Past shows at Cambridge Arts Theatre
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Marlowe Arts Show: A Midsummer Night's DreamJanuary 2023‘Lord, what fools these mortals be!’ An enchanted Athenian forest becomes home to fairies, lovers and players alike in Shakespeare’s greatest comedy. Magic, mischief and mayhem soon combine in a hilarious but dark tale of love triangles and mistaken identity.
Cambridge Greek Play 2022: The Persians and The CyclopsOctober 2022Every three years (since 1882), The Cambridge Greek Play Society invites Cambridge students and alumni to perform a classic Greek play in ancient Greek at the Cambridge Arts Theatre. Students work with a professional director and creative team for 9-10 months to prepare this. The result is a unique event in the British theatre scene. The production in October 2022 will be a double bill: Aeschylus's tragedy The Persians and Euripides' satyr play The Cyclops. Cyclops is the only surviving satyr play and very rarely performed. This production will be directed and designed by the same award-winning creative team behind the much acclaimed 2019 Cambridge Greek Play, Oedipus at Colonus.
Priscilla Queen of the DesertMarch–April 2022High heels, check. Lipstick, check. Glitter… get ready for the iconic jukebox musical as the award-winning Cambridge Operatic Society revive Priscilla Queen of the Desert into a riotous new production. Drag queens Mitzi Mitosis and Felicia hit the road in their campervan and drive across Australia to perform in Alice Springs. Along with their friend and transgender woman Bernadette, they encounter small-town bars, new friends and hate crime as they battle against the odds to make it in time for their opening number. Expect sing-along dance floor classics, eye-popping costumes and spectacular dance routines. Featuring an iconic musical score of pop hits such as Hot Stuff, It’s Raining Men and I Will Survive, this is a theatre trip guaranteed to have you dancing in the aisles!
A Midsummer Night's DreamJanuary 2022‘Lord, what fools these mortals be!’ An enchanted Athenian forest becomes home to fairies, lovers and players alike in Shakespeare’s greatest comedy, but magic, mischief and mayhem soon combine in a hilarious but dark tale of love triangles and mistaken identity. The Marlowe Society, one of Cambridge University’s most prestigious drama societies, returns to Cambridge Arts Theatre after its string of successful productions including Othello and Much Ado About Nothing. The Marlowe Society has launched the careers of some of Britain’s greatest actors including Ian McKellen, Derek Jacobi, Emma Thompson and Rachel Weisz, and continues its tradition of showcasing the best theatrical talent at the university.
Footlights at the Arts TheatreMarch 2020Following the success of 2019, Cambridge Footlights are back by popular demand with two nights of hilarious new comedy! Cambridge Footlights are the world-famous comedy troupe who first aired the talents of some of the foremost British comedians and actors of this century. Founded in 1880, this university drama society boasts an impressive alumni including Stephen Fry, Hugh Laurie, Trevor Nunn and Peter Shaffer. Join Footlights for two nights showcasing the finest sketches, songs and stand-up from some of the country’s finest student comedians. Early booking is highly recommended!
OthelloJanuary–February 2020This year the Marlowe Society will be staging Shakespeare's Othello at the Cambridge Arts Theatre in one of the year's biggest and most ambitious productions. Each year the society teams up with a professional director and a cast and crew compiled of some of Cambridge University's most talented actors and technicians, giving them a chance to learn and gain experience under the director, in a beautiful professional theatre. This year's director is John Haidar, a Cambridge alumnus, who directed Richard III at the Cambridge Arts Theatre earlier this year. John has been an associate director to the likes of Howard Davies, Michael Grandage and James Macdonald at the Royal Court, the National Theatre and in the West End. He recently directed a twentieth anniversary revival of Enda Walsh's play, Disco Pigs, in London and New York.
Cambridge Greek Play 2019: Oedipus at ColonusOctober 2019One of Sophocles’ last works, Oedipus at Colonus explores the final days of the exiled Oedipus, old, blind and wandering. It is one of the greatest plays about old age, the bearing of life’s horror, and the transcendence of the ordinary. At the close of an extraordinary man's life, he will face betrayal from his loved ones. Directed by the award winning Dan Goldman, with original music and sound design by Alex Silverman and Xavier Velastin, the play will be in the ancient Greek with English surtitles. The tradition of performing a Greek play in Cambridge goes back to 1882 and has profoundly influenced the very idea of the performability of ancient drama over the last century. Some of the best acting talent in the country was first showcased in the Cambridge Greek Play, most recently Tom Hiddleston (Orestes in Sophocles' Electra, 2001). This is a chance to be part of a great historical and theatrical tradition, to experiment with performing in another language and to work with a professional directorial and creative team.
Footlights at the Arts TheatreMarch 2019The Cambridge Footlights are back at the Arts Theatre by popular demand, with two nights of hilarious new comedy! Cambridge Footlights are the world-famous comedy troupe who first aired the talents of some of the foremost British comedians and actors of this century. Founded in 1880, this university drama society boasts an impressive alumni including Stephen Fry, Hugh Laurie, Trevor Nunn and Peter Shaffer. Join Footlights for two nights showcasing the finest sketches, songs and stand-up from some of the country’s finest student comedians. Early booking is highly recommended!
Much Ado About NothingJanuary 2019The Arts Show is the Marlowe Society's biggest and most ambitious show every year. Performed at the beautiful Cambridge Arts Theatre, it is a tradition dating back to 1936. We hire a professional director and designers, each of whom takes on student assistants to teach and mentor. It is an unparalleled chance for students to perform on a professional stage and gain real-world experience for their future careers. This year's director is Richard Beecham. The performances are each evening from Wednesday to Saturday, with additional matinee performances on Thursday and Saturday.
My Fair LadyJanuary 2019‘By George, she’s got it!’ Fall in love all over again with England’s favourite flower girl in this fresh, memorable production of the classic musical My Fair Lady, by Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe. Performed by award-winning musical theatre company Cambridge Operatic Society (CaOS), My Fair Lady follows the blossoming of feisty Cockney flower seller Eliza Doolittle into the polished, sophisticated woman she was meant to be – under the tutelage of demanding Professor Henry Higgins. Featuring much loved songs such as On the Street Where You Live, With A Little Bit of Luck and I Could Have Danced All Night, My Fair Lady has been described as ‘wise, witty and winning’, ‘a work of theatre magic’ and ‘an irresistible hit’. A ‘loverly’ sure-fire antidote for the winter doldrums!
Footlights at the Arts TheatreMarch 2018Footlights and Friends 2018 brings you the funniest songs, sketches, monologues and standup, from some of the country's finest student comedians. Sunday 4th March: The Durham Revue (30 mins) The Bristol Revunions (30 mins) Footlights (1 hour) Sunday 11th March: The Oxford Revue (30 mins) The Leeds Tealights (30 mins) Footlights (1 hour) Tickets: https://www.cambridgeartstheatre.com/whats-on/footlights-0
Romeo and JulietJanuary 2018The Arts Show is the Marlowe Society's biggest and most ambitious show every year. Performed at the beautiful Cambridge Arts Theatre, it is a tradition dating back to 1936. We hire a professional director and designers, each of whom takes on student assistants to teach and mentor. It is an unparalleled chance for students to perform on a professional stage and gain real-world experience for their future careers. This year's show will be directed by Tom Litter, artistic director of London's Jermyn Street Theatre.
Footlights at the Arts TheatreMarch 2017The world-famous Cambridge Footlights are back by popular demand with two nights of hilarious new comedy. And this time they’re joined by their friends, The Oxford Revue & The Bristol Revunions (12th) and The Durham Revue & The Leeds Tealights (19th). Come along for a showcase of original sketches and stand-up from some of the finest student comedians in the country. Join ‘the most renowned sketch troupe of them all’ (The Independent) which launched many of the greatest names in comedy, including Stephen Fry, Emma Thompson, Mel Giedroyc, John Cleese, Miriam Margolyes Hugh Laurie, Mitchell and Webb, Richard Ayoade, Olivia Colman, John Oliver and David Baddiel.
Edward IIFebruary 2017Son to an impressive father, husband to a passionate queen, King Edward II struggles to find his own voice amidst the clamour of stronger personalities in the English court. Despite the disapproval of his nobles, he finds consolation in his relationship with the low-born Piers Gaveston, often choosing his pleasures with Gaveston over the responsibilities of his position. When his queen and nobles unite against Gaveston, Edward must decide how far he is willing to go to assert his own will in the face of hostile resistance. In Edward II, Christopher Marlowe masterfully depicts the conflict between personal and political, in which duty wars with desire and even a king’s wishes must yield to the demands of state. Christopher Marlowe’s gripping drama of deceit and responsibility is brought vividly to life by the Marlowe Society, Cambridge University’s leading drama society. The Marlowe return to Cambridge Arts Theatre after their recent acclaimed productions of Measure for Measure and Dr Faustus; it has been responsible for launching the careers of some of Britain’s greatest actors including Ian McKellen, Tilda Swinton, Tom Hiddleston and Derek Jacobi.
Cambridge Greek Play 2016: AntigoneOctober 2016This year's Cambridge Greek Play is another comedy/tragedy double bill - ANTIGONE and LYSISTRATA. Brought to you by director Helen Eastman and composer Alex Silverman, the team behind Agamemnon (2010) and Prometheus/Frogs (2013), ANTIGONE/LYSISTRATA promises to be an unforgettable experience.
Cambridge Greek Play 2016: LysistrataOctober 2016This year's Cambridge Greek Play is another comedy/tragedy double bill - ANTIGONE and LYSISTRATA. Brought to you by director Helen Eastman and composer Alex Silverman, the team behind Agamemnon (2010) and Prometheus/Frogs (2013), ANTIGONE/LYSISTRATA promises to be an unforgettable experience.
Footlights at the Arts TheatreMarch 2016Following the sell-out success of 2015, Cambridge Footlights are back by popular demand with two dates of hilarious new comedy! Cambridge Footlights are the world-famous comedy troupe who first aired the talents of some of the foremost British comedians and actors of this century. Founded in 1880, this university drama society boasts an impressive alumni including Stephen Fry, Hugh Laurie, Trevor Nunn and Peter Shaffer. Join Footlights for two nights as they showcase original sketches, songs and stand-up from some of the country’s finest student comedians. With special guests from: The Oxford Revue, Bristol Revunions, Durham Revue, and Leeds Tealights.
Measure for MeasureFebruary 2016"The tempter or the tempted, who sins most?" Vienna at the dawn of the 20th century. By day, a city of coffee shops and smart society. By night, a hotbed of sex and fevered dreams. The wealthy and the powerful climb the stairs to Doctor Freud's consulting room. The government decides it is time to wage war on vice. But nobody – not even the puritanical new ruler, Angelo – is immune to temptation. The Marlowe Society, Cambridge University’s leading drama society, celebrates the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare's death with a vivid production of his gripping drama of lust and repression. Director Tom Littler is Artistic Director of the award-winning Primavera, and was Associate Director of the Peter Hall Company. His critically acclaimed work includes the world premiere of Howard Brenton's Dances of Death. The Marlowe Society returns to the Cambridge Arts Theatre after their recent acclaimed productions of Henry V and Dr Faustus. The Society has been responsible for launching the careers of some of Britain’s greatest actors including Sir Ian McKellen, Tilda Swinton, Rachel Weisz and Stephen Fry. The Marlowe Society was founded in 1907 by a group of students including Justin Brooke as a reaction against Victorian theatre and tradition. Its purpose was to revive the presentation of Shakespeare in Cambridge which had not been performed since 1886, and, in doing so, raise the standard of verse-speaking by actors. Since then, it has met with remarkable success, maintaining these traditions and acting as a nursery of talent and reform.
Footlights at the Arts TheatreApril 2015The Cambridge Footlights are joined (for two delicious nights before term starts) by the Oxford and Durham Revues for a night of sketches and stand-up at the Arts Theatre. If you want to see some unhealthy-looking comedians be funny on a stage frequently used by serious people like Rupert Everett and Dame Helen Mirren then this is your grand opportunity.
Henry VFebruary 2015'We few, we happy few, We band of brothers…’ Shakespeare’s most loved history play, Henry V sees the young King emerge as a heroic leader of men at the Battle of Agincourt as he struggles to take France without losing England in the process. Henry V provides a glimpse of England’s past military glories without shrinking away from the brutal realities of war. This captivating production brings the audiences all the earthy grit of this Hundred Year War battle as they are lead to victory by the flawed King in a production celebrating the 600th Anniversary of the Battle of Agincourt. The Marlowe Society go “Once more into the breach…” at Cambridge Arts Theatre after their acclaimed production of Dr Faustus. This Cambridge University society has launched the careers of some of Britain’s greatest actors including Ian McKellen, Tilda Swinton and Derek Jacobi.
Cambridge Comedy FestivalFebruary 2014That’s right. It’s coming. For one night only, the Cambridge Footlights play host to the Oxford Revue and Durham Revue, as the UK's three top student comedy troupes descend upon the Cambridge Arts Theatre for a night of unbridled, giddy funny-ness. If you see just one unrivalled extravaganza of sketches, stand-up and songs this year, make it this one. It's going to be one hell of a show.
Doctor FaustusJanuary–February 2014“What art thou, Faustus, but a man condemned to die?” The Marlowe Society return to celebrate the 450th anniversary of Christopher Marlowe’s birth with a lavish new staging of the playwright’s most famous work: Doctor Faustus. Faustus is a brilliant academic whose destructive thirst for knowledge leads him down a path to damnation when he sells his soul to Lucifer. From the splendour of Emperor Charles V’s court to the excesses of the Pope’s banquet in Rome, Faustus experiences all the earthly delights on offer in this world and beyond with the magical powers granted by his devilish companion, Mephistopheles. But his time is fast running out…. This production forms the centrepiece of a year-long festival of works celebrating the 450th anniversary of Marlowe’s birth. One of Cambridge’s most famous alumni, his enduringly popular tale of ambition and damnation will be performed by the cream of the University’s acting talent, led by a professional creative team.
Cambridge Greek Play 2013: PrometheusOctober 2013The Cambridge Greek Play, a full-scale production of Greek drama in the original language, takes place every three years. A professional director, designer, lighting designer and composer work with members of the University to create the production, which in 2013 will be a double bill of the Prometheus Bound and Aristophanes’ Frogs. This is a fantastic opportunity to work with a professional team and create a production for the Cambridge Arts Theatre.
Cambridge Greek Play 2013: The FrogsOctober 2013The Cambridge Greek Play, a full-scale production of Greek drama in the original language, takes place every three years. A professional director, designer, lighting designer and composer work with members of the University to create the production, which in 2013 will be a double bill of the Prometheus Bound and Aristophanes’ Frogs. This is a fantastic opportunity to work with a professional team and create a production for the Cambridge Arts Theatre.
The Comedy of ErrorsFebruary 2013The Comedy of Errors tells the story of two sets of identical twins that were accidentally separated at birth. Antipholus of Syracuse and his servant, Dromio of Syracuse, arrive in Ephesus, which turns out to be the home of their twin brothers, Antipholus of Ephesus and his servant, Dromio of Ephesus. When the Syracusans encounter the friends and families of their twins, a series of wild mishaps based on mistaken identities occur. The Marlowe Society is pleased to announce that this year's Arts show will be directed by Michael Fentiman. Michael trained as an actor at Bretton Hall and later as a Director at Mountview Academy. He has worked both nationally and internationally, with seasons running on Broadway and the West End. He was previously Associate Director at the Playhouse Theatre, Harlow where credits include professional productions of ’Romeo and Juliet’, ‘The Wizard of Oz’ and several pantomimes. He is currently Artistic Director of Beggars and Kings Theatre Company. Michael’s current work in development is the RSC’s ‘Titus Andronicus’ at the Swan Theatre. His most recent work includes co-directing ThreeSixty Entertainment’s’ The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe’ with Rupert Goold (to whom he was assistant director for two seasons at the RSC, as well as to Michael Boyd) and various RSC productions.
Footlights Comedy Festival 2012February 2012That's right. It's coming. For one night only, the Cambridge Footlights play host to the Oxford Revue and Durham Revue. At 7.45pm, on Sunday 26th February, the UK's top three student comedy troupes are descending upon the Cambridge Arts Theatre for a night of unbridled, giddy funny-ness. Be sure not to miss it.
A Midsummer Night's DreamFebruary 2012‘My heart/ Is true as steel’ What happens when you give it all up for love? As darkness falls, young runaways find themselves at the edge of the city. Here, nature is off-balance. Trees and scaffolding fight for space, and love-sickness rules. Shadows start to move, flowers hold strange power, and everything is turned upside down by a lost boy. In this haunted wasteland he controls the scene. The result: mayhem. The madness of a dream plays itself out, wonderful and odd. A bold chorus of tricksters, half-man half-animal, roams the stage. Lovers come to blows. The beautiful red-haired woman all but loses her mind in pursuit of an ass. While the builders just desperately want to keep the show on the road in the countdown to the big royal wedding… Blending movement, mask-work and new music with Shakespeare’s original text, Kate Sagovsky (RSC Season 2011) directs an uproarious production of Shakespeare’s best-loved play for Cambridge University’s renowned Marlowe Society.
The Footlights Comedy FestMarch 2011An epic showcase of the country's top three student comedy troupes. For one night only the Cambridge Footlights, Oxford Revue and Durham Revue present an evening of unrelenting hilarity.
Much Ado About NothingFebruary 2011Come and bask in the Mediterranean warmth of one of Shakespeare's most glowing comedies. Much Ado About Nothing offers an orange of a plot, with an abundance of comic zest and some sour pips in the middle, but a sweet resolution. It's a feisty few rounds of the eternal battle of the sexes. For the romantically inept Beatrice and Benedick, the course of true love is bulldozed through by a practical joke; for the more conventional Claudio and Hero, it is almost tragically blasted off course by a spiteful subterfuge. The storm almost threatens to shatter the teacup, and it takes the halfwit Dogberry, a buffoon of a local law enforcement official, to almost unwittingly save the day. NT Director Carl Heap will bring to the play his experience of producing pre-Shakespearean theatre for his groundbreaking touring company The Medieval Players. He sees Shakespeare not so much as literary heritage, but as a talented heir to the pre-Shakespearean traditions of popular theatre.
Cambridge Greek Play - AgamemnonOctober 2010Every three years an ancient Greek tragedy is staged in the original language, with a student cast and professional creatives. Eight shows over four days play to capacity audiences in the Arts Theatre. This year's play is the greatest of all, Aeschylus' Agamemnon. Director Helen Eastman is collaborating with composer Alex Silverman, designer Neil Irish and lighting designer Neill Brinkworth to create a stunning production - see www.cambridgegreekplay.com for more.
Guys and DollsApril 2010It’s 1940’s New York and high-roller Sky Masterson has it all: style, looks and luck. So when small-time gambler Nathan Detroit bets Sky that he can’t make the next doll he meets fall in love with him, little does he know that his life will change forever. And when the next woman he meets is Sarah Brown, a local missionary who wants to save the city’s sinners, he knows he is in trouble because no man is a bigger sinner than Sky Masterson.
Twelfth NightFebruary 2010
HMS PinaforeFebruary 2010HMS Pinafore tells the story of Captain Corcoran and his crew aboard their saucy ship the Pinafore! Ralph Rackstraw, a humble foremast lad, is in love with the Captain's daughter, Josephine. To make matters worse for the lovers, she has caught the eye of the Lord of the Admiralty himself, Sir Joseph Porter, and now faces the decision whether to marry for love or for reason. Add into the mix the crafty old sailor Dick Deadeye, the mysterious bumboat women Little Buttercup, Sir Joseph's loyal contingent of sisters, cousins and aunts and a crew of hornpiping sailors, and Captain Corcoran has his hands full keeping order on deck! Featuring the songs 'I'm called little Buttercup', 'I am the Captain of the Pinafore' and the soaring 'He is an Englishman' (not to mention some of the wittiest dialogue found between songs!), HMS Pinafore is one of the most-loved and enduring musical shows of all time. Tickets are sailing out of the box office at an astonishing rate of knots - so be sure to book yours early!
Romeo and JulietMarch 2009This exhilarating story of extreme passions, in both their most beautiful and ugliest forms, is brought to the magnificent Cambridge Arts Theatre by The Marlowe Society, now in its 102nd year. Helmed by exciting young director, Charlotte Westenra, the production returns the play to its Verona setting, where immature passions and blood feuds explode in the fiery Italian heat to bring tragedy to the door of the city's most powerful families. Westenra directed Manuel Puig's KISS OF THE SPIDER WOMAN at the Donmar Warehouse and has worked on its West End productions of FROST/NIXON and PIAF. Drawing on an exciting creative team who cut their teeth in arenas as dynamic and diverse as the Royal Shakespeare Company and Rio de Janeiro's Theatre of the Oppressed, and united with The Marlowe's electrifying cast, this fresh production is far more than just the 'greatest love story of all time'. Youthful love provides the spark to ignite the generations of unchecked hatred in the searing Italian summer, "for these hot days is the mad blood stirring."
IolantheFebruary 2009Iolanthe, a fairy, was banished from fairy land for breaking one of their cardinal rules - she married a mortal. Twenty-five years later, she is pardoned by the Fairy Queen, and reveals that she has a child. Her son, Strephon, is a fairy down to the waist, and is in love with Phyllis, a beautiful ward in Chancery. The course of true love never did run smooth, however, and Strephon has to compete with half the House of Lords and the Lord Chancellor himself for Phyllis' hand. All hell breaks loose when the fairies and peers clash, and the Fairy Queen decides to send Strephon to parliament... With some of the pair's wittiest dialogue and most famous music, including 'The March of the Peers', the Lord Chancellor's 'Nightmare Song', Iolanthe's beautiful aria 'He Loves' and the stunning Act One finale, 'Iolanthe' is one of Gilbert and Sullivan's most-loved operas, and we are giving you the opportunity to help bring it to life on the Arts Theatre stage.
RusalkaNovember 2008Performed in English. She is the mermaid forbidden to mix with mortals. He is the handsome prince for whom she risks everything. Together they embark on a love affair that sees her sacrifice her home and her immortality. Dvorak’s rapturous score, presented here in an acclaimed chamber version, is crowned by the poignant “Song to the Moon”. A new production by James Conway and associate director Tom Daley, conducted by Alex Ingram, with designs by Paul Wills. Donna Bateman (Susannah, ETO Spring 2008) sings the title role, with Richard Roberts as the Prince, Fiona Kimm as Ježibaba, Camilla Roberts as the Foreign Princess.
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