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A Sondheim classic and a satire on the beauty industry: Royal Conservatoire of Scotland presents double bill of musicals at Edinburgh Festival Fringe

Assembly Rooms Music Hall | 2-25 August


A Stephen Sondheim classic full of romance and intrigue or a brand-new musical comedy with campy feminist charm and a dark side… the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland (RCS) takes two unmissable musicals to this year’s Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2024.

Masters students in Musical Theatre (MAMT) bring Sondheim’s A Little Night Music and Tasha Gordon-Solmon and Faye Chiao’s Fountain of You to the Assembly Rooms Music Hall, as part of the Assembly Festival.

Starting at 10am, the students offer up yet another run of magical musical mornings for festival-goers. Sondheim’s A Little Night Music explores the tangled web of affairs centred around actress Desirée Armfeldt and the married men who love her: a lawyer by the name of Fredrik Egerman and the Count Carl-Magnus Malcom.

Transporting audiences to the enchanting setting of 1900s Sweden and directed by Tom Cooper, this musical weaves a tale of love, longing and laughter.

A Little Night Music is full of witty and moving moments of adoration, regret and desire. With Sondheim’s timeless score, including Send in the Clowns, audiences are drawn into a tale of forbidden passions, comedic misunderstandings, and ultimately, the pursuit of true happiness.

Most recently featured in the National Alliance for Musical Theatre’s (NAMT) Festival of New Musicals in NYC in October 2023, Fountain of You by Tasha Gordon-Solmon and Faye Chiao is an irreverent dark comedy about our preoccupation with youth, beauty, and the patriarchal system underlying it all, directed at the Fringe this year by Tania Azevedo.

When a thirty-something actress is suddenly aged out of the industry, she undergoes an unconventional spa procedure to get her old life back. But it sets her on a whole new path to achieve true power and equality… at a cost.

Fountain of You was workshopped as part of an ongoing collaboration between RCS and the American Music Theatre Project (AMTP) to further the education of new musical development. RCS welcomed the AMTP team to Glasgow for three weeks, where they and the MAMT students performed and worked on the show with writers and producers.

This new musical comedy provides roles for the whole ensemble that are demanding vocally, dramatically, and comedically.

Over the three-week intensive, the students worked with the writers and Beetlejuice associate director Catie Davis to workshop rewrites of the script and stage multiple versions of a musical number in the show.

There were multiple casts, allowing many students to step into the roles at different points in the characters’ journeys and learn the skills needed to step into a professional new work process.

Jane Hensey, Head of Musical Theatre at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, said: “We’re looking forward to another Edinburgh Festival Fringe run and introducing audiences to some of the most exciting new musical theatre talent in two fantastic productions – the Sondheim classic A Little Night Music and a new work, Fountain of You. And with a morning slot, a day at the Fringe is guaranteed to start on the right note!

“The Fringe run showcases and celebrates the skills our Masters students have honed throughout the programme. It’s a culmination of their hard work, dedication and creativity, and provides a platform for them to demonstrate their growth and development as performers, musicians and creators.”

This year is RCS’s 19th Fringe run and previous critically acclaimed performances include last year’s Big Fish and Edges, 2022’s Godspell and Little Women, and 2019’s Legally Blonde.

A Little Night Music

2-25 August, 10am

Music and Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim

Book by Hugh Wheeler

Orchestrations by Jonathan Tunick

Suggested by a film by Ingmar Bergman

Directed by Tom Cooper

Book tickets at the Assembly box office


Fountain of You

3-24 August, 10am

Book and Lyrics by Tasha Gordon-Solmon

Music by Faye Chiao

Directed by Tania Azevedo

Book tickets at the Assembly box office