layer sublayer

The Ashmolean Museum and
Wilderness Festival present

Friday 31 May 2013, 7.00–10.30pm
More Info

LiveFriday: May 2013

Oxford's Weekend Starts Here...

Free Admission, All Welcome!

On the last Friday of each month, the Museum will open its doors from 7.00 – 10.30 pm, giving visitors the opportunity to see the collections and major exhibitions after hours. Interactive events including theatrical performances, creative workshops and lively talks will be on offer, with drinks and dinner in the rooftop Dining Room on Level 4 and a bar in the vaulted Café on the Lower Ground Level.

Wilderness in the City
Friday 31st May 2013
7.00 – 10.30pm

Download the programme

The award-winning Wilderness Festival will be stepping out of the wilds to create an enchanting evening of musical performances, theatrical spectacles, literary symposiums, workshops, magic and games at the Ashmolean. Wilderness will programme activities drawing from ancient arts inspired by nature and a love of adventure central to their ethos. Immerse yourself in the barefoot freedom of Wilderness in the heart of Oxford and enjoy an unforgettable journey through the arts in the Ashmolean.

Petersham Playhouse will be displaying their Jabberwocky relics and conducting a hunt around the museum for the forthcoming LiveFriday, whilst Temple Theatre will take over the Cast Gallery with theatrical antics culminating in grand classical style festivities. Visitors should expect the unexpected from The Village Hall, a committee of eccentrics and eclectics bound to bring a touch of lunacy and jest to the evening's proceedings. There will also be the opportunity to pontificate over a Philosophy Slam with Robert Rowland Smith and Mark Vernon, aka The School of Life.

Visitors will be able to discover ancient British Shamanism and a different way of interacting with the world whilst experiencing archaeology up-close and personal with the Shamanic Street Preachers. As Wilderness weaves its way in and around the Ashmolean's galleries visitors will be offered the chance to get wild, creating their own personal 'Shaman style', discovering their iTribe, reaching an altered state of consciousness, and exploring the link between one's minds inner eye and ancient art. This is Guerilla Archaeology inviting visitors to get down and dirty with the past in one of the world's oldest museums!

Yes, Merry England really did exist! Tom Hodgkinson (editor) and Michael Tyack (musician) of the Idler Academy will present an informal musical lecture on Merry-Making transporting visitors back in time to the Middle Ages exploring the festive culture of pre-Reformation Britain. In another gallery Siobhan Davies Dance will present a work entitled Songbook 2010, composed by Matteo Fargion. Originally made for Siobhan Davies Dance as part of Rotor, this new composition reflects Fargion's love of rhythm, counterpoint and the absurd. It is a fast and illogical score performed by four dancers, featuring too many words, sounds and movements, that the feat seems virtually impossible.

Performing a wide range of genres from revitalised classics to exciting new writing, from comedy to drama, The Baroque Theatre Company have a mission to generate a "renaissance" in local theatre. For this LiveFriday they will be playing the harpsichord in full Baroque period dress, whilst elsewhere in the museum local man, George Chopping, of George's Jamboree of Music, Poetry & Comedy...Possibly, will be reciting poetry; there will be performances by Oxford University Dramatic Society, and BBC Oxford Introducing presents Rainbow Reservoir, an Oxford-based band founded by American ex-pat and saxophonist Angela Space. Rainbow Reservoir's musical influences include Silver Jews, Eels and Magnetic Fields as well as the timeless dulcet sounds of the Kinks and the Beatles.

In short, there'll be something titillating for each and everyone's celebratory taste buds at the Ashmolean's extraordinary exploration of festivals through the ages!