Student writing is difficult to pull off well. Selling tickets is a hard job even without the play being completely unknown and there can understandably be scepticism around inexperienced playwrights – but ‘New Town’ and the smiles it gave to a full Barron theatre was a wonderful advert for overcoming these difficulties. A warm and funny play that left a smile, it made for a lovely evening out, even if it perhaps didn’t leave a lasting impression.
With St Andrews arguably the most diverse it’s ever been in terms of theatre, it’s rare to see something new. That said, Getting Even is the first play that I can think of that actively incorporates audience interactivity to go up here. As a mesh of an entertaining, hour long experience with simple decision-making, it does just enough to keep you on the hook for the full hour.
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.
Jared and Noah Liebmiller’s Atlas was a breath of fresh air for student written drama. Set in 1684, Atlas explores the consequences of a wager on gravitational theory between three friends, Edmund Halley (Oliver Gilford), Christopher Wren (Jonathan Hewitt) and Robert Hooke (Emily Hoyle). Halley’s inclusion of the dishonoured Isaac Newton (Miles Hurley) only serves to raise the stakes, turning the wager into one of the greatest feuds and subsequent discoveries in scientific history. Although the scientific theory may have been difficult to follow (despite being simplified), Atlas successfully brought to life a potentially alienating topic.
I don’t understand quantum physics. I don’t understand string theory. I have no idea how to keep bees.
Nick Payne’s Constellations goes up in the Stage this week, so I sat down with director Al Gillespie and actors Kate Kitchens (Marianne) and Jared Liebmiller (Roland) to chat about the show.
Fleabag was delicious. From the neon-pink-edged set to the blaring Peaches song whose title I’m not allowed to print (but which is still stuck in my head), and the wall-to-wall collage of men in varying degrees of undress on the Barron back wall, I was expecting a similarly bold and brash script. And in many ways, it was.