Sunday, October 2

Tag: Festival Theatre

The Osmonds: A New Musical – Festival Theatre, Edinburgh
Scotland

The Osmonds: A New Musical – Festival Theatre, Edinburgh

The Osmonds is a new Musical promoting the story of 70s family band The Osmonds as told by band member Jay Osmond. Starting from the boys first gig on TV and loosely following their lives through their triumphs, failures and inevitable split. Consider this a musical for the fans, but was this really a story that needed bringing to the stage? My answer is most likely no, don’t get me wrong the show is fun, colourful and high energy but the story is told in a very vague manner giving the audience very little too emotionally cling on to, meaning when the characters reach their lows, we aren’t all that invested. This is not of course due to any fault of the cast who were brilliant but due to the writing and perhaps the choice of Jay being the story teller, taking over the show story in a c...
Don Giovanni – Festival Theatre, Edinburgh
Scotland

Don Giovanni – Festival Theatre, Edinburgh

‘Hurry hurry’ one character sings to another. ‘I can’t’ the other character replies. This is Mozart after all and the composer has never been known to keep things short and to the point. Don Giovanni doesn’t drag like the final acts of Figaro, but you do have to buckle yourself in for a lengthy ride. For those who don’t know the storyline of one of the greatest operas in the canon, the titular character of the opera, Don Giovanni, is more than just a philandering womanizing rake. He’s a liar, a rapist and a murderer. This is all apparent in the first 10 minutes when he’s already a committed a murder. As the opera progresses there are a series of characters baying for his blood, all wronged by his actions. When it seems he has achieved the impossible and dodged his demise he meets his e...
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...
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...
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...
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'...
Beautiful: The Carole King Musical – Festival Theatre, Edinburgh
Scotland

Beautiful: The Carole King Musical – Festival Theatre, Edinburgh

‘But the music keeps playing And won’t let the world get me down.’ These lyrics from the title track of Carole King’s third album ‘Music’, released a mere 11 months after the legendary ‘Tapestry’ in 1971, could easily explain her life and career, neither of which were short of ups and downs. The question was, how on earth could anyone do it justice in just over two hours? The moment the lights went down from her seat at the centrally placed piano, Molly-Grace Cutler (Carole) banished any concerns. The opening lines of ‘So Far Away’ were a hairs-on-the-back-of-the-neck/lump-in-the-throat moment. Her voice (whether she’d worked on it or not) was uncannily ‘Carole’, the theatre pin-drop silent. There followed an entertaining, slightly rushed account of her early years; learning the ...
Everybody’s Talking About Jaime – Edinburgh Festival Theatre
Scotland

Everybody’s Talking About Jaime – Edinburgh Festival Theatre

When you learn to except yourself for who you truly are and want to be, that is when the world will follow suit and accept you too, this is the message that this show communicates. Everyone’s Talking about Jamie is based around the true life and journey of drag star Jamie Campbell: one of the youngest drag queens of his time, taking up the art at just 16. Whilst drag is an important plot device do not get this show confused for a drag show; Jamie’s alter ego Mimi Me (or in real life Fifi La True) only actually surfaces once in the show and in its complete form this is via projection.  The plot is actually about a young sixteen-year-old queer boy (Jamie played by Layton Williams) who dreams of being a drag queen yet fears the backlash he may get from his classmates, teacher (Lara Dennin...
SIX: The Musical – Festival Theatre
Scotland

SIX: The Musical – Festival Theatre

The musical SIX, written by Toby Marlow and Lucy Moss and directed by Moss and Jamie Armitage, is an 80-minute celebration of 21st-century girl power through the story of the six wives of Henry VIII. In it, Catherine of Aragon (Chloe Hart), Anne Boleyn (Jennifer Caldwell), Jane Seymour (Casey Al-Shaqsy), Anna of Cleves (Aiesha Naomi Pease), Katherine Howard (Jaina Brock-Patel), and Catherine Parr (Alana M Robinson) get to put across their point of view through a glitsy Chicago-esque Cell Block Tango set-up (replace “Pop – Six – Squish – Uh-Uh – Cicero - Lipchitz” with “divorced – beheaded – died – divorced – beheaded – survived). The show first premiered 5 years ago in a hotel conference room at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival performed by half a dozen student actors and has since then r...
Eric & Ern – Festival Theatre, Edinburgh
Scotland

Eric & Ern – Festival Theatre, Edinburgh

It was difficult to suppress a chuckle simply taking in the set. That sofa, for those of us of a certain vintage, the telephone (Daddy, what were they for in the olden days?) and… The Bed! With no sign of a kitchen one feared – correctly as it turned out – that this would be free of pop-up toast routines. Of Des O’Connor mentions, famous catchphrases and legendary sketches it was not. Never mind how ‘of its era’ it was (20 million+ viewers for the Christmas Specials in 1977 and 1978), this production underlined how enduring the scripts have proved. As has - faithfully captured by Jonty Stephens (Eric) and Ian Ashpitel (Ern) - the stagecraft, timing and theatricality necessary to execute them. In less safe hands a quip about watching a three-foot high person swallow a four-foot sword might...