DramaSoc’s Refeer Madness – interview

This weekend DramaSoc will be performing a musical take on Reefer Madness. Originally a propaganda film in the 1930s, Reefer Madness was funded by a church group in order to warn school children about drug pushing.

Reefer Madness - Beej HarrisPhoto: Beej Harris

When speaking to some of the cast, Ed Jones (a first year English and Drama student) told Venue that the society provides a really great opportunity to get involved with a wide variety of productions. The large cast have been rehearsing hard for the past seven weeks, and are really excited to start performing.

Josh Husselbee (a first year script writing student) explains that DramaSoc’s interpretation treads a fine line between parody and earnestness, “it is a morality tale, but it’s also a piss-take”. Director Rob Henderson, Josh explains, has emphasised the humour by encouraging the cast to be serious in their roles. The boys laugh when discussing the risqué topics and the questionable lyrics in the play, “we are really nervous about our parents coming to see it”. “There is this part where I start with my clothes and eventually get them all off. I was in my pants in Taming of the Shrew as well, apparently I’m just a piece of meat now”, Ed jokes.

Third year English Literature student, Sam Holland, is currently rehearsing for both Cabaret and Reefer Madness, and when asked what his favourite item of costume was, he was reluctant to spill the beans, “I’m not sure I want to reveal this. It’s pretty hilarious, but it’s definitely a surprise”.

Ed explains that the most challenging part of the production had been organising a cast of nearly twenty people. “With such a large ensemble, it’s difficult to get everyone together, and the cast have such a wide range of talents and abilities. I can’t dance at all”.

Josh is enthusiastic to stress how impressed he is with the quality of the production, “a lot of time and money has gone into it. The music is really well written and you can expect some familiar songs”. A word of warning to the audience though: “don’t come to the show high, it will be the worst trip you EVER experience”.

Finally then, when asked to describe the production in one word, Josh shouts “MARIJUANA!”, Ed explains that it’s an emotional rollercoaster for both cast and audience, “emotional rollercoaster is two words, so emoshacoaster? ”, and Sam just laughs, “ROFLCOPTER. But please don’t put that in the paper”.

Refeer Madness is showing Thursday 21 February to Saturday 23 February 2013, 7pm at UEA Drama Studio. Tickets are available here.


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harrietfarnham Harriet is the editor of Arts. Email her at

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