Pupils from Benenden are hoping to take the world-famous Edinburgh Festival Fringe by storm this summer with a play that might raise a few eyebrows.
Eighteen Benenden girls, aged 16 to 18, are busy rehearsing ahead of their six performances of The Vampire of Barcelona – a dark period comedy on the theme of a child serial killer.
When they’re not performing, the girls will be spending the week in August dancing through the streets of Edinburgh in shocking pink outfits to promote their show.
One of the performers, Lettie Boys-Stones, 16, said: “This will be an experience of a lifetime and we can’t wait to arrive in Edinburgh. We couldn’t be more excited to face this challenge head-on and give it our all – and we hope the Fringe is ready for us!”
This is the second time Benenden has been represented at the Fringe, which is the largest arts festival in the world. In 2015 a group of Benenden pupils performed at the festival under the name the Centaurs of Attention, a theatre company they set up especially. Their show, Frogs, earned rave reviews, including a four-star review from influential site Broadway Baby.
The girls who performed in 2015 have all now left the School but this year’s Benenden performers wanted to retain the name so will again be performing as the Centaurs of Attention.
Featuring singing, dancing and a host of unsavoury characters, The Vampire of Barcelona tells the untold story of Enriqueta Marti, who snatches children off the streets and uses their blood and bones to make the creams and potions that maintain her wealthy clientele’s health and youthful looks.
However, is this a story of the most cold-blooded woman to ever walk the earth or is it the story of a misogynistic tabloid press satisfying their readers’ desires for ever more sadistic fantasies? The audience must decide.
The play was written by Benenden’s Director of Drama, Debbie Caron. Mrs Caron said: “We are all incredibly excited to be heading for the Fringe. This is a wonderful opportunity for the girls to immerse themselves in such a hugely creative event.
“One the face of it the subject matter is quite gruesome but there is more to the story than meets the eye and the girls have done a great job in bringing it to life.”
The Centaurs of Attention have performed The Vampire of Barcelona publicly only twice ahead of appearing at Edinburgh – once to students and again to parents at the School’s Arts Festival in the Spring.
Georgie Sells, 17, is another of the Benenden girls performing. She said: “Although we were a bit apprehensive, the opening night at School was a huge success and I can’t wait to see what the audiences in Edinburgh make of it!”
The Vampire of Barcelona will be performed at 2.05pm every day at the Space on the Mile from 6-11 August. It lasts one hour and is suitable for over 12s. Tickets are available on the Edinburgh Festival Fringe tickets website .
More information about The Vampire of Barcelona is at: