Thrill Me


C – Too
12th – 27th (Not 14th)

Stagecraft: five-stars Book: five-stars Performance: five-stars  

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This theatrical masterpiece takes place in Chicago in 1924 and tells the true story of two young men who embark on committing the perfect, Nietzsche inspired crime through murder!!! Richard and Nathan are best friends but also tentative lovers. Chicago, in fact, is a unique place in which the first organization for homosexual rights in America was established here in 1924. This allowed the free flowing openness of their relationship to blossom. Fast-forward to 2017 & the stage is set out well, props are inviting to thought and transmogrify an eerie atmosphere about a full auditorium. The tension in the air is palpable to all present. Accompanying the actors is a well-written and devised musical score played out with incredible dramatic impact. Period clothes and haircuts set the characters on fire !!!! Then all is quiet…

Nathan Leopold, Jr. & Richard Loe

Thrill Me is a piece of historical truth,  hardly known in 21st century Europe, but was once the ‘Crime of the Century‘ in America.  Any insight to the darker side of human nature always intrigues the willing minds of a curious fellow human beings. Thrill Me provokes you, twists you, bends you and at times catapults you into a world of unanswerable questions. With a splash of wit and humour tossed in to lighten the mood in pockets, the tension is slightly subdued but never gone. You become transfixed and thrown into a murky world of violence, love , betrayal, child killing and treachery.. Bad faith can wait…

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A musical piece of theatre with the art of storytelling at the center. With a flawless delivery and execution of the songs and lines, Richard and Nathan become more believable with every word. A dark tale of two obsessive men that are fueled by so much destruction, which evidently causes the ultimate fall from grace. If you wish to be tried and tested from a psychological point of view, “Thrill Me” will take you to that place. Explosive & intense  is a mere understatement. A play that leaves you speechless and gets under your skin can only be achieved through great research and acting, & Thrill Me offers this in abundance. Put aside the subject matter and you are left with a spellbinding & beautifully crafted take on a delicate story of death and love.. a must see at this years 70th Edinburgh Fringe.

Reviewer : Raymondo


The Marriage of Kim K


C Venues
Aug 11-15, 17-22, 24-28 (21.50)

Brilliant! Brilliant! Brilliant!
A unique and very clever stage production bubbling Andy Warhol Art Pop Panache. A love Story told in three parts that coexist together through the medium of Opera. With a String quartet and a Hip Hop band, blending classical music with funky electronica, this is a feast for senses, that is at once lovely to witness. The cast are all extremely good looking and the genius of the book and stagecraft is nothing less than entertainment at its very, very best. Like a sailor to a siren I had been drawn to the beauty of The Countess singing her part in The Marriage Of Figaro on The Royal Mile after afternoon prayers in Saint Giles. The Countess had a face that was equally as beautiful as her voice. but it was her voice that stole me. So I pleaded with the Mumble editor to arrange for me to review this magic piece work. What I witnessed in this capacity  was not what I was expecting. But this made things delightfully entertaining.

It all begins with the heroes of the show settling in on the cuddle couch. Amelia has just secured a job as a Lawyer and Stephen is a struggling composer, both are at the end of a busy day & Amelia wants to watch Kim Kardashian’s televised 72 day marriage with NBA Basketball Star Kris Humphries , while Stephen wants to watch The Marriage of Figaro. At first compromise with the remote control for the telly is workable. Now this is when the stagecraft bursts alive and the switch between Rhythm and Blues and a chamber orchestra becomes palatable. When the remote control was pressed by Amelia, her choice was represented on the left side of the stage. Kim all figure hugging pants and lace sexiness, with the passion of a new married couple, Kris all butch muscular testosterone with one thing on his mind and it wasnae basketball.

When Stephen takes control of the box we are taken back in time to the Marriage Of Figaro. The Count is being a bit of a canute, wooing Wwmen with his literary skills, The Countess gets wind of this and this is where the problems start. Both the Count and the Countess looked fantastic. All period frills and elegant ball gowns. It was right up Divine’s street, Once a New Romantic always a New Romantic. So on the right hand of the stage a fully blown opera. With the Countess giving a mesmerising performance (Divine was awestruck) this is when the stage lighting was brought into full effect. Two marriages on the brink of collapse and one relationship struggling because of telly choices. All sung in fine voice. Sexy & marvellous & sexy entertainment indeed.

Reviewer : Mark ‘Divine’ Calvert




C Royale

Aug 3-13 / 15-28 (20.30)

Stagecraft: four-stars.png Bookthree-stars.png Performance: four-stars.png

Douze is a high energy and highly entertaining look at the world of The Eurovision Song Contest. From an Irish angle, of course, & in an earlier interview with the Mumble, its musical male lead, Anthoney Keigher, described the origins of this madcap adventure.

I had just finished a show in Ireland, and someone quite well do-to in the theatre scene asked me…’What’s XNTHONY doing next?’. And I replied…completely off the cuff…’Eurovision’. He said it was a good idea…and I got to thinking…We then brought it to Dublin Fringe Festival..followed by a European Tour and BANG! Here we are!

With Ireland in the running to wipe the board clean at the contest, the trio that is Xnthony, Hannah and Tiffany are on the road looking to gather support for their trip to Europe. With more gold than you could dig out of an African gold mine and enough sparkle to light up the night sky, their choice of costumes was not just dazzling but endearing too. Like two American cheerleaders and a bouncy Andy Bell, these young guns were heading to Lisbon in 28 days and we had to vote for their song that would take them to the top.

From start to finish you will be hooked! This is a full-on, hour-long show of dancing, singing, movement and laughter. As Douze rolls on like a champagne-dizzy dilletante, the madness of Tiffany becomes apparent, a whirlwind of facial and body movements that you didn’t think possible from any human being was unleashed upon us like monsoon rain. That girl needs help. With her compadre, Hannah, trying her best not to stumble and fall every 2 minutes over her own feet, this was a true laugh a minute comedy. But, with Xnthony taking front and centre, it was obvious who wears the trousers in this trio, or should I say tight gold hot pants.


Douze is a well-crafted, glitz-garnished piece of musical comedy magic. The audience was in stitches at songs like Numbers and Invincible and delivery of all three performers was excellent. Allowing the audience to be part of the show is always a good move. Firing questions at them, clambering over seats and spreading their sweat drips among the bewildered crowd, I soon found Xnthony seating on my lap, like a gold statue of Buddha. Turning themselves into gold glitter like Jelly Fish, the show closes with the appropriately named song ‘Glitter.‘ This show has bundles of joy, fun, hysteria, laughter, madness and love all contained within one larger than life Irish Pop band…  Lets help take “Douze” to the Eurovision Song contest and go see this show.

Reviewer :  Raymondo 


An Interview with Michael Howell

0ff1a1f.jpgHello Michael, so where you at, & where ya from, geographically speaking?
I’m currently heading up the Musical Theatre programme at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland where I’ve been for almost ten years now.  At this very moment I’m in our final few days of rehearsal for this year’s Edinburgh Fringe production Into the Woods with our current MA in Musical Theatre Performance and Musical Directing students. I was born in London and grew up in Kirkcaldy, I trained at the Royal Academy of Music in London on the PG Musical theatre Programme under Mary Hammond. I worked as an actor in a whole range of different productions for ten years before returning to Scotland. I was actually part of the Scottish premiere of Into the Woods at the New Byre Theatre with Ken Alexander way back in 2001 and now I’m back in Glasgow directing it which has brought back a lot of fond memories.

What is it about Musical Theatre that makes you tick?
The wonderful thing about musical theatre as an art form is that it has very few artistic constraints – the gloves are off, as it were. It’s a hugely flexible medium allowing us to incorporate and integrate dance, movement, music, song, text and instrumentation as we attempt to tell stories in the most creative and entertaining of ways.  In my opinion, that’s when theatre is at its most exciting. We only need to look at the output of our producing houses in Scotland over the last few years to see its influence, with more and more productions experimenting with the integration of these art forms.

What does Michael Howell like to do when he’s not immersed in the arts?
The job itself is pretty much 24/7 at the Conservatoire. We have two musical theatre programmes, the three-year Undergraduate programme and a 12-month Postgraduate which runs from September to September, so I’m usually always working! When I’m not involved in the arts, I spend time with my family, although it’s worth noting that our movement director, EJ Boyle, is also my wife … so work tends to be all consuming.

What are the keystones to a good musical, & then an amazing musical? 
What makes an amazing musical is what makes any amazing piece of art – a fabulous, intriguing, entertaining story and a committed group of performers who have a desire to tell that story.


This year you are bringing the widely popular ‘Into the Woods’ to the Fringe. Can you tell us about it?
Into the Woods has always been popular among those interested in musicals and has become even more mainstream since the movie was released. Staging any production of a piece that is, in many respects, viewed as a classic piece of musical theatre,  as well as a Sondheim classic, comes with challenges because, of course, people know the story and there are expectations about how it should be told. Any reimagining of the world needs to be treated carefully but the great thing about telling that story with actors in training, and also at the Fringe, are the creative possibilities that it offers – we can, and should always, try to craft it in a way that provides a positive training opportunity for the students while making the production relevant, different and accessible for all. It’s not just about putting on the best production that we can create for the Fringe but also, as a Director and Educator, providing a fertile ground for the students to continue to develop.  What’s the point of telling these stories now? The interest for me with Into the Woods is that fairytales exist on two levels, they act as simple stories, right versus wrong and good versus bad, but actually on a much deeper, subtextual level, when children are reading them they act as a guide for traversing life, giving children hints and moral codes which they may or may not live life by. The narrator was our starting point for the development of the piece, who is he, why is he there and why is he telling that story? The physical language, created by EJ Boyle and the wonderful design by Rich Evans, has really helped bring to life the metaphorical woods and our narrator’s imaginative retelling of these stories. Trying to find an existence for a narrator that went beyond the traditional storyteller/Jackanory-style version seemed crucial.  We’ve attempted to create a story that exists for the narrator which sits alongside the main storytelling adventure – where do theses adventures spring from and why does he recount them now?  The original tales were particularly gruesome, not the sanitised versions we’ve become used to in animated film, balancing the two dimensional world of the first half and the horror of the second, has been key  in the development of our narrator’s journey and indeed the world of the piece.

Can you describe the experience of performing in Edinburgh in August? 
I haven’t performed at the Fringe, however, it’s a tremendous opportunity for our students to take a musical on an extended run. In training situations, invariably, the students work on a production for maybe a six-week rehearsal period with a one-week run. That’s a fabulous experience and it’s one that all arts education is designed to facilitate. The wonderful thing about the Fringe is that it allows our students to take that piece of work on a four-week run where they’ve got to think about stamina and sustainability, focus, maintenance of energy and technique. They need to discover and find new things and become better as the run progresses. That is really key for them as performing arts students. They get the opportunity to be in two productions, both Into the Woods and one of our new works in collaboration with the American Musical Theatre Project and Northwestern University (Atlantic: A Scottish Story or Atlantic: America and the Great War). Students will be performing in two shows a day, doing two different characters and have been engaged in two entirely different processes throughout rehearsals. On top of that, performing at the Fringe is a chance to utterly immerse themselves in the largest theatre festival in the world. They are also exposed to an eclectic range of work that they otherwise might not see if they weren’t at the festival themselves.

Each year, the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland’s MA Musical Theatre students strut their stuff at the Fringe while the BA students stage productions throughout the year. Of these, who has gone on to the higher spheres of musical theatre?
The Royal Conservatoire’s Musical Theatre programme has produced successes including;

Rebecca Faulkenberry
Rock of Ages, Spiderman and High School Musical (Broadway)

Scott Garnham
Les Misérables and I Can’t Sing (West End)

Aaron Lee Lambert
Sister Act, Shrek and Urinetown (West End)

Keisha Fraser
Colour Purple and Book of Mormon (West End)

John McLarnon
We Will Rock You and The Commitments (West End)

Robbie Towns
Legally Blonde and Transatlantic (West End)

Musical Directors

Alan Bukowiecki
Book of Mormon, Chicago and Hair (US national tour)

Amy Shackcloth
Wicked, Phantom of the Opera, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (UK national tour)

Sarah De Tute
Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (UK national tour)

Claire McKenzie
Award-winning composer and founder of Noisemaker music theatre company

Andrea Grody
Venice and Love Labour Lost (New York)

Lindsey Miller
Fame (UK National Tour)

What does the rest of 2017 hold in store for Michael Howell?
Well, after the Fringe I go to Gothenburg in Sweden to direct a four-week devised piece with a cast of musical theatre performers and a small group of composers, writers, musicians and DJs.  After that, it’s straight back to the first day or term at the Conservatoire.

Into the Woods will be playing at this year’s Fringe

@ Assembly Hall

 Aug 3-13, 15-20, 22-27 (11.30)

An Interview with Anthony Keigher


Hello Anthony, so where you from, & where ya at, geographically speaking?
Hi! I am from a small town in the west of Ireland called Roscommon. I grew up on a farm. Which of course lends itself perfectly to becoming the Eurovision-superstar phenomena that I am now (or will be someday…). Right now I am based in East London, surrounded by the whackiest and exciting drag and performance art. It’s a very exciting place to be!

Can you talk us through the earliest stages in your development as a performer?
Ice-cream. I was studying Fine Art Paint, and I suddenly remember feeling like this might not be the right path for me. So I started to develop what you’d call ‘Performance Art’ and in this case it involved a lot of ice-cream and singing ballads from one of my fave musicals,’ Evita. It has of course developed since then, but I do like that the need to perform came so organically and has developed so.

What is it about Musical Theatre that makes you tick?
I enjoy musical theatre that plays with form and with the very idea of what musical theatre can be. For me, this means it can push into something innovative and possibly merge all those other exciting forms of performance-making, such as live art or drag.

What makes a good musical, & which are your favorites?
I think empathy is crucial for me. Currently my favourite musical is Wicked. But that can change depending on my love life or career at the time! It has been Evita…Dreamgirls…each of these are inspiring in their own way.

What does Anthony Keigher like to do when he’s not immersed in the stage?
Anthony Keigher likes to lie on his bed, sipping coffee while he orders flowers for himself. Yes. That’s the kind of diva I am…

Douze A3

This year you are bringing Douze to the Fringe. Can you tell us about it?
It follows my alter-ego pop star XNTHONY and his backing singers, The Penny Slots, as we campaign around the world for a place in Eurovision. We started in 2015…and it’s been ongoing. Something gets in the way. But we’ll never give up! The show presents 9 possible Eurovision songs…and each song has a relationship with either politics, pop culture or it’s just darn funny!

Of you & the cast, who has done the Fringe before?
None of us have done Ed Fringe before, but we have all been as audience members. Having toured around elsewhere, I am remaining calm about the sudden push of high energy that is required from myself and the team. I think the key is to keep the feet firmly on the ground and get to work (which includes lots of glitter in my case).


Douze is a brand new musical. Can you tell us about its journey from being born to being played at the 2017 Edinburgh Fringe?
This is a real funny one. I had just finished a show in Ireland, and someone quite well do-to in the theatre scene asked me…’What’s XNTHONY doing next?’. And I replied…completely off the cuff…’Eurovision’. He said it was a good idea…and I got to thinking…We then brought it to Dublin Fringe Festival..followed by a European Tour and BANG! Here we are!

Can you sum up Douze in a single sentence?
DOUZE is THE lovable, pop, comedy musical about Eurovision and stardom that will leave you in stitches!

What does the rest of 2017 hold in store for Anthony Keigher?
I plan on entering the Eurovision. Again.

You can catch Anthony in Douze at the Fringe

Aug 2-28 : C Royale (20.30)

An Interview with Claire Mckenzie & Scott Gilmour

Hello Claire, so where you & Scott from & where ya both at, geographically speaking?unnamed
Claire : 
At the moment we are both based in Glasgow, although since we’ve started getting more work internationally, we’re travelling around quite a lot! I’m originally from Newcastle-Upon-Tyne but moved up to Scotland to study composition, and have never wanted to leave because of the exciting new work that is constantly being created here. Seeing has I’ve now lived here for 12 years, am a McKenzie and have ginger hair, I think that makes me officially Scottish! Scott is originally from East Kilbride and similarly moved into Glasgow to study, and so far, hasn’t left!

Hello Scott, can you give us a brief outline of the origins of your partnership with Claire?
Scott : Claire and I were both students at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and met in my first year of training. I was an actor and Claire was Musical Director. We spoke about stories and ideas we had in common and decided we’d like to try making something together. In my final year there was an opportunity to have a new piece made with The Arches in Glasgow, so I submitted Claire and I (without actually asking Claire…) and I our idea was selected. This became our first musical together; FREAKSHOW. Based on the true stories of Victorian freak performers, it was a site-specific song cycle which then went on a small tour to London, playing at The Roundhouse and Covent Garden Actors Church, before ending up at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival where is won the Daily Mail Drama Award 2012. It was at this point we decided to form our partnership company Noisemaker. Five years on we’re still having fun telling stories together, and our work is growing and becoming more and more international, through projects like ATLANTIC.

What makes a good musical, & which are your favorites?
Scott : I think a good musical is one where the story matches the style. I think musical theatre suffers from a stigma that’s a direct result of style coming before content or story. However, shows like WEST SIDE STORY or CABARET pair the style with stories big and important enough that it not only matches the size and scale of the style, but they allow the story to be told more clearly, and with more impact, as a result of it being a musical. That’s when musical theatre becomes interesting for me; when the a story can live on in the music audiences are left humming on their way home from the theatre. Some of my favourites are, as I mentioned, WEST SIDE STORY and CABARET. I also loved LONDON ROAD, COLOUR PURPLE and have a definite soft spot for OLIVER.


What is it about Musical Theatre that makes you tick?
Claire : I’m a musician who loves to collaborate, and I think Musical Theatre is the ultimate collaboration between art forms; all working together to tell a story. I’m a believer that you can’t write a musical alone by yourself in a room; you need to work with other creatives and actors throughout the writing process in order to bring the different elements together and make a musical really work. I’m obviously passionate about the use of music in storytelling, as I think it has such an immediate ability to evoke emotion in the audience, while being a universal language that’s accessible to everyone.

How are you finding the public’s taste for musical theatre in 2017
Scott : Like everything, our taste is changing. The main thing I feel that’s shifting is how audiences watch stories. Stuff like Netflix allows anyone easy access to incredible, complex, beautiful stories and drama. Film is relying more and more on visual storytelling partnering with a rich soundtrack, over lots of text and dialogue. Our relationship to language is changing. We still like to be taken on a journey, but I think we’re a lot better at coping with having moments where we aren’t sure of what’s going on, where we are left confused and unsatisfied but are happy to hang for a resolution. I think that new musical theatre has been a little slower at making this shift in narrative. It’s still such a young form, I don’t think we’ve begun to understand all the ways song and movement can be used to tell new stories that speak about who and what we are. That said, I think people love a blockbuster. It could be the newest Star Wars or Marvel Superhero movie, but when as a big story with a big score comes along, something like HAMILTON, I think people will always want to escape into that.

Can you tell us about the creative processes between yourself & Scott?
Claire : At the start of each process we will spend quite a bit of time together working on the idea and mapping out the structure of the piece. We try and delve into the world of the piece together, by collecting pictures and making playlists to listen to, so we are both on the same page regarding the tone and language of the piece. We’ll then start writing; and generally, Scott will go first and come up with some lyrics and text, then I’ll follow with the music. I always like working with a lyric first as it allows me to be specific in matching the music to each word. We’ll then go back and forwards with the material a few times, being brutally honest with each other, about what we think is working and what isn’t. Ideally as soon as we finish a first draft, we’d want to workshop the material with actors and a dramaturg to start feeding in their responses and continue tweaking until the show is ready for production.

What is the raison d’etre behind your company, Noisemaker?
Claire : As Scott mentioned, we began writing together in 2012 and soon after our first project we formed Noisemaker. We wanted to create and develop new musical theatre together and challenge the form in fresh and innovative ways. A huge part of this is how we use music throughout the storytelling. We don’t always use traditional song structures and instead tell our stories more filmically, trying to create a feeling at times that is not always text or lyric driven. We also tend to pick challenging narrative structures – for example, our last trip to Edinburgh Fringe in 2014 was with The Girl Who, an interactive ‘choose-you-own-adventure’ musical, with 128 possible versions. Each show was unique as it was dependant on a series of choices made by the audience throughout the story – which wasn’t straight forward to write, or rehearse!

Can you tell us about your time at the prestigious Johnny Mercer Writers Colony at Goodspeed, Connecticut, & what have you learnt from the experience?
Scott : The Johnny Mercer Writers Colony at Goodspeed was one of the most important experiences Claire and I have had as a writing partnership. It allowed us to have absolute freedom and space to start a new idea, in the insanely beautiful surroundings of East Haddam, Connecticut, whilst also being able to share our ideas and new material with other writers and hear what they were creating too. Often you can feel a little isolated as a writer; that you need to work alone before anyone else is allowed to come and play. But the community offered at Goodspeed allows you time with similar artists working on a similar process which was just really inspiring for us to work around. As a result of our time there, we’ll be returning to New York in early 2018 to begin developing the piece we started at the Colony into a full new musical, with support from Goodspeed, the National Theatre of Scotland and Dundee Rep.


This year you are bringing Atlantic : A Scottish Story to the Fringe. Can you tell us about the transatlantic ideas behind its creation?
Scott : We began the process for ATLANTIC back in October 2016. Claire and I had lots of calls and Skypes with the American writers (all at weird times of the day) about what story we felt we all wanted to tell in this setting, and also what was appropriate and right for the students we were working with too. Eventually the idea of home and heritage started to emerge as a fundamental point of difference for both teams. Claire and I’s families both have lived in Scotland for generations, whereas the Americans were either third or fourth generation immigrants.

Atlantic A Scottish Story. RCS MA Musical Theatre student Caroline Lyell (6).jpeg

They began to explain the idea that where many Americans “come from” is rarely America itself and that, for many, there are family and roots to be found all over the world. We took this as our starting point. A SCOTTISH STORY for us then became about looking at the story of an girl who is unable to escape the roots and hold of family and place, to explore the world and see what else might be out there. If it is prescribed where you belong and who you are, can you still be happy there? Is it a curse to never leave? That is idea we explore through ATLANTIC: A SCOTTISH STORY.

Are you in touch with the team in the States producing the American version of Atlantic?
Claire : Absolutely. I think we’ve been in touch with the American team via every platform available in the past few months! But nothing beats working with them in person, and we were very lucky to be able to spend time with them during the Chicago workshop of ATLANTIC in May. It’s been wonderful collaborating with another writing team – something you very rarely get to do – and we’ve learnt such a lot during this process that will undoubtedly shape Scott and I’s writing in the future.

Claire & Scott’s creation will be sailing in to the Edinburgh Fringe

Aug 3-27 : Assembly Hall (15.00)



A Panto, A Pie and A Pint
Oran Mor

Punocchio 1.JPG

Stagecraft: 5  Book: 5  Performance: 5

Happy July everybody. It’s panto-time in Glasgow and PUNoccio, written by Gary McNair, is a cracker full of topical gags, word play and bouncy songs. Hingmy Cricket (Kirstin McLean) sets the scene and tone with a cheeky wee poem, rhyming Oran Mor’s pie alternative quiche, with keech. In a workshop surrounded by her puppets, mistress-carver, Jan Petal (Dave Anderson) longs for a son to end her loneliness. Her wish for a wean is heard by a scary, Fairy Odd Mother (Darren Brownlie glittering like a disco mirror ball). A high-kick later and PUNoccio (a bubbly Francis Thorburn) is no longer a tethered marionette but a walking, talking puppet free to PUNish everyone with an irritating string of double meanings. Well with a name like PUNoccio he wood, woodn’t he?

Punocchio 4 (1).JPG

As in the Disney tale, which for copyright reasons we are frequently assured this isn’t, a naive PUNoccio encounters (hiss-boo) villains. These political sounding scoundrels, Trumpoli, Bear-is Johnson and the sleekit cat, Faragio are all thwarted as PUNoccio becomes a real boy… and farts. As tradition demands, all ends happily with an audience split in two, contesting which side sang the closing song best. This lively, clever comedy, as bright as PUNoccio’s primary coloured costume, continues at Oran Mor throughout July. Oh yes it does!

Reviewer : David G Moffat