Who is this, you wonder, a strange voice from across the horizon – unfamiliar – you have not heard this voice in eons.
‘Tis I! I respond. But there is still no recognition. I recall my own failure to blog in any coherent pattern. It’s true, but I also fail to do anything in any coherent pattern, so what can you do.
What have I been doing in all this time? Well, it’s a reality that going to St Andrews is like entering a bubble that is in its own universe of space and time. But let’s be real, there’s only really one thing that I spend my free time on at the moment, and that’s the all-encompassing world of the theatre!
Not to say that I’ve been acting or anything, of course, but rather attempting my level best to sell theatre tickets. (I am, at heart, a stinking capitalist who wants only to rid people of their cash. Just kidding, I only want people to see our shows).
It began with our very first Byre theatre production back in November. The Byre is St Andrews’ professional theatre, and the biggest theatre space we have, with a total of 216 seats to fill. Pretty exciting by our standards, and especially because we were working on a production of Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None, probably the best murder mystery out there. It starts with ten strangers being invited to an island by the mysterious U.N. Owen, only for a disembodied voice to accuse them all of murder. One by one, they begin to die off, leading the group to come to the conclusion that the murderer is among them. It’s a thrilling read (avoid spoilers and read the novel, DO IT), but it’s been subject to some really terrible adaptations. See this one for hilarity’s sake.
Undaunted, our director, cast and crew put together a stellar production that had the audience whispering their theories every time the stage went quiet. Listening to theories at the interval was especially fun for me, all of them being woefully wrong. Funniest of all, it transpired that one of our techs had not seen the end of the dress run, and had about as much idea about who the murderer was as most of the audience. My favourite anecdote from the audience, however, has to be the pair of ladies who had thought they were coming to see Murder on the Orient Express and were confused about the lack of train.
Selling this show was a wee bit of an adventure in itself, it involved me and my friend Catherine obsessively filming the ocean for the trailer. Note: when you stand close to the sea and pay attention to only your camera, your feet are going to get wet. This should be obvious, and yet we forgot every time. We also somehow ended up with at least fifteen clips of seagulls, mostly because we like them (have you ever seen ’em do that little dance when they’re catching worms?), with the caveat that And Then There Were None contains zero references to seagulls. Check out the trailer here (I’m a little but proud of it, even if a reduced number of seagulls made it in).
As Publicity, I also had the unenviable task of taking posters and flyers around town. We had the oddest hit rate, many restaurants refused them, but posters were accepted by a lingerie shop and one that sold oriental rugs (here’s to hoping that the oriental rug enthusiasts enjoyed our show).
I think I would count this production as a resounding success. On my part, the show was sold out both nights (sold out! 423 seats! That’s many!), and from what I heard everyone who was watching enjoyed it. But that’s not so important, I feel, when compared to the opinions of the cast and crew, who really just had a good time making it. At the end of the day, it’s certainly why I’m doing this, it’s all in the spirit of making something with pals.
In that selfsame spirit, I possibly signed up to do a few too many shows next semester. Never fear, I am organised (I promise) and I can DO THIS. To get the money and space to put on shows, teams can propose their shows to the Mermaids Committee, which is made up of entirely students. It’s pretty cool that they get to control where all of the money goes and everything, so it’s all kept within the students. The caveat is that everyone knows everyone, and it all gets a little, well…petty. I was on four proposal teams, and proposed two per proposal slot. Both times, one show was passed and not the other. Commence the mixed feelings as you are rejected and accepted at once! (I can neither recommend nor advise against these feelings). In this spirit my friends and I made a playlist that encapsulates our emotions of waiting to hear back from a proposal, these songs also apply to any situation in which you are waiting to hear if you are rejected.
- The Room Where it Happens – from Hamilton
- Waiting Game – by Banks
- Don’t Let Me Down – the Chainsmokers
- Poor Unfortunate Souls – from The Little Mermaid
- Hot N Cold – Katy Perry
- And most perfectly – Duel of the Fates – from Star Wars: The Phantom Menace
(This is just a little taste, the real playlist is much much longer, the poor committee took a long time to decide on the last batch of proposals), but this really gives an idea of our eclectic music tastes.
Proposals aside, I am going to be a busy bee next semester.
COMING SOON TO ST ANDREWS:
(Marketed by my wonderful self – I had better start now)
Revolt. She said. Revolt again. – A play about language, but in particular those micro-aggressions thrown at women. It’s thought-provoking but also downright hilarious, and we are going to cling-film the entire theatre, so stay tuned for that. An opportunity to work with partner in crime and And Then There Were None director Rowan Wishart. We also happen to be using this show to launch our own production company – PEACHY KEEN PRODUCTIONS! I am keen af.
The Great Gatsby – This one speaks for itself. There will be jazz, there will be period costumes, there will be a sound effect of a car hitting a body labelled on someone’s laptop. I do get to live out my art deco dreams in all the graphics.
And most unexpectedly,
Twelfth Night, Or what you will – I did say only two of my shows got accepted. This is true, although it turns out there are other avenues for putting a show on. This will be the first independently funded show to go up in the Byre, so it’s a bit of (well, a large) risk that the team have taken to get it on the road. Not a huge gamble though, it’s a classic in the most definite sense, and Shakespeare is the best grounding to start on. All that’s left for me is to start selling those 423 tickets once more!
Aside from all that, I’m trying my hardest to get myself on a Fringe team, because I have absolutely zero restraint.
All this from someone who is purposefully avoiding revising an exam she has tomorrow.
Wish me luck,