Friday, May 27

Scotland

The Scandal at Mayerling – Festival Theatre, Edinburgh
Scotland

The Scandal at Mayerling – Festival Theatre, Edinburgh

Considering the months of uncertainty, the arts have faced after the past two years, Scottish Ballet’s Scandal at Mayerling is not just a feat of performance, but a tremendous achievement. Delivering such an astonishing piece of performance art is no small undertaking, and in doing so, the company demonstrate their strength as world leading company. The scandal of the ballet’s title rocked Europe. In a small shooting lodge on the outskirts of the Viennese woods, the politics of Europe changed forever- it’s the rarely spoken catalyst of World War I. A Crown Prince with divergent political views could have changed the course of history if he had inherited the crown, but here he is, as the ballet ends, reliant on morphine, obsessed with his mistresses and lying dead with his lover. This i...
Wuthering Heights – King’s Theatre Edinburgh
Scotland

Wuthering Heights – King’s Theatre Edinburgh

Wise Children’s Wuthering Heights takes its form as a creative and all together magical adaptation of the 1847 Emily Bronte novel: Wuthering Heights. It’s serves to tell the story of two young lovers whose social status, race and upbringing become their own downfall. Heathcliff (Liam Tamne) is a young man found and adopted at Liverpool docks only to live his life in the shadows due to his ethnic background and darker features, when he meets adoptive sister Catherine (Lucy McCormick) he falls in love with the strange and mentally unstable young lady. Unfortunately, Catherine has other ideas and instead of pursuing her romance with Heathcliff she marries another man to attain her rank in society and so Heathcliff vows to get his revenge on those he blames for the loss of his happiness. This...
Anything Goes – Festival Theatre, Edinburgh
Scotland

Anything Goes – Festival Theatre, Edinburgh

When theatre reopened in London 2021, it opened with a bang. The Barbican’s Anything Goes starring Sutton Foster and Robert Lindsay was not just a highlight of 2021, but rather a theatre highlight of the decade. With a new star cast, starring Bonnie Langford, the absolutely de-lovely production hits the spot. Tonight’s cruise liner was crammed with as much action as a Shakespearean romantic comedy, if not more. Mistaken identity, farce and wall to wall tap dancing abound in every scene. Starlet Reno Sweeney (Kerry Ellis) is heading to New York aboard SS American, where her love Billy Crocker (Samuel Edwards) has also stowed away but is in hot pursuit of the debutante, Hope Harcourt (Nicole-Lily Baisden), who is due to be married to her PG Wodehouse-esque fiancé, Lord Evelyn Oakleigh. A...
Rock Of Ages – Edinburgh Playhouse
Scotland

Rock Of Ages – Edinburgh Playhouse

Rock of Ages is a cheesy jukebox musical that plays as the perfect throw back to everyone’s   favourite 80s and 90s rock anthems such as “Here I Go Again”, “Dead or Alive” and “Don’t Stop Believing”. There are several stories told throughout by fantastic narrator Lonny (played by Joe Gash), the main one being of star crossed lovers Sherrie (Gabriella Williams) and Drew (Sam Turrell) who both moved to the Sunset Strip to find fame but instead found each other however the one and only Stacee Jaxx (Matt Terry) proves to become their biggest obstacle. There is another secondary plot concerning the demolition of the Sunset Strip. It goes without saying that this production is near perfect! The cast are all incredibly talented and perfectly cast, we all already love the music, a...
Cluedo – King’s Theatre, Edinburgh
Scotland

Cluedo – King’s Theatre, Edinburgh

An irresistible invitation from Lord Boddy brings the seemingly unconnected Colonel Mustard (played by Wesley Griffith), Miss Scarlett (Michelle Collins), Reverend Green (Tom Babbage), Professor Plum (Daniel Casey), Mrs Peacock (Judith Amsenga) and Mrs White (Etisyai Philip) to a country house one dark and stormy evening. Soon the connections, motives and corpses begin piling up as the mystery and hysteria grows. Who is doing the killing? Was it Miss Scarlett, with the revolver in the dining room, or Professor Plum, with the lead pipe in the library?  Despite the familiar name, Cluedo is a new piece of work. That is to say, it's a new British play based on an older American play based on an 1985 American film (staring Tim Curry and Christopher Lloyd), based on a 1949 British board...
Ballet Black – Festival Theatre, Edinburgh
Scotland

Ballet Black – Festival Theatre, Edinburgh

After their hugely successful first visit to the Scottish capital in 2019, Ballet Black is finally back after their postponed 2020 show. This time, the London-based company is celebrating its 20th anniversary with two brand new pieces: Say It Out Loud and Black Sun. As I type this review, I notice the nail polish I am wearing – a blush pink tone- which is unoriginally called ballet slippers. This helps illustrate the fact that ballet is inherently white. The lack of diversity within ballet dancers and the struggle racialized performers face in the industry led Cassa Pancho, a trained dancer of Trinidadian and British parents, to fund Ballet Black in 2001 as a company to provide role models to young, aspiring black and Asian dancers. Over the course of these 20 years, Ballet Black ha...
Red Ellen – Lyceum Theatre, Edinburgh
Scotland

Red Ellen – Lyceum Theatre, Edinburgh

The author (Caroline Bird) admitted that ‘this play is one interpretation… there are so many Ellens to choose from’ and in this respect the show lost pace and momentum towards the end, lingering too long on Ellen’s disappointments, professional and personal, as she stumbled, a rattling, over-worked medicine cabinet, towards death; the air of exhaustion at the conclusion of the Second World War was captured well by the blazing row between Ellen (Bettrys Jones) and Herbert Morrison (Kevin Lennon), both true and tragic, but overlooked were her incredible feats and achievements as one of less than a handful of women involved in the government and politics of the era. Scant attention was paid to her involvement with the Women’s Suffrage organisation, hardly mentioned was her first position as ...
A Murder is Announced – King’s Theatre
Scotland

A Murder is Announced – King’s Theatre

Based on the 1950 novel by the “Queen of Crime” herself, Agatha Christie, the title refers to the murder being announced ahead of time in a local newspaper in a small village, right down to the minute. Though it could be described as a “Miss Marple Story”, in truth the detective-work is split almost 50/50 between her and local police-officer Inspector Craddock. It's also worth mentioning this isn't one of Christie's fifteen stage adaptations of her own work, this one being written by Leslie Darbon. But being based on one of her novels, it does contain many of the genre staples which have, thanks largely to her, become associated with the genre. These include: a small village setting, a plodding police sergeant (here played by Jog Maher), a corpse on the floor (Luke Rhodri), the suspect...
Singin’ In The Rain – Festival Theatre, Edinburgh
Scotland

Singin’ In The Rain – Festival Theatre, Edinburgh

It's 1927. Silent-film star Don Lockwood (Sam Lips) has it all, a wise-cracking best friend Cosmo Brown (Ross McLaren), fans, hit films and the most beautiful actress in town, Lina Lamont (Faye Tozer) on his arm. Then a chance meeting with a aspiring actress Kathy Selden (Charlotte Gooch) forces him to re-evaluate himself, just as the movies become the talkies, and everything must adapt or be left behind. The 1952 MGM classic this was adapted from was directed and choreographed by Gene Kelly and Stanley Donen, and starred Kelly, Donald O'Connor, Debbie Reynolds and Jean Hagen. It is perhaps least famous for being the era's equivalent of a jukebox musical, having been conceived around songs written and released almost two decades previously. However, the film quickly eclipsed the songs'...
Waitress – Edinburgh Playhouse
Scotland

Waitress – Edinburgh Playhouse

A story of baking, infidelity and finding love, waitress is a problematic musical surrounding a waitress who bakes pies to avoid talking about her feelings. Jenna (played tonight by Aimee Fisher) is a waitress for a small diner who specializes in making the best pies in town whilst avoiding dealing with her unhappy marriage and overall feeling of failure for the life she believes her mother would have wanted her to live. When a pregnancy test proves positive, she is forced to reconsider her life choices as she begins an affair with her gynaecologist (played by Liam McHugh) and starts to save up money to enter a baking contest that could guarantee her enough money to leave her abusive husband Earl (Donal Brennan) for good. At the same time, we follow her co-workers Dawn (Evelyn Hoskins)...