Theatre societies provide a number of opportunities to tour inside or outside Britain. There are several annual foreign touring shows: the European Theatre Group makes a headlong dash around Europe in the three weeks just before Christmas, and the Cambridge American Stage Tour sets off across the Atlantic during September. Footlights take a tour around the UK each year (and, more recently, the US), taking in the Edinburgh Fringe, and The Pembroke Players' Japan Tour spends 3 weeks in September performing in the UK and Japan. In addition to these, occasional tours are mounted by other groups.
The style of touring varies widely. ETG is able to take a great deal of technical equipment in its coach, whilst CAST tends to take an “essentials only” approach, as it has to fly its apparatus across the Atlantic. But the common excitement of all touring shows is turning up to each venue and working out what you can do with what you’ve got and what’s provided. The exact challenges differ between technicians, directors
and actors, but everyone works together to make best use of the different spaces and facilities.
If you don't fancy living on the road quite so much, there are also annual opportunities to perform with a student society in a venue outside Cambridge. The most popular destinations are to the Edinburgh Fringe festival each August, and the Gilbert and Sullivan Society trip to the stunning Minack Theatre in Cornwall, in September. There are many other drama festivals around the UK and in Europe that can be considered - Scarborough's National Student Drama Festival in particular used to be a popular destination - and ultimately nowhere is too far if you can organise and fund the trip.
Performing elsewhere or on tour can be an intense experience: in addition to the performance challenges, there’s also the personal dimension of living in close quarters with the rest of the cast and crew
, which has its down and up sides. You may have to pay a contribution towards living or accommodation costs: make sure you find out before committing.
Last edited Wed 10th Nov 2010 by Adam Wood
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