A STAR-STUDDED evening of entertainment will celebrate Oxfam’s 70th birthday.
Some of the charity’s most famous supporters will be taking to the Oxford Playhouse stage next month as part of Eight Stories High – an evening of storytelling and performance.
Glastonbury Festival founder Michael Eavis, journalist Ian Hislop, and Harry Potter actress Bonnie Wright will be joined by Raymond Blanc and entrepreneur Richard Reed.
Oxfam global ambassador and Sex and the City actress Kristin Davis will be flying in from America specifically to take part.
Each of them will help share a story about the work Oxfam does from its Cowley base and the charity’s history.
Mr Reed, who founded Innocent Drinks in 1999 while he was at Cambridge University, has been to Bangladesh with Oxfam.
He said: “I’ve spent time with communities who have so little, but are achieving so much and witnessed real-life stories that are truly transformational.”
Other celebrities such as Colin Firth, who were not able to turn up, have recorded exclusive video contributions for the night.
Music at the evening, on Sunday, October 14, will be provided by Tabu Flo, an Afro-urban dance company from Uganda.
Organiser Sioned Jones, a member of Oxfam’s fundraising team, said: “It is about telling the story of the last 70 years, as well as reflecting our work now and telling stories about some of our beneficiaries.
“There is something about Oxfam which means we have always been at the innovative end of our work.”
Mrs Jones said: “We are very fortunate to have lots of people who are willing to support us and take the time out to come of Oxford.
“We are still in negotiations with other people who may be taking part.”
Oxfam was founded in October 1942 as the Oxford Committee for Famine Relief when a group of people met in the University Church of St Mary.
Its first success was to lobby the British Government for the relaxation of the Allied blockade of occupied Europe so relief could be sent to Belgium and Greece.
The following year it raised £10,000 for the Greek Red Cross in days.
In 1948 Oxfam, as the charity became known in the 1960s, opened the UK’s first permanent charity shop in Broad Street.
Seven decades later the charity works in 90 countries worldwide and has an annual income of more than £380m with 5,000 paid staff.
Earlier this year Oxfam, which is one of Oxford’s largest employers, was awarded the Freedom of the City.
Places for the evening are limited to just 595 and tickets cost £50.
Tickets for the show are available from oxfam.org.uk/eight or from the Oxford Playhouse itself on 01865 473741