NO QUARTER is the first play being staged at the ADC Theatre in five months. We spoke to the show's Director, Joe Harrington, to find out more about the show.
No Quarter is the Freshers’ show, meaning that it is produced and performed by those new to theatre. How have the cast and crew found the process of putting the show on-stage?
Starting life at university is terrifying, but No Quarter has given us something to focus on and a chance to find our way in this new world. Whispers from wizened third years about the great shows of the past can make stepping into the arena of Cambridge theatre a daunting prospect, but the Fresher’s show has given us an opportunity to step up to the plate. The next generation of Cambridge theatre makers are here and we are ready to show what we have to offer.
What do you expect an audience’s reaction to be to the show?
The play presents us with a crumbling, decaying world and asks us an important question: what are you going to do about it? Through the characters of Robin and Oliver, we get two opposing responses. Robin is an obsessive musician who buries himself in his artwork; Oliver is a politician who takes pragmatic steps to change things. As an audience of theatre-goers, I expect some will have their views challenged as questions are raised about the role of art in today’s society.
There’s no escaping that the play is an intense viewing experience, but we’ve tried to find the moments of lightness and joy. Ultimately, the plot pushes through its wider political concerns and focuses on human love and connection, just what we need at times like this. Who knows, it may even be so good that you forget you’re wearing a mask.
The show's cast
How has your show been affected by the need for social distancing?
Mainly, we’ve had to get inventive with how we rehearse. Jesus Green has certainly seen some sights over the past few weeks as it became our main home for rehearsals. The dogs that ran through our rehearsals left pretty good reviews so we can all go into the show feeling confident. When it rained, we would relocate to the multi-storey car park which certainly provided an intense atmosphere as well as a gentle waft of pee.
It has been interesting to work on a show that centres so much on human connection without actually being able to touch. We’ve had to view this rule as less of a restriction and more of a spring-board to the creation of new meaning. There are moments in the play where the call for a hug or simple touch is deafening; the fact the actors can’t definitely contributes to the emotional impact of the speech.
Without spoiling too much, what is your favourite part of the show?
There’s a rave, a paint fight, and a piano gets smashed up. What more can you want?