Pleasance Courtyard (Venue 33)
8th – 30th August
This show does exactly what it says on the tin, and it is awesome with it! Each night is a new show guided by suggestions from the audience on where the musical is set, in what style and genre and the title! I had the great pleasure of watching ‘Keep Digging!’, a musical full of love duets and ensemble pieces set underground… You really couldn’t write it! But the truth is this exquisite cast of improvisers need no script. They moved between Cole Porter to Kiss From a Spider Woman to West Side story capturing the musical and physical nuances of each. This fluid transition is supported and inspired by the skill of the on stage band. Duncan Walsh Atkins (MD and Keys), Alex Atty (Percussion), and Yshani Perinpanayagam (Keyboard, Flute). All played with both command of the styles and careful vocal accompanist skills following the voices and leading in a co-created ‘dance’.
This is not the first time seeing this show, and it certainly will not be the last. The sheer depth of knowledge and skill on the stage is impressive enough. Add on comic, musical and vocal prowess, timing, lyrical genius and trust – this is a master class in improv. Not only that, they really look like they are having a great time.
Of particular note was Ruth Bratt’s grasp of show styles, movement and magnetic appeal. She is a virtuoso of genre and performance. The whole cast was impressive, however, another star – and we don’t use the term flippantly – was Pippa Evans. Her quick, witty use and understanding of language was startlingly sharp. Phillip Pellew notably recited poetry on the spot as the cast eased themselves between rock, Cole Porter, Bernstein & Kander & Ebb. Though on your night of going, who knows what they will be tackling! It was exhilarating and fun and ended with the audience on their feet with a well-earned standing ovation. Showstoppers is produced by Keith Strachan, Dylan Emery and Adam Meggido, who have a hit on their hands. Dylan and Adam were a tour de force on stage too. With a fantastic grasp of what is required here and steered us through with stunning performances, clearly passionate about this project both onstage and off.
This is what musical theatre is all about. We are delighted to hear that Showstoppers are going to the West End! They are still seeking a small financial propeller through their Indiegogo fundraising page. Check out this show and check out their page to pre order your west end seats… I have a feeling they will go fast! FIVE STARS
Reviewers : Ali Bell & Dr. Denise Borland
Singing, Voice & Performance teachers at the Noble Institute, Edinburgh