Will Merrick is one of the Boys for Fringe

Will Merrick. Pic: Comp

Will Merrick. Pic: Comp

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STUDENTS. If there is one thing the Capital is not short of at the moment it’s students.

So it’s appropriate that at least one Fringe show should be set in a student flat, here in the Capital.

Boys, by Ella Hickson, is currently running at C Aquila, known the rest of the year round as the Roman Eagle Lodge on Johnston Terrace.

University is over. The grades are in and four flatmates plan one last blow-out - the party to end all parties before they go their separate ways in the world. Alcohol and drug-fuelled, it will turn out to be a night none of them will ever forget.

Described as ‘an arrestingly dark comedy offering an insight into youth mentality today’, Hickson has drawn on her own experiences as a student here to inform the piece, which stars Skins’ actor Will Merrick - he played Alo Creevey.

“It’s set in Edinburgh and is about these four guys sharing a flat. Two are at university and just coming to the end of their third year, the other two are ordinary guys. They stock up with beer and ecstasy to mark the end of their time together and by midnight, when they are all well intoxicated, issues start come to light and everything starts to fall apart,” explains Merrick.

The actor, most recently seen on TV battling Cybermen in Neil Gaiman’s Doctor Who story Nightmare In Silver, adds, “At the same time, there’s a protest going on outside, and they become involved in that just as it turns into a full-scale riot.”

Unlike most Fringe offerings, Boys is a full-length play, running at one hour 45 minutes, although even then there have been a few cuts, reveals Merrick, who despite his high profile can be found flyering out on the High Street daily. Does he ever get recognised?

“When I go flyering on the High Street people do recognise me from Skins and Doctor Who,” he says.

“I don’t mind, I like meeting people, but when they talk to me, they often talk to my character from television instead of me. I find that a bit strange.”

Merrick’s fans will have another opportunity to see him in action later this year when he appears in Richard Curtis’ upcoming romantic comedy/science fiction film, About Time.

“I was at the premiere a couple of weeks ago,” says, the 20-year-old, who first came to Edinburgh with a youth theatre company when he was just 15.

He is an old hand then, and expect to see him back next year too.

He promises, TV and film roles will not stop him returning.

Boys, C Aquila, Johnston Terrace, until 26 August, 9pm, £8.50-£10.50, 0131-226 000