Tuesday, June 18

Tag: Edinburgh Playhouse

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang – Edinburgh Playhouse
Scotland

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang – Edinburgh Playhouse

An amazing spectacle and upbeat tunes (plus the most expensive prop in British theatre history), Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, sweeps you along for a few hours of happy distraction with ease and admiration. The lighting, designed by Ben Cracknell and implemented by Ryan Van Delden and deputy head of lighting, Sophie Meredith, is a work of perfection. Gareth Tucker’s set design works seamlessly under the management of Phil Sykes, Lee Harvey and Natasha Wood. The ever-present picture frame and blueprints create a sense of fantasy, innovation and endless possibility. And whatever team designed and created that flying car …  not Caractacus Potts himself, I assume … hats off to you. Thanks must go to Kielan Yates and Ellie Holloway for enabling this amazing star in its own right, night afte...
The Drifters Girl – Edinburgh Playhouse
Scotland

The Drifters Girl – Edinburgh Playhouse

Faye Treadwell was the manager, and driving force, behind the iconic American vocal group, The Drifters. Formed in 1959, the group’s hits included Hello Happiness, Saturday Night at the Movies, Under the Boardwalk, and so many more familiar numbers. Between the soundtrack, and the trailblazing lead character, the story seems to be made for musical theatre success. The line-up of the Drifters changed frequently during their history. We see members being drafted into the military, or fired by Treadwell and her husband George, or undergoing other personal tragedies. Sometimes – like Ben E. King (Ethan Davis), they move on to greater success elsewhere. In total, The Drifters featured 60 different vocalists during their history. This means a lot of multi-roling. Matthew Dawkins, Davis, Tari...
Pretty Woman – Edinburgh Playhouse
Scotland

Pretty Woman – Edinburgh Playhouse

Most of us are familiar with the 1989 film of Pretty Woman, starring Richard Gere and Julia Roberts, directed by Garry Marshall.  For those that aren’t, the narrative is a simple fairy story – millionaire tycoon Edward, visiting Los Angeles on a business trip, stops in Hollywood Boulevard to ask street walker Vivian for directions to the prestigious Beverly Wilshire hotel.  She ends up staying the night.  The following day she is told to kit herself out with some high-end fashion using Edward’s credit card and asked to remain for the rest of the week and accompany him on his various social enterprises.  So far, so Cinderf***ingrella. Pretty Woman the musical, book by Garry Marshall and J.F. Lawton and music and lyrics by Bryan Adams and Jim Vallance, is a joyous romp which is about as ...
Peter Pan Goes gnorW – Edinburgh Playhouse
Scotland

Peter Pan Goes gnorW – Edinburgh Playhouse

Mischief (here working with Kenny Wax Ltd and Stage Presence Ltd) is the multi award-winning company responsible for the very popular The Play That Goes Wrong, and its many conceptual spin-offs. These include the BBC One television series The Goes Wrong Show, Mind Mangler - Member of the Tragic Circle, Magic Goes Wrong, Mischief Movie Night and, of course, this evening's Peter Pan Goes Wrong, which was directed by Adam Meggido, with help from Associate Director Fred Gray. Like many of their shows, the concept is as complicated as the title. The ‘Cornley Drama Society’ Jake Burgum (Trevor the Stage Manager ), Jean-Luke Worrell (Francis the Narrator), Ciara Morris (Sandra / Wendy), Theo Toksvig-Stewart (Max / Michael), Clark Devlin (Dennis / John), Jamie Birkett (Annie / Tinkerbell), Gar...
Disney’s Aladdin – Edinburgh Playhouse
Scotland

Disney’s Aladdin – Edinburgh Playhouse

As a childhood favourite movie for a lot of people, Disney had a lot of work cut out for them to translate the magical animated masterpiece onto the live stage. Whilst they have some fantastic cast members and wonderful costumes, I’m sad to say the magic fell a little short. One cannot deny that the casting choices of the production team are impeccable: Gavin Adams plays the perfect cheeky thief Aladdin. His vocals never waver along with his energy. Our Princess Jasmine (Desmonda Cathabel) is head strong, witty and regal; she makes the perfect Princess Jasmine, bringing the animated beauty to life. Also true to the movie our villain Jafar (Adam Strong) has nailed the voice made famous by Jonathan Freeman and of course the laugh. Beside him Angelo Paragoso makes a hilarious Iago (hum...
The King and I – Edinburgh Playhouse
Scotland

The King and I – Edinburgh Playhouse

A show originally performed in 1956, It would be easy to write this off as old, irrelevant, dull, an anachronism, a three-hour yawn fest? How wrong you would be! It is the very opposite on all counts and has to be one of the most opulent and lavish and thoroughly entertaining touring productions I have ever seen at The Edinburgh Playhouse. Not only that, it also has themes which are extremely relevant and pertinent to our times. At its centre, the role of women, particularly in Asian society and the tensions between East and West, which are probably even more extreme and concerning now than they ever were when this was written. Anna Leonowens, played brilliantly by Annalene Beechey, is the headstrong school mistress travelling to Bangkok in Siam (now Thailand) to teach the King’s (Bria...
Jake Bugg – Edinburgh Playhouse
Scotland

Jake Bugg – Edinburgh Playhouse

Bringing my Edinburgh Fringe reviewing to an end for another year (with review number 63!), an absolute belter, five-star performance by Nottingham lad, singer-songwriter and supreme musician, Jake Bugg, at the Edinburgh Playhouse. An artist that I have known of and heard snippets of over the last ten years, this concert came as a very pleasant surprise, and reminded me that I actually do know loads of his songs, albeit not the names of them! Luckily, I was sitting next to fellow reviewer and big Bugg fan, Eilidh Tuckett from Artmag, who was able to lean over and tell me the names of the songs as they came thick and fast. Thanks Eilidh! From the very Oasis sounding, Kingpin, from Bugg’s second album to the much softer and more lyrical Hold Tight, his favourite from his fifth album, ...
Strictly Ballroom The Musical – Edinburgh Playhouse
Scotland

Strictly Ballroom The Musical – Edinburgh Playhouse

Based on Baz Luhrmann’s Australian 1992 award-winning worldwide film phenomenon, the show adapted for the stage is currently touring the UK and Ireland till July 2023. It lands in Edinburgh with a star-studded cast, including Kevin Clifton of BBCs Strictly Come Dancing fame and Faye Brooks of ITVs Coronation Street and Dancing on Ice, in the lead roles. If you are a fan of Strictly I expect you are going to enjoy this show (whatever I say) for Kevin, for the expert dancing, outrageous and pretty revealing costumes and heaps of glitz and glam. The bright and cheesy glamour of the ladies’ sequin and feather costumes marries up nicely to the intentionally badly made and hideously fitted wigs adorning most of the cast. The wigs take a bit of getting used to but are all part of setting the ...
The Mousetrap – Edinburgh Playhouse
Scotland

The Mousetrap – Edinburgh Playhouse

Agatha Christie’s “The Mousetrap” is most famous for being the longest continually running show in the world.  Still being performed in the West End, it is now celebrating its 70th year with this anniversary tour.  There is one original cast member still performing to this day!  That is the voice of Derek Guyler, playing the radio announcer.  Set in the early 1950s at a remote countryside guest house, five guests and the newlywed owners of Monkswell Manor are snowed in, with phone lines out of action and roads closed.  Then a detective sergeant arrives on skis, with news that a killer is amongst them. The play was originally written for radio with the title “Three Blind Mice” and the somewhat eerie refrain of that nursery rhyme provides a suitably atmospheric t...
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – Edinburgh Playhouse
Scotland

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – Edinburgh Playhouse

Come to Edinburgh Playhouse and you'll be in 'a world of pure imagination' with the first ever UK and Ireland tour of Charlie and the Chocolate factory directed by James Brining and written by David Greig with music and lyrics by Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman. Adapted from Roald Dahl's children's story of the same name, this production is sure to be a hit with the whole family! With vibrant and colourful lighting by Tim Mitchell and mystifying video and illusion design from David Callanan and Chris Cox respectively, the show lives up to the expectations of the book as well as the two movie adaptations from 1971 and 2005. A notable moment where it is as though you are watching the film live in front of your eyes comes from the four grandparents. Although not on stage as a full four ...