A Night of Dance - Mirage - Photo credit Alex Studio Gallery

Are you ready for Offbeat Festival? Oxford’s three day showcase of new work featuring theatre, dance, spoken word, sound art and creative workshops running from June 15-17 at the Old Fire Station, Oxford Playhouse, New Theatre, Broad Street and Gloucester Green.

Here’s our guide on what to see:

BEST FOR SOUND: ELECTRIC DAISY – Taste frequencies of sound in this audio experience that makes you think about your relationship with nature, your own body, and the future of living technologies. A multi-sensory performance that invites you to taste a natural infusion to make your mouth vibrate in sync with a captivating soundscape. THURSDAY, JUNE 15. OFS. Book here http://www.offbeatoxford.co.uk/whats-on-2023/2023/6/15/biohybrid-buzz

electric daisy: “It’s a unique experience – the public will be able to actually taste frequencies of sound!”

Electric Daisy – Photo credit Ram Shergill and Dr Tchern Lenn

BEST FOR YOUNG PEOPLE: CHRISSIE AND THE SKIDDLEWITCH – A warm and funny storytelling musical by Geologise Theatre about climate change, following 13 year-old budding climate campaigner Chrissie. Aimed at older children (8+), teens and their families, this warm and funny story features a family trying to adapt to a changing world and connect across generations. SATURDAY JUNE 17, OFS. 11am-12noon. http://www.offbeatoxford.co.uk/whats-on-2023/2023/6/17/chrissie-and-the-skiddle-witch

CHRISSIE AND THE SKIDDLEWITCH: “We wrote a story that took the concerns of young people seriously, but left the audience feeling that change is possible!”

Chrissie and the Skiddle Witch

BEST FOR DANCE: A NIGHT OF DANCE seen through these pieces: Mirage uses contemporary and Indian classical dance to tell stories about discrimination while a snake in the house means the family will never want 屋內怕有 is an immersive performance of live electronica and dance around intergenerational healing and transformational futures. THURSDAY, JUNE 15. Book here http://www.offbeatoxford.co.uk/whats-on-2023/2023/6/15/a-night-of-dance

A NIGHT OF DANCE: “Being from India, I was really frustrated about the inequality in how genders are viewed. I wanted to express my frustration through this work”  

A Night of dance – a snake in the house – Photo credit Phoenix Tanner

BEST FOR SPOKEN WORD: RAWZ – MY TWO OXFORDS Lifelong resident, Rawz, shares his experience growing up in The Leys, one of Oxford’s – and the UK’s – most under-served wards, and his recent visits into the opposing world of Oxford’s University. The MC and Poet performs all over Europe as a solo artist, and with the Inner Peace Records collective which with other artists from Oxford and London’s Hip Hop scenes. SATURDAY JUNE 17, OFS. Book here: http://www.offbeatoxford.co.uk/whats-on-2023/2023/6/17/rawz-spoken-word-set

rawz: “I’ve found myself working with the University as an artist and consultant, and it really feels like moving between two parallel worlds”


BEST FOR UNDER 5’s: BOXES – A sensory show for the under fives about the magic we can all discover and our imaginations. Create an immersive environment, play and participate, encounter hidden lands and enchanting characters brought to life through light and shadow, touch, sound and smell. THURSDAY, JUNE 15, NEW THEATRE. 11am-11.45am. Book here http://www.offbeatoxford.co.uk/whats-on-2023/2023/6/15/boxes

boxes: “WhatNot Theatre creates an immersive environment in which the world of play unfolds through audience participation”

BEST FOR LGBTQ+: SHALLOW RESTING PLACE – Charlie and Sophia reunite after three years. Set against an Oxfordshire backdrop, see how nature, queerness and storytelling intersect and what happens when a relationship between two young women, that one thought would last forever, finally comes to an end. THURSDAY, JUNE 15, BT STUDIO. Book here http://www.offbeatoxford.co.uk/whats-on-2023/2023/6/15/shallow-resting-place

Shallow Resting Place

BEST FOR FEMINISTS: PARADISE LOST by Erin Shields is a new feminist reimagining of humanity’s fall from ‘grace’ in a highly physical and visual adaptation of Milton’s classic story by Mandala Young Company, followed by a Q&A. FRIDAY, JUNE 16, OFS. Book here http://www.offbeatoxford.co.uk/whats-on-2023/2023/6/16/paradise-lost


Paradise Lost – Photo credit Stu Allsopp

BEST SET: A CARAVAN NAMED DESIRE is a one-hour show exploring desire and sex work in the UK set in a caravan. Working from a caravan has its ups and downs. Clients come and go. Ask them no questions and they’ll tell you no lies, just take the money at the door. But something’s different about this new client! FRIDAY JUNE 16, BT STUDIO. Book here: http://www.offbeatoxford.co.uk/whats-on-2023/2023/6/16/a-caravan-named-desire

A CARAVAN NAMED DESIRE: “Offbeat is an amazing festival which offers such an amazing platform for new work. WE CANNOT WAIT TO COME BACK”

A Caravan Named Desire

BEST FOR FRIENDSHIP: LOOK MUM NO HANDS! A tender tale of friendship and growing up, this coming-of-age story about two friends testing their own boundaries, explores freedom, taking risks and independence, one of the characters from a wheelchair. Visually beautiful and physically surprising, it involves exciting acrobatic shapes and unexpected choreography. SATURDAY, JUNE 17. BURTON TAYLOR STUDIO. http://www.offbeatoxford.co.uk/whats-on-2023/2023/4/12/look-mum-no-hands

Look Mum No Hands – Photo credit Rachel Hardwick

BEST FOR SHAKESPEARE: PERICLES adapted by Kelly Hunter for Flute Theatre. A story of people fleeing for their lives, losing loved ones at sea and experiencing miraculous reunions using music, dance and emotional heartbreak to conjure storms, kidnaps and resurrections. Followed by a second version adapted for autistic individuals. SATURDAY JUNE 17, OFS. Book at http://www.offbeatoxford.co.uk/whats-on-2023/2023/6/17/pericles

Pericles: “It warms your heart, breaks it, then puts it back together again” 


BEST FOR MUSICALS: THIS HOUSE BELIEVES by Theo Sergiou. In this new multi-genre musical, a young man from Tottenham finds himself amongst privileged students at Oxford University, and becomes embroiled in scandal and betrayal – with fatal consequences. Depicting class, identity, ambition and betrayal, using pop, rap and afro beats. Devised by young creatives from Oxford and London their workshopped musical needs feedback afterwards. SATURDAY, JUNE 17, BT STUDIO. http://www.offbeatoxford.co.uk/whats-on-2023/2023/6/17/this-house-believes

This House Believes

Offbeat Producer Antonia Spohr Moro says: “Choosing this year’s programme was a real challenge! We received a high number of applications, and it was tough to pick among so many inspiring, creative, and talented projects. Our team assessed each application based on its quality, originality, and relevance to the festival, aiming to combine the widest range of voices, experiences, and ideas. 

“We had 63 applications for the main programme and 26 for seed funding so it was a challenge to make the selection. We have 12 shows this year and five pots of seed funding but are already planning a re-launch and a bigger and even better festival for 2024.  

“We are beyond excited about our final programme and are pleased to invite you to three days of theatre, dance, spoken word, sound art and creative workshops.”  

To book these and other Offbeat acts, and for more information go to: www.offbeatoxford.co.uk/whats-on