OP Archive

Producing Company: Theatre Royal Bath Productions

Further Information

Click here to read a review from The Guardian

Click here to read a review from The Observer

Click here to read a review from The Telegraph


Oxford Playhouse is pleased to welcome Côte Brasserie as its Dining Partner for Fences. Click here to visit their website.



By August Wilson
Directed by Paulette Randall

Following his triumphant performance as Othello in the West End and in The Comedy of Errors for the National Theatre, Lenny Henry takes on one of the 20th century’s most exceptional characters.

Troy Maxson was once a gifted athlete but denied his turn at the big time he now struggles through daily life, taking out his anger on a sports-obsessed son and his loyal wife.

Winner of multiple accolades, including two Tony Awards and the Pulitzer Prize for Drama, Fences is one of America's greatest dramas. Set in 1950s Pittsburgh, it is the story of a family battling against prejudices and the universal heartache of a man robbed of his dreams.

Writing in the grand tradition of Eugene O’Neill and Arthur Miller, August Wilson is widely considered to be one of the most significant contributors to American drama and has won almost every significant award.

One of the richest theatrical experiences I have ever had in the theatre. I wasn’t just moved. I was transfixed. New York Post
Lenny Henry is a delight ... Henry responds manfully to the demands of a remarkably rich central role in the moving, absorbing revival of a great play **** Dominic Maxwell, The Times
It’s a cracking production of a play which, despite its verbosity, achieves many passages of searching psychological insight and shattering dramatic power.**** Telegraph
Paulette Randall's compelling revival of Fences shows that this is one of Wilson's finest achievements. It's also one of Lenny Henry's, who gives his best stage performance to dateThe Observer


I can’t wait to see this play; it’s a fascinating read and fully deserving of this revival. And who better to play the lead than Lenny Henry after his triumphant Othello? This promises to be a treat, so book soon to get the best seats.

Michelle Dickson's signature

Venue: Main Stage  |  Category: Drama  |  Running Time: : Approx 2hrs 40mins


Save money on your tickets and be the first to know what’s happening at the Playhouse.

For just £40 a year you can receive generous discounts on tickets for yourself and a friend (two tickets maximum per show). Join Enjoy! ( formerly Stagecard) and receive the following benefits:

  • Half price tickets for two people to many shows
  • Guaranteed early mailing of Oxford Playhouse brochure
  • Priority booking for productions in Oxford Playhouse’s season
  • Online booking for Enjoy! discounts
  • Two free house programmes per year
  • Special offers and invitations from local arts

Please contact the Box Office on 01865 305305 for more details and to purchase.

Audio Description

Audio description is a service for people with visual impairments. It is a live verbal commentary delivered during a performance, capturing the key visual elements such as actions and movements, gestures and facial expressions, sets, props and costumes. The description is relayed to the audience member through a lightweight headset which is supplied by the venue.

Touch Tours

At some performances a touch tour will be available before a performance. This means that before the performance the describer will visit the set with the service users, describe elements of the design and encourage them to touch surfaces, costumes and props so that they can understand the geography and nuances of the performance. Please phone Box Office to book free tickets for the touch tours.


Is a service for people with hearing impairments of all kinds. The captioner uses a special stage text software. They convert the spoken word into text, which is displayed on a caption unit situated on or next to the stage. As the words are spoken or sung the captioner sends the specially formatted script to the display unit.

As well as dialogue, the captions also include the name of the character who is speaking or singing and descriptions of any sound effects. The difference between this and surtitling (for performances in another language) is that it is essential that all of the audible elements of the performance are communicated and the aim is that it be done with the same pace and style as the performances given as part of the production as a whole.

Captioning is also a useful tools for audience members who speak or are learning English as a second language.

'The captions helped me to understand some of the accents and was good practice for my reading skills'
Italian audience member

Pre-Show Talk

A talk held roughly 1 hr before the performance (please check for exact times) in the Top room at Oxford Playhouse. Usually given by one or more members of the creative team involved in a production (Director, Writer, Designer) or by an expert in a related field or in the work of that company itself. The event is £2 to a ticket holder for the performance but it is best to book in advance as there are only 65 seats available by calling 01865 305305. Please note the Top Room is not accessible to wheelchair users.

Post-Show Talk

This is a chance for you to share your thoughts about a production and ask any questions that you may have. Moreover it is an opportunity for you to get more out of your visit from the playhouse, for free. We hold a post show talk for most of out week long shows, usually on a Wednesday.

The talk will be led by a member of the Oxford Playhouse Learning Team and some or all of the cast. Sometimes the director is also available. A few questions will be asked on stage and then it's your turn - all questions welcome.

BSL Signed Perfomance

This service is for Deaf or deafened people with at least an intermediate level of British Sign Language. During a BSL signed performance a trained performance signer will be placed somewhere on the stage to the left or right of the bulk of the action. The Signer will interpret the spoken work and essentially translate it into BSL.