Street theatre to engage with public

From left, Olivia Frazer-Smith, Daniel Irving, Jason Millward, Laura Boone, Emily East and Richard O’Rourke

From left, Olivia Frazer-Smith, Daniel Irving, Jason Millward, Laura Boone, Emily East and Richard O’Rourke Buy this photo

First published in News Oxford Mail: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter covering East Oxford and Cowley. Call me on (01865) 425430

A TALE of magic and misfortune will take to the city’s streets this month thanks to a successful fundraising appeal.

Theatre group Fairy Dust Arts will stage the second part of its trilogy Oxage after raising £500 through online fundraising site Indiegogo.

Set among the Oxford cobbles, the mythical play tells the story of hidden world Oxage, which is connected to Earth through a portal.

The unique production invites the audience to walk through city locations as cast members perform.

Olivia Frazer-Smith plays the trilogy’s lead character Princess Hope.

The 19-year-old from Combe said: “Oxage is not just about the play, it’s about the people involved.

“It’s like a grown up fairytale but it has a lot of hidden meanings in it like society and the changes we are going through like with the government.

“It’s very interactive. It’s much more about the audience can get involved with the play.”

The three-part play was penned by Fairy Dust Arts founder Laura Boone in June 2011 after she was inspired by the city and its locations.

Eager to develop a production that would engage the audience, the 27-year-old developed a walking tour.

Miss Boone, from Headington, said: “I wanted to take the production off the stage and get more audience interaction and get them involved with art more.”

The first instalment, Oxage: Across Portals, took place last year and told the story of Princess Hope and her battle against time to save Oxage after it is discovered by a lost girl.

The second part, Oxage: Phoenix of Hope, continues the heroine’s quest to save Oxage from destruction.

Cast members are preparing to stage the second production on Saturday and Saturday, August 23.

During the first instalment, a guide took the audience to locations including Bonn Square, Radcliffe Camera and St Aldate’s as cast members performed.

But this year, Saint Columba’s Church, in Alfred Street, and its surroundings will act as the setting for the second part.

More than 15 cast members aged between 18 and 60 have been rehearsing since May.

Funds raised online have enabled the group to pay for costumes, props and venue costs.

Miss Boone wrote the play while working full time as an assistant at Combe’s The Cock Inn, on The Green.

She said: “It has been quite hard work because I have had to do it in my free time and it would be nice to do more work on it because it’s something I enjoy.”

The final part, Oxage: Faith, Love and Hope, is set to be performed next year.

Tickets, priced at £8 for adults and £6 for concessions, can be bought from wegottickets.com

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