Review: Girton the Musical

Image credit: trialsanderrors

If you only trek to Girton once in your life, do it for Girton the Musical. It's the highlight of Freshers' Week for many a Girtonian, young and old; a truly legendary fusion of farce, satire and slapstick, featuring only the most variously memorable of Girton's acting talent. Now in its tenth year running, Katharine Wiggell's direction of the Girton Amateur Dramatic Society's latest performance was as dazzling as ever – flawless, if only for its many and hilarious flaws.

The script confronts many of the struggles commonly experienced by those undertaking the perilous, and often baffling, journey to university - all in the form of gloriously amateur musical theatre. The struggles of maintaining long-distance relationships; making new friends; finding strange comfort in the confidance of your bedder - all are handled with brilliant ad-libs and endearing less-than-dexterity. Its all-original soundtrack, including the firm favourites 'I'm Ditching You', 'Phone Sex Song' and 'The Lesbians of Newnham', were met throughout with raucous laughter and heartily encouraged heckling from the post-Formal audience.

Several newer members of GADS gave promising debut performances in the production: Alastair Haig and Jazz Darby in particular were a winning double-act as the slightly-too amiable Dr. Tim Sinneran and the frankly terrifying Fraulein Kunzl-Schmidt. Dominic McGough reprised his role as Jonathan Pilkington-Smythe, a ludicrously over-entitled public-school boy, in a performance which reached its peak in his rendition of 'My Daddy's Rich' during his interview scene. He is one of many characters who contribute to the play's nervous laughter at the stereotypes who abound in conversations about this university. But it’s a laughter we all share, as the play tipsily stumbles along the line between political incorrectness and fabulous parody of characters whom all of us recognise only too well.

This performance of only an hour long can certainly seem bizarre to those unfamiliar with life at Girton; yet it holds a special place in the heart of anyone who’s lived in our faraway red-brick home for long enough. As the academic year begins, it is a joyful comfort to be reminded that however many struggles we collectively experience as students of Cambridge, those of us on the fringe will always be united by our annual tradition of bellowing, in unison: "We are Girton, super Girton – no-one likes us, but we don't care!'

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