Graduates in the frame at The Fringe


Former acting students took centre-stage at the world’s largest arts festival only weeks after graduating from New College Lanarkshire.

Rachael Keiller, 24 from Glasgow, Ross Donnachie, 26 from Edinburgh and Sophie MacLean, 21 from Glasgow, all graduates of the BA Acting programme held at the College’s Coatbridge Campus, performed to packed audiences every day throughout August at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

They joined the best of Scottish emerging talent in the Scottish Drama Training Network’s 2018 Production, ‘Propeller’ – directed by double Fringe First winner Caitlin Skinner to explore the idea of power and the possibility of change.

The cast of eight, which was selected from hundreds of recent graduates across Scotland, wowed audiences at prestigious Fringe venue, Pleasance Courtyard.

One of the graduates, Ross Donnachie, said: “Getting to work at The Fringe straight from graduating is an ideal job – which wouldn’t have happened without the Scottish Drama Training Network (SDTN) and its creator, Lucy Vaughn.

“Apart from performing non-stop for a month, we were given the opportunity to work with loads of up and coming creatives and established artists. Loads of press and industry experts also came along to the shows. I have learned so much from the experience.”

Copyright Robin Mitchell

Image: Cast of Propeller - Copyright Robin Mitchell

Director of Propeller, Caitlin Skinner, said: “We’ve been out on the road with SDTN holding development workshops and auditions with graduating performers from around the country and I have found it very inspiring to meet so many of the emerging performers who are coming out of drama training in Scotland at the moment.

“I am absolutely thrilled that we have built such a strong and exciting ensemble and are in the process of building an equally exciting creative and production team. It is a huge gift for a director to get to work with performers, creatives and a production made up of graduates who are completely bursting with energy, ideas and talent and I can’t wait to see what we are going to make together.”

Gregor Duncan, Curriculum and Quality Leader for Acting and Performing Arts at New College Lanarkshire, said: “The opportunity offered by the SDTN ensemble production is invaluable for emerging artists from around the country. 

“To have three graduates from New College Lanarkshire’s BA Acting course perform at this year’s festival in such a high profile production is fantastic. We couldn’t be prouder of Rachael, Sophie and Ross in their work bringing ‘Propeller’ to the stage, making for a highly entertaining and thought-provoking show.”

New College Lanarkshire offers a range of courses in the Performing Arts. For more information, visit:

For more information on the Scottish Drama Training Network, visit:

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