A group of Durham University students are heading to Edinburgh’s famous Fringe Festival to perform a play. The Princes’ Quest, a musical written by Sophie McQuillan and Henry Winlow, follows a traditional fairy tale format, but has a less than conventional twist. The story concerns two modern-day princes competing for the affections of a princess. But the duo eventually realise they actually love each other. The musical also features a Tinkerbelle-type figure who tries to persuade the princess that she does not really need a hero to rescue her from the ‘tower’ she is imprisoned in. All the The Princes’ Quest’s characters are depicted as being caught between reality and fantasy, and, to make things even stranger, the action unfolds at a fancy dress party. The play has already won the Best Drama Award at the Durham Drama Festival, which took place earlier this year.

The play, described as “a joyous hour of theatre”, “a low-budget version of frozen” and “an innovative twist on the cliché of a romantic fairy tale”, is being put on by the company Front Room Productions. The company has received an invitation to the Student Drama Festival and its members have already won twenty-five Fringe credits, though The Princes’ Quest will be the Edinburgh debut for the company as a whole.

Commenting on The Princes’ Quest, playwright Sophie McQuillan said, “The show turns the traditional fairy tale genre on its head. It shows how the stuff of legend is actually present in everyday life and yet the whole thing is grounded in telling a story about characters whose stories aren’t normally heard.”

The Edinburgh Festival Fringe began in 1947. It features a wide range of theatre, musicals, dance, cabaret, circus, opera, spoken word and many other events. It has launched the careers of many household names, especially in the comedy genre. It is put on in a variety of venues in and around Edinburgh.

The Princes’ Quest will be on at the Fringe from 4th to 20th August, at 7.20 pm in the C cubed venue. Tickets cost between £4.50 and £9.50, with discounts available for groups.

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