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Murray Edwards College
University of Cambridge

Cambridge Creatives

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    15 June 2020

    Earlier this year, Hannah Collins (2019, English) set up Cambridge Creatives with two other students – Fabienne Marshall (MPhil, Murray Edwards) and Ele Forsdyke (English, Homerton). Below, Hannah tells us more about her inspiration for this project, what she's enjoyed most about it and how she hopes to work in the creative industry when she graduates.

    Hannah Collins

    Can you tell us a bit more about Cambridge Creatives? 

    Cambridge Creatives is really a product of the time. I could see there was a creative vacuum, with so many productions in film and theatre postponed or cancelled. So, I wanted to create a society that would inspire people to be creative, provide hope for the future and entertain an audience.

    I had been planning to create a film society anyway and lockdown posed the perfect opportunity to embrace this odd situation. We have set up a virtual series of talks with world-renowned professionals in film, TV and theatre, and so far, things have been going really well! I have been delighted by how generous the speakers have been with their time, offering advice to students and even sharing contacts from their network. We are just coming to the end of our fourth week and, so far, it has been a great success. 

    Who has been your favourite speaker so far, and why?

    We have had an incredible line-up, from Jonathan Pryce and Sir Richard Eyre to Sarah Brocklehurst and Lenny Abrahamson (Director of Normal People). I don’t know if I have a favourite, but our second Q&A was with Ol Parker (Director of Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again!) and he was the perfect guest to calm us down. It felt like a chat with a friend in a coffee shop. He talked about his time in the creative scene at Cambridge, revealed stories from filmsets and gave some really inspiring advice. Most recently, Josie Rourke spoke with us. She was so generous in her advice and also had some amazing stories, like how Judi Dench saved the day in a performance of ‘The Vote’, on election night! As a fellow English student from Medwards, I definitely felt inspired to follow in her footsteps. 

    What speakers have you been most excited to share on the platform? 

    I have been excited by all the speakers. Every time I see an email pop into my inbox, I have a surge of adrenaline! Receiving emails from people like Armando Iannucci and Kenneth Branagh has been surreal. I hope more people will be able to join in on the Q&As because these speakers are amazing. They are sharing their knowledge and experience in the strangely intimate environment of a Zoom webinar. And if you are unable to watch live, you can always catch up on our YouTube channel!

    Are you planning on working in the creative industry when you graduate?

    Yes, I am. I would love to direct in theatre and film. I don’t know what the theatre or film industries will look like after coronavirus but I definitely feel buoyed by the advice and stories of our guests, and feel determined to make my dreams a reality.