Lottie Unwin: Drama Queen

Our resident Drama Queen’s guide to what’s on in Week 0

ADC Drama Lottie Shakespeare Theatre


I am really excited to be back.  The sun always shines in Cambridge, hangovers are cured by a glass of water and 9 o’clock lectures don’t actually happen.  Such a concept would suggest that I have to be up before 10.30, when time begins, and is therefore clearly untrue.   
Any time now the penny of reality is going to drop and I am dreading it. 
Over Christmas my theatre trips have been far from numerous.  I took my Dad to see Cat on A Hot Tin Roof at the Novello Theatre in London.  He was well chuffed but shouldn’t have been.  Our seats were in the very back row and I had serious vertigo looking down on the matchstick actors.  Over the two intervals we moved to lower and lower seats, explaining to very polite stewards my father had hearing difficulties as Dad shouted ‘What?’ too often for it to be convincing.  The show was brilliant: the acting brought me to tears, the set was an impeccable reconstruction of a Southern estate house and the programme was glossy.  It felt a long way from Cambridge’s printer paper hand outs and doors which swing open again when they are slammed.   
But, I know that after squashing my bike in amongst the racks outside the ADC or suffering the awkward moment where you have to walk across the stage to get to your seats in Corpus Playrooms, Cambridge theatre won’t disappoint.  At least everything costs less than lastminute.com’s best deal on the West End’s worst seats. 
This week the line up is as follows:
Clockwork – 7.00 – Tuesday 12th – Saturday 16th (2.00 matinee) at the ADC. £5-7.
The first ever adaptation of Philip Pullman’s novel is put on by Mutabilitie Productions and directed by professional Holly Race.  The cast is half professional and half students, the description of ‘An unstoppable story of gothic proportions’ very alluring and the website is flashy.  And flashy websites suggest standards are going to be high all round.   
Midsummer Nights Dream – 7.45 Tuesday 12th – Saturday 16th (2.30 matinee) at the ADC. £6-9.
Having just returned from a two and half week tour of Europe covering over 4000 miles the European Theatre Group are about to face their most difficult challenge yet in an audience whose first language is English.  Set in ‘an industrial, monochrome forest, formed on the outskirts of a city under authoritarian rule’ Max Barton’s production guarantees a different approach.  
Lock, Stock and Improv – 11.00 Tuesday 12th – Saturday 16th at the ADC.  £4-6
In its blurb this comedy night asks whether I ‘Want to see an arachnaphobic mob boss with an affinity for gardening searching for his stolen stash of mattresses?’ What a stupid question, of course I do.  With any night of improvisation I just count my lucky stars I am safe in the audience and it’s not me trying to be funny.  
Camino Real 8.00 Tuesday 12th-Wednesday 13th at The Mumford Theatre. £7
Killing two birds with one stone – both the Tab missions to prove that Anglia Ruskin University does actually exist, though their students keep themselves very well hidden, and to broaden our theatrical horizons beyond the ADC.  The play is written by Tennessee Williams, directed by Simon Bell and set in a Spanish port, featuring characters from throughout literature and folklore and is structured like a street with sixteen blocks or scenes.  Sounds good, if you can find your way so far into unchartered territory.  
The Velvet Onion Comedy Club 8.30 Friday 15th at Henry’s Bar and Café (Quayside).  £12
Doors open at 7 if you want food as well for the first of Cambridge’s monthly comedy nights.  It is organised by the same Big Fish Ents who run Jelly Babies at Ballares, but I have more hope for the night than I do for a night at Cindies, the line up including acclaimed comics Carl Donnelly, Matt Green and Pete Jonas. They won’t be dressed as onions. Surely not.