We here at Tribe Theatre are constantly impressed by the quantity and quality of student playwrights in St Andrews and want to help showcase their talent by publishing snippets of their work. On the Rocks presents us with an amazing opportunity to do this because not only are the theatre productions in the Student Arts Festival produced, directed, and acted in by St Andrews students, but some are also written by students! So we contacted the writers of these shows and talked with them about their experience in theatre as well as writing in general and asked them to send us segments from their shows.
Alice Shearon is a second year History student who, despite perviously having helped with tech aspect of St Andrews theatre, only made her debut as a playwright and director this past November when she put on Just As It Is through the Freshers’ Plays. She’s currently writing a second play, Common People, which she hopes to put up through Mermaids next year.
Show Summary: “When Amy visits her brother Neil in St Andrews one weekend, she expected late night coffee shop revision sessions with people in thick framed glasses. What she didn’t expect was a group of flatmates so wildly different from each other, united simply by studentdom. Soon it is clear to Amy that sometimes it isn’t the image you project and the things you do that are important, but the people who are there to help you and laugh at you along the way.”
Excerpt from Just As It Is
(A group of St. Andrews students are sat around, trying to piece together the events of the night before. Suddenly, there’s a knock from the ‘door’ part of the stage)
RUDY (woken up by knocking, yells): Who is it?!
CRAIG: Shush, Rudy, sleepy time.
(JAMES, being the one closest to the ‘door’ part of the stage goes to answer it.)
MARY (to JAMES): Daddy!
NEIL: You’re a father?
JAMES: How long had I blacked out for??
MARY: Oh (looking sad), I’m sorry, was I not suppose to come at this time? I’m a little early, well, half an hour early, but what can I say, it’s not every day you get to have brunch with your brand new academic family!
MARY (reaches out hand): Mary. Do you not remember me?
JAMES: Of course! Mary! (Turns back to Mary and faces others, frowns and shakes head. Turns back to MARY with straight face and exaggerated smile.) How could I forget you, Mary! My daughter! It’s all coming back to me. We met in the u-
MARY (interjection): Toastie bar.
JAMES: Toastie bar! And we bonded over our sub-
MARY (interjection): Where we’re from.
JAMES: Yes! Because we’re both from Yo-
MARY (interjection): Well we’re not technically from the same place but it was close enough and dead exciting.
JAMES: Of course. And we were drinkin-
MARY: Lemonade. Well you were drinking vodka from a shoe. But I was drinking Lemonade, I’m not much of a drinker you see, (James turns to the others, like before, this time with a look of horror on his face.) I just came out with a few other freshers just to see what it was like. I had bonded with a few ladies from Sallies and we all thought it would be a great lark to get all dolled up and hit the town.
(James turns back to her, smiling.)
JAMES: That sounds lovely. Well, I’m really sorry but I’m afraid you don’t have any other siblings yet, but this can be changed, soon enough. Whilst you’re here, would you like to be shown around?
MARY: Oh wow! That would be awfully delightful! I’ve never seen a real-life student house before! Mummy and Daddy always told such great stories about when they were students back at school and the great japes they had pulling pranks on one another.
(NEIL and CRAIG have both gotten up from the sofa to join JAMES at the door part and begin to usher MARY towards the ‘inside door’ part of the stage as they go off stage Craig’s voice can be heard.)
CRAIG: I bet they did. Now have you ever heard of a chunder bucket before…?
(All four exit.)
Excerpt by Alice Shearon. Reporting by Emily Grant.
Photo credits go to ‘Just As It Is’ and On the Rocks. The show summary is taken from the On the Rocks 2013 Program.