“We’d always wanted to write a musical with a live band,” says producer Matt, “then came up with the idea of setting one during Freshers’ week – putting five characters we’d written together and then really just seeing what happened.”
What happened was a hit. Playing to sell-out crowds, and winning the MTM: UK Best New Musical Award, FRESHER seemed to strike a chord with Fringe audiences.
“This year, we’re back with a tweaked show,” explains Matt. “Last year proved to be an amazing platform for us: we’ve been able to put a bit more money into it this year.”
Writers Guy, Mark and Sally, have spent time honing the show, which Matt co-produces with colleague Adam.
“We’ve added some more character history,” he says, “and altered some of the songs. The plot’s the same, it’s just a little bit neater now.”
“We’ve also been spending some time recording the soundtrack. Although we’re limited by logistics to a three-piece band live on stage, the studio recording is sounding great; it’ll be out on iTunes soon.”
Matt modestly puts a lot of the show’s success down to Paulden deciding to switch to the musical genre.
“We plugged ourselves into a different market,” he says. “It can be hard with theatre to get people in; whereas with musicals, venues always seem to be on the lookout for them to add a little variety to their programme.”
He’s also looking forward to returning to Edinburgh in August.
“I’ll have a bit more time to enjoy the Fringe this year,” he says. “The theatre section is excellent this year’
An although the return of FRESHER looks set to enjoy the same level of success as last year, Paulden are already looking to the future.
“We’re aware that the target audience for FRESHER may be a little narrow, so we may work on a brand-new musical,” says Matt. “But we’ve all agreed to wait and see how this year’s show goes.”
FRESHER The Musical plays from 3-29 August at the Pleasance Dome at 15:50. More details are available on the Fringe website.