Went to see the Drama Society's show of Terry Pratchett's Going Postal this evening in Studio 3. It's the second production they've put up, after a version of Pinter's The Dumb Waiter and it brings to an end a successful first semester for them.
It's very good to see an independent student company made up of actors and technicians from across the pathways and incorporating students from beyond the department wrestle something so ambitious on. The society isn't yet affiliated to the Union (a dispute over the level of support they could expect for the sign up fee has kept them a bit on a limb) but hopefully as Drama Soc continues to establish itself into the cultural life of the University, negotiations will open again. It's a shame that sports clubs dominate the culture and It'd be great to see an influential Drama Soc making waves to redress the balance.
There were some promising work as well. Bianca Barrett and Jack Fisher grow in ease and confidence every time I see them perform and Mikey O'Neill lifted the work with a neatly drawn cameo as a doddery old postal worker.
Inevitably the work overreached itself and it was hard to keep focus as it shifted into its third hour. I don't think you can do anything to curb the enthusiasm of this, students love the epic and love performing (I certainly did in my undergraduate days); but I do think there's a eureka moment for developing practitioners when they stop making choices based on what they and their mates want and genuinely focus on providing a quality experience for the audience. It's a de schooling process but the brave have faith in their own emerging craft skills and ability to reach out beyond their peer group rather than try to replicate a derivative amateur dramatic model.
This may be for the future, however, for now the society deserves a huge round of applause for making itself work.