The first week of this semester is about to come to an end, which means that the St Andrews performing arts semester is about to start. With Spark going up in week 3, I wanted to do a quick preview of the season and figure out what people were interested in. One of the theatre writers, Olli Gilford, wrote this piece below.
Sitcoms are excellent. They’re silly, they’re clever, they’re funny and they make us smile a little bit when we feel less than perfect. Importantly, above all else, they are fun. As a lifelong fan of the show Scrubs, I couldn’t help but notice parallels between my favorite sitcom and the style of Charlie Sinclair. It’s irreverent, somewhat faux-intellectual, and has the potential to be as sugary as a powdered donut. And when it was like that, I found myself becoming a part of the laugh track. But Charlie Sinclair was not perfect, and while its highs were high, inconsistencies in the script and direction kept the show from its potential.
Devising is an incredibly interesting concept. A troupe of actors working to create a piece of theatre has the potential to bring something new to the stage. This idea is at the core of Blackbox. Headed up by Oli Savage, Blackbox is St Andrews’ first devising troupe, and though technically formed last year, this semester is the first time the troupe has staged a production. This past Monday was their first showcase of what they could do – the result? It’s a bit tough to describe.
It is incredibly difficult to adapt a play out of its native language and culture. You have to inform the audience about thousands of years of customs and context in at most an hour and a half or, more often than not, much less. While the effort by Alberto Micheletti and his team to stage a performance of Rabindranath Tagore’s play Sacrifice was a bold and admirable choice, the production’s inconsistent tone and inability to convey its message effectively hampered the show from excelling.