Dollar Academy brings ‘13’, The Musical, to the Edinburgh Fringe

A cast of 34 pupils perform to sell-out audiences at this year's Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

From 14 – 18 August, pupils from Forms I, II and III delivered sell-out performances of ‘13’, The Musical, to very enthusiastic and appreciative audiences as a part of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2018. This new initiative also formed a part of the school’s Bicentenary celebrations.

‘13’ is a hilarious, coming-of-age Musical about discovering that ‘cool’ is sometimes where we least expect it. Geek. Poser. Jock. Beauty Queen. Wannabe. These are the labels that last a lifetime. With an unforgettable rock score from Tony Award-winning composer, Jason Robert Brown, ‘13’ is about fitting in – and standing out!

For two weeks over the summer holidays, 34 very dedicated pupils rehearsed in the Gibson Auditorium to bring ’13’ to the Fringe Festival stage: Venue C, Adam House in Edinburgh. Director and producer Simon Burbury (Assistant Rector) and the show’s musical director Karol Fitzpatrick (Director of Music), along with choreographer Sarah Menzies (Prep School teacher), worked with the pupils to produce a show full of youthful energy, drama and hilarity.

“The show,” said Mr Burbury, “had everything from high-impact chorus numbers like ‘13’ and ‘All Hail The Brain’, sensitive and thoughtful moments in ‘The Lamest Place In The World’ and ‘What It Means To Be A Friend’, laugh-out-loud hilarity in ‘Hey Kendra’ and ‘The Bloodmaster’, and foot stomping, hand clapping energy in ‘Brand New You’. The pupils really pulled together as a team impressing everyone with their professional attitude, collective responsibility and mature approach. The venue staff went out of their way to show their appreciation for the hugely positive way in which the cast and crew represented themselves and their school.”

In addition to the on-stage performances, the pupils also enjoyed entertaining people on the streets of Edinburgh. They performed on the Royal Mile, outside the National Museum and in The Meadows to advertise; these performances were, for some, the highlight of the week.

“All the pupils did an incredible job to bring ‘13’ to the stage,” added Mr Burbury, ‘with the show being described as ‘exceptional’, gaining a 5-star audience review as well as a standing ovation on the last night, the pupils can be extremely proud of their achievements.”

A huge thank you to all the additional staff that gave up their time to help: Mr John Delaney (making the awesome set which added colour and variety to every scene as well as playing bass in the band), Mrs Pam Webster (making the angel wings extraordinaire), Miss Carenza Dickens (props, stage managment and costume continuity), Miss Kendal Delaney (lighting and props), Mrs Jennifer Burbury and Mrs Susan Delaney (front of house, pupil admin and generally keeping track of all the pupils). The small list of specific jobs does not do justice for the real team effort, and willingness from all the staff to just do anything that was required to ensure all the pupils had a great time, were safe and well in Edinburgh, and that the show was a continued success night after night.

A thoroughly enjoyable and rewarding few weeks was had by all.