Believed to be one of the most vibrant student-run theatres in Edinburgh, and quite possibly Scotland, the Edinburgh University Theatre Company (EUTC) is set to hit new heights this year; or so I was lead to believe.
Sat in an office crowded with electrical equipment, props for upcoming shows, and piles of paper which would only ever stack so high during this frantic start to the year, I found myself immersed in Bedlam Theatre.
I spoke to Nathaniel Brimmer-Beller and Carmen Marcon, President and Productions Manager, and looked to understand why this year’s ‘Freshers Plays’ was so important to the company. Simply put, “Freshers Plays is the best way for people who are interested in joining the EUTC to get involved with the actual running of the theatre.” It is an opportunity “to meet as many people as humanly possible in a week and a half” – a real “kickstarter” for any buddying ‘Bedlamite’. I found this refreshing to hear.
The objective of the event is not to instantaneously scout out the most prominent actors instead it is to provide freshers with a way of making friends and meeting new people who all have a common, and often binding, interest; drama. Discovering that the scripts were written (or perhaps improvised on the night) by the freshers themselves, I was keen to learn about how students can become involved with Bedlam Theatre once the freshers plays are over. Carmen affirmed that “‘Freshers Slots’ is the best way for freshers to get involved.”
Candidly, it is a chance for first years to “create a team with whomever they met through the freshers plays and then put on shows.” It is directed, produced, designed and acted in by the freshers themselves This elevated an important point that became clear during my brief time with Nathaniel and Carmen – Bedlam is not just for actors; it is for producers, directors, set designers, choreographers – you name it.
This is crucial to the theatre company and is something that has allowed it to strive in recent years. With a real focus being placed upon inclusivity, the EUTC wants “this next year to have a welcoming feeling.” It aims to be ambitious with its set design, alluring with its content, and experimental with its approach to what makes a ‘good play’.
I believe that this is going to be an extremely exciting year for what is the biggest student theatre company in the city. A theatrical opportunity is there for anyone that wants it and, because “you don’t have to be involved in a show (dramatically) to be involved with Bedlam”, I encourage absolutely everyone to take it.