the Festival are the pinnacle of their activities, their partnership activities run throughout the year involving hundreds of children from local primary schools and community groups. Much of their work is showcased during the Festival.

The Oxford Festival of the Arts was founded by Magdalen College School and the school remains the lead sponsor. Its beautiful grounds are the backdrop to many festival events.

Events

July 2022

July 1 @ 5:00 pm - July 10 @ 10:00 pm

Sculpture Garden: Bicester Sculpture Group

Oxford Festival of the Arts, Cowley Place,
Oxford, Oxfordshire OX4 1DZ United Kingdom

The Bicester Sculpture Group have been invited, in collaboration with Oxfordshire Artweeks, to showcase their work in the Rose Garden. The Bicester Sculpture Group was formed in 1998 in memory of George Muller who was a sculptor and a lecturer at Amersham College in Buckinghamshire. The Sculpture Group ethos is to create a supportive environment...

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July 1 @ 5:00 pm - July 10 @ 10:00 pm

Camera Club: Can I Take Your Picture? Cutteslowe Stories

Oxford Festival of the Arts, Cowley Place,
Oxford, Oxfordshire OX4 1DZ United Kingdom

Oxford Festival of the Arts is delighted to be hosting “Can I take your picture?” – The North Wall’s inaugural Camera Club in association with the Cutteslowe and Sunnymead community. Prolific artist and photographer Rory Carnegie worked with a group of seven young photographers to capture the spirit of Cutteslowe. The result was first exhibited...

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July 2 @ 11:00 am - 4:00 pm

Treasures from Around the World at New College Library

Oxford Festival of the Arts, Cowley Place,
Oxford, Oxfordshire OX4 1DZ United Kingdom

More manuscripts survive from the medieval library of New College than from that of any other Oxford or Cambridge college. Today, New College Library holds what is probably the finest collection of medieval manuscripts of any of the Oxford colleges, also holding more incunabula (15th-century European imprints) than any other undergraduate college at Oxford. The...

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July 2 @ 11:00 am - 4:00 pm

The Mad Hatter’s Tea Party

Oxford Festival of the Arts, Cowley Place,
Oxford, Oxfordshire OX4 1DZ United Kingdom

A (Fairtrade) Tea Party in collaboration with The Story Museum and Fairtrade. This year, the Oxford Festival of the Arts is falling down the rabbit hole with The Story Museum and Fairtrade at St Michael’s to present a Tea Party on Broad Street! Dress up as your favourite Wonderland character. Take a seat at our...

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July 3 @ 11:00 am - 4:00 pm

Family Day: Queens & Kings

Oxford Festival of the Arts, Cowley Place,
Oxford, Oxfordshire OX4 1DZ United Kingdom

Join us for a day in the glorious festival grounds where we will shall be entering the world of Queens and Kings. What better way to spend an afternoon than in the company of some of the trailblazing Queens who came before Elizabeth II for some lively debate between some of the Regnant Queens of Great Britain with Past-Times Living History? Linking to the historic Platinum Jubilee, this will be a day full of full and activity for the family:…

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July 3 @ 7:30 pm - 9:30 pm

Around the World in 80 Tunes with Harry the Piano

Oxford Festival of the Arts, Cowley Place,
Oxford, Oxfordshire OX4 1DZ United Kingdom
£5 – £20

Hailed as the world’s keyboard genius, with a career that continues to span all continents, Harry the Piano will be taking tonight’s audience on a musical tour of the globe. With appearances ranging from the Moulin Rouge in Paris to Buckingham Palace, and from festivals in Adelaide, Barbados and Hong Kong to performing on the six-star Seabourn ship which ventured to within 200 miles of the South Pole, Harry the Piano is ready and waiting to improvise in any style……

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July 4 @ 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm

Sir Andrew Pollard in conversation with Scott Crawford

Oxford Festival of the Arts, Cowley Place,
Oxford, Oxfordshire OX4 1DZ United Kingdom
£5 – £12

We are honoured to welcome Professor Sir Andrew Pollard, Director of the Oxford Vaccine Group and Professor of Paediatric Infection and Immunity in the Department of Paediatrics at the University of Oxford, and an honorary consultant paediatrician at Oxford Children’s Hospital and Fellow of St Cross College. Recipient of innumerable international distinguished awards, Sir Andrew received a knighthood in the Queen’s Birthday Honours in 2021 for services to Public Health, especially in the pandemic. He was the chief investigator for…

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July 4 @ 7:30 pm - 9:30 pm

SIROCCO – Abel Selaocoe and Manchester Collective

Oxford Festival of the Arts, Cowley Place,
Oxford, Oxfordshire OX4 1DZ United Kingdom
£18 – £30

Sirocco is pure joy and energy – a great storm of music that celebrates the warmth and diversity of cultural traditions from across the globe. Guest directed and narrated by South African cellist Abel Selaocoe, this is music for the people, by the people. This “once in a lifetime experience” covers everything from outrageous arrangements for solo cello to beloved classics by Stravinsky and Haydn; and from a set of original African music to a collection of gorgeous Danish folk…

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July 4 @ 8:00 pm - 10:00 pm

Comedy Night: Phil Wang, Rosie Jones & Sara Barron

Oxford Festival of the Arts, Cowley Place,
Oxford, Oxfordshire OX4 1DZ United Kingdom
£20 – £25

Oxford Festival of the Arts is delighted to be working with Jericho Comedy for an incredible evening of comedy. Tonight's show will be featuring the superb Phil Wang, Sara Barron and Rosie Jones, hosted by a Jericho Comedy MC. You are guaranteed a hilarious gut-wrenching evening of laughs! With such a great line-up, this is set to be one of the biggest and best comedy nights in Oxford’s calendar, so grab a ticket while you can!

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July 5 @ 7:00 pm - 8:50 pm

As You Like It

Oxford Festival of the Arts, Cowley Place,
Oxford, Oxfordshire OX4 1DZ United Kingdom
£2 – £10

‘All the world’s a stage…’, we are told by the enigmatic Jacques, in one of literature’s most famous phrases. And could there be a lovelier stage than the glorious banks of the river Cherwell on a summer’s evening? When Rosalind and Celia run away from the court of the wicked Duke Frederick, they take refuge at the Forest of Arden music festival (think Glastonbury with trees). Disguised as a young man, Rosalind falls in love with Orlando, himself an exile,…

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July 5 @ 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm

Janina Ramirez in conversation with Peter Frankopan

Oxford Festival of the Arts, Cowley Place,
Oxford, Oxfordshire OX4 1DZ United Kingdom
£5 – £12

We look forward to a stimulating and lively conversation between two brilliant Oxford historians: Dr Janina Ramirez, cultural historian, broadcaster and author, whose passion for communicating ideas about the past is always conveyed with an infectious enthusiasm, as exemplified in her brand new book FEMINA: A New History of the Middle Ages Through the Women Written Out of It; and the acclaimed historian Peter Frankopan, Professor of Global History and Director of the Centre for Byzantine Research at Oxford University,…

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July 6 @ 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm

John Leighfield: Atlases and Maps

Oxford Festival of the Arts, Cowley Place,
Oxford, Oxfordshire OX4 1DZ United Kingdom
£5 – £12

Join John Leighfield CBE, for his highly illustrated talk about how the maps of Oxford have developed from the 16th century until the present. Highly respected for his knowledge of the maps of the county and city of Oxford, John has had a passion for maps since his schooldays and has built a marvellous collection, some of which will be on display after the talk. John is Patron of the Oxford Festival of the Arts and President of the Bob…

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July 6 @ 7:00 pm - 8:50 pm

As You Like It

Oxford Festival of the Arts, Cowley Place,
Oxford, Oxfordshire OX4 1DZ United Kingdom
£2 – £10

‘All the world’s a stage…’, we are told by the enigmatic Jacques, in one of literature’s most famous phrases. And could there be a lovelier stage than the glorious banks of the river Cherwell on a summer’s evening? When Rosalind and Celia run away from the court of the wicked Duke Frederick, they take refuge at the Forest of Arden music festival (think Glastonbury with trees). Disguised as a young man, Rosalind falls in love with Orlando, himself an exile,…

Find out more »
July 6 @ 7:30 pm - 9:30 pm

Humanity and Liberty – Tenebrae Choir with Juliet Stevenson

Oxford Festival of the Arts, Cowley Place,
Oxford, Oxfordshire OX4 1DZ United Kingdom
£20 – £40

Award-winning choir Tenebrae presents this dramatic programme with a crucial message at its heart. One glance at the state of global geopolitics and it becomes clear than man fails to learn the lesson that history so easily teaches us: that little is ever gained from war but there is much to be lost. The message in this programme is one of peace – the longing for it, and the beauty, innocence and simplicity which can accompany it. Rudolf Mauersberger composed…

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July 8 @ 6:30 pm - 7:30 pm

The Rt Hon Theresa May MP in conversation with Neil Record

Oxford Festival of the Arts, Cowley Place,
Oxford, Oxfordshire OX4 1DZ United Kingdom
£5 – £12

Mrs May has served as MP for Maidenhead since 1997 and has held several positions within Parliament and Government. In 2010, she was appointed Home Secretary, a position which she held for 6 years before becoming Prime Minister. As Prime Minister, Mrs May oversaw the largest ever cash boost to the NHS and the largest expansion of mental health services in a generation; established the first ever Race Disparity Audit to shine a light on injustices; and legislated to end…

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July 8 @ 8:00 pm - 9:30 pm

Madrigals on the River

Oxford Festival of the Arts, Cowley Place,
Oxford, Oxfordshire OX4 1DZ United Kingdom
£2 – £15

It has long been an MCS tradition that the Trinity term comes to an end with a concert of Madrigals performed from punts on the river. This hugely popular event will feature a variety of madrigals and folksongs from different periods of our musical history interspersed with some instrumental items. Families are encouraged to picnic on School Field and there will be some informal music before the arrival of the punts.

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July 9 @ 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm

La Vita è Bella

Oxford Festival of the Arts, Cowley Place,
Oxford, Oxfordshire OX4 1DZ United Kingdom
£5 – £10

Winner of 72 awards including three Oscars (best foreign film, best leading actor – Benigni, and best soundtrack – Nicola Piovani), Life is Beautiful is based on a story of a gentle, Jewish-Italian father (the waiter) who desperately tries to shelter his son from the horror of his surroundings by hiding the truth, convincing him that their time in the camp is merely a game. To some, this paradoxical form seemed to diminish the atrocity of the Shoah, but, to…

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July 9 @ 4:30 pm - 5:30 pm

Imaginary Landscapes

Oxford Festival of the Arts, Cowley Place,
Oxford, Oxfordshire OX4 1DZ United Kingdom
£10 – £15

Chris Tutton, poet Anne Denholm, harp A special event featuring words and improvised music with critically acclaimed and award-winning author of seven collections of poetry, Chris Tutton, and harpist Anne Denholm, Associate of the Royal Academy of Music, who served as Official Harpist to HRH The Prince of Wales from 2015-2019. The festival is proud to be collaborating with the Oxford Botanic Garden – the oldest botanic garden in the UK and one of the oldest in the world, for…

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July 10 @ 2:00 pm - 3:30 pm

Child Migrant Stories: Voices Past and Present + Q&A

Oxford Festival of the Arts, Cowley Place,
Oxford, Oxfordshire OX4 1DZ United Kingdom

FILMFEST: THE TRUTH Oxford Festival of the Arts is delighted to be collaborating with Ultimate Picture Palace for a weekend of film about humanity, ‘home’, and truth. Directors: Eithne Nightingale and Mitchell Harris 60 minutes + Q&A Short films from Child Migrant Stories that document the lived experiences of young people who have arrived in the UK: from children who came over on the Kindertransport in 1930s, to the Windrush generation from the Caribbean in the 1960s, to those who…

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July 10 @ 4:00 pm - 5:35 pm

The Singing Revolution

Oxford Festival of the Arts, Cowley Place,
Oxford, Oxfordshire OX4 1DZ United Kingdom
£5 – £7

Ultimate Picture Palace Creative Team: James Tusty and Maureen Castle Tusty, Mike Majoros, Bestor Cram, Piret Tibbo-Hudgins, Artur Talvik “Inspiring!... Gripping!... A story of how feelings became songs, songs became a national voice, and voice became action!” Robert Abele, LA Times The Singing Revolution is an inspiring account of one nation’s dramatic rebirth: the story of humankind’s irrepressible drive for freedom and self-determination. The Singing Revolution shares how, between 1987 and 1991, hundreds of thousands of Estonians gathered publicly to…

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July 10 @ 6:30 pm - 8:10 pm

FILMFEST: THE TRUTH – Hostile

Oxford Festival of the Arts, Cowley Place,
Oxford, Oxfordshire OX4 1DZ United Kingdom
£5 – £7

Venue: Ultimate Picture Palace Oxford Festival of the Arts is delighted to be collaborating with Ultimate Picture Palace for a weekend of film about humanity, ‘home’, and truth. Director: Sonita Gale “A plea for humanity” Whelan Barzey, Time Out Told through the stories of four participants from Black and Asian backgrounds, award-winning documentary Hostile focusses on the UK’s complicated relationship with its migrant communities, and the impact of the evolving ‘hostile environment’ – a term used by the UK government…

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July 19 @ 7:30 pm - July 23 @ 10:00 pm

JULIUS CAESAR by William Shakespeare

Oxford Festival of the Arts, Cowley Place,
Oxford, Oxfordshire OX4 1DZ United Kingdom
£10

Presented by Shakespeare’s Globe, in association with Oxford Playhouse and Oxford Festival of the Arts ‘Th’ abuse of greatness is when it disjoins Remorse from power.’ Act II, scene 1 Shakespeare’s Globe brings a startlingly relevant new production of epic tragedy Julius Caesar to Oxford this summer. Conspiracy to kill, public broadcast of cunning rhetoric, a divisive fight for Greatness. Ancient Rome has never felt closer. When Cassius and Brutus decide Rome’s leader Julius Caesar poses a political threat to…

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July 23 @ 2:30 pm - 5:00 pm

JULIUS CAESAR by William Shakespeare

Oxford Festival of the Arts, Cowley Place,
Oxford, Oxfordshire OX4 1DZ United Kingdom
from £10

Presented by Shakespeare’s Globe, in association with Oxford Playhouse and Oxford Festival of the Arts ‘Th’ abuse of greatness is when it disjoins Remorse from power.’ Act II, scene 1 Shakespeare’s Globe brings a startlingly relevant new production of epic tragedy Julius Caesar to Oxford this summer. Conspiracy to kill, public broadcast of cunning rhetoric, a divisive fight for Greatness. Ancient Rome has never felt closer. When Cassius and Brutus decide Rome’s leader Julius Caesar poses a political threat to…

Find out more »
July 24 @ 1:00 pm - 3:30 pm

JULIUS CAESAR by William Shakespeare

Oxford Festival of the Arts, Cowley Place,
Oxford, Oxfordshire OX4 1DZ United Kingdom
from £10

Presented by Shakespeare’s Globe, in association with Oxford Playhouse and Oxford Festival of the Arts ‘Th’ abuse of greatness is when it disjoins Remorse from power.’ Act II, scene 1 Shakespeare’s Globe brings a startlingly relevant new production of epic tragedy Julius Caesar to Oxford this summer. Conspiracy to kill, public broadcast of cunning rhetoric, a divisive fight for Greatness. Ancient Rome has never felt closer. When Cassius and Brutus decide Rome’s leader Julius Caesar poses a political threat to…

Find out more »
July 24 @ 6:00 pm - 8:30 pm

JULIUS CAESAR by William Shakespeare

Oxford Festival of the Arts, Cowley Place,
Oxford, Oxfordshire OX4 1DZ United Kingdom
from £10

Presented by Shakespeare’s Globe, in association with Oxford Playhouse and Oxford Festival of the Arts ‘Th’ abuse of greatness is when it disjoins Remorse from power.’ Act II, scene 1 Shakespeare’s Globe brings a startlingly relevant new production of epic tragedy Julius Caesar to Oxford this summer. Conspiracy to kill, public broadcast of cunning rhetoric, a divisive fight for Greatness. Ancient Rome has never felt closer. When Cassius and Brutus decide Rome’s leader Julius Caesar poses a political threat to…

Find out more »
July 25 @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

The Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment

Oxford Festival of the Arts, Cowley Place,
Oxford, Oxfordshire OX4 1DZ United Kingdom
£25 – £55

The festival is delighted to be rounding off its trio of collaborations with Oxford Botanic Garden for its 400th anniversary celebrations with The Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment at the city’s Town Hall. The programme has been specially selected for the occasion, with a focus on music that would have been heard at the time of the Garden’s founding in 1621. The venue is also the same place the orchestra held their very first concert in 1986. Guests will…

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