A Tale of Two Universities

Well, I’m mid-run at the moment of Stand Up & Jump, an excellent piece written by one of LUTheatre’s members, Mr. James Staynings (an honourable mention, sir!), and it’s going well so far. Wednesday’s audience was a bit small, so some things fell flat, but yesterday’s were amazing and filled the auditorium, which is always encouraging. Last night tonight, and then the after party, which is all good.

That’s not what I came on here to say though. Really, what I came to say was that we’re also doing a production of William Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet, which goes on next week, Wednesday to Friday. In sympathy to the show’s theme of divided households (two; alike in dignity), LUTheatre are collaborating with De Montfort University’s Demon Theatre to bring a new life to the Bard’s work.

As someone who generally looks on the local rivalry between the University of Leicester and DMU with cold aloofness – I have absolutely no interest in tribal rivalry, and needless to say, think that any characterisation of the fair people over at DMU as “poor”, “badly educated”, or anything else of that nature is not a good way to behave. That’s not to say that a bit of good natured rivalry isn’t okay and that we can’t all share a joke about each other, but I think sometimes it goes too far. I do particularly enjoy the DMU song “I’d rather be a poly than a c***”, since it sums up my own feelings towards the negative attitude of some students to their fellows over at DMU. I’ve attended the University of Leicester since 2003 and am proud to have done so, but that’s no excuse to devalue others. Also, given the current political climate, all students have common interest in uniting to save themselves and future students from excessive funding cuts and demotion of the importance of education. Knowledge is, after all, power and united we will stand, divided we will fall. Anyway, again I didn’t come on here to rant about social inequality amongst the Leicester universities’ students.

I was looking forward to the project working with DMU a lot, and am so glad to have been cast in a role in the play at all. The opportunity to work with other like-minded individuals from across the fence is a tantalising one and I haven’t been disappointed. Not only have they been excellent people to work with – I’ve learned a lot about the craft in the last few months and have had a lot of opportunity for sitting back and watching some bright stars at work – but they’ve also been great fun to be around. They’ve also been supportive of our other shows this term and that’s beyond the call of duty. So, thrusting aside the differences of our households, I’d like to raise them a statue in pure gold and say a massive thank you to Edward Spence, Jenni Smith, Charlotte Moore, and Paul Rogers. I see bright things for them all ahead.

Romeo & Juliet is being performed 21-23 March, 7pm in Queen’s Hall, Percy Gee Building, University of Leicester. Tickets £8 General, £5 Students/Concessions, £4 Members. Tickets can be purchased from Leicester University Library Bookshop, on the door or reserved by emailing Kate Fraser on cef12 AT le DOT ac DOT uk.

The Official Trailer:

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