Saturday, September 30

Revenge For The Count Of Monte Cristo – Hill Street Theatre

Hill Street Theatre has long been a regular haunt of Fringe goers, with the battle-hardened / extremely charismatic / miserable b* (delete as appropriate) producer/director Derek Douglas at the helm once again. Mixing a combination of brand new shows with re-run favourites, aiming to balance the books when the curtain eventually comes down. (hopefully!)

Revenge, as they say, is a dish best served cold. This brand new musical written by Pete Sneddon and directed by Mark Geary-Fairbairn, set in post-Nepoleonic France, is at times stone cold and difficult to follow. However, it is saved to some extent, by some excellent singing by a talented cast.

Lewis Carlton excels as Edmond, the titular Count and opens the show with the rousing number ‘The Count of Monte Cristo’. So far so good. The other male characters in particular are also excellent in the singing department, Ross Jamieson as Fernand and Owen Redmond as Danglar.

I am not a big fan of voice-over links and this show is full of them, between every scene, and they are mostly inaudible. I can only assume that this device has been used to shorten the play, but what we are left with is a barely recognisable skeleton.

I would love to explain now what this story is about, but I can’t. There is not even a programme to explain it. Sorry.

There is promise here, but this needs too much work.

There are some odd songs too. None more so than the enigmatic closing number, ‘Until The Time We are Children Again’.  What?

If you are looking for a mystery with some fine singing, this is the show for you!

Running time – 55 mins

Reviewer: Greg Holstead

Reviewed: 5th August 2023

North West End UK Rating:

Rating: 2 out of 5.