New OUDS Secretary Madeleine Perham has a storied history in drama. Involved with Stagecoach (a London-based theatre company) since the tender age of 4, Maddy’s first passion was acting, eventually graduating from ‘dancing sunflowers’ to Bertolt Brecht.
Coming to Oxford with the intention of becoming a student journalist, directing wasn’t high up on her list of priorities – until the poetically-named cuppers piece If Romeo were a bit of a nob caught her eye. Following some technical roles and an ill-advised stint on stage, Maddy worked as assistant director on student smash-hit The Producers.
Now OUDS secretary – or, as she puts it, ‘official taker-of-notes an arranger-of-cake bringing’ – Maddy is also working on two plays this term. First up is Role Call in 2nd week at the Burton Taylor Studio, a new one-act play by Christ Evans following a newly qualified teacher and his students as they struggle with the allowed boundaries.
Also in the works is Blue Stockings, set in 1897 during the campaign of Girton College’s women for the right to graduate. According to Maddy it should be ‘funny, romantic and shocking,’ and if that doesn’t whet your appetite, it should also include a ‘shocking, page-long misogynist rant.’
Maddy’s dream project, however, involves taking over the entirety of the city for a non-linear immersive theatre project based on Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials. If that dream seems a little too ambitious to be realised, that hasn’t got Maddy down one bit. Before being swallowed up by finals next year she’s hoping to stage a production of RSC show Wendy and Peter Pan while devoting more time to her first loves – musicals and gender equality.