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Nov 18th

Go Back For Murder – Theatre Royal Glasgow – 18th – 23rd Nov 2013

By Jon Cuthbertson

The Official Agatha Christie Theatre Company returns, in their eighth year, with Go Back For Murder, one of Agatha Christie’s last plays, based on her novel Five Little Pigs.


With an all star cast, Joe Harmston reliably at the helm and a great Agatha Christie story, this has all the makings of a successful night of theatre...and it pretty much pulls it off. Simon Scullion’s simple set design is put to good use in Act 1, with many choreographed scene changes using only a few items to represent the changes of location. These seamless transitions added a lot to the production value and with the clever lighting effects both here and in the second act added another dimension to the elements of tension and drama.


The cast however have a lot of dialogue to convey before we get to the drama. The rather confusing story involves Carla Le Marchant returning from Canada to avenge the, she believes, wrongful conviction of her recently deceased mother, Caroline Crale (both roles played by Sophie Ward) for the murder of her father, Amyas Crale (enigmatically played by Gary Mavers). To do this, she enlists the help of Justin Fogg, the son of her mother’s lawyer. Fogg, charmingly performed by Agatha Christie regular Ben Nealon, carries a lot of the narrative and does well to deliver this with enough variety to keep it interesting without ever becoming “hammy”. The “Five Little Pigs” of the original title were all those present on the day of the murder. Angela Warren – Caroline’s half sister, Miss Williams – her governess, Lady Elsa Greer – Amyas’ current artistic muse and mistress and finally Philip and Meredith Blake – brothers and childhood friends of Caroline and Amyas. Act 1 introduced us to them all in 1968 as Carla speaks to them all individually about the events 20 years earlier. Act 2 they all return to the scene of the crime and their recounting of the tale leads rather cleverly into flashbacks of the events of that fateful day.


Liza Goddard as Miss Williams makes a remarkable transformation and her physicality in playing the same character 20 years apart had some lovely touches. Her warm delivery and clever timing also gave some nice humorous moments to this piece. Lysette Anthony as Elsa also handles this age gap well. She not only captures the performance of a 19 year old, but looks just this age too when required, however her best lines are delivered when she is the more powerful, but lifeless Lady Greer. The most likeable character seems to be Meredith, his concern in both 1968 for Carla and 1948 for Caroline are evident in the solid performance from Antony Edridge. The most difficult to convince however was Robert Duncan as Philip. His portrayal of the older Philip was handled well, and his delivery of the younger Philip was also impressive, but unfortunately even from midway back stalls he was too old to play this role. The same could also be said for Sophie Ward. Her own confident portrayal didn’t help to convince me that she was a girl in her early 20s, but did work very well as the mother, Caroline (perhaps helped by being a more comfortable accent for her to work in too). The stand out performance came from Georgia Neville, making her professional debut as Angela. Her contrasting roles as this character at 14 and then 34 gave the actress a chance to show off her diverse talents and will definitely be a name we will see again.


With enough clues to allow you to guess “whodunnit”, the Agatha Christie Company have selected another interesting play to produce. Taking Agatha Christie’s substance, they have added the style and created another intriguing night of theatre for all murder mystery fans.




Mon 18 Nov – Sat 23 Nov

Mon – Sat eves 7.30pm

Thu & Sat mats 2.30pm

Tickets: £11.90 - £37.90


Box Office: 0844 871 7647 (Bkg fee)


Oct 23rd

The Lion King at Edinburgh Playhouse

By Cameron Lowe
Review by Cameron Lowe

Words like “awesome” and “phenomenon” are over-used in theatrical reviews but The Lion King at the Edinburgh Playhouse is a production where these words can truly apply. It’s time to reach for the “Bumper Book of Jungle-themed Superlatives” …


Anticipation was high among the audience before the curtain rose. Those who had experienced The Lion King in London were busy telling those who had not what to expect. The auditorium was literally buzzing … in part due to the audience chatter and in part due to the atmospheric jungle insect noises being piped in. The lights dimmed and the audience hushed …


RafikiSpotlight on Rafiki (perfectly voiced with unstoppable enthusiasm by Gugwana Dlamini). She begins the, now timeless, opening wailing chant heralding what emerges as a glorious dawn while warming lighting transitions give way to a massive sunrise on stage. We can almost feel the heat! The rising orb is accompanied by the ascending harmonies of the chorus and the first creatures appear in the daylight to welcome the birth of the King’s son and heir.


Giraffes and cheetah

Seated in the stalls we are suddenly surrounded by a plethora of beautifully crafted African beasts which are expertly animated by the cast as they lumber towards the stage. It is almost as if Noah had parked his arc at the back of the auditorium as elephants are followed by zebras, antelope and all manner of birds. The audience bursts into spontaneous applause in the middle of this opening number – they can’t help themselves. On stage, the gathering creatures are joined by a cheetah and the most elegant giraffes. All the while the chorus is rising to the crescendo of “The Circle of Life” as Rafiki presents the new born cub to the assembled subjects and the proud parents look on … BOOM. Blackout. Over 3000 people in the audience erupt into thundering applause.

This is without doubt the most amazing theatrical opening I have ever experienced – you don’t just watch this show, you are part of it. I was in danger of injuring my neck as I tried to take it all in. All around me, adults were grinning like school kids as they excitedly looked left and right and overhead (the school kids seemed to be taking it all in their stride). The impact is testament to the vision and co-ordination of Director and costume / puppet designer, Julie Taymor. She has merged design and performance imaginatively and seamlessly. The high level of collaboration throughout the production is also evident in the music with contributions from African artist Lebo M, Hans Zimmer, Julie Taymor and others adding to the core music and lyrics from Elton John and Tim Rice. The result is much more than a “show”, it’s an “experience”.

Based on the 1994 Disney animated feature film, the stage show follows the movie storyline closely. Young Simba stands to inherit the Pridelands from his strong and just father, Mufasa (Cleveland Cathnott), but evil uncle, Scar (wickedly portrayed by Stephen Carlile), wants the Kingdom for himself. Scar implements a murderous plot and Simba is forced to leave the Pridelands. Simba takes refuge with comedy duo Timon and Pumbaa (played nicely for laughs by John Hasler and Lee Ormsby) and grows to adulthood (now played athletically by Nicholas Nkuna) with his new found friends. A chance encounter with his childhood sweetheart, Nala (passionately delivered by Ava Brennan) forces Simba to face up to the responsibilities of his birth right by confronting the evil Scar in a battle for the future of the Pridelands.

It would be impossible to maintain the ‘wow factor’ of the opening throughout the production and fortunately the show does not merely rest on “The Circle of Life”. With a hit filled score including “I Just Can’t Wait to be King”, “Hakuna Matata” and “Can You Feel the Love Tonight?” combined with gradually revealed costume, creature and staging delights, The Lion King continues to impress and entertain throughout. The story has some real depth, too, and just the right mix of tears and laughs to engage the whole family.

Beyond the mind boggling scale and concept there was still room to appreciate the excellent performances. Gugwana Dlamini was, quite simply, Rafiki brought to life for me. Her vocals and character delivered everything I could ask for from the role. I was also captivated by the depth and conviction of Ava Brennan as Nala. With powerful vocals across an incredible range and heartfelt emotion she took her character far beyond the celluloid incarnation.

Ava Brennan as Nala

The Lion King reigns supreme in Edinburgh until 18 January 2014 but beware that tickets in the run up to the festive period will sell quickly and you may be missing your opportunity to see this amazing production TODAY! Did I mention that it is an awesome phenomenon? Don’t miss it.

The Lion King

Edinburgh Playhouse

Until 18 Jan 2014

Tickets £25 - £75

Box Office: 0844 871 3014 (booking fee)

Online Booking: Edinburgh Playhouse
Oct 3rd

Ghost the Musical at King's Theatre, Glasgow

By Cameron Lowe

Review by Christopher Lowe for UK Theatre Network

Ghost the Musical
 takes the soul of the original film and brings it to life on stage with stunning special effects. The show has set a new benchmark for the use of digital projection in theatre.

Ghost the Musical

With seamless set transitions and mesmerising special effects this show is not one to miss out on!

Stewart Clarke and Rebecca Trehearn capture the love, passion and joy of Sam and Molly as they move into their new apartment overlooking the busy streets of New York.

Sam and Molly, Ghost the Musical

The story follows the main plot of the iconic 1990 film. Sam is working as an investment banker and Molly as a potter. Their life is almost perfect until they become the victims of a mugging and Sam is tragically killed defending Molly. Unable to leave the world until Molly is safe from the men behind the mugging Sam asks for the help of a reluctant psychic (played by Wendy Mae Brown) so that he can communicate with his grieving partner.

Wendy Mae Brown gained the biggest laughs of the evening. Her comedic performance had the audience in stitches from start to finish.  It is impossible not to love her!

The musical numbers from the pen of Eurythmics legend, Dave Stewart, are big production pieces with seamless and fluid transitions accompanied by a powerful orchestra led by David Rose that really sets the tone and standard for the show.

Impressive Effects - Ghost the Musical

Ghost the Musical is a must see! It is the most visually impressive show I have ever seen but it also packs an emotional punch that does not leave a dry eye in the house.


Tuesday 1 - Saturday 19 October                    

Mon – Sat eves 7.30pm

Wed & Sat mats 2.30pm

Tickets: £10 - £39.50

0844 871 7648 (bkg fee)
Sep 25th

Hollywood Star's Link To Glasgow Musical Production

By Cameron Lowe
Paul Michael Glaser's "Fiddler on the Roof" connection to a Glasgow production of the world famous musical.

Fiddler On The Roof - Theatre Guild Glasgow

Following their SELL-OUT production of “Footloose”, Theatre Guild Glasgow will be performing the hit musical “Fiddler on the Roof” at Eastwood Park Theatre from 8th – 12th October.


“Fiddler on the Roof”, the Tony Award winning musical that has captured the hearts of people all over the world with its universal appeal is a timeless classic. It features a score by Jerry Bock (music) and Sheldon Harnick (lyrics), with a book by Joseph Stein, based on the stories of Sholom Aleichem. This is one of the most beloved musical scores in the history of American theatre including the popular numbers “Tradition”, “Matchmaker”, “If I Were a Rich Man” and “Sunrise, Sunset”.

An audience favourite nearly 50 years after its stage debut, very few musicals have so magically woven music, dance, poignancy and laughter into such an unforgettable experience. Theatre Guild are looking to put their own stamp on this classic tale by performing it in their local dialect, bringing a rawness and naturalism to their characters which allows the comedy and drama of this exquisite script to shine through.

Paul Michael Glaser as TevyeFiddler on the Roof opened at Broadway’s Imperial Theatre on September 22, 1964, where it experienced unprecedented success running 3,264 performances and winning nine Tony Awards. The musical received international attention thanks to the 1971 United Artists motion picture adaptation featuring Topol. In 1991 and 2004, it was revived on Broadway and received even more Tony Awards for Best Revival of a Musical (1991), Best Orchestrations (2004) and nominations in 2004 for Best Revival of a Musical and Best Actor. Hollywood star Paul Michael Glaser played Perchik in the 1971 film and is currently touring the UK playing the lead; Tevye. Glaser, known to many as the original Starsky from the Starsky and Hutch TV series, sent the Theatre Guild cast a personal message of support.

Paul Michael Glaser as PerchikPaul Michael Glaser said: Congratulations on putting on 'Fiddler.' It's such a gratifying piece of work I am sure you will enjoy it. When you stop to consider that 'Fiddler on the Roof' has been touring the world for 50 years now, in so many languages and to such strong appeal, you can't help but recognize what an amazing piece of work it is in its universal themes and story. It has easily achieved 'classic' status in that it inspires and moves so many. So congratulations on your endeavour. You are to be applauded. Break a leg!


The cast of 40 local residents have been rehearsing for six months on evenings and weekends to ensure that this £29,000 production is ready for a live audience on the opening night. The Tuesday night performance has a special place in the heart of Theatre Guild as 10% of ticket sales will go to The Beatson Cancer Centre in memory of a former Director who sadly passed away last year. The show is accompanied by a live band and directed by an experienced professional production team led by Artistic Director Alasdair Hawthorn, choreographed by Jonathan Parsons and musically directed by David Fisher.


Tickets are already selling fast with only a small number remaining for the Friday and Saturday night.

Hurry down to Eastwood Park Theatre – you don’t have to be a ‘Rich Man’ as tickets are only £14-16 and you can drink ‘to life’ at the bar at the interval. L’Chaim!

Eastwood Park Theatre
"Fiddler on the Roof", 8-12 October 2013
Tickets £14 - £16
Box Office:  0141 577 4956

Sep 18th

CATS at the Kings Theatre, Glasgow

By Cameron Lowe

CATS land firmly on all fours at the Kings, Glasgow!


Cats 2013 Tour

There are few shows that can truly be described as a ‘phenomenon’ – but CATS is one of them.  Irrepressible and perennial, it is one of the best loved and longest running musicals in history . . . and for good reason.  Characterisation, music and dance are brought together so seamlessly that the audience are immersed in the experience from the moment that the first chord is struck.

Anyone hoping for something “fresh” from this tour of Cats will be disappointed.  The costumes, staging, music and choreography are sacrosanct and timeless.  From the audience reaction, I could not identify anyone who looked disappointed.  Now over 30 years old, this show remains technically astonishing and there is no evidence that production values have slipped over time.  In fact, the lighting bars seemed to be literally creaking under the weight of a dazzling array of technical wizardry to support the magical performances on stage.


Mungojerrie and Rumpleteazer

This is truly an ‘ensemble’ piece but, like a house full of feline pets, Barnaby Thompsoneveryone has their favourite cat!  For me, this honour goes tJoseph Poultono two cats; namely Mungojerrie and Rumpleteazer (played by Barnaby Thompson and Katie Warsop) who danced, cavorted and tumbled through their showcase number leaving the audience more breathless than they were!  Of course mention Katie Warsopmust be made of the magical Mr. Mistoffelees (Joseph Poulton) who literally had his tail and the audience in a spin.  Safe to say that each member of the cast made the most of their opportunity when the limelight was focussed upon them while remaining faultlessly in character when it was not!

Given the demands on the cast I find it remarkable that the producers continue to find new generations of performers capable of such a quality performance.  The original cast list read like a “Who’s Who” of 1980’s theatre culture (Elaine Paige, Wayne Sleep, Bonny Langford, Brian Blessed, Paul Nicholas, Rosemary Ford, et al).  The 2013 touring cast can walk tall in their footsteps.

You can forget ‘nine lives’ … CATS will live forever!

CATS, King’s Theatre, Bath Street, Glasgow

Monday 16  - Saturday 28 Sept

Mon – Sat eves 7.30pm

Wed & Sat mats 2.30pm

Tickets: £10 - £37.50

0844 871 7648 (bkg fee)

Sep 9th

Hairspray the Musical at The Edinburgh Playhouse

By Cameron Lowe
Hairspray the Musical

Welcome to the Sixties! Musical theatre’s most colourful and energetic touring production reached Edinburgh as HAIRSPRAY The Musical exploded onto the Playhouse stage with its trademark fun, verve and HUGE hairdoooos!!

For many, Hairspray epitomises a great night out at the theatre. The show is full of laughs, love, heartthrobs, catchy tunes and a couple of characters that you love to hate. The sixties setting provides a great opportunity to go overboard on zany costumes and scenery and there are more high energy chorus and dance numbers than you can shake a sixties stick at.

It’s 1962 and larger than life (in more ways than one) teen, Tracy Turnblad (Freya Sutton), dreams of appearing on the Corny Collins Show – Baltimore’s TV Dance sensation. Her (even larger) mother, Edna (Mark Benton), tries to keep her feet on the ground as she knows that “people like us don’t get on TV”. Determined to achieve her goal, Tracy learns some cool dance moves from her friend Seaweed (Adrian Hansel) but realises that she can never dance with Seaweed on TV because he is black and segregation is the norm in 1962. Tracy sets out to change all that …

Cultural change on racial segregation sounds like a heavy backdrop for a musical, but the innocence of Tracy’s character keeps the story lighter than light and the race issue only serves to identify who the ‘bad guys’ are in the tale. The overwhelming joy of the show comes from the sheer energy of it. Two huge song and dance chorus numbers are delivered before the first word of dialogue and the pace never lets up from the “Good Morning Baltimore” opener to the “You Can’t Stop The Beat” finale with every number in between a sure fire HIT.

Colourful costumes from William Ivey Long complimented whacky set design from David Rockwell. Director, Jack O’Brien, made the most of the contrasts of casting as contrast was a clear theme throughout. Tracy was big while her friend Penny (Lauren Hood) was skinny. Edna was tall while husband, Wilbur (Paul Rider), was small and this physicality was used to great comic effect.

Freya SuttonOn stage, newcomer Freya Sutton carried the narrative well and delivered a superb all round performance with a high energy level which shows no sign of flagging on this extensive tour. Double acts from Mark Benton / Paul Rider and Lucy Benjamin / Gemma Sutton (as the “we love to hate them” Von Tussles) produced some great entertainment with support from a fantastic ensemble cast. Lauren Hood was excellent as skinny pal, Penny. But the “blow your socks off” credit must be attributed to the incredible vocal talents of Sandra Marvin as Motormouth Maybelle. Her rendition of “I Know Where I’ve Been” had the entire audience wondering where their socks had gone at the end of the night. She nailed the ‘money note’ 8 bars from the end and the audience couldn’t help but clap and cheer all the way through the final harmonies. Amazing.

Beg, borrow or steal to get a ticket to see this show before it leaves Edinburgh on 14th September. The tour continues to Aberdeen and Norwich. You can’t stop the beat!

HAIRSPRAY – The Musical

Tue 3 – Sat 14 Sept

Tue – Sat eves 7.30pm

Wed & Sat mats 2.30pm

Tickets: £22.40 - £52.40

Box Office 0844 871 3014 (Bkg fee) (bkg fee)
Aug 20th

Dreamboats and Petticoats at The King's Theatre, Glasgow

By Cameron Lowe
Dreamboats and Petticoats returns to Glasgow proving that this particular nostalgic musical has some staying power on the UK circuit.

Dreamboats and Petticoats

The nostalgic, retrospective musical show tour has become commonplace in our theatres … but their popularity does not guarantee that any particular production is any good. A cynical producer would insist that building a show around 45 classic chart hits from the 50s and early 60s would deliver a smash hit musical. But the audiences who were first attracted to the theatre to see “Buddy” have been suckered by a few badly produced, but similarly themed, shows since and have grown more sophisticated. The bar has been raised.

Dreamboats and Petticoats is a Juke Box musical in its purest form but it delivers more than you might hope for. OK, the story is light and the choreography is simplistic; but the music, humour, performances and blatant onstage FUN really lift this show out of the ordinary. The story is based around a church youth club and an entry into a national song writing competition. Almost as expected – girl worships boy from afar, boy doesn’t notice girl, girl makes boy jealous, boy shows interest, girl (apparently) changes her mind, boy gets sad, girl and boy finally realise their true love, the end. But writers Marks and Gran (of Birds of a Feather fame) have built in some instantly appealing characters and some regular chuckles along the way so that the story becomes a simple vehicle for delivery of the humour and the music.

Performances from this largely breakthrough cast were excellent. Leading actors Stephen Rolley, Matthew Colthard, Louise Olley, and Laura Sillett all delivered songs, dance and characters well. Newcomer, Hannah Boyce, sang particularly beautifully as Laura while Will Finlason astonished with an outstanding vocal and character performance in the role of her brother, Ray. The ensemble cast were impressive as they sang danced and played their way through the rock and roll songbook. Didn't I mention that the cast played their own instruments? Yep, put “Return to the Forbidden Planet” in a time machine and you’ll find yourself with “Dreamboats and Petticoats”! Somehow, amongst all of this talent, Chloe Edwards-Wood caught the eye in the minor role of Daisy and her significant role as ensemble dancer and tenor sax player (doing both to such a high standard at the same time demands this credit).

In fact, my only gripe with this production was the shameless parading of Mark Wynter in the final 15 minutes which effectively transformed his casting in the minor roles of Phil / Older Bobby into that of "Aging Headliner" in some crazy justification of his stealing the final bow.

Producer Bill Kenwright has, once again, delivered something special here. Watch out for some cleverly penned contemporary gags … and a scene stealing monk!

Mon 19– Sat 24 August
Mon - Sat eves 7.30pm Wed & Sat mats 2.30pm
Tickets: £12.90 - £38.90
Box Office: 0870 060 6648 (bkg fee) (bkg fee)
Aug 10th

Gyles Brandreth: Looking for Happiness at the Pleasance Courtyard, Edinburgh Fringe

By Clare Brotherwood

On 17 June at Birmingham University, Gyles Brandreth delivered the annual Baggs Memorial Lecture on ‘Happiness - what it is and how it may be achieved by individuals as well as nations’.

Such was the audience’s response that, just seven weeks later, his latest book, The 7 Secrets of Happiness: An Optimist’s Journey, has already been published.

Just 111 pages long, it is, nevertheless, packed full of facts, figures and philosophy, presented in an informed and entertaining style, along with anecdotes and glorious name-dropping (Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Elton John, The Duke of Edinburgh...).

But nothing can take the place of Glyes Brandreth in the flesh.

Looking For HappinessThe lecture had been the springboard for his latest solo show, Looking for Happiness - the culmination of a journey he has been on since his best friend, actor Simon Cadell, died 17 years ago - which he is performing at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe before doing a national and international tour.

Dressed as a jester, his hat rather askew, he bursts onto the stage with his usual aplomb, a figure of fun or, as he describes himself, a jester of joy.

Vivacious, energetic and perhaps just a little bit manic, this writer, broadcaster, actor, former MP and Government Whip, always gives more than his money’s worth and, for the next hour, thrills us with more unique anecdotes involving additional name-dropping and worthy impersonations. He also performs an hilarious four-act melodrama (in 90 seconds!) and introduces a bit of audience participation - beware those sitting in the front row!

But these are just little asides. For the purpose of Gyles’ latest show is the pursuit of happiness and, unusually, there are a couple of times when he almost moves me to tears. He gives some good advice too, courtesy of the late ‘media shrink’, Dr Anthony Clare. But in order to learn the seven secrets of happiness you’ll have to see the show or/and read the book. I promise you won’t be disappointed - and you may end up being happier!

Gyles Brandreth: Looking for Happiness continues at the Pleasance Courtyard until 26 August and then goes on a nationwide tour 226 0000

0131 556 6550
Aug 8th

The Rocky Horror Show at The King’s Theatre, Glasgow

By Cameron Lowe
Richard O’Brien’s Rocky Horror Show is back at the King’s Theatre Glasgow! Celebrating 40 years of stage success, this show is not one to miss!  The show is a mixture of powerful rock anthems, killer vocals and laugh out loud comedy.

The Rocky Horror Show

Its film adaptation in 1975 has given even more people around the world a chance to enjoy Rocky Horror's peculiar delights, but its roots lie firmly in the theatre. The audience gets a real chance to not only experience the production live but, in some cases, to interact with it.

Oliver Thornton gives a fantastic portrayal of Frank-N-Furter.  He plays his character with absolute enthusiasm and ease.  Thornton is without doubt the star of the show and would even give the legendary Tim Curry a run for his money!

Reality TV winner Ben Forster plays Brad brilliantly.  Actor Dani Harmer portrays both Janet’s gentle and wild sides incredibly well.  Both characters are a delight to watch and interact very well with one another as they unravel from geek chic couple to slinking about the stage in stilettos. Christopher Luscombe does a great job of narrating one of the most heckled shows in theatre.  Playing along well with the crowds shouts and getting some extra laughs with some improvisation.

With a very impressive and detailed set, an excellent live rock band and a very strong cast this show lives up to the expectations of all.  It is a faithful reproduction of the well-loved original.

The show features such classics as Sweet Transvestite and the pelvic thrusting Time Warp!  This show will have you singing along from beginning to end!  Do not miss out!

Review by Christopher Lowe

The Rocky Horror Show

Tue 6th – Sat 10 Aug

Tue –  Thu eves , 8pm

Wed, Fri & Sat 5.30pm & 8.30pm


Tickets £10 – £32

Box Office: 0844 871 7648 (bkg fee) (bkg fee)
Aug 5th

West End At The Fringe – The SPACE @ Symposium Hall (Venue 43) - 2nd – 24th August 2013

By Jon Cuthbertson


It’s always hard to decide what to see at The Fringe – so many shows, so little time. Even narrowing it down to deciding on seeing a musical can see you leafing through pages of the Fringe brochure trying to pick the one to see. Well, if it’s musicals you are looking for, I can save you some time. West End At The Fringe is a revue show that has pulled together a great selection of songs from musicals, added some great young talent and set itself in one of the comfiest theatres you will find on the Fringe.

Revue shows can very much be hit or miss – the song selection needs to be clever and producer Emma McGuire seems to have had a checklist to create this show as there was definitely something for everyone. From classics from Andrew Lloyd Webber, to some lesser known Sondheim, via modern musicals like The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee the variety was a smart mix of ballads and comedy numbers, solos, duets and group numbers to make sure that if you didn’t like a certain song, then something would pop up next to take your fancy.

However, it is all very well having the song list, but you need voices to make it work. Will Hawksworth’s rendition of Til I Hear You Sing from the Phantom Of The Opera sequel, Love Never Dies, was both emotional and flawless as a performance – this is a name for the future. Another name for the future is Emma Ralston. Her version of Worst Pies In London let us see that not only did she have the voice, but had comic timing too before wowing with her version of Wizard and I (with the obligatory green spotlight!). James Irving had seemed to be a supporting cast member until his touching rendition of I’m Not That Smart and he made the most of his moment in the spotlight. Vanessa Carr was the bubbly blonde of the cast – and seemed to use the smile as a cover in the first few numbers, however her truthful performance in With You from Ghost The Musical was genuinely touching. Natalie Law looked to be genuinely enjoying her time on stage and made the most of the interactions between songs – but don’t let that fool you – she has the voice to match and rocked out during Hammer to Fall and alongside Vanessa and Emma gave my highlight of the show – Let Me Be Your Star from Smash (ok – they cheated – it’s never been on in the West End – it’s from a TV show – but I’m forgiving them because it’s a brilliant song and they do it so well!).

All this would be nothing without music and Musical Director Ross Leadbetter makes a single keyboard suddenly sound like a full orchestra! I’m pleased to see a live musician as part of this show as all too often these revue’s on the Fringe are to recorded music, but live performances should be just that – live! So all credit to MCG Productions for putting the money where their mouth is.

At an ideal lunchtime slot, this is a great way to start off your day out at The Fringe, so if you are in or visiting the East Coast, go to West End At The Fringe. And don’t forget – genuinely the most comfortable seats on The Fringe – they should have it on the flyer!


2nd – 10th August @ 12pm
12th – 24th August @ 1pm (excluding 18th)

Tickets £10/£8

Box Office: 0131 510 2385

Web: or