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Frequently Asked Questions

Who are the Martin Esslin Society and what do they do? How do I contact them?  

The Martin Esslin Society oversees the O'Reilly Theatre during term time. Information on and contact details for the current committee members can be found on the 'ABOUT US' tab.

Can I Join The Martin Esslin Society?

Any Keble student is welcome to apply to join the MES committee. A call out for applicants is circulated over the Christmas vac each year. Please note that the committee sits for a term running from Hilary to Hilary, so applicants must be members of the college for the academic year in which they apply, and in the one following it.

How frequent are O'Reilly performances?

The O’Reilly hosts student productions in 3rd, 5th and 7th week of Michaelmas and Hilary. The shows usually run from Wednesday to Saturday, with evening performances at 7.30pm. Some shows choose to start on the Tuesday, and some choose to have a Saturday and/or Sunday matinee at 2.30pm: please see What’s On and individual productions’ websites for more information. 

How Much Are Tickets?

Ticket prices are set at the discretion of individual companies,  As a rough guide, Prices usually range from £7 to £9, although musicals or technically ambitious shows may cost more. We recommend that all companies offer a student discount, but this is at the discretion of the producer. Similarly, Complimentary tickets must be reserved for the MES but any further comps are be issued  at the Producer’s discretion.

Where can I buy tickets?

Links to productions' ticket vendors can be found in the What’s On section. A limited number of tickets may also be available on the door.

Who can use the O'Reilly?

Anyone at Oxford University or Oxford Brookes can bid to put a show on in the O’Reilly: teams must be made up of at least 80% Oxford University students, in accordance with OUDS regulations (although MES and the O’Reilly operate independently of OUDS, and are subject to their, or any other external regulations, in an advisory capacity only).

Any queries regarding the use of the O’Reilly outside the allocated performance weeks should be directed to Bronwyn Friedemann []. please be aware that the hire fee for the O’Reilly is significantly higher when it’s not being used for theatrical purposes.

Any queries regarding the use of the O’Reilly during a performance week should be directed to the President and the Producer of the current show; please note that this will be limited by the availability of the space and will be at the Producer’s discretion.

How much does it cost to put a show on?

We try to keep the cost of using the O’Reilly fairly low. The hire fee is £350 for the week, and The technician fee is £150,  making a total fee of £500. if a production does not meet its breakeven, the producer may apply for a rebate of £50. We also request a £200 deposit which will be returned to you once it has been ascertained that you have followed all the O’Reilly regulations  (a manual will be sent to you in the case of a successful bid).

For queries on how to budget a show (production costs, marketing costs, rights etc.), please  visit, where a sample O’Reilly budget is available for information. The OUDS committee is also a useful source of information for production inquiries, and MES will also endeavour to assist productions with any queries they may have. As a guideline, most O’Reilly productions aim for a breakeven of 30% to 40%.

What should a bid include?

A bid for the O’Reilly should include the following: team statements and biographies (even at the bid stage this should include Director, Producer, Marketing Manager, Production Manager, Designer and, ideally, Sound/Lighting Designers), a preliminary budget, initial design sketches and an inclusion statement (for more information on inclusion statements click here. All companies who bid will be invited to an interview, which the entire creative team should attend. 

How big is the O’Reilly, and how many people can it fit?

You can find an updated version of the O'Reilly Theatre Manual under Documentation/O'Reilly Forms

For any other queries, feel free to contact the Theatre Technician.

Do you have a Facebook page?

Certainly. Click here for it.

Funding Applications?

The Martin Esslin Society will consider funding applications, Subject to availability, for grants of up to £500 for shows that meet either of the following minimum requirements:

i. The show is being performed at the O'Reilly Theatre and at least two crew members are current members of Keble College;

ii. The show is being performed elsewhere  and at least one of the director, producer, set designer, lighting designer or sound designer is a current member of Keble College.

Shows not meeting these minimum requirements may apply for a loan of up to £500, the amount provided being dependent on the degree of involvement of current members of Keble College in the production.

For more information please see the 'perform here' section of the website.

Trinity term and the garden play?

College Entz regulations mean that the O'Reilly cannot host shows in Trinity terms. However, the Keble Garden Place takes place in Trinity, which student companies from across the university are invited to bid for. click here For more information on how to bid for the garden play.


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