Emmeline Draco reviews On the Rocks launch party.

On Monday, February 29th, Leap Day – On the Rocks hosted their launch party for the festival 2016. It was thrilling and exciting and enjoyable, as we sat in the Byre mainstage watching previews of performances. It did its job; I am definitely excited for this year’s lineup. We were welcomed by information tables loaded with flyers and information, but the booklets caught my eye. This year’s event booklets are professional and clean, which just extenuates the feeling of confidence and quality we’re sure to see.

I wasn’t expecting much.  Events like this at the Byre are likely to have you expecting little, maybe tables on the main floor or in the studio.  I hadn’t realized that the performances were on the mainstage, but this surprise positively added to the spectacle of the night. The host, Tommy Rowe was adorably awkward. I was astounded by the samples of all the pieces presented; I giggled ceaselessly for Blind Mirth, and laughed boldly for St Andrews Night Live – brilliant idea! I love musicals, so Hedwig and the Angry Inch was an overwhelming and special experience. The three Hedwigs had both the sexiest legs I’ve seen in heels and boundless confidence, which didn’t make me feel very good about my own incompetence in a pair of stilettos. Dr Faustus looked brilliant, with the ingenious representation of all the different sins.  I’ve read Faustus for class, and I’m excited to see St Andrews students tackle coursework pieces on stage. I am also very excited for the Zine Fair by St Art, which sounds brilliant. It has been a dream of mine to publish one, so I’m hoping for pointers.

It wasn’t terribly busy, but it was Monday. The only drawback was that the atmosphere felt rather exclusive. I felt as though everyone there was already friends within an in-group, which feels out of place with the imagined atmosphere of a festival – new faces and new friends abounding! All in all, it was an enjoyable and relaxing evening. And best of course – it was free!



Emmeline Draco