Brett Herriot Review

Let’s Face the Music and Dance 2, Church Hill Theatre, Edinburgh, Review:

Let’s Face the Music and Dance 2, 

**** 4 Stars

Ultimately what shines from Let’s face the music and dance 2 is Love”

In 2014 Edinburgh based Choreographer Janice Bruce produced Let’s face the music and dance, a song and dance spectacular that raised £7,500 for leukaemia care as a tribute to her mother Margaret Hare who battled the disease and sadly it’s a battle she lost. 4 years later and with a wish to raise more than £10,000 Janice and musical director Alison Rushworth are back with a brand-new show lighting up the church hill theatre this week.

The performance in two acts is split into six sections act one kicks off with Glitz and Glam featuring an opening medley drawn from the best of Broadway before heading into la cage aux folles with a strong drag theme set up by the shows MC Derek Ward who host the first act in drag himself.  It’s a punchy opening section that gives way to “Taptastic” which is as the title suggests the chance to showcase some tap-dancing skills. Ibiyemi Osinaike delivers a suitably big voiced rendition of 42nd street. This section contains 5 more tap numbers concluding with the delightful Charlie Munro giving it big licks in Razzle Dazzle. Closing the first act is “After Dark” featuring songs from shows that put a touch of horror to forefront including “feed me” and the title track from “Little shop of horrors” alongside Cara Blaikie’s astounding take on “Defying Gravity” from “Wicked”.

Act 2 goes up with “Danger” pulling songs from the action movies including a sublime “the writing is on the wall” performed Darren-Phillip Johnson to a true west end standard. Bruce’s choreography is brought to for in the excellently executed tribute to the Matrix, which is visually stunning in every way. “Bright and Beautiful” is next up with songs that put the beauty of the world around us to the fore. The stand out of the section must be Keith McLeod and Jennifer Lane sweet rendition of “ A whole new world”. To bring the show to a close is a section titled “ Christmas” capitalising on the festive time of year.

The production is uniformly an ensemble piece and deliver’s excellent performances from all involved its clear to see the hours of hard work put in being delivered on stage. Its also visually a treat with the use of a large video screen to illuminate each song. The problem lies in the show’s length, its long coming in over an hour and twenty minutes per act. The issue of dragging is exacerbated by the long transitions between songs, which as the show beds in will tighten up. The overall production would benefit from loosing a song from each section. As negative as that sounds the positive side is the company certainly give the audience plenty for their ticket money.

Ultimately what shines from “Lets face the music and dance 2” is Love, the cast love being on that stage, the audience love watching them and for Janice Bruce is the love of a mother and her passion for the arts that will achieve that goal of raising £10,000. Make sure you grab those tickets while you can!

Let’s face the music and dance 2. Church Hill Theatre, Edinburgh, runs until Saturday 1st December (Saturday Matinee Only) for tickets go to: https://www.ticketsource.co.uk/whats-on/edinburgh/church-hill-theatre-edinburgh/lets-face-the-music-and-dance-2018

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