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The Edinburgh Festival Fringe is the world’s largest arts festival, a celebration of all things performance on a massive scale. Last year, there were over 3000 shows - and this time round, we want to be one of them!
The Fringe is renowned for its incredible variety and cultural breadth, featuring theatre, comedy, music, dance, musicals, street theatre, cabaret, gymnastics, circus and many other acts. Set amongst a backdrop of an incredibly cosmopolitan event - you merely have to walk down the Royal Mile street to see four or five spectacles in themselves - it's a magnificent showcase of international culture and achievement where students, professionals and amateur performers can mingle and appreciate one another's talent alike, so we'd love to have the chance to go and represent the University of Southampton!
Given its scale, the chance to perform there is pretty much unparalleled to a student actor or actress, granting a vast potential audience to the great show we're hoping to put on, "Dogfight." Professional interpretations of the show have scooped numerous awards, and an Off-West End production has only recently come off its London home at the Southwark Playhouse, making it an ideal chamber musical with which to show off our talent. Moreover, the opportunity to witness the goings on of the festival has always heralded by people who have been as enlightening and engrossing, particularly given the variety of shows on offer for the general public’s viewing. As such, it is broadly considered the peak of the performing world, selling the third-highest tickets of any international event behind the World Cup and the Olympics, and is the ultimate platform for those wishing to succeed in the industry in any capacity through networking, workshops and pure experience.
The Fringe is often regarded as a University career-defining experience for members, linking performers from around the world in an international showcase of their talent, allowing Universities to forge inter-Performing Arts department relationships, and offering inumerable benefits and experiences along the way. There's nothing quite like it for giving you a story to tell - weird stuff happens at the Fringe while performing, flyering on the Royal Mile, or even just walking from A to B, and it's all taken in the unmistakeable Festival spirit!
There really are no down-sides - except the (unfortunately considerable) cost!
Touring may well be the most gratifying and empowering thing we can do as students, but if there's one thing it's not, it's cheap. Due to the logistics of touring and the finances of doing so with a righted show, along with other factors, the University has not had musical theatre representation at the Fringe for quite a while. We're therefore aiming to be the first show in three years from the University's musical theatre group "Showstoppers", meaning this is the only shot a whole 'degree generation' of society members will have at performing there.
Moreover, the society's absence from the Fringe in the previous few years means that it is lacking in a specified pot or budget (containing prior shows' ticket sales) from previous years for funding this year's efforts - we're essentially starting from zero. This means that the costs of the Fringe, from living in, eating at and travelling to Edinburgh, will mount up heavily on cast members already under serious financial pressure, and that's not including additional rehearsal costs over the course of the summer in order to prepare for it (typically throughout the month of July, when we'd otherwise attempt to be earning)!
As such, the experience can be hugely costly for all involved, and even beyond our financial means, but with your help, we believe that we can reduce such burdens to make the experience as enjoyable as possible and encapsulate its once-in-a-lifetime nature. This project has the potential to help lead the way in a ground-breaking summer for the University of Southampton's Performing Arts groups - and we want to make it happen!
Yup! Bursting onto the Off-Broadway scene in 2012 to critical acclaim before a successful transition to Off-West End in 2014, ‘Dogfight’ is based on the revered 1991 film starring River Phoenix, and has swept audiences and awards ceremonies away since its inception thanks in no small part to Benj Pasek & Justin Paul’s outstanding writing and truly moving score (just give it a search on YouTube - it's terrific!), scooping numerous 2013 Lucille Lortel awards and moving audiences on both sides of the Pacific.
It is November 21st, 1963, and the final night for a group of young marines in San Francisco before their impending deployment to Vietnam. As part of a common military practice to dehumanise marines and get them used to treating their targets as just that – targets - they decide to participate in a cruel and twisted game they call a “dogfight”, where every man competes to find the ugliest girl he can and bring her to a party with money at stake. One such marine, the aggressive yet conflicted Eddie Birdlace, runs into optimistic and sweetly idealistic waitress Rose Fenny in a diner, and smells victory, but soon comes to regret his course of action as his secret and militaristic mentality begin to unravel around him.
Telling the tale of an awkward love story, all attempts to dehumanise Birdlace amidst a backdrop of archaic chauvinism only seem to achieve exactly the opposite, as a combination of Rose's sheer personality and willpower rewrites the rules of the game and teaches him the power of love and compassion. But will these efforts come to fruition before dawn, when the reality of war takes its toll?
Presented as a series of flashbacks by Birdlace as he returns to San Francisco for the first time since that fateful night, "Dogfight" takes audiences on a romantic and heart-breaking theatrical journey that stays with you long after the performance.
- Rehearsals for the show will be starting very shortly, as will our plans for tackling the Fringe in all its glory, so the easiest way to get in touch or hear from the show (and our sister productions) is to get tracking us on social media!
- If you'd like to drop us a Tweet, please follow us @GoneRogueUK - we'd love to hear your thoughts on our line-up!
- Or 'Like' us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/GoneRogueProductions and receive regular content updates!
- We've also a swanky new website at www.gone-rogue.co.uk - check it out and drop us a message!
Because it really is a show that we believe has to be at the Fringe this year - and we want to showcase our University by being the ones to do so.
'Dogfight’ is a story which encompasses comedy, tragedy and romance with incredible warmth and a quite unique, accessible and enchanting score by Pasek & Paul. It is at once both touching yet humorous, enjoyable yet pensive. Ultimately, it is an incredible tale which illustrates just how much heart humanity possesses, and how this supersedes any attempts we make to suppress our instincts, a powerful message that still resonates today.
We believe that to succeed in the vivacious world of the Edinburgh Fringe, shows must challenge their audiences with sometimes controversial, yet in the same way thought-inspiring, content, with this often bringing out the best in our performers and audiences alike. Therefore, we would like ‘Dogfight’ to represent a triumphant return to the Fringe for the musical theatre performers of Gone Rogue Productions, showcasing their talent on an unprecedented scale, offering them the experience of a lifetime and making rehearsals truly memorable.
In doing so, and by building on the huge success of our daring productions of ‘Tape’ and ‘The Importance of Being Earnest’ in recent years, we truly believe that ‘Dogfight’ could make Gone Rogue Productions a landmark name for student theatre at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe for years to come.
The chance to perform with a show at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe is an extraordinary one for any student group, as it allows them to act as shining representatives of the University of Southampton on an international stage. Indeed, performers with Gone Rogue in recent years have reported how members of the public have even stopped them in the street to praise the company and Southampton as a whole, and with the presence of a vast number of University groups at the event, it is an unparalleled opportunity to network with other young performers and strengthen national ties, an objective which we believe would tie in perfectly with our attempts to forge inter-University performance relationships this year.
Furthermore, the opportunity to market the show on the Royal Mile amidst a backdrop of stunning street performers, incredible shows and a magnificent depth of international culture and high performance standards is a memorable and inspirational experience at the peak of the performing world, inspiring members to seek to attain similar levels with their own performances. Professional experience is a huge bonus to all travelling to the Fringe, as many ex-members have reported that it has been seen as a hugely positive credit on their C.Vs, and professional workshop and networking events are on offer free to all performers there.
It is truly an unforgettable and invaluable experience, and any contribution you could make towards this would be felt hugely by all affected.
Thank you for your time, and we hope you enjoy your rewards! Please don't hesitate to contact us to talk about any other ways we might be able to help one another.
Select this reward if you just want to donate to the project without receiving a reward.
We'd like to thank you for donating towards "Dogfight", and what better way than with a Twitter shout-out from @GoneRogueUK, and a listing on our website as a backer of the show? Thank you very much!
Estimated delivery: 1 August 2015
Along with the aforementioned Twitter shout-out and website credit, our cast and crew will sign and ship out a show poster just for you - recommended to keep, in case one of us makes it in the big leagues! Thanks for your generosity.
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Estimated delivery: 1 September 2015
On top of the poster, shout-out and credit, we'll record a personalised video message for you, either in the rehearsal room or at the Fringe itself! Thank you for your support!
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Estimated delivery: 1 September 2015
For the sum of £20, you'll get all of the above - that's a shout-out, listing, signed poster and video message - along with one FREE ticket to see the show at either the Southampton-based previews in July, or at the Fringe itself in August! Just let us know when, and we'll do the rest.
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Estimated delivery: 1 September 2015
Thank you so much for your incredible generosity! For you, we've a Twitter shout-out, a website listing, a signed show poster, a personalised video message, and TWO free tickets to see Gone Rogue's "Dogfight" in Southampton or Edinburgh! We'd also like to present you with TWO free tickets to a SUSU Showstoppers' show of your choice in the 2015/16 academic year to express our gratitude - thanks again, and we'll see you there!
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Estimated delivery: 1 September 2015