The Fringe started out in 1947, when the Edinburgh International Festival was launched. It was seen as a post-war initiative to re-unite Europe through culture, and was so successful that it inspired more performers than there was room for. Well aware that there would be a good crowd and focused press interest, six Scottish companies and two English decided to start their own event alongside the festival.
Last year saw the 61st Fringe. The Fringe is viewed as a modern alternative to the Edinburgh International Festival, shifting and changing from year to year to accommodate all of the people who want to attend.
Now, a small delegation of Royal Holloway students trip up to Edinburgh on an annual basis. Performing at the event can become very costly for those involved and thus students normally have to save up a considerable amount of personal cash as well as raise funds around campus.
Fortunately, the StudentsÂ’ Union partly fund the Drama Society productions (via the Drama Society budget), although such funding has been a topic of debate in recent sabbatical election campaigns with many students feeling that it is a waste of Union money that only benefits a small amount of students. This argument is met with equal antipathy from arts students who believe that HollowayÂ’s performances in Edinburgh are the pinnacle of what the College in the realm of drama and arts and that such funding helps maintain the CollegeÂ’s reputation as one of the best universities in the country for Drama.
Second year students Â‘Max and IvÃ¡nÂ’ will be making the trip independently of the StudentsÂ’ Union with their well-known comedy double act. The duo found success in their first year at Holloway when they created Â‘Los GuaposÂ’. A Borat-esque Argentian themed double-act in which they acted as two immigrants getting to grips with the English (more specifically, Holloway) way of life. Often featuring songs with ukulele accompaniment, the act went down very well with the student body boosting their popularity as campus comedians. In September 2007 they launched a serialised radio show named Â‘Max and IvÃ¡n: ExposedÂ’ in which they cast a wry eye over current affairs and student-related stereotypes, Â“exposingÂ” such topics as education and religion. One pair of characters, two public school rappers known as Â‘Eton AliveÂ’ was particularly well-received.
Â‘Flush!Â’, a play that takes an uncompromising look at sex, death, deceit and society today, was the Drama SocietyÂ’s first production of the year, performed in the Michaelmas term 2007. Met with rave reviews highlighting the quirky plot and strong acting, it is set to do very well at the Fringe. The cast comprises Patrick Scaglioni, Jack Tidy, Tom Bridges, Sian Gordon and Grace Felton with Benn Cody directing.
Finally, Darning Jilly will also be staged during August.
If you want to know what all the fuss is about, head to Edinburgh over the course of the next couple of months. Full details can be found at http://www.edfringe.com.