Review of the second ever ETG tourVarsity

As the European Theatre Group swings into its 60th year, it is perhaps time to trace the humbler origins that paved the way for success. Set up in 1957, ETG has not only produced high-quality renditions of Shakespeare’s plays throughout the continent, but has also served as the starting point for some of the most prolific actors both in the UK and the world.

Diving into the archives at Varsity I was able to uncover a review of one of the company’s first productions starring Derek Jacobi as Hamlet. Jacobi has gone on to feature in Gosford Park, The Golden Compass and The King’s Speech, alongside numerous RSC appearances.

Then called the Experimental Theatre Group, the company performed Hamlet in French universities and schools in 1960. The show was hailed a great success with Jacobi being compared to a “teenage idol” and the reviewer describing the audience as “entranced by the poetry and the music of the blank verse”.

While some of the comedy scenes were clearly lost on the French schoolchildren, the actors were nonetheless elevated to popstar status and were “besieged in the dressing rooms by dozens of schoolgirls”.


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Mountain View

Much Ado About Nothing Preview

Over the years, ETG has attracted talents such as Miriam Margoyles and Stephen Fry, and continues to be a fixture of the Cambridge theatre scene. With so many years’ experience already under their belts, the ETG’s latest choice of Much Ado About Nothing will no doubt prove to be another triumph and is currently running at the ADC. Who knows what the current members will go on to achieve in the world of theatre?

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