For their first production of the new academic year, Mermaids presented us with something a bit different from its usual fare. Tales of our World promised an evening of intimate performance storytelling, bringing together the voices of the past and present in monologues “encompassing the scope of human narratives.”
If you’ve ever taken an English class, or been to a vaguely themed party in the past few years, chances are you’ve heard of The Great Gatsby. Even this magazine takes its name from a Great Gatsby character. F Scott Fitzgerald’s novel about wealth and love in the roaring 20s is infamous, and St Andrews is seeing its own adaptation coming to the Stage this week. Owl Eyes sat down with the Director, Madison Hauser, to ask a few questions about how to manage a party quite so big.
According to Oli Savage, it’s a cursed week. His actor was late to rehearsal. The room he walked into was cluttered with scones, tea, and more chairs than you could possibly guess. By his own admissions, his hands are covered in blisters after trying to work on his van over the weekend. But for a man with a curse, Oli Savage is surprisingly chipper. Not surprising, given that he’s got, as far as I’m aware, 2 projects on the go, not to mention being on OTR committee, teching for the Revue, being in a band and running his own theatre company. With that much on, being anything other than chipper is just admitting defeat.
How toxic is the shadow of celebrity…? Do our last words reveal anything about us as people…? Can money truly help us find happiness…?
I can’t say I really understand the resurgence of Agatha Christie, but she is coming back in a powerful fashion. Modern adaptations are trying to balance the camp of the older works with a darker, more realistic tone, and Rowan Wishart’s interpretation of And Then There Were None is a perfect example of this. It kept an even hand of fun and dark and managed to make a compelling, thrilling mystery out of an 80-year-old story. But there were technical inconsistencies throughout that kept it from being quite as exactly tuned as it could have been.
Following their Brexit-based show last year, this semester St Andrews’ devising troupe, BlackBox, took a break from politics to explore Scottish folklore. To the Ocean tells the story of a young girl, Grace, whose mother Shonagh leaves when she is eight years old. Unable to tell her the truth, her father convinces her that Shonagh is a Selkie (a seal that can take off its skin and live on land as a human) who saved his life when his boat was caught in a storm but was then unable to come back to land. The majority of the play follows fifteen-year-old Grace and her friend Ana as they leave their small seaside town and follow the clues in a newspaper article to find Shonagh in the big city.
Martin McDonagh’s black comedy ‘The Pillowman’ saw the directorial debut of Mermaids regular Miles Hurley. It was the story of Katurian, a fiction writer living in a totalitarian state, brought in for interrogation about the gruesome content of his short stories and their similarities to a number of graphic child murders occurring in his town.
The Barron’s got a new seating rack and it’s beautiful.
We’re all back to another semester and another packed Barron season but, as in Shrek 2, ’now…it’s sexy!’.
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.
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.