The Cambridge Union resorted to violence to prevent Brian Blessed from visiting as planned last Friday, a cache of leaked emails has revealed.
The emails show that several members of the Union’s Standing Committee had raised concerns about noise levels, arguing that they would “get portered by Sidney Sussex” if Blessed’s speech went ahead. Others worried that the power of his voice could cause structural damage to the recently renovated Union building.
Meanwhile, the Union’s Treasurer wrote that his address, likely audible from the street outside, would undermine the organisation’s ‘pay-to-listen’ membership policy.
Blessed, who was due to speak at the Cambridge Union on Friday, was taken ill on Thursday night with suspected food poisoning after a trip to Itsu with the Union’s Senior Guest Liaisons. However, the emails appear to confirm rumours that his “illness” was actually the culmination of numerous attempts by the Union to stop him from coming to Cambridge after he refused to pull out of the engagement ‘voluntarily.’ In a heated exchange in the early hours of Thursday morning, just hours after Blessed was left unscathed by a falling grand piano, Union President Marcus Atherton ordered the committee to spike the actor’s sushi as the next stage of “Operation Brian Blessé.”
However, not all committee members agreed with the plan:
“With the Lent term-card as it is,” one junior committee member argued, “I don’t think we can afford to be bumping off any of our speakers. If Blessed goes, our most notable remaining speaker will be the Temporary Junior Assistant Deputy Minister for Minor Rural Affairs in Week 6.”
“Besides, the only reason you’re showing such antipathy towards his voice is because it will drown out your own.”
The matter has been referred to the police for investigation, along with allegations that the Union conducted a similar operation last March, when it was discovered that a debating tournament clashed with a planned talk by Sergei Skripal.