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May 4th

Eddie and the Slumber Sisters at Haddington Corn Exchange

By Clare Brotherwood

I may not have been living in Scotland for very long but even before I came north of the border I knew of The National Theatre of Scotland’s adventurous spirit.

And what an adventure reviewing its latest production turned out to be.

Flagged up as the theatre without walls, NTS go out to rural communities, and it doesn’t seem to matter how far.

Its latest production, in partnership with Catherine Wheels Theatre Company, visited Haddington Corn Exchange this week, and the NTS arranged to pick up the press from the nearest railway station and deposit us back after the show (this is not included in a normal ticket!).

Not only were we transported into the countryside but also to… another planet - Planet Slumber to be precise.

At first I thought the show was going to be set during World War Two, for the Slumber Sisters, wearing US-style uniforms, began by singing, in three-part harmony, songs such as Accentuate the Positive. But although the music sounded as if it was from the 1940s it still went down a treat with the younger members of the audience.

Eddie and the Slumber Sisters is suitable for eight-year-olds upwards and is an endearing mix of music, song, magic and imagination which deals with how we treat young people when it comes to bereavement.

As the Slumber Sisters, Natalie Arle-Toyne, Colette Dalal Tchantcho and India Shaw-Smith

are not only top notch singers, they also bring empathy and comedy into the mix as they help 10-year-old Eddie (Chiara Sparkes) come to terms with her grandmother’s death.

Since losing her gran, Eddie has been having nightmares, which begin at precisely 2.17 each morning. Enter the Slumber Sisters who, in a series of bizarre but entertaining experiments, get her to face her loss and sleep soundly again.

With space-age like control towers, a disembodied hand emerging from the wardrobe, a ‘ding ding harness’ made of socks and old tights which India Shaw-Smith uses to get to Earth where she gives a hilarious impersonation of Elvis, there is plenty to entertain audiences of all ages in this 70-minute show while putting across an important message.

Eddie and the Slumber Sisters continues touring:

May 5: Galashiels Volunteer Hall

May 9: Dunoon Burgh Hall

May 12: Raasay Community Hall

May 14: MacPhail Theatre, Ullapool

May 18: Mareel, Shetland

May 23: Clarkston Hall, East Renfrewshire

May 27: Dalbeattie Town Hall, as part of the Dumfries and Galloway Arts Festival

May 30-June 3: Southside Community Centre, Edinburgh as part of the Edinburgh International Children’s Festival

www.nationaltheatrescotland.com

May 2nd

Creditors at The Royal Lyceum Theatre, Edinburgh

By Clare Brotherwood

We all know from today’s Scandi-TV series that, when it comes to drama, our Nordic cousins have a dark side.

But this is nothing new. Ibsen, regarded as one of Europe’s greatest writers, is hardly a barrel of laughs, and Strindberg is no different.

Although Creditors, written in 1888, is classed as a tragi-comedy, its laugh-out-loud moments are far outweighed by the melancholic characters in David Greig’s adaptation, which was commissioned by and first presented at London’s Donmar Warehouse in 2008.

Greig, artistic director of The Royal Lyceum Theatre Company, takes it seriously, and rightly so as there is nothing funny about the personalities entwined in this tale of male dominance and revenge.

Set in a Swedish seaside holiday resort, Stewart Laing’s set is as stylised as his direction. His narrow, raked wooden pontoons hardly make for easy walking, and the four girl guides (featuring Lyceum Creative Learning participants) who appear between scenes are like automatons, maybe mirroring the moving sculpture artist Adolph is making? I don’t know. They are very weird but do add colour and substance to the production.

The play begins with Adolph hauling himself out of a pool and lying half-dead on a pontoon. Nearby an older man sits reading a book, but it’s not long before he engages in conversation with the dripping wet Adolph, and things then begin to take a sinister turn.

Acting as his ‘doctor’, the older man, Gustav, questions Adolph about his marriage and his masculinity and eventually turns him against his wife. The dialogue is vicious and malicious and Adolph, a weak young man given to maladies, is given to believe that he will become epileptic if he sleeps with his wife (this is one of the laugh-out-loud moments)!

As the manipulative Gustav, Stuart McQuarrie is very much the devil on Adolph’s shoulder. His venom leaks from every pore and when we learn of his intentions all becomes plain. On the other hand, Edward Franklin as Adolph is a quivering mess of emotion. At times I wanted to cradle him as I would a child; at others I just wanted to give him a good slap!

The object of both men’s interest, Adolph’s wife Tekla, is the strongest of all three characters (though obviously not 100 per cent!) and Adura Onashile rises to the occasion with a compelling performance (though at one point she walked across a pontoon onto the stage – didn’t she get her feet wet?!).

Pippa Murphy’s sound is a bit spasmodic – one minute we hear the sound of lapping waves, the next all is silent - I don’t think the sea suddenly stops moving! And at one time it is a bit distracting. I didn’t much like the repetitive songs, either, though they did add to the atmosphere of growing insanity.

I very much like the presentation in the second act, however, involving an onstage camera-operator and a black and white screen.

Creditors may not be to everyone’s taste but it is certainly an interesting and thought-provoking study of human relationships and in this context stretches the boundaries of entertainment.

Creditors is at the Royal Lyceum, Edinburgh until May 12.

Box office: 0131 248 4848

www.lyceum.org.uk

May 1st

Fat Friends the Musical at Kings Theatre, Glasgow

By Cameron Lowe

The successful ITV drama “Fat Friends” gets a musical makeover in this UK Touring production starring Jodie Prenger in the lead role.


 

Kelly (powerfully voiced by Jodie Prenger) is getting married in 6 weeks and is deeply in love with fiancé, Kevin (Joel Montague).  She rashly choses a wedding dress which is two sizes too small and, so, embarks on a mission to join her many friends and family in the pursuit of weight loss.  At the local Super-Slimmers club, she is challenged to hit her weight-loss target by company boss Julia Fleshman (played to extract maximum fun from being the ‘baddie’ by Natasha Hamilton).  But Julia will stop at nothing to get publicity from Kelly’s successful weight loss on her diet plan …   


The principal cast is very strong in this production with Jodie Prenger an excellent lead as a down-to-earth and likeable Northern lass; albeit under a loud-mouthed exterior.  Kelly has surrounded herself with some very talented voices, too.  Veterans Elaine C. Smith and Kevin Kennedy convey themselves well as Mum and Dad and Rachael Wooding and Joel Montague add some lovely character traits to soaring vocals as Sister and Fiancé, Joanne and Kevin.  The secondary narrative of blossoming love between Lauren (Natalie Anderson) and Paul (Jonathan Halliwell) is cutely portrayed and beautifully sung. Even fringe characters from Neil Hurst and Chloe Hart added lovely vocals to the mix – at some points, astonishing!  Combine all this on-stage talent with fresh tunes from Nick Lloyd Webber (the name does sound familiar, doesn’t it?) and you have one of the best sounding musicals around!


Where this show was below par was actually one of the biggest draws to bring me to see it in the first place.  Written and directed by Kay Mellor, one of the most successful UK TV drama writers of our time; I arrived expecting something very special from this very talented pen.  Sadly, the show lacked pace.  Being 30 minutes too long I felt quite disengaged from the story by the end.  I thought that Lauren and Paul’s characters were too innocent and nervous and their excellent duet came too soon in the show for all that emotion.  I also couldn’t see any reason for Rachael Wooding’s duel casting as Pippa (Julia’s mousey sidekick) – albeit that she was very good in both roles.  On the plus side, the characters were well defined and bigger issues like ‘body image’, media pressure to conform to stereotypes like ‘slim bride’ and ‘internet trolls’ were tackled adding more depth.  I would have cut 2 songs and 20 minutes of dialog, though.


This show is not perfect but has a lot of redeeming features in the score and on stage.  Nothing that a good dramaturg couldn’t sort out for a second tour!


Fat Friends The Musical – King’s Theatre, Glasgow

30 April – 5 May 2018

Evenings 19:30, Matinees 14:30 (Wed, Sat)

Tickets £16.50 - £62.50

http://www.atgtickets.com/venues/kings-theatre/

0844 871 7648* calls cost up to 7 p per minute plus your phone company’s access charge


 

 

 

Apr 26th

Gut at the Traverse, Edinburgh

By Clare Brotherwood

Audiences will be talking about this play long after they have left the theatre.

Multi-award-winning playwright Frances Poet has taken a subject which is, sadly, so often in the news, and hit every parent squarely between the eyes with it.

How to keep your child safe, sometimes even from yourself, is something all parents must agonise over, not only in today’s climate, but with so many historic abuse cases coming to light.

When trusting granny Morven allows a stranger to take her three-year-old grandson Joshua to the toilet in a cafe while she pays for their food, she sets off a chain of events which not only have far reaching consequences for her and her family but will also have every parent in the audience questioning themselves.

The title refers to the gut feelings Morven says she has always been able to trust; it also refers to the feelings Maddy, Joshua’s mother, ‘who grew him in her gut’, thinks she has towards everyone she comes across after the event. Is she right? Will we ever know?

Despite a simple set, a small cast and invisible children, we are totally drawn into the world of Maddy, her husband Rory, and young Joshua.

Kirsty Stuart and Peter Collins are so natural as Maddy and Rory; there’s an easiness between them as, at first, they are fun-loving and flirtatious, but when paranoia sets in the tension between them is raw and palpable. While Lorraine McIntosh, sometimes singer with Deacon Blue, is believably hurt and bewildered as the erring granny.

The final member of the cast, George Anton, is to be praised for his versatility. Not only does he play The Stranger, he also turns up in seven other roles, from a police officer and a charity worker to someone stoned on cannabis. But is he always the good guy?

There are fleeting references to Jimmy Savile and Gary Glitter, which add to the realism, and Lego bricks strewn across the floor conjure up a world which is broken, while I like the way Kai Fischer lights a doorway to create menace.

There are lighter moments too. We get to learn about a three-year-old’s toileting, and a musical toy gives the cast a break in their dialogue.

Frances Poet takes us on a journey which had me, at one stage, recoiling in horror, but in director Zinnie Harris’s hands, the world premiere of this work, commissioned by the National Theatre of Scotland as part of its new writing intitiative with the Tron and the Traverse, runs like clockwork and is a work of art.

 

Gut is at the Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh until May 12

www.traverse.co.uk

 

Box office: 0131 228 1404

 

Apr 24th

Legally Blonde at Kings Theatre, Glasgow

By Cameron Lowe

 

OMG you guys!  The audience was packed to the roof in Glasgow’s King’s Theatre last night to see and hear Elle Woods “bend and snap” as only Elle Woods can!  They were treated to a great feel-good show full of catchy tunes and delightful characters.

Legally Blonde is a movie that has achieved almost cult status among its fans.  With an adorable performance from the pint-sized Reese Witherspoon it tells the tale of love-lost Elle who is ceremonially dumped, but follows her ex to Harvard Law School in an effort to win back his heart!  It’s a journey of self-discovery as she learns about her own strengths and finds a way to fight for the underdog as only she can

On stage, this rich and empowering storyline is delivered by strong character performances and an uplifting score full of memorable songs

In the lead role of Elle, Lucie Jones delivered an endearing performance with powerful vocals.  In stature, she was considerably larger than the famously tiny Reese Witherspoon and this detracted somewhat from her vulnerability.  However, she quickly won the audience over with her winning smile and bubbly personality.  By the second act I was cheering for her as loudly as all the pink clad women around me!

Rita Simons, as Paulette, supported well with a fiery character and good comic timing.  Helen Petrovna was outstanding as skipping rope fitness queen, Brooke Wyndham, leading a cast of skip-rope dancers in the spectacular “Whipped Into Shape”.  Elle’s supporting “Greek Chorus” were extremely talented and added harmony and depth to every scene they appeared in

The show has some great musical numbers with highlights being “Omigod You Guys”, “Bend and Snap” and “Legally Blonde”.  I have to add “There! Right There!” to the list - subtitled “Gay, or European?” – it had me rolling in the isles!

All in all, this is a great fun and uplifting production which is well worth the ticket price.

Legally Blonde – King’s Theatre, Glasgow

23-28 April 2018

Evenings 19:30, Matinees 14:30 (Wed, Sat)

Tickets £15 - £69.50

http://www.atgtickets.com/venues/kings-theatre/

0844 871 7648* calls cost up to 7 p per minute plus your phone company’s access charge

Apr 11th

Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde at the King's Theatre, Edinburgh

By Clare Brotherwood

I felt an air of excitement as I made my way to the King’s Theatre, knowing that the original version of its latest production was written by Edinburgher Robert Louis Stevenson, who is said to have based his story on Deacon Brodie, by day a respected businessman and councillor, but by night a housebreaker - and who lived not a mile from the theatre.

That excitement never left me. Adaptor David Edgar, famous for his award-winning reworking of Dickens’ Nicholas Nickleby for the Royal Shakespeare Company, has teamed up with Jenny KIng’s Touring Consortium Theatre Company, Olivier Winner for Best Entertainment for its production of The Railways Children at the Waterloo Station Theatre, for this latest version of the classic Gothic horror.

And good, all-round entertainment it is.

Simon Higlett’s two-tiered set depicts, on the upper level, a foggy London street, while below, despite modest props, various scenes change seamlessly and effectively to provide an atmospheric backdrop, helped enormously by Richard Hammarton’s chilling music and sound effects and Mark Jonathan’s creepy lighting.

But Edgar’s version of this dark tale has an unexpected lighter side. He introduces to the story a sister for Jekyll, a fun-loving mother of two played with much warmth and humour by Polly Frame, while Phil Daniels, playing both title roles, becomes an almost Vaudevillian villain as Mr Hyde, mostly making us laugh more than shrink back in horror - although a couple of scenes are frighteningly graphic and had me worrying for the lives of the actors involved! It was also amusing to hear Daniels sporting a soft Edinburgh accent as Dr Jekyll while as Mr Hyde he is the epitomy of a Glaswegian drunk, and sounding not unlike Billy Connolly. It’s a brave act indeed for a Londoner to play Scots in Scotland, and I wonder, had he been playing these roles in Glasgow, if he’d have given Hyde the Edinburgh accent!

Adding to the more chilling aspect is Rosie Abraham who not only plays Jekyll’s niece and a maid but will remain in my memory as ‘the singer’, an enigmatic figure who bridges the scenes and whose plaintive strains sent shivers down my spine. Grace Hogg-Robinson, as Annie, also gives an emotion-driven performance, in contrast to Sam Cox as Poole, every inch the restrained butler.

As I said, this is good, all-round entertainment with some nice little touches from director Kate Saxon.

 

King’s Theatre, Edinburgh

Tues 10 – Sat 14 April 2018

Box Office

0131 529 6000

Alhambra Theatre, Bradford

Tues 17 – Saturday 21 April 2018

Box Office

01274 432000

Wolverhampton Grand Theatre

Tues 1 – Saturday 5 May 2018

Box Office

01902 429 212

Cambridge Arts Theatre

Tues 8 – Sat 12 May 2018

Box Office

01223 503 333

Darlington Hippodrome

Tues 15 – Saturday 19 May 2018

Box Office

 

01325 405 405

 

Apr 5th

Jersey Boys at The King's Theatre, Glasgow

By Cameron Lowe

 

A review by Suzanne Lowe

 

Having had the pleasure of watching Jersey Boys before I was more than a little excited to discover that the show would be returning to Glasgow.  You know how it is, you build up a show in your head only to actually find out it wasn’t quite as entertaining as you remembered.  This show certainly lived up to my expectations.  With a superb cast, well known songs and fast paced scene changes this was indeed a great night out at the theatre.

 

Jersey Boys tells the story of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons.  Cleverly revealing a past through the eyes of each band member.  A past which was well hidden from fans and record industry moguls.  Prison sentences and associations with the Mafia only coming to light as Jersey Boys came to fruition.  Each member’s memory of events slightly different.

 

Of course along with the revelations of a life behind the stage we get to experience the wonderful sounds of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons.  With hits such as ‘Sherry’, ‘Big Girls Don’t Cry’, ‘Walk Like a Man’, ‘Oh What a Night’, and ‘Who Loves You?’ resonating around the auditorium, it was difficult not to find yourself singing along (normally a practice I would frown upon!)  The slick dance moves and exceptional voices a joy to watch and hear.

 

The supporting cast totally embraced the era and performed every number with gusto, many performing several roles.  Top marks have to go to Dayle Hodge (Frankie Valli), Simon Bailey (Tommy Devito), Declan Egan (Bob Gaudio) and Lewis Griffiths (Nick Massi).  All four giving outstanding performances.

 

With his amazing vocal range the unique voice of Frankie Valli was superbly recreated by Hodge.  Along with the incredible sound came a solid acting performance with a particularly moving scene depicting the moment Frankie learns of his daughter’s death.  A brief moment in the evening when the audience fell silent.

 

As Tommy Devito, Bailey gave us an insight into this stereotypical New Jersey tough guy.  As his connections with the mob and gambling debts become clear we are also drawn to his vulnerability.

 

Egan played the part of Bob Gaudio the genius behind the hit songs we all know and love.  His portrayal revealed a rather sensitive but focused individual endearing himself to the audience.  With superb vocals his performance has to be admired.

 

We are also introduced to Nick Massi with an intentionally laid back performance by Griffiths.  As the quieter member of the group and somewhat downtrodden by Devito, Griffiths gives us an insight into how Massi actually felt being part of The Four Seasons.

 

All four incredibly talented performers gave the audience a great night with their outstanding vocals added to memorable acting pieces.   Be assured that the life of Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons was a story which had to be told.

 

And yes….definitely just as great a show second time round.

 

Jersey Boys - King's Theatre Glasgow

03/04/18 - 14/14/18

Matinee (Thu, Sat) 14:30, Evenings 19:30

Tickets £18 - £63.50

http://www.atgtickets.com/shows/jersey-boys/kings-theatre/#buy-now

0844 871 7648* calls cost up to 7 p per minute plus your phone company’s access charge

 

 

Apr 4th

A Play, A Pie and A Pint

By Clare Brotherwood

I moved to Edinburgh for the theatre.

There are five main ones, all within half an hour of my harbourside home, and each has something different to offer.

The Traverse is the flagship for new creative talent but, not surprisingly since it was founded to extend the spirit of the Edinburgh festivals, it offers something I’ve not come across anywhere else, though it is now world famous - a lunchtime theatre experience where your ticket includes a play, a pie and a drink, all for £13.50.

Apparently, it was first conceived in 2004 by the late David MacLennon (he of 7:84 fame), at the Oran Mor in Glasgow, as a platform for new Scottish plays. Now theatres in Cardiff, Bristol and Aberdeen also present PPP, while the Traverse has been collaborating with Oran Mor to present a varied programme from established names and new first time playwrights since 2009.

Its two five-week seasons are, from what I hear among the locals, eagerly awaited, so it’s best to book early for a seat in the 115-capacity Traverse 2 studio theatre.

The programme covers all sorts of themes, characters and stories. The latest season features new works by actor, director and playwright Rob Drummond, crime writer Val McDermid, screen writer Ann Marie di Mambro, and actress Meghan Tyler. But it started this week with an exciting and very enjoyable new approach to an historical figure in Gary McNair’s McGonagall’s Chronicles.

McNair’s dialogue is in the true style of Scotland’s best worst poet, and as the Victorian bard his delivery is spot on; his timing is better than any stand-up comedian’s and yet the story he relates of McGonagall’s quest for fame, is at times as moving as it is hilarious.

McNair is ably abetted by Brian James O’Sullivan, not only on keyboard and accordion but in various other guises, and musician Simon Liddell.

This play, together with a tasty haggis pie and - er, a coffee (I was to be driving later and in Scotland drinking is totally out if you’re going to get behind the wheel) is a great way to spend your lunch hour, have an excuse to meet up with friends or, at just 50-minutes long, an ideal introduction to the theatre for newcomers.

I’ll definitely be back!

McGonagall’s Chronicles runs until April 7 at 1pm with a 7pm performance on Apr 6.

April 10-17-21: Margaret Saves Scotland by Val McDermid

April 24-28: Eulogy by Rob Drummond

May 1-5: The Persians by Meghan Tyler

www.traverse.co.uk

 

0131 228 1404

Mar 27th

The Case of the Frightened Lady at the King's Theatre, Edinburgh

By Clare Brotherwood

After 30 years of reviewing productions at the Theatre Royal Windsor for various publications, on-stage regulars, not to mention Bill Kenwright, may have wondered where I have been for the past year.

The answer is… Edinburgh! With five theatres on my doorstep, various other venues and a plethora of festivals, what better place to indulge my love of performance and performers, and I have come to Scotland’s capital city not only as a reviewer but as a theatrical landlady.

As fabulous as this city is, there are of course times when I feel a little homesick and crave for the familiar, so I was delighted to discover that my first press outing to the King’s would be to see a production by The Classic Thriller Theatre Company, the successor to Bill Kenwright’s The Agatha Christie Theatre Company which, for the last 10 years, has mounted new productions at Windsor before going on tour.

It was like coming home seeing familiar faces such as Rula Lenska, Denis Lill and Ben Nealon, though I missed being able to chat with the lovely Roy Marsden who, as director, was always to be found around the theatre at Windsor.

Productions like these are not ground breakers but they are certainly crowd pleasers. Everyone likes a good mystery, and this play by ‘the king of the detective thriller’ Edgar Wallace, adapted by Antony Lampard, doesn’t disappoint on that score.

Julie Godfrey’s imposing stately home sets the scene for an evening of murder and mayhem as Lady Lebanon does everything in her power to continue her family’s lineage.

Rula Lenska is to the manner born as the lady of the house. In real life a member of the Polish nobility, she is a class act, elegant and aloof. In vast contrast, Ben Nealon fizzes with nervous energy as her spoilt son, while April Pearson as long lost relative Isla is a quivering jelly as a frightened lady - but is she the one in the title?

One murder down and Chief Supt Tanner from Scotland Yard makes an entrance, played by an authoritative Gray O’Brien, assisted by Charlie Clements as Sgt Totti, who doesn’t seem to know who he is at times. There’s a nice understated performance from Philip Lowrie as the butler, and Denis Lill always makes a huge impact, this time as a rather sinister, conniving family ‘friend’. He’s not the only menacing character. Footmen Gilder (Glenn Carter) and Brook (Callum Coates), in particular, are downright creepy, but we could do with some shadows for them to lurk in!

Writing of lighting, it isn’t always easy to differentiate between the scenes. There is a lack of atmosphere, which lighting designer Chris Davey could have created. Sudden claps of thunder, until nearing the end of the evening without any sound of rain, and disembodied screams, are also obviously for effect and are not believable, as are the scenes where the jodphered and booted Lord Lebanon walks through the house with a horse whip and a saddle to emphasise he has been out in the stables!

But this production is set in 1932 and is a period piece, somewhat stylised and melodramatic. And they say the old ones are the best!

The Case of the Frightened Lady is at The King’s Theatre, Edinburgh until March 31. Booking

01315 296000

The tour then continues:

April 3-7: New Victoria Theatre, Woking 08448 717645

May 21-26: Milton Keynes Theatre 08448 717652

June 11-16: Belgrade Theatre, Coventry 024 7655 3055

June 18-23: Palace Theatre, Southend 01702 351135

July 2-8: Grand Theatre, Swansea 01792 475715

July 23-28: Grand Theatre, Leeds, 08448 482700

Jul 30-Aug 4: Theatre Royal, Bury St Edmunds, 01284 769505

Oct 2-6: Theatre Royal, Glasgow 08448 717647

 

Feb 27th

The Play That Goes Wrong at The King’s Theatre, Glasgow

By Cameron Lowe

 

If there is a play in existence with a more apt title than “The Play That Goes Wrong”, I have yet to see it!  Mischief Theatre have crafted 100 minutes of mirth and mayhem that had me laughing until I hurt … and then I laughed some more!

This week, Glasgow’s King’s Theatre plays host to a play within a play as a fictional group of not-so-talented am-dramers  (the Cornley Polytechnic Drama Society) present “The Murder At Haversham Manor” as the accurately titled “Play That Goes Wrong”.  And boy, does it go wrong!

Before curtain up we are treated to a performance of outstanding incompetence as the “stage crew” attempt to set the stage.  From the opening introduction by Director “Chris” (stiffly portrayed by Jake Curran) we are in no doubt that we are about to be “entertained” by a troupe bearing a remarkable heritage of disastrous am-dram flops. 

The curtain rises and we are entertained by shameless overacting from the players with outlandish and unconvincing characters and a broad disrespect of “the fourth wall”.  This is all delightfully OTT and delivered to wring maximum laughs from the outset.  But this would become tired quite quickly … if the writers did not have an endless supply of acting faux-pas and theatrical cock-ups waiting in the wings; each one more calamitous than the last!  Prop mix ups, prat falls, disintegrating sets, dropped lines, slapstick, badly timed entrances … every single one a disaster in its own right; enough to send any self-respecting amateur fleeing from the stage.  Yet, these are all presented in one show in all of their awkward, heart stopping, nightmare inducing glory.  And we laughed so hard!

Kazeem Tosin Amore (as Robert playing Thomas Collymoore) gives a great comic portrayal of the victim’s school chum with a particular highlight as he tries to break a dialog loop through purple faced rage and mouthfuls of ‘white spirit’.  Elena Valentine (as Sandra) gives a delightfully unconvincing performance as femme fatal Florence Collymoore and becomes the victim of some spectacular physical gaffs.  Bobby Hirston is the prat-fall king as Max (playing Cecil Haversham) and Benjamin McMahon is the youthful Dennis who is superbly miscast as the aging Perkins.  Catherine Dryden develops her character beautifully to hilarious effect as Annie (the somewhat reluctant crew member cum understudy).  Jake Curran was excellent (as Chris playing Inspector Carter), particularly as he broke down over the audience’s reaction to his response to a lost prop.  I’m laughing out loud as I type this … LEDGER!

Direction from Mark Bell expertly balanced the tight timing required for such a complex piece of physical theatre with just enough leeway for the actors to thoroughly enjoy the performance and give the audience a feeling that everything was fresh.  Nigel Hook’s set design was inspired; adding significantly to the laughs.  Despite all of the superlatives above, the script from Mischief Theatre’s own writing team of Henry Lewis, Jonathan Sayer and Henry Shields was truly the star of this outstanding show.

A special mention has to be made of the production programme.  It really is worth every penny is very funny in its own right.

If you fancy a really good, wholehearted belly-laugh (and who doesn’t need a laugh these days) get your tickets to this hilarious show now.

Photos by Robert Day

THE PLAY THAT GOES WRONG

King’s Theatre, Glasgow

Mon 26 Feb - Sat 3 Mar 2018

Mon-Sat 7.30pm

Wed & Sat, 2.30pm

www.atgtickets.com/glasgow

0844 871 7648* calls cost up to 7 p per minute plus your phone company’s access charge

 OR ... catch the show at Edinburgh's Fesival Theatre from 12-17 March 2018