Andrew is from Fife where he lives today. While studying at the University of Edinburgh, he spent probably too much time writing sketches and performing in student theatre, where he met Beth Hamilton-Cardus, his partner in his community theatre company Suit and Pace. After leaving Edinburgh, he studied acting at Adam Smith College and joined their graduate theatre company. Before going full time with Suit and Pace in 2015, Andrew worked with charities counselling young people who needed support. Here he discovered the power of storytelling to engage.
Andrew uses stories from all around the world to engage and excite audiences. He enjoys using stories as a way of creating conversations about more serious topics – theming stories together to create discussion points about topics that can be difficult or awkward to discuss. Working with his partner Beth Hamilton-Cardus as Suit and Pace, he has created sessions themed around everything from Halloween and the Olympics, to refugees and positive mental wellbeing for primary school pupils.
Andrew loves bringing stories to life using acting skills – making my stories as much of a performance as possible using my voice and my body, using mime, walk, dance or whatever suits the story.
"I think of stories as living things that constantly evolve – it’s rare that I story I’ve told will be the same the first time and last time I tell it. As much as possible, I get my audience to tell the story with me, suggesting small details like names and descriptions as well as big details like plot twists and conclusions. I particularly like stories that are different and exciting for my audiences – there’s nothing more rewarding than telling someone a story that is brand new and different to anything they’ve heard before that they enjoy. Which isn’t to say I don’t like telling more familiar stories – but even then, I always like to add a new twist to the tale."
Current events and projects
As Suit and Pace, Andrew is currently working on a project with refugee families in Fife called Story Swap, sharing and comparing traditional stories from Scotland and Syria to try and build links between children and families from Syria and Fife. He is also working on stories about travellers in Culross for a project in partnership with Edinburgh University calledTravellers Tales and Tales for Travellers – talking about travellers though space, and also time. Andrew will also be telling tales as part of the Scottish Mental Health Arts and Film Festival, Book Week and other local festivals.
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