Preview: Curtain Call at the ADC

A madman, a witch and an axolotl puppet. Intrigued? Then read on!

The ADC Theatre has now fully re-opened after eighteen months of Covid-related disruptions, and what better way to begin the new academic year than heading over there to watch the Week Zero Lateshow, Curtain Call?

Co-written over lockdown by Grace Beckett, Henry Weighill and Gregory Miller, this new comedy made its first appearance as an extract performed at last term’s HATCH before finally making its anticipated arrival on the ADC stage with a run from the 6th to the 9th of October.

The writers having a ball in the ADC dressing room. From left to right: Grace Beckett, Henry Weighill, Greg Miller. Image credit: Grace Beckett

What’s it about?

Curtain Call follows a troupe of ex-comedians who disbanded long ago after a “critically panned and objectively unworkable” performance in 1986. But now fate has brought them back together for the first time in years.

I say fate… I mean a mysterious madman who has trapped them in a theatre and given them one hour to write a hilarious comedy sketch show. Or else they will face a fate worse than death!

With the tension running high and a hilarious new joke around every corner, I think it’s safe to say that this will be a highly entertaining, exciting, and frankly unmissable show.

Rehearsals in the ADC dressing room. From left to right: Abraham Alsawaf, Barnaby Evans. Image credit: Grace Beckett

Get ready to laugh… a lot!

Curtain Call is bound to be a comedic masterpiece. When asked why people should want to go and watch the show, Grace and Henry spontaneously and simultaneously cried out, “Because it’s so funny!”

And as far as I can tell, they are absolutely right. In fact, the whole piece will be punctuated with brilliant one-liners, physical comedy, and several interventions by an axolotl sock puppet. What’s not to love about that?

Grace told the Tab, “I think it’s very different to a lot of the shows I’ve seen in Cambridge before. It’s very silly, very strange and, yeah, it’s a bit of light relief.” She hopes that the audience will be able to “stop and have a laugh together and laugh at this inept bunch of strangers doing their thing.”

Favourite parts

When asked about his favourite part of the creative process, Henry told us that he particularly enjoyed creating the play’s characters and their wide range of personalities, “because they’re all so wacky!” After all, this is a play that features the leader of a witch coven alongside “Prince Andrew’s favourite ventriloquist”…

Grace commented that her favourite part of creating Curtain Call was the writing process in the summer of 2020. Writing the script and polishing their comedic genius was an immensely fun social occasion and a hugely enjoyable way to spend their lockdown summer.

A somewhat intriguing rehearsal photo with the cast. Image credit: Tungsten Tang

A note from an actor

We’ve also got an insight into what it’s like to act in the play. Barnaby Evans, who plays talk show host Giles Girthwrite, said that “playing Giles is fun for the same reason that it’s difficult: you get to witness his descent into madness and that’s very enjoyable to play, and also challenging in the best way possible.”

He went on to tell us that the farcical and over-the-top nature of the play has made Curtain Call an interesting and unique experience. It certainly seems to me from the backstage photos that “over-the-top” is the best way to describe this show– and I can’t imagine that there’s been a dull moment for the cast as they have brought the script to life!

So there we have it: a descent into madness, an axolotl puppet and a host of wacky characters– if that doesn’t make people want to watch a play, then I have no idea what will!

Get your ticket-buying fingers ready– if you fancy a trip to the ADC next week, tickets can be booked here. The Tab would also like to wish cast and crew a hearty ‘break a leg’!

Recommended by this author: