• Duration: 2 hours approx. + interval
  • Tickets: Standard: £15 | Pay more: £18 | Pay less: £12
  • Company: ElevenOne Theatre


“To those who appreciate wisteria and sunshine. Small castle on the Mediterranean, Northern Italy, to be let for the month of April. Cook, gardens, ocean view. Reply box eleven.”

Two housewives decide to throw caution to the wind, answer this advertisement, and escape from the relentless dreariness of the London winter and from their equally bleak marriages. To help meet the costs, they are joined by two other very different women – a crabby, judgemental elderly lady and a beautiful aristocratic socialite. All four, in their different ways, are deeply unhappy; battling with loss and sadness, tired of their lives and trapped by other peoples’ expectations.

When four such unlikely companions spend a month together it isn’t all plain sailing, and when erstwhile husbands and doe-eyed admirers are added into the mix the consequences are hilarious. But under the spell of the Italian sun and the wisteria blossoms, the women rediscover friendship, love, and the sheer joy of living.

Based on the 1922 novel by Elizabeth Von Arnim, Matthew Barber’s award-winning romantic comedy-drama is populated with unforgettable characters. Funny, charming, moving and uplifting, it’s a play guaranteed to bring the sunshine.

From the company who have brought the Old Fire Station After Miss Julie (2019), Ada & The Engine (2017), Brief Lives (2016) and Blue Stockings (2015).

Please note: We are trialling e-tickets for this performance. You will receive your ticket with your confirmation e-mail. Please present this either on your phone or a printed version to our ushers. You can still purchase tickets in our ticket office, or via phone.

Praise for previous work:

“How exciting it is to see a contemporary play presented in the city by an enterprising, energetic and erudite company!” – Daily Info

★★★★ “… an excellent play; smart, bold, and for a period piece, utterly modern.” – StageTalk

A note on ticket prices

We ask our audiences to select the ticket price the pay based note on their age or education, but on what they can afford to spend.

  • Standard: This is the regular ticket price.
  • Pay more: For those who can afford to help us offer cheaper tickets to people who need them.
  • Pay less: For those who can’t afford the standard price.

If you are disabled and would like to book a companion/personal assistant ticket, please contact the box office: 01865 263990 or tickets@oldfirestation.org.uk

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.

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.