Johannes Hjorth

Tribes
3-7 November 2015
A portrayal of family dynamics with an insight into living with disability, this play ticked every box. “For most of the first half the audience were roaring with laughter at the antics of the family, and this is what made the second half and its slow exposure of the flaws and vulnerabilities of each member of the family so hard-hitting.” Tackling hard-hitting issues but never failing to entertain, this play was a highlight of the Michaelmas theatrical season.

Twelfth Night
10-12 June 2015
Performed in the Peterhouse Deer Park at the height of May Week, interspersed with musical accompaniment, this was the quintessential Shakespearean comedy. “A perfect relaxation for those recovering from the stress of past exams, with the recreation of the mad world of Illyria set amidst the picturesque Peterhouse Deer Park, uniquely decorated with hanging lanterns and ribbons to demarcate the stage, the audience perched upon picnic blankets enjoying Pimm’s and nibbles. This was definitely a performance not to be missed.”

Hatch
30 November 2015
Organised by the The Marlowe Society, HATCH involved scenes of new theatrical and poetic writing in its early phases being informally performed in swift succession. The rapid shifts of tone, mood and genre between scenes created unusual viewing, but our reviewer enjoyed the unpolished, raw nature of the show: “Showcases such as these do make you more aware of the language to which you are listening…I would certainly recommend stopping by next time to see an unaffected presentation of some beautiful writing in its early stages.”

‘Tis Pity She’s a Whore
17-21 February 2015
“The tale of forbidden incest between brother and sister, Giovanni and Annabella, this play is openly and unashamedly erotic with explicitly sexual scenes that parallel the ultimately inevitable deaths of a similarly overt and bloody nature. With attention to detail adding plenty of blood, lust and brutality, this is not a production for the faint-hearted.” You might be forgiven for thinking this would not hit the right spot, but you’d be wrong – our reviewer, and the audience, loved it.

The Taming of the Shrew
6-10 October 2015
After touring America during the summer, this production was polished to perfection. “Heavy on the comedy and light on the misogyny...this production portrayed Petruchio and Katherine as equals, proving that in performance Shakespeare’s comedy isn’t necessarily as misogynistic as it might appear on the page.”

Johannes Hjorth

Equus
27-31 January 2015
An infamously controversial production, this production lived up to the hype. With two perfectly paired protagonists, it was “impossible to decide which of the characters is the true protagonist or anti-hero….The concentrated physicality pervading this production, the sense of visceral and fundamental strength and even of acrobatics, perfectly complements the rather heavy psychological and theological questioning of the production”, surmised our reviewer.

Henry IV Part 1
5-9 May 2015
Staged in a traditional setting, this production obeyed the rules but pulsed with energy. “The dance during the curtain call, as would have been seen in the original production, was a fantastic ending. Another shrewd decision was to adjust the ending of the play to enable it to stand alone… It was polished, humorous, poignant and highly professional. The energy and enthusiasm throughout never fail to hold the audience’s attention, at times resulting in raucous laughter. Cambridge, for this hugely impressive production, is too small a bound.” High praise indeed!

Johannes Hjorth

Othello
19-23 May 2015
This production took a bold step by swapping the genders of the two leading characters, but the risk paid off. “An absolutely incredible version of Shakespeare’s Othello, it entangles controversies of race, gender and sex into a complex rendition that compels the audience to re-evaluate the importance of gender and sex, love and war, comedy and tragedy.” Deep stuff.

Warp Factor
12-14 March 2015
Winner of the Footlights Harry Porter Prize, this comedy was written by student Oliver Taylor. The cast were given only two weeks to rehearse, and the play was dubiously labelled an “epic inter-galactic comedy.” Yet, it was a flying success. “The gags fly fast and are unrelentingly hilarious”.

Robin Hood
25 November-5 December 2015
The Footlights’ Pantomime carries a high burden expectation, but did not fail to please. The script-writers clearly knew their audience: “the vast majority of the variety of gags on offer were really very well constructed and, above all, intelligent. Whether it was Super Mario or Marxist sovereignty, the combination of delicious writing and usually perfect comic timing pushed just the right buttons to have the ADC’s baying audience in the thrall of its players and in the midst of fits of laughter with more regularity than I can remember having experienced of any Cambridge production before.” There must be no greater feeling than understanding a highly intelligent joke and finding it funny.

Les Justes
10-14 February 2015
Depicting revolution and terrorism, this was a play that pushed the audience out of their comfort zone. “The intimacy of the Corpus Playroom played a significant role in creating the necessary relationship between character and audience; each furrow of the brow, clench of the jaw, tearful apprehension of the eyes, made me feel like an intruder. The lighting, too, struck an incredible resonance; faces half-cast in darkness, shadows flitting across the stage, as if everything, from the actors to the set, was in a moral and human conflict….this production does justice to a play that does not know what justice is”, raved our reviewer.

Switch
9-10 October 2015
An hour-long sketch show which was written by four students in a writing week in Wales. Our reviewer loved the chop-and-change, back-and-forth dialogue: “the cast of six put so much spunk into their performance that the hour they had felt like 30 minutes – probably about the time I actually spent grinning, snorting, laughing or clapping.”

Tristram Shandy
21-14 October 2015
Two words which will surely send horror to the heart of any English student who has encountered the book upon which the play is based. And yet, our reviewer described it as “wonderful and bizarre”, concluding that “Tristram Shandy breaks the rules of what does and doesn’t work…Every scene glitters with more wit than lesser shows muster in an hour.” Humour wins the day for this production.

Blood Wedding
28 April-2 May 2015
Dark and haunting, our reviewer was bewitched: “Easily one of the most enticing student-run plays I have ever seen, the cast, crew and directors of Blood Wedding were able to transport the audience back to a time when staunch traditions and blood feuds took priority within society. Interspersed with simple but spine-tingling songs and original dance, the play had an overall Tarantino-esque feel to it, which only served to enhance the surrealism ensconced within its themes and atmosphere.”

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