• Tickets: Free - please book your place


At a Death Cafe people, often strangers, gather to eat cake, drink tea and discuss death. A Death Cafe is a group directed discussion of death with no agenda, objectives or themes. It is a discussion group rather than a grief support or counselling session. Death Cafes were founded in 2010 by Jon Underwood, who decided to develop a series of projects about death, one of which was to focus on talking about death. Our aim is to increase awareness of death to help people make the most of their (finite) lives.

Part of Kicking the Bucket, a city-wide festival exploring the subject of death, bereavement and life.


Joelle Mann
Born in Geneva, Switzerland, Joelle has lived and worked in Oxford and London since the early 1970s. She trained and worked with the London Natural Death Centre’s Befriending Network and worked as a massage practitioner as well as Resonance Repatterning Practitioner for some 15 years. She subsequently trained as a Soul Midwife in the mid-2010s. She volunteered on different occasions at Sobell House Hospice, both helping in the Day Centre and offering hand massage on the wards. Since 2018 she has been facilitating a monthly discussion group, “Let’s Talk about Death and Dying,” which carried on through the pandemic on Zoom. She’s also trained as a Funeral Celebrant with Green Fuse and was Chair of the Dignity in Dying Local Group for 5 years. She has recently co-founded the Oxford branch of Companion Voices which trains volunteers to sing to dying people. She has given a number of presentations on Death and Dying including at Blackwell’s and Oxford University Press.
Joelle says, “Throughout my life I have been blessed to accompany friends and relatives living with life-threatening illness until their death and feel strongly that if we can explore and talk about death and dying, we can live better. I am keen to support others to do the same.”

Arne Richards
Arne Richards is an Independent, Green Fuse-trained Funeral Celebrant.
As an experienced facilitator and presenter he knows first hand how the flow of a good funeral ceremony with its tapestry of poetry, music, words and ritual can guide the thoughts and feelings of mourners through the grieving process towards a sense of hope, love and mutual support.
Arne is also a professional musician and psychotherapist. He is the founder and Director of the Oxford Concert Party which has, for over thirty years performed, recorded and broadcast at many major music festivals throughout Great Britain and Europe as well as giving a major commitment to community projects in high security prisons, Immigration Detention
Centres and for those with dementia. His private practice as a therapist has helped numerous people suffering from fears and phobias over 25 years.
A member of the Royal Society of Musicians, Arne’s concerts, ceremonies and presentations seek to create a warm, sympathetic atmosphere in which people are able to express their own emotions and reflections.

Parking & Access


There are a number of Blue Badge parking spaces nearby on Beaumont Street, and more on New Inn Hall Street and St Giles.

The closest car park is Gloucester Green Car Park, accessed via Gloucester Street.

If you have any questions or concerns, the City Council’s Access Officer can be reached at 01865 249811.

Getting here

We are committed to reducing our carbon footprint, but we need your help. Use ecoway, our sustainable travel planner, to see the most eco-friendly options for your journey to Old Fire Station, and plan a bespoke and flexible route. ecoway is easy to use and you’ll be kept up to date with any disruption or changes to your journey plan.

Car parks in Oxford Blue Badge information Public transport in Oxford


Disabled patrons are eligible for one free companion ticket with their booking. To book this, contact the ticket office: tickets@oldfirestation.org.uk or 01865 263990.

There are two entrances to the Old Fire Station: 40 George Street via the foyer, and on Gloucester Green via the shop. Both are step-free. If you are coming to a show, we ask that you use the George Street entrance, as the Gloucester Green entrance is not always open.

Events in the Theatre

There is level entry to the foyer of the Old Fire Station, and step-free access to the main Theatre (where most shows take place).

If you are a wheelchair user attending a sit-down show, space will be reserved for you. If you are attending a standing gig, please contact us (call the ticket office on 01865 263990 or e-mail tickets@oldfirestation.org.uk) and we will talk with you about your needs.

Events in the Studio

There is level entry into the foyer of the Old Fire Station, and step-free access to the Studio.

Events in the Loft

There are six steps leading up to the Loft space, with no lift. If you would like to discuss this to find out more, please get in touch.

The Gallery

There is step-free access to the Gallery – level entry through the George Street entrance, and via lift from the Gloucester Green entrance.


Accessible toilet
There is an accessible toilet on the ground floor, accessible via platform lift. Other toilets are in the basement (accessible via lift).

Hearing assistance system
The Theatre is equipped with a hearing assistance system. If you have any questions about using it, please e-mail us at tickets@oldfirestation.org.uk or phone 01865 263980.

Assistance dogs
All types of assistance and guide dogs are welcome at the Old Fire Station. It would be great if you could let us know in advance if you will be bringing a working dog to any performances – just e-mail tickets@oldfirestation.org.uk.

Strobe lighting
We will warn visitors on the website and in the foyer of the venue if a performance is going to contain strobe lighting. If lighting affects you, and you have any concerns, please call the ticket office on 01865 263990 or e-mail tickets@oldfirestation.org.uk.

Chairs in the theatre
Our chairs are a standard dining-chair size, measuring 40cm deep by 37cm wide, with a metal frame. Some have arms, and some do not. They are all joined together at the sides, to form rows. If this is likely to pose a problem for you, please email tickets@oldfirestation.org.uk and we can discuss how to make your visit more comfortable.