Review: On The Rocks
By: Taliha Gazi
From the 1st -10th April, On The Rocks will transform St Andrews into a hub for all things creative and quirky, showcasing an eclectic array of arts and culture events from dance to theatre and comedy. Created and curated by students, the festival celebrates the cornucopia of artistic talent here at the university at no better time than when spring’s tide is high. Navigating through the final semester of the year is never easy, but as the weather gets milder and the mirage of a distant summer draws closer, take some time out from under the book-burrows and discover what lies beyond a life of deadlines and Friday night drunkenness. Given the chance, On The Rocks will prove itself to be the perfect excuse to shake off the cobwebs from the hibernation period as a truly inspirational celebration of the arts’ many facets.
The Launch Event on 29th February flaunted snapshots of what to expect when the festival commences at the beginning of April. It was refreshing to see a diverse collage of events, each reflecting a different human emotion or experience. ‘Fate: In Three Parts’ was sublime, drawing upon cultural attitudes of fate using dance, and, more remarkably, a piece of string, to create an especially poignant visual performance. ‘Wise Child Live’ is another delight to the senses, tying together melodies with the heartfelt yarns of people from all over the globe. Orwellian classic, Animal Farm, however, shuns self-indulgence for a moral instruction to us all about the perils of hunger and greed (despite ironically being hosted in the Balgove Larder’s ‘Steak Barn’). In a similar vein, Doctor Faustus warns of the dangers of having dealings with the devil (he’s closer than you might think), and how you might end up soulless if you’re not careful. An overdose of moral didacticism calls for some cathartic relief, so why not indulge in a guilty pleasure, like ‘St Andrews Night Live’, fuelled on unadulterated improv, sketch and stand-up comedy, with a barrel of laughs in between. Or, catch the jitterbug with the opening night of ‘600 Minutes of Swing’, and let your feet say the unspoken. Whether you’re quietly reserved or raring to go, On The Rocks is guaranteed to have something on to express the individual in you.