Student thespians take a bow
15 December 2010
Einstein wrestling with his darkest creation. Knitting, murder and lashings of intrigue in Imperial’s Dramatic Society. College politics and operetta. This week saw the curtain fall on three productions covering a range of stories and styles, but all written, produced and directed by student dramatic societies at Imperial.
The Imperial College School of Medicine Drama Society (ICSM Drama), the Drama Society (DramSoc) and the Musical Theatre Society all put on shows this term based on original material from their own members.
In the case of the ICSM Drama, The Destroyer of Worlds was a speculative play centering on the three scientists behind the creation of the atomic bomb, Einstein, Oppenheimer and Szilard. It examines what led them down this path and how they dealt with the earth-shaking outcome. Trying to bring their thought processes to the stage was playwright, and medical student, Pranav Mahajan. Luckily he had modern technology on his side.
Pranav explained: “Fortunately we do have a lot of technology. I was able to do research on YouTube, for example. I could watch videos of these scientists and see how they spoke and how they interacted.”
Fourth year physicist Gilead Amit brought a lighter tale to the stage with Imperial Collage, a Musical Theatre Society take on the start of term at Imperial. The revue, performed on Sunday and Monday evening this week, had lyrics penned by Gilead and set to existing scores. Gilead explained the choice of genre: “It was born of the fact that I’ve always admired musical theatre and people who can sing or play a musical instrument.”
Both writers were supported by Imperial alumna and DramSoc member Shamini Bundell, who read over their work and gave advice. Shamini is also the writing and directing brains behind the third play, The Dark Side. Speaking about the pull of the Imperial stage Shamini said:
“One of the great things about drama at Imperial is that it has a strong and supportive community. We rarely do a show without several people new to DramSoc but they often come back year after year. So I guess part of what keeps me coming back is the wonderful friends I’ve made here.
She added: “This term though I’ve been able to feel I’m putting something back. Rather than just performing I’ve been able to share my experience with the next generation of actors and actresses, which is just brilliant.”
The plays are three examples of the musical, dramatic and artistic activities involving Imperial students throughout the year. This month also saw ICSM Light Opera Society’s production of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, while highlights next term include Wind Power 2, a benefit concert involving Imperial College Winds and the band of the Coldstream Guards, as well as Artsfest, an Imperial College Union organised showcase of students’ creative pursuits.
— John-Paul Jones, Communications and Development