EPT go online

Aug 9 2020 | By More

Company streams classics for EdFringe 2020

Edinburgh People’s Theatre is to stream five of its historical Edinburgh Fringe performances during August, featuring scripts written or adapted by current or former EPT members.

The scripts: one by Alan Cochrane, three by Irene Beaver and a Moliere adaptation by JJ Mills – together with a short interview with Cochrane – will stream free on YouTube and remain online until Monday 31 August 2020.

Alan Cochrane, speaking in 1998

The company, which began life in 1943 under the leadership of Scottish playwright Andrew P. Wilson, has a long history of staging Scottish drama. In 1966 it premiered the stage adaptation of the then patron Compton Mackenzie’s Whisky Galore and three years later, in 1969, it premiered the first one written by an EPT member.

EdFringe 2020 would have been the company’s 63rd consecutive year on the Fringe. It was also at the very first fringe in 1947 – eleven years before the Festival Fringe was set up formally in 1958 – and is the only group still performing to this day.

As live performances are not possible this year, the company decided to provide a livestream substitute with Alan Cochrane’s great Edinburgh-Leith comedy Ne’er the Twain, a trio of hits from Irene Beaver, and JJ Mills’ adaptation of Moliere’s The Miser.

Fringe philosophy

Speaking in 1998, Alan Cochrane explained the company’s Edinburgh Fringe philosophy.

He said: “People want to come and see something during the Festival. But they are afraid of all these foreign plays and they are afraid to go and see Shakespeare in case they don’t understand it.

“We give them Scots comedy which they can identify with, they can relax with, they can understand. they have no fear that they are going to be offended and they are going to enjoy it, they are going to have a good night out at the theatre. That’s what we give them.”

The videos will stream on YouTube from 7 to 31 August 2020, the dates Fringe 2020 would have run, with the first three streaming from Friday 7, another video added on Friday 14 and the final one on Friday 21 August.

They are all streaming on EPT’s YouTube channel here: www.youtube.com


Alan Cochrane Interview (1998)
A brief clip from an STV interview from 1988.
View here: www.youtube.com.

Ne’er The Twain (1988)
By Alan Cochrane
First staged in 1971, revived in 1988 (seen here) and several times since, the comedy follows families on either side of the Edinburgh Leith divide, who are brought together by the marriage of their children. Watch here.

Stooshie At The Store (2006)
By Irene Beaver
It’s 1959 and Edinburgh is celebrating the centenary year of St Cuthbert’s Co-operative Association. Excitement mounts as the ‘Divvie’ is due to be handed out to the members next week – and consternation when it goes missing… Watch here

The Miser (2009)
Moliere, adapted by JJ Mills
The company’s JJ Mills sets Moliere’s original firmly in the 20th century. The miser wants to marry off his son to a wealthy widow and his daughter to a rich older man. Needless to say, the children have other ideas… Watch here.

Streaming from Friday 14 August at 7pm:
Stramash At The Store (2008)
Irene Beaver’s follow up to Stooshie at the Store moves the time forward October 1962 – just before the State visit of King Olav of Norway to Edinburgh, who is to include a visit to the store in his itinerary. But can the secret be kept?

Streaming from Friday 21 August at 7pm:
Wha Wadna Follow Thee (2009)
By Irene Beaver
In what was the “year of Homecoming”, Irene Beaver looked back to the first homecoming – of Bonny Prince Charlie to Edinburgh on 17th September, 1745 for her inspiration. In the parlour of a house down by the Netherbow Port, a pair Charlie’s second rank foot soldiers and a trio of camp followers are making themselves at home…

All videos will remain available to watch after publication until 11.59pm on Monday 31st August.


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