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2019 Season

The Edinburgh Graduate Theatre Group, EGTG, has announced that 2019 will be one of its most ambitious years yet; with four full-length productions, two one-acts and a programme of improvised theatre throughout the year.

As is traditional for the group, the season includes a mix of classical literature and exciting contemporary pieces. As well as two one-acts at the beginning of the year, EGTG will mount two full length productions before the Festival Fringe in the spring summer; Robert Askins’ Hand To God, and a translation of Jean Anouilh’s The Lark. EGTG’s Festival will be made up of Shakespeare’s Merry Wives of Windsor, and the revival of its SCDA one-act entries. The group will bring 2019 to a close with Joseph Heller’s own adaptation of Catch 22 in the autumn.

The year will begin at the Scottish Drama Association One Act Festival with two pieces from two new directors; Siobhan McGovern directing Drinking Companion by Alan Ayckbourn, and Jenny Tamplin directing The Actor’s Nightmare by Christopher Durang. The two plays require nine actors of both genders, with auditions to be held later this year.

Two seasoned directors David Grimes (August Osage County, The Ladykillers) and Claire Wood (Death and the Maiden, Skirt) kick off the EGTG proper in the spring. Grimes returns to his darker form, and presents the UK amateur premier of Hand To God by Robert Askins in April; a play the New Yorker called Sesame Street meets The Exorcist. A rambunctious, lightning-paced adult comedy that explores the startling fragility of faith, morality and familial ties. Mild-mannered Jason has sought solace in his mother’s Christian puppet ministry after the death of his father, where he discovers a blossoming talent for puppetry and thinks that things might just turn okay. But the youth group has a monster in its midst: Jason’s puppet Tyrone. As Tyrone’s foul-mouthed, irreverent, and devilishly funny influence over Jason steadily grows, no one’s secrets are safe and Tyrone won’t be satisfied until he’s dragged everyone to hell and back. Grimes will host a public script reading in late October, with auditions taking place after November’s production of All About My Mother.

Late spring, early summer, and Wood presents The Lark, an epic retelling of the trial, condemnation and execution of Joan of Arc. Amidst the messy protracted skirmishes of the one of the world’s longest wars, a teenage peasant girl led an army of men into battle and carved a victory that defined France. She claims that God asked her to save the country. She is accused of witchcraft – the punishment for which is being burnt at the stake. Jean Anouilh’s classic play recreates Joan’s trial by the church and depicts a woman colliding with the male establishment with all the instinct, passion and panache of a revolutionary.

Also in the spring, EGTG will open auditions for experienced improvisors, as Dan Sutton oversees the return of The Improbables, the group’s historical improvisation troupe. The Improbables will meet regularly to rehearse over the spring and summer, ready for two presentations to run alongside EGTG’s Festival Fringe productions and an improvisation evening in the early autumn.

EGTG’s Fringe programme will look different from previous years, with the revival of its SCDA One Act Festival entries and performances from The Improbables, alongside a piece of Shakespeare directed by Angela Harkness-Robertson (A Number). After the success of 2018’s production of Much Ado About Nothing, which included a tour to Stratford as part of the Royal Shakespeare Company’s Open Stages, Harkness-Robertson presents another of Shakespeare’s comedies, The Merry Wives of Windsor, with a distinctly Scottish slant. Inspired by Tony Roper’s Scots classic, The Steamie, the antics of the merry wives and their cohorts will take place in a public washroom. In this tale of marriage, jealousy, lies and laundry, Falstaff gets more than he bargained for when he attempts to swindle the wives of two wealthy gentlemen. The wily women are always one step ahead of the foolish knight, and hang him out to dry while proving to all doubters that wives may be merry and yet honest too.

Finishing EGTG’s jam packed 2019 season, is a fittingly ambitious project from director Hannah Bradley (The Ram in the Thicket, You Remind Me Of You), Catch 22 by Joseph Heller; twelve actors will be tasked with playing forty one characters in the stage adaptation of Heller’s satirical war epic. Increasingly aware of the folly of war, Captain John Yossarian, a nihilistic pillot and the last Assyrian alive, would like very much to escape the maelstrom of conflict, but finds that there is always a catch.

The Edinburgh Graduate Theatre Group is one of Edinburgh’s most respected amateur companies, and its 2019 season proves true to the group’s form to continually push the meaning of the term. With more productions than in previous years, there are plenty of opportunities for people to get involved both on stage and behind the scenes.

EGTG 2019 season: Drinking Companion by Alan Ayckbourn, The Actor’s Nightmare by Christopher Durang, Hand To God by Robert Askins, The Lark by Jean Anouilh, The Merry Wives of Windsor by William Shakespeare, Catch 22 by Joseph Heller

 

All About My Mother

All About My Mother A play by Samuel Adamson, based on the film by Pedro Almodovar

21st – 24th November inclusive, 7:30pm Assembly Roxy
Tickets £10 advance, £12 on the door
Buy online

To all actresses who have played actresses. To all women who act. To men who act and become women. To all the people who want to be mothers.
Pedro Almodovar, to the audience of All About My Mother

Spain, 1999.

In Barcelona, Manuela makes a new life for herself after the death of her son, working on a stage production of A Streetcar Named Desire. She is reunited with an old transgender friend, Agrado, who she finds working as a prostitute, and makes new friends in the shape of Rosa, a terminally ill young nun, and Huma Rojo, the famous and formidable grand dame stage actress whom her late son idolised.

As Manuela rebuilds her life in a new city with a new job and new friends, her son’s estranged father returns to her life with tragic and life changing consequences for them all. Continue reading All About My Mother

Skirt

skirt by Claire Wood

6th – 11th August inclusive, 6:30pm The Royal Scots Club (venue 241)
Tickets £10 https://tickets.edfringe.com/

A brand new darkly funny play exploring gender and politics in modern day Scotland

Becs is a single mum and leader of the opposition party in Scotland.  Oldest daughter Ellie is about to go off to university while Neve is still at primary school and struggling.

Becs has been offered the chance to head up the party at Westminster. But her mum has early onset Alzheimers. Her best friend Nina needs a bolt hole. And Becs isn’t quite sure that she could do the job anyway.

Continue reading Skirt

Much Ado About Nothing

Much Ado About Nothing by William Shakespeare
6th – 11th August inclusive, 8:45pm The Royal Scots Club (venue 241)
Tickets £10 https://tickets.edfringe.com/

May 1945: the war is over.

The Prince and his courtiers, returned from the Western Front, have come to visit Leonata and her household.  Upon arrival, Claudio falls madly in love with the fair Hero and sets out to woo her. Not content with their own joy, they conspire to bring their long-suffering cousins Beatrice and Benedick together.  But love is a battlefield and Dame Joan, the Prince’s misanthropic illegitimate sister, won’t be content until everyone’s new-found bliss has been shot down. Her weapons, a slyly whispered word at a masked ball and shadows viewed at the window, threaten to undo everyone’s happiness.  But all is not lost as curtain twitching, busybody neighbour Dogberry and her hen-pecked husband may yet hold the key to everyone’s happiness.

Will true love conquer all?  Will Joan’s plot be uncovered?  Will Beatrice and Benedick ever stop bickering?!

Continue reading Much Ado About Nothing