Academy of Risk, written by Cube Essential Theatre’s Benjamin Symes and co-directed with Truro School’s Director of Drama, Johanna Egar, will premiere at the SpaceTriplex in Edinburgh on 24 August with daily performances running until 29 August.
The show, commissioned exclusively for the Fringe, uses creative music, imaginative staging and a young cast in a plot that is set to be highly unpredictable.
When an unusual book is discovered in the library of an old house by the sea, the new initiates of ‘The Academy’ are inspired to dare each other into doing increasingly dangerous activities, until eventually one of the new recruits makes a tragic error.
With a game pushed too far and friendships tested to extremes, Academy of Risk demonstrates what happens when pressure takes its toll.
The seeds to the Edinburgh Fringe production were planted in August 2014 when a group of keen young actors spent a week workshopping ideas with Cube Essential Theatre’s Benjamin Symes. Over the course of the year Benjamin Symes, who has been commissioned by Truro School to create an original theatre piece, has met up with the students twice a month to develop the play and to enhance the ever-evolving script.
Johanna Egar, director of drama at Truro School, says: “We are very fortunate here at Truro School to have our own theatre, technical and administrative support, and a drama company in residence. Taking all of these factors into account, it made perfect sense to take our drama skills to the next level and showcase our work in Edinburgh.”
With just a few weeks to go until the curtain is raised, Truro School’s drama students will now get a real flavour of what it is like to be a professional actor with a rigorous rehearsal schedule ahead. From 39 hours of rehearsals a week at the start of August to 57 hours during the final week, the students will be fully prepared as they head north to Edinburgh.
Johanna continues: “Edinburgh Fringe is the largest festival of its type in the world. Over the course of August our students will not only be exposed to the reality of living and working as professional actors, they will also have the opportunity to see a wide range of performances and immerse themselves in a vibrant, creative and exciting environment, which, in turn, will fuel their own creativity, knowledge and experience.
“It has been a complete privilege watching these young actors develop their skills, to see them learning to trust and respect one another’s individual and diverse gifts, and to see everyone engaging in such a hugely exciting production.”
Benjamin Symes, Artistic Director at Cube Essential Theatre, said: “The students are absolutely fantastic and so talented. It’s been both a privilege and a challenge to write a play that attends to both the actors’ ideas and their casting. I’m proud that we have a story that we can all feel passionately about, particularly in Britain today where the constant striving after ‘success’ might endanger the innate creativity our young people possess. We’ve got some hard work to do now to realise this for the stage but I think the show has huge potential to be exciting, fun and beautiful.”
Tickets are available online via the Edinburgh Festival website. The show will also be performed at Truro School’s Burrell Theatre on Wednesday 16 September.