Augustine's, Edinburgh
August, 2000

The National Student Theatre Company's Edinburgh bill this year includes a trio of strong pieces from April's National Student Drama Festival in Scarborough. Carol Smillie Trashed My Room is a slight but immensely winning piece about a young couple obsessed with bad TV; The Lion, The Witch And A Bag Of Chips is a surreal, fantastical tragicomedy about love in a mental institution; and Insomnia an accomplished, haunting and wordless phsyical theatre collage.

In addition to these shows, NSTC offers one of its characteristic original musical productions. Richard Maltby Jr and David Shire's Starting Here, Starting Now is a largely sung-through piece with no narrative through-line but simply a number of perspectives on, well, love and life. It is by turns affecting and gloriously, dippily camp; Maltby and Shire are accomplished musical pasticheurs and director Iain Ormsby-Knox always enjoys taking such material to the limit. The seven-strong cast possess a maturity of outlook and strangth of delivery which belies their average age of under 20.

Written for the Financial Times Web site,

Copyright Ian Shuttleworth; all rights reserved.

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