Epic music theatre retelling of Aeneas' journey as a modern-day refugee trying to belong

Ticket prices: £10, £18, £26 plus Pay What You Decide (PWYD) in person through Old Fire Station Oxford


Aeneas walks into a bar on his first night in Oxford: a refugee forced to leave his homeland. He finds himself in Dido's Bar, where the House Band play jazz and folk influenced by their own cultures. Spotted by bar owner Venus, Aeneas is pulled onto the stage and so begins a story of love, jealousy and ambition.


Sit at a table and watch the story unfolding all around you as the OVADA Warehouse is transformed into Dido’s Bar: a cabaret-style venue at the edge of town. The international cast draw from their own heritage to inspire the music: the tar and tanbour of Persian classical and Kurdish folk music, Arabic and Berber singing styles, Finnish folk songs and a Western jazz trio of keys, drums and bass.


Dido’s Bar is an epic retelling of Virgil’s Aeneid, one of the world's oldest myths of migration and the founding of Europe, Aeneas "made a refugee by fate" flees war-torn Troy (in modern day Turkey) to find a home in Italy. Facing resistance from humans and manipulation from Goddesses Juno and Venus, he ends up founding the Kingdom that would become Rome.


Retold for the 21st century through the eyes of refugees today, the show is inspired by Director Josephine Burton’s encounter with Kurdish Iranian refugee and now Finnish resident Composer, Marouf Majidi



Content warning: This show contains strong language, and depictions of violence, death as well as references to rape and discriminatory behaviour.

Please note there is a large glitter ball reflecting lights that could affect people with photosensitive conditions.

This show is recommended for ages 16+. Under 18s must be accompanied by an adult.



Show times

  • Thurs 27 Oct, 7.15pm

  • Fri 28 Oct, 7.15pm

  • Sat 29 Oct, 1.00pm

  • Sat 29 Oct, 6.30pm

Doors open 45 mins before each show time.

This show is 2hrs approx, with a 30 min interval.


A delicious, warming meal will be available to buy for 45mins prior to each show, thanks to Oxford Community Action Kitchen. Prices £7 - 10 PWYD.

You can get a sneak peak of the menu here: https://www.ocmevents.org/didos-bar-food 


Tap Social will be running a bar  at all showings. Please be prepared to show your ID when buying alcohol. The bar will follow the Challenge 25 policy.



Conceived and Directed by Josephine Burton

Written by Hattie Naylor

Composed by Marouf Majidi with additional composition by Riku Kantola

Set and Costume Design by Bryan Woltjen

Music and Sound arranged, designed, and directed by Riku Kantola

Movement Direction by Ayse Tashkiran

Lighting Design by Peter Small

Produced by Charlie Bunker 

Production photos by Ali Wright



Dido's Bar is co-commissioned by Oxford Contemporary Music and co-produced in the UK with Royal Docks Team, Oxford Contemporary Music and Journeys Festival, with additional support from Arts Council England, Backstage Trust, The Foyle Foundation, Cockayne – Grants for the Arts, Royal Victoria Hall Foundation, The London Community Foundation, Genesis Foundation, Finnish Institute in the UK and Ireland, The Marchus Trust, Austin and Hope Pilkington, The Leche Trust and individual donors.

The Oxford production of Dido's Bar is supported by Old Fire Station Oxford. 


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Covid measures: please read more about our current covid measures here: www.ocmevents.org/covid-measures


If you are disabled and need a personal assistant in order to attend then please get in touch to arrange your PA's ticket free of charge: sofia@ocmevents.org /01865484777