With such extensive music and drama facilities on-campus, it’s no wonder that Downing students are among some of the most creatively driven in the University of Cambridge.
The Howard Theatre
The centrepiece of the College’s dramatic community is the lavishly-appointed Howard Theatre. With seating for around 160 in front of a gorgeous Italianate proscenium stage, the Theatre provides unique experiences for both the audience and those producing and performing in shows.
The Downing College Dramatic Society makes superb use of the opportunities offered by the College, presenting plays ranging from Shakespeare and the Greek Classics to powerful modern works like Ariel Dorfman’s Death and the Maiden and WW1 drama, Accrington Pals by Peter Whelan.
The Society also arranges the annual Festival of New Writing, inaugurated in 2014. The Festival is a three-day event showcasing the best of student talent and artistic enterprise, followed by in-depth discussion with industry professionals.
Drama in Cambridge
Outside of Downing, Cambridge is itself one of the most vibrant cultural centres in the UK.
Prominent venues include the Cambridge Arts Theatre, founded in 1936 by economist John Maynard Keynes, and the ADC Theatre, run entirely by Cambridge students with luminaries including Sir Ian McKellan and Emma Thompson.
The city also hosts the annual Cambridge Drama Festival, with nearly 50 years of history presenting opportunities for amateur theatre companies to present varied and thought-provoking productions.