A-Z Guide to Cambridge theatre

All you need to know

ADC Cantab Corpus Students Theatre university University of Cambridge

A is for ADC. The heart of Cambridge theatre and the home of the Footlights, the theatre off Jesus Lane hosts some of the biggest and finest productions of the year.

B is for Bar. The ADC Bar to be precise. The location of interval drinks, post-show after parties and musical theatre bar nights, the ADC bar is the centre of the Cambridge theatre social scene.

C is for Camdram. The IMDb of the Cambridge theatre world. The website shows the credits from all those Involved in Cambridge theatre.

D is for Directors. The starting point of any show. The director envisions a show, runs auditions and works closely with actors to realise the production. Any aspiring directors should definitely apply to direct a Fresher show!

E is for Edinburgh. Cambridge dramatic societies send dozens of shows to the Fringe Festival each year, a must-do for any keen thespian.

F is for Footlights. The most famous University comic troupe in the world with a legendary alumni, from Fry and Laurie to the Inbetweeners. Footlights highlights of the year include the famous Spring Review in Lent, the Panto at Christmas and the International Tour show in the summer.

G is for Get Out. Post-show operations consisting of clearing away sets, lighting and rigging after the last night of a show, ready for a new show to move into the theatre the next day.


No, we won’t stop mentioning him whenever it’s tangentially relevant

H is for Hiddleston. Cambridge has the largest and greatest university theatre scene in the world. From Taylor Swift’s Ex to Nanny McPhee herself, you can’t go anywhere without hearing about a Cambridge theatre success story

I is for Informality. With a theatre scene pumping out scores of shows a term, it can feel a bit daunting getting involved with your first show. Rest assured though, Cambridge theatre is one of the most informal and friendly aspects of Cambridge life.

J is for Jokes. For any wannabe funny people out there, Cambridge has an excess of opportunities. Whether it is be stand up or sketch shows there are innumerable ways of making your fellow students laugh, cry and cringe.

K is for Kreativity- Like the spelling of this caption, the Cambridge theatre scenes allows writers to go wild with their imaginations. New writing is one of the special aspects of Cambridge drama.

Much expression, very art.

Much expression, very art.

L is for Late Shows- Being the enormous theatre scene that is it, late shows also take place each week in the ADC (at 11pm) and Corpus Playroom (9:30pm.) Yay more theatre!

M is for Musicals- Musicals are some of the most popular shows put on in Cambridge. As well organising regular musical theatre bar nights, The Cambridge University Musical Theatre Society (CUMTS) puts on at least one musical a term, including the Spring Term Musical at the End of Lent Term

N is for Never Ending Publicity. Posters all around town. Flyers in pigeon holes. Adverts on social media. Doing a show brings with it getting people to come and see it.

O is for Other Venues- Theatre at Cambridge is not limited to University level. College dramatic societies put on shows throughout the term in college theatres and other, often funky, locations. You don’t need to be part of a certain college to participate in their shows, anyone is welcome!

P is for Playroom. The Corpus Playroom, to use its full name, is the other regular theatre venue located just off King’s Parade.

Corpus Playroom Sign

Q is for Questioning your own Sanity. Okay it’s not that bad. Rehearsals can be long. Performances can stretch throughout the week. Rest assured though, being involved in a show won’t jeopardise your degree. (If you do 12 a term it might though, I won’t lie.)

R Is for Reviews. A huge theatre culture in Cambridge brings with it a big reviewing scene. With the power to make a show sell like hot cakes, reviews are a great way of watching loads of shows for free. (The Tab reviews are to be recommended.)

S is for Smokers. Run by the Footlights, these Late Shows give anyone the opportunity to have a go and be funny for 3 minutes. Anyone can audition.

T is for Technical Theatre. Without the many lighting, sound and set designers, stage managers and technicians, Cambridge theatre simply wouldn’t run.

U is for Ultimate BNOC status. Bowing to adoring Cambridge students night after night is a sure way to climb up the greasy pole and earn a place on the Tab’s yearly BNOC list.  

V is for Verse- Speakeasy nights at the Union Bar take place every term and provide the perfect occasion for the poets among us to rhyme, rap and rock.

W is for Workload- Thesps often say they are cruising on a 2:2. This is usually a lie. A good work/theatre balance always helps though.


Work work work work work

X is for Xylophone- I’ve heard there’s a Xylophone in the ADC. Also there was a great show called Xylophone last year. That is all.

Y is for Yearning for More. On getting their first taste of Cambridge theatre, many get the bug. One of the most friendly and inclusive aspects of Cambridge, Theatre is not to be missed during your years at Cantab.

Z is for ZZZZ. Congratulations, you made it to the end of the article.

You can go to sleep now. I already am.