Tag Archives: oxford playhouse

MY FAVOURITE PLACES: Rachel Bavidge, actress

11 Oct

Rachel Bavidge’s acting career began at Oxford’s Pegasus Theatre when she joined Oxford Youth Theatre in the Nineties. Now a successful actress, she has most recently appeared in ‘Eastenders’, ‘The Shadow Line’ and ‘Law & Order’.  This Saturday evening (13 Oct 2012) Rachel will be joining Radiohead’s Philip Selway and Eastenders director Steve Finn for a reading of Noel Coward’s ‘Private Lives’ at Pegasus.

The Ashmolean Museum

The Alfred jewel

I’ve always loved this place and got my first real job after college working here in the coin department.  My favourite object is ‘The Alfred Jewel’ which is a beautiful piece of Anglo-Saxon art.  No-one is certain what it’s for, but it’s inscribed with ‘Alfred ordered me to be made’ and was probably made on the orders of King Alfred the Great.
The Jericho Tavern, Jericho, central Oxford


I spent most of the Nineties hanging round here watching bands play, including my then boyfriend, a bass player in ‘The Bigger The God’ who played lots of gigs round Oxford. The bands around were ones like Ride, Supergrass, The Candyskins and Radiohead (On a Friday) and it was an amazing time for live music.
Oxford Playhouse , Beaumont St, central Oxford


I was a member of the Youth Theatre here and defected from the Ashmolean across the road to get a job as the Community Education worker.  It was always insanely busy but I loved going out and meeting new people and giving those who wouldn’t normally go to the theatre a taste of it.


Cowley Road
, Oxford


I spent many happy hours getting drunk in pubs along this road and having late night takeaways after dancing at the Zodiac, which is now The O2. The area has changed over the years but not too much, and it’s still a great place to hangout. Aziz Restaurant was a favourite and I think I was one of the few people to eat one of their meals on stage at Pegasus.  In the play I was in, called Steaming, the characters eat a hot curry, and the restaurant delivered this to us every night!  Cafe Coco and Uhuru Whole Foods were also big favourites.

Holy Trinity Church, Headington Quarry

I used to live around the corner from this church where CS Lewis is buried, and when I was having a bad time with life (as all teenagers do) I used to come and sit by his grave for some time out.  I used to love the Narnia books as a child, but also I was brought up in a big catholic family where faith and the struggle with it, was central to our home life. CS Lewis’s own story had certain resonances that made me feel a connection.

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Your social life sorted: The Muddy Guide 10-16 August

10 Aug

Oxford Art Fair, North Hinskey, Sat 11 – Sun 12 August

I think this one’s a goody. The Oxford Art Fair takes place this weekend in the beautiful gardens of Oxford’s much-recommended The Fishes country pub, featuring 40 emerging artists and hundreds of paintings, multi-media thingies and sculpture. I’ve been dying to get to The Fishes for ages – the pub is set in 3 acres of wooded grounds leading down to the banks of a street and sounds just idyllic. You can order a picnic from the bar and find your perfect spot for a lazy lunch. Throw in some kids entertainment and a bit of sunshine, and there you have it – a weekend masterpiece.
Saturday from 11am-8pm, Sunday 11am-5pm. The Fishes will be open till 11pm.
The Fishes, North Hinksey, OX2 0NA Oxford. Tel:01865 861778.

Wilderness Festival, Cornbury Park, Charlbury, Oxfordshire Fri 10- Sun 12 August

Yes, yes, I know I’ve been bleating on about this festival for a while but it really is the best one in the area by a country mile this summer and finally it’s here! There are still tickets available for the event which includes a masked ball, live music from Wilco and Spiritualised, yoga, talks from The Idler Academy and Granta, hot tubs, cool cafes and bookshops, bushcraft, cricket, horseriding, cabaret, fly fishing, zumba, jewellery making, gardening, theatre…. you name it, it’s there. A brilliant day out.
www.wildernessfestival.com

Wheels on the Bus, Oxford Playhouse, Oxford, Mon 13 – Wed 15 August


I’ve never quite got over taking my son to see Hi Five (remember them?) when he was three. It cost me £8 for a spinning light that he broke within the first ten minutes. Then he nodded off during the interval and I had to stagger out of the theatre with him snoring in my arms. Nevertheless, taking toddlers to the theatre is just one of things you have to do as a mum, so if you have little ones of your own, Wheels on the Bus might be a good option. The show is for 2+ (babies of 18 months or younger can go for free and sit on your lap) and runs for 90 minutes – plenty of time for Buster the big red bus to drive you totally nuts with If You’re Happy And You Know It and Heads, Shoulders, Knees and Toes. A nice touch is the free kids toys available in the circle bar after the show. Get your children settled, then head straight for the spirits to restore your equilibrium.
Adults £11, children £9. www.oxfordplayhouse.com

Ballet Essentials workshop with the English National Ballet, Windsor, Fri 17 August


This is an early heads up on this event as it’s bound to be terrifyingly oversubscribed. There’s an opportunity for diddy ballet dancers between 4 and 7 years old (awww!) to participate in a two hour workshop with the ENB at The Windsor Arts and Culture Centre. There are three days of pre-workshop ballet lessons with the wonderfully-monikered Miss Lucy of Blossom Ballet School (you only need to participate in one) between 14-16 August before the ENB Ballet Essentials workshop on 17 August. But before you imagine a kind of junior dysfunctional Black Swan scenario, fear not – it’s all sweet and benign with music, props and ballet stories helping to improve your little one’s movement and dance technique.
Ballet Essentials Workshop 1 for 4.5 – 5 years 10am-12pm;  workshop 2 for 5.5 – 7 years 1-3pm. All classes £24.  For more info, email lucy@blossomballet.com

Head for the coast

Studland Beach, Dorset. A beach like this calls for a pina colada

This could be the final hurrah for summer so I’d leg it on down to the seaside for the day. I’m not a pebble beach fans so anyone who likes to contort themselves on a stony mattress had better avert their eyes now! A few weeks ago we went back to our favourite beach Mudeford, near Christchurch in Dorset (see previous review here) and it was just lovely. I’d also highly recommend  the National Trust-owned Studland Beach & Nature Reserve (several beaches, one with a sweet cafe), Lyme Regis Town Beach for the pretty crescent beach in front of the Cobb, right in the heart of the town; Sandbanks beach in Poole – huge swathes of golden sand, plus the fab Sandbanks Beach Cafe, a BBQ facility on the beach and watersports facilities. Or if you really can’t be bothered to battle through the traffic to hit the hot spot on the coast, why not cheat? The Cotswold Water Park has some of the best watersports facilities around, plus the largest inland paddling beach in the UK next to a picnic area.   www.cotswoldcountrypark.co.uk

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