Oriel Members in ‘Storming Utopia’ at the Pegasus on 6th April

  • Professor Richard Scholar and Asefay Aberaha
    Professor Richard Scholar and Asefay Aberaha
  • Storming Utopia
30 March, 2017

Oriel’s SCR Butler Asefay Aberaha will star alongside Professor Richard Scholar in a new theatrical show called Storming Utopia, which will be performed in locations in Oxford and Venice this year, starting with a performance at the Pegasus Theatre in East Oxford on Thursday 6th April.

The performance reflects the work of a group of around 15 East Oxford residents, aged between 15 and 60+, who have been brought together to develop a creative contemporary response to Thomas More’s Utopia and Shakespeare’s The Tempest, and to reimagine both texts in relation to Oxford as it is today.

In Thursday’s performance of Storming Utopia, Professor Scholar will play the part of Sir Thomas More, and Asefay will play the part of Prospero. In addition to his role as Prospero, Asefay will also play himself, and he and the rest of the cast will tell the story of how he came as a child refugee to the UK from civil war in Ethiopia and, in time, to settle in Oxford.

Performances of Storming Utopia will also be given at the Fondazione Cini in Venice (on 31 May) and at the Oxford Festival of the Arts (on 24 June). They will be accompanied by public discussions exploring the ways in which More’s work might relate to contemporary politics and inviting discussion with the audience. The first of these discussions, hosted by TORCH, will take place at St Luke’s Chapel, Radcliffe Observatory Quarter, on 11 May (12.30pm-2.00pm). For more details of these and other events visit the TORCH website.

This performance is part of a Knowledge Exchange and Public Engagement with Research project run by Professor Scholar and Professor Wes Williams (Faculty of Modern Languages and St Edmund Hall) between TORCH (The Oxford Research Centre in the Humanities), the Pegasus Theatre in East Oxford, and the Fondazione Cini in Venice. The project has been engaging a range of people in discussions about ideal communities. The questions at the heart of the project are: Who owns, runs, or governs the city we live in? How do you get in, and how do you leave? Do the various parts of Oxford – schools, mosques, churches, rivers, playgrounds, shopping centres, colleges… and theatres – make of our city a Utopia, or just a collection of islands?

How to Book

Storming Utopia will be performed at the Pegasus Theatre, Magdalen Road, Oxford, OX4 1RE on Thursday 6th April. The performance begins at 8pm, and you can book tickets by calling the Pegasus Box Office.

All tickets are £4 whatever age the person coming. Tickets are needed for everyone including younger children and babies.

To book your ticket, call the Pegasus Theatre on Tuesday to Friday 11am – 6pm, Saturday 10am – 2pm on 01865 812150.