The importance of theatre in Oxford

A quintessentially English city with a rich heritage, stunning architecture and a reputation for educational prowess, Oxford is one of the country’s most popular tourist destinations. Home to the prestigious educational institute, Oxford University, Oxford is a cultural gem that offers something for visitors of all ages with a wide range of interests.

Theatre in Oxford

Oxford is regarded as a cultural hot spot and going to the theatre is a popular activity for local residents and visitors to the city. There are various different venues hosting all kinds of different productions and presentations, from classic pieces and Shakespeare’s iconic works to musicals, modern theatre, children’s shows and amateur dramatic performances.

The Playhouse is Oxford’s main theatre. It plays host to popular shows and musicals, many of which arrive straight from London’s West End and draw large crowds throughout the year. The afternoon matinees are particularly popular with tourists looking to combine sightseeing with an old-fashioned trip to the theatre. Smaller venues, such as the Old Fire Station and the Burton Taylor Theatre, give aspiring actors a platform to show off their skills and increase the diversity of productions on offer at any one time in the city.

If you are planning a visit to Oxford

Theatre and education

Going to the theatre has long been considered an educational activity, as well as one that provides entertainment and enjoyment. Theatre productions in any form are likely to broaden your horizons, provoke different emotions, familiarise you with different plots and storylines and teach you about new things, such as historical events, important people and culture and traditions in different eras or countries.

With education such an important focus in Oxford, it’s no wonder that going to the theatre is a very popular way of spending your time. Students are actively involved in theatrical productions in Oxford and many visit the theatre as a learning resource for their university, school or college programmes. Reading a play treats you to an entirely different version of a story than watching a play at the theatre and it can be very interesting to draw comparisons and see how your interpretation of different characters or places differs to that you see in front of you when you go to the theatre. For many, the theatre makes stories and tales come alive and creates lasting memories. Seeing a play can also help to solidify your understanding of a piece you’ve been reading in your spare time or studying as part of a school syllabus or university degree programme, such as English literature. All of a sudden, you may have a greater understanding of what’s going on in each scene, how the characters interact and how they express and embody their different and unique traits.

For many, going to the theatre is a chance to enjoy a night out, some high quality entertainment and a cultural experience, but it’s almost impossible to leave the theatre without feeling like you’ve learned something and this is why theatre is such an important and influential form of entertainment.