Arcadia @ UCL Quad

For the next three days, the Quad will become the stage for the UCLU Drama Society’s “laugh your arse off” adaptation of Tom Stoppard’s comedy-drama Arcadia.

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As his last hurrah before the curtain falls on his university career, Director Bob Nicholson, a 3rd year SEESS History student, is bringing his favourite script to life.

“I wanted to come out of university having done this show as it’s very special to me and at the same time it’s just so perfect for the space and it’s slightly boring to do Shakespeare” he said in an interview with The Tab.

The story is based in a country house and two intertwining timelines, one in the early 19th century and the other in the present day. Modern academics Hannah Jarvis and Bernard Nightingale, with the help of Valentine Coverly, gradually discover the truth about the house’s former resident, precocious teenager Thomasina Coverly.

“It does a wonderful job of exploring ideas and mirroring those ideas in the structure of the play. Its main concept is chaos theory and the play is structured to be like chaos theory, disorder and order and how they come in and out of each other” says Bob.

Things have developed at break-neck speed, with rehearsals starting only 11 days ago, but according to Bob it’s been an enjoyable experience and the cast has gelled well:

“The first rehearsal was really fun, we just got together and had the read-through and it was great. It’s such a funny play, everyone really went for it and we were all falling over laughing.”

“Things didn’t work straight away but once we had a couple of eureka moments everything slotted into place.”

Bob reckons the play has been given an extra comedic twist by its cast, including the “phenomenal” Alexander Lopez, alongside freshers Harlan Davies and Charlotte Ellinas. So for him, coming to see Arcadia is a no-brainer:

“It’s so funny, it’s the summer, it’s so nice to be able to come to the incredible setting of our Quad and spend two and a half hours laughing your arse off. Surely that’s one of the better things you can do with your time?”

The show starts at 7:30pm and will be running from 6-8 June. Tickets cost £4 for UCL students and £7 for the general public.

For more info, check out Arcadia’s Facebook page.