‘Treading the boards’: A chat with King’s Alumni Theatre Society

KATS Society

The King’s Alumni Theatre Society (KATS) was founded in 2003 to help alumni with a theatrical flair maintain a link to King’s and meet other alumni performers. KATS is a multicultural group, most of whom have previously performed in plays, or have been members of the student society, King’s Players. Could you re-invigorate your theatrical ambitions and get involved with KATS? Read on to find out what the group have got coming up and how you can get involved.

Big ambitions

KATS takes on ambitious texts, which are rarely viable in a commercial set–up but allow its members to pursue the literary interests they had at King’s. The group has performed works by French, Spanish, German, Mexican, Austrian and Peruvian playwrights, dating from 1683 to 1986. Its 2011 production of Polish play Princess Ivona received a 4 star review in The Times.

Casting the net

KATS is always looking for new members. The group prepares for its main production from October to May, with smaller activities such as readings taking place at other times. Rehearsals are conveniently spaced apart and carefully scheduled to avoid clashes for its members. 

Keeping in touch

Kos Mantzakos

Kos Mantzakos (German and Modern Greek, 2002), drama teacher and part-time theatre director is the founder of KATS. He says:

‘It’s a great way to keep in touch with other alumni. After graduation, some of our common interests diminish, but a play is a common interest we can share'.

Kos runs KATS and directs its annual production, which has been performed as part of Alumni Weekend in previous years. This year’s production is the 18th century French comedy The Dispute by Pierre Marivaux, a play about gender and infidelity.

Support from King’s

The group is connected by nostalgia for King’s, and a love of literature. Kos himself rekindled his passion for drama during his studies. Encouraged by Professor David Ricks, former Head of Humanities at King’s, he went on to play the part of Ulysses in a series of semi-staged performances of extracts from Homer’s The Odyssey. Between 2005 and 2008 he performed at St. John’s College, Cambridge, and the Festival of Ravenna, Italy.

Kos adds:

‘People can come and go, it’s an interesting challenge to find the right play to suit the mix of players!’

The Dispute will be performed at the Greenwood Theatre on 6th May, 4pm matinee, and 8pm evening performance.

To sign up to KATS and find out more about the group, visit their Facebook page