(Somewhat) Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some questions we get asked regularly. Or used to get asked regularly. Or imagine people would ask us regularly if we didn't have a list of them on the website.

The origins of OULES are lost in the mists of space and time. Also they are lost since the society folded some time in the mid-90s, but before that legend has it that a band of nutters flourished and performed wonderful comedy of the genuinely amusing variety, and some people believe that Rowan Atkinson and Oscar Wilde were members.

OULES was refounded in Michaelmas term 1999 by one James Needham who is also wanted in connection with similar deeds in Cambridge. Auditions for our first production, Dick Whittington, were duly held and we managed to cobble together a cast in time for our dress rehearsal.

We’ve now grown to the extent that we need to write new parts into plays so everyone who wants can have one. Somehow we still always achieve that last-minute panic, though, when a fairy has the flu, we lose our venue at the last minute, half the cast can’t find the venue, the king doesn’t get up in time, etc etc. But the show must, and always does, go on. I’d say they are always brilliant, but I’m probably biased!

Depends on the script really. Some of our scripts are available on the website archive, look under individual show pages. If it’s not available there, it may be that the writer doesn’t want it to be publicly accessible, although you may still be able to read it. Email our webmanager and they should either be able to send you the script if you’re an OULES member or, if not, pass your details onto the author and it’ll be up to them if they’ll let you have a copy.

It’s not normally a problem, just email the president.

No. Proctor’s rules say that 4/5 of our members have to be in the university, but that’s not a problem at the moment.

Our annual award ceremony, normally taking place after the final show in Trinity Term. See Flosscars for more information.

If you aren’t interested so much as being on the stage, why not be behind it? If you’ve got a real knack for scenery-building, costuming, songwriting, etc, we’d love to have you on board as well! Or just be there for the vibes. That works too.


You might have come across one or other of the various societies affiliated with OULES at some point - there are quite a few of them! Here's a few of them explained.

What it stands for is another question: originally it meant “Vacation of Light Entertainment Societies” being our summer holiday. Nowadays, there seems to be a consensus that it meant at one point “Varsity Of Light Entertainment Societies” (being Oxford vs Cambridge) but then Sheffield had a Light Entertainment Society and we could hardly say no to them so now it’s “Various Organisations of Light Entertainers”: referring to Oxford, Cambridge, Sheffield, and anywhere else with a Light Entertainment Society.

Whatever VOLES does stand for, it always means lots Light Entertainers from lots of places and often means we’re up to something (in a good way!). Maybe it’s VOLES New Year, Summer VOLES Parties or VOLES Varsity: or maybe something completely different. Who knows?

“Alumni Light Entertainment Society” for those who have grown old but not up. It’s not strictly Alumni-only, just those of that generation.

“Cambridge University Light Entertainment Society”. Like OULES but in Cambridge.

“University of Sheffield Light Entertainment Society”. Like CULES but in Sheffield.

“Oxford Old Duffers Light Entertainment Society” A group for people who should have left Oxford but haven’t and still want to do Light Entertainment, or people of that generation.

Four legged creature. Fluffy. Barks.

Questing Voles Productions produce a show for the Edinburgh Fringe Festival each year, comprised mostly of Light Entertainers. See their facebook page for more information.

Yep, we have Light Entertainment competitions with our friends from Cambridge and Sheffield. It seems to change every time, but the way it worked in 2014 was like this:

We performed the a four-act OULES version of Dracula with points allocated for various (increasingly dubious) reasons by the totally impartial judges.

Act 1: the Oxford cast Act 2: the Cambridge cast Act 3: the Sheffield cast Act 4: a mix of the Oxford cast, the Cambridge cast and the Sheffield cast, switching by call of the judges.

It’s all for the honour of Light Entertainment Everywhere… Just like the Boat Race or something but better.