Stop Signs preview: We spoke to the team behind Cam FM’s fabulous new show

Did someone say road trip?!

Cam FM is introducing a brilliant new radio show, Stop Signs. New episodes will be released every Saturday at 9:30pm. And let me tell you, we are in for an absolute treat!

Funded by the Mighty Players, this radio series has a simple premise, with each weekly episode featuring a car journey, three to four songs, and “a whole world of possibility”, according to the show’s listing on Camdram.

With the show featuring a new writer, director, cast, and genre every week (who all do their own variation on this central premise) following a new set of characters on their own car journey, the programme promises an incredibly exciting range of stories with something to satisfy all of our theatre needs.

We spoke to Anna Mahtani, one of the showrunners working behind the scenes to make Stop Signs happen, about spearheading this new and exciting show.

A new age collaboration

Given the pandemic, making theatre this year was never going to be easy. Anna told us about the particular and unique challenges of producing a show under COVID restrictions and making the best of this new era of remote theatre.

She told us that the Stop Signs rehearsals have been “very fun Zooms” filled with a team of over forty people “all over the country”. The co-showrunners have split up their writers into “mini-teams” in order to ensure they have the most contact with their creative groups. Their commitment is certainly to be admired and it certainly doesn’t seem like they’ve let the pandemic stop them.

Poster for 10 Thumbs and a Cadillac (Image: Winnie Zhu)

Anna told us more about the plans and creative vision that the production team had going into the project, saying that the whole process had the aim of creating a “collaborative and easy-to-access show”. Her team is filled with first-time creators and she tells us that she has enjoyed “giving space” to new voices.

Cars are ample inspiration

Each episode of Stop Signs is thirty minutes long and is set inside a car, so perfect for those short revision breaks (which you need!). When asked how she wanted the audience to feel after listening to the show, Anna said that she wanted it to be as though the audience themselves are “on a road trip with these characters” and that she wanted to help us relive our own “good car trip memories”.

Some beautiful student-created publicity material for one of the Stop Signs episodes (Image: Polly Bodgener)

With new episodes following new storylines every week, the Stop Signs team wants its audience to have a different feeling every episode. Perhaps while listening, you can reminisce about your past travels, think about all the places you’d like to visit post-pandemic, or maybe even be inspired to go on your own road trip!

A fabulous team

We asked Anna about her wonderful team, from actors to writers, and it seems that Anna and her co-showrunner, Rebekah King, have plenty of talent on board! She told us that all “different areas of Cambridge creatives” are involved in this, with a team of artists creating posters for each episode, a composer, and more. With so many talented students on board, it’s bound to be an incredible show.

Cassette art of 10 Thumbs and a Cadillac (Image: Winnie Zhu)

Anna said she wanted to “take away any competitive element” of the content she and her team produce, making sure that every one of her writers, composers, and artists has the opportunity to make their mark.

It’s clear that this show, with its huge range of talents and topics, is bound to have something for everyone. I, for one, can’t wait. 

The first episode of Stop Signs is out now, and can be listened to here.

Feature image: Anna Mahtani

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