St Andrews productions recognised in Fringe Festival awards

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Photo: http://news.bbc.co.uk/nol/shared/spl/hi/pop_ups/06/entertainment_edinburgh_fringe_2006/img/1.jpg

Two productions by St Andrews students at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival have been recognised with awards.

Delay Datch, a play by the St Andrews-run company Sonder Theatre, were the runners up in ‘The Scottish Arts Club Theatre Awards’.

Each year, the Scottish Arts Club awards a prize for the best Scottish Theatre production appearing at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Productions with a Scottish director, writer, cast, or a Scottish-based theatre company are eligible. The judges are also drawn from the Scottish arts world.

Joanna Alpern, the St Andrews’ graduate and award-winning playwright who wrote the play told The Saint that she was “extremely pleased” to receive the honour.

Going on Ms Alpern said, “…as are the actresses and my director and the whole team. Usually only professional shows at the Traverse win, so it means so much that we were even shortlisted.

“I wrote the play in my first semester at NYU Tisch School of the Arts. I’m studying Dramatic Writing there on a full scholarship. The play is about female friendship and mental health, two things I’m very interested in.

I sent it over to my academic daughter, Joanna Bowman, whom I love and admire very much.

“She was keen on taking it to the Fringe, so the show got passed through Mermaids, she held auditions, and ultimately cast Cara Mahoney (who has starred in four of my plays now!) and Amy Chubb.

The Fringe was a lot of fun. We got some lovely reviews and I loved hanging out with the team. Made me feel like an undergraduate again!”

“It was wonderful that such talented, hardworking and lovely people wanted to help take my play to the Fringe. That was the best part of it.”

Blind Mirth, the improve comedy group from St Andrew were also recognised. They received an honour for “Best Improv Show” from the Derek Awards.

Speaking to The Saint, a member of the Blind Mirth group said, “We’re absolutely delighted to have won the Derek Award for best improv show! It’s been a wonderful Fringe festival for us and we couldn’t have asked for better audiences. We’re really looking forward to getting back to performing on home turf again!”

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