Credit: GG Photographer Lisa Paul (@lisapaulcreativespace)

Love letters to the stage

By Ananya Venkatesan and others

Theatre-lovers reminisce of happy times and the importance of theatre, hopeful to return to the buzz of the box office queue soon. 

What a year it’s been. From fighting forest fires to combatting a pandemic, we’ve all faced adversity. Yet there’s one group that’s been ignored in this pandemic; a group we turn to time and time again to escape from the horrors of reality, and to lead us on adventures to lands far away. 


But today, in this article, we celebrate theatre. This art form has brought joy to many for centuries, and has been a salient part of the rich cultural heritage scene at Glasgow. With a heart full of hope and a future full of possibilities, this is a collection of love letters to the theatre, from theatre enthusiasts at the University of Glasgow.

Blake Gray, writer

Theatre doesn’t matter on its own. Nothing does. It matters because of the people. The people who express themselves and their characters to inspire an audience. The people who dance across the stage in twilight ambience to shift props and pull curtains with pinpoint precision and silence. The people who look after the building and sets. The people who look after the other people, the costumes, the food, and all inbetween. It’s the collective energy of all that passion, all that intensity, all that drama, that haunts the walls of the theatres and venues we come to love. These histories, those stories, that passion, inspires our future – that’s why theatre matters, and why we should save it.

Samyukta Vidyashankar, writer

Theatre has been a huge part of my world. Having to move halfway across the world for university gave me a whole new outlook on the theatre experience. The thrill of rushing to the box office through the wet and windy streets of Glasgow, making sure you have enough time to purchase the fancy prosecco and sweet treats is incomparable. It’s amazing to see stories being brought to life through music, detailed choreographies, and intricate stage designs. I think I speak for all theatre enthusiasts when I say that we’re eager to get back to the stunning venues and witness some magnificent performances. 

Dylan Richards, writer

Rory and I had both expected a reasonably respectable evening at the Garrick Theatre; it was my treat for Rory’s birthday. I should admit that despite our best intentions, neither Rory nor I have read Cervantes’ Don Quixote, and thus were not aware of the extent of its humour. The play turned out to be a total riot. Rory was gifted a late birthday present in the form of a bread roll to the face, thrown from the stage by Sancho Panza – played superbly by Rufus Hound. As the lights came up for the interval, our faces were in agony due to grinning from one aisle to the other. There was a gaggle of octogenarians in black tie who, unimpressed with the bread roll bouquets, waddled out of the theatre during the interval like penguins, bracing themselves for the January weather.

Charlotte Macchi Watts, writer

Bringing a friend or lover to the theatre and anticipating their response. Focusing on the action but also wondering what your side profile looks like out of the corner of their eye. Then, for about 30 minutes, being completely absorbed into the performance and forgetting you exist. Remembering you exist. Feeling bewildered by how you forgot yourself for a moment. Zoning out in that bit where the actor you’ve grown to dislike appears and thinking about the subway journey home instead. Briefly wondering what the time is. Staring in awe at the lead actress, reciting her movements in your head.

James Warburton, writer

We are in a time of great upheaval and uncertainty where we must all learn to adapt. It must be said, however, the impacts of forcing this adaptability on theatres across the nation is somewhat concerning. Science, maths, technology and such fields are crucial to existence as we know it; but the arts, specifically theatre, fills the world with beauty, joy, and colour. They give life meaning, feel our hearts with hope, love, and every other conceivable emotion. So, while the sciences are necessary to survive, theatre is necessary to actually live. 


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