Posted on 07/09/2011
Royal Holloway drama students and alumni made a big splash at this year's Edinburgh Festival Fringe.
Analogue Productions, whose co-artistic directors Hannah Barker and Liam Jarvis are BA Drama graduates, won a coveted Fringe First award for their new production 2401 Objects, inspired by the true story of a human brain that was dissected live on the internet. The Scotsman’s Joyce McMillan called it “an understated and outstandingly gentle piece of theatre” and gave it a four-star rating, as did 10 other major publications and websites. Liam continues his involvement with the department as a PhD candidate and frequent sessional instructor.
Also at the Pleasance was Snap.Catch.Slam written by RHUL drama graduate - and Analogue collaborator - Emma Jowett, a trio of short plays building a terrifying picture of suppressed violence and fear, described by the Independent as 'an hour of intense of storytelling which builds to a devastating emotional climax'.
Interactive performance company non zero one were featured in The Guardian’s ‘New Edinburgh act of the day’ series when their show The Time Out played at Forest Fringe. The production involves 12 audience members at a time, takes place in a locker room, and features a water polo coach named Ken (telling anything else would be spoiling). The Daily Telegraph’s Dominic Cavendish gave the production four stars and said it provided an endorphin rush ‘almost unequalled by anything else on the Fringe.’ Non zero one was formed at Royal Holloway by six ’09 BA Drama graduates.
Comedy duo Iván González (a member of non zero one) and Max Olesker won the panel prize at the Foster’s Edinburgh Comedy Awards (formerly the Perrier Awards) for their one-off event The Wrestling, which had comedians taking on professional wrestlers in the ring. Over 350 comedy shows are eligible for the three Foster’s Awards. Max and Iván also appeared in the Fringe with their sketch comedy show Holmes and Watson, ‘a prohibition-era tale of revenge, whiskey and javelins.’ The duo formed their act at Royal Holloway, where Max earned an English and Drama BA in ’09.
Encompass Productions brought their production What It Feels Like to C Venues on the Fringe, where it was lauded as 'visually stunning…genuinely moving and thought provoking’ by the website A Younger Theatre. The collectively written production, which asks what happens to the mind at the moment of death, was directed by Jonathan Woodhouse (BA Drama ’09, MA Drama ’10) and featured a cast and production team almost entirely made up of RHUL Drama students and alumni.
Sam Holmes (BA Drama ’11), who played one of the leading roles in What It Feels Like, wrote a blog for The Telegraph’s website about being a first-time visitor to and performer on the Fringe.
Delirium Productions, whose artistic director Ollie Kaderbhai is an ’09 BA graduate, performed their show Go to your God Like a Soldier to the Underbelly. The play by another RHUL Drama graduate Andrew Keatley treats the experiences of servicemen and women in Afghanistan. A four-star review in The Scotsman praised the show’s ‘first rate staging and performances’.