THE show must go on for Oxford’s artistic venues as they adjust to the increase in Covid cases and fears of the Omicron variant.

In a bid to support Oxford’s businesses and organisations, the city council is running a campaign in the run up to Christmas.

Baked by the Oxford Mail, this week we look at arts venues across the city and what they are doing during the festive season.

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Oxford Playhouse’s Robin Hood pantomime is running until January 9.

Playhouse director Louise Chantal said: “The message I’d want to put out is that the Oxford Playhouse will be putting on shows as long as it’s safe to do so.

“There are digital and streaming options if needed, we’ve done a highly professional recording of the panto if people wish to watch it.

“What we proud ourselves on is offering a traditional pantomime, but something which has a contemporary twist for 2021.”

Oxford Mail: Robin Hood at Oxford Playhouse. Picture provided by Oxford PlayhouseRobin Hood at Oxford Playhouse. Picture provided by Oxford Playhouse

The North Wall has cancelled performances of Pinocchio until December 28 following non-Covid illnesses and injury, but shows went down a treat before that decision was made.

John Hoggarth, co-director at the Summertown arts centre, said: “The responses have been overwhelmingly positive and it’s been humbling to see people wanting to turn up and show solidarity.

“It’s a great family show which tells an ever relevant story for today.

“Anyone who is into theatre and good storytelling will enjoy it.

“The staging for Pinocchio is that you’re right on top of it and we have what we call cabaret seating, so people can sit on their own tables, in their own bubbles.

“We have a well-ventilated system and masks are mandatory, so it’s as safe as we can do while still enjoying the show.”

Oxford Mail: Oxford City Council to visit Oxford this ChristmasOxford City Council to visit Oxford this Christmas

Tom Jowett, Ultimate Picture Palace’s programming, marketing and events manager, added: “We’re reopening on New Year’s Eve and we like to have a classic on, which this year will be Labyrinth.

“On New Year’s Day, we’ll be showing the 1961 version of West Side Story, as the new one we’ll be showing from January 14.

“The first months of the year are usually really good as we start to show the films which are being considered for Oscars and BAFTAs.

“It’s still dark and cold outside so people want to come in and be somewhere warm, having a cup of tea and watching a film.”

Oxford Mail editor Andrew Colley said: “The Mail has been behind this campaign from the beginning, shining a light on those who need you now more than ever before.

“The entertainment and leisure sector forms a key part of our society but without customers sticking by them, workers could face more dark days ahead.

“Where safe to do so, please show your support and embrace the culture and diversity on offer across the many pantomimes, theatre productions and amateur shows near you.”