The University of St Andrews Opera Society’s production of the Marriage of Figaro, which ran for three nights at the Byre Theatre from the 11thto the 13thof March, captured the comic spirit of this work of opera buffa excellently, and showcased some of the best musical talent this university has to offer.
I wouldn’t consider myself, in any way really, to be a film buff. Though I scraped my way through first year Film Studies, I honestly didn’t pick up enough to be able to professionally analyse a piece of on screen art. However, I do feel that we are all perfectly capable of appreciating films and TV in so many different ways, more often than not simply linking their brilliance (or lack thereof) with how they make us feel.
It would be difficult to overstate how excited I was to hear that Little Women would be the Just So freshers’ production. This is one of the most underrated musicals of all time: a quirky, irresistibly heartfelt adaptation of Alcott’s classic novel packed with songs you’ll keep singing for weeks.
Folk was one of the kindest-hearted shows I’ve seen in my four years at St Andrews. It’s been a long time since I’ve left a theatre here with such a warm buzz in my heart, having laughed till I cried. From the cosy set design with every shelf dressed with perfectly messy bric-a-brac, to Joey Baker’s choice to have Joseph Kitching strumming on his guitar as the audience entered, I really felt like one of the motley crew welcomed into Winnie’s front room.
Right after watching Dumplin’ I told all my friends to watch it, then my mom, and then sang the soundtrack off-key for weeks. Directed by the same genius behind The Proposal – which in my opinion, is one of the greatest movies of our time – Anne Fletcher’s newest movie is a story about self-love and accepting your body the way it is.
By this time in the semester, it’s probably safe to assume that many new year’s resolutions have sorta…fizzled out. That doesn’t mean that efforts to make 2019 an exceptional year should be disregarded. To make 2019 a unique, unconventional year, we can start by consuming unique, unconventional written works. The publishing industry routinely churns out monotonous material, but there are definitely a few unique books on the market. If you’re tired of reading the same old stuff and want to survey the kind of material that reinvents literature, then the following books should definitely be added to your list.
We were welcomed into the Barron by Wilf Wheatley, collecting our tickets in character. Wheatley’s Cornish-accented stationmaster was the first sign that Mermaids’ latest production, Arnold Ridley’s The Ghost Train, was going to be a raucous affair: teetering between camp comedy and jump-scare titillation.
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.
It is surprisingly rare that Mermaids stages a true comedy in St Andrews, and this production of Patrick Barlow’s play is certainly that. The play has a strange history, as a farce based on an Alfred Hitchcock movie, itself based on an early thriller novel. Even from the promotional images, it was clear this production would be self-aware, revelling in its meta elements and the broad pastiche of a genre well known for being chock full of clichés.
I have a lot of love for a nice cheesy romantic comedy every once in a while, and Almost, Maine feels like ten smashed into an hour and a half. It’s a play about formulas: Take a basic meet-cute, add a pun based around a classic saying with some pacey dialogue and Ta-Dah, you’ve got yourself a scene. Having been in a play not unlike this when I was a fresher (Check Please, for anyone wondering), this show made me feel an odd nostalgia for that awkward fresher period. But even beyond that, the cast and crew of this show should be commended for a strong set of fun performances that made me laugh more than a lot of theatre I’ve seen this past year.