Being Liza, Assembly Roxy, as part of Formation Festival
***** 5 Stars
“a stunning and beautifully judge comedy drama“
New company Interabang mark there debut with a stunning and beautifully judge comedy drama, that doesn’t focus on Liza Minelli per say but a daughter and father tribute act to the daughter of Judy Garland and draws many mirrors to the cost of living someone else’s dream when your heart desires something far different.
Frances Edwards (Rachel Flynn, in fine vocal form) tours the width and breath of Scotland performing the “Being Liza” tribute show with her father Pete (James Keenan in a wonderfully judged performance) at the piano, he longs to sign the big contract that will take them to the top, the only problem is, this is his dream not Frannies. Added to the mix is the tour accountant (Benjamin Storey in a charming and heart warming performance) his dream is to throw away the account books and take to the stage too with Frannies help. Can France’s reach her dreams while caught behind the mask of a musical legend?
Not only does she play the lead the role, Rachel Flynn also writes this one act 50 minute play with music that delves deep into the dysfunction of a family that’s held together by the lies of the past and the unrelating pressure of the father to reach a dream he longs for even when his daughter longs for something completely different. It also tackles living for oneself and not for others, even if the other person is the one closest to your heart. Its emotional territory and Flynn succeeds in capturing the hurt whilst injecting enough humour and comedy to break the tension.
Director Ryan Alexander Dewar has opened the piece fully and used the small space of the Roxy upstairs to its full potential cleverly deploying a door frame covered in dressing room mirror lights to move the action from the stage to the dressing room where the characters spend the majority of there lives. He also brings the best out in Flynn’s vocal skills whilst allowing the story to build. Keenan and Storey also deliver well but this is Flynn’s shinning moment and she truly shows what she can do. Its a joy to watch.
Everything about this piece says it should enjoy a run at the Edinburgh Fringe, but there are no plans at the moment for that to happen, it does feel that there will be more life to “Being Liza” as there is much for the characters to explore, what is present for the moment is dramatically gripping, impassioned and thoroughly well conceived and delivered piece of new writing.
There are big things in store not only for Flynn but for Interabang productions who will present there second play in the second week of the Formation festival. For now there is one final chance to get along to the Roxy and catch “Being Liza” and its an experience you wont forget.
Interabang Productions Present “Being Liza”, Assembly Roxy, as part of the Formation festival. Runs until Sunday 30th June. For tickets go to: https://www.assemblyfestival.com/roxy/whats-on/being-liza-formation-festival
Interabang Productions will present “TOAST” from 5th to 7th July in the same venue.