At the end of break, St Andrews transforms from a coastal town with an empty castle to one where students flood the streets and (too soon) the library. Yet all the bustle of plane rides and train trips and those few blissful days before classes begin are a minor stir compared to the ten-day long creative frenzy of On The Rocks. And this year, the committee is looking for eager volunteers to help make the festival better than ever.
Student writing and science fiction are two things which are often underrepresented in St Andrews. A student-written science fiction show? Now that’s something we really don’t get a lot of.
Some shows don’t revive well.
The Just So Society, having finally ceded to pressure to programme classic musicals, may have hit a bum note in choosing Anything Goes – an immensely talented cast, some gaffs, and some great musical numbers do little to cover the frankly bald excuse for a script and the racial attitudes central to parts of the plot (centering around converting Chinese men to Christianity).
St Andrews has tons of eateries and restaurants to offer, but some of them are just particular to our little town. Whether you’re a Fresher or a seasoned returner, this list of St Andrews Staples will point you (and your stomach) in the right direction!
In many ways The Two Gentlemen of Verona is a testing ground for what will become Shakespeare’s toolbox: we have girl dressed as boy (a la Twelfth Night), a set of four lovers (A Midsummer Night’s Dream), and we even have a Friar Laurence (Romeo and Juliet). As a work which showcases these early ideas, there is much to be interested in on an academic level. Like most people in the audience of Director Olli Gilford’s production, I had never seen or read the play, nor did I know much about it outside of a Wikipedia entry read in a bout of ‘Shakespeare Fear’. While Gilford is aware of the play’s problems, setting them out in his director’s note, the production did not do enough to compensate for the problematic text, in spite of two standout performances.
Satirical, irreverent, and beautifully crafted, Just So’s production of Urinetown (The Musical) burst onto the Byre Stage during this year’s On The Rocks Festival. Directed by Ryan Hay, Urinetown balanced some outstanding set design with a number of solid performances, yet was unfortunately let down due to issues with the show’s audio and a few uneven numbers.
Theresa Rebeck’s Spike Heels went up in the Barron theatre on the 17th and 18th of March without the audience it deserved. Notable for the way in which it handles the issue of sexual harassment alongside its comic underpinnings, the show was definitely a tough sell. Yet, director Addie Gray deftly navigated these issues of workplace harassment and sexual politics, even if she couldn’t avoid the show’s rather divisive ending.
The start of spring is fast approaching. Creme eggs, malteaser bunnies and Easter eggs are already appearing in the shops, and our days are getting ever longer. Spring is my favourite season in St Andrews because our daylight hours seem to continue forever, last April I remember setting out on a walk at 8pm expecting it to be dusk by the time I was back; at 9, when I returned home, the sun was still up.
Commenting on society’s unnatural desire to categorise sexuality instead of accepting its apparent fluidity, while exploring the struggle to know oneself in a world obsessed with labels, the recent Wanton Theatre and Saints LGBT+ production of Cock was a resounding success. Revolving around the conflict that arises when its central character, John (Tom Giles), is torn between his long time boyfriend (Angus Russell) and a new, female, romantic interest (Anoushka Kohli), Cock proved to be a brilliantly fast-paced and witty show driven by complex characters.
The play centres around three women in a small Yorkshire community, all coping with scars left by the same man, the almost inhumanly vicious Royce. Dealing with themes of abuse, family, and innocence, it is mostly in monologue, with characters storytelling directly to the audience throughout almost the entire show. The script, written by Richard Cameron, is a gauntlet of intense, emotionally draining vignettes that touch on every element of abuse. This is exemplified in turn by the three characters: Ruby (Eleanor Burke) lives in the shadow of Royce’s emotionalabuse, Jodie (Annabel Steele) is haunted by the memory of his psychological torture, and Lynette (Jen Grace) attempts to cope with his threats of constant physical violence. If one thing about this play is obvious, it is that these three actors deliver tour-de-force performances.