Earl celebrates student theatrical talent
His Royal Highness Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex, visited the ADC Theatre this week to attend a performance of the Amateur Dramatic Club’s production of Michael Frayn’s hilarious farce Noises Off.
This year, HRH Prince Edward became the Theatre's Patron, and Wednesday's show marked the inaugural Patron's Performance.
The student cast and production team met the Prince after the performance, where they gave him a backstage tour, and were also able to share anecdotes about the ADC, and the Prince's own time performing and
rehearsing at the Theatre whilst a student at the University in the 1980s.
Before the evening's show, HRH Prince Edward attended a reception at his old college, Jesus, where he spoke with representatives of the seven main Cambridge University dramatic societies about the theatrical life of the University.
The evening gave HRH Prince Edward the chance to meet solely the students who keep up the high standards of performance at the ADC, whilst still balancing their demanding studies at the University of Cambridge.
Unlike most shows at the ADC, Noises Off is enjoying a two-week run, giving its cast the chance to develop their performances over a longer run. The production has explored the full talents of the student production team with a
large student-built rotating set worthy of the West End and has sold to capacity audiences for the entirety of its run at the Theatre.
Noises Off follows the cast and crew of a play-within-a-play, the fishy farce entitled Nothing On, from final rehearsal to final performance with all the pandemonium in between.
Following everything that can go wrong in theatrical life, Noises Off is uproarious for anyone who has been involved in Theatre, exposing the realities of backstage life in full view of the audience.
The Earl had last attended a gala performance at the Theatre in 2009 to mark the University's 800th anniversary celebrations, after he was the Patron of the Theatre's Redevelopment Appeal.
The Redevelopment of the ADC modernised the space into a state-of-the-art theatre, allowing students at the University to fully benefit from all of these facilities.
The 228-seater auditorium hosts two completely different productions an evening during University Term, with a mainshow at 7.45pm and lateshow at 11pm. With special one-off performances on Tuesdays, this means there can be well over 30 different productions in one term alone.
The Chair of the Theatre Executive Committee, Martin Reavley said: "The evening gave the Earl a great opportunity to engage with current students and embrace the opportunities that the ADC is able to offer to a diverse range of students following the Redevelopment."
Theatre Manager Phil Norris added: "Our first Patron's Performance was a great opportunity to celebrate everything we do at the ADC as well as the wider theatrical fabric of the University, and for His Royal Highness to watch one of our many superb productions at the Theatre.
"Everyone at the ADC was honoured to have HRH Prince Edward attend this performance, and it was especially beneficial that many of our student performers and crew were able to meet him over the course of the evening. It was also very positive that HRH Prince Edward was able to see the Theatre on a normal performance night, highlighting the current successes of the ADC."