2024 is the 50th year of The Theatre Chipping Norton, and it’s celebrating in style with Life Begins at 50 – an incredible programme of electrifying, novel, tasty and informative events!

So check out what excitements are in store and book in for all, or any, of these thrilling events:

As I Was Walking, May 18 – Revel in the past, present and future of the Oxfordshire countryside, with a performance walk around the stunning surroundings of Honeydale Farm – home of the award-winning, not-for-profit organisation, FarmED. Explore the fields, hedgerows and barns, enjoying live renditions of local folk songs, stories and poetry. Experience readings and performances including works by Michael Morpurgo, Flora Thompson and poet archaeologist Romola Parish – and try out traditional straw crafts. Sit back and enjoy Gerald Finzi’s haunting pastoral songs, alongside traditional folk tunes from Joshua Newman and Louis Thurman of The Oakstone Trio. Book your slot and join others on the route map provided. Walks depart every 20 minutes between 11am and 6pm, and last 75 minutes. Refreshments will be available at the FarmED Cafe after your walk. https://www.chippingnortontheatre.com/events/as-i-was-a-walking

As I Was Walking

Two epic community theatre productions, bring together a huge cast of professional and amateur performers with an immersive theatre experience in the form of two plays! Experience the world of rural Oxfordshire unfolding around you as you step into a transformed theatre, moving from field to tavern to barn, guided by performers through the space and story. They are:

Lark Rise by Keith Dewhurst, from the book by Flora Thompson on June 6-9 depicts a summer’s morning at the close of the 19th century. 14 year-old Laura journeys through the first day of harvest to meet an extraordinary, eccentric and loveable cast of characters. From field-workers in golden cornfields to smoky taverns, the songs, laughter and everyday tragedies of the villagers of Lark Rise will immerse you in a forgotten, rural England. https://www.chippingnortontheatre.com/events/lark-rise

Barn Dance on June 17-20 by acclaimed playwright Mike Bartlett – A sparkling, touching new play from the multi-Olivier Award winning and BAFTA nominated writer of King Charles III, Press and Doctor FosterBarn Dance traces the imagined history of an Oxfordshire barn and those that work and live there across a century of history that begins with the conscription of farmhands for World War II, and ends with installation of a kitchen with underfloor heating, a real celebration of Oxfordshire past and present! . https://www.chippingnortontheatre.com/events/barn-dance

Mike Bartlett

There will also be a Post-Show talk: Farming For The Future on June 17 asking what the future holds for farming in Oxfordshire with expert speakers from FarmEd, Matthews Cotswold Flour and Bruern Farms which is open to all with no booking necessary.

Clive Anderson: My Seven Wonders, July 4 – The host of Whose Line Is It Anyway, Talks Back, and Loose Ends takes to the road as the live version of his hit podcast for the first time! Join the legendary comedian and chat show host, who invites different guests daily to choose their own personal wonders of the world. Previous guests have included Stephen Fry, Dara O Briain, David Baddiel, Eddie Izzard, John Bishop, Shapparak Khorsandi, Greg Proops, Omid Djalili, Reuben Kaye among many others. https://www.chippingnortontheatre.com/events/clive-anderson-my-seven-wonders

Clive Anderson

An Audience with Monty Panesar in Conversation with Matthew Stadlen, September 3, Monty Panesar is a hero to England’s many cricket fans. Known as much for his terrible fielding in the early days as his world-beating left-arm spin, Monty became a household name and helped England to become the number one Test team on the planet. In conversation with national broadcaster Matt Stadlen, the first England spinner to take a five wicket haul at the WACA will take us behind the scenes of his record-breaking career. https://www.chippingnortontheatre.com/events/an-audience-with-monty-panesar-in-conversation-with-mathhew-stadlen

Monty Panesar

Murder For Two, 26 Sept – 5 Oct – An anarchic musical murder mystery with a twist: one actor investigates the crime, whilst the other plays all the suspects! And they both play the piano throughout! When the body of an acclaimed novelist is discovered at his birthday party, all the guests fall under suspicion. Can local police officer and wannabe Detective, Marcus, solve the mystery before the experts arrive? With live music from a shared piano, and hilarious entertainment, it will keep you guessing until the final note. https://www.chippingnortontheatre.com/events/murder-for-two

Murder For Two

An Evening With Pam Eyres on October 16: Pam Ayres is the best-selling poet since records began apparently, after Ted Hughes, and has been making the nation laugh for almost 50 years. Her performance will include a selection of poems and stories, from across her long career, including Pam Ayres on Animalswhich was the UK’s bestselling poetry book of 2021, and her latest book, Who Are You Calling Vermin? https://www.chippingnortontheatre.com/events/an-evening-with-pam-ayres

Pam Ayres

The Theatre Feast, October 19 – Tables laden with a delicious feast from local open-fire wizards Pit Kitchen READ ABOUT THEM HERE IN OUR EXCLUSIVE, will adorn the theatre’s auditorium and stage with gourmet, locally sourced, seasonal street food, and plenty of vegetarian and vegan options. You can the enjoy irreverent, colourful entertainment, performed in and around the shared tables, including everyone’s favourite clown, Tweedy of Giffords Circus fame and acrobatic cabaret hilarity from Cabaret with Claws. https://www.chippingnortontheatre.com/events/the-theatre-feast

For more details about Life Begins at 50 go to https://www.chippingnortontheatre.com/life-begins-at-50