What’s on in Oxfordshire this October

Oxford City & Oxfordshire | Magazine 

What's on in Oxfordshire this October 2024

October in Oxfordshire is set to be an electrifying month filled with a diverse array of entertainment options. From the nostalgic melodies of the Dung Beatles at The Kenton Theatre and the homage to synth-pop legends by Enjoy The Silence – A Tribute to Depeche Mode at Fat Lils, to the gripping drama of “A Raisin in The Sun” at Oxford Playhouse and the comedic genius of Jenny Eclair at The Kenton Theatre, there’s no shortage of reasons to venture out.

Each event, whether it be a musical tribute that takes you back in time, a theatrical production that moves and challenges you, or a stand-up show that leaves you in stitches, promises to make this October a memorable one. Oxfordshire’s vibrant cultural scene is buzzing with activity, ensuring that there’s something for everyone to enjoy this autumn.

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

A Raisin in The Sun

Wednesday 02 to Saturday 05 October 2024
Oxford Playhouse, Beaumont Street, Oxford

A Raisin in The Sun - what's on in oxfordshire this october 2024
A Raisin in The Sun – Oxford Playhouse

From Wednesday, 02 to Saturday, 05 October 2024, Oxford Playhouse presents Lorraine Hansberry’s seminal work, “A Raisin in the Sun,” under the direction of Tinuke Craig.

Set against the backdrop of Chicago’s South Side, the play delves into the lives of the Younger family as they navigate the complexities of hope, dreams, grief, and aspirations following the death of their patriarch. With the life insurance money potentially serving as a catalyst for change, the family grapples with conflicting visions of the future: Mama dreams of owning a home, Beneatha aims to pursue a medical career, while Walter Lee sees the money as his ticket to personal success, even at the cost of his values and family unity.

“A Raisin in the Sun” not only explores the challenge of forging a meaningful existence within the constraints of a segregated society but also the internal and interpersonal struggles that come with it, making it a poignant and timeless piece.

Hansberry’s “A Raisin in the Sun” was a trailblazing play that marked the first time a Black woman’s work was performed on Broadway, earning its place in history for challenging the racial barriers of its time. Directed by the acclaimed Tinuke Craig, whose previous works include “Jitney” and “The Colour Purple,” this production promises to breathe new life into the classic drama, highlighting its humour, heart, and the enduring relevance of its themes. As the world continues to grapple with issues of inequality and racial injustice, the play’s exploration of dreams deferred and the quest for dignity within a prejudiced society remains as compelling as ever. Described by The New York Times as “a play that changed American theatre forever,” and brought to life by the “consistently impressive” Headlong company, according to the Evening Standard, this rendition of “A Raisin in the Sun” at the Oxford Playhouse is poised to be an unforgettable theatrical experience.


Abba Tribute – Kiss The Teacher

Friday 04 October 2024
Fat Lils, 64 Corn Street, Witney, OX28 6BS

Abba Tribute – Kiss The Teacher – Fat Lils, Witney

The vibrant venue of Fat Lil’s in Witney, is set to welcome back the sensational Abba tribute band, Kiss The Teacher, for their fifth triumphant performance that is guaranteed to be a sell-out event.

This highly anticipated show is a celebration of all things ABBA, featuring a spectacular showcase of the Swedish pop group’s biggest hits. Audience members are encouraged to dress to impress, ready to dance the night away in platform boots, embracing the iconic fashion and unforgettable music of the 1970s.

The electrifying atmosphere of Fat Lil’s, combined with the nostalgic tunes of ABBA, promises an evening of joyous entertainment and lively dancing. Kiss The Teacher’s 100% ABBAtraction show is renowned for its faithful renditions of ABBA’s greatest hits, capturing the essence of the original band’s electrifying performances.

From the opening chords to the final encore, attendees will be transported back to a time when ABBA dominated the music scene, and glittery disco attire was all the rage.


Antarctic Monkeys

Saturday 05 October 2024
O2 Academy Oxford,190 Cowley Road, Oxford

Antarctic Monkeys - What's on in Oxfordshire this October 2024
Antarctic Monkeys – O2 Academy Oxford

The O2 Academy Oxford is set to host the Antarctic Monkeys, a premier tribute act to one of the UK’s most influential bands, Arctic Monkeys. Renowned across the UK tribute scene, the Antarctic Monkeys have carved out a niche for themselves with their electric live performances that capture the essence of the Arctic Monkeys’ spirited rock anthems.

The Antarctic Monkeys stand out by replicating not just the sound but the raw energy of the Arctic Monkeys, creating an immersive experience that resonates with die-hard fans and newcomers alike.

As they take the stage at the O2 Academy Oxford, attendees can expect a meticulously curated setlist that spans the breadth of Arctic Monkeys’ discography, from their early indie rock hits to their more complex, introspective tunes. This event promises to be a celebration of Arctic Monkeys’ enduring legacy, brought to life by a tribute band that understands the significance and impact of their music.


Jenny Eclair: Jokes, Jokes, Jokes, Live!

Saturday 05 October 2024
The Kenton Theatre, 19 New Street, Henley-on-Thames, Oxfordshire, RG9 2BS

Jenny Eclair - what's on in oxfordshire this October 2024
Jenny Eclair: Jokes, Jokes, Jokes, Live! – The Kenton Theatre, Chipping Norton

The Kenton Theatre in Henley-on-Thames will host the incomparably witty Jenny Eclair, as she presents her new autobiographical show, “Jokes, Jokes, Jokes, Live!”

This tour celebrates the release of her humour-filled memoir, inviting audiences into the rollercoaster world of a comedian, novelist, and self-professed professional show-off. From her days at drama school indulging in cider and sausage rolls, through the highs and lows of punk poetry, anorexia, bedsit living, and waitressing, to the pinnacle of becoming the first woman to win the prestigious Perrier Award, Jenny’s journey is as hilarious as it is inspiring.

As she navigates becoming a mother, author, podcaster, and even a nana, Eclair promises an evening of laughter, reflection, and unapologetic honesty, making this a must-see event for fans of her distinctive brand of comedy.

Jenny Eclair has been captivating audiences with her unique brand of comedy for over forty years, and “Jokes, Jokes, Jokes, Live!” offers a rare opportunity to delve into the memories and experiences that have shaped her career. Known for her ‘ruthlessly funny’ humour, as praised by The Times, Jenny’s show is anticipated to be a sell-out event, featuring a mix of punk poetry, animal impressions, and her signature baritone nursery rhyme singing.


The Dung Beatles

Saturday 12 October 2024
The Kenton Theatre, 19 New Street, Henley-on-Thames, Oxfordshire, RG9 2BS

The Dung Beatles - What's on in Oxfordshire this October 2024
The Dung Beatles – The Kenton Theatre, Henley on Thames

On Saturday, 12 October 2024, The Kenton Theatre in Henley-on-Thames, Oxfordshire, is set to welcome The Dung Beatles, a band that has redefined the art of paying homage to the legendary Beatles.

Since their formation in 2013, The Dung Beatles have captivated ‘hard-core’ Beatles fans and new listeners alike with their high-energy performances, top-drawer musicianship, and precise vocal harmonies that capture the very essence of Beatles music. Unlike traditional tribute acts, The Dung Beatles pride themselves on being a Beatles rock band, eschewing wigs, costumes, and backing tracks in favour of a genuine and authentic musical experience. Their extensive repertoire not only includes beloved hits and hidden album gems but also songs that The Beatles themselves never performed live, offering audiences a unique and comprehensive celebration of the Fab Four’s legacy.

Having graced stages from Liverpool’s iconic Cavern Club to numerous festivals and theatres, and even featuring in multiple ‘live sessions’ on BBC Radio, The Dung Beatles’ special show at The Kenton Theatre promises to be an unforgettable journey through the Beatles’ discography. Accompanied by a four-piece horn section, the band will traverse the evolution of Beatles music from their early days to their late masterpieces, including a special medley of songs from the early ’70s.


Enjoy the Silence – A Tribute to Depeche Mode

Saturday 12 October 2024
Fat Lils, 64 Corn Street, Witney, OX28 6BS

Enjoy the Silence – A Tribute to Depeche ModeFat Lil’s, Witney

Fat Lils in Witney prepares to host a night that promises to transport fans back to the electrifying era of Depeche Mode with the tribute band Enjoy The Silence UK.

Formed by seasoned musicians from leading tribute acts like “Speak & Spell” (Depeche Mode), “Love Distraction” (The Human League), and “Retro Electro,” Enjoy The Silence UK recreate the enthralling live experience of Depeche Mode at their peak.

With a repertoire that includes timeless hits such as “Just Can’t Get Enough,” “Personal Jesus,” and “Behind The Wheel,” you can expect an evening filled with the synth-driven sounds and darkly poetic lyrics that defined a generation, delivered with the authenticity and passion that have made Depeche Mode legends of the music world.

The tribute band’s commitment to replicating the original sound and atmosphere of Depeche Mode’s live shows, using authentic sounds and a carefully curated setlist, ensures a gig that resonates with the same intensity and emotion as the original performances.


The Pretenders

Sunday 13 October 2024
New Theatre Oxford, 24-26 George St, Oxford, OX1 2AG

The Pretenders - What's on in Oxfordshire this October 2024
The Pretenders – New Theatre Oxford

On Sunday, 13 October 2024, the legendary rock band The Pretenders will grace the stage of New Theatre Oxford, bringing their electrifying 2024 theatre tour to the heart of the city.

Riding the wave of their new album “Relentless,” their highest-charting record in 23 years and a remarkable 14th UK Top 40 release, The Pretenders are set to deliver a performance that underscores their enduring legacy and relevance in the music world. Critics have lavished praise on “Relentless,” with accolades from MOJO celebrating the “persistently brilliant song writing” and The Observer admiring the band’s “inspiring longevity”.

The past year has seen The Pretenders tirelessly bring their dynamic live show to audiences across the UK, US, and Europe, performing over 60 gigs that have solidified their reputation as a formidable live act.

Their surprise appearance at Glastonbury, featuring icons Johnny Marr and Dave Grohl, emerged as a festival highlight, with their set being described as “thrilling” and “melodious” by The Telegraph. Moreover, their collaborations with Guns N’ Roses during a European arena tour and subsequent performances in the US underscored the band’s versatile appeal and the magnetic presence of frontwoman Chrissie Hynde.

As they return to the UK, supported by The Picturebooks, The Pretenders’ show at New Theatre Oxford is poised to be a homecoming of sorts, a celebration of their new prime as they continue to leave fans “well and truly in awe” with their timeless sound and compelling live performances.


An Evening with Pam Ayres

Wednesday 16 October 2024
The Theatre Chipping Norton, 2 Spring St, Chipping Norton OX7 5NL

What's on in Oxfordshire this October 2024 - An evening with Pam Ayres
An Evening with Pam Ayres – The Theatre Chipping Norton

The Theatre Chipping Norton will play host to an enchanting evening with Pam Ayres, a beloved poet and humourist whose witty verse has captivated the UK for nearly half a century.

Having earned the title of the best-selling poet since records began, following Ted Hughes, as acclaimed by The Bookseller magazine, Pam’s indelible mark on British poetry is undeniable. Her performance is set to be a delightful journey through her illustrious career, featuring a curated selection of poems and stories that have endeared her to generations of readers and listeners.

Highlights include works from her bestselling poetry collection of 2021, “Pam Ayres on Animals,” and her latest literary offering, “Who Are You Calling Vermin?” This evening promises to be a showcase of Ayres’ unparalleled ability to blend humour with poignant observations, making for a memorable experience steeped in laughter and reflection.

Pam Ayres’ enduring appeal is not just limited to her written works; her recent television appearances on shows like “The Cotswolds” for Channel 5, “This Morning,” and “Would I Lie To You?” have only served to solidify her status as a national treasure. Described by Glastonbury Festival 2022 as a “timeless talent and a glorious people’s poet,” Ayres possesses the unique ability to touch hearts and provoke laughter with her relatable and often comical perspectives on everyday life.


Budapest Café Orchestra

Friday 18 October 2024
The Theatre Chipping Norton, 2 Spring St, Chipping Norton OX7 5NL

What's on In Oxfordshire this October 2024 - Budapest Cafe Orchestra
Budapest Cafe Orchestra The Chipping Norton Theatre

The Theatre Chipping Norton will come alive with the vibrant and eclectic sounds of the Budapest Café Orchestra. Known for their refreshingly unconventional approach and snappy attire, this boutique orchestra is set to deliver an evening of gypsy and folk-flavoured music, reimagined with their unique, spirited twist.

From the heart-stirring melodies of Balkan and Russian traditions to the nuanced distillations of Romantic masterpieces and Gaelic folk tunes, the Budapest Café Orchestra’s performance promises to be a journey through diverse musical landscapes. Their ability to evoke the lively atmosphere of Budapest café life, the virtuosity of Tzigane fiddle maestros, and the warmth of gypsy campfires, all while surprising audiences along the way, makes each show a captivating experience, revealing the profound musicianship and immense skill of the ensemble.

Established in 2009 by the renowned British composer and violinist Christian Garrick, the Budapest Café Orchestra has captivated audiences across the country, building a dedicated following with their enchanting and infectious stage presence.

Despite being a compact ensemble of just four players, they produce a rich, full sound that belies their numbers, blending violin, guitar, accordion, double bass, saz, and balalaika to create a musical alchemy that is as powerful as it is intimate.

Featuring international soloists like the supreme accordion champion of Great Britain, Eddie Hession, and celebrated jazz violinist Christian Garrick, alongside the mysterious mastery of The Sultan on strings and veteran bassist Kelly Cantlon, the orchestra’s line-up guarantees an evening of exhilarating performances.


Peter Hook & The Light Performing Both ‘Substance’ Albums By Joy Division & New Order

Saturday 19 October 2024
O2 Academy Oxford,190 Cowley Road, Oxford

Peter Hook & The Light Performing Both 'Substance' Albums By Joy Division & New Order - What's on in Oxfordshire this October 2024
Peter Hook & The Light – O2 Academy Oxford

On Saturday, 19 October 2024, the O2 Academy Oxford will host a monumental live music event, as Peter Hook & The Light take to the stage to perform the iconic ‘Substance’ albums by Joy Division and New Order in their entirety.

This special performance is part of a series of live dates that have seen Peter Hook, co-founder of both legendary bands, delve into their influential discographies to bring their ground-breaking music back to life on stage.

Since revisiting Joy Division’s seminal album “Unknown Pleasures” in 2010 for a charity concert, Hook has made it an annual tradition to perform albums from both bands, drawing fans old and new to experience the raw emotion and innovative sound that characterised the Manchester music scene in the late ’70s and early ’80s.

The performance promises to be an immersive journey through the post-punk and synth-pop landscapes that Joy Division and New Order helped to define, celebrating over four decades of their enduring influence on music and culture. With “Substance,” both bands’ compilations featuring some of their most beloved tracks, audiences can expect a night filled with nostalgia, innovation, and the unmistakable basslines that Hook is renowned for.


The Theatre Feast

Saturday 19 October 2024
The Theatre Chipping Norton, 2 Spring St, Chipping Norton OX7 5NL

The Theatre Feast - What's on in Oxfordshire this October 2024
The Theatre Feast – The Theatre Chipping Norton

This unique event transforms the auditorium and stage into a vibrant dining space, where guests will be treated to a sumptuous feast prepared by the acclaimed local open-fire culinary magicians, Pit Kitchen.

Specialising in gourmet, locally sourced, seasonal street food, the menu promises an array of delectable choices, including plentiful vegetarian and vegan options, ensuring a delightful dining experience for all tastes.

The night is not just about the exquisite food; it’s a fusion of dining and entertainment, where guests will be treated to irreverent, colourful performances that weave through the tables, featuring the beloved clown Tweedy from Giffords Circus and the acrobatic cabaret troupe, Cabaret with Claws, promising an evening of grown-up silliness and hilarity.”The Theatre Feast” is more than just a celebration; it’s an opportunity for theatre staff, friends, supporters, and newcomers to come together for a night of fun, food, and fundraising.

As part of the festivities, tickets include a three-course sharing menu from Pit Kitchen, a welcome drink to toast to the occasion, and a full line-up of entertainment designed to delight and surprise. Guests will be seated at benches on shared tables, fostering a communal atmosphere that echoes the spirit of the theatre.


David Eagle – Flying Solo

Wednesday 23 October 2024
The Mill Arts Centre, Spiceball Park Road, Banbury, OX16 5QE

David Eagle - Flying Solo.  What's on in Oxfordshire this October 2024.
David Eagle – Flying Solo – The Mill Arts Centre, Banbury

The Mill Arts Centre in Banbury is set to host an evening with the exceptionally talented David Eagle, a comedian and musician renowned for his work with the three-time BBC Radio 2 folk award-winning band, The Young ‘Uns.

Since venturing into stand-up comedy in 2018, David has rapidly ascended the comedy ranks, clinching the New Comedian Of The Year title at the Nottingham Comedy Festival, Bath Comedy Festival, and Leicester Square Theatre.

His unique blend of humour, which recently earned him a spot on BBC Radio 4’s flagship comedy show ‘The Now Show,’ coupled with his musical prowess, promises an unforgettable night that oscillates between laughter and melody, showcasing the breadth of his talent.

David’s comedy navigates the complexities of life as a blind person, transforming everyday situations into extraordinary comedic narratives. His ability to draw humour from his experiences, creating surreal and memorable moments, resonates deeply with audiences.

Whether he’s unravelling the absurdities of commonplace events or countering hecklers with his accordion for a comedic song performance, David’s shows are a blend of wit, satire, and musicality. His George Formby parody, hailed by The Guardian as “a comic tour de force,” exemplifies his skill in weaving together music and comedy to great effect.


Welsh National Opera – Rigoletto

Thursday 24 October and Saturday 26 October 2024
New Theatre Oxford, 24-26 George St, Oxford, OX1 2AG

What's on in Oxfordshire this October 2024. Welsh National Opera - Rigoletto
Welsh National Opera – Rigoletto – New Theatre Oxford

The New Theatre Oxford will be enveloped in the drama and intensity of Verdi’s masterpiece, “Rigoletto,” presented by the Welsh National Opera. This opera invites audiences into the turbulent world of the Duke of Mantua’s court, where Rigoletto, a court jester burdened by a deeply tormented soul, navigates a precarious existence. His razor-sharp wit shields a vulnerable heart, with his daughter Gilda as his sole beacon of happiness.

However, when the Duke, a notorious womanizer, ensnares Gilda in his web, a harrowing sequence of betrayal, passion, and devastation unfolds, showcasing the devastating consequences when the depths of a father’s love meets the cruel hand of fate. “Rigoletto” stands as a timeless exploration of human emotion, set against a court rife with debauchery and deceit, promising an unforgettable operatic experience.

Under the baton of conductor Pietro Rizzo and the visionary direction of Adele Thomas, this production of “Rigoletto” promises to capture the essence of Verdi’s intentions, who himself proclaimed it as his finest work.

The opera’s intricate narrative of love, betrayal, and retribution is brought to life through its powerful score and unforgettable melodies, such as the famous quartet and the renowned aria ‘La donna è mobile.’

This production, sung in Italian with English subtitles, offers a unique opportunity for audiences to experience the raw power and beauty of Verdi’s music, while exploring the dark and complex emotions that drive its characters.

With its scenes of sex and violence, “Rigoletto” provides a gripping and emotionally charged experience that delves deep into the heart of human vulnerability and the dire consequences of unchecked power.


Women In Rock

Friday 25 October 2024
The Mill Arts Centre, Spiceball Park Road, Banbury, OX16 5QE

What's on in Oxfordshire this October 2024.  Women in Rock at The Mill Arts Centre.
Women in Rock – The Mill Arts Centre, Banbury

The Mill Arts Centre in Banbury is set to host an electrifying standing gig featuring the sensational Women In Rock. Since their inception in 2016, Women In Rock have carved a niche for themselves in the global music scene with their dynamic and sell-out shows that celebrate the prowess of female rock legends.

Their much-anticipated performance promises an exhilarating journey through five decades of iconic music, honouring the women who have shaped the rock genre. With their powerful vocals, captivating stage presence, and a backing band of world-class musicians, Women In Rock deliver a show that’s as musically enriching as it is visually spectacular, earning them critical acclaim and a dedicated fan base across theatre and live music venues worldwide.

This standout show pays tribute to a line-up of legendary artists, including Suzi Quatro, Janis Joplin, Cher, Tina Turner, and Joan Jett, among others, ensuring a setlist packed with hit after hit. From the heart-wrenching ballads to rock anthems that have become the soundtrack of generations, the performance is guaranteed to have audience members dancing and singing along. Women In Rock’s commitment to showcasing the strength and diversity of female voices in the rock genre, combined with slick choreography and striking costumes, makes for a truly unforgettable night.


As the curtain falls on a vibrant October in Oxfordshire, filled with unforgettable events and performances, visitors and locals alike can find solace and relaxation in the myriad of accommodation options the county has to offer.

Oxfordshire’s welcoming arms extend beyond its entertainment to include a splendid array of places to stay, ranging from the opulence of boutique hotels in the bustling city centre to the quaint charm of countryside bed & breakfasts that offer a glimpse into rural tranquillity.

Self-catering accommodations provide a home away from home, perfect for those seeking a touch of privacy and freedom, while the adventurous at heart can indulge in the unparalleled experience of glamping, where luxury and nature intertwine seamlessly.

No matter the reason for your visit – be it the rich tapestry of October’s cultural offerings, the historical allure of Oxford, or the serene beauty of the Oxfordshire countryside – the region’s diverse accommodation choices promise a comfortable and delightful stay, ensuring that your memories of Oxfordshire are as cosy as they are captivating.

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