Twelfth Night: The Oriel Garden Play

  • Twelfth Night
10 June, 2015

The Return of the Oriel Garden Play: an introduction from the Director, Chloe Cheung.

Twelfth Night, 16-18 June, 7.30pm

Tickets: £7 general admission, £5 students and concessions

Buy tickets online

What do flappers, prohibition, and the Charleston have to do with Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night? Come to Oriel in 8th week (16-18 June) to see for yourself!

Like a phoenix rising from the ashes, the tradition of Oriel garden plays is back and bolder than ever. In 2015, a year that commemorates both the 30 year anniversary of Oriel starting to admit female undergraduates, and the centenary of the First World War, I am reimagining the play’s events in 1920s England, exploring the impact of the growing movement of rights for women and how the Great War continues to permeate the characters’ lives.  

The shadow of the war still hangs over the play, and this sombre note is interwoven with the play’s more light-hearted, borderline farcical scenes. Twelfth Night is a play that relies on subversions and the crossing of boundaries, so in rehearsals we have been exploring transgression of boundaries, whether class, gender or generic. Thus, we have been experimenting with the boundaries between master/servant, comedy/tragedy, male/female.  

Twelfth Night was an actual Elizabethan festival, and we have brought out the show’s convivial, roaring twenties aesthetic most notably in our original score composed by Oriel Music student Alasdair Cameron. Not only is this in the spirit of the original text, but also the jubilant atmosphere that comes hand in hand with 8th week in Trinity.  

Twelfth Night is not only a student drama for students, but for the wider community too in a way that drama rarely has been since the groundlings and the aristocrats frequented the Globe in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. We have been doing a lot of outreach with schools and we will be announcing the details of exciting pre-show talks delivered by Oriel tutors past and present. 

Aside from being an exciting creative endeavour, we are also donating all proceeds raised from ticket sales directly to Oxford Homeless Pathways. Right from the start of the project I knew that I wanted the money we raised from ticket sales to go to charity. I am therefore delighted that Fellows, staff, students and members of the public chose Oxford Homeless Pathways as the charity we are supporting. Please see OxHoP’s website for more information about the charity. 

I hope that you will join us for a show. We will be performing for a limited run of Tuesday-Thurs, 16-18 June (8th week) at 19:30. If you cannot make it, however, please consider donating a small sum via our JustGiving page.  

Tickets can be bought online or on the door. For more information please see our website and join our Facebook event.