Dance and drama at the Edinburgh Fringe

A group of current and ex-students from Lincoln performed at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival this summer in a variety of dance and drama performances.

Natalie Reed, Natasha Goldstein-Opasiak, Nikki Mclusky, Rachel Bushell, Emily Vessey, Lucy Rowland, Amy Shewring and Phelix Cullen were one performance group from the University of Lincoln. They lived and worked together, staying in a cramped city flat, flyering for their show “1-2-3, 2-2-3, 3-2-3: Triplets!” every day, come rain or shine – and attend practices’ which, in some cases, started early in January.

The cast of ‘1-2-3, 2-2-3, 3-2-3: Triplets!’ spent two weeks performing at the biggest arts festival in the world. Photo: Alex Blackburne

Rachel Bushell says it was worth the effort: “Flyering was fun and annoying at the same time, especially because of the rain! But it was worth it for the amazing feedback, applause and laugher from the audience and the experience of performing every day.”

The festival is the world’s largest arts festival, which was established in 1947 and features comedy, theatre, dance and musical acts. The festival lasts for the whole of August and attracts around 2 million visitors each summer. In 2010, there were about 40,000 performances in over 250 venues, featuring 21,000 performers and each year this number increases.

Four groups from the university performed at the festival, in the drama and dance streams which cost around £40,000 to set up. The Lincoln Company was behind the planning for the groups, including the dance piece “1-2-3, 2-2-3, 3-2-3: Triplets!”, in which three very different dance pieces were performed combining contemporary, Newton’s falling apple and Bob Marley.

The piece showed skill, knowledge of dance, comedy and great timing due to the great teamwork between the group. The Lincoln Company set up auditions for choreographers to showcase their idea in a 20 minute interview.

The chosen three for this piece were Nikki Mclusky, Natasha Goldstein-Opasiak and Lucy Rowland who in turn auditioned students over a year ago to participate in the piece.

Using adaptations of their dissertation pieces, the choreographers started to put together the performances and main, regular rehearsals started around May to be ready for August.

The group only performed for 2 weeks out of the month long festival, but Bushell thinks that the experience was definitely worth it: “I’ve definitely enjoyed the experience and I’d definitely do it again. A lot of work went into it but it was well worth it, going to Edinburgh is like going into a little performing bubble everyday!”

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