After being forced to bring down the curtains during the coronavirus lockdown, the ADC is readying itself to open once more, presenting an eclectic programme of shows to see us through autumn. From panto to Shakespeare, there’s plenty of fantastic student theatre in store, with the new season featuring a mix of main shows (7.45pm) and late shows (11pm).
“We’re very excited about being able to return to in-person events,” enthuses Jamie Rycroft from the ADC team. “There’s a lot of work that we’ve been doing this summer that will allow us to both present our plays to a socially distanced audience, while also livestreaming them to audience members at home. Our management team is a small, close-knit team of six people, and I have been amazed by how quickly everyone has been able to adapt to closing down the theatre, working from home and now preparing to present shows in a way we have never done before.”
Even during peak lockdown, the team was hard at work, putting out ADC Online: an impressive digital programme of brand-new theatrical content. “It provided the opportunity for students to produce theatre even when we had to close our building and cancel our whole summer season,” explains Jamie. “I was impressed by the creativity and ambition that the students displayed in the shows they produced, ranging from radio plays to sketch shows and all manner of other videos, which are still available to watch for free on our YouTube channel. The response from audiences was very positive, and it was lovely to have people nationally and even internationally engaging with shows that they otherwise would not have seen.”
The response from audiences was very positive, and it was lovely to have people nationally and even internationally engaging with shows that they otherwise would not have seen
New guidelines have necessitated some changes at the venue, which has introduced one-way systems, reduced its audience capacity and requested that all theatregoers wear face coverings while inside the auditorium. Once everyone is comfortably seated, there’s a great line-up of drama, comedy and more to entertain. “I’m especially excited by our upcoming production of Shakespeare’s Macbeth, the excellent Last Summer at Bluefish Cove – which is a landmark play in lesbian theatre; and our fortnightly Footlights Smokers, which provide a great blend of sketch comedy and stand-up.”
And of course, the ADC’s autumn season wouldn’t be complete without the traditional CUADC and Footlights pantomime, a very funny and often touching show written from scratch by students each year. This year’s panto will be Sleeping Beauty, and Jamie promises that the creators are currently hard at work integrating some topical content into the show…