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Thomas Alleyne's Fringe Group have high hopes for next year's festival

By Uttoxeter Advertiser  |  Posted: August 29, 2014

By Joanna Craig

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A HIGH school theatre group which took their production to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival said the experience was a huge success.

And they are already talking about their next challenge.

Alleynes Fringe Group took their production of The Hound of the Baskervilles to the stage at the Edinburgh Fringe.

Project director Joe Mathews said the experience had fuelled their desires to return to the stage.

Joe said: "The Fringe was a great success and an inspirational experience for everyone involved. We got some good-sized audiences in, ranging from 29 to 53, and all seemingly appreciative and impressed by our work.

"The buzz on the Royal Mile with all the other performers was electric and, though at times it was almost overwhelming, it really was a fabulous experience.

"At the moment nothing is set in stone but many of the group are plotting a return to the Fringe, some talking about the possibility of writing their own sketch comedy shows, others discussing musicals.

"It has really fuelled our desire to return. We'll have to see."

The team told Radio Stoke that there were not a lot of opportunities in the Uttoxeter area for up and coming talent.

Joe said: "We've been taking in as many shows as we can. Our advertising has already developed a lot.

"When we first got here the Royal Mile was quite overwhelming and we've learned and developed our own methods now.

"We've had really good audiences and decent numbers, so that was the aim.

"Members of cast have been inspired by the various things they've seen.

"Already people are talking about doing their own script for a change from something which is pre-written but obviously this was a good way to get into it. It was something we could launch for our first journey to the Fringe.

"Everyone is thinking about what to do next – we've had ideas about stand-up comedy, musicals – all sorts of things.

"In terms of acting in general, a lot of us are taking away feedback from our own individual performance.

"It also gives you confidence to be involved in something with such high level performers, which obviously is a fantastic thing for moving onto drama school and universities."

The team raised money and awareness of the Donna Louise Trust throughout their challenge.

Jodie Horsfall, technician for the group, said "Being a small area it's harder to fund raise for the hospice.

"We're all passionate about raising money for a good cause and have raised money for both the Donna Louise Trust and the Teenage Cancer Trust this year."

The team was keen to thank everyone who has supported them in the project – family and friends, school, the Burton and District Arts Council, Burton Brewhouse, Rising Brook Baptist Church, Brodies Hostel, The Fringe Society and The Space UK.

They said via Facebook: "We have been so lucky to receive such overwhelming support in what was a very ambitious and tricky project, and we are grateful to have had such an amazing experience."

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