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Ten trustworthy picks for Oxfringe 2012

It's an exciting year for Oxfringe - one of England's newer Fringes - which is running until 10 June amidst the dreaming spires of Oxford.  With tweaked dates and a major new venue, Oxfringe has attracted even more quality acts this year, including several we at FringeGuru have had the privilege of reviewing before.

So here are our Top 10 picks for this year's festivities - all of which scored 4* or above when we caught them on previous outings.  And look out for more coverage from Oxford over the next few days!

For further details and booking information for any of these shows, see the Oxfringe website


More from Oxford!  Read our diary of our first trip to Oxfringe >>


  

ImageBig Daddy Vs Giant Haystacks

1 - 2 June, 6:45pm, The Old Fire Station

For those of a certain age, Big Daddy and Giant Haystacks need no introduction.  For the rest of us, prepare to be astonished by this affectionate reminiscence of the glory days of British wrestling; a witty and unexpectedly touching portrayal, from two highly-talented actors.  Read our review from the Brighton Fringe 2011.

Scallywags

1 - 4, 9, 10 June, times vary, The Old Fire Station

The desperate days of the Second World War aren't the most obvious subject for comedy, but this entertaining piece of physical theatre pulls off both humour and poignancy.  In a twist on Dad's Army, we meet the undercover soldiers sworn to protect their country, with a script which swerves convincingly from slapstick to heroism.  Read our review from this year's Brighton Fringe.

ImageLights, Camera, Improvise!

2 June, 10pm, The Old Fire Station

A night in with a movie nerd, who owns every film you can imagine and constantly hogs the remote control?  Don't worry - it's just the set-up for this long-running, well-respected improvised show, which invites you to commission your very own film then puts it on before your eyes.  Read our review from a performance in London.

Danny Pensive's Map Of Britain

2 - 4 June, times vary, The Old Fire Station

Filled with curiosity and insights, this idiosyncratic one-man journey around Great Britain is enhanced by its quirky, witty songs.  We warmed to its genial tone and infectious delight in the oddities of our island.  Read our review from the Buxton Fringe 2011.

ImageIsy Suttie: Pearl & Dave

5 June, 7:30pm, The Old Fire Station

Following its title characters through the tale of a drawn-out cyber-affair, Isy Suttie's one-woman show is a parable on unrequited love.  With quirky, bittersweet details and a few insights from her personal life, Suttie puts on a subtle, big-hearted comedy - proving she's more than just "Dobby from Peep Show".  Read our review from the Edinburgh Fringe 2011.

The Mole And The Worm

6, 8, 9 June, times vary, The Old Fire Station

This curious tale of a spelunker and a sleeping girl asks questions about the connections we seek with others, combining comic physicality with touching humanity.  It's good to see this international group back in the UK, with a piece that's progressing from strength to strength.  Read our recent review from London.

ImageMorgan & West: Clockwork Miracles

6 - 10 June, 8:15pm, Simpkins Lee Theatre

Among our favourite performers of the last few years, Morgan and West bring a bit of old-fashioned magic back to the Fringe, in their roles as time-travelling Victorian conjurers.  Expect a few moments of amazement and plenty of homely charm, from amiable men in waistcoats and very big top hats.  Read our review of their previous show at the Edinburgh Fringe 2011 (note that they're performing a new work in Oxford).

Dev's Army

8 - 9 June, times vary, The Old Fire Station

Set in Ireland during the Emergency - or as we Brits would call it, the Second World War - Dev's Army is an interesting and thoughtful play, which sees a familiar period of history through our neighbours' eyes.  Compellingly acted with impeccable attention to detail, it scooped a 5* review when we caught it on its debut outing last year.  Read our review from the Buxton Fringe 2011.

ImageGerry Howell: Parrot Fashion Accessories

8 - 9 June, times vary, The Old Fire Station

Fresh from the Brighton Fringe, where he picked up one of our Editors' Choice awards, Gerry Howell brings his shambling stand-up show to Oxford.  Silly, sometimes touching, and consistently very funny, his stories impressed us as much as his modestly understated style.  Read our review from this year's Brighton Fringe.

The Beta Males: The Space Race

9 June, 9:30pm, Simpkins Lee Theatre

Winning five stars from us in two consecutive years, this four-man sketch group are previewing their new show, based round the untold (and doubtless slightly untrue) story of Britain's quest for the stars.  What sets the Beta Males apart is the completeness of their vision; expect a fully-developed world and detailed storyline to back up the laughs.  Read our preview for their performance at this year's Brighton Fringe.