Oxford is overflowing with tours and performances that promise to reveal the City of Dreaming Spires as you’ve never seen it before, but none of them will make you see the streets like Oxage can.

Telling the story of a world much like our own, set among the cobbled streets of Oxford, ‘Oxage: Across Portals’ leads its audiences around the city via a guide, who shows you a world that has been hidden from view, until now.

The guide, Fortune, introduces the audience to different places and characters, after visiting our world through a portal. “He brings us into his world to try and defeat the tyrannical evil king,” says Laura Boone, creator and producer of the show. “There are people in the other world who want to bring back the old ways of a more peaceful time, before the king. So it’s an adventure of love, conflict and hope with audiences being taken to a world that has gone from utopia to dystopia,” Performances span the city, taking audiences to a variety of locations: “Most of the performance relies on myself and the guide,” Laura says, “so that was a hard role to cast, because he’s so many different things to the audience.

“Fortune is the narrator and guides the audience, but he’s also part of the script and has to react to the characters you meet. “He’s trying to show people the secrets of his world and open it up to them in the hope that they can help change things.”

Laura, 26, who lives in Headington, first had the idea for Oxage in 2011 after graduating from university. A degree in performing arts meant she had trouble getting a job thanks to the tough conditions until, frustrated by a stagnant jobs market, she decided to do things her own way.

“I started off just doing a few showcases but then decided I wanted to start creating some of my own work,” she says. “I came up with Oxage as a way of doing something different to everyone else.

“Originally it was just one story but Livvi Frazer-Smith, who played the lead last time and will be involved again this year, convinced me to finish the next two scripts.”

Working on the play is something Laura does in her spare time, while holding down a separate full-time job. “I work on it in my evenings and days off, basically whenever I have free time,” she says.

So is that the biggest challenge? “It’s quite an active performance,” Laura admits. “It’s street theatre, but we push the boundaries of drama. And I’ve tried to create personalities that stand out from the crowd, as well as bringing the tense atmosphere from that other world to the streets of Oxford.“ Neither is contending with Oxford’s busy streets an easy task, but writing the play was also a huge challenge for another reason. Laura is dyslexic, but not only managed to produce both Oxage scripts herself but also founded her own production group, Fairy Dust Arts Organisation.

“Writing the script myself and pulling everything together has been a huge endeavour,” she reflects. “But also a big achievement. My confidence has definitely been boosted because of it.”


Oxage: Across Portals is on from July 17 until July 20. Performances begin outside the Leather Shop on Turl Street at 7.30pm. Tickets are £5. Call 07986888545 or email info@fairydust arts.co.uk