How Aberdeen Student Show began...

In 1920, at the prompting of the authorities at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary, the Students’ Representative Council (SRC) of Aberdeen University established a series of fund-raising events in aid of local hospitals; central to which was the annual Gala Week.

In 1921 the Gala Week opened with the first Student Show, a mock trial (of a breach of promise case) held in the Aberdeen University Debating Chamber (“The Debater”) at Marischal College.

The Gala Week Committee then invited the University Debating Society to stage an annual musical comedy or revue based on student life. The first of these, in 1922, ‘Stella the Bajanella’ was written by Eric Linklater with music by JS Taylor. The Show then became an annual event, performed in various venues in Aberdeen, including the Training Centre Hall in St. Andrew Street, the Aberdeen College Hall and the Palace Theatre in 1927 and 1928, before finding a home in His Majesty’s Theatre in 1929.

Since then it has occasionally been performed elsewhere in the city, when His Majesty’s Theatre was unavailable – the Aberdeen College of Education in 1981 and 1982, the Music Hall Aberdeen in 2004 and His Majesty’s Theatre – Hilton (the former College of Education theatre) in 2005.

The Student Show has been produced every year in Aberdeen without a break since 1921, including throughout World War II. The cast is made up of volunteer students. They rehearse each new show for four weeks during the Easter academic holiday. The following week they perform the show, generally in the evenings, in front of paying audiences.

It remains the longest-running student charity show of its kind in the UK.