Studio summary: Autumn 2017

Student Ambassador, Shania, talks us through her favourite shows from the Studio autumn 2017 season...

A Living was an eye opening show about the realities of a young person in the world of work. It was performed almost as a lecture to show the audience how difficult it is for a young person to survive on the minimum pay jobs we have today. This auto-biography of Caroline’s life was a call for action so that we, as a society, could realise what’s wrong with today’s world and do something about it. Caroline showed the harsh reality of how she gets by, with her ridiculous amount of jobs just to feed herself and long days just to do the one thing that she loves, performing.

Drag Me to Love was a hilarious auto-biographical story about the struggles of growing up uncertain of your own identity. Cameron is 14 and starting his journey in the world of drag. He’s excited to create a new identity as Bonnie Love, but as a complete secret behind his parents back. Along the way he makes friends as well as enemies who don’t want to see him succeed and eventually, the drag dream starts to fade away. The show as a whole was about being young and willing to take risks. It was bright, glittery, glamourous, and absolutely fantastic.

How to Win Against History was a comedic riches-to-rags musical performance about the 5th Marquis of Anglesey and his journey to the stage. We follow Henry Cyril Paget as he discovers his love for theatre but loses all of his wealth by making his shows too extravagant. The performance was fun, energetic and of course, fabulous!

Cuncrete was a drag king punk gig that approached how society ended up the way it did. We followed The Great White Males as they sang about architecture and idealism. Their thoughts were shown through original music and also approached the subjects of masculinity and the environment. The show was a loud and unique way of performing and getting their voices heard, which was enjoyed by many.

Big Foot was an autobiographical performance that followed Raleigh and his struggles of getting through life. Raleigh lives the life of a normal teen, keeping up with friends and talking to girls but on top of that, has to look after his mum all by himself. The show started off extremely upbeat and got the whole audience laughing but eventually covered some difficult topics. Throughout the story, Raleigh dealt with alienation and abortion, both of which were performed graciously. Big Foot was creative, personal and relatable.

Two Loves Lost was a one-act play that explored the distress and difficulty of being gay before the partial decriminalisation of homosexuality. The show was written, directed, produced, and performed by members of the Derbyshire LGBT+ community. It followed John and Ed as they fall in love but try to keep it a secret. Ed’s jealous colleague tells the police of their affair and they are arrested and sentenced to 12 months imprisonment. The set was very simple, yet effective as they moved it around to create different scenes. The cast also multi-rolled very well as each character had key characteristics that differed from the others. As a whole the show was funny, eye-opening and effective.

 

Remote was an interactive live game, where the audience had to make choices in an immaterial world, driven by technology. The game was led by Jess and Nem. The audience completed various scenarios using an avatar called Clarissa, and whenever she had to make a choice, the audience voted for one using a blue card. Every time the audience completed a scenario, Jess and Nem had to complete different forfeits until the majority of the audience voted for them to stop. The story of Clarissa ended when the audience had to vote for freedom or to have another avatar make our choices, with the guarantee that nothing bad would ever happen. The audience chose freedom. Remote was a creative and engaging way of making us see how technology can take over our lives.

Overall, there has been a really good range of shows in the studio this season, however, my two favourites would have to be Drag Me to Love and Big Foot. Both of these shows were hilarious and engaging, yet touched upon some sensitive subjects. The use of humour throughout these shows was an extremely effective way of opening the audience’s minds to some of the difficulties that other people experience and both were clearly enjoyed by each audience member.

If you want to make the most of the Studio this year, have a look at what is coming up this spring here...