Musicals and Opera (musical theatre, new writing)

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  • theSpace @ Venue45 - theSpace @ Venue 45
  • 13:55
  • Aug 24
  • 1 hour
  • Suitability: 14+ (Guideline)
  • Country: United Kingdom - England
  • Group: Cambridge University Musical Theatre Society
  • Warnings and additional info: Contains Distressing Themes, Strong Language/Swearing
  • Accessibility:
    Wheelchair Accessible Toilets
    May not apply to all performances. You'll find more information about accessibile performances and how to book tickets in the accessibility tab below.
  • Babes in arms policy: Babies are not allowed in the venue
  • Policy applies to: Children under 1 year

This show has performances in multiple locations


'When you leave here, everything else will be exactly the same. The only thing that’s changed is you.’ Based on personal experience, Rust follows Evie over the course of a month in a rehab centre as she starts to rebuild herself from rock bottom. The company behind SiX brings this moving and life-affirming original musical about addiction, mental health services and recovery to the Fringe. Previous praise for the production team: ***** (ThreeWeeks,, Varsity).

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General venue access

  • Wheelchair Accessible Toilets
  • Accessible entry: Up a ramp into the building then level access into the theatre.
  • Wheelchair access type: Permanent Ramp

  • Stairs: Information not supplied

Each venue can contain several space with different accessibly information. Visit the venue page for full venue accessibility info

How and when to make an access booking

Our access tickets service is available to anyone who:

  • Would like to book specific accessibility services, e.g. a hearing loop, audio description headsets, captioning units, seating in relation to the location of the BSL interpreter
  • Requires extra assistance when at a venue
  • Has specific seating requirements
  • Is a wheelchair user
  • Requires a complimentary personal assistant ticket to attend a performance

Rosa 109 days ago

If you haven't seen this yet -- go see it! Beautifully written by Helena Fox and exposes many important issues surrounding mental health and recovery that everyone can benefit from. The most relevant musical I've seen for a long time !

Yitzin Ruiz Lopez 110 days ago

You read about shows that are important, audience members say ‘you need to see this show if you see anything at the Fringe’ and I’ve never truely felt that the statement was ever genuine. Had I not seen something that was worthy of that title or were people just overreacting? But I think I understand after seeing Rust, this show is so necessary. The second the lights go up you are sucked into a world of pain and heartache but you leave full. Full of love, full of music, and full of hope. What was presented on stage at venue 45 at the Space was an absolute masterpiece and I am beyond grateful to have experienced such beauty. I don’t know if saying the previously mentioned statement would have any effect at this point, but I can say that this show is so important. As an audience member I cannot say thank you enough. Thank you to the creators of Rust, thank you to the performers, and thank you to the Fringe. From the bottom of my heart thank you to everyone involved.

Albertus Raynaldi 114 days ago

Raw. Emotional . Mental Health Awareness .

A very raw and emotional new musical about a sensitive topic - mental health awareness. It touches the heart on many deep levels.

The show and the story line was amazing and I wish the best of luck to this musical to move forward and do many workshops as possible.

Notes for this musical is I just wished that there could be a deeper character development of each character so we can relate them more to a certain level. This musical will be going places if it's developed properly, and I can't wait to see what's to come.

Chris Webster 115 days ago

A powerful musical which addresses head-on the topic of mental illness with candour and compassion. You will feel touched by the story of every character acted to perfection by the whole cast with a supporting score and band which bring this musical to life. Five stars do not do it justice ...

David Dobson 116 days ago

Excellent production; heavy and thought provoking, delivered by a very talented young cast. One of the best shows my wife and I have seen in the last 10 days - so good we'll go and see it again at the ADC when we are at home next term!

Lydia Forbes 116 days ago

Shaken to the core, broken down and rebuilt within the space of an hour. Or, at the very least, foundations laid. This is a show that manages to navigate the murky waters of mental health with fresh eyes and even fresher voices. Its course doesn't stray into optimistic cliches, nor does it leave us drowning, but somehow manages to kindle within us a tentative hopefulness. More than a pleasure to watch, it is a necessity. I found myself laughing aloud in one moment and (quietly) ugly-crying in the next. Disturbing and essential conversation turned into art - this is what the Fringe is all about.

Helen Tarver 117 days ago

This is our favourite show of everything we’ve seen this week. Funny but with real emotional depth. It tackles mental health and addiction recovery in a moving but not mawkish way. Beautiful singing from the cast, powerful performances. One not to miss.

Chay Graham 118 days ago

I saw this with a pal and we loved it so much!

Rust's main character, Evie, has a crisis, and suddenly departs from day-to-day life to arrive in a rehab centre. She soon begins colliding with a colourful cast of patients and medics, and getting to grips with how her recovery program operates - kind of like Girl, Interrupted minus the melodrama and with a touch of Harry Potter-style escapism adventure.

I found the themes of mental health accessible to an outsider, presumably aimed at a wide audience, with a powerful message. The story is told thru an increasingly dazzling score of lush music, raw monologue and poetic dialogue. It works so well!

Too often the writing of mentally ill characters suffers from either too much gloss or too much grit, a devilishly tricky balance to strike. I felt that balance was upheld well for a change, and much like the title suggests, there is a good amount of both polish and dirt to be found in the characters.

I was moved and impressed with this excellently written musical, brought to life by a talented cast + crew - and hope it gets the recognition it deserves :)

Buy tickets (and tissues) ASAP before they sell out, tweet it to your pal who curates theatre, and catch yourself humming the melodies at work a day later

Marija Zacharova 119 days ago

Really moving, intense but heavy show. I think content warnings could have been more detailed in the description, since cw: eating disorders, substance abuse, depression and other mental health disorders, self-harm.

Very good writing and music. While individual voices varied in strength, the vocalists worked excellently as an ensemble, and the a capella bits were goosebump-inducing. The cast and production team should be really proud.

Sarah Ashton 120 days ago

This is an astoundingly beautiful production, from the characters to the songs, everything felt so authentic and the cast were extremely talented. I cried multiple times and left the show feeling so touched. Go and see this show!!

Simon Samuel 123 days ago

Really good show covering a delicate subject - def worth seeing

Beatrix Swanson Scott 125 days ago

This beautifully written show is at times hilarious, at times heartbreaking. The cast and band perform with conviction and skill and the script gains depth through its roots in real-life experiences in with mental health rehabilitation services. Escape off the Royal Mile to spend a thought-provoking hour with this dedicated group!

Howard Saffer 125 days ago

A moving and thought provoking show, sometimes tear-jerking. Well acted and music was excellent.

On a technical level, I think that I missed some of the more subtle softly spoken moments - difficult in a theatre with an audience on 3 sides (but would individual actor microphones have been helpful?)

Margaret Callan 126 days ago

Outstanding production. Poignant drama honestly addressing important issues. Beautifully directed with thoughtful staging and seamless blending of music and spoken word. Highly recommended.

Julie A. Smith 126 days ago

I have to repeat the fabulous 5 star ratings that this show has been given by the many reviewers. Even the professional review by Broadwaybaby on this site gave a similar rating! I believe that they were limited to the one hour, as this is the Fringe, but it is incredible just how much they managed to pack in, without feeling rushed. I didn't want it to end. It was a valuable experience and potentially life changing for some.

Samiksha Sindhu 127 days ago

The show outlines the mental health problems in such brilliantly heart warming yet entertaining way. The performers are amazingly talented and the musical scores are so well performed. Highly recommend it to anyone looking for a quality musical....both content and execution wise.

David Henderson 127 days ago

This was a thought-provoking show that dealt with the subject of mental illness in a compassionate style, exploring the experiences of a young girl at a rehabilitation centre. The show was performed with conviction although the subject matter did not always sit comfortably with the upbeat nature of musical theatre. Possibly limited by the one hour running time, the show did not always explore the experiences of every character and the circular staging of the meetings means that we do not see the facial expressions or reactions of the main characters. I feel that with a more inventive set and a bit more time this could mature into a brilliant production.

Christine Widdowson 129 days ago

An amazing show. It gives a real insight into mental health problems, yet is very entertaining. Should be compulsory watching for teachers, doctors, parents fact all of us !

Susie Mallinder 129 days ago

Brilliant, thought provoking show, Rust addresses the issue of mental health. Laugh and cry, I recommend this to everyone.

Elfreda Tealby-Watson 129 days ago

Going to disagree with 5 * reviews. This was well intentioned and thoughtful with some excellent acting but some variable vocals. Sadly, I found the dynamic between humour & pathos too limited to hit really deep. The central character was not well enough described - a shame in comparison to the alcoholic mum & the struggling drag queen. Would love to see a Re-write?

Ruth Blakley 129 days ago

3rd August - Very challenging, full of emotion, intricate, I was invested in characters' journeys and it flowed beautifully. The stage 'choreography' was fab. Can't enthuse enough about Rust. I cried at various places throughout. Some dialogue really resonated with me. LOVED it. Super cast, musicians excellent, lighting and staging wonderful. Also I'm very proud to say my niece Izzy Collie-Cousins co-directed however without that personal connection my review would be the same.

Jonathan Rosser 129 days ago

Really enjoyable and insightful musical, would highly recommend! It really resonated with the audience and if you only see one thing at the fringe this is it!

Sheila H 129 days ago

Caring, clever, challenging show which raises important issues in a theatrical setting. The music and acting is outstanding from a talented cast.
If I had one tiny negative it was that sometimes in the quieter moments the spoken word didn't project so well in the round.

Katharine New 130 days ago

Stunning new musical talent makes this hour a delight and the material, touchingly dealt with, will haunt your thoughts for some time after you come away. Rust is a moving, yet fast-paced and amusing piece with some beautiful songs that will satisfy any audience. I laughed a lot and saw others in the audience reduced to tears. In years to come you will be able to boast that you saw a show created by these amazing new talents. So, go and see Rust today!

Karen Jones 131 days ago

I saw this performance today after being strongly encouraged to come, and let me tell you, it was absolutely one of the most incredible plays I have seen in my life. The writing is beautiful and thought-provoking, and the message is very relevant. This is a show you absolutely cannot miss.

Mark Jones 131 days ago

5 HUGE stars for Rust!! It’s beyond extraordinary. Thought provoking, educational, moving and funny. The music and standard of acting was exceptional. Hard to believe they’re not professionals (yet). Our future is in safe hands, if this group of exceptionally talented young people are anything to go by. If I didn’t have to return home for work, then I’d go again. It was THAT good!!

Sophie West 131 days ago

Insightful and thought-provoking, with excellent music. Well worth seeing.

Amy Pamment 131 days ago

This show has everything you could want from a new writing at the Fringe: deeply thought provoking and moving writing, beautiful original score, strong performances from an energetic young cast, uplifting songs and humour. A must see !

Anna 131 days ago

Thought provoking and heartfelt. So relevant and beautifully written. A wonderful way to spend the afternoon, a must watch this fringe.

Bryn Peter 131 days ago

Rust succeeds in addressing the issue of mental health in modern society in a direct, thoughtful and charismatic way. Beautifully written and littered with spectacular performances, I urge everyone to consider this a must-see.

Gill Davies 131 days ago

If you only see one musical at the fringe make sure it is this one. The vocals are beautiful and the story thought provoking. It made me laugh and cry- an hour very well spent.

Mary Colyer 131 days ago

Writing and music that touches your heart and will leave you thinking for a long time after you leave.

Louisa Fox 131 days ago

Rust will stay with you for a long, long time.
It's beautifully written and performed. A real insight into the world of addiction and rehab, as well as the human interactions that arise in complex situations.
It tackles mental illness and addiction with perfectly composed music and scripting.
Educational... Moving... So, so so deeply relevant. Wishing everyone I know could see it.

Lucy HAMILTON 131 days ago

Fantastic show. A difficult but very topical subject thoughtfully addressed, but also great fun with catchy songs and much joy and amusement.

Fran Murray 131 days ago

I was blown away by the quality of this production. It was funny, moving, uplifting and real. Great writing, music and a very strong cast - and much more enjoyable than the subject matter suggests! Go and see it - you won't be disappointed.

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Broadway World (4/5 stars) 118 days ago

Rust is a new musical from Cambridge University Musical Theatre Society about addiction, mental illness and recovery. Evie is admitted to an inpatient facility at age 20 due to an eating disorder and various other undiagnosed issues. She's been known to services for a long time but slipped through the...

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FringeReview 121 days ago

“I’m battered and bruised and I’m covered in dust and I’m rusted. I’m shattered, abused and about to combust and I’m rusted.”  So goes the theme song for the very powerful new musical, Rust.  It is an hour of examining mental illness, addiction and recovery, told in the voices of...

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Broadway Baby (5/5 stars) 126 days ago

It’s very tempting to conclude your musical with a clearcut happy ending, where every loose end is neatly tied and all of your favourite characters ride off into the sunset. Who wouldn’t want their audience to leave clapping their hands and stamping their feet? Luckily, Rust rejects that notion. The...

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Participants - for further details on our audience and published review policies, including how to add or opt out of reviews, please click here.

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Participants - for further details on our audience and published review policies, including how to add or opt out of reviews, please click here.