Having been awarded Best New Society last year and nominated for Best Society just last week, the University of St Andrews Opera Society (OpSoc) continues on its mission to bring opera of a high quality to the town’s student-run staged music scene, which, until recently, has been desperately lacking in opera.
With every year, a new class enters and leaves the St Andrews Theatre community, and as this year ends, the last productions of this year’s graduating class are beginning to come through. In this bittersweet moment, Louis Catliff, one of the most prolific actors, directors, and photographers in town is bringing Nina Raine’s Tribes to the StAge, a touching, funny piece about a dysfunctional family, and their Deaf Son. Owl Eyes sat down with Catliff and the play’s lead, Benjamin Osugo, for a quick chat.
It is rare that I find myself utterly wanting for words to express my feelings on anything, but Ubu Roi happens to have done just that. Usually, when I go to write a review, I consider the production within the context of all the theatre I have seen in my life. I set it within a certain paradigm, consider what effect it seems to have been aiming for, and try to assess it by the goals which it has set out for itself. This play is so utterly bizarre, so determined not to be analysed by conventional standards, that it is difficult to know by which standards to judge it.
I did not know that a fusion of Shakespeare and pop-punk bangers was missing from my life. I didn’t even realise I wanted it. And yet, Olli Gilford’s production of Twelfth Night hit that apparent gap in the market with such precision that I haven’t stopped listening to their chosen soundtrack since.
Picture that famous image: Tobey Maguire hurtling through the air; webbing slipping through his crimson fingers; the menacing reflection of Doc Ock through an amber lens. Cheesy, yes – but nevertheless, Spider-Man 2 became an instant classic, and remains to this day one of the best of its genre. It was, dare I say it, somewhat sincere.
Anna Tantillo, a 2017 graduate of University of St Andrews, recently started her own creative Instagram account, @disneycolorpalettes, and all while studying for her master’s degree! I got the chance to interview her on why she chose to start this account and received some tips on how we could start our own too.
Anyone who knows me will tell you that my favorite writer is Martin McDonagh. There’s something about his scripts, the weirdness, the darkness, and the absolutely bonkers humor, that speaks to me. That being said, I never really liked Cripple of Inishmaan. It’s a good script, but it seemed to lack a lot of the energy that made McDonagh as a writer click – it was slow and standard, rather than his usual eclectic style. That is, until Saturday, when I saw it for myself. The Cripple of Inishmaan made me smile more than any play has in a very long time, and while it may have been lower energy than McDonagh’s other scripts, it was no less of a riotously fun time.
I was talking to a friend of mine last week, who was working as one of the technicians for Sweeney Todd, who told me that the show contained over 300 lighting cues, significant numbers of sound cues, an absurd number of costumes, a strong makeup department, as well as a full orchestra pit. It shouldn’t surprise you, then, when I say that Sweeney Todd cannot be done by a uni troupe perfectly. Resource restrictions dictate that it can’t be. But it is shocking, in the way that many St Andrews productions often are, that this production of Sweeney got as close as it did. Warts and all, Sweeney Todd was an example of what a great show in the Byre can be.
Don’t be misled by this play’s title; it deals with much more than physics or physicists. The show was performed in its original German (a delight as a mother-tongue German speaker) with English subtitles. Dürrenmatt’s dark absurdist comedy tackles the ethics and structures of science, madness and power. In the Director’s Note, the directors acknowledge the challenge in staging this “fiercely moral yet absurdist piece” and bringing it into the 21st century, a challenge they wonderfully mastered.
Inklight presented a poetry slam as part of On The Rocks Festival! The closest poetry gets to a competitive sport, some talented St Andrews poets battled it out over the microphone in Sandy’s Bar. It was a close race.