Oundle’s Fringe challenge

A cast of Oundle School pupils rounded off their school drama careers with their production of ‘Just’ at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe

The pupils returned to Oundle in early August for rehearsals before travelling to Edinburgh for seven nights of further rehearsals and performances at Paradise in St Augustine’s, just off the Royal Mile in the heart of the Fringe.

‘Just’,a play by the Booker-nominated writer Ali Smith, originally commissioned for the National Connections Festival, is a dark comedy whose political themes are couched in the absurdist traditions of Kafka, Ionesco and Brecht. At the centre is a corpse impaled with an umbrella, a blind judge, townspeople who speak in a comic chorus, an amnesiac maloprop cop, and a passionate outsider mourning an agrarian age.

Play director and Oundle School English teacher, Andrew Martens, commented: “After working so intensely as a group, the cast formed a tight unit and gave consistently stellar performances to appreciative audiences, including many current and old Oundelians in Edinburgh for the festival.”

Emma Kemsley-Pein commented: “’Just’ was certainly a challenging play to work on. It is far from run-of-the-mill and as a result we had to really push ourselves and think outside the box in terms of how we were going to portray our characters and our interaction with others onstage. The political nature of the play is thought-provoking and encouraged us to consider the wider effects of imbalances of justice and power. I’m sure I can speak on behalf of the whole cast, when I say it was an unforgettable week in Edinburgh.” 


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