A very special 100th anniversary Aberdeen Student Show performance will bring the curtain up at His Majesty’s Theatre after 17 months.
Freezin will mark the return of live theatre to HMT on Tuesday September 14 for the first time since the pandemic began.
One of the show’s directors – Joanne Peacock – is thrilled to be “coming back home” to the much-loved theatre.
“We’re extremely excited – especially to be opening the theatre which is such as a special place for us,” said Joanne
“All of the three directors (Joanne, Ryan Peacock and Craig Pike) have done many shows there so we’re very excited to come back ‘home’.”
Aberdeen Student Show must go on
Joanne said the Aberdeen University student production team is doing “everything they can” to keep everyone safe during rehearsals – including practising in an outdoor garage – to make sure the anniversary show does actually go on. It had previously been postponed, another victim of the coronavirus lockdown.
“This is the 100th year of the student show. The first Aberdeen Student Show was in 1921, so we’re delighted to have something on for the anniversary year because we weren’t sure at the start of 2021 whether that would happen or not,” added Joanne.
“We’re thrilled to be finally putting up the production that we worked hard on – it’s a massive team effort.”
Jane Spiers, chief executive of Aberdeen Performing Arts which runs His Majesty’s Theatre, was equally excited about welcoming back the cast and crew of Aberdeen Student Show.
She said: “We want to come back first and foremost for our audiences in the north-east. So I’m beyond excited that the first show HMT is going to be Freezin, the student show.
“I’m so proud. It’s the 100th show as well, so it’s a phenomenal anniversary, it’s a show that means so much for the city.”
Disney with a hint of Doric
Freezin – a parody of popular Disney film Frozen – will feature many Doric phrases and “stereotypical Aberdonian characters” including Dons fans.
The story follows two Doric girls – Elsie and Annie – after their grandfather wins a raffle to become the king of Aberdeen and abdicates in favour of them.
“It’s all about Elsie taking this new role as the queen of Aberdeen, but at the same time, she has an accident in her workplace which gives her the power to freeze things,” added Joanne.
The student production will focus on Elsie tackling her newfound powers and leadership role. About 35 cast members will be there for Elsie to make sure she figures things out – with the additional help of Doric and a lot of local references.
Fantastic fundraising efforts
While providing fantastic entertainment for Aberdeen audiences, the student show is also about giving back and supporting local charities.
The Glaikit Showman – the last Aberdeen Student Show which took place in 2019 -raised a whopping £122,000 for more than 30 charities.
This year, AberNecessities, Clan, Instant Neighbour, Charlie House, Befriend a Child and many other non-profit organisations and charities will benefit from the funds raised by the kind-hearted and dedicated group of students.
Joanne said: “Everything we raise – after all the bills are paid – benefits local charities and local people.
“We raised more £122,000 the last time – which was the most we’ve ever raised. I think the previous record was £101,000 so we absolutely smashed it.
“We always hope to raise a good amount, but given the pandemic, I don’t know if we can quite beat that last total, but we’re certainly aiming for it.”
Aberdeen Student Show Freezin takes place from September 14 to 18. Click here if you wish to purchase tickets.