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.
Simon Lamb is a veteran of St Andrews theatre through his involvement with Mermaids, CMAD, the Gilbert and Sullivan Society, his STAR Radio show, Standing Ovation, and work beyond the University. He’s acted, directed, and written; his playwriting resume includes The Storyteller’s Apprentice which is going up at Canongate Primary School in St Andrews this summer and Pass the Salt, which is going up through On the Rocks in Venue 1, Sunday the 7th and Monday the 8th .
Show summary: “Set in an Italian greasy spoon, ‘Pass the Salt’ is a good ol’ fashioned ensemble farce, with a host of wonderful characters, it stirs a number of comical ingredients into the cooking pot and leaves them to simmer.”
Extract from Pass the Salt – A Play Peppered with Humour by Simon C. Lamb
[In this abridged extract from the opening scene of the play, the owner of The Mama Rose (Signor Serrano, who speaks in broken English) and one of his waiters (Fletcher) discuss the dining experience the Italian restaurant has to offer. Little do they know what the evening has in store for them…]
Fletcher Signor, people don’t care whether their fork is “aligned properly” or whether it’s sticking out of a mouldy mound of mozzarella. They want to get in, grab the food and get outta here.
Signor Serrano No, no, no, no, no. Signor Serrano think not. The customer want theatre. They want come in for meal, have entertainment, leave from meal. I like that people. To them, I say this – (he begins to sing the opening lines of the Disney song ‘Be Our Guest’)
Fletcher (cutting him off) As much as people love ‘Be Our Guest’ from ‘Beauty and the Beast’, the nineteen-ninety-one animated movie musical featuring music and lyrics from the great Alan Menken and the even greater Howard Ashman … this is a restaurant and not the theatre. To those people, I say only this – (he holds up a fork) – fork off.
Signor Serrano Fletcher! The only f-word in here is you.
Fletcher Oh, let them go to the theatre and fork out for a ticket if they want to. Run a pre-theatre special for them: a tenner for two courses and ten-percent off if you book in advance! This is a restaurant.
Signor Serrano Maybe so, but tonight … is more than restaurant.
Fletcher What do you mean?
Signor Serrano Tonight is big night.
Signor Serrano Tonight … is stadium. Big match. Good, bad. Light, dark. Hope, despair. Tonight we find out if crust of pizza is stuffed … or if we are. Tonight – we will be … reviewed.
[End of extract.]
Excerpt by Simon C. Lamb. Reporting by Emily Grant.
Photo credit goes to Pass the Salt and On the Rocks. The show summary is taken from the On the Rocks 2013 Programme.