Published: May 16, 2012
A LIPA musical theatre company is Scotland-bound after being given vital funding to take its most recent production to the 2012 Edinburgh Festival Fringe.
InSTEP Theatre will perform Departure Lounge, a fun-packed musical comedy set in an airport about four less-than-innocent teenagers returning from a lads’ holiday in Málaga.
The £2,000 boost is the cash element of the Scottish Daily Mail Edinburgh Festival Fringe Drama Award (Commended), which InSTEP was given in April along with marketing support from the paper.
The company of five BA (Hons) Acting students is booked to give 12 performances in August at Fringe venue Paradise in Augustine’s. InSTEP first staged Departure Lounge – by writer and composer Dougal Irvine – at Liverpool’s Unity Theatre earlier this year.
Co-producer Christian Butterworth, a final-year BA (Hons) Theatre and Performance Technology student, launched InSTEP as an independent project in his second year to give new musical theatre a platform in the North-West. Supporting him are LIPA graduates and a team of current students from the BA (Hons) Music, BA (Hons) Music, Theatre and Entertainment Management, BA (Hons) Theatre and Performance Technology, and BA (Hons) Theatre and Performance Design programmes.
He is delighted Departure Lounge is going to Edinburgh: "The award’s allowing the production to have a future life. It’s giving the actors, the musicians and the creative and production teams involved the chance to showcase their talents at one of the biggest arts festivals in the world.
“It’s a fun, energy-filled show and there was such a good vibe after the Liverpool performances that we didn’t want to leave the production there. We wanted to give other people a chance to see it. The show’s something we’re passionate about and we’ve put a lot of work and effort into it. We’re very excited about the transfer!”
The award was established by the Scottish Daily Mail in collaboration with UK drama training body the Conference of Drama Schools (CDS), to encourage and reward new acting talent. It was open to graduating students from CDS institutions.
InSTEP theatre was one of two runners up to receive a commendation for their work. LIPA has also contributed £1,000 to InSTEP’s Edinburgh fund.
The original production of Departure Lounge has played New York, Chicago and London. It won the MTM:UK award for Best Music in a New Musical at the 2008 Edinburgh Festival Fringe and was nominated for Best New Musical at the 2011 Whatsonstage.com Awards. Dougal worked with the LIPA actors during rehearsals and has encouraged them to take it on the road.
Prior to tackling Departure Lounge, InSTEP produced three other shows including Songs for a New World by Jason Robert Brown.
InSTEP Theatre will perform Departure Lounge from 7 to 19 August 2012 at Paradise in Augustine’s, Edinburgh. The 2012 Edinburgh Festival Fringe runs from 3 to 27 August 2012.
InSTEP Theatre’s Liverpool production of Departure Lounge. Pictured, from left, Michael Fletcher, Joshua Meredith, Jamie Barnard, Glenn Adamson and Hayley Clarke. Picture by Jan Paulo Musni.