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    Hello! Could anyone tell me what student theatre opportunities are like at Edinburgh? I got an offer for English Literature a couple of weeks ago, and I'm struggling between accepting my offer for here or St Andrews. The range of drama, musical theatre and singing opportunities and quality/accessibility of student theatre is a huge deciding factor for me.

    Thank you!
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    (Original post by Megbert)
    Hello! Could anyone tell me what student theatre opportunities are like at Edinburgh? I got an offer for English Literature a couple of weeks ago, and I'm struggling between accepting my offer for here or St Andrews. The range of drama, musical theatre and singing opportunities and quality/accessibility of student theatre is a huge deciding factor for me.

    Thank you!
    You won't be able to move during the month of August for student groups doing shows in any spare room anyone's got. The Festival is HUGE.
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    I'm on the committee for the performing arts fund (called Mermaids) here in St Andrews, though I've been offered a place in Edinburgh next year for my playwriting Masters. Mermaids puts on over 30 shows a year, pretty much one show a week, but we don't actually put the shows up ourselves - students propose shows they'd like to do to us, and we pass shows based on financial merit. This blurb from our website explains things better:

    'Mermaids Performing Arts Fund is your route to all things theatre in St Andrews. Unlike a society, Mermaids is a subcommittee of the St Andrews Students’ Association meaning that if you’re a student, you’re in. No fee. Now, what does that actually mean for you? If you have an idea for a performance, Mermaids is there to help your creative visions become a reality. We serve to fund financially viable proposals for theatre and performance in St Andrews, putting on over thirty shows each year: dramas, musicals, comedies, Shakespeare whilst also showcasing plenty of student writing. As well as theatre in St Andrews, we send a number of shows to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival every year. We also provide a programme of workshops throughout the year allowing people to develop skills from directing to acting; stage-managing to make-up. If it’s related to theatre we will run a workshop on it at some point. Our affiliated societies allow for opportunities outside straight theatre: whether it is comedy, musical theatre, creative writing or something else, there will be an opportunity for you to try your hand at it in St Andrews. Opportunities are offered regardless of experience: you can act, direct, write, produce or work backstage. If you want to do it, and if it is financially and logistically viable, Mermaids will provide the backing to ensure your ideas come to life.'

    We also have an affiliated society that puts on musicals (Just So), a comedy society, a group who work with new student writing (SAND - St Andrews New Drama), an improv group (Blind Mirth) and there's a new devising society holding auditions this week. St Andrews is a small town but there's lots of theatre to get involved in! I had never written or directed a play before I came here - this year I'm going to the Edinburgh Fringe with a play I wrote myself!

    As for Edinburgh, I've been looking into the societies and things and there seems to be several theatre groups, from Bedlam to a Shakespeare Company - someone who actually goes to Edinburgh will know more about these, though.

    I hope this helps!
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    (Original post by mackenzie-scott)
    I'm on the committee for the performing arts fund (called Mermaids) here in St Andrews, though I've been offered a place in Edinburgh next year for my playwriting Masters. Mermaids puts on over 30 shows a year, pretty much one show a week, but we don't actually put the shows up ourselves - students propose shows they'd like to do to us, and we pass shows based on financial merit. This blurb from our website explains things better:

    'Mermaids Performing Arts Fund is your route to all things theatre in St Andrews. Unlike a society, Mermaids is a subcommittee of the St Andrews Students’ Association meaning that if you’re a student, you’re in. No fee. Now, what does that actually mean for you? If you have an idea for a performance, Mermaids is there to help your creative visions become a reality. We serve to fund financially viable proposals for theatre and performance in St Andrews, putting on over thirty shows each year: dramas, musicals, comedies, Shakespeare whilst also showcasing plenty of student writing. As well as theatre in St Andrews, we send a number of shows to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival every year. We also provide a programme of workshops throughout the year allowing people to develop skills from directing to acting; stage-managing to make-up. If it’s related to theatre we will run a workshop on it at some point. Our affiliated societies allow for opportunities outside straight theatre: whether it is comedy, musical theatre, creative writing or something else, there will be an opportunity for you to try your hand at it in St Andrews. Opportunities are offered regardless of experience: you can act, direct, write, produce or work backstage. If you want to do it, and if it is financially and logistically viable, Mermaids will provide the backing to ensure your ideas come to life.'

    We also have an affiliated society that puts on musicals (Just So), a comedy society, a group who work with new student writing (SAND - St Andrews New Drama), an improv group (Blind Mirth) and there's a new devising society holding auditions this week. St Andrews is a small town but there's lots of theatre to get involved in! I had never written or directed a play before I came here - this year I'm going to the Edinburgh Fringe with a play I wrote myself!

    As for Edinburgh, I've been looking into the societies and things and there seems to be several theatre groups, from Bedlam to a Shakespeare Company - someone who actually goes to Edinburgh will know more about these, though.

    I hope this helps!
    Thank you this is exactly what I was looking for!! That sounds fantastic, I've tried looking into the societies at St Andrews but what you've said is mostly new to me! I'm just struggling to find as much information about Edinburgh. I'm guessing you're an English Lit student if you're going on to do your MA in playwriting? If so, are there any links being made between the department and the Byre theatre? I can't remember if I heard that somewhere. And good luck with your play at the fringe!
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    (Original post by Carnationlilyrose)
    You won't be able to move during the month of August for student groups doing shows in any spare room anyone's got. The Festival is HUGE.
    That sounds great! Is it easy to get involved then with theatre societies?
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    (Original post by Megbert)
    That sounds great! Is it easy to get involved then with theatre societies?
    It's my son who was at Edinburgh, not me, but he got involved with all sorts of things because he does theatre costumes and set design, but he certainly had no difficulty finding groups who wanted his services. I don't know about acting, but it seems to me that the answer is to start a group of your own if you can't find anything else, since everyone and their aunt's hairdresser's gibbon is in a show of some sort. I'm guessing you've never been to Edinburgh in August...
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    (Original post by Carnationlilyrose)
    It's my son who was at Edinburgh, not me, but he got involved with all sorts of things because he does theatre costumes and set design, but he certainly had no difficulty finding groups who wanted his services. I don't know about acting, but it seems to me that the answer is to start a group of your own if you can't find anything else, since everyone and their aunt's hairdresser's gibbon is in a show of some sort. I'm guessing you've never been to Edinburgh in August...
    Ahh I see! Thanks for letting me know. Haha, no I actually went into the city centre for the fringe last August! I saw in the programme that there were a few student productions but I didn't get a chance to see them. I'm just not sure what theatre opportunities are like throughout the academic year at Edinburgh, but from what you've said it sounds like there's lots going on
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    The theatre opportunities in Edinburgh are amazing.

    The Edinburgh University Theatre Company is housed within the Bedlam Theatre, a beautiful neo-Gothic church with a fully 90-seat operational theatre. Plays are put on virtually every week of term time, however they can be quite competitive.
    There is such a range of plays to audition for, with varying commitments so you don't have to feel too overwhelmed.
    There are opportunities to travel over the country with certain plays over the summer, as well as performing during the Fringe Festival.

    The EUTC in Bedlam is one of the oldest student run theatre companies.
    There's also the Edinburgh University Shakespeare Company and the Edinburgh Footlights.
 
 
 
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