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Fringe benefits ; NEW THEATRE Edinburgh FringeNew Theatre at the University of Nottingham will be previewing two plays that they're taking to next...

July 26, 2013

YellowBrix

Fringe benefits ; NEW THEATRE Edinburgh FringeNew Theatre at the University of Nottingham will be previewing two plays that they're taking to next months Edinburgh Festival Fringe. Liam Coleman reports

STUDENTS at the University of Nottingham are gearing up to take two productions to Edinburgh Fringe.

The first is The Project, directed by Bridie Rollins, 21, originally from Bath, who is a second-year student of international relations.

It's a bit dark and unnerving, but quite funny at the same time, she says.

An audience member is made to feel almost complicit with what's going on onstage.

New Theatre's other production being showcased at Edinburgh is Paradise, about eccentric characters encountered on the London Underground.

The performance has a large physical element and features live music and masks, says director Tom Barnes, 22, originally from Essex. I think everyone has a story about something they've seen on the Tube, which has been funny or unusual. That became a part of our initial rehearsal process when we were devising.

We actually went on the trams around Nottingham: we just listened and watched and you just see all sorts.

Characters were born from that and they've evolved to become proper characters in the play.

Taking her play to Edinburgh is, says Bridie, a bit nerve- wracking, but more exciting than anything.

I think it's hopefully the perfect piece to take up there, because it's quite experimental and I'm hopeful people will be open to checking it out.

Tom is similarly optimistic about the trip. He took a New Theatre production, Porphyria, to the festival last year. Coming into it this year with that experience and knowledge with what I think is a much better show is really exciting, he explains.

That opportunity on that platform, knowing how the system and industry work is exciting.

The festival is the priority for both directors but Tom already has one eye on the future.

I'm doing a masters in international security and terrorism. I've just got to finish the dissertation, which I'll finish about the same sort of time as the Fringe starts.

I've started my own theatre company, called 2Magpies, and after the fringe, it's all systems go with that. Paradise and The Project are both being showcased at New Theatre, Cherry Tree Hill, University Park, University of Nottingham tonight from 7.30pm. Tickets are Pounds 6 and can be reserved by e-mailing boxoffice@newtheatre.org.uk. Both shows will be performed at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe at Zoo Monkey House, from August 2 to 26.

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