Footlights Club

Definition

Theater

  • A small theater group at Cambridge University, which has placedmore performers on the professional stage than any other student organization.It was founded in 1883 in a clubhouse at 5 Falcon Yard and maintainsa membership of 80. Women have been admitted since 1957, Eleanor Bronbeing the first female to be accepted.

    The Footlights Club presents an annual revue in MayWeek, has performed regularly at the Edinburgh Festival fringe (mostnotably with its contribution to the revue Beyond the Fringein 1960), and tours both nationally and internationally. Former Footlightsmembers include Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Peter Cook, Russell Davies,Jimmy Edwards, Michael Frayn, David Frost, Stephen Fry, Eric Idle,Clive James, Jonathan Miller, Trevor Nunn, Bill Oddie, Griff Rhys-Jones,and Emma Thompson. It has also been the source of the television seriesThat Was the Week that Was and Monty Python's Flying Circus,both of which became British institutions.

    Cleese, noting that he spent much of his last two Cambridgeyears at the club because he enjoyed the company, said:

    We were rather in awe of the proper actors who wore jeansand black leather jackets and talked about motivation and Brecht.Someone a bit like this directed me in my first revue. But he supportedIpswich Town and was really quite nice. His name was Trevor Nunn.I always wondered what happened to him.
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