Royal Conservatoire of Scotland announces Edinburgh Festival Fringe Musical Theatre programme which includes two world premieres

From Sondheim’s twist on classic fairy tales to two new works that bring together a transatlantic team, Royal Conservatoire of Scotland students are gearing up for the greatest arts festival in the world.

Musical Theatre Masters students will stage three productions, including two world premieres, at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in August in what is a milestone year – the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland is celebrating its 170th anniversary in 2017 while the Fringe turns 70.

Today (Wednesday, June 7) the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland launches its dedicated Fringe website www.rcsedfest.co.uk  to coincide with the release of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe programme. The website is a hub for all things Fringe-related with information on performances – including alumni – events, reviews, media galleries and ticket details.

Students from across the globe come to study on the Royal Conservatoire’s 12-month MA Musical Theatre programme which culminates in a fully-staged run at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, which attracts millions of international visitors to the capital every year.

The Royal Conservatoire will present a main stage musical and two new works at the Assembly Hall from Thursday, August 3. The two new works are in partnership with the prestigious American Music Theatre Project (AMTP) at Northwestern University and Noisemaker, the award-winning music theatre company run by Royal Conservatoire of Scotland graduates, Scott Gilmour and Claire McKenzie.

The American Music Theatre Project brings together leading artists in music theatre to work with Northwestern’s faculty, staff and students. AMTP’s goal is to nourish and invigorate American music theatre by developing and producing new musicals, increasing opportunities for education and training with Northwestern’s theatre, music theatre and dance programmes and creating new connections between professional and academic communities.


The Edinburgh Festival Fringe will play host to:

  • Into the Woods: main stage musical with music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, book by James Lapine and directed by the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland’s Michael Howell.


  • Atlantic: A Scottish Story: written by Scott Gilmour and Claire McKenzie of Noisemaker. Directed by Scott Gilmour.


  • Atlantic: America and the Great War: written by Northwestern University alumni Christopher Anselmo, Ryan Bernsten and Desiree Staples. Directed by David H. Bell, Artistic Director of the American Music Theatre Project at Northwestern University.


Hugh Hodgart, Director of Drama, Dance, Production and Film at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, said: “Creating meaningful professional opportunities is a defining aspect of life at Scotland’s national conservatoire. Performing and producing at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe – the largest arts festival in the world – is a once-in-a-lifetime student experience. Our Musical Theatre Masters students have a unique and wonderful opportunity to showcase their talents – whether it’s on stage or behind the scenes – to an international audience.”


Professor Andrew Panton, Artistic Director of Musical Theatre at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, said: “The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland has performed at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe for more than a decade and it offers a rich learning experience for our students, where they get to share their passion on a global platform.”


Fairytale characters meet and clash in Into the Woods as they pursue their happily-ever-afters. In the woods, as in life, it’s easy to stray from the path. Into the Woods is a full-length musical at the Assembly Hall, directed by the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland’s Michael Howell.


Atlantic: A Scottish Story and Atlantic: America and the Great War will explore similar themes from two different national perspectives and will be performed in repertory by students from Northwestern University and the Royal Conservatoire in the Rainy Hall at the Assembly Hall.


Atlantic: A Scottish Story is a new musical from Noisemaker. What if we couldn’t travel, leave home and see the world? Would we still be happy? With a soaring score and dynamic storytelling, Atlantic: A Scottish Story is a collaboration between the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, the American Music Theatre Project at Northwestern University and the award-winning musical theatre partnership Noisemaker.


Atlantic: America and the Great War, an ensemble-driven adventure with a rousing folk score that explores the timely uncertainty of what it means to be American. On the eve of World War One, two African American sisters uncover their complicated European ancestry, but when one disappears while tracing their lineage overseas, the other must leave home for the first time to find her.


The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland’s MA Musical Theatre students have been performing at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe for over a decade and have produced many Scottish premieres.

Previous productions, which include 9 to 5, Urinetown, Avenue Q, Jerry Springer the Opera and The Addams Family, have earned a string of five-star reviews. Graduates of the programme are working around the world in London’s West End, on Broadway, on international tours and for renowned companies including the National Theatre of Scotland.


For more information, visit www.rcsedfest.co.uk

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