Theatre groups from Warwick have enjoyed their most successful year yet at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.
Over 15 productions showcasing both current students and alumni have provided the largest Warwick presence ever seen at the Fringe. Three specific productions have even gained national media recognition through their performances at the world’s largest arts festival, which takes place from the 7-31 August.
Walrus Theatre Company’s Lemons, Lemons, Lemons, Lemons, Lemons, Breach Theatre’s The Beanfield and Barrel Organ’s Some People Talk About Violence featured in a profile in the Guardian linking Warwick’s theatrical output to an increasingly politically active student body.
The Warwick theatre community have credited Warwick Arts Centre and the Institute for Advanced Teaching and Learning (IATL) for helping to nurture and support productions throughout the creative process.
Abbie Button, a third-year Sociology student and producer of Music Theatre Warwick’s (MTW) The Improv Musical, commented: “Warwick has given The Improv Musical an amazing beginning and startup through the help of the Arts Centre and the Students’ Union.
“Hopefully this will allow us to continue to grow as a troupe and return for more successful Edinburgh Fringe runs.”
We’ve found the whole process incredibly exciting and formative” Samuel Thorogood
However, expensive venue hire and accommodation costs in Edinburgh have meant that theatre groups required either crowdfunding or financial support from the University so as to afford to put their shows on the Fringe stages.
Theatre collectives The Human Animal and Clown Funeral, formed at Warwick in 2012 and 2015 respectively, have received student event support from the Vice Chancellor and Registrar’s Office.
Samuel Thorogood, Clown Funeral’s producer and performer in Mr Poe’s Legendarium, praised the support from the university: “We’ve found the whole process incredibly exciting and formative.
“It’s been a real baptism by fire for us as performers, dramaturg, director, company and marketing manager, designer and producer. We’re so grateful for the University for providing so much support.”
Many of the students involved in the Fringe have studied Theatre and Performance Studies at Warwick, the highest ranking Theatre Studies department in the country according to the Times’ 2015 University Guide.
The diverse ranges of shows and talented performers have attracted widespread praise.
Emma-Jane Denly, president of the University of Warwick Drama Society, said: “It’s so brilliant when ideas and groups of like-minded people develop into acclaimed and successful theatre and theatre-makers – evidently Warwick has a rich wealth of talent.”
Performances continue at the Fringe until the end of August.