One of the perks about being a student in Cambridge is opportunity to see some outstanding student talent. In my opinion one of the best examples of this is in the theatre (sorry sports fans, music fans, fans). I think I am wholly justified though. Everyone has heard of Footlights or has at least heard of Sacha Baren Cohen, John Cleese, Stephen Fry, Hugh Laurie…. or someone else from the list of famous alumni who have graced the well-worn stages of Cambridge’s Drama Scene during their time as a student here. And in the annual amalgamation of the comedy societies from Oxford, Durham and Cambridge it is telling that the former two share the first Act whilst Cambridge perform on another level for the entirety of the second half.
I haven’t had much of an opportunity to go to the theatre in Cambridge. With work and the the extra-curricular things that I do, it is a luxury I can ill afford. But last term I had the perfect excuse when ‘The Collector’ was on in Corpus Playrooms.
It was directed and produced by two very good friends of mine from College and it had the support of the Cambridge student newspapers, so I had no reason not to go. The performance of the adaptation of the 1963 John Fowles novel kept the audience captivated and guessing until the end. It showed some of the dedication and polish that I have grown to expect only with professional theatre. Whilst sitting in the audience I felt a twang of regret that I have only been in one theatre production in my time at Cambridge. (Some argue that one is enough… but I am not so sure of that conviction now!)
I was reminded again of the opportunities available to students in Cambridge, the chances to use whatever talent or passion you have. I am not sure if I have seen the debut of the next Tom Hollander, but I am convinced that going to the theatre here is time well spent, and who knows, maybe I will decide to audition and try and make my break as the next big thing? That is as unlikely to happen as it is for the weather to match the seasons, but I’m holding on to the fact that in Cambridge talent of all sort and any sort will always find a place to shine.