Amy catches up with Steve McMahon, the creator of Sandcastles, a new play which is premiering at the Assembly Rooms at the Edinburgh Fringe this year!

Hi, how are you feeling ahead of the Fringe?

Waiting for the nerves to kick in!

What inspired Sandcastles?

It was partly inspired by my friends at drama school, an international group who’d found themselves living in New York from across the US, and further afield from Scotland, Sweden, Australia, England and more. The excitement and hopes and fears and triumphs and failures of all of that. And also partly inspired by the vehicle ramming terrorist attacks that had been happening with what seemed more common occurrence. An attack from a military veteran with PTSD happened in Times Square not far from where I was working one day and that really stuck with me.

You were due to stage the show two years ago, how does it feel that people will finally get to see the show live?

A relief, really. There was certainly a time when I worried this opportunity would go away. We’ve been very lucky that Assembly Festival have stuck with us in rolling on their ART Award, which we won for 2020, to this year, offering us a great deal of support in getting the show on at the Fringe.

Why do you think the Fringe is so important for new work?

I think it’s a great environment to experiment, to try and very possibly fail, but to develop as an artist and present your work to a broad and open audience.

What is the best and worst thing about performing at the Fringe?

The best thing is maybe that you get to perform to people from all corners of the globe, who have taken a punt on your show with a completely open mind because they just want to experience something new and surprising.

The worst thing is that at on any given day you might have more people on stage than in the audience.

What can people expect from Sandcastles?

It’s a bold, funny, moving piece of new writing about friendship, millennial angst, grief and growing up.

What shows will you be seeing whilst you’re in Edinburgh?

All of them! The Fringe is my Christmas so I’ll be seeing as much as I can. I’m particularly excited by the new writing coming out of Scotland. Looking forward to Isla Cowan’s She Wolf, James Ley’s Ode to Joy (How Gordon got to go to the nasty pig party), Jack MacGregor’s Nightlands, Morna Young’s Americana: A Murder Ballad and Kick The Door’s Land.

With a huge number of shows to choose from at the Fringe, tell people why they should come to Sandcastles!

It’s a play that will make you want to call your best friend.

And finally, where can people buy tickets to your shows and where do people find you on socials?


Sandcastles is on at the Assembly Rooms from the 4th – 27th at 12.50pm


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