• Tickets: Free - just come along!


Join us to celebrate the opening of the exhibition How Do You Feel Today?

“How do you feel today?”

Materials: grass, feather, latex, steel pins, clay, paper-covered wire, banana skin cordage, wrapped rope, linen thread, paper cordage, stone, nettle cordage.

Death is an inevitable conclusion to life. It is surprising therefore how effectively society avoids talking or thinking about it. It usually occurs away from the domestic sphere, dealt with by professionals. All of medicine, beauty, lifestyle is about staying young, postponing death. So when one is given a terminal diagnosis, the shock is real and the emotions are tumultuous.

“How do you feel today?” is the opening line of most medical professionals and it is the hardest question to answer honestly.

Artist Helen Pakeman says: “For this work I investigated natural burial grounds, end of life care and the medical trends accompanying this field and talked with people with cancer, and Soul Midwives. I decided to focus on the emotions that were most universally experienced and I wanted to distil those emotions creating simple objects that spoke at a visceral level. I also tried to use natural materials as far as possible, remembering that being assimilated back into the earth is the ultimate conclusion to existence.

I am very mindful that there is no order to the rollercoaster of emotions that sometimes overwhelms, and that the journey is not linear. And I feel strongly that accompanying someone on their last journey is both an honour and a privilege and that both gain immensely from the experience.

Being allied to the ‘Festival of Living and Dying’ is a great opportunity to start the conversation.”

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

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.