21st July 2024

Review: Cambridge Shorts


Deputy Theatre Reviewer Tara Lamp gives her evening at Cambridge Shorts 5 stars.

As I walked into the ADC Theatre (or should that be Le Cinéma ADC?) for the term’s first night of Cambridge Shorts, I immediately sensed that the atmosphere was effervescent, the mood was bubbly, and the ambience was carbonated. Though I must profess to being heavily involved in the Cinematic Student Arts Scene myself, having directed, produced and starred in numerous features (check my Camdram), last night I had my reviewer’s hat firmly on (which isn’t quite true as I was wearing a beret).

I arrived stylishly late, with exactly four seconds remaining before the event was due to start. After popping to the bar to say hi to a friend of mine, I dashed back down to the foyer to say hi to a friend of mine, before hurrying to the loo as the bell rang, to say hi to a friend of mine. That’s what I loved about last night’s Cambridge Shorts, there was a real sense of community. Everyone knew everyone, I knew everyone and everyone, in particular, knew me. But fear not dear readers, despite my popularity I vow to solemnly carry the torch of objective and detached critical judgement forward so that the Cambridge Film scene, where everyone knows me, may flourish.

As the night began, the host came out on stage in a cloud of smoke, which totally obscured the screen – surely a nod to Soviet director Sergei Eisenstein’s theory of montage. It created a sense of mystery and intrigue which slowly built to a dramatic climax when a fresher behind me had a fit, no doubt choking on the sheer intensity of the metaphor.

It was touching to see that friends of mine had been involved in all of the films that were shown. But if I had to rank the five I saw, it would have to be the first, third, fifth, fourth and then the second – in no particular order. One of the films was so edgy it kept stopping and starting in a way that reminded me of my favourite Haze DJ. My friend the director clearly wanted the experience of watching the film to be like looking at strobe lighting through a colander while riding malfunctioning dodgems. And it worked.

My reviewer’s ticket also gave me access to the ADC Bar after the show, and, to me, this is where the true spectacle began. It was amazing to see people from all walks of Cambridge gathered in one tiny place, hoping to rub shoulders or more with the cinematographic giants whose works we’d so enthusiastically subjected ourselves to. Luckily, we were so cramped that I bumped into even more people than normal, and left the evening with three potential roles, two audition invitations and even a request from someone that they film in part of my room, one day, when I’m not in!

To conclude, I think I speak for everyone there when I say that I had an amazing time last night. I can’t wait for the next one!