Celebrating 350 years of the Sheldonian

This year marks the Sheldonian Theatre’s 350th Anniversary. To celebrate this occasion, some exciting things are taking place!

Community Engagement Scheme

The Curators have launched the Sheldonian Theatre 350th Anniversary Community Engagement Scheme providing up to four community groups with complimentary or subsidised access to the Sheldonian Theatre to hold events that are open to the public.

So often linked to classical concerts and grand private University events, the Sheldonian is a wonderfully versatile building. 

This is a fantastic opportunity for a local community group to bring something different to our theatre.


Events in 2019

It is not surprising that the theatre attracts a diverse range of events: in 2019 alone we hosted the Afghan Women's Orchestra, the Oxford Literary Festival and the highly acclaimed charity gig by Gaz Coombes of Supergrass. Gaz Coombes performed in front of a sold-out audience with a full orchestra, under the baton of Luke Lewis, and friends from the Oxford music scene. A home of classical music in Oxford for all its three and a half centuries, the theatre has never seen anything like it!

'It has been magical to play in this amazing building with these wonderful, wonderful players,” Coombes told the crowd during a standing ovation after the show. The performance raised money for two local Oxford charities, The Yellow Submarine and Young Women's Music Project, and was supported by a number of University departments.

Our special year will also be marked by Oxford Bach Choir with one of the greatest pieces premiered at the Sheldonian, Handel’s oratorio Athalia. Not only is this the only oratorio conducted by Handel in Oxford, but the Sheldonian is almost certainly the only surviving building where we know he performed any of his oratorios. Athalia itself tells the dramatic tale of the downfall of the evil usurper Athalia, Queen of Judah, daughter of Jezebel and worshipper of Baal, with appropriately colourful and exciting music for soloists and chorus alike. For details of all our events please click on the link below.


Take a guided tour

In our special year, why not join us for an entertaining and informative guided tour? It will really bring the history of the theatre to life.


Contact us 

Sheldonian Team 

+44 (0) 1865 2 77299


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