How else to celebrate the 80th anniversary of the Oxford Playhouse than with some of the biggest names in the business?

Pulling every string in the book has ensured that celebrities from across our screens and stage will be on hand to celebrate in style.

Which is how ticket-holders will be able to watch in wonder as the likes of David Tennant, Gugu Mbatha Raw, Rory Bremner, Toby Jones, Matthew Kelly, Alexander Armstrong, Simon Evans, Patricia Hodge, Jane Asher, Christopher Biggins, Sally Phillips and Katy Brand bring you an unforgettable night of variety performance at this Sunday’s grand gala in Oxford.

What will unfold is all down to film and TV producer and Summertown resident Victor Glynn, who has planned the top secret evening while keeping a few surprises up his sleeve.

“Well I can’t give too much away, but the wonderful thing about the 80th gala is that every single person that was been asked to be involved has said ‘Fantastic. If I can be there I will be. I will definitely come along.’ And that’s rare with charity events so we are really pleased.

But with such an eclectic line-up and the promise of so much fan, it’s understandable why they were keen to join the ranks.

After all, you can enjoy Rory Bremner parading his favourite characters on stage.

The famous impersonator will be hosting the evening, therefore ensuring that Donald Trump and Boris Johnson both get a look in.

“I am delighted to be hosting the

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event in such a landmark spot, in the theatre that means so much to Oxford. The Playhouse has played such a big part in Oxford’s history and I remember going to see the Marriage of Figaro there when I was at school.

“It’ll just be nice to give something back and i am more than happy to host the evening. We have got some amazing names coming and I think it will be a night to remember.”

Joining him on stage will be Simon Evans the famous magician, and current magic consultant at The National, stun you with his latest tricks.

BAFTA nominee and Miranda regular Patricia Hodges is serenading you with a few ‘musical pieces’ while Stars In Your Eyes’ presenter Matthew Kelly will be harking back to his previous appearances at The Playhouse.

“You have to remember that we are looking back at the past 80 years, as well as looking forward.

“So we will be remembering how the theatre opened the year before The Second World War broke out, the week after Chamberlain returned from Munich flapping his little bit of paper.

“The evening will feature the highs and lows, including the era when the Oxford Playhouse closed seemingly for good, and then reopened years later after a rousing campaign.”

It means there will be opera, Gilbert and Sullivan, Dr Faustus and a peek at future show The Tiger Came To Tea with playwright and children’s dramatist David Wood.

Gugu Mbatha Raw, Witney local, Playhouse protegee, and Hollywood film star will be enacting a Phillip Pulman inspired piece.

David Tennant (ex Doctor Who, RSC lead and actor supremo) is doing a ‘slightly cheeky piece’ from the classics stored in his head.

“David Tennant has been delightful,” Victor expands. “He’s been very jolly and positive about the whole thing.

The Jones family dynasty comprising of Harry Potter film star Toby Jones, he of Christ Church Cathedral School and Abingdon School, will be bringing his metal detector with him alongside father Freddie Jones of Emmerdale fame and his brothers.

Throw a set with comedian Katy Brand, local children’s performances to enhance the local schools connection with the Playhouse, and emphasis that many of the big names gracing the stage started out their as infants.

Local children

  • The Oxford Playhouse's 80th anniversary gala takes place this Sunday.