Preview: Bedlam Fringe, Bristo Place

Bedlam festival. Pic: Comp

Bedlam festival. Pic: Comp

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THE Bedlam, on Bristo Place, holds the record for being the UK’s longest running student theatre. Administered and staffed entirely by students, The Bedlam has, since 1980, also been a hotbed of performing talent, something never truer than during the venue’s annual Bedlam Festival, which runs until Saturday.

Over the next four days, this year’s Bedlam Festival will showcase many of the brightest upcoming writers, directors, producers and actors currently studying in the city.

With something for everyone, the 2014 programme of plays and comedy shows continues today with Sea Wall, by Simon Stephens, at 6pm.

Described as a devastating and funny story about life, love and the sea, it centres on Alex. You’ll like Alex. He will talk to you about photography, God and Daniel Craig. Oh, and about Lucy too.

A monologue, Sea Wall premiered in 2008 at the Bush Theatre in London before transferring to the Fringe.

God Of Carnage, by Zasmina Reza, is next today, at 8pm. ‘Courtesy is a waste of time, it weakens you and undermines you...’ Or does it?

Finally tonight, at 10.30pm, there’s a change in feel with One Man, One Multipack - A Salty Adventure.

Fresh from his Fringe success, Will Naameh presents an experimental comedy involving crisps.

All of human history has been building up to this one epic moment; one man eating an entire multipack of crisps as he challenges the human condition, intertwining several sub-plots to exploring life, love, death, human sexuality and crisps. Drinking and heckling is highly encouraged.

Tomorrow, the drama starts at 6pm with On One Knee, by Delia Bloom.

Jamie, a hopeless romantic, is about to propose to his girlfriend of six weeks. His two best friends, Tom and Erica, are not thrilled by this idea, or by his girlfriend, so decide to get drunk and throw him a party... but it doesn’t go quite as planned. Can they play with the conventions of theatre and time to convince him not to make the biggest mistake of his life?

Later, at 8pm, The Inventor and the Escort, tackles more adult themes. Julia is a call-girl. Jeffrey is an inventor of sex toys. Love can happen between anyone, right?

In a New York apartment in the middle of a snowstorm, Jeffrey is planning the date of his dreams with the girl of his dreams. The hour that follows is one that will change his life forever.

Closing Thursday’s entertainment is the Fat Cat Cabaret at 10.30pm. Five acts, representing the best of local student talent, provide an evening of music, comedy and thrills, under the watchful eyes of hosts James Stewart and Calum Martin. Acts include A Pint and a Half Improv, Harriet Braine, Lauren Moreau, Jodie Mitchell and Pedro Leandro.

On Friday, at 6pm, the first play of the day is Rob and Roberta, by Rory Kelly.

Rob and Roberta are house mates and best friends, though everyone admits that the friendship is slightly uneven. Rob is sardonic, mean and callous, while Roberta remains patient, kind and overly eager to please just about everyone.

Rob has recently been through a bad break-up with a ‘perfect’ woman named Rachel. But what exactly drove them apart? Plain old romantic differences or something much, much darker?

At 8pm, things get darker still with 10 Ways to Survive the Zombie Apocalypse: A Comedy, by Don Zolidis

‘Where are these zombies coming from anyway?’

‘Global warming.’

‘Makes sense.’

It’s the end of the world and hordes of rampaging zombies are about to kill you. What do you do?

The ever popular Improverts return to fill the 10.30pm slot on Friday, with another series of improvisation games based on audience suggestions. An hilarious and unique show is guaranteed.

Bringing this year’s Festival to a close on Saturday, at 9pm, will be the now traditional 24 Hour Play, an hour of fresh, original writing created in one night with too much coffee, and one day with too many hangovers.

Over the last 24 hours of the festival, the best of Bedlam’s writers, directors, actors, technicians and stage managers create a new hour- long show. What will it be?

Bedlam Fringe, Bedlam Theatre, Bristo Place, until Saturday, for full details of programme and ticket prices visit www.bedlamtheatre.co.uk, 0131-225 9893