A DETERMINED group of young actors from a Uttoxeter high school have secured a slot at the world’s largest arts festival.
The Alleyne’s Fringe Project, an amateur theatre group from Thomas Alleyne’s High School, will perform their adaptation of Sherlock Holmes’ Hound of the Baskervilles at Venue 45 at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival between August 1 and August 9.
The group of Thomas Alleyne’s pupils, aged between 14 and 18 first performed the production in July earlier this year to audiences at the school, and have been working since then to secure dates on the renowned stage at the arts festival.
Joe Mathews, the Alleyne’s Fringe project manager said: “The job is only half done.
“We may have secured ourselves a venue in which to perform but now we have the small matter of putting on a successful show at one of the largest arts festivals in the world, so it’s a mixture of nerves and excitement but the whole cast are raring to go.
“There is real buzz and excitement around the group especially during our fundraising events as we realise we are edging closer to our goal.
“It’s a big thing for everyone involved most of whom have aspirations to become actors so it’s a tough challenge but an immense opportunity, one that we are all relishing and enjoying.
“But it’s a massive achievement so far, and a massive relief to have the venue sorted, Venue 45 which is a beautiful atmospheric theatre right in the heart of the Fringe.”
The group will also be performing four dates in April at Stafford and Burton.
Joe added: “We will be performing firstly in Stafford at Rising Brook Baptist Church, on April 11 and 12 and then at the Burton Brewhouse Theatre on April 16 and 17.
“Both venues are fantastic stages to perform each with a very different and unique atmosphere that suits the style of our performance of Hound of the Baskervilles perfectly.
“We are thrilled to be able to take this show on tour and the interest we are getting from these theatres and areas of Staffordshire highlight how far we’ve come as a group and that we are achieving big targets, some of the group are still only doing their GCSEs and yet we have the opportunity to do this.
“Right now we are all just focusing on the task ahead, polishing up the show and raising the money required.”
The group wish to thank everyone who has so far supported the project from Uttoxeter and have emphasised the need to ‘spread the word’.
Joe said: “Uttoxeter have been brilliant so far in supporting the project, and helping us raise money, everyone has helped to promote the project and a number of people have come up to me and asked me about it, some of whom I’d never even met before so that’s great.
“Of course, in order to be as successful in the future we need to continue to spread the word about the project and create a base locally so that lots of people have heard of us and keep in contact with us to create a platform almost for Edinburgh.
“We still have a long way to go as far as finance is concerned and we’d love to see a continuation of support where any local fundraising events are concerned, sponsorship and the easiest way of getting behind the project is simply coming to watch the show, the hard work that everyone involved has put in is phenomenal and it really is a show not to be missed.
“Thanks to everyone for their support so far and see you in Edinburgh.”
Those interested can find out more information about the group online at www.alleynesfringeproject.co.uk or on Facebook by searching for ‘The Alleynes Fringe Project’.