Actors break new ground

Penquin Pie Theatre doing a dress rehersal for Edinburgh'PA1130-6a'Rachael Drew, Daniel Desiano-Plummer, Stephanie Manton, Frances Bean, Connor Hugh

Penquin Pie Theatre doing a dress rehersal for Edinburgh'PA1130-6a'Rachael Drew, Daniel Desiano-Plummer, Stephanie Manton, Frances Bean, Connor Hugh

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AT the beginning of August, ‘Chips on Shoulders’ will become Bridlington’s first ever theatrical production at Edinburgh’s Festival Fringe.

Since the turn of the year, Penguin Pie have been working on Chips on Shoulders, a “taste-bud tickling” production about a teenage-boy “battling against both bullies and the bulge”.

Through a combination of donations made by local organisations and some exhaustive fundraising, the show will enjoy a two-week residency at Edinburgh Festival Fringe, from August 5 to August 20 at the ZOO Roxy.

This is made even more remarkable as none of the Chips on Shoulders cast have performed at Edinburgh before.

“They’re a talented group, but it’ll be a big test for them,” says director Rachael Drew.

“Now they’ve got there, they’re going to get the opportunity to taste what it’s like to be a professional performer. Not even someone on the West End would do a fifteen day run of performing without a break, so it is going to be a challenge.”

Fergus Davison, 19, who plays lead character Ron, is enthusiastic about the upcoming shows and about the knock-on effect they could have.

“Edinburgh is the biggest thing any of us have been involved in as performers, and, with Brid being our hometown, it’s great for the arts scene here. If we do well, it could inspire other people in the area to get involved in theatre.”

Frances Bean, 19, who plays Ron’s downtrodden mother, is just as positive.

“To look back and be able to say I’ve not just performed at the Fringe, but have helped with the technical side – it’s just been a fantastic experience.”

Fellow actor Daniel de’Siano-Plummer, 21, is training as an actor at the Italia Conti Academy of Arts in London. He said: “Because of the reputation of some of the performances there, it’s going to be a big occasion for all of us, but we believe in ourselves.

“We’ve received some amazing donations from our sponsors but, just to put things into context, we’ve managed to do this at a time when our youth theatre group no longer has a rehearsal space at Bridlington Youth Centre.”

Despite these difficulties, skills workshops for over 14s have been kept up, while money raised for the Edinburgh performance will be invested back into improving props, costumes and sets.

Daniel continued: “I’d imagine we’ll get a more neutral reception at Edinburgh because we’re an unknown quantity but we’re hoping for a warm welcome from our hometown audience.”

Chips on Shoulders will be performed at Bridlington Spotlight Theatre on July 30 with shows at 2.30pm and 7.30pm, followed by a post-show discussion on the piece.

Tickets will be available on the door for a £3 donation, or they can be reserved by emailing info@penguinpie.co.uk as bookings will avoid disappointment.

Penguin Pie would like to thank Arncliffe Holiday Flats, Bridlington Freemasons, Bridlington Lions, The Georgian Rooms, Bridlington Round Table and The Lords Feoffees for their donations.

If you would like to give Penguin Pie a helping hand, seek further information or get involved with future productions, please contact them at penguinpieproductions@gmail.com.

Alternatively, you can visit penguinpie.co.uk, find them on Facebook or follow them on Twitter (@penguinpied)