Sunday, September 24

The Hunchback Of Notre Dame – The Edinburgh Academy, Magnuson Theatre

This was – An absolute Gem – a stone cold hit.

Captivate have done it again! Despite, or perhaps, in spite of, the relocation from their normal haunt of Rose Theatre. Edinburgh Academy, Magnuson Theatre is transformed into Norte Dame, and the sound system which so exemplified their previous shows is just as crisp and clear, maybe even better than ever. It’s amazing! They are amazing!  And how could I ever have doubted that it would not be so.

From the moment that the huge chorus launch into their opening number, with smiles, brightly coloured costumes and jaunt, you know that it is business as usual! After all, Captivate do not do things half baked! It makes a lot of the servings at the Fringe look like thin gruel in comparison! I feel like I have used up my quota of exclamation marks, and I haven’t even waxed about the singing yet!

Auden McGrath plays the key role of archdeacon of Norte Dame, Claude Frollo, and reluctant uncle to Quasimodo, the famed hunchback of the title. The timbre of McGrath’s bass voice is a wonder to hear and holds the attention of fellow actors and audience alike whenever he speaks or sings.

Quasimodo, on the other hand is a much more up and down character, and his voice swings and arcs like the bells in the cathedral. The part is played to perfection by Lewis Kerr, whether he is cowering and stuttering in his uncles’ overbearing presence or leaping around the parapets, singing with his gargoyle chorus. It is the charged relationship between Frollo and Quasimodo that is at the heart of the show and comes to a head when they both fall for the gypsy girl Esmeralda played very nicely by Camilo Lopez.

In truth I do not have space to expand further on the story or the vastly talented cast of this superb show. Suffice to say, seek it out, and bask in the glorious wall of sound that this company can create – whilst you still can!

Running time – 2Hrs 15mins (with 15min interval),

Reviewer: Greg Holstead

Reviewed: 6th August 2023

North West End Rating:

Rating: 5 out of 5.