This year the Drama and Music department collaborated on a production of Assassins by Stephen Sondheim to take to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. It is a daringly brave and dynamic show which explores the nine misfit characters who have tried to assassinate presidents of the United States. A darkly humorous and powerful musical revue, spectacular in its range of musical styles, Assassins asks timely questions about the true meaning of the American dream in a country that sells its citizens hope and dreams which cannot be realised, and makes it so easy to buy a gun.
The journey to the Fringe began with an intense two and a half weeks of rehearsals to stage the production and learn all of the music for this very challenging musical. Many of the 12 hour days of rehearsals were also in the height of the heatwave this summer and the students coped fantastically. We then travelled to Edinburgh for a 10 day visit which included seven performances at C venues in a 160 seat proscenium arch theatre.
There was a wonderful response from our audience with some of the following comments in reviews:
‘We were spellbound by the talented actors’ convincing performances which led the audience into a world of guns, misfits and murder.’
‘This production had a stellar cast and I was blown away by their talent – a few stand outs for me but this really was a brilliantly done ensemble piece. Well done to everyone involved, will be looking out for future productions!’
We also had some very positive comments from a professional critic:
‘Three particular performers should be highlighted for their all round skills. Firstly, Jamie Humphrey as John Wilkes Booth is undoubtedly the cast’s strongest singer, filling the cavernous C Venues space with a delightfully sonorous tone and an intense charisma in the more complex emotional scenes. Milly Austen as Sara Jane Moore is comedically gifted, displaying a professional-quality commitment to the performance and considerable singing talent. Finally, Conor Good as Leon Czolgosz performed with considerable intensity and power. The ballad chronicling his assasination attempt is a highlight of the show. Assassins is a very successful production of a very challenging musical.’
Written by: Mrs Robinson