This season our programme has a real international flavour, and The North Wall will be flinging open its doors to artists from as far away as Belarus, Zimbabwe and Pakistan, as well as young performers taking part in MESH, Oxford’s International Youth Arts Festival. We’ll also be flying the flag for Britain by playing host to the best of British comedy, music and drama.
We are delighted to welcome *Belarus Free Theatre* in May with Minsk 2011, which won a Fringe First at Edinburgh last year. Formed under the Lukashenko dictatorship in 2005, members of the company have served time in prison, lost their jobs, gone into hiding or been exiled, but despite this continue to develop award-winning work. This incredibly moving piece of theatre is a love letter to a home that exiles those who are willing to fight for it.
Our journey overseas continues with the return of *Two Gents Productions* to the North Wall stage, whose new show *Magetsi* unearths the untold stories of ordinary Zimbabweans. Audiences in Oxford will then be whisked away on a magic carpet and transported to Pakistan for Theatre Walley-KASHF’s take on *The Taming of the Shrew*, a heady mix of vibrant costume, traditional dance and Punjabi music.
Contemporary theatre fans will also be excited about the return of Theatre Ad Infinitum, whose exquisite piece of mask and movement theatre *Translunar Paradise* wowed audiences at the Edinburgh Fringe last year. Kneehigh veteran Tristan Sturrock’s inventive one man show *Mayday Mayday* tells his own true story set against the backdrop of maypoles and Obby Osses in Padstow. In June, Iron Shoes will present *Mad About the Boy*, an urgent and timely piece of new writing examining the growing divide between three generations; whilst Mark Bruce Company take to the stage with *Made in Heaven*, a savagely beautiful piece of dance theatre.
The Wrong Crowd’s critically-acclaimed *The Girl with the Iron Claws* will delight young and old alike. This captivating, dark fairy tale tells the story of a girl who falls in love with a bear, combining stunning puppetry and enchanting music to great effect. Families will also be entertained by a new take on *The Gingerbread Man*, as well as as *Two Four Six Eight!* which makes maths fun for everyone.
A brand new comedy club for North Oxford will be launched in June: *So Comedy Live!* will showcase the best comedians in the business, kicking off with *Lloyd Langford* and *Tom Rosenthal* in a hilarious double bill. An action-packed Edinburgh preview in July pairs stand-up comedian *Phil Nichol* with the North Wall’s favourite sketch group,*Pappy’s*.
Music fans are also in for a treat this summer, with a diverse range of artists taking to the North Wall stage. Combining music by jazz vocal legends and the Swedish folk songs of home, the *Emilia Martensson Quartet* present an evening of pure jazz at the beginning of May, whilst June brings a dazzling mix of storytelling and high energy beatboxing with internationally acclaimed vocal percussionist *Shlomo*. *O’Hooley and Tidow* are a chamber folk duo whose sublime harmonies and cheeky Northern banter will delight folk aficionados in July. Classical music lovers are also spoilt for choice: we welcome back string quartet The Devil’s Violin Company, whose new show *A Love Like Salt* blends spoken word with live music; and world-renowned cellist *Sung-Won Yang* will be performing a beautiful programme of Brahms and Debussy as part of *Festival Owon*, which celebrates Korean music, art and culture in Oxford.
Our gallery is also well-worth a look: artists *Adam Hahn* and *Marion Yorston* present two contrasting exhibitions where science meets art.
We’re really excited about the new season and we hope you are too! Book now by calling 01865 319450.