Ashbourne Drama students on the road to Edinburgh Fringe!

June 26, 2014

We are still celebrating the fact that some of our students scooped prestigious art prizes earlier this month. Now we have more to celebrate – Drama students are heading to Edinburgh Fringe!

We will be letting you know how you can get hold of tickets for these shows very soon, but in the meantime…

This is what Robert Madge had to say about the experience so far

Greetings, thespian Ashers

For all those who have interests in the world of theatre or drama, you might be excited to hear that this summer Ashbourne are getting involved in the Edinburgh Fringe Festival for the very first time. The Edinburgh Fringe is a world-renowned (indeed, the biggest in the world) arts festival specialising in theatre and is often commended as one of the best platforms for budding actors or writers (kick starting the careers of Monty Python, Rowan Atkinson, Stephen Fry, Hugh Laurie, Emma Thompson and Steve Coogan to name a few). Established in 1947, the event occurs every summer with 2012 offering over 2,695 shows from 47 countries over 25 days. Out of these shows, 1,418 were having their world premiere at the Fringe. We are proud to be able to say that this year two plays written, devised and performed by students of the drama department at Ashbourne College will also be having their world premiere at the Fringe this summer.

Robert Madge during his AS Drama performance this year

The two plays, ‘Viable’ and ‘Case Number’ were performed for a packed audience as part of the A2 examinations and both received overwhelming praise from students, friends, family and teachers alike. As a cast member of ‘Viable’, I can say that the process was not an easy one. Every drama student at Ashbourne will have to face this if they continue the course at A2. You will be required to write a play from scratch, devise your own theme, plot and characters and eventually perform it as part of your exam. Despite the challenges faced the entire journey was, ultimately, nothing but rewarding. For all those who are passionate in pursuing a career in theatre (as I myself am), the skills gained in the process are invaluable and it is this passion that has pushed us to resurrecting the play at the Fringe. Thanks to the dedication of teachers and students involved in the Drama course at Ashbourne, we now have the opportunity of a lifetime – to perform our own play for a paying public.

AS Drama students during final performances this year

We strongly urge all those who are passionate and proud of their plays devised during A2 Drama to consider working at the Fringe. Naturally, it will be a fantastic opportunity for all those wishing to pursue a career in theatre (such a prestigious event will look wonderful on the good old CV), but is also extremely useful even for those who have no interests in acting professionally. The process itself teaches vital skills such as independence, quick thinking and team work, traits which are crucial in all areas of work. It is too, of course, undeniably enjoyable.

In terms of the future of the plays, who knows? University is fast approaching and takes precedence but you never know. Perhaps an agent will be watching and sees the next Olivier or Helen Mirren in one of the cast members. There’s always a chance. So believe in the possibility of your dream coming true. It worked for Mr Bean. Regardless, the experience will be forever treasured in the sheer pride of being part of something very special and to say it all started at college – well, how many other people can say that?