Brett Herriot at the Festivals

Athena, Perfect Forth, Captivate at the Rose, Venue 76 Review:

Beautifully Beguiling

***** 5 Stars

It takes a brave company to not only open there production at the end of the 2022 festival season but to make their live debut in a medium that is notorious  for any imperfections taking the show firmly off the rails. A Cappella has enjoyed a major resurgence in recent years thanks to it musical styling’s taking off across the pond in the USA.

A Cappella has now reached British shores in a big way and brand new company Perfect Forth have set the bar high with there in person debut production “Athena” running for a three night stint at the Rose Theatre. There are truly no words to convey just how beautifully beguiling this production is!

Athena takes us on an a cappella journey of the Greek gods, there interconnections and how mythology can be distorted by the passage of time. Ultimately Perfect Forth powerfully reminds us of what makes us all connected and that’s Humanity, this company’s ability to reflect the human condition through the most impressive vocal performance you will see on the Fringe this year is astonishing.

Perfect Forth formed of Soprano’s Nadya Albertsson, Iona Thomason, Mezzo’s, Ailish Barry, Megan Grace, Emma Laing, Alto’s, Adela Bartlick Salcedo, Laura Preston, Erin Bowden, Tenor’s, Oliver Payn, Colum Findlay, Baritone’s, Lewis Kerr, Fraser Hume ( Also on Vocal Percussion) and Bass’s, David Ragg, Ruari Fraser. Collectively you won’t find a tighter group of musicians who can deliver a faultless performance that’s both engaging as it is engrossing.

Stand out songs include “Hera” a moment were simply closing your eyes and listening to the haunting vocals lets you drift as the lyrics touch the heart.  The same is true of “Gaia” and the title piece “Athena”. Ariana Grande’s “God Is Woman” is giving thrilling new lease of life thanks to the stirring arrangement used.

The Companies creative and musical Director Colum Findlay has truly delivered a production that sparkles in every moment under its fabulous lighting design, they should be justifiably proud of not only themselves but there entire company, there truly isn’t a weak link on stage.

While there is a storyline carefully woven through the hour long show, this is all about the vocals especially in the closing number “Morning Comes” that serves as a potent reminder of how so many us need the arts in our lives, the right to expression can never be under estimated. Perfect Forth might be making their debut but my word it’s thrilling to think what comes next for this incredibly gift and talented Scottish a cappella company.

Do what you must to grab those remaining tickets for the final two performances and bask in the glory of a cappella done at its very best.

Athena, Perfect Forth, Captivate at the Rose Venue 76 for tickets go to: Athena | Music | Edinburgh Festival Fringe (edfringe.com) or direct from the venue.

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