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Pocket Guide: Oxford Burton Taylor Studio Hotels

With such a rich variety of attractions and activities spread across Oxfordshire, it can be something of a problem agreeing on which ones to visit. The ancient colleges of Oxford are usually high on the list of priorities, along with shopping in Bicester of course, but when you're staying at a local Oxfordshire hotel you should get yourself along to the Burton Taylor Studio for a slice of living history. It's right next to the Oxford Playhouse and from a nearby hotel such as The Buttery or Malmaison Oxford it makes the perfect destination for an evening's entertainment.

The Burton Taylor Studio from Oxfordshire Hotels

The Burton Taylor Studio is definitely the coolest place to view the latest plays to hit Oxford. It seats 50 and hosts a lot of cutting-edge student productions during term time. As well as supporting the work of local artists, the Studio gives performances aimed at children under two years of age and has a special play area for them when they get bored.

Oxfordshire Hotels for the Burton Taylor Studio

Richard Burton enjoyed his first of many standing ovations during a performance in Oxford whilst he was studying at nearby Exeter College. He was 18 at the time and fresh from West Glamorgan; he was on a 6-month course and the year was 1944. The great John Gielgud happened to be in the audience that evening for the performance by the Oxford Dramatic Society of Measure For Measure, and it was the start of Burton's rise to international fame.

His tutor Neville Coghill had exacted a promise from Burton that he would return to act in Oxford, and he duly returned in 1966 with wife Elizabeth Taylor in tow. They both starred in a production of Doctor Faustus at the Oxford Playhouse which was directed by Coghill, and donated money to create the Burton Rooms from the old reading rooms next door. Later, in the 1980s, members of the Dramatic Society needed somewhere else where they could uninterruptedly stage productions and renamed the Burton Rooms as the Burton Taylor Studio. It's well worth a visit.