The University Drama Studio is a jewel of the University estate - but many staff have never been in it. Last night its profile was enhanced as a comedy giant - a certain Mr Eddie Izzard - performed his sell out show Stripped there.
Eddie was a student at the University in the early 80s but "opted out" of his degree course after one year. However, he stayed around Sheffield and spent a lot of time in the Drama Studio and established the Alternative Productions Society in the Union of Students with the aim of promoting fringe-based arts. He is well remembered by the current theatre manager. As part of his current tour Eddie was appearing at the Sheffield Arena, and we were delighted when we were approached by his management who told us that Eddie would like to do a late night gig at the Drama Studio - apparently in his many performances there he had never sold it out, but was fairly certain he could do now!
And of course he was right. On Sunday I saw him at the Arena perform in front of 11,000 people on a huge stage with 3 video screen, an enormous set and 5 trucks parked up outside.
What a difference it was to see him last night perform to 218 people. It was fantastic to see one of his trucks parked outside all lit up, and a searchlight lighting up the sky - I'm fairly certain that the first time that's happened at the Drama Studio. Inside the Studio looked fantastic.
I was involved in some of the hosting of the University guests to the event (including John Prescott) and was lucky enough to meet Eddie in his dressing room. He is a lovely bloke - very chatty and ordinary (in the nicest possible way - not at all prima donna-ish). As some of you know I have a thing about meeting him!
I'd like to thanks the team who worked so hard on this very demanding event - the Drama Studio isn't used to this sort of thing - it was handled extremely professionally, and I'm thinking we should now try to get on the Arena tour list!
Oh, and you had to be there to understand the title of this post! Cough (tiger).
PS - sorry about the quality of the photos - all taken on my iPhone. We hopefully have some professional ones on their way and I will post them as soon as we have them - hope these give you a feel for it though!