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St Peter’s people at Edinburgh Fringe

10 July 2024

A young woman holding a white ceramic plate

Are you heading to Edinburgh this August? For El Blackwood (Archaeology and Anthropology, 2016) and Maisie Saunders (Physics, 2023), the answer is yes. Both women plan to take their shows to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, the world’s largest performance arts festival.

Are you an SPC member who is taking a show to Fringe? Let us know at

El Blackwood: 'Tending'

El Blackwood (right), credits her friendship with paediatric ICU nurse Izzy (left) as the inspiration for her play.
Two women, one in causal wear and one in nurse scrubs, sitting and smiling at one another in a posed photo.

El Blackwood matriculated at St Peter’s College in 2016, studying Archaeology and Anthropology. She was JCR President from 2017 to 2018 and graduated in 2019 and has since then pursued an MSc in Policy at the London School of Economics and a career in writing and acting. Her play, Tending, uses verbatim theatre to show real-life experiences of nurses working in the NHS. Tending received several four and five-star reviews in 2023 following its Edinburgh Fringe debut, and is now headed back for a full month of performances this August.

‘Based on over 70 interviews, Tending shines a light on the people who do so much for us, but so often go overlooked. Ultimately, the play asks, who cares for the carers? Carrying out the interviews, stitching them together, and receiving such a positive reaction from nurses and audiences who have come to see Tending has been a very humbling experience.’

El credits her inspiration to conversations with her best friend Izzy, a Paediatric ICU nurse. She also notes that St Peter’s played a part in her creative approach:

‘There’s no doubt in my mind that my anthropological training at St Peter’s, where I learned how to build real connections with communities and carry out qualitative research, has been crucial. Especially how to ask questions that discover how people make meaning. Tending is an extension of this skillset, combined with a grounding in policy and political action. I hope that Peterites come to see it, and if so, please do stay afterwards and say hi!’

Learn more about Tending here.

Maisie Saunders

A young woman holding a white ceramic plate

A Physics student by day, rising second-year undergraduate Maisie Saunders has spent the year moonlighting in a production that debuted this May at the Oxford Playhouse Burton Taylor Studio and is now headed to Edinburgh Fringe.

Dead End is a two-person production about two childhood friends who realise they have grown apart. Maisie plays Olivia, who finds that her creative and visionary perspective on life contrasts starkly with that of her friend, Bea, who is focused on her career and financial security.

Maisie said,

‘I’ve loved stepping into Olivia’s shoes and working to understand her character. Getting to perform to an audience was even better! Dead End has been a great opportunity to work with amazing creative people with whom I wouldn’t normally cross paths, and I’m really proud of the show we’ve made together. Being in a play at Edinburgh Fringe is an absolute dream come true - I can’t wait!’

Learn more about Dead End here on their Instagram page.

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