Bede's Dramatists Perform at Edinburgh Fringe
Alyssia Smith, Upper Sixth

A group of our talented dramatists performed The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui at the Edinburgh Fringe this summer. Alyssia Smith, Upper Sixth, writes about their experience.

Performing at the Edinburgh Fringe was an amazing opportunity and such an incredible experience that I will never forget. The production that we took to Edinburgh, which we performed to an audience six nights in the week, was The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui; a satirical play about the rise of Hitler explained by a group of gangsters who sell cauliflower. The response to the play was positive with the one reviewer commenting: “I was struck from the start by the charm and energy in the young cast.”

Our show took place in a small, pop-up theatre within a hotel located on the Royal Mile. Being based on the Royal Mile was a huge advantage, as we were able to warm up by performing our prologue to the numerous tourists walking up and down, usually in search of their next play, which then occasionally persuaded them to watch our play in full. However, we weren’t the only ones trying to drum up support. The streets were alive with energy and performers and everywhere we went we were bombarded with leaflets.

The atmosphere at the Fringe is unique – everyone is so eager to perform and support others. This support was replicated throughout the trip in our Drama class, which is what one of the things that made this trip so memorable. We all learned to trust and communicate with each other, which had a direct impact on the success of our performances. The trip was an absolute pleasure, and I laughed more times than I can count.

One of the main joys of the Fringe is that there is always something to watch, and we were lucky enough to see up to four plays per day. My favourite productions were Cicada 3301, written and performed by members of the Cambridge Footlights, which was based on a group of university students trying to complete the Cicada 3301 puzzle; and She Shall Not Be Moved (SSNBM), written by the Black/Ginger company. They were both very different productions: Cicada 3301 was heavily influenced by physical theatre and audience involvement, whereas SSNBM was more emotionally stimulating and formed of only four monologues. These are two great examples of the range of work that you can see at the Fringe, which shows how unique the event is.

I would like to say an enormous thank you to Mrs Lewis, Mr Choithramani and Miss Brazier for taking us on this unforgettable trip and to the fantastic cast of Ui – you were all amazing!

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