OXFORD’S Covered Market will take on a new role next month, providing an unusual setting for Creation Theatre’s performance of Don Quixote.

In what is thought to be a first for the historic market, actors will perform amongst the shop units, using the historic site as a backdrop for their adventure story.

In an adaptation of the classic Spanish tale, audiences can expect to see the market in a different guise with mobility scooter-riding Don Quixote travelling along the avenues.

Oxford Mail:

The production, from August 23 to September 28, is part of a wider plan from Oxford City Council to provide events and experiences, particularly in the market’s communal spaces, alongside the traditional retail outlets.

Mary Clarkson, cabinet member for culture and city centre, said: “This is a really exciting development for the market.

“We want to see more cultural events following their lead and taking advantage of this unique building and I’d encourage other organisations to take a look at how they can benefit from the space.

“We’re investing in the long-term future of the market and we want to see it become more than just a retail space.”

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The event is also a trial for extended or evening opening hours to broaden the market’s appeal to the wider community.

Creation has been producing classic texts in Oxford for over 20 years, delighting audiences in venues from the University Parks and the Bodleian Library to Blackwell’s Bookshop.

Oxford Mail:

The city council is investing £3.1m into the Covered Market, which is Grade II-listed, to secure its long-term future.

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The investment includes £1.8m to secure the roof for another 60 to 80 years, and £1.3m for internal refurbishment.

The market, which first opened in the 18th century, sells a wide range of products from local and independent businesses.

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Oxford Mail:

Lucy Askew, chief executive of Creation Theatre, said: “We’re delighted to be performing Don Quixote in the unique setting of the Covered Market.

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"What an amazing opportunity for audiences to join us for an evening of jokes, heroics and tears in such a wonderful historic setting.

"Look out for the quirky caravan and mobility scooter, which is a central part of the stage design.

“The actors are well versed at ‘creating a scene’ in locations across Oxford, from the Westgate to the Mathematical Institute."

Oxford Mail:

Paul Birtles, owner of The Garden of Oxford and chairman of the Covered Market Tenants’ Association, added: “Traders are excited by this innovative use of the market, and look forward to welcoming Creation Theatre to our unique workplace.”

To book tickets visit creationtheatre.co.uk