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Footlights
Biography

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For the theatrical equipment, see Footlight.

Cambridge University Footlights Dramatic Club, commonly referred to simply as the Footlights, is an amateur theatrical club in Cambridge, England, founded in 1883 and run by the students of Cambridge University.

Contents

1 History,
2 Activities,
3 Former members,
4 Presidents,
5 See also,
6 Sources,
7 References,
8 External links,

History:
Footlights' inaugural performance took place in June 1883. For some months before the name 'Footlights' was chosen, the group had performed to local audiences in the Cambridge area (once, with a cricket match included, at the 'pauper lunatic asylum'). They wished to go wider than the University Amateur Dramatic Club (ADC), founded in 1885, with its membership drawn largely from Trinity College, and its theatre seating only 100. They were to perform every May Week at the Theatre Royal, the shows soon open to the public. A local paper commended the Club's appeal to the 'general public, the many different classes of which life in Cambridge is made up'.
The club grew in prominence in the 1960s as a hotbed of comedy and satire. Having established a tradition of performing at the annual Edinburgh Fringe Festival, the club entered the mainstream when its members formed half of Beyond the Fringe, the hugely popular stage revue which toured Britain and America in 1960. The 1963 revue then followed in the footsteps of Beyond the Fringe, appearing in Edinburgh and London's West End, before travelling to New Zealand and the United States, where it made appearances on Broadway and The Ed Sullivan Show and received a full-page review in Time Magazine. Over the next decade, Footlights and its members came to dominate British comedy, creating and starring in shows such as I'm Sorry, I'll Read That Again, At Last the 1948 Show and That Was The Week That Was, forming comedy groups such as Monty Python and The Goodies, and generally fuelling the Satire boom.
During the 1980s, Footlights reinforced its position at the heart of British comedy. The 1981 revue won the inaugural Perrier Award at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and spawned Fry and Laurie, the first in a long line of popular and successful double acts formed at the club. Many of its former members have gone on to win Oscars, BAFTAs and other awards and enjoy success in the entertainment and media industry.
Today, Footlights is recognised as a finishing school for many of Britain's most well-known comic entertainers.

Activities:
During term, Footlights produce the regular and very popular Smokers - an informal mixture of sketches and stand-up - at the ADC Theatre. The club also performs plays, pantomimes and sketch shows and least one revue, usually in the spring. Outside of term, Footlights often go on tour, performing their best new material in the West End and abroad. For information about individual Footlights revues, see Cambridge Footlights Revue.

Former members:
The careers of many prominent figures in the world of entertainment began in Footlights -- while prominent figures in other industries also took part in Footlights. They include:
Name
Birth
Death
Career
Douglas Adams

1952

2001

Comedy writer, known for The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
Clive Anderson

1952

--

Comedian, television presenter, barrister
David Armand

1977

--

Comedian, actor, member of The Hollow Men
Alexander Armstrong

1970

--

Comedian, television presenter, half of Armstrong and Miller
Pete Atkin

1945

--

Singer-songwriter, radio producer, known for This Sceptred Isle
Richard Ayoade

1977

--

Comedian, actor, director, co-creator of Garth Marenghi
James Bachman

1972

--

Comedian, actor, writer
David Baddiel

1964

--

Comedian, novelist, television presenter, half of Newman and Baddiel
Morwenna Banks

1964

--

Comedian, actor
Humphrey Barclay

1941

--

Comedy executive, producer of I'm Sorry, I'll Read That Again
Brian Barder

1934

--

Diplomat, popular blogger
Tom Basden

1981

--

Comedy writer and performer, singer-songwriter, member of Cowards
Robert Bathurst

1957

--

Actor
Cecil Beaton

1904

1980

Photographer, interior designer, stage and costume designer
Peter Bennett-Jones

1956

--

Television producer and agent, co-founder of Tiger Aspect and Comic Relief
Martin Bergman

1957

--

Producer, writer, director
John Bird

1936

--

Comedian, actor, satirist, member of Bremner, Bird and Fortune
Simon Bird

1984

--

Comedian, actor, known for The Inbetweeners
Timothy Birdsall

1936

1963

Cartoonist
Christopher Booker

1937

--

Journalist, author, founding editor of Private Eye
Leslie Bricusse

1931

--

Lyricist, composer, playwright, known for Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory
Eleanor Bron

1938

--

Actress, writer
Tim Brooke-Taylor

1940

--

Comedy writer and performer, member of The Goodies
Gus Brown

1974

--

Comedian, actor, half of Laurence and Gus
Spencer Brown

1978

--

Comedian
Robert Buckman

1948

2011

Comedian, writer, television presenter, columnist, physician
Tony Buffery

--

--

Psychologist, actor, comedian, writer, known for Twice a Fortnight
John Cameron

1944

--

Composer, arranger, conductor, musician
Jon Canter

1953

--

Comedy scriptwriter, principal writer for Lenny Henry
Graham Chapman

1941

1989

Comedian, actor, writer, member of Monty Python
John Cleese

1939

--

Comedian, actor, writer, member of Monty Python
Olivia Colman

1974

--

Comedian, actor
Peter Cook

1937

1995

Comedy writer and performer, proprietor of Private Eye, member of Beyond the Fringe
Joe Craig

1980

--

Novelist, musician, known for the Jimmy Coates series
Thurston Dart

1921

1971

Keyboard player, conductor, musicologist
Russell Davies

1946

--

Journalist, broadcaster, presenter of Brain of Britain
Hugh Dennis

1962

--

Comedian, actor, writer, satirist, voice-over artist, half of Punt and Dennis
Penny Dwyer

1953

2003

Comedian, actor, writer, metallurgist
Jimmy Edwards

1920

1988

Comedy actor, writer, star of Take It From Here and Whack-O!
Mark Evans

--

--

Comedian, actor, writer
Julian Fellowes

1949

--

Screenwriter, director, actor, novelist, known for Gosford Park and Downton Abbey
Peter Fincham

1956

--

Television producer and executive, Director of Television at ITV
John Finnemore

1977

--

Comedy writer and performer
John Fortune

1939

--

Comedian, actor, satirist, member of Bremner, Bird and Fortune
Michael Frayn

1933

--

Playwright, novelist, known for Noises Off and Copenhagen
Robin French

1978

--

Playwright, scriptwriter, songwriter
David Frost

1939

2013

Television presenter, interviewer, satirist, star of The Frost Report
Stephen Fry

1957

--

Comedian, writer, actor, novelist, half of Fry and Laurie, known for Jeeves and Wooster and as the presenter of QI
Graeme Garden

1943

--

Comedy writer and performer, illustrator, member of The Goodies
Bamber Gascoigne

1935

--

Television presenter, author, known for hosting University Challenge
Mel Giedroyc

1968

--

Actor, writer, television presenter, half of Mel and Sue
Stefan Golaszewski

1982

--

Comedian, writer, director, member of Cowards
Matt Green

1979

--

Comedian, writer, actor
Germaine Greer

1939

--

Writer, broadcaster, academic
John Grillo

1942

--

Actor, playwright
Lawrence Grossmith

1877

1944

Actor
Nick Hancock

1962

--

Comedian, actor, television presenter, known for Room 101
Norman Hartnell

1901

1979

Fashion designer
David Hatch

1939

2007

Broadcasting manager, producer of Just a Minute and I'm Sorry I Haven't A Clue
Natalie Haynes

1974

--

Comedian, writer
Tony Hendra

1941

--

Satirist, writer, creator of Spitting Image
Kit Hesketh-Harvey

1957

--

Comedy writer and performer, half of Kit and The Widow
Tom Hollander

1967

--

Actor, co-creator and star of Rev.
Matthew Holness

1975

--

Comedian, co-creator of Garth Marenghi
Alex Horne

1978

--

Comedian
Kenneth Horne

1907

1969

Comedian, businessman, star of Round the Horne
Claude Hulbert

1900

1964

Comic actor
Jack Hulbert

1892

1978

Actor
Tristram Hunt

1974

--

Politician, historian, broadcaster, newspaper columnist
Nicholas Hytner

1956

--

Film and theatre producer, Director of the National Theatre
Eric Idle

1943

--

Comedian, actor, writer, songwriter, member of Monty Python
Clive James

1939

--

Writer, poet, critic
Jonathan James-Moore

1946

2005

Comedy producer, theatre manager
Peter Jeffrey

1929

1999

Actor
Rufus Jones

1976

--

Comedy writer and performer, member of Dutch Elm Conservatoire
Simon Jones

1950

--

Actor
Jo Kendall

--

--

Actor
Tim Key

1976

--

Comedian, actor, poet, member of Cowards
Paul King

1978

--

Comedy director, known for The Mighty Boosh
Matt Kirshen

1980

--

Comedian
Ian Lang

1940

--

Politician, business executive
Hugh Latimer

1913

2006

Actor, toymaker
Hugh Laurie

1959

--

Comedian, actor, writer, musician, half of Fry and Laurie, known for Jeeves and Wooster and the TV series House
John Lloyd

1951

--

Comedy producer and writer, creator of Have I Got News for You and QI
Nicholas Luard

1937

2004

Satirist, travel writer, owner of Private Eye, co-founder of The Establishment
Jonathan Lynn

1943

--

Comedy writer, actor, director, creator of Yes, Minister
Miriam Margolyes

1941

--

Actor
Dan Mazer

1971

--

Comedian, producer, screenwriter, known for work with Sacha Baron Cohen
Simon McBurney

1957

--

Actor, writer, director, founder of Complicite
Kevin McCloud

1958

--

Writer, designer, television presenter
Geoffrey McGivern

1952

--

Comedy actor
Rory McGrath

1956

--

Comedian, co-founder of Hat Trick Productions
Ben Miller

1966

--

Comedian, director, actor, half of Armstrong and Miller
Jonathan Miller

1934

--

Theatre and opera director, humorist, sculptor, member of Beyond the Fringe
David Mitchell

1974

--

Comedian, actor, writer, half of Mitchell and Webb
Nick Mohammed

1980

--

Comedian, actor, writer
Lucy Montgomery

1975

--

Comedian, actor, writer
Neil Mullarkey

1961

--

Comedian, actor, writer, founding member of The Comedy Store Players
Jimmy Mulville

1955

--

Comedian, writer, television presenter, co-founder of Hat Trick Productions
Simon Munnery

1972

--

Comedian
Richard Murdoch

1907

1990

Comic actor
Jon Naismith

1965

--

Comedy producer, creator of The Unbelievable Truth, producer of I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue
Henry Naylor

1968

--

Comedy writer and performer, half of Parsons and Naylor
David Nobbs

1935

--

Comedy writer, creator of the Reggie Perrin series
Trevor Nunn

1940

--

Theatre and film producer, Director of the National Theatre
Des O'Connor

1972

--

Television presenter, burlesque performer, musician, lyricist
Michael O'Donnell

1928

--

Journalist, author, broadcaster, physician
Bill Oddie

1941

--

Comedian, actor, musician, naturalist, television presenter, member of The Goodies
John Oliver

1977

--

Comedian, writer, television personality of The Daily Show fame
Richard Osman

1970

--

Producer, Creative Director of Endemol UK, co-presenter of Pointless
Andy Parsons

1967

--

Comedian, comedy writer, half of Parsons and Naylor
Sue Perkins

1969

--

Comedian, actor, writer, television presenter, half of Mel and Sue
Steve Punt

1962

--

Comedian, actor, writer, half of Punt and Dennis
Jan Ravens

1958

--

Actor, impressionist
Griff Rhys Jones

1953

--

Comedian, actor, writer, co-founder of Talkback, half of Alas Smith and Jones
Blake Ritson

1980

--

Actor, director, writer
John-Luke Roberts

1985

--

Comedy writer and performer, known for Spats
Salman Rushdie

1947

--

Booker Prize-winning novelist
William Seaward

1986

--

Actor, director, founder of The Strolling Theatricals
Tanya Seghatchian

1968

--

Film producer, former Head of the Development Fund at the UK Film Council and British Film Institute
Peter Shaffer

1926

--

Playwright, known for Equus and Amadeus
Charles Shaughnessy

1955

--

Actor
Paul Shearer

1960

--

Comedy writer and performer, known for The Fast Show
John Shrapnel

1942

--

Actor
Richard Sisson

1957

--

Pianist, composer, half of Kit and The Widow
Julian Slade

1930

2006

Musical theatre composer, known for Salad Days
Tony Slattery

1959

--

Comedian, actor
Ali Smith

1962

--

Novelist, short story writer, journalist, known for Hotel World
Michael Marshall Smith

1965

--

Novelist, screenwriter, short story writer
Gregory Snegoff

1955

--

Voice-over artist, writer, director
Sarah Solemani

1986

--

Writer, actress
Dan Stevens

1982

--

Actor
Richard Stilgoe

1943

--

Songwriter, lyricist, musician
William Sutcliffe

1971

--

Novelist
Jonny Sweet

1985

--

Comedian, writer
Edward Taylor

1931

--

Comedy writer, radio producer, creator of The Men from the Ministry
Joe Thomas

1983

--

Comedian, actor, writer, known for The Inbetweeners
Emma Thompson

1959

--

Comedian, actress, screenwriter
Sandi Toksvig

1958

--

Comedian, writer, presenter of The News Quiz
Richard Vranch

1959

--

Comedian, actor, musician, founding member of The Comedy Store Players
Nicola Walker

1970

--

Actress, known for Spooks
Ian Wallace

1919

2009

Opera singer, actor, broadcaster
Mark Watson

1980

--

Comedian, novelist, radio presenter
Robert Webb

1972

--

Comedian, actor, writer, half of Mitchell and Webb
Mark Wing-Davey

1948

--

Actor, director
Sophie Winkleman

1980

--

Actress
David Wolstencroft

1969

--

Scriptwriter, creator of Spooks
Richard Wordsworth

1915

1993

Character actor
Maury Yeston

1945

--

Film composer, lyricist, musicologist
Martin Young

1947

--

Television reporter, interviewer, co-creator of Rough Justice

Presidents:
The elected leader of Cambridge University Footlights Dramatic Club is known as the president, who is assisted by a vice-president, treasurer, archivist and several other posts to form the committee.
Past presidents have included the following:
Peter Cook (of Pete and Dud),
Tim Brooke-Taylor & Graeme Garden (of The Goodies, I'm Sorry, I'll Read That Again and I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue),
Eric Idle (of Monty Python),
Tony Slattery (of Whose Line Is It Anyway?),
Hugh Laurie (of Fry and Laurie, Jeeves and Wooster and House),
David Mitchell (of That Mitchell and Webb Look and Peep Show),
Richard Ayoade (of Garth Marenghi's Darkplace and The IT Crowd),
,
List of presidents

1886 - F. W. Mortimer,
1887 - J. J. Withers,
1890 - Oscar Browning,
1891 - C. M. Rae,
1892 - Oscar Browning,
1894 - Oscar Browning,
1895 - Oscar Browning,
1896 - H. C. Pollitt,
1897 - H. C. Pollitt,
1898 - M. V. Leveaux,
1899 - S. W. Burgess,
1900 - O. J. Goedecker,
1901 - R. J. White,
1902 - E. K. Fordham,
1904 - G. S. Heathcote,
1905 - G.S. Heathcote,
1906 - H. Rottenburg,
1907 - H. Rottenburg,
1908 - J. S. Murray,
1909 - L. B. Tillard,
1910 - A. R. Inglis,
1911 - A. R. Inglis,
1912 - P. D. Ravenscroft,
1913 - C. A. A. Douglas Hamilton,
1914 - M. Cutherston,
1919 - B. D. Nicholson,
1920 - B. D. Nicholson,
1921 - M. D. Lyon,
1922 - M. D. Lyon,

1923 - F. E. Powell,
1924 - J. A. C. Barradale,
1925 - H. J. Warrender,
1926 - J. D. Houison Craufurd,
1927 - H. C. Martineau,
1928 - H. E. R. Mitchell,
1929 - J. Fell Clark,
1930 - J. C. Byrom,
1931 - R. S. Hill,
1932 - P. E. Lyon,
1933 - J. A. Coates,
1934 - Lord Killanin,
1935 - Harry Lee,
1936 - Peter Crane,
1937 - Albert E. P. Robison,
1938 - P. B. Meyer,
1939 - Sir Robert Ricketts,
1947 - D. C. Orders,
1948 - D. C. Orders,
1949 - Simon Phipps,
1950 - Adrian Vale,
1951 - Ian Kellie,
1952 - Andrew Davidson,
1953 - Peter Firth,
1954 - Leslie Bricusse,
1955 - Brian Marber,
1956 - Tim Berington,
1957 - Allan Mitchell,
1958 - Peter Stroud,
1959 - Adrian Slade,

1960 - Peter Cook,
1961 - Peter Bellwood,
1962 - Robert Atkins,
1963 - Tim Brooke-Taylor,
1964 - Graeme Garden,
1965 - Eric Idle,
1966 - Andrew Mayer,
1967 - Clive James,
1968 - Jonathan James-Moore,
1969 - Barry Brown,
1970 - Adrian Edwards,
1971 - Richard MacKenna,
1972 - Steve Thorn,
1973 - Robert Benton,
1974 - Jon Canter,
1975 - Clive Anderson,
1976 - Chris Keightley,
1977 - Jimmy Mulville,
1978 - Martin Bergman,
1979 - Robert Bathurst,
1980 - Jan Ravens,
1981 - Hugh Laurie,
1982 - Tony Slattery,
1983 - Neil Mullarkey,
1984 - Nick Hancock,
1985 - Kathryn Crew,
1986 - Nick Golson,
1987 - Tim Scott,
1988 - Peter Bradshaw,
1989 - Roland Kenyon,

1990 - Henry Naylor,
1991 - Sue Perkins,
1992 - Dan Gaster,
1993 - Mark Evans,
1994 - Robert Thorogood,
1995 - Charlie Hartill,
1996 - David Mitchell,
1997 - Sarah Moule,
1998 - Richard Ayoade,
1999 - Kevin Baker,
2000 - Matt Green,
2001 - James Morris,
2002 - Ed Weeks,
2003 - Stefan Golaszewski,
2004 - Ed Riches,
2005 - Raph Shirley,
2006 - Simon Bird,
2007 - Will Sharpe,
2008 - Sam Sword,
2009 - Alastair Roberts,
2010 - Abi Tedder,
2011 - Mark Fiddaman,
2012 - Phil Wang,
2013 - Harry Michell,
2014 - Ben Pope,
2015 -,
2016 -,
2017 -,
2018 -,
2019 -

Footlights Videos (1)

"Lova Bass"

Footlights Photos (2)

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