The popular Stargaze Theatre is returning to Edinburgh Festival Fringe this year as a group of students prepare their new production, ‘Boy in a Bottle’.
Described as a ‘comedy with an edge’; it is a production about a young boy who washes up on a beach in a life-sized glass bottle in a small, secluded coastal town. As the bottle is found, the locals argue what to do but when he starts to sink into the sand and the sea starts to rise, can they save him – or even themselves?
Written and directed by Ben Symes of cube Theatre following the success of 2015’s ‘Academy of Risk’, which saw fifteen students perform at Edinburgh Fringe, Ben was once gain specially commissioned to produce new work for Stargaze Theatre.
With the cast currently attending rehearsals every day in the lead up to the festival, students have been involved in every aspect of preparation, from lighting to sound and props, and say it has been great to fully immerse themselves in a professional production.
5th Year student, Alex Jones, says:
“It’s been really useful to see the whole process, creating and putting it together, with helping to do the set and props in our spare time as well. As a company, we have three weeks to get the whole show together, including lighting, sound, everything, so we’re helping with everything which is really good fun.”
Co-director and English and Drama teacher at Truro School, Johanna Egar, has also been working alongside the students to help develop their characters, and says that it is exciting to see the progress being made over the three-week intensive rehearsal period.
“We’ve got a load of talent amongst the students and it’s brilliant to be able to use the professional services of cube Theatre as our company in residence. We feel like a professional theatre company, we’ve worked together as a company and the students have worked together as an ensemble to create it themselves so it’s been a really collaborative process,” says Johanna.
With the students performing at Edinburgh Festival Fringe across 7 days from the 7th to the 12th August, they will also have the opportunity to perform four slots on the prestigious Royal Mile main stages, where they will be enticing people to come and see their show.
With their first week of rehearsals out of the way, students have been working on getting comfortable with their characters and familiar with the script. Writer and director Ben Symes, said that he was excited about being able to create the script with the students in mind and that he was looking forward to seeing the students “grow and find their confidence” throughout rehearsals.
Students have said that working alongside Ben in preparation for Edinburgh Fringe has been a great experience, with recent sixth form student Gabriel Vyvyan saying:
“Ben’s not one of those directors who just sits in the auditorium, he actually gets down on to the stage and gets involved. He’s given us the space to experiment as well, so he would give us an idea and we would improvise around it. We’re much more invested in the whole experience of making a play.”
Lower Sixth student, Daisy Newburne Munn, agreed, saying: “We’ve worked with Ben before but this time is much more in depth, it feels like we have a lot more ownership of what we’re doing.”
Students will be performing ‘Boy in a Bottle’ at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe every day from Monday 7th August to Saturday 12th August at 5.10pm at The Space, Surgeons Hall and tickets are available via the box office on 0131 510 2384 or at www.edfringe.com.
There will also be a performance held at Truro School for those who could not make it to Edinburgh this year at the Burrell Theatre on Friday 15th September.