The 1963 revue, entitled "A Clump of Plinths" (later retitled Cambridge Circus), played at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in 1963 before opening at West End in London on 10 July 1963. Unfortunately, the revised title sometimes confused audiences, as it was not actually playing at Cambridge Circus itself. "Cambridge Circus" then toured New Zealand in July and August 1964, where they recorded a television special and four radio shows  which were eventually broadcast in November and December 1964.
Following their successful New Zealand tour, "Cambridge Circus" transferred to Broadway in September 1964 and finally Off-Broadway. The revue was broadcast on television in the United States when the cast made an appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show during October 1964, featuring some of the sketches.
The show was written by, and starred, Tim Brooke-Taylor, Graham Chapman, John Cleese, David Hatch, Bill Oddie, Chris Stuart-Clark and Jo Kendall. Also in the original cast was Tony Buffery, who later became an experimental psychologist. Jonathan Lynn also later joined the cast. As well as writing and acting in the revue, Bill Oddie also wrote the music for the revue, and an album of sketches and songs, produced by George Martin, was released by Parlophone in 1963. Graham Chapman took over from Tony Buffery when he left the revue to pursue an academic career. Likewise, Jonathan Lynn took over from Chris Stuart-Clark when Stuart-Clark left to become a schoolteacher.
This revue is a notable part of British television history because it includes early appearances by John Cleese and Graham Chapman (later members of Monty Python), as well as Tim Brooke-Taylor and Bill Oddie (later members of The Goodies), and Jonathan Lynn (later one of the co-writers of Yes Minister, and Yes, Prime Minister).
Sketches in the revue included;
A radio version of the revue was broadcast by the BBC on 30 December 1963. Originally intended as a one-off special, this went on to become a successful and long-running radio series called I'm Sorry, I'll Read That Again, which premiered in April 1964.
The 1981 revue, entitled "The Cellar Tapes", was broadcast on television in 1982. The revue won the first-ever Perrier Award at the 1981 Edinburgh Festival Fringe. It is a notable part of British television history because it includes early appearances by Stephen Fry, Hugh Laurie and Emma Thompson, all of whom went on to greater fame in the film and television industry.
It was written by Stephen Fry and Hugh Laurie with Penny Dwyer, Kim Harris, Katie Kelly, Jan Ravens, Paul Shearer, Tony Slattery, and Emma Thompson and performed by Fry, Laurie, Dwyer, Shearer, Slattery, and Thompson. Additional material was provided by Anthony Berendt, Greg Brenman, David Tyler (as Dave Meek), Neil Mullarkey, Greg Snow, Nick Symons and Sandi Toksvig. The music is written by Steven Edis with Hugh Laurie and Tony Slattery (the exception being the music in the Dracula monologue which is Francis Poulenc's Concerto for Organ, Strings and Timpani in G minor). The director was Jan Ravens.
The order of sketches and songs featured in the revue is as follows.
- Imagine a society with skinheads roaming wild and free
And not a pair of thick lips in sight!
Fumigate the Underground and sterilize the cricket ground,
White hope and white elephant, white wash and white Christmas,
White horse and white rich and white poor,
White dirt and white licorice, white helmets, white truncheons,
White face and white Willy Whitelaw!
This film is included as a special feature on the DVD of Series 2 of A Bit of Fry and Laurie.
In 2012, the Cambridge Footlights celebrated 50 years at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. The 2012 show "Perfect Strangers" had a cast of five made up of outgoing president Phil Wang (Chortle Student Comedian of the Year 2010 and Comedy Central Funniest Student 2011), Pierre Novellie, Jason Forbes, George Potts and Emma Powell.
Information about the Footlights Club and its revues can be accessed through the Cambridge Footlights official website The History of Footlights.
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