What’s on in Oxfordshire this May

Oxford City & Oxfordshire | Magazine 

whats on in oxfordshire this may 2024

This May, Oxfordshire transforms into a vibrant hub of entertainment, showcasing an eclectic array of events that cater to diverse interests and tastes. From the comedic genius of Julian Clary at New Theatre Oxford to the soul-stirring musicality of the Average White Band at the O2 Academy Oxford, the region buzzes with a unique blend of performances. Fans of classic rock can revel in the authenticity of Deeper Purple, while those seeking a touch of whimsy can enjoy the theatrical charm of “Sherlock’s Excellent Adventures” at The Kenton Theatre. Each event, whether it be a farewell tour of a legendary band or a satirical take on the world of politics and entertainment, contributes to a culturally rich and lively atmosphere, promising memorable experiences for residents and visitors alike in Oxfordshire.

A small selection of what’s on in Oxfordshire this May 2024

Pink Martini

Thursday 02 May 2024
New Theatre Oxford, 24-26 George St, Oxford, OX1 2AG

Pink Martini, the eclectic and internationally acclaimed musical group from Portland, Oregon, is set to perform at the New Theatre Oxford. With over three million albums sold worldwide, Pink Martini is celebrated for their distinctive musical style that seamlessly blends Latin, jazz, pop, and classical influences. Formed in 1994 and led by the talented pianist Thomas Lauderdale, Pink Martini has been enchanting audiences for nearly three decades with their sophisticated and diverse musical arrangements. Vocalist China Forbes, known for her captivating voice, adds a unique dimension to the band’s signature sound, further solidifying their status as musical innovators.

Pink Martini’s critically acclaimed album “Hotel Amour,” featuring guest appearances from artists like Rufus Wainwright, the vonTrapps, the late Michel Grand, and Barry Humphries, is a testament to their commitment to musical diversity and artistic collaboration. The album is a celebration of different musical styles, showcasing the band’s versatility and creative prowess. Additionally, their recent single, “The Lemonade Song,” has been a streaming success, with over eight million streams on Spotify.

Pink Martini’s remarkable journey includes performances with 70 orchestras worldwide, a reflection of their widespread appeal and musical excellence. As they approach their 30th anniversary in 2024, Pink Martini is excited to bring their celebratory tour to the UK, promising an unforgettable experience for their fans.

For further information, please click here.

The Elton John Show

Friday 03 May 2024
The Mill Arts Centre Spiceball Park Road, Banbury , OX16 5QE

“The Elton John Show,” set to take place on Friday, 03 May 2024, at The Mill Arts Centre on Spiceball Park Road in Banbury, OX16 5QE, promises to be a spectacular tribute to one of the most iconic musicians of our time. This show is the UK’s newest and most thrilling Elton John tribute act, offering fans a chance to experience the magic of Elton’s music live on stage. The Mill Arts Centre, known for its vibrant atmosphere and excellent acoustics, provides the perfect setting for this musical journey. The show aims to recreate the extraordinary energy and flamboyance of Sir Elton John, focusing on his early years when he dazzled audiences worldwide with his dynamic performances and unique style.

Celebrating the incredible career of Sir Elton John, who has sold over 300 million records, making him the most successful singer-songwriter of his generation, “The Elton John Show” is more than just a tribute concert. It’s an homage to Elton’s artistic genius and a celebration of his most beloved songs. The performance will feature some of his greatest hits, from the soul-stirring “Rocket Man” to the timeless beauty of “Tiny Dancer.” Audiences can expect to be transported back in time to witness “Young Elton” at his energetic best, reliving the moments that solidified his place as a flamboyant mega-star. The show promises to be an unforgettable experience for Elton John fans, music enthusiasts, and anyone looking for a night of nostalgia and world-class entertainment.

For further information, please click here.

Deeper Purple

Saturday 04 May 2024
O2 Academy Oxford,190 Cowley Road, Oxford

Deeper Purple, are an international tribute band known for their authentic renditions of classic rock anthems. Celebrating the legacy of one of the most influential rock bands of the past 50 years, Deeper Purple brings to life the iconic sound of Deep Purple with remarkable fidelity. The band’s line-up is as diverse as it is talented, featuring the charismatic Italian vocalist Luca Ravase, the skilled Spanish guitarist Rob Sas, German drummer Thomas Hauser, and British musicians Phil Crombie on bass and David Chapman on keyboards and backing vocals. This unique blend of international talent adds a distinct flair to their performances, ensuring that each show is not just a tribute, but a powerful musical experience in its own right.

Fans can expect a high-energy show packed with hits that have defined a generation. Deeper Purple’s setlist includes timeless Deep Purple classics such as “Highway Star,” “Black Night,” “Woman from Tokyo,” “Child in Time,” “Perfect Strangers,” “Mistreated,” and the legendary “Smoke on the Water.” Each song is performed with a level of precision and passion that honours the original band, while also showcasing the individual talents of the members of Deeper Purple. Their show at the O2 Academy Oxford promises to be a night, filled with nostalgia, raw energy, and some of the greatest rock music ever written.

For further information, please click here.

Jousting Tournament

Saturday 04 to Monday 06 May 2024
Blenheim Palace, Woodstock, Oxfordshire OX20 1UL

Blenheim Palace in Woodstock, Oxfordshire, is gearing up to host a spectacular jousting event. This event promises to be a thrilling step back in time, transporting visitors to the era of knights and nobility. Guests will have the opportunity to witness the exhilarating clash of steel and the thundering of hooves as knights in shining armour mount their steeds and prepare for jousting, one of the most anticipated and spectacular events of the year.

The grounds of the majestic Blenheim Palace will transform into a medieval battleground, offering a unique and immersive experience. Visitors can expect to see fully armoured knights on horseback, engaging in skilful and dramatic jousting matches, a true display of chivalry and martial skill from a bygone era.

For history enthusiasts, families, and anyone looking for a unique and exciting outing, the jousting tournament at Blenheim Palace is an event not to be missed.

For further information, please click here.

Average White Band

Tuesday 14 May 2024
O2 Academy Oxford,190 Cowley Road, Oxford

The legendary Average White Band are renowned for their soulful and funky rhythms. This performance is part of their much-anticipated farewell tour, offering fans one last chance to experience the band’s iconic music live. Since their formation in London in 1972, the Average White Band has left an indelible mark on the soul and funk music scene, earning them the title of one of the best bands in the genre. Over the decades, they’ve delighted audiences with hits like “Let’s Go Round Again,” “Cut The Cake,” “Queen of My Soul,” and their US Number 1 hit “Pick Up The Pieces.”

The Average White Band’s influence extends beyond their own albums and hits. They have been a significant source of inspiration for numerous artists across various genres. Their tracks have been heavily sampled by influential acts such as the Beastie Boys, Public Enemy, Ice Cube, A Tribe Called Quest, and Arrested Development. This extensive sampling is a reflection of the AWB’s timeless sound and their impact on the music industry, making them one of the top 15 most sampled acts of all time.

For further information, please click here.

Julian Clary – A Fistful of Clary

Wednesday 15 May 2024
New Theatre Oxford, 24-26 George St, Oxford, OX1 2AG

Julian Clary, the celebrated comedian known for his sharp wit and flamboyant style, is set to bring his unique brand of humour to the New Theatre Oxford. A Fistful of Clary.” Embracing a Western theme, Clary, self-described as a “renowned homosexual and national trinket,” is ready to embark on his 2024 UK tour. The show promises a blend of Clary’s trademark risqué humour with a touch of the wild west. The show’s description, complete with Clary sipping Bourbon and dabbing his temples with a damp flannel, sets the stage for an evening of audacious and unrestrained comedy.

In “A Fistful of Clary,” Julian promises an interactive experience, with some audience members getting the chance to join him on stage at the fictional “Hang ‘em Low” saloon, invoking the spirit of the Old West with a comical twist. The show is infused with Clary’s unique sense of humour, as he playfully suggests that the men in the audience will be so taken with his performance, they’ll be eager to join his posse.

The finale hints at a dramatic “shoot-out,” with Julian humorously offering himself “selflessly at high noon to the last man standing,” leaving the audience to wonder what other surprises he might have in store “for a few dollars more.” The show promises to be an evening of unbridled laughter and entertainment, with The Standard describing it as “adult comedy that makes you giggle like a child.”

For further information, please click here.

Alfie Moore – A Face For Radio

Friday 17 May 2024
The Kenton Theatre, 19 New Street, Henley-on-Thames, Oxfordshire, RG9 2BS

“Alfie Moore – A Face For Radio,” is a stand-up comedy show by the inimitable Alfie Moore. In a humorous exploration of alternate realities, Alfie Moore presents a tale of what might have been. In one universe, he imagines himself as a stage school prodigy, nurtured by supportive parents and launched into a glittering career in showbiz. This narrative contrasts sharply with his actual journey, which took a very different path. In our universe, Alfie’s comedic talents were overlooked in favour of the more pragmatic pursuit of a career, first in the Sheffield steelworks and then as a member of the Humberside Police. This show promises to be an insightful and witty exploration of the “what ifs” of life, all delivered through Moore’s unique comedic lens.

In his 40s, the two universes of Alfie Moore’s life collided, as he made a bid for stardom in the world of entertainment. However, the years of hard labour and the physical toll of police work had, in his words, left him with “a face for radio.” Moore’s show is a hilarious and often poignant reflection on the challenges and absurdities of chasing dreams, especially when time and circumstance seem to conspire against you. Described by the Daily Mail as “offbeat, revealing and very funny,” Alfie Moore’s “A Face For Radio” is more than just a comedy show; it’s a candid look at the roads taken and not taken, and the laughter to be found along the way.

For further information, please click here.

The Swing Ninjas @ Merriscourt

Tuesday 21 May 2024
Merriscourt, Chipping Norton OX7 6QX (Al Fresco event)

The Swing Ninjas, a dynamic and charismatic band. Since their inception as a busking trio in 2010, the Swing Ninjas have carved a niche for themselves in the music world. Hailing from Brighton, UK, they have redefined the genre of swing and jazz, blending vocal harmonies with a fusion of New Orleans’ swing and vintage UK jazz, all while infusing it with a modern musical flair. Their approach revitalises the sound of a raucous 1930s band, making it relevant and exciting for contemporary audiences.

With over 40 million combined views on YouTube, two original albums, and four albums of classic US-UK jazz/swing, the Swing Ninjas are more than just a band; they are a musical phenomenon. Their popularity is evident in their hectic schedule, playing over 150 shows a year, a testament to their talent and the joy they bring to their audiences. Their performances breathe new life into 100-year-old music through their highly skilled, energetic performances, group vocal harmonies, immaculate dress, and tongue-in-cheek charm.

For further information, please click here.

Punt and Dennis

Saturday 25 May 2024
Oxford Playhouse, Beaumont Street, Oxford

Hugh Dennis and Steve Punt, the renowned comedic duo, are set to grace the stage once again at the Oxford Playhouse on Beaumont Street, Oxford, on Saturday, 25 May. Marking their return to touring after a decade-long hiatus, this event is eagerly anticipated by fans who have missed their unique brand of humour. Known for their sharp wit and insightful commentary, both Dennis and Punt have spent the past ten years honing their skills on popular shows like “Mock the Week” and “The Now Show.”

Their new live show promises to be a blend of the insightful and the hilarious, as they delve into their experiences and observations from a decade of following the news. The show offers a chance to see them do what they do best – making sense of the world’s chaos with a healthy dose of humour.

Fans old and new are in for a treat as Punt and Dennis prove that while they may be older, their ability to capture the absurdities of life remains as sharp as ever.

For further information, please click here.

Shepherd’s Pie

Saturday 25 May 2024
Fat Lils, 64 Corn Street, Witney, OX28 6BS

“Shepherd’s Pie,” a classic rock and metal cover band, is set to electrify the stage at Fat Lils on Saturday, May 25, 2024. Renowned as one of the premier rock/metal cover bands in the region, Shepherd’s Pie has garnered a significant following, and for good reason. Their gigs are high-energy tributes to the giants of rock and metal music. Fans can expect an evening filled with iconic riffs, pulsating beats, and vocals that resonate with the spirit of the original artists.

The repertoire of Shepherd’s Pie spans the breadth of rock and metal classics, featuring covers of legendary bands like Iron Maiden, Guns N’ Roses, and Metallica, executed with the same intensity and passion as the original acts. Their performances are known for incredible soaring vocals and a fervent display of musical prowess that brings the essence of classic rock and metal to life. For those who love their music loud and live, this night at Fat Lils with Shepherd’s Pie is not to be missed.

For further information, please click here.

Blenheim Palace Food Festival

Saturday 25 to Monday 27 May 2024
Blenheim Palace, Woodstock, Oxfordshire OX20 1UL

The Blenheim Palace Food Festival, a much-anticipated event among food lovers and culinary enthusiasts, is poised to celebrate its 10th anniversary from Saturday, 25th to Monday, 27th May 2024. Set against the stunning backdrop of Blenheim Palace, this festival has grown to become one of Oxfordshire’s most popular culinary events, attracting visitors from all over the country.

This year, the festival promises an even more exciting and diverse array of offerings, featuring a wide selection of local and national stallholders. Attendees can look forward to indulging in an assortment of artisan treats, homemade delights, and a variety of beverages including craft beers, cocktails, and mocktails. The festival is a perfect opportunity for foodies to explore new flavours, discover unique products, and enjoy the best of what the culinary world has to offer.

In addition to the vast array of food and drink options, the festival will also host a series of live demonstrations and Q&A sessions in the festival kitchen, presented by an impressive lineup of celebrity chefs and culinary experts. These sessions provide a rare chance for visitors to gain insights into cooking techniques, food trends, and culinary secrets directly from the professionals. For families looking for a weekend filled with fun and flavour, the Blenheim Palace Food Festival offers exciting activities for all ages, a picturesque picnic area for those wishing to relax and dine al fresco, and great entertainment throughout the weekend.

For further information, please click here.

Charlie Cook’s Favourite Book

Tuesday 28 to Thursday 30 May 2024
Oxford Playhouse, Beaumont Street, Oxford

“Charlie Cook’s Favourite Book,” an enchanting theatrical adaptation of the beloved children’s book by Julia Donaldson and illustrated by Axel Scheffler, is set to captivate audiences at the Oxford. This production is a collaborative effort by Little Angel Theatre, The Lowry, and Rose Theatre, promising to be a delightful experience for young audiences and families.

The story revolves around Charlie, a young boy who adores reading, particularly pirate stories. However, his sister finds reading dull and uninteresting. The play follows Charlie’s imaginative attempt to convince his sister of the wonders of reading. The narrative cleverly intertwines various stories within stories, like a pirate reading about Goldilocks, who in turn is reading about a knight, thereby creating a magical and layered world of adventures. This theatrical experience is perfect for sparking a love of reading in children and is a heart-warming adventure for the entire family.

For further information, please click here.

Sherlock’s Excellent Adventures

Friday 31 May 2024
The Kenton Theatre, 19 New Street, Henley-on-Thames, Oxfordshire, RG9 2BS

“Sherlock’s Excellent Adventures,” a comedy penned by James Barry, is set to entertain audiences at The Kenton Theatre in Henley-on-Thames. This acclaimed comedy has already enjoyed sell-out runs at both the Brighton and Edinburgh Fringes, in addition to three UK-wide tours. The play offers a fresh and humorous take on the world of the iconic detective Sherlock Holmes and his faithful companion, Dr. John Watson.

Audiences are invited to join them on a riveting and previously unpublished case, adding an exciting new chapter to the Sherlock Holmes canon. The plot thickens when Lucy Matravers, a damsel in distress, seeks the help of Holmes and Watson to settle a dispute over a family will. Little do they know that this seemingly straightforward case will lead them straight into a confrontation with Holmes’ notorious archenemy, James Moriarty, setting the stage for a thrilling and hilarious adventure.

With a cast of just four actors and minimal furnishings, the production relies on the talent and versatility of its performers to bring this wacky and farcical adventure to life. The play’s clever writing and inventive staging are a tribute to the enduring appeal of Sherlock Holmes, while also offering a unique and comedic twist on the classic stories.

For further information, please click here.

The Windrush Secret

Friday 31 May 2024
The Mill Arts Centre Spiceball Park Road, Banbury , OX16 5QE

This is a compelling one-man drama penned by the talented Rodreguez King-Dorset. This gripping play delves into a turbulent period of British history, focusing on the Windrush generation – the wave of Caribbean migrants who moved to Britain between 1948 and 1973 – and the ensuing political scandal that erupted in 2018. The narrative weaves together the lives of three distinct characters: a young white far-right racist party leader, a black Caribbean diplomat, and a white, Oxford-educated Home Office government official. Each character, bound by their personal convictions and societal roles, delivers speeches on the same day, but at different times and locations, offering their perspectives on this historical migration and its complex legacy.

At the heart of “The Windrush Secret” is a dramatic revelation, a dark secret harboured by one of the characters, which unfolds during a fiery and emotionally charged speech. This revelation is set to dramatically alter the course of the character’s life, offering a profound commentary on identity, heritage, and the insidious nature of racism.

For further information, please click here.

Rosie Holt: That’s Politainment

Friday 31 May 2024
The Theatre Chipping Norton, 2 Spring St, Chipping Norton OX7 5NL

Rosie Holt: That’s Politainment, a brand-new show by the acclaimed comedian, actor, and satirist Rosie Holt, is set to entertain audiences at The Theatre Chipping Norton. Following a highly successful season at the Edinburgh Fringe, Rosie Holt brings her unique blend of satire and comedy to the stage, exploring the intriguing intersection of politics and entertainment.

The show poses a humorous yet thought-provoking question: Can Rosie Holt’s character, a viral hit MP, emulate the transition of figures like Dorries, Farage, and Rees-Mogg from the serious world of politics to the glitz and glamour of the entertainment industry? Holt’s show delves into the notion that a disastrous political career can paradoxically lead to lucrative opportunities in entertainment, a phenomenon increasingly evident in today’s media landscape.

Rosie Holt, known for her sharp wit and keen observational humour, has made a significant impact on social media, with her videos garnering over 6.5 million views. She is not only a master at crafting political satire but also an engaging performer, seamlessly blending humour with insightful commentary on current affairs.

“That’s Politainment” promises to be a show that not only entertains but also challenges the audience to think about the blurred lines between politics and entertainment, all delivered through Rosie Holt’s unique and hilarious perspective.

For further information, please click here.


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