ITS big red doors have ensured that The Bedlam Theatre stands out on even the driechest of days, a beacon of creative energy that for more than three decades has been home to the Edinburgh University Theatre Company (EUTC) and a host of now famous playwrights and actors.
Celebrating their 35th year in the converted church, EUTC open their doors to the public this week for a six-day festival, showcasing some of the brightest, upcoming talent in student theatre.
The Bedlam Festival, dedicated to performance and exploration in the dramatic arts, is created by members of the EUTC, who produce, programme and appear in the shows that make up the event, which, for 2015, features a dynamic and contemporary repertoire of plays celebrating new works and budding writing talent.
Highlights include Caryl Churchill’s one-act play A Number, tonight at 8pm, which questions our sense of identity through a father’s conversations with each of his children - the problem is they are all clones.
In a world where life and identity can be created and recreated A Number addresses family relationships and explores the implications of genetic science.
Poems About Things, by Scott Redmond, (today and Friday, 5.30pm), is a play with ninjas, postboxes, jellyfish, the first female president of Namibia and poetry.
It’s the story of Dan, a surprisingly dull protagonist, trying to get over the love of his life, Jane.
Also today, at 10pm, you can catch F-Holes, by Robert Batson, with music by Thomas Hind.
Take a sketch comedy act, add an orchestra and you get F-Holes, a lo-fi show of laughs and music.
Thursday at 7pm finds eight actors volunteering for what they think is art, but is actually hell, in Cast Me if You Can: The Auditions from Hell.
Eight actors will be given 24 hours to prepare for an audition in front of an audience and a panel of judges.
The four highest scorers will enter a ‘Lightning Round’ to determine who is the ultimate auditionee.
Easy, right? The only catch: these are no ordinary audition pieces. These are the pieces which make actors’ blood curdle; these are the pieces which test the very fibre of acting talent - these are the auditions from hell.
Judges will consist of the Bedlam productions manager Ian Culleton and a surprise celebrity guest among others and will be hosted by seasoned actor and audition veteran Adam Butler.
Another show to watch out for is The Quest For Spygood’s Gold, on Friday, 7.30pm.
MI6 races against the last surviving member of the Spygood family in a quest for their hidden treasure. The stakes? Low. The odds? Insurmountable. The laughter? Well, that will flow like the tears of a clown.
Following their sell-out Bedlam show Titanic 2: Pig in the City, Chutney Exhibition’s second comic play promises action, adventure, and ‘freaky deaky’ good times.
Finally, The Vagina Monologues: A Teaser, and 24 Hour Play, in which the company have just one day to direct, write, produce, stage and tech a whole show, bring the curtain down on the Festival.
For full details of all shows, visit www.bedlamtheatre.co.uk