Saturday, January 28

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 chirpy TV show host persona and attempting to touch on his family’s personal issues without knowing enough to go into depth. For a autobiographical musical it’s important to fully explore the highs and lows, to build up characters that the audience can understand and therefore become invested in their story, unfortunately the mark was missed here. That being said if you are coming for the music then look no further.

The talent of this cast is the show’s saving grace along with its bright wardrobe and smashing choreography. The harmonies delivered by the lead cast are something really special and each and every cast member has their moment to shine.

Photo: Pamela Raith

Alex Cardall is wonderfully charismatic as star Andy Williams, working effortlessness with the younger cast members and really shining through in ensemble numbers. Nicole Bryan plays the doting mother exceptionally and was definitely a personal favourite of mine and Charlie Allen nails the military manager that was George Osmond.

Our leading gents are impressive to say the least with very strong stamina levels, it’s a wonder how they can spend a whole number jumping around to complex choreography and still be in perfect tune and pitch. Joseph Peacock (who plays Donny) is a real standout due to his wondrous vocal range and ability; his voice is one you don’t hear around much and really is something special. Ryan Anderson (Merrill) demonstrates some fantastic and stand out rock vocals too. Overall, this is a very talented bunch of gents. One must not also forget the young children in the cast who are equally as fabulous.

Overall, despite its structural and writing issues this show is fun, and with an audience of very satisfied older ladies there definitely is a market for it, just a small one. The music is impressive and a treat for the ears with its cheesy upbeat mood which is great for a little toe tapping. The production overall is very high standard and so the 4 stars go to the full cast and creative team, if you go into the show thinking of it as a tribute show you won’t be disappointed but the story telling overall loses the show that final star.

The Osmonds plays at Edinburgh Festival theatre from 20th – 24th September,

Reviewer: Beth Eltringham

Reviewed: 20th September 2022

North West End UK Rating: ★★★★