MADDIE BROWN is blown away by ‘one of the most exciting theatrical endeavours to hit the Corpus Playroom in recent times’.

Corpus Playroom freya mead jitters Maddie Brown mollie wintle student writing

Corpus Playroom, 9.30pm, Tue 26th – Sat 30th Nov, £6/5


To write your own play is a challenge. To write your own comedy… well, that is another matter entirely. The Cambridge comedy scene had better watch out because in her playwriting debut, Mollie Wintle has demonstrated incredible talent.

Jitters is a play about the relationships between three-generations of a family. It takes place in the hours leading up to the wedding of one of the family members, Martha, and chaos quickly unfolds. The wedding-day plot is highly suitable but not integral to the comedy. Wintle explores the tensions that exist within families: between sisters, mothers and daughters, uncles and nieces- there are endless examples. From this perspective, there is the potential for the play to be be rather gloomy, yet the script injects wonderful humour into the narrative. The unintentional comedic dimension of young females is perfectly captured: the ‘dirty ink bitch’ accusation is one that still sticks in my mind. Consequently, a funny, engaging piece of theatre is born.

Part of the charm of the comedy is not simply the script but the delivery of it by the cast. It was just so effortless. In comedy, it is easy for actors to be over-the-top, thinking that humour will be generated by increasing volume, increasing pitch and exaggerating body language. In Jitters, the actors and actresses were not trying to be funny, they were merely effective in manifesting the quirky and distinct qualities of each of the characters and this, coupled with the script, ensured comic success.

The two cousins, Freya and Sophie, played by Freya Mead and Rebecca Cusack respectively, are wonderful. The interaction between them is amusing and endearing, and the opening scene in which Sophie teases Freya feels almost as if you are among your own friends. The pair remain on stage for the entire play and while more is revealed about their lives and relationships with other cast members, their characterisations stay constant and continue to captivate.

D-O-R-O-T-H-Y, played by Georgina Letts, adds further hilarity. The manner in which she projects annoying, childlike qualities is not only amusing but immensely enticing. Coupled with the immaturity of the groom Jack (Tim Crowter), the controlling and irate Marian, aggravating uncle Paul and Grandpa, there is a clear sense of the age distinctions between characters, an impressive feat for student theatre which contributes to the effortless reality of the production.

Martha, the bride brought to life by Laura Inge, is another example of the acting talent present. She does not have many lines, but her facial expressions and body language are enough – I’m still laughing at the image of the pampered and spoilt bride strutting across the stage.

I wish I could talk more about the merits of each character for they all deserve individual praise. However, the best thing I can do is to tell you to get down to the Corpus Playroom yourself – a review alone could never do Wintle’s production justice. To assuage those week 7 tensions, get out and see this play. Support a superb young playwright and some superb actors and actresses. This must be one of the most exciting theatrical endeavours to hit the Corpus Playroom in recent times, and I cannot wait to see more of what Wintle delivers.