Inheritance Blues would have been an impressive Edinburgh Fringe play coming from a fully professional group. To have come from a group who were recently students is outstanding.
Student theatre carries a certain notoriety at the Edinburgh Fringe, and it’s not entirely unwarranted. It’s the one kind of production I make an effort to avoid. They usually fall into one of two categories: mediocre productions of well-known plays, and new plays where the group over-estimates how good their writing is. To be fair to student groups, the Edinburgh Fringe is an environment stacked against them – you really need years of experience before you’ve got a realistic chance of being up to standard of the rest – but the fact remains that most student productions live down to my low expectations.
So it is with great pleasure that I name Dugout Theatre as proof that it doesn’t have to be this way. I stumbled across Dealer’s Choice a few years back, stumbled across Fade last year, and impressed by both of those, and wanted to see how Inheritance Blues compared to these two. And, my God, it’s even better. It’s even in my top three plays of this year’s Edinburgh Fringe.