Rabbie, Rose Street Theatre, Edinburgh, Review:
**** 4 Stars
“Stunningly Beautiful Musical theatre.”
The late great Andrew Dallmeyer wrote a musical in 2007 called “Burns Supper” working in collaboration with David Todd, the musical focused on the life of the Scottish Bard himself Robert Burns, Dallmeyer and Todd then gifted the show to schools around Scotland to perform, using these performances and working with a new original score by Kennedy Aitchison the show gained momentum in the Edinburgh fringe festival. Dallmeyer then gifted the show to the First Scottish, ten years after its creation and nearly a year since Dallmeyer’s passing, leading Edinburgh theatre company, Captivate theatre present a revised edition of the show titled “Rabbie” and what a production it is.
Director Sally Lyall and Musical Director Ian Murray Redpath Sutherland have crafted a production which truly takes the audience inside the life of the Bard, an often misunderstood and contradictory figure whose legacy is embraced as a standard bearer of both poetry and Scottish culture.
Captivate have become known for there large scale musical theatre seasons during the fringe utilizing a massive team of cast, crew and production creatives, it was utterly charming to see the company field a cast of just 9 performers in the intimate surroundings of the Basement theatre of the Rose Street venue.
Stunning vocal arrangements combined with high quality acting in both dramatic and comedic fields combine to ensure this is a production which soars, the company have drawn the cream of companies talent together with Sam Thorne turning in a finally tuned and often emotional performance as Burns opposite a stunningly beautiful performance from Meg Laird Drummond in the role of Jean Armour, the woman who bore the brunt of Burns reality as well as his love. The leads are joined by a strong ensemble including, Hazel Beattie, Adrian McDonald, Charlie Munroe, Max Reid, Sally Cairns, Georgia Lee Roberts and Jack Penderson.
With a narrative that moves between present day and Burns own lifetime the production is excellently paced with laughs coming often but also moments of rapt silence as the audience enjoys some of the music and lyrics that have come define generations of scots.
The show comes to a simply stunning conclusion with an arrangement of “Auld Lang Syne” that goes beyond beautiful and makes a haunting and stirring lament to the legacy of the Man Burns was as well as showcasing just how far Captivate have come as a company, “Rabbie” truly does captivate and given a bigger venue in future years will continue to grow and shine as an example of Musical theatre that both entertains and educates in equal measure. Wonderful stuff indeed.
Captivate Theatre presents “Rabbie”, Rose Street Theatre Edinburgh runs until Sunday 28th January 2018 for tickets go to: https://gildedballoon.co.uk/programme/performances.php?eventId=14:1677