Sara Hazemi and Fintan Quinn in Spring Robin

Long cold nights, short cold days, three 9ams a week, and a slowly-healing heartbreak – Robin’s winter stretches on without an end in sight. 

Luckily, with Sam and Jamie in the next rooms along, life feels a bit warmer and brighter, even if it does mean hearing Jamie’s terrible music blasting out in the early hours and waiting an extra forty minutes any time Sam’s in the shower. Friendship lights up G corridor where the crappy uni lighting fails. 

But as Robin recovers and the trio tightens, things start getting complicated and feelings stand to get hurt. Love blooms, priorities waver, and chocolate mug cakes can’t quite chase off the lingering February chill. 

As the show is so character-based, could you introduce your characters and describe them in a few words?

Lois: I’m playing Robin, and they’re mostly a bit morose, I guess! 

Sara: My character is Sam who’s pretty chaotic, she’s the friend who’s always a bit crazy and jumping around and singing and being silly, but she also has a soft side and it’s been lovely to play both of them. 

Fintan: I play Jamie - he’s also that annoying friend who does everything at once and can cope with it perfectly, and I just feel like everyone knows one of those people. 

"that’s what really brings it to life you’re really rooting for all of them, and really sympathise with all of them"

Do you think all of your characters would agree with each other’s descriptions? 

Sara: Thinking about Robin… I guess they are quite morose because they’ve just been broken up with (I promise that’s not a spoiler) but I think they’re also very playful and fun. I think Robin and Sam’s relationship is kind of endearingly childish, so I guess that’s a part of Robin that’s put away when they’re dealing with heartbreak. 

Lois: Jamie’s just such a responsible older brother, like he definitely has his shit together -

Fintan: Irritating, I hate people like that! 

What attracted you to the play?

Fintan: I’ve heard such great things about A.’s writing in the past from everyone! Also I like that it’s about students, so feels like relatable writing to work with. 

Sara: I guess my answer is pretty similar. I saw A.’s first play ‘The Ladies’ and I thought it was fucking great! So not to blow smoke up their arse, but I was just excited to work on their writing and knew it would be really fun. 

Lois: Yeah, I completely agree. This is the first show I’ve acted in in Cambridge and I auditioned on a bit of a whim and I’m so glad I did.

Does it feel different to work on new student writing? 

Fintan: I think the nicest thing about it is that we’ve had the writer in the room, which I’ve never done before, and it means that it can evolve as we go through it. And we can break down what we’re saying and thinking with the person who first had it in their head - not just what we think about what our characters are thinking, but the original conception which makes it even more interesting. 

Is the experience of working on this show different as you’re playing characters close to your age and with similar experiences as students? 

Sara: The first week of rehearsals was before the start of term and my friends weren’t back in Cambridge yet, and I remember thinking that the interaction was great but felt performative. Like a part of me thought ‘This isn’t how I interact with my friends - it’s too intentional’. But then when my friends started to come back and we were hanging out, I realised this is how it works: very high energy and all these in-jokes and weird things you do with your best mates that don’t make sense to anyone else. And it was really interesting to see the script - which is so lively - start to feel truer to how I actually act as a friend. 

Fintan Quinn in Spring Robin

What are your favourite moments from the play? 

Fintan: For me, I really like the comic moments, like this bit where Jamie can’t take down a clothes airer, and it’s just good classic slapstick. And I get to swear loudly which is always fun. 

Sara: It is a really funny play. Actually my favourite bit is when Fintan’s character has to move some carpet out of his room and he’s just like “I HATE IT! It’s offensive to my eyesight.” And it feels so much like one of those perfectly timed moments. 

Lois: Yeah that’s mine too for sure - it’s so ridiculous but realistic. Like one of those things you end up doing with someone and then a year later you still refer back to it even though it’s so silly.  

Why should people to see the play? 


Mountain View

Cambridge Theatre: What about STEM students?

Sara: It’s just good shit! In the rehearsals, for all of the cast and directing and production team there’s been a moment where we’ve thought ‘My mate has had that exact thing!’ and, not in a bait way, but you will see yourself in the characters much more than you’d imagine. And that’s what really brings it to life because you’re really rooting for all of them, and really sympathise with all of them.

Fintan: It's just great writing. But really, everyone who comes will see themselves or their friends or a situation they recognise at some point on stage. 

Spring Robin plays at the Corpus Playroom from 21st to 25th January.