On The Rocks: A Few Lil’ Previews

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Photo Credits- On the Rocks Committee

With On the Rocks approaching swiftly and a load of events about to start, we wanted to make sure you guys knew what was going on and what you should go see. Here are some quick previews for four events going up this week written by the teams working on them.

Found

-Photo Credits: Tommy Rowe/Lightbox Photography

Synopsis

This is not so much a show you go to see than a show that you stumble upon. Keeping things a surprise, Found is a series of contemporary dance performances that will appear and disappear in various locations around town. The show is designed as one coherent entity and all performances are linked, but depending on how many and the order in which you encounter them, audiences will each come away with different experiences

What makes this event unique?

Found is unique in that it takes place outside in various locations. It’s a series of dance performances so each show is actually only about 5 minutes long. The sites we’ve chosen mean that audiences will be up close and personal rather than sitting in the back row of a theatre.

Why did you choose your venue?

This show has lots of venues around town, but we won’t tell you where they are…it’s a secret. We chose to do it this way as we’re really excited about the prospect of bringing contemporary dance to wider audiences. It is not necessarily an art form that people would actively seek out or pay for. By bringing the performance to unsuspecting audiences rather than the audiences coming to us, we hope people may be surprised by how much they enjoy it.

What should people be looking for?

Our show! All the time!

What challenges have you faced? 

Putting on a show like this, where the interactions of the public are unpredictable, has meant that we have had to work quite differently in rehearsals. We’ve explored a lot around structured improvisation techniques to allow the dancers freedom to alter the work in the moment.

What three words best sum up your show?

Fresh, fleeting, human

Found is happening throughout St. Andrews from the 2nd to the 7th of April.

 

Polaris

-Photo Credits: Alexander Gillespie

Synopsis

What happens when you’re in London alone in Christmas for years on end? Polaris explores one woman’s search for community in the face of chaos through spoken word. At turns wry, heart-wrenching, and darkly funny, Hannah Raymond-Cox’s award-winning slam style addresses mental health, queer culture, and the question of how to “belong”.

What makes this event unique?

Melding traditional theatre and slam poetry, Polaris uses rhythm and rhyme to tell one hell of a truth about things that can’t be expressed exclusively in either medium. Polaris is a kind of show we just don’t see in St Andrews. Inklight of course works really had to bring all kinds of creative writing to the town. In the past, we’ve had pound poems, slams, and open mics, but no long form spoken word experiences. Polaris changes that.

Why did you choose your venue?

Aikman’s is the real beating heart of the open mic scene in St Andrews. It’s also the one place cosy enough to feel welcoming, large enough to tell this big a story, and free enough for people to walk in, relax, buy a drink and do it all for free. Did I mention Aikman’s is free? This event is free?

What should people be looking for?

They should be looking for a lot of love letters to food, some hard truths about “home”, and just a really well-realised meditation on safety and what it means to a transient person.

What challenges have you faced?

I’ve never written a full length show before. I mean, I’ve been relatively successful with slam poetry, but that’s a tightly honed 2 minutes 30 seconds. So that’s been an intense experience, which I really couldn’t have done without my incredibly supportive team, especially Grace (Cowie). I effectively had bi-monthly due dates for drafts for the show to send to my super cool and honest director Sophia on top of the 4th year workload, drama school applications, and a couple other shows… It’s definitely been a challenge, but for sure a worthwhile one.

What three words best sum up your show?

Theatre. Poetry. Free.

 Polaris takes place this Friday and Saturday at Aikmans Bar at 7PM.

 

Ceilidh in the Castle

-Photo Credits: University of St Andrews Celtic Society

Synopsis: As dusk settles over St Andrews, queues of energetic students nimbly pick their way across the drawbridge of St Andrews Castle for the largest and most unique dance event on the St Andrews annual calendar. As the band strikes up a lively tune against the backdrop of the North Sea, it’s Ceilidh in the Castle!

 What makes this event unique?

Ceilidh in the Castle, hosted by University of St Andrews Celtic Society, in association with On The Rocks, is our iconic annual outdoor ceilidh, which should be in every St Andrews student’s calendar. Dance to a live band amidst the picturesque ruins of St Andrews Castle until sunset!

Why did you choose your venue?

The Celtic Society partners with Historic Scotland to bring you the one-of-a-kind venue of St Andrews Castle for the evening. Revel and reel between the battlements against the backdrop of the North Sea! Steeped in history, this locale was a religious and political focus point in Scotland’s turbulent Reformation era.

What should people be looking for?

Look out for some traditional Scottish Country Dancing action, with an exuberant live band, free cake, and our experienced dance callers to keep you right (don’t worry, they probably won’t throw you in the Bottle Dungeon!). No dance experience is necessary though, it’s all about having fun!

What three words best sum up your show?

Exhilarating. Scenic. Revelry.

Ceilidh in the Castle is taking place on Sunday the 9th of April, at the St Andrews Castle from 5:45-8 PM.

 

The Darkroom

Synopsis:

The Darkroom, is a student made short film about John, an underpaid event photographer who takes pictures of things he does not care for in a job where he struggles to pay rent. With time his sense of self fades, a deep fear of isolation appears.  Like a film reel, moments of regret replay in his mind in all of his waking hours. Yet, on this Friday night, he is back again in the darkroom, looking for a photo which he knows to have never taken, when he is forced to face what his work means to him by his own camera. Are the things that he witnesses nothing but drunken delusions or regrets? Or are they far more substantive in their accusations?

What makes this event unique?

This is the first screening of a student made feature film made in St. Andrews in recent memory.  Our film is a feature film made with professional equipment based on a student-written script. It is also unique in a sense that everyone in the cast and crew, except for the cameramen, had never made a film before. It was a very exciting yet scary project and even a gamble in some respect. Due to the professionalism of our cameramen and everyone’s hard work and interest, the film turned out to be above our expectations.

Share a hilarious behind the scenes story.

Perhaps due to the fact that the film anthropomorphized the camera, it may come to no surprise that other objects faced the same fate. Unfortunately for many of us, this led to a group wide prank that saw the mannequin move around the stage. At least, that is what I hope it is. The mannequin is an inanimate object, right?

What was the inspiration behind putting on this event/show?

The script for the film was initially written for a play for Mermaids, but for various reasons was rejected. This led to the director and scriptwriter (Terry) to look for alternate avenues of performance, which eventually led to the idea of making a film. The script itself was inspired by Terry’s time as a photographer from 2015-2016, which due to artistic differences with his head editor led him to a significant disenchantment with his craft. In a sense, the script and the film could be considered as a therapeutic experience, written and filmed in Terry’s wish to reflect what he had learned while taking pictures for a larger organization.

What should people be looking for?

The film as a whole is in an abstract way a reflection of what the director had to go through in his short career as a photographer. It may perhaps be interesting to see the film from a psychological point of view, analyzing the photographs that are used for each shot. These are shots taken by the director himself during his time in St. Andrews so in a way, the film tells two stories: that of the protagonist and that of the director’s career as a photographer.

What three words best sum up your show?

Black and white

The Dark Room is on at 7 PM on the 7th and 8th of April at School 1.

 

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