Preview: No Quarter at the ADC Theatre

After multiple delays and setbacks due to the pandemic, No Quarter will finally be hitting live theatre.

Finally things are starting to open up once again, and this time the Cambridge live theatre scene is coming back to life!

There is no better way to celebrate the anticipating return of student talent within live theatre than speaking to those involved in it themselves. We spoke to the director and lead actor of the freshers play No Quarter to hear what they had to say about the ADC being back in business, and their show finally going ahead. 

Overcoming challenges

Here at The Tab, we know all too well how plans have gone topsy turvy over the past year, and this was no different for the creatives working on No Quarter. Since Michaelmas, they have battled multiple show cancellations, two last minute lockdowns and that dreaded two-meter separation, even whilst acting. Through it all though, they have managed to keep the show on the road.

Director Joe Harrington discussed the challenges of producing the play which has evolved from its “fragmented” state, to come together “quite beautifully”. 

There was clearly no love lost in producing this play despite the numerous restrictions in place. Rather than treating the situation as a block to their creativity, the team was able to find dynamic ways to make it work, from using group chats to socially distanced meet-ups in local parks. Joe remarked that a particular challenge of the rehearsal process was practicing in a “urine-scented car park.” Dedication would be an understatement for the team’s commitment to making this play happen.


The cast of No Quarter. Image credit: Sophie De Sousa McMeakin

Confronting the world 

When asked about the artistic vision for the play, director Joe revealed that the main conflict in the play centres on how the characters respond differently to situations they find themselves in, and so getting this piece to “reaffirm the importance of theatre” was a key aspect for him. More important was showing off those moments of “human love and connection” even amidst the tragic elements of the play. 

The team had plenty to say when asked about the relationship dynamic between the cast and production team. Making sure not to take themselves “too seriously” and instead just “having fun with it” was a major way that they were able to keep up morale when bringing the different characters to life in a way that “speaks to everyone”.

Joe made it clear that finally having an opportunity to showcase months of hard work is “the biggest gift ever!”

Just having fun…

For Jack who plays the lead character Robin, what began as an excuse to meet other freshers soon came to mean “so much more”.  They were sure to make it clear that “this is in no way a play about COVID”, however the characters’ experiences speak to some of the things many of us have had to deal with in regards to “loneliness and connection” in our own lives recently. 

The play which is rumoured to have a rave, a paint fight, and a piano that gets smashed up” – and what more could we ask for for our very first live show after so long?

No Quarter runs from Tuesday 25th to Saturday 29th of May at 7:45pm so be sure to grab a ticket for yourself and a friend (or a couple more if you fancy) on the ADC website here

Feature image credit: James Bruce

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