New Life Breathed Into Corpus

The Corpus Playroom, Cambridge’s most popular small theatre venue, will receive a £100k revamp and switch management over the summer vacation.

acting ADC theatre Ben Blyth Corpus Christi Corpus Playroom Fletcher Players Max Upton Stephen Fry Theatre Thesps

This summer, the Corpus Playroom will undergo a £100,000 redevelopment, the University confirmed today.

The notorious dressing-room and backstage space will be part of the overhaul, as well as new technical equipment to boot, in what is the culmination of The Playroom Project.

The project, launched last year by the Fletcher Players – Corpus’s drama society – has already seen improvements  in the performance area and seating.

It has the backing of many donors, and once even had Stephen Fry as its patron. In a letter of support he said: “I might be said to owe the Playroom everything.” Fry’s first play, Latin!: Tobacco and Boys premièred at the Playroom’s opening in 1979, and its success prompted his first collaboration with Hugh Laurie.

Where the magic happens

The redevelopment will affect audiences as well as performers – as part of the changes the Playroom will now be managed by the ADC Theatre, whose box office will be available for on-line ticket sales. There will also be a new box office area with sofas and vending machines.

Max Upton, Fletcher Players President, told The Tab that he is “thrilled to bits about this new partnership… [it] will impact brilliantly on what is already a gloriously vibrant theatrical scene… in short this is going to be great!”

Playroom veteran Ben Blyth, of The Movement theatre company, welcomed the changes – particularly to backstage – telling The Tab: “It used to be gross but now it will be good.” He also expressed a slight concern about the new management: “it’s excellent news, as long as the ADC stay away from programming.”

The playroom hosted the winners of last term’s award from The Tab for Best Mainshow and Best Musical, as well as other critically-acclaimed shows. Providing this well-deserved and much-needed attention to one of Cambridge’s favourite venues can only be a good thing for the theatre scene.

Even The Theatre Guide Dog can’t think of anything bad to say…