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Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2017

Bluecoat Academy students, staff and alumni took to the international stage this summer, performing at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2017.

Performing as The Urban Spaceman Company, the Bluecoat Wollaton and Bluecoat Aspley Academies presented an original work, My Second Best Bed, at Venue 53, theSpace@Surgeons Hall, (Nicolson Street, EH8 9DW) from August 7th-12th.

The play explored Shakespeare’s life using Shakespeare’s words, detailing the story of William & Anne Shakespeare, who are re-imagined and reborn through the narrative. It was first conceived for the RSC’s 2016 Dream Playmaking Festival and uses language from the 38 extant plays penned by the Bard, as well as incorporating several of his sonnets and fragments of his extended poetry. This innovative new drama played around with notions of conflict between the duality of artist and lover, a man unable to resolve being the darling of the Elizabethan and Jacobean court and London audiences against a desire for respectability and integrity as a husband and father.

My Second Best Bed is an original take on some of the most famous and profound words and stories ever created. A review on the BBC website gave the show a four star review, observing the show as “an intense and sometimes dark retelling… this talented young cast portrays the tension between the celebrated playwright and his family and wife… comedy and tragedy intertwine with fast paced drama.”

Writer and director Joel Mansell said, “The students experienced the full and immersive experience of the Edinburgh Fringe: out on the Royal Mile to drum up publicity for the show, late night technical rehearsals, running through the city to get from one show to another, and wonderful audience responses and feedback. We are very proud of what they have achieved and how they represented Bluecoat Wollaton Academy, Bluecoat Aspley Academy, and the Nottingham theatre scene overall, and we look forward to repeating the opportunity in future years as Bluecoat Drama continues to push the boundaries of what its students might achieve and experience, artistically.”

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