Notre Dame drama students make a good impression at Edinburgh Fringe Festival

Past and present Notre Dame High School students are back after a whirlwind trip to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in August.

Past and present Notre Dame High School students are back after a whirlwind trip to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in August.

The group flew into London, getting to ride the London Eye, which is a giant Ferris Wheel able to fit more than 20 travellers into a pod to get a scenic view of the city. The students also got to visit the Tower of London and have a workshop at the Globe Theatre, the site of Shakespeare’s many plays.

In all, the students and their chaperones spent 10 days at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, getting to see numerous plays and performances each day and performing their own play, titled the Seersucker Toady on four occasions.

The students had to set up their stage in 10 minutes, then perform for 90 minutes, before a quick tear down for the next production.

In a positive review of the play on the Fringe Festival website, a reviewer wrote: “The cast travelled a long way to be seen on the Edinburgh stage. I am glad they made the journey to brighten the Edinburgh Fringe with their presence.”

Glen Traquair, a teacher at Notre Dame High School and one of the chaperones on the trip, said he was able to travel with 21 of the most amazing young people.

The students and chaperones explored the Royal Mile in the centre of Edinburgh, with buskers performing every 15 to 20 feet and hundreds of people passing out handbills for the various performances going on. “It was just astounding everywhere you looked,” Traquair said.

While in Edinburgh, the students also got to spent one night seeing the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo, getting to see various military regiments perform in front of Edinburgh Castle, along with thousands of other spectators.

Students were also able to visit an area called Trossachs, a green wooded area near Edinburgh.

Traquair said for many of the students it was the first time they had left North America and for many others it was their first time in a plane. The students were able to meet others taking part in the event through the American High School Theatre Festival, including students from Oakland, California, and Moncton, New Brunswick.

The students were chosen to attend the Fringe Festival after applying through the American High School Theatre Festival, submitting photos, write-ups and other information about plays they had performed.

Edmonton playwright Stewart Lemoine wrote the play for the students and Melissa Mayville, a former Notre Dame High School teacher, directed the play.

Traquair said the students and chaperones are thankful for all of the support they received from parents and the community leading up to their trip.