• Duration: 60mins followed by a Q&A
  • Tickets: £10


!This event has a content warning warning +

Racism, homophobia, ableism. The views expressed in this play do not represent the views of the actors or the author.

Oxford’s new-writing night: watch a rehearsed reading of a brand new play, curated by John Retallack.

Each script is brought to life by a cast of professional actors.

New writing is precarious in the current climate, and we are thrilled to support emerging artists with staged play readings. Join us for regular nights of great theatre, by outstanding up-and-coming playwrights. We can’t wait.

The play will run for 60mins, and be followed by a Q&A with the cast, writer and director.

WHITE – 16 March

by Janet Taylor

Cressida wants to show off a family heirloom. Seb thinks it should stay where it was found.

Prejudices old and new come to the surface at a dinner party in this biting, explosive new satire on white privilege and liberal complacency.

Janet Taylor is a new writer who is taking her first show, Varnish, to Vault Festival in 2023. Janet says: “It was inspired by many things, including: Reni Eddo-Lodge’s Why I’m no Longer Talking to White People About Race; numerous social media threads, including a white engineer on LinkedIn denying the need for diversity targets on the basis that “he’d worked very hard to get where he was”; the No White Saviours Instagram account; the UK Treasury tweeting its congratulations to the British public of 1833 for having spent “40% of its national budget, to buy freedom for all slaves in the Empire”; listening to people around me; self-reflection; and the brilliant dinner party scene in Alice Birch’s [BLANK].”

Content warnings: racism, homophobia, ableism. The views expressed in this play do not represent the views of the actors or the author.

Click here to read the programme.

About John Retallack

From 2013 John was Head of Writing for Performance at Ruskin College in Oxford where he produced RUSKIN PLATFORMS, live readings of contemporary plays, from 2013-2017.

He currently runs his own highly successful playwriting course in Oxford: www.oxfordplaywriting.co.uk.

He was Artistic Director of Oxford Stage Company at The Oxford Playhouse (1989 – 99). He has written over twenty plays and adaptations for theatre and for radio. Amongst other nominations and awards, he has won an Olivier, two coveted TMA/SWET awards, two Herald Angels and one Fringe First.

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.