Smokers happen at 11pm every other Tuesday at the ADC Theatre. Each one is made up of roughly twenty 3-minute sketches, songs or stand-up routines. They could be about anything - quirky, edgy, trad, silly, sad - but they're always "uproariously funny" (Varsity) and consistently "fast and hilariously unrelenting" (TCS). Smokers are experimental - where brand-new comedy material is all learned and all honed, all tried and all tested. They've sold out for four years running, so if you're watching, you should book tickets very early.
The Virgin Smoker is for people who've never been in a Smoker before. It's normally the second smoker in the Michaelmas Term, and details about it will be on the Footlights mailing list. Everyone who auditions gets to perform their stuff. So there's absolutely no pressure. You still have to audition though, so that we know roughly what you're doing, and how long it is.
How to audition
Smokers are the best way of building up comedy experience at Cambridge, and learning what works and what doesn't. You should have a go. Any member of Cambridge University or Anglia Ruskin University can audition for smokers. You can try anything, but you might like to go and watch a Smoker first so you get the kind of idea. Whether you do or not, you turn up to the audition with something totally original which you've written (or someone else has written for you), and perform your sketch or stand-up to the couple of members of the committee who are there. It's a bit weird doing stand-up, or even a briefly-rehearsed sketch, in a small brightly-lit room, but we're very friendly, and we take that into account. You don't have to be perfect - you can even read the script, if you have a script. But you need to give us a pretty good idea of what your material would be like.
The auditions are pretty much always held from 12pm - 2pm on the Saturday before the Tuesday performance. And they take place in the ADC Theatre dressing rooms, round the back to the right of the main entrance. There'll be a sign on the door. If you're a member you'll get an email explaining this in a more up-to-date way.
The Smokers aren't very long, and we can't fit everyone who auditions into the show. But if we don't think your piece is good enough for the show, we'll suggest some ways in which we think it could be made better, and then if you wanted, you'd be much better placed to come and audition a revised version, or something totally different for next time. If you don't audition, you'll never know. So audition. Yes please.