The Prophecy of Destiny: CULES’ brilliant return to live theatre

Jam Greenland 4 February 2022
Image Credit: Thea Fennell

This hilarious two-act musical, written by Sophie Brawn, tells the story of Princess Destiny, the reluctant subject of a prophecy that declares her and her husband must defeat the Evil Wizard to save the kingdom from Certain Doom, despite her proclivity towards peasant girls instead of royal princes. The premise was already exciting, but the subplots of uprisings and betrayal, plus brilliant songs, ranging from revolutionary anthems to heartfelt ballads, and endearing queer characters made this a thoroughly enjoyable piece with all the staples of a Cambridge University Light Entertainment Society (CULES) show.

The pianist, James Rosser, was very talented and managed to effectively create a different atmosphere for each song using only one instrument.

While I was initially concerned that the production would be limited, having no set and only one musician, the lack of set allowed the audience to really focus on the action, and often added to the comic relief when certain props, such as a cardboard carriage, were used. The pianist, James Rosser, was very talented and managed to effectively create a different atmosphere for each song using only one instrument. Costumes, designed by Tess Bottomley were a particular strength of The Prophecy of Destiny; the bright colours in Prince Fred’s costume really helped establish his character, emphasised by his comically small foam armour, and the costumes for the spiders were constructed well.

Two particularly noteworthy performances were those of Rebecca Williams (Princess Destiny) and Maddy Rees (Prince Fred)

This show was brought to life by an adept team of actors, who worked together wonderfully, both in their individual pairings and as a whole group. Two particularly noteworthy performances were those of Rebecca Williams (Princess Destiny) and Maddy Rees (Prince Fred); Williams’ dry and deadpan humour was the perfect complement to the energetic and exaggerated performance of Rees. What also impressed me was the range that actors showed throughout – for example, Anna Pesanti’s spectrum of emotions in her character’s journey as the Wizard and Isobel Lawrence’s differentiation between her characters whilst accentuating the comedic aspects of each. At the start, however, I did feel the performers were a little hesitant, and the dance numbers throughout could have been executed with more precision.

For those who have a queer panto shaped hole in their heart after last term’s Rapunzel, I would absolutely recommend The Prophecy of Destiny.

4/5 Stars.

The Prophecy of Destiny will be running on the 4th and 5th February at 7pm in Wolfson Hall, Churchill College. Tickets can be purchased via the link below and all profits will be donated to Wintercomfort, a Cambridge based charity supporting homeless and vulnerably housed people. https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/the-prophecy-of-destiny-tickets-240428035727