A group of Salford students will be giving a classic fairy tale a modern twist when they take their own show to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe next week.
The 10 second year Performance Drama and Theatre BA students, otherwise known as the Scallywags Children’s Theatre Company, have written and produced family-friendly play The Very, Very, Very Sleepy Princess, which will open at theSpace @ Niddry St on Friday 2 August for a two-week run.
A present-day retelling of Sleeping Beauty, the performance follows young Salfordian Harry Prince on a magical quest after he stumbles into a sleeping princess’s castle.
The students originally wrote the play to perform at Salford and Manchester schools last Christmas and wanted children to relate to the protagonist. So they created the character of Harry as an ordinary boy who steps from the streets of Salford into an enchanting world on a search for a spell book to lift the sleeping curse from Princess Aurora.
With the University’s costume department creating outfits including a tree, spider, sphinx, cat and even a garden gnome, a University technician joining the company in Edinburgh to look after sound and lighting, and fellow students designing the stage set, posters and flyers, the show has involved staff and undergraduates across the School of Arts & Media. The University has also put £4,000 towards the cost of staging the Fringe performances.
Explained Scallywags member Emma Chapman: “It’s been an eight-month project so far with quite a few setbacks along the way, but also some incredible highs. Getting together cast members from all over the country and organising fundraising events has been challenging, but we’ve learnt so much and we can’t wait to take the show to the Fringe.
“We wouldn’t be appearing at Edinburgh without the incredible support of University staff and students, and especially the funding agreed by Vice-Chancellor Martin Hall. We hope this is just the beginning for the Scallywags Theatre Company and that people will be hearing great things about us in the future.”
The Very, Very, Very Sleepy Princess starts with previews on Friday 2 and Saturday 3 August at 10.45am and then runs from Monday 5 until Saturday 17 August at 10.45am each day (no show Sunday 11 August) at theSpace @Niddry St, Niddry Street, Edinburgh, EH1 1TH. Tickets are £6 for children, £8 for adults and £20 for families (two adults and two children), and are available from theSpace booking page.