This festival finished on Saturday 23 January 2016, and this page is being kept for archival purposes only.

With 6 shows and 14 workshops over 5 days, the Bedlam Festival 2016 team can promise a week that you won’t want to miss! our impressive artistic and creative range includes:

  • Treading the line between dreams and reality in Marianne Dreams
  • Long-form improvised comedy from Viking Longboat
  • Shadow Puppetry with Vision Mechanics
  • Live Music in Theatre with Glasgow based Blood of the Young

So make sure you’re involved as an audience member, participant, or both!

Below are the full descriptions and ticket links for all of our shows and workshops. Also keep up to date with our Facebook page: Bedlam Festival; Instagram @bedlamfestival; and Twitter @_BedFest.

Administrator
Marina Johnson

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Marianne Dreams


Tuesday 19 January

‘There’s a force in this place. You felt it in the cold wind and now it is in them. It pulls at you, pulls all the energy. I think it would pull the light from the sky if it could.’

On her tenth birthday Marianne is stuck down with a sudden fever. Ill and bored with being bed-ridden, Marianne picks up a pencil and starts doodling - a great open plain, a house, a garden, a boy at the window. That night she has an extraordinary dream. As she sleeps, Marianne is transported into her drawing.

Together with the boy at the window, Marianne finds her dream world increasingly austere and frightening; the land is cold and barren and there is force watching them; waiting.

Their every movement is guarded by these menacing watchers that surround the solitary house. Together, in their dreams, Marianne and Mark must escape and save themselves.

Can Marianne walk the line between dreams and reality?

The EUTC proudly presents Moira Buffini’s stage adaptation of Catherine Storr’s classic tale.

If you like Marianne Dreams, you might like Multi-Media in Theatre.

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Shadow Puppetry


Tuesday 19 January

Vision Mechanics invite the EUTC to explore a new form of storytelling as they lead a workshop on the art of shadow puppetry. Known for blurring the line between visual art and theatre, let this unique company show you how to conceive and construct shadow puppets, puppeteer them and ultimately bring the cardboard characters to life on stage. Spaces for this workshop are very limited so booking is strongly advised.

If you like Shadow Puppetry, you may like The Pillowman.

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Dramaturgy


Tuesday 19 January

A special workshop run in collaboration with the university, Bedlam Festival is delighted to welcome Writing in Performance lecturer Nicola McCartney for a workshop on the oft touted but little understood role of the dramaturge. Examining how to develop a piece of new work from research to composition, this writing workshop will give you the basic tools to make your fresh ideas dramatically compelling. Bring paper, pens, and your imagination.

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Production Mixer


Tuesday 19 January

Come along to the Bedlam café from 10.30pm onwards for an evening of chatting, meeting, mingling and brainstorming in the second of this year’s production mixers!

This is a great opportunity to meet Bedlam veterans and discuss future projects or to network with potential production team members and assistants.

Everyone, with any level of experience, is welcome!

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Get Involved!


Tuesday 19 January - Saturday 23 January

Enjoying Bedlam Festival and want to find out more about the Edinburgh University Theatre Company? Fancy getting involved yourself? Pop in to the Bedlam café for a chat with some of our members about the opportunities we’ve got coming up later this semester.

Tuesday January 19th: 19:00-20:00
This drop-in will largely focus on tech, set, costume and stage management, though all are welcome.

Saturday January 23rd: 18:30-19:30
This drop-in will largely focus on acting, directing, writing and producing, though all are welcome.

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Bob


Wednesday 20 January

Following box-office hits ‘Othello’ and ‘Hamlet’, from award-winning writer W. Shakespeare comes an epic hit this January.

Following a dramatic archeological discovery of what is almost 98% possibly Shakespeare’s lost tragedy, we are delighted to bring you the universal première of this highly intense and emotive tragedy.

Performed just as Shakespeare would have wanted, with sword fights, period samba and skull(s?), this tale of great kings, evil queen and flat-pack furniture tells the tragic downfall of the Bard’s most hapless hero, Bob.

Coming to a theatre near you!

If you like Bob, you may like Shakespeare in Modern Performance.

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Jam Sandwich

Ask your parents for a box of juice, grab a crustless sandwich, and turn on the tele box!
Wednesday 20 January - Saturday 23 January

Are you ready kids?! Join your pals Sasha and Remy as they explore with you the wonderful world of Jam Sandwich! A brand new, never before seen children’s television show stuffed full of shapes, animals, colours and things that go zzzzapp! Ask your parents for a box of juice, grab a crustless sandwich, and turn on the tele box! However not all is as it seems…

Inspired by the likes of Trygve Wakenshaw, Sam Wills (The Boy with Tape on His Face) and Helen Duff, Jam Sandwich brings a fresh and dynamic look at clowining. Influences of mime, Commedia dell’arte and turn of the century physical theatre give rise to a show stuffed full of side-splitting comedy.

If you like Jam Sandwich come a little earlier and try out our Short Introduction to Commedia dell’Arte.

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Painting Skills in Theatre


Wednesday 20 January

From painting sets and props to designing, comfort with brushes and paints can be very useful in the theatre. We’ll cover basic practices and techniques, with emphasis on the use of colour, creating dimensionality, and design work. Any experience welcome, though comfort drawing is helpful.

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A Short Introduction to Commedia dell'Arte


Wednesday 20 January

Come one, come all for a bit of physical comedy, slapstick, stock characters and more. This Italian comic style provided the basis for Fawlty Towers, Punch and Judy, The Rocky Horror Picture Show and even the humble Christmas pantomime. Suitable for actors, directors, comedians, improvisers and everyone else.

If you’re interested in clowning, why not stick around after the fun to catch workshop leader Jonathan Oldfield put theory into practice with his new show Jam Sandwich.

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Project X

We take your childhood art from under the bed, out of the attic, and onto the Bedlam stage.
Wednesday 20 January

Project X: We take your childhood art from under the bed, out of the attic, and onto the Bedlam stage. You’ve sent us your precocious, your embarrassing, your accidentally offensive compositions which yearned to breathe free. Now come along and watch as our panel of distinguished experts offer sound criticism of your first attempts at artistic self-expression.

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Viking Longboat


Thursday 21 January

Viking Longboat is an hour of improvised comedy from five people who have a varying knowledge of where they are and what they’re doing. The group features amongst their ranks both current and former Improverts and members of the Edinburgh Revue. Just as the longboat facilitated the seafaring skills of the Vikings, the Viking Longboats want you to give them the tools for being hilarious. That’s right, there’s a bit of cheeky audience suggestion involved. Don’t get thinking you will be putting all the effort in though.

Working off your suggestions in their debut show, Tom, Charlie, Josie, Miranda and Jon are going to joke, shout, hop, skip and jump around just for your entertainment. Over the past few months, the Longboats have been devising their own formats of long-form improvised comedy, helped along the way by Co-op pizza and Tom’s mad circus skills. Unlike the games you’ve seen in the Improverts, these formats are more like stories than games and as the name suggests, the long-form platforms means they will also be longer. Each show will feature about two or three improvised pieces. Performing these new styles for the first time, this show guarantees weirdness and probably some laughter too. Either way, these 5 are pretty confused; sweet people and your support would mean the world we’re sure.

If you like Viking Longboat, you might like The Improverts.

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Devising Contemporary Theatre


Thursday 21 January

This 90 minute workshop is an exploration of what it means to ‘devise’ theatre, and looks at some ways to approach the devising process to make contemporary work. This workshop is run by Melanie Phillips, Artistic Director of Produced Moon, and will focus on immersive and interactive practices, and creating work from real life sources. The workshop will be partially discussion based and partially practical, so do come dressed in comfortable clothes. Absolutely no experience is necessary, and all are welcome.

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Creative Lighting Design


Thursday 21 January

A combination of demonstration, discussion and hands-on practice, this workshop led by some of the EUTC’s most experienced technicians offers a grounding in the fundamentals of creative lighting design. Participants will explore the tools and effects a designer can employ, various tricks of the trade, and how to work with directors to establish a coherent vision. By the end, participants should be in a place where they can use their existing technical knowledge to play with new ideas. This workshop is mostly aimed at technicians who are looking to expand their knowledge of lighting, but beginners are also welcome.

If you like Creative Lighting Design, you may like The Improverts Tech Workshop.

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Live Music & Modern Theatre


Thursday 21 January

Stopping off at Bedlam ahead of their Traverse performance on the 21st, one of Scotland’s most innovative emerging theatre companies Blood of the Young share the secrets behind their Golden Arm Project, described by The Skinny as “an unlikely combination of sleek indie-pop and modern theatre”. The company, led by EUTC alum Paul Brotherston, will tackle the playful relationship between live music and theatre in a hands-on workshop which explores the ways in which these differing art forms connect and influence one another. Certainly not to be missed.

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East


Friday 22 January

Forty years after it premiered at the Traverse Theatre for the 1975 Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Steven Berkoff’s ‘East – Elegy for the East and its Energetic Waste’ will be performed for the first time at Bedlam Theatre as part of Bedlam Festival. This, Berkoff’s first play, is a personal and affectionate look at the hardships of growing up in the East End of London in the 50s and 60s. This play explores the language, the culture and the humanity the East End.

The play centres on two friends in their late teens, Mike and Les, Mike’s girlfriend, Sylv and Mike’s parents, Mum and Dad. Sex and Violence is the order of the day in East and the characters gleefully display all the qualities we suppress in ourselves. Berkoff confronts us with all the uglier parts of our human nature. In his Author’s Note he remarks how one critic described the play as ‘filthy beyond the call of duty’. And yet, under the skin, the writing is so sensitive that what shocks most is not the ‘filth’, but how endearing these characters can be.

Written in verse, ‘East’ has many classical references and uses rich mock-Shakespearean language. By writing in this unique style Berkoff writes that he ‘[took the play] further into ritual and yet defined it with a distinct edge’. He uses these stylistic flourishes to elevate his characters (the kinds of people so often shunned by polite society) from the dirt, to the position of the gods and titans, the kings and generals of our theatrical tradition.

Berkoff makes us take another look at those who are easily dismissed as criminals or undesirables. Just as Mike and Les see themselves as the Greek heroes of their corner of the world, so are they presented to us. Although the Cockney East End as seen is this play is a world now lost, too much is alive and still violently kicking about this play to call it an elegy, as Berkoff subtitles it. Nothing significant has been buried, the accents and the fashions perhaps, but not the substance.

I like to think of it rather as ‘a mythology for the East End’.

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Multi-media in Theatre


Friday 22 January

A stage is one of the most flexible and exciting spaces you can work with. Come along to a relaxed exploration of the extra dimensions you can bring such as projection, film and animation. In this basic introduction we will look at incorporating projection into theatrical work. We will explore use of film, images and animation and how they can complement theatrical work. Learn practical ways to set it up, from very basic methods, to incredibly impressive visual affects you can achieve, with surprisingly simple and easy-to-use software. Take part in a discussion on what the use of multiple types of media can add to a piece of work.

If you like Multi-media in Theatre, you may like Mariannne Dreams.

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Reading Reviews


Friday 22 January

We all know how it feels. That lukewarm mid-run review that throws the cast and crew off their game and puts a huge dampener on morale. Bedlam Festival offers you the perfect antidote: a chat with Edinburgh critical royalty and champion of student theatre, Thom Dibdin. Looking at the principles of reviewing, we will discuss ways in which theatre-makers can interpret reviews and use them to empower and enlighten their future work. This event, chaired by Joe Christie, will feature a Q&A, so get your burning questions ready.

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Shakespeare in Modern Performance


Friday 22 January

Interpreting Shakespeare for modern audiences and directing shakespearean text to a vision are two skills useful in any director’s toolkit. In this workshop we’ll look at techniques for helping actors to successfully scan and read shakespeare in performance while also discussing and showing methods for synthesising a production vision from a text.

If you like Shakespeare in Modern Performance, you may like Bob.

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Theatre Societies Pub Crawl


Friday 22 January

Meet and chat with the various players of university’s vibrant theatre as we all trawl around Edinburgh’s pubs for our BedFest Pub Crawl!

Meet us along the way for a drink, or stay with us for the whole time (with the possibility of ending up in Hive…).

Meet outside the Bedlam gates at 8pm sharp.

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The Improverts Tech Workshop


Friday 22 January

Do you like loud noises, bright lights and epic music? Want to try your hand at creating this in a theatre? The come along to The Improverts tech workshop and meet Bedlam’s fantastic tech team.

If you like ImpsTech, you may like Creative Lighting Design.

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The Improverts


Friday 22 January

Do you want to see a night of unique, fast paced and hilarious comedy? Want to know the best part? It’s all shaped by you! The Improverts are an improvised comedy troupe who play various games based entirely on your suggestions resulting in a show which is always funny and always different. Watch your weird ideas become side-splitting reality! We perform Friday nights at 10.30pm during term time and will be putting on two entertaining shows during Bedlam Fresher’s Week festival.

Check out The Improverts on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.

If you like The Improverts, you might like Viking Longboat.

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24h Play Sign-Up


Friday 22 January

Sign up for 24 Hour Play:

Conceived, written, rehearsed and assembled in one night and one day… the show must go on, as they say. The EUTC presents 24 Hour Play, a Bedlam tradition dating back in various guises at least a decade. Come experience the latest iteration.

Themes, characters, scene titles will be chosen from a hat - come and sign up, join a team, and create a play from scratch in just 24hrs!

Come to the Bedlam Office

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Site-specific Theatre


Saturday 23 January

We are privileged to welcome Ben Harrison, Co-Artistic Director of Fringe First-winning company Grid Iron to Bedlam Festival 2016. Known nationally for their exciting site-specific work, Ben will lead a two hour workshop on the creative process of mounting theatre in unconventional environments, exploring how space forms an integral part of the work that we create. A brilliant opportunity to find out about a fresh way of presenting theatre.

Spaces for this workshop are very limited so booking is strongly advised.

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Creative Marketing Strategy


Saturday 23 January

Want to create a kick-ass and coherent marketing strategy on a student budget? Recent Bedlamite, Lauren McLay will provide useful tips and tricks to help make your show a success. Suitable for producers, budding arts marketeers and anyone else that fancies coming. This is an interactive and hands on workshop. Please bring a laptop if you can.

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24 Hour Play


Saturday 23 January

Conceived, written, rehearsed and assembled in one night and one day… the show must go on, as they say. The EUTC presents 24 Hour Play, a Bedlam tradition dating back in various guises at least a decade. Come experience the latest iteration.

Themes, characters, scene titles will be chosen from a hat - come and sign up, join a team, and create a play from scratch in just 24hrs!

Sign up in the Bedlam Office, at 8pm on the 22nd January.

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The BedFest 2016 Finale


Saturday 23 January

What better way to end the festival than with an evening of hijinks? BedFest 2016 will go out with the Finale of all Finales, pitting young minds against each other in a calamity of knowledge, competition and lolz!

Each show from the festival has put forward one contestant to uphold their honour in an all-out battle of wits! A close-guarded secret, the roster of comedic combatants shall soon be revealed and we will find out which show truly was greatest during the Great BedFest Panel Show Debacle of 2016! Some questions will be based upon the shows themselves, others current affairs. The victors shall be rewarded with a semi-illustrious prize!

Let’s send out (and send up) this boundary-pushing festival with a bang.