Autumn is here and with it a massive choice of entertainment at Oxfordshire’s wonderful theatres, galleries and museums. Here are our top picks:

The Oxford Science and Ideas Festival 6 – 29 October. 100+ science and ideas events in 30+ venues across Oxford. From talks, performances, films, tours and six popular family-friendly interactive zones. Get hands-on in city centre venues and further afield. Research, world-leading scientists, dance and data, explore everything from the tiniest particles to the biggest challenges facing the world today. Programme at

The Oxford Science and Ideas Festival

Victoria Melody’s HEAD SET, 3 Oct, Chippy Theatre. She’s back on a new journey – another bonkers, hilarious and galvanising search for the truth, this time in the form of the UK’s stand-up comedy circuit, via her own brain. An absolute must see! BOOK HERE

Victoria Melody. pic by steve ullathorne

The House with Chicken Legs, Oxford Playhouse, September 21 – 23. Marinka is trying to find her feet when her home is quite literally pulled from under her. Funny, thought-provoking and full of life, the show deftly navigates the complexities of loss from a whole new perspective. Based on the best-selling novel by Sophie Anderson and brought to life with live music, puppetry, and that quintessential Les Enfants Terribles flavour.

Chicken Legs

Colour Revolution: Victorian Art, Fashion & Design, Ashmolean, opens 21 Sept. One of the most colourful periods in history, dispelling the myth that the Victorian era was a dreary landscape of ‘dark satanic mills’ Instead, it shows how developments in art, science and technology resulted in an explosion of colour embraced by artists, designers and the public in the 19th century, with 140 objects to enjoy ranging from Ruskin to Turner, Whistler, Morris & Co and so much more. BOOK HERE and also book talks including Stereoscopes Talk and Flora Yukhnovich and Daniel Crews-Chubb

Ramon Casas – Young woman. Musee de Montserrat

Brown Boys Swim (21-23 September), North Wall, Karim Khan’s award-winning play makes a triumphant return to Oxford ahead of a UK tour. This coming-of-age story is a funny, warm and heartfelt tale about two best friends gearing up for the biggest night of their lives – Jess Denver’s pool party. There’s just one problem…they can’t swim.

Bach, September 23, OSJ, 7pm at Dorchester Abbey – OSJ’s incredible autumn season opens with an evening of sublime music from J.S. Bach, thanks to young violinist Poppy McGhee who, alongside Michel Tirabosco, who join the Orchestra to conjure all the musical richness and joy of one the world’s most seminal composers. Conducted by John Lubbock.

John Lubbock, OSJ founder & conductor

Shrek The Musical, Sept 19- 24, New Theatre Based on the Oscar winning DreamWorks film, the Broadway and West End smash hit Shrek the Musical is a fun filled and hilarious musical comedy with a cast of vibrant characters and a ‘shrektacular’ score.


Professor Turi King, 1 October, Oxford, Sheldonian Theatre. The co-presenter of BBC2 series ‘DNA Family Secrets’ who led the team who identified King Richard III, uncovers how DNA has revolutionised genealogy and forensics. Trace long lost family members, catch criminals and make remarkable historical discoveries. Plus how your DNA identifies you and your family, how your surname relates to your ancestors and more.  BOOK HERE

Turi King LoRes

DANCIN’ OXFORD’S FAMILY DANCE FESTIVAL, September 29 – November 2 Enjoy an exciting line-up of captivating dance events for all ages, featuring a rich and diverse range of physical theatre and dance, from immersive and interactive experiences, breakdance, contemporary dance, acrobatics, classical Indian dance, physical comedy, documentary theatre, a family disco, and much, much more.

Plastic by Akademi

Joe Hicks, 24 November, OFS. Raised in the rural market town of Newbury; rapidly rising Singer-Songwriter Joe Hicks blends intricate guitar composition and soaring falsetto with classic pop song-craft.

Joe Hicks. pic by David Rutherford

Morgan & West’s Massive Magic Show for Kids (and childish grown-ups!) Pegasus, September 9 Witness a mountain of mysterious magic, a hatful of hyper-reality, and a truck full of tricks and tea. Mixing brain-busting illusion and good old fashioned tomfoolery, in this a show for all the family, magic and silliness abound! BOOK HERE

Morgan & West

Oxford Sinfonia – John Warner conducts Mendelssohn and Schumann, September 23, University Church of St Mary the Virgin in a programme of Mendelssohn’s Overture and Scherzo from a Midsummer Night’s Dream, Ravel’s Pavane, Chausson’s Poème for violin (soloist Roma Tic) and orchestra, Mendelssohn’s Hebrides Overture and Schumann’s Symphony No 4. John Warner is Founder and Artistic Director of Orchestra for the Earth and Music Director of Oxford Opera.

Roma Tic

Woodhill, 19-20 October, North Wall – gut-punching choreography and unflinching beats shine a light on the hidden story of HMP Woodhill. Lyrically told in their own words, three families investigate what happened to their boys. Don’t miss this explosive true story by multi-award-winning LUNG. BOOK HERE


Oxford Open DoorsSeptember 9-10. Don’t miss a weekend full of exploration with 100 different events to enjoy. Celebrate all things Oxford; its people and places, heritage, community, culture, science and research – and explore its secret, locked and hidden spaces, with something for everyone. MORE INFO HERE

Oxford Open Doors 2022 – Ed Nix

IDENTITIES, Oxford Playhouse (September 27-28). A play about boobs. From bra fittings to breast cancer diagnosis, Lucy’s boobs tell her story in 60 minutes – the time it takes to perform a standard lumpectomy. Co-created with women who have experience of breast cancer and those who treat them, enjoy the good, the bad and the silly.


Juliette Burton: Didcot’s Cornerstone, No Brainer, Saturday 16 September, having sold out at Edinburgh Fringe Juliet is sharing her manual for the mind with you. A stand up show about the comedian’s mental health that shines a light on so many issues at the same time

Juliette Burton

Murder Mystery Dinner at Oxford Castle and Prison, Friday September 29.  Enjoy a delicious two-course meal whilst solving a murder most foul. Inspired by gruelling events at the prison, solve the mystery by following the clues and interrogating those you meet along the way, before a sit down two-course meal served by the prisoners themselves, before the big reveal. Tickets cost £75. BOOK HERE

Diana: The Untold and Untrue Story, 12-13 October, Old Fire Station. Join Diana in heaven as she shares the untold and untrue tale of her extraordinary life. Combining drag, multimedia, audience interaction, puppetry and a lot of queer joy – this unique celebration of the people’s princess is as hilarious as it is tasteless.

Diana Untold

Pitt Rivers – Native American Portraiture – the first UK exhibition of American ambrotypist Shane Balkowitsch. Setting out to create 1000 portraits of Native American people using the historical wet plate photographic process. DETAILS HERE

PItt Rivers – Native American Portraiture

Ross Noble – Jibber Jabber Jamboree, New Theatre Oxford, Nov 2 – join him for an evening of the sort of inspired nonsense that has cemented his place as the supreme master of stream of conscious freewheeling stand up. BOOK HERE

ROSS NOBLE by John McMurtrie

Oxford Literary Festival’s Spies: The Epic Intelligence War Between East and West, Monday October 2, Pusey House Chapel. Intelligence historian and commentator Dr Calder Walton explains how the West and Russia have been waging a spying war for more than a century, ranging from the streets of St Petersburg in 1917, to the beaches of Normandy, coups in foreign lands and the troll factories of present-day Moscow. BOOK HERE

Calder Walton (c) Joy Uyeno

Tess of the D’Urbervilles, Didcot Cornerstone, Wednesday 29 November An ensemble of Circus performers weaves together Thomas Hardy’s classic novel in a spectacular new adaptation.

Tess by Ockham’s Razor – Image by Mark Dawson Photography

Oxford Opera Company, LA TRAVIATA! Olivier Hall, St. Edwards School, September 29-30. Enjoy the searing beauty, passion and tragedy of one of the greatest operas ever written – Giuseppe Verdi’s La Traviata starring Anna Sideris, Mark Christian Bautista, Eddie Wade and conducted by John Warner.

Anna Sideris

Can’t See For Looking, Old Fire Station September 28 – 30. Based on five true stories of rescued Filipina domestic workers, this play explores the prevalence of hidden slavery in contemporary Britain. When Rosa, an impoverished Filipina domestic worker finds herself enslaved in London, she is desperate to escape. BOOK HERE

Living the Drama – Cant See For Looking Cast

Geraldine Peers interviews CARA HUNTER, Thursday 7 September, St Barnabas Church, Jericho. The best-selling local crime author whose new novel Murder in the Family is a stand alone whodunnit climbing the bookselling charts rapidly talks books, writing and murder. BOOK HERE

Cara Hunter

Graffiti Classics, Sunday 24 September, Cornerstone. On a mission to make classical music accessible and fun for all ages, including your little ones! Expect cheeky audience interactions and uplifting and virtuosic variety of musical styles.

Graffiti Classics

The A to Z of the Bodleian Libraries, Saturday 9 September. 10.30am–3.30pm, Weston Library. From Architecture to Zines, discover the buildings, collections and activities of the 26 Bodleian Libraries. Take a tour behind the scenes, visit the free exhibitions, create a unique artwork, view collections up close or print a keepsake in this special event inspired by the exhibition Alphabets Alive!

Bodleian – Alphabets Alive

Mark Thomas: England & Son, 4 October, North Wall. A kaleidoscopic odyssey where disaster capitalism, empire, stolen youth and stolen wealth merge into the simple tale of a working-class boy who just wants his dad to smile at him from the comedian and North Wall regular.

Mark Thomas

Curiosity and Colonialism, A tour by Uncomfortable Oxford, Oxford Museum of Natural History, September 9 and and every Saturday until December. Discover and discuss how the Oxford Museum of Natural History, Pitt-Rivers Museum are connected to the British Empire beyond traditional narratives, highlighting histories of race, gender, class and empire. Tickets from £5. BOOK HERE

I, Daniel Blake, October 10 – 14. Oxford Playhouse. A touching and vital story of how people come together in the face of adversity and how sometimes creating a family to support you just isn’t enough. Adapted for stage by Dave Johns who played Daniel Blake in the critically acclaimed multi-award winning 2016 film. BOOK HERE

David Nellist as Daniel Blake at Northern Stage

David Mitchell: Unruly, hosted by Jeremy Paxman, New Theatre, Mon Oct 16. Join BAFTA Award-winning actor, writer, and comedian David Mitchell as he discusses his new book, Unruly, with broadcaster Jeremy Paxman, exploring how England’s early monarchs, who were mostly as silly and weird in real life as they appear in their portraits. BOOK HERE

David Mitchell

Kieran Hodgson: Big In Scotland, 13 October, North Wall. The actor and stand-up comedian is back in Oxford with his Edinburgh Comedy Award nominated show about his big move to Scotland complete with tales about vegan haggis and dodgy accents.

Keiran Hodgson

THE GHOST OF A SMILE AT THE MILL AT BANBURY, Thursday Sept 7. Two of Charles Dickens’ creepy tales – with a comic twist. Tales with a tingle, but also a giggle! Two yarns to chill and charm! Stories with a shiver and a smile.

Jack! Sunday 15 October, Cornerstone A new musical for families, discover the truth behind the original fairytale hero Jack throughout his many stories.  Featuring lots of opportunities to join in and brilliant live music throughout. BOOK HERE