The Edinburgh Festival Fringe is the world’s largest arts festival and this year will bring over 3000 unique and inspiring events to the capital. 3rd year Marine Biology student and current Alumni Relations Intern in the Development Office, Naomi Boon, gives an overview of the St Andrews students, past and present, who will be taking part in the Festival in the coming weeks.
Mermaids, the University of St Andrews Performing Arts Fund, will bring 6 productions to the Fringe this year, and many of the students involved have been back in St Andrews rehearsing tirelessly to perfect their shows for the Edinburgh stage (I’ve heard them singing every day… the Barron Theatre (or Crawford Theatre for our slightly ‘less-recently-graduated’ alumni) is right beside the Development Office!)
Delay Detach by award-winning playwright and St Andrews alumna (2015), Joanna Alpern, portrays the impact of mental illness on a friendship from childhood to old age. Delay Detach will be the 7th production for St Andrews student theatre company, Sonder Theatre, which aims to raise awareness of the impacts of mental health through the show, mutually supporting Health in Mind and Time to Act Mental Health.
Photo courtesy of Mermaids
The University of St Andrews Gilbert & Sullivan Society will be performing popular comic opera, The Mikado, following the tremendous success of last year’s production of The Pirates of Penzance. The Mikado is a fantastically funny satire on Britain, set in Japan, full of witty one-liners and catchy tunes. Mermaids are also bringing to the Fringe an original one-act comedy by recent graduate Catriona Scott, Shakespeare Syndrome.
The St Andrews a cappella groups have also been preparing to take to the stage at the Fringe. All-female a cappella group, The Hummingbirds, will participate in the festival for the first time this year, performing LOVE IS NOT OUR FORTE from 15-20 August. The set is made up of their own light-hearted twist of modern pop songs chronicling their struggle to find love. 3rd year group member, Emma Greer, describes this as a great opportunity for the girls to do what they love most in front of a brand new audience, as well as being able to see so many other talented artists perform.
Photo courtesy of Alex Shaw Photography
The Alleycats, The Accidentals and The Other Guys also look set to impress with their quirky sets. The Alleycats will be presenting Gap Year, a set which will take you on an “adventure of a lifetime”, brimming with energy, wit and enthusiasm, whilst the Other Guys have promised their audience will be left “royally entertained” as they bring their Well Sung set to the Festival. Following the enormous success of their new video back in May, The Accidentals will be performing Tone Down for What, participating in the Fringe for the 5th year running.
Photo courtesy of The Alleycats
The St Andrews Revue will be presenting their sketch show Loop which claims to be “mind-blowing comedy”, and has already proved popular with students after their performance as part of this year’s On the Rocks Festival in St Andrews, the largest student-run arts festival in the UK.
Photo courtesy of The St Andrews Revue
In affiliation with Mermaids, Blind Mirth will also be bringing their dynamic improvised comedy to the Festival, and Wanton Theatre will be performing a Jacobean parody of Romeo and Juliet in their show, ‘Tis Pity She’s a Whore.
It’s not just for students!
There will also be a strong St Andrews representation from our alumni across the Festival, from alumni authors participating in the Book Festival, to comedians, poets and musicians.
The Blueswater and Cat Loud will be teaming up to perform an intimate, humorous and bluesy cabaret, whilst the Tooth & Nail and Patch of Blue theatre companies, both founded by St Andrews alumni will be presenting Hummingbird and We Live by the Sea, unique and unconventional theatrical productions.
Photo courtesy The Blueswater band
Live at the Apollo regular, and St Andrews alumnus, Andrew Lawrence will be performing The Hate Speech Tour, and one of the founding members of The St Andrews Revue, Amanda Litherland will be performing in Amanda and Madi: Buffering.From the school of Psychology and Neuroscience, Dr Lewis Dean and Dr Kate Cross will be performing their show Choose Your Own Science Adventure as part of the Cabaret of Dangerous Ideas, which sees academics debating and discussing controversial research with their audience.
The Fringe really does offer someone for everyone, and it’s great to see so many St Andrews students and alumni involved. If you are going to be visiting the Festival this August, be sure not to miss some of these spectacular shows from our talented St Andreans.
P.S. If you’re involved in a show that we’ve missed, let us know by contacting alumni@St-andrews.ac.uk!