Blown Fuse Ignites Fringe
South Hampstead’s Fuzed Theatre Company took their inaugural play, Blown Fuse, to the Edinburgh Fringe last week – a sparky yet moving performance about adolescence today.
Back in September 2018, students auditioned for South Hampstead’s first theatre company – a year long experience, that culminated in this month’s trip to perform at the Edinburgh Fringe.
Head of Drama, Ms Martin, penned the first draft of Blown Fuse, based on discussions with the Sixth Formers on what’s important and relevant to them today. Together, they then developed the script, including working with a play-writing student from Royal Central School of Speech and Drama. Inspired by her time with the girls, the playwright even went on to write a piece about the process, inviting the girls to perform it on stage at the renowned drama school.
Fast forward to August, and the students were on their way to Edinburgh, to the Space – a small venue on the Royal Mile. The girls enthusiastically flyered people throughout the week, spreading the word about their show. The play received great reactions from the public and was even featured on BBC Sounds ‘Up All Night’ programme, citing Blown Fuse as one of the shows to watch, praising the girls for their energy, both onstage and off.
Reviewers described the performance as: “Refreshing, relatable and smart… Impressive delivery by six mature and accomplished teenagers… Well-choreographed movement… A witty yet poignant and sensitively handled script about mental health… Highly recommend.”
Comedian and actor Kate Smurthwaite, on BBC Radio, described the show as: “A really lovely theatre piece… full of energy… remarkable.”
Despite performing every afternoon for six days, the students still found time to enjoy a huge variety of shows. As part of the experience, they had a fascinating Q&A with actors and a producer from the immersive play Trainspotting and the opportunity to quiz theatre and film agent Susie Dumbreck, who runs Infinity Artist Management. They also met comedian Sukh Ojla, who came to watch Blown Fuse: “It made me laugh and cry…” – a wonderful endorsement from a professional. Congratulations to all the performers – Cissi, Daisy, Eliza, Kezia, Milli and Nadia – for displaying such stamina, camaraderie and talent.
Ms Martin commented: “The students were incredible and coped so well with the demands of performing their own play in the midst of thousands of other professional companies at the world’s largest ever Arts Festival. The sense of team spirit, enthusiasm and joy were palpable throughout the whole week. As teachers, we felt blessed to be part of such an incredible experience – it was wonderful to see the students relish every moment.”
“It’s been so special to experience the excitement and thrill of performing at the Edinburgh Fringe – I feel very lucky to have been given the opportunity to immerse myself in such a creative and fantastic festival.’’ – Eliza
“The atmosphere and energy was so exciting. It was incredible to be able to act in a six-day run at the Fringe as well as to see some amazing shows.” – Milli
“I’ve learnt so much about putting on a production… different ways to deliver a line… how to elicit the desired reaction from the audience… and I’ve gained so much confidence by talking directly to the audience in such an intimate space. I am so proud to have been a part of the theatre company.” – Daisy
Sixth Form Drama Scholarships are open to external applicants at 16+ as well as to South Hampstead pupils moving up from Year 11. Benefits of being a Drama Scholar include membership of the South Hampstead Theatre Company, as well as 1:1 drama coaching, scholars’ theatre trips and a scholars’ performance. For more information, please click here.