Friday, January 27

Tag: Edinburgh Playhouse

<strong>Jersey Boys – Edinburgh Playhouse</strong>
Scotland

Jersey Boys – Edinburgh Playhouse

Twelve months into an epic 18-month tour of the UK and Ireland, Jersey Boys splashes down at Edinburgh Playhouse. The lines are smooth as silk, the choreography is on point, hair is perfect, music is tight and the vocals – well… they are simply fantastic, and from the look of the packed audience, dancing, singing and whooping by the finale there is no denying this slick production is a hit. Having previously seen this musical 3 years ago, my expectations of being slightly bored by what I recalled as a somewhat formulaic juke box musical were quickly blown away by the sheer energy of this new cast with superlative acting and by the imaginative and brilliant staging. The two-storey scaffold set looked simple but with imaginative modelling and brilliant choreography the actors moved aroun...
<strong>My Fair Lady – Edinburgh Playhouse</strong>
Scotland

My Fair Lady – Edinburgh Playhouse

Working-class flower girl Eliza Doolittle (Charlotte Kennedy) takes up an offer (or rather, bet) by renowned phonetician Professor Henry Higgins (Michael D. Xavier) saying that in six months he can teach her to pass for a member of the aristocracy enough to fool royalty. If they succeed, they will prove accents are a real but surmountable limitation on one's condition in Edwardian London and may improve one person's prospects, but if they fail, more than one life may be ruined. The musical, based on the 1913 George Bernard Shaw play and 1938 film Pygmalion (which was in turn based on the Greek myth of the same name about a sculpture who fall in love with Galatea, a statue of his creation), has been hailed as a classic since its 1956 stage and 1964 film premieres, with many classic song...
<strong>The Commitments – Edinburgh Playhouse</strong>
Scotland

The Commitments – Edinburgh Playhouse

Two months in to a nine-month tour of the UK, The Commitments lands in Edinburgh Playhouse. The lines are delivered crisply, the music is tight, and the vocals are on point, and from the look of the almost capacity audience, dancing, singing and whooping by the finale, all is well, or is it? It is hard for this not to be a hit, based on Roddy Doyle’s 1987 book set in Dublin and the subsequent 1991 BAFTA Award-winning film classic. The hit ingredients keep coming in the form of over 20 soul classics performed live on stage by a group of committed and talented actor / musicians. If you think there is a but coming, you would be right. Sometimes all of the right ingredients is just not enough, which is …well, disappointing. The story follows James Killeen as Jimmy Rabbitte, a young work...
Saturday Night Fever – Edinburgh Playhouse
Scotland

Saturday Night Fever – Edinburgh Playhouse

Adapted from the acclaimed 1977 film of the same title, ‘Saturday Night Fever’ is a show that, regardless of whether you are familiar with the original film or not, will hit you with an urge to dance as soon as you hear the Bee Gees soundtrack, an absolute delight for the ears all the way through. Greeting its audience with a very satisfying opening, sounds of electric guitars echoing loudly as the music smoothly morphs into ‘Stayin’ Alive’, our three Bee Gees singers (Aj Jenks, Drew Ferry and Oliver Thompson, nailing every single one of the songs) are ready to go, a full cast on stage dancing energetically to the classic hit, disco balls turning the theatre into a giant discothèque. Our hero in this colourful Bee Gees infused landscape is Tony Manero, interpreted by Jack Wilcox, a ...
The Book of Mormon – Edinburgh Playhouse
Scotland

The Book of Mormon – Edinburgh Playhouse

As Edinburgh comes down off its narcotic high of hosting the largest arts Festival in the world, and just as it starts to hunker down for the onset of Autumn and Winter, here comes a wake-up of epic proportions as ‘Mormon’ marches unashamedly into town. One of the world’s highest grossing musicals, this multi award-winning show is not to be missed, from the creators of South Park, Avenue Q and Frozen, Trey Parker, Robert Lopez, and Matt Stone. This is a show of high pedigree and high quality that does not disappoint and is probably one of the funniest musicals you are ever likely to see. Halfway through a UK tour the cast are drilled, the music is tight, and the laughs are guaranteed! Stripped down this is a buddy road-trip musical, think Abbott and Costello meets the Lion King, tha...
Footloose – Edinburgh Playhouse
Scotland

Footloose – Edinburgh Playhouse

Footloose tells the musically infused tail of wayward Ren and his journey from Chicago to rural backwater Bomont. A town tragedy involving the loss of the preacher’s son results in a town-wide ban on dancing in the bible-led town. Really? Oh yes. For newly arrived Ren and the preacher’s rebellious daughter Ren, this is devastating, especially as romance blossoms and the desire to dance ensues. But more interestingly, Ren embraces Christianity and uses a newly gifted bible to argue his cause for dancing which is a rather impressive move. Footloose is your classic jukebox musical complete with hits of the day spattered throughout the production for some dramatic and often comic effect. West-End star Darren Day relishes the spotlight as tough preacher Rev. Shaw Moore. In fact, his perform...
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...
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)...
Dreamgirls – Edinburgh Playhouse
Scotland

Dreamgirls – Edinburgh Playhouse

Effie White (Nicole Raquel Dennis), Lorrell Robinson (Paige Peddie) and Deena Jones (Natalie Kassanga) are the talented young 60s R&B group The Dreamettes. This musical charts their journey to stardom over a ten year period (subtly done through music genre and changes in costumes and wigs, by Suzanne Runciman, Danielle Bryson, Poppy Camden, Natalie Onoufriou, Lee-Ellen Wilson, Maria McLarnon, Olta Citozi, Aimee Harrison and Kirstie Lavin). It's not all singing and dancing though, with their journey including compromise, broken friendships (as seen in their name change from the Dreamettes, to The Dreams, and later Deena Jones and The Dreams) and the inherent issues of trying to make it as a black person in a white-dominated industry, aided and hindered by Dom Hartley-Harris as Curtis T...
Hairspray – Edinburgh Playhouse
Scotland

Hairspray – Edinburgh Playhouse

‘Save your personal life…’ instructs Velma Von Tussle ‘… for the camera, Sweetie.’ She, back in ‘62 (OK, John Waters in the mid 80’s) had clearly seen something in a crystal ball about TV beyond the early 90’s. Despite how prescient this observation, it was soon overwhelmed by a production possessing strength, power and above all… rhythm. The dialogue - sharp and indestructible as a diamond – swung perfectly between the songs and vice versa, but where musicals can often find themselves staffed by good actors who can sing and dance a little, or good singers/dancers who can act a bit, this had a cast capable of handling it all. Of a Dick Van Dyke accent catastrophe there was barely a flicker. Not a cue nor a laugh was missed. It’s scarcely believable that this was the professional deb...