The Edinburgh Fringe Festival

CLC Edinburgh Fringe 2013-34 small

By Naomi Morris Omori

As seen in the Gloucestershire Echo

Eleven girls from The Cheltenham Ladies’ College took part in the Edinburgh Fringe Festival this summer, performing two shows at Gryphon Venues which were both well received by critics, receiving three and four star reviews.

The Snow Cabinet was directed by Fiona Ross and followed the wintery tale of seven women living in a cabin surrounded by Russian woods, helping to thaw an ice child by telling them their chilling stories. Based on Russian fairytales, this completely devised drama used puppetry, the illusions of shadows, and song. The ukulele accompaniment of Anthony Dunn gave a unique and zestful energy to the show.

The Way to Keep Him, a restoration comedy, gave the audience great amusement. Directed by Mark Smith, the Head of Drama, the wigs, elaborate costumes, and 17th century make-up brought the comedy to life. Sir Brilliant Fashion merely had to walk on stage with his cane and poise and the audience burst into giggles.

Both shows did four performances in Edinburgh with audiences being as large as thirty, after only a week of intense rehearsing in Cheltenham. The groups then came back to school and performed at the Parabola Arts Centre to two sell-out audiences of seventy people. The Principal gave the girls her ‘warmest congratulations’ after having seen one of the performances in the PAC.

After only a week’s worth of intense rehearsing, the girls created their two fifty minute performances and transported their sets up to Scotland. They distributed their flyers in costume along the Royal Mile and other main streets of the city which was a buzz with thespians.

TV Bomb called The Snow Cabinet a “charming, well produced and wholly enjoyable show”, noting that “The performers from Cheltenham Ladies’ College should be applauded for avoiding the well-worn theatrical paths of dodgy Shakespeare, Berkoff and Pinter and looking into the dark woods for something a little quirkier.”

Broadway Baby commented that The Way to Keep Him was “a very impressive show: lively, amusing and intelligent” with “some great acting on show.”

The girls had great support from the few friends, family, teachers, and fellow pupils who were also at the Fringe, whilst savouring what was, for many of them, their first performances to the raw public.

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