UCL at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival
2 August 2013
The Edinburgh Fringe festival opens its doors on 2 August until 26 August, offering a huge programme of comedy, music, theatre and street entertainment dotted around venues in Scotland’s capital. UCL always has a strong presence at the festival and this year is no exception. Read on for the main highlights from UCL students and productions.
Comedy Blogedy: Humour Me Comedy Podcasts
Sara Shulman (UCL Classics 2013) edits the "UK's leading comedy blog" (Foster's Comedy Awards), Comedy Blogedy, interviewing both up-and-coming and internationally successful comedians for the Humour Me podcast, and organising comedy events throughout London.
At Edinburgh this year, she will be scouting for the Foster's Edinburgh Comedy Awards, which are some of the most prestigious awards in live comedy. The director of the awards since 1984 is Nica Burns (UCL Laws 1976), a Fellow of UCL, who was recently awarded an OBE.
Sara will also be featuring comedy at the festival on the Comedy Blogedy website through video interviews on its YouTube channel, and podcasts, which can be heard on the UCL Soundcloud channel. You can follow Comedy Blogedy on twitter here.
UCL Graters: Crab Salad
UCL Graters is the sketch show subsidiary of UCLU’s Cheese Grater society, and is returning to Edinburgh after a highly successful run in 2012.
This year’s production is entirely devised by students and follows the engrossing televised reunion of the eponymous fictional sketch group, ‘Crab Salad’, which consists of Julia, the character comedienne best known for her leading role in sitcom PC Mum; Dante, who reinvented himself as a scholar but didn't have the GCSEs for a PhD; Max, now an arrogant Hollywood actor and Laurence, who shares a home with Max in LA, but not his success. Graters' previous Edinburgh show was described as “cuttingly funny” (ThreeWeeks).
|Venue||Underbelly, 56 Cowgate (entrances on Cowgate & Victoria Street), EH1 1EG|
A View From the Bridge
After storming the Fringe last year with their critically acclaimed productions of 1984 and Eurydice, UCLU Runaground, the touring company of UCLU’s Drama Society, is returning to Edinburgh with three new shows for 2013.
A View From the Bridge is a heartbreaking, innovative and original interpretation of this American classic from Arthur Miller. Sexual jealousy and moral justice collide explosively when Eddie’s improper love for his niece is threatened by the arrival of his illegal Sicilian cousins, forcing him to act out in utter desperation and commit the one, unspeakable act of his Italian community. Described as “effortlessly cool and beautifully played” (Tab London) during its sell-out run at UCL’s Garage Theatre.
|Venue||Zoo, 140 The Pleasance, EH8 9RR|
UCLU Runaground presents a premiere from Chicago-based playwright Lisa Dillman.
In The Walls, Carrie is writing her PhD on female mental illness, but the more she researches the more trapped she becomes, as the characters come to life around her and insist on having their stories heard. Past and present overlap as old wounds reopen, and Carrie gradually realises that her research is more intensely personal than she wants to admit.
An exploration of female mental illness, past and present, using vivid, overlapping stories that immerse the audience, demanding to be heard.
|Dates & Times||2nd–3rd August at 15.25 (previews), 5th–11th August at 15.25, 12th–17th August at 13.25. Duration: 1hr 20 mins|
|Venue||SpaceCabaret @ 54, North Bridge, Edinburgh EH1 2HE|
Isolated in deepest Dartmoor, West calls two friends from his gangland past for a visit, but only one arrives. Old secrets are soon uncovered and each man is left to question who is friend or foe - and who is the mysterious girl upstairs? Over the evening these different lives collide and West realises that not everyone may leave alive.
UCLU Runaground’s production of The Winterling is by award winning playwright Jez Butterworth, author of Jerusalem and Mojo.
|Date||31 July–17 August|
|Venue||C Nova, India Buildings, Victoria Street, EH1 2EX|
Kiss of the Spiderwoman
UCeLsewhere, the touring company of UCLU’s Musical Theatre Society, presents Kiss of the Spiderwoman, fresh from its successful run at the Bloomsbury Theatre. From the writers of Chicago and Cabaret, it’s a disturbing musical where heart-breaking reality meets vivid fantasy.
In a torturous Latin American prison, two cellmates, an unabashed homosexual and an uncompromising revolutionary are forced to become friends. As Molina shares his fantasies about a glamorous movie actress named Aurora with Valentin, an unexpected relationship evolves. Molina and Valentin play a suffocating game of cat-and-mouse as they struggle to survive amidst torture, isolation and breathtaking betrayal in this rarely performed musical.
|Date||31 July–15 August|
|Venue||C Nova, India Buildings, Victoria Street, EH1 2EX|
UCLU Comedy Club: Gower Hour
University College London’s diverse and left field sketch troupe, The Gower Line, provide their finest sketches, following a fantastically-received preview show in London.
Gower Hour is a triumphant return to Edinburgh for UCLU Comedy Club, after a very successful run in 2012, and the Gower Line are bringing only their best material – plus this year it’s free!
|Date||3–24 August (except Mondays)|
|Venue||La Tasca, 9 South Charlotte Street, EH2 4AS|
UCLU Comedy Club: The Blank Slates Improv
UCL’s Blank Slates troupe have had a hugely successful second year, going from strength to strength in on-campus shows, and have been described as "fast and thoroughly entertaining comedy" (Tab London) with "innate comical timing" (Pi Media).
At Edinburgh, the team will present a series of fun games before wowing the audience with a full short play, all of it composed on the spot and for free!
|Date||3–24 August (except Wednesdays)|
|Venue||Chiquito, 31 Frederick Street, EH2 2ND|