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007 pledges support to student festival

Tuesday 17 March 2009

Sir Sean Connery receiving his honorary doctorate from St Andrews in 1988 (photo: Special Collections)

An ambitious new arts festival for Scottish university students has been given the seal of approval by Sir Sean Connery.

The Scottish James Bond, best known for liking his martinis 'shaken, not stirred', has agreed to be patron of a festival appropriately called 'On the Rocks'.

The national showcase of the best in comedy, poetry, literature, dance and music will run annually for one week in April (Sunday 19th to Sunday 26th) in and around St Andrews.  Run entirely by St Andrews' students on a limited budget, the organisers hope that it will eventually become one of the highlights of the Scottish arts calendar.

Student Philippa Dunn had written to Sir Sean requesting support and was thrilled to receive a transatlantic phonecall from the Scot, who holds an honorary degree from St Andrews.

Philippa, Director of Student Development and Activities for the Students¿ Association, said, "I was in my office and a call came through warning me to sit down because Sean Connery was on the phone from the Bahamas.  I couldn't believe it - he was very supportive and asked me to send more information.  We are thrilled to have his support and delighted that he took the time to make such a personal statement."

The event already has the support of honorary graduates Dame Judi Dench and Joanna Lumley, as well as former students Crispin Bonham Carter and Siobhan Redmond.  Sir Sean was made a Doctor of Letters by St Andrews in 1988.

Hosting seventy performances across twelve venues in the University and town's historic surroundings, the unique event will kick off with a Victorian seaside fair on the University's mediaeval quadrangle, and culminate with an open-air ceilidh in the open air at St Andrews Castle.

A full scale performance of former St Andrews rector J.M. Barrie's Peter Pan at St Andrews Castle will provide the dramatic centerpiece to the week-long event, involving a large cast of students and young people from local schools and youth groups. During the event, students will work closely with groups such as Families First, which provides disadvantaged children the chance to use their creative skills in a safe environment.

Tickets will be available to buy online from this week at www.ontherocksfestival.com

For further information contact Philippa Dunn at ontherocks@st-andrews.ac.uk / 01334 462700 / 07828 066734

ENDS

 
Issued by the Press Office, University of St Andrews

Contact Gayle Cook, Senior Press Officer on 01334 467227 / 462529, mobile 07900 050 103, or email gec3@st-andrews.ac.uk
Ref:  On the rocks patrons 160309
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