Cambridge University Light Entertainment Society

Author: CULES Webmattress (Page 1 of 2)

Summer Update 2023: Celebrations & Crew Calls!

We hope you’ve all had a restful summer as a new academic year looms in the near distance! The fun doesn’t stop during the summer for CULES, though, so read on to see what we’ve been up to since the end of Easter term!

Garden Party & Celebrating 65 Years

Our annual Garden Party was extra special this year, as we celebrated 65 years of Light Entertainment history. It was a wonderful afternoon of CULES, old and new, reuniting to celebrate the achievements of the society! We performed all sorts of sketches, and even had some musical performances to spice things up. As ever, the DAFTA winners were announced at the party –congratulations to all who won!

CULES’ Archives

Speaking of DAFTAs, have you ever wanted to spend your evening reading about every DAFTA award since 2020? Now, you can do just that! All winners since 2020 have been archived on the website under Theatrical Archives. We want to continue to archive important moments in the society’s history, so if you have any knowledge of such moments, please get in touch with our Webmattress at cules.webmattress@gmail.com!

VOLES 2023 – A Fever Dream

VOLES is back for the third show since the Great Revival! This year’s show is a sketch show themed around fever dreams and Freudian therapists, featuring sketches such as “One Person’s Heaven…” and “Socks with Souls”. It’s shaping up to be another fantastic show, so watch this space for more details!

Crew Call for Michaelmas 2023

Our Michaelmas Term show, Christmas Calamities, is seeking a core production team! Click here for more information. No experience necessary, just sheer enthusiasm – we’re always happy to show people the ropes!

And that’s what you missed on CULES! Keep your eyes peeled for audition details for our upcoming show, and don’t forget to say hi to us at Freshers’ Fair on the 3rd & 4th October!

‘THAT’S THE SPIRIT!’ (LIVE edition)

16-18th February, 18:30 at Churchill College

A true fan will remember our VOLES radioshow by the same name from 2021. BEHOLD: now you can see it live on a stage, with actual real people in real time performing it for you pleasure!

For those of you still unsure of what’s happening, what’s happening is a queer cottagecore musical romcom about dating sims, and you can RESERVE YOUR TICKETS NOW (FOR FREE!), as well as donate any amount you feel able to the TRUSSELL TRUST, to support foodbanks across the UK and help end hunger in the UK.

A poster with the title "That's The Spirit" in a colourful whimsical font. Underneath three people are sat against a stripy rainbow background. Avery, a white person with short blond hair wearing non-binary face paint with a blue striped shirt with a trans pride pin, a red bowtie, and red trousers; Hazel, a brown woman with short dark curly hair wearing a white ruffled top and green dungarees with a lesbian pride pin; and Oli, a white man with short brown hair wearing blue jeans and a red hoodie with a rainbow pin and an aro/ace pride pin. They're all holding gaming controls, and Hazel is hugging a white fluffy cat plush
Art by Ted (Táeodor) Graham

Have you ever dreamed of ditching your degree for the wonderful world of video games? So has Hazel Hadley. Insecure and generally miserable with the state of her life, a queer cottagecore dating sim is the one place she can truly be herself. So when a freak storm makes her beloved game her reality, Hazel and her two best friends quickly realise their only path to freedom is for Hazel to make someone fall in love with her. When the real world and the digital world collide, it’s time for all three of them to face the music, do some yoga, bake some pies, and discover just how much of their true selves they’ve been suppressing. A lighthearted feel-good tale of self-discovery and queer romance awaits!

‘A Prior Engagement’

7pm 26th November, Churchill Recital room

Come along for a jolly romp through a world of aristocracy (and idiocracy…), in this silly comedy in the style of Wodehouse. Featuring incompetent aristocrats, revolutionaries, sandwich thievery, and entirely non-suspicious-looking lamps, what better way to celebrate Bridgemas and unwind from the stresses of term!

Moreover, it is, as all our shows, in aid of charity, and this term we are supporting the Trussel Trust who operate foodbanks throughout the UK, and campaign to end food poverty. We don’t charge a fixed ticket price, but we welcome any donations you’re able to support on our fundraising page: https://www.justgiving.com/page/cambridge-light-entertainment-society-1668344429104

…And you can also book a (free!) ticket here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/prior-engagement-tickets-467136105667

A poster saying "A PRIOR ENGAGEMENT" in bright purple letters, and "26 November, 7pm, Churchill College Recital Room" in white underneath. The background is a dark-teal wallpaper with an old-timey design. There are two wine glasses underneath the title: one has the CULES logo floating in it, and the other a communist symbol. In the middle is a huge sandwich on a silver plate, containing a disgustingly pink book, a decorative blue cushion, and a guppy fish, among other, normal fillings. On top of the bread are two engagement rings
Art by Rynn Hotwani (@rynnuendo on Instagram)

Michaelmas 2022 – Get Involved!

Welcome (back) to CULES! This term we are working on two big projects: the live stage adaptation of our VOLES 2021 radioshow That’s The Spirit!, and a smaller, Wodehouse-esque comedy A Prior Engagement that we’re taking around some sheltered living facilities in Cambridge!

There’re plenty of roles for everyone to get involved, no matter your experience! First of all, every show needs a…

Crew

We’re looking for:

  • Producers (aka the spreadsheet wizards)
  • Directors and Assistant Directors (folk with Opinions)
  • Musical Director (music-related dictator)
  • Stage Managers/Set Designers (arts & crafts department)
  • Graphics and Publicity (artistry and memes)
  • Costume Designer (low-budget chic!)

Even if you’ve never tried any of these, if you have Enthusiasm, our friendly committee will show you the ropes! Check out our application pack for more details!

Cast

SIGN UP HERE to audition! The auditions will be at 7pm on Sunday (9 October) at Newnham’s Old Labs. As usual, there’s nothing you need to prepare and it’s a fun group activity: we all take turns reading different characters, and if you don’t feel comfortable volunteering, you can just come to laugh along.

It’s important to sign up by Saturday (8 October) so we can send you more information, including extract previews (though there is no expectation whatsoever for you to be familiar with them!).

A drawing of a pink gem in the shape of a heart over the background of ble skies and clouds. The text in the middle of the heart says "That's the Spirit!" in purple italics

Lent 2022: It’s “Light” Entertainment if we say it is…?

Our newest podcast might not be quite our usual kind of show. Indeed, the lightness of this 6-episode gritty drama could be questioned. BUT, we say, who does not enjoy a good fantasy epic to dive into? And it features a hilarious griffin who simply loves salmon, so oh what if there is a blimp crash or two? Right?..

Well, either way brace yourself and hold onto your seats as you dive into this dieselpunk fantasy adventure! And dive you may, into a body of water platform of your choice, as “From The Ruins” is available on both YouTube and Spotify. Here’s what you are in for:

Dagger is just another kid from the Warren, resourceful, quick-witted, and with very few prospects of a bright future. But they are a dreamer, of an exceedingly naive sort. Fifteen years ago, they quite literally fell from the sky over the city of Guilderstone, injured, afraid and with no memory of who they used to be. Yet despite all odds, they survived, and after such an outcome, who can blame them for believing all sorts of ridiculous notions. They believe that one day they will make the Upper Quarter and Mage Guild of Guilderstone see the injustice of the hardships the Warren must face; they believe that their posh Upper Quarter boyfriend is truly in love with them and will share their passion for just change; they might even believe that the strange necklace that was with them for as long as they remember might one day give them answers about their true past. What they don’t suspect is just how deep such dreams will lead them into the political intrigues of Stormheath, through secrets dark and best left forgotten, and towards mysteries of lost magic that would determine the fate of the whole world.

As usual, our theatrical efforts are for charity, and this term we kindly ask you to help us support the British Red Cross Ukraine Appeal.

And if you wish to know more, why not check out dedicated Facebook Page!

Michaelmas(ish) 2021 (mostly): The End of the World (again)

This festive season, buckle up for the action-archaeology adventure of the century! We’ve got passion, we’ve got parrots, we’ve got pineapples… what more could you ask for? Plus it’s all in aid of Wintercomfort – so you too can join our heroes in saving the world; donate today and do your bit! The adventure begins December 15th in… Arizona James and the Restorers of the Stolen Urn!

But wait! That’s not all… by royal decree, the show shall (and did) go on, as The Prophecy of Destiny finally came to A Theatre Near You at the start of Lent 2022. That’s right CULES is back, baby! Lovely, loud, and LIVElier than ever!

In spite of the inauspicious alignment of the stars, the machinations of the Evil Wizard interfering with our venue finding, and a few bicycle- and/or troll-related injuries among our cast – the Prophecy was Fulfilled… sort of? A big round of thanks to everyone who made this triumphant return to stage a reality!

Wintercomfort is an information, advice, training and support centre in Cambridge for those who are homeless or vulnerably housed. Please give as generously as you can – as they say, charity begins at home, and this Cambridge charity is more important than ever now, as we bundle up for another pandemic-worsened winter… Thank you for your support!

The Prophecy of Destiny

7pm, February 3rd-5th at the Wolfson Hall, Churchill College

As the scrolls have foretold, King Valiant’s great great granddaughter and her husband will defeat the Grand Mage’s great great grandson, thereby saving the Kingdom from certain doom. Princess Destiny has always known what she was born to do – in general terms of defeating great great grandsons, anyway…

Sadly, it seems that she first requires a husband – an unfortunate technicality, as she’s not so much into dashing male heirs to the throne as into peasant girls of revolutionary inclinations… Still, Fate is not to be argued with. Or is it?


Arizona James and the Restorers of the Stolen Urn

7pm, December 15th on YouTube!

It was an offer she couldn’t refuse. When a struggling arts graduate Arizona is hired to steal a priceless urn from a world-famous museum, her eccentric boss puts together an unlikely team of thieves: a hyperactive teen, a film geek, and *checks notes*… a polyamorous car salesman?

Well, one bad decision isn’t the end of the world… or is it? With the international authorities on their heels, the crew must go on a quest over ranges and rivers, through sacred temples and airport security, to stop the apocalypse. But with time running out, can these archaeologically-inclined friends really solve the ancient mystery of the great bird-god Kevin? Or will the world as we know it be history…

Summer 2021: VOLES Unite!

This summer, Cambridge University Light Entertainment Society and Oxford University Light Entertainment Society united under a common cause – putting the amateur back into amateur dramatics. We are, therefore, proud to present the perfectly queer and cottagecore delight that is That’s The Spirit!

Life’s not all fun and games though – and so, on a more serious note, we invite you to join us in supporting this term’s charity of choice: The NEC Society! In the words of our very own Linseigh Green, a long-standing advocate for the Society:

“Necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) is a rare, often fatal gastrointestinal disease that occurs in newborns. We still don’t really understand it, and we don’t know how to prevent it. The NEC Society is one of the few organizations in the world dedicated towards NEC research, prevention, education, and advocacy. I serve as the nonprofit’s Outreach Manager, because I survived NEC in 1997. I am really fortunate, not only because survival was even less common back then, but because I am considered ‘high functioning.’

I know survivors with cerebral palsy; nine-year-olds with the development of 6-to-9-month-olds; a teenager who died of long term complications. Many of us struggle to get care for these long-term issues, because hardly any research has been done to understand them.

Babies are dying and survivors are struggling with uncertain futures. If people don’t know a rare disease exists, they won’t support efforts to fight it. Whether you give £5, £50, or simply tell a friend about NEC, you are helping us save the lives of newborns and improve the lives of patients like me.”

That’s The Spirit!

7pm, October 11th on YouTube!

When Hazel and her two best friends enter an online gaming tournament, things don’t exactly go to plan… and then the storm hits. Finding themselves – inexplicably – trapped in a wholesome, cottagecore dating simulator, their only hope is to win the game. To find their freedom, they must pass all the challenges and make someone fall in love with them…Easy, right?

The only problem: Hazel’s flirting skills are Truly Terrible. Or are they? Or was the real love the friendship they found along the way? As buns and bullies abound, only one thing’s for certain… A whimsical tale of self-discovery, true love, and countryside capers awaits!

Easter 2021: Ghouls and Good Causes and Gay Things, Oh My

Hello, hello, hello! Against the odds, we’ve done it again (please validate us). Despite the trials and tribulations of the past term, we’ve turned out two spectacular… err… spectacles? With one smashingly Steampunk operetta and a whole smorgasbord of baffling C[U]LES (see what we did there!?) to enjoy, you’re spoilt for choice! Plus, all our productions this summer have been to support Stonewall; so, if you missed the live airings what are you waiting for? Get watching and get giving (not necessarily in that order)!

Chaotic [U] of Light Entertainment Shorts

7pm, 3 July 2021 on YouTube

A medley of the Chaotic, the Lightly Entertaining, the Short. Featuring an assortment of sketches and short plays, from melodramatic cake lamentations and disagreements between Dorset farmers, to Vikings taking a break from vicious pillaging to stop the decline of the red squirrel population. There are peculiar fine dining experiences, oven-shaped TARDISes, and Isle(s?) of Wight, and who knows what else!

The Ghoul of the Music Hall: Easter 2021

7pm, 26-28 (Acts I-III) June 2021 on YouTube

Basically: “Phantom of the Opera” – but excellenter and sillier and Steampunk. Eight is a singing automaton who wants nothing more than to be human and to win her creator’s heart. When the first part of that wish is granted, she finds herself part of a double act at the local Music Hall, long haunted by a mysterious Ghoul…

Lent 2021: In Which We Save The World…

Well, it’s been an exciting term, chaps! And what better end to the term than curling up on the sofa with a comedy classic – and donating to CULES’ charity of choice, of course. This term we’re supporting The Innocence Project, an amazing initiative that exonerates the wrongly convicted through DNA testing – and drives reform to prevent future injustice.

Thank you – and enjoy!

Heroics For Beginners

7pm, 19 March 2021 on YouTube

If you could have any superpower, what would you choose? Flight? Telekinesis? Invisibility? How about – the ability to bend things…? Heroics for Beginners is a highly chaotic, action-packed radio play about a couple of not-quite superheroes attempting to defeat a cunning Evil Mastermind , uncovering some dark secrets along the way. Tune in at our top-secret YouTube channel for the full de-briefing… CULES to the rescue!

The CULES Sketch Show: Lent 2021

2pm, 4 April 2021 on YouTube

Sentient prime numbers, a noble knight on a Great Quest for the Crown, a polyamorous turtleneck, an explosion-hazard goose and many more such classics can be found in this absurd radio sketch show. Well, what are you waiting for?

Michaelmas 2020: Magic, Music, Sheep… And Chainsaw Dolphins!?

Cambridge University Light Entertainment Society are continuing our nonsense and silliness with our (still remote) Michaelmas term productions: “Whitebeam, Aspen and Shape” – a magical radio musical by Charlotte Vine, “As Yet Untitled” – a short comedy radio play by Annabel Jupp, and “Nothing To See Here Either (Now With Sheep!)” – a sketch show featuring sketches by Anna Trowby, Kit Livsey and Louis Davies.

This Michaelmas term, we will be raising money for Refuge, a charity which supports those experiencing domestic violence. Though our radio shows will be totally free to access, we invite you to donate whatever you can to our fundraiser. Anything is much appreciated!

Whitebeam, Aspen, and Shape

2pm, 20 December 2020 on YouTube

At first glance, Rowan Whitebeam is a rather ordinary witch in every way. But what most do not know is that for many years, Rowan’s been haunted by an insufferably sassy demon which they’re desperate to be rid of. 

Just how far will Rowan go in their exorcism attempts? How many songs will they break into for absolutely no good reason? And why did one of our cast members have to photoshop their face onto a squirrel?? Join us on this fantasy radio-adventure at the grand YouTube premiere to find out!

As Yet Untitled

6pm, 15 December on CamFM and YouTube

Have you ever tried to write a novel? It’s not easy, is it? Lydia knows this first hand, as do her characters. Join Lydia in her strange mind as her characters take apart her every idea – and turn her plot on its head with their strange schemes and bizarre accents…

Nothing to See Here Either (Now With Sheep!)

8.30pm, 11 December 2020 on CamFM and YouTube

You’ve heard of Nothing to See Here – but what’s this now? Nothing to See Here Either, except this time there are sheep! More absurdity, more chaos, more things not to be seen – conspiracy theories, tannoys, mysterious train journeys and – ah yes, sheep! – we have them all…

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