Edinburgh Fringe to showcase independent school students

Both King’s Ely Senior and Solihull School students will perform at this year's Edinburgh Festival Fringe

Drama students from King’s Ely Senior will be treading the boards at the world’s largest arts festival this summer – the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

More than 20 pupils are starring in Ugly Youth, written by the school’s director of drama and theatre, Nick Huntington.

The production will be staged in King’s Ely’s Hayward Theatre on 1-2 August, making its way to Edinburgh Fringe Festival from 6-10 August.

The play is set in 2082, when the global population reaches 18 billion. The 2099 Birth Act is implemented and parents need to apply to have children – with selection based on such factors as health, relationship status, wealth, race and sexuality – and subjected to severe background and social networking checks.


Related news: June saw the Lord Chamberlain’s Men’s bring their open-air production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream to King’s Ely


Huntington, who is both directing and producing the show, first conceived of the idea on the train journey back from the school’s previous Edinburgh venture, when students performed a show based on A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

“It’s been such a privilege to write a play for our pupils but it’s also rather nerve-racking,” he said. “What would they think? They have, however, been very kind, and thrown themselves head first into the fantastical, cynical world in which the play exists. It’s demanding physically, and emotionally – and I think audiences are going to be in for a real theatrical treat.”

Both Hayward Theatre performances of Ugly Youth, which contains some adult language and scenes of violence, start at 7pm. Tickets, priced at £6 each, are available via kingsely.org/box-office

Performances at the Edinburgh Fringe will begin at 3.30pm at Greenside, Infirmary Street. For tickets or further information, visit edfringe.com/ugly-youth

Students from Solihull School will also be performing at the iconic festival under the pseudonym of the Grey Dog Theatre Company – a reference to the greyhounds which appear on the school crest.

They will feature in the children’s shows and theatre sections. The former will showcase Grimm Tales, which has been directed by the school’s head of drama, James Hammond. It is a collection of four fairytales adapted by the poet laureate, Carol Ann Duff. The latter will feature Invisible, devised by the sixth form students, a retelling of the HG Wells’ story The Invisible Man.

Solihull School sixth form students performing Invisible on stage in the Bushell Hall

Hammond said: “We are really excited about these performances. It’s thrilling to see a young cast respond to classic texts with so much originality and theatricality. I’m confident the audience will love both productions, as they did during our preview shows at school.”