A Funny Thing Happened On The nearly 60 years ago. Two things Way To The Forum is, admittedly, were key in my approaching not one of Sondheim’s better- rehearsals for the show: the speed known musicals. It is often required for a farce and to make consigned to a lesser position sure people didn’t take themselves behind the giants of Sweeney too seriously. This was achieved Todd and Into the Woods. Yet to most admirably by asking them view Forum in such a way would to mimic ridiculous fruit. Since first rehearsal, be absolutely “Forum was terribly the time has passed wrong – not only important in terms at a whirlwind was it terribly pace with people important in terms of Sondheim’s rolling on the of Sondheim’s development as floor, lines development as a thrown back and musical theatre a musical theatre forth between virtuoso virtuoso” larger than life (the first show in which he characters with the speed of a composed and wrote tennis relay and a man in a dress the lyrics), it is also declaring how lovely he is. Don’t an absolutely forget the plague either! My hilarious farce aims for the show have been to – the jokes as highlight the grand theatricality funny now as and slick ideas inherent to its they were status as a piece of 1960s musical theatre. Above all, however, the process has been about fun, in order to create an entertaining show for the audience as well as an enjoyable atmosphere for our fantastic and engaging cast. I hope to have succeeded in both of these areas and I hope you enjoy watching it as much as I have enjoyed directing it! Gareth Mattey
Musical Director’s Notes
The artistic team which first Senex and his wife, Hysterium created Forum did not have an and Pseudolus, and others are easy time bringing it together with even more painfully funny than the music – it was only with the the excellent script would have late addition of ‘Comedy Tonight!’ brought about. These character that the show started to sound songs are carefully anchored by and feel like a true Broadway the big, and famous, numbers of musical. Creating the music to the show – ‘Comedy Tonight!’, accompany a farce is no laughing ‘Everybody Ought to have a Maid’, matter – a rollicking comedy ‘Bring me my Bride’ – and, of such as this one typically revolves course, interspersed with hilarious around slapstick, witty lines and dialogue and choreography. That slamming doors, rather than a this show manages to preserve soaring aria or comic pace “A rollicking comedy such as its melancholy and timing recitative. In this one typically revolves through these this frame of around slapstick, witty lines songs, which mind, however, are also very we can and slamming doors, rather amusing, is appreciate the why I think it a than a soaring aria or genius work of truly excellent melancholy recitative.” musical, ably Sondheim in creating the score that you will assisted by the rich harmonies and hear tonight. Most importantly, rhythms from the band to create the songs are typically employed a fantastic night’s entertainment. to allow the performers to add depth and characterisation to Michael Atkins the parts they portray, in a way that would be impossible in a play. See how rapidly Hero is able to establish his opening mood – being lovesick – with lines such as “I’m sick, I’m sore, I’ve never felt so well before!”, or Philia the limited nature of her capacities as a courtesan in ‘Lovely’. This added depth means that the ensuing clashes of personality, between
Choreographer’s Special Being a choreographer for a Notes musical farce is probably the best Thanks sort of choreographer I’ll ever get to be. It’s meant I got to say things like, “hey team, let’s see what happens if you all lie on the floor, Dylan lies on top of you, you all do a press up at exactly the same time and Dylan ends up airborne surrounded by fawning courtesans!” For someone who has an extremely overexcitable imagination when it comes to musical theatre, Forum has been a dream show. Dancing and comedy are two of my favourite performance styles, and to bring them together has been amazing. Working with the cast and the production team of Forum has been brilliant. They are very talented and passionate, but mostly they’re just such great fun. This is probably a good time for me to apologise to everyone for yelling things like, “STRAIGHT ARMS!” and making every male cast member pretend to be a woman. This is also probably a good time to admit the slightly perverse enjoyment of forcing G&S lovers into doing star-jumps manically to Lady GaGa songs. (This is the real point of “dance warmups”.) If the show is nearly as much fun to watch as it was to be a part of, then we’ve succeeded. Sam Brain
The company of Forum would like to thank the following people, without whom the production would not have been possible: Freddie Tapner, Lizzie Blackmore, Deborah Crooks, Eleanor Nicholson, Christina Farley, Chris Nash. Aled Walker, Dylan Morris, Curved Elephant, Tom Howe Jamie Balcombe and anyone else who has helped us since this programme went to print.
Credits CAST Pseudolus Hero Philia Hysterium Senex Domina Miles Gloriosus Marcus Lycus Erronius Tintinnabula Vibrata Gymnasia Geminae Geminae Protean Protean Protean
Andrew Room Ed Green Georgina Skinner Robert Brocklehurst Richard Lismore-John Rebecca Hare Dylan Morris James Ireland Richard Mifsud Amy Jeffs Samantha Hill Becky Shercliff Pia Salter Fei Bo Rob May-Miller John King Jamie Fergusson
BAND Keys Trumpet Trombone Reed 1 Reed 2 Reed 3 Percussion Reed 1 Dep Trumpet Dep
Joshua Stutter, Aled Walker Leo Cairns Tim King, Subon Sivananthan Sarah Driver Francesca Day Hannah Davies Greg Lever Becky House Ned Booker
PRODUCTION TEAM Producer Director Musical Director Assistant Director Assistant Musical Director Choreographer Assistant Producer Stage Manager Deputy Stage Manager Lighting Designer/Production Electrician Costume Designer Make Up Artist Publicity Designer
Tamsin Lim Gareth Mattey Michael Atkins Sandy Rushton Joshua Stutter Sam Brain Sam Briggs Law Parkin Hannah Lissaman Bethany Craik Harriet Webb Runa Rudaya Craig Slade
‘Comedy Tonight’ ‘Love I Hear’ ‘Free’ ‘The House of Marcus Lycus’ ‘Lovely’ ‘Pretty Little Picture’ ‘Everybody Ought to Have a Maid’ ‘I’m Calm’ ‘Impossible’ ‘Bring Me My Bride’
Ensemble Hero Pseudolus and Hero Marcus Lycus Hero and Philia Pseudolus, Hero and Philia Pseudolus, Senex, Hysterium, Lycus Hysterium Hero and Senex Miles Gloriosus, Pseudolus, Lycus, Courtesans, Proteans
‘That Dirty Old Man’ ‘That’ll Show Him’ ‘Lovely’ (Reprise) ‘Funeral Sequence’ ‘Finale Ultimo’
Domina Philia Pseudolus and Hysterium Miles Gloriosus, Pseudolus, Proteans, Courtesans Ensemble
BiographieS - Cast Andrew Room Pseudolus
Andrew is a second-year studying English at St. John’s College. This is his third Sondheim of the term, having played in Company (Harry) and appearing in the revival of Merrily We Roll Along (Charlie). Last term he enjoyed playing comic roles in Oresteia, The Spanish Tragedy and FACES, a sketch show. Other credits include Grimm Tales, The Government Inspector, Obedience/ Authority and last year’s Marlowe Society production at Cambridge Arts Theatre, A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Andrew is also Membership Secretary for the Marlowe Society, and technical/design credits include The Bloody Chamber, bash, Comedians, Dealer’s Choice and Me, As a Penguin.
Ed Green Hero
Ed Green is studying JewishChristian Relations at St. Edmund’s College. He has performed in a wide range of musicals and operettas including Follies (Young Ben), Seussical (Horton the Elephant), Die Fledermaus (Alfred) and most recently, with CUG&S, Princess Ida (Hilarion). He has found the role of Hero particularly rewarding because he essentially just has to act as himself, in a toga.
Georgina Skinner Philia
Georgina is a second-year studying Performing Arts at Anglia Ruskin. During her time so far in CUG&S she has been fortunate enough to be cast in The Mikado (Yum Yum), Princess Ida (Melissa) and a magical teapot carrier in The Sorcerer. Other previous credits include The Sound of Music (Maria) and The Pirates of Penzance (Mabel). Georgina has also sung the Soprano solo in Mozart’s Requiem at West Road Concert Hall and, in January, enjoyed partaking in an impromptu performance at the Haus Der Musik in Vienna.
Dylan Morris Miles Gloriosus Dylan is a postgraduate student in History at Clare College. He can’t quite believe that this is already his sixth time onstage with CUG&S; he hopes his dissertation supervisor forgives him. Previous creidts include The Yeomen of the Guard (Sir Richard Cholmondeley) and The Fairy Queen (Phoebus). Also a director, he has staged Princess Ida for CUG&S and codirected Iolanthe for the Yale G&S Society. In his spare time, he enjoys oppressing the meek, subduing the weak, and degrading the Greek.
Rebecca Hare Domina
Rebecca is a first-year studying English at Murray Edwards College, which means she has plenty of time to spend messing about in theatres. She made her G&S debut last term in Princess Ida (Sachrissa), but is also finding time for some straight acting. And her degree. Mustn’t forget the degree.
Richard Lismore-John Senex Richard is a postgraduate student in Classics (Ancient Philosophy) at Queens’ College. This is his first time on the stage with CUG&S. He has previously performed as in Guys and Dolls and, most recently, in Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas (Aeneas). He has an unhealthy Les Mis obsession, but admits its predominantly gloomy outlook could do with a little more ‘Comedy Tonight’!
Robert Brocklehurst Hysterium Rob is a second-year studying natural sciences at Emmanuel College, where he is also a choral scholar. Having previously performed in opera (Jupiter, Orpheus in the Underworld; Chorus- Die Fledermaus, Fairy Queen, Orpheus and Eurydice) and G&S (Arac, Princess Ida; Wilfred, Yoemen of the Guard) in Cambridge, he is very excited to be trying something a litle more modern.
James Ireland Marcus Lycus
James is a first-year vet at Emmanuel College, James plays the piano, bassoon, clarinet and saxophone. While at school, he played in everything he could, going on to get involved in school productions, both behind-thescenes and acting. These included A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Blood Wedding, We Will Rock You, Oh What A Lovely War, Little Shop of Horrors, and a local youth theatre production of Seussical. He has also been in a few choirs, and ran a barbershop for two years.
Richard Mifsud Erronius
Richard is now in his fifth year in Cambridge, having just started a PhD in the Cambridge Institute for Medical Research. He is a G&S veteran, renowned for doing far too much. He has started and is really enjoying torturing undergrads – that is, supervising undergrads. He has also started doing ‘Gog Magog Molly’; similar to Morris Dancing but fifty times wackier – with brightly coloured clothes and faces instead of sticks and bells!
Amy Jeffs Tintinnabula Amy Jeffs is a third-year studying Art History at Girton College. Her acting career has seen many disparate pinnacles of achievement, such as Oliver Twist (Fagin) at the tender age of ten and A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Puck) in Sixth Form. With graduation looming, she’s finally got round to doing a Cambridge play and is looking forward immensely to embracing a female part. She’s not really sure why (having always been chosen to play a man) she is now suddenly suitable for a courtesan, but waxing the side-burns may have helped.
Samantha Hill Vibrata
Samantha is very much enjoying studying abroad at Jesus College. Hailing from California, she is in her third year at Pomona College as a maths major and dance minor. Previous theatre experience includes The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee (Marcy Park), The Threepenny Opera (Lucy Brown), and choreographing Grease and Oklahoma!. In her free time she alternates between reading books at bookstores without buying anything and learning dances from YouTube videos.
Becky Shercliff Gymnasia
Becky Shercliff is a third-year studying Anglo-Saxon, Norse and Celtic at St. John’s College. She joined the G&S Society in her very first term, performing in Iolanthe. Since then she has also appeared in Pinafore on Punts as well as chorus in two G&S Gala concerts and South Pacific. She also enjoys being involved behind-the-scenes: she was costume mistress for The Yeomen of the Guard and Assistant Director for The Pirates of Penzance, Die Fledermaus and Ruddigore. She is very much looking forward to playing a courtesan!
Pia Salter Geminae
Pia is a first-year studying Classics Newnham College. She has been a fan of G&S since childhood, and a music-lover since before that. Throughout the years she has been a member of various choirs on her home island of Puerto Rico. This is her first performance with the G&S Society, and she hopes her American accent won’t get in the way of the music.
Fei Bo Geminae
Fei is an exchange student from the University of California Berkeley. Originally from China, she did maths competition for eight years and majors in economics. Her most serious passion is Competitive Ballroom Dancing. Fei was on the Berkeley Dance Team for three and a half years, and hopes to compete for Cambridge at Blackpool this year. Other interests include musicals, fashion, painting, philosophy, and adventures.
John King Protean
John is a first-year studying English at Pembroke College. Previous credits include Hay Fever (Simon), An Elizabethan Fantasy (Will Shakespeare/ Claudius), the Irish Stage Premiere of Helen Edmundson’s Coram Boy (Meshak), Les Misérables (Coufeyrac) and a 6-hour stage adaptation of JRR Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings (Faramir/Glorfindel)! John is delighted to be taking part in his first production with CUG&S.
Rob May-Miller Protean
Rob is a third-year studying medicine at Emmanuel College. A few short months from being let loose in Addenbrooke’s, he is spending a large portion of his life in musical theatre or on the river. In this, his third production with CUG&S, he reprises his favourite role of idiot male chorus member.
Jamie Fergusson Protean
Jamie is a third-year studying chemistry at Magdalene College, which seems to mostly involve turning small amounts of white powders into an even smaller amount of powders of various colours. This is his fourth show with CUG&S, having previously appeared as a grinning bearded chorus member in Yeomen of the Guard, Mikado and Princess Ida.
BiographieS - Crew Gareth Mattey Director
Gareth is a first-year studying English at Trinity Hall who, after deep and thoughtful consideration lasting approximately a day, threw himself into Cambridge theatre in his first term – co-directing The Macedonian Tragedy, assistant directing the G&S production of Princess Ida and acting in She Stoops To Conquer. He has particularly loved the environment that CUG&S creates and is terribly excited about directing this farce and bringing comedy tonight!
Michael Atkins Musical Director Michael is an MPhil student reading Economics, and fits the mould of Astaire “Can’t act, can’t sing, can dance a little”, at least before midday. This may have motivated his move to Musical Direction, where he has waved a stick for Pinafore on Punts, Yeomen of the Guard and now Forum. Michael sings with Emmanuel Chapel Choir (evenings only), dances (socially), plays Ultimate (frisbee), and conducts UCPO, a local amateur orchestra with a lively social scene. He’s very excited to be involved in Forum, having seen it aged 14 as part of a Classics trip which entirely compensated for the abject horror of studying Latin for three years.
Tamsin Lim Producer
Tamsin is a second-year art historian at Murray Edwards College. She started her career in Cambridge theatre as an Assistant Stage Manager. Then she saw The Producers. This term, alongside Forum, she’s also producing the CUMTS 24 Hour Musical and Gala Night as well as assistant producing the CUOS Mainshow, The Cunning Little Vixen. She is considering having Hysterium’s motto of “I’m calm, I’m calm, I’m perfectly calm” tattooed on her hand.
Sam Brain Choreographer
Sam is a first-year studying philosophy at King’s College. Sam’s Cambridge debut was in KCDS’ Blithe Spirit (Elvira). Choreography credits include We Will Rock You and winning the 2010 National Dance Finals with her own choreography in the Freestyle Solo section. Memorable performance moments have been dancing almost entirely in feathers in Beauty & the Beast (Babette), performing a drum solo in Fame (Lambchops) and perofming in High School Musical (Gabriella), the last of which her friends will never let her live down...
Sandy Rushton Assistant Director
Sandy is a first-year studying linguistics at Trinity Hall. In the moments between attempting to describe what her degree actually is and explaining that, no, she doesn’t speak 17 languages, Sandy somehow finds time for the theatre. This is her first time working with CUG&S; she sees herself becoming a keen member of the musical theatre scene at Cambridge.
Joshua Stutter Assistant Musical Director
Joshua Stutter is a first-year studying music and choral scholar at Gonville and Caius College, making his first theatre engagement in Cambridge as musical director for CUG&S Princess Ida last term. He has performed at the BBC Proms three times in the Hallé Choir and, as a member of the Manchester Chamber Choir, made regular appearances on Radio 4’s Daily Service and performed alongside the BBC Philharmonic. He has featured on a number of recordings, including those of the Hallé and Elbow’s ‘Build a Rocket Boys.’
Sam Briggs Assistant Producer
Sam is a first-year studying geography at Trinity Hall, meaning that with only one lecture per day she has plenty of time to spare. This time is mainly spent wishing Geography was anywhere near as simple as colouring, but more recently (and productively) she has been learning the ins and outs of being an assistant producer for Forum. After seeing as many plays as possible in Michaelmas, Sam is eager to take part in the Cambridge theatrical community.
Law Parkin Stage Manager Law is a third-year studying English and the Social Secretary for CUG&S. Previous roles include Stage Manager (The Mikado; Mumford Theatre 2012, The Bloody Chamber; ADC Theatre 2012 and others) and Assistant Producer (The Sorcerer; ADC 2012). Law produced the Society’s Freshers’ Show Princess Ida last term, and is producing Iolanthe at the Minack Theatre in Cornwall for the Society this September. In her spare time, she bakes and reads.
Hannah Lissaman Deputy Stage Manager
Hannah is a first-year studying history at Jesus College. She has formerly worked as a stage manager on Me, As A Penguin at the Corpus Playroom and The Vagina Monologues at the ADC Theatre. In addition, she plays piano for Jesus College Big Band, takes part in a number of college sports, and is involved in the University Officer Training Corps. On the odd occasion she has a spare minute to herself, she also enjoys computer games, gin and assassinating people with Nerf guns.
Bethany Craik Lighting Designer/LX Bethany is a first-year studying natural sciences at Trinity. In true fresher spirit, she signed up for anything and everything during her first week, and discovered the secret world of technical theatre. When not panicking at the realisation of having scheduled supervisions for during theatre getins, she can be found (somewhat begrudgingly) rowing, or scouring the internet for pictures of kittens.
Harriet Webb Costume Designer
Harriet is a first-year studying Archaeology and Anthropology at Magdalene. For most people in Cambridge, ‘bops’ provide ample opportunity for coming up with costumes – but apparently not for Harriet. Previously, she has designed costumes for the How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, which sadly involved significantly fewer togas.
Music & lyrics by Stephen Sondheim Book by Burt Shevelove & Larry Gelbart Originally produced on Broadway by Harold Prince This amateur production is presented by arrangement with JOSEF WEINBERGER LIMITED on behalf of MUSIC THEATRE INTERNATIONAL of NEW YORK.
Published on Mar 19, 2013
Programme for the CUG&S production of A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum. Mumford Theatre, March 2013.