Preview

Kinky Boots Preview:

Based on the original 2005 British film, and inspired by true events, Kinky Boots the musical tells the story of Charlie Price. Having inherited a shoe factory from his father, Charlie forms an unlikely partnership with cabaret performer and drag queen Lola to produce a line of high-heeled boots and save the business. In the process, Charlie and Lola discover that they are not so different after all.

With a book by the legendary Harvey Fierstein and music and lyrics from the princess of pop Cyndi Lauper this story of love and acceptance and being who you want to be has wowed audiences on both Broadway and London’s west end as well as several international productions around the world.

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(photo curtesy Edinburgh Evening News)

Now for the first time the most heart warming and joyous of shows comes to the Edinburgh Playhouse in the famed Christmas slot. We at Scotsgay arts were invited to a sneak preview in the plush surroundings of Brewhemia bar. Where it was confirmed that star of the west end and Australian productions Callum Francis will dawn Lola’s heels for the Edinburgh run. From what we saw we can assure you that your in for a real treat!

Joining Francis on stage will be Joel Harper-Jackson as “Charlie Price”, Paula Lane (of coronation street fame) as “Lauren” with a full supporting company including Lola’s Angels this production will sprinkle its magic this festive season.

Kinky-Boots

Kinky Boots marks yet another Scottish premier for the Playhouse, and while the title might suggest this is more an adult show, in reality its for all the family with a strong story at its heart that has brought audiences to their feet at every performance in London’s Adelphi theatre, its sure to have tickets flying out the door. So, hurry and book for the ultimate festive treat!

Kinky Boots, Edinburgh Playhouse Wednesday 5th December to Saturday 5th January 2019. for tickets go to: https://www.atgtickets.com/shows/kinky-boots/edinburgh-playhouse/

Preview

The Edinburgh Fringe, Preview:

The Edinburgh Fringe, Preview:

It’s that time of year again for Edinburgh when the biggest collection of Arts Festivals arrives into town, with the Edinburgh International Festival, Edinburgh Book Festival, Edinburgh Arts Festival, The Edinburgh Fringe and The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo all getting into full Swing. As is a traditional to give our little team the chance to enjoy the festivals, we hand over to our friends at SGFringe.com, who will provide all the reviews, news and coverage.

We at Scotsgay Arts will still be out there with our reviewers writing for SGFringe and our social media will still be in action throughout the month ahead. To keep you all going here is a little preview of some local talent bringing their productions to the Fringe!

Captivate Theatre at the Fringe!

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Captivate have become fringe stalwarts, having progressed from the out of town Broughton Theatre, to the unique spegieltent in St Andrews Square to moving to their current home of the Rose Theatre as part of the Gilded Balloon family.

Growing year on year with a mixture of old shows, new shows and self-written shows, the company brings a company of 100’s of children, adult actors, crew and production team to the heart of the fringe and in 2018 the company is presenting an Octology of shows, Starting with 13 the Musical, Annie The Musical, Brave MacBeth, Jesus Christ Superstar, Les Misérables, Rabbie, Rent and Whistle down the wind. Truly this company has something for everyone who loves a musical and all productions come complete with live bands! Truly not to be missed!

Remembering Legends!

Elsewhere in the fringe, the international Smash hit “I Ran with the Gang” returns to Le Monde for its 5th Anniversary and for the first time following the passing of Bay City Roller Legend Alan Longmuir, it promises to be an emotional and fitting tribute to man who was always a plumber from Edinburgh who lived he most incredible of dreams.

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Le Monde also have a varied programme with cabaret, and a double bill from local writer Robin Mitchell with “May I have the Bill Please” and the Acclaimed children’s Show “Princess Pumpalot and the quest for the purple super farting bean” also taking to the stage above George Street.

Elsewhere!

The historic Hill Street Theatre which is nestle away on Hill Street Lane in the heart of the new town has a brand new operator this year and refreshed programme from its resident company “Edinburgh Little Theatre” who will offer several productions from Late Night Cabaret to Gin Nights. One stand out is the Fringe Premier of Jon Hartmere and Damon Intrabartolo’s acclaimed pop opera “Bare” taking to the stage.

The Hill Street Theatre will also host visiting companies with Liam Rudden’s emotional and dark tale known as “Thief” performing nightly. For those looking for some audience Participation why not don your fishnet and heels and pay a visit to “A Virgin’s Guide to Rocky Horror” a camp fun hour is assured.

 

Finally, in what must be the bravest new adventure, “Tenacious D – The Musical of Destiny makes its world premier on the Fringe from an exciting new local company, and the Space on Niddry Street will be hosting this epic comedy musical!

tenacious d

Our picks are just a drop in the ocean, with 3000 plus productions on offer the fringe gets ever larger and brings the magic and power of live performance to all those who are willing to open there minds and leap into the Unknown.

What ever you choose to see during the festivals do keep an eye on SGFringe.com and the social media on twitter with @SGFringe and @Scotsgayarts  as we explore the plethora of choices.

Have a wonderful festival season and we shall you see all again for our regular reviews, news and previews in September.

The Edinburgh Fringe 2018, Friday 3rd to Monday 27th August  2018. for tickets go to: www.edfringe.com for full Scotsgay Fringe Coverage head to www.sgfringe.com or twitter @sgfringe.

Preview

The Band, Edinburgh Playhouse, Preview

The Band, Preview:

THE BAND opened at Manchester Opera House on 8 September 2017 to critical and public acclaim, the advance box office for the tour has now topped a record-breaking £10 million. Making it one of the most successful musical theatre tours ever, it now arrives in Edinburgh the last stop before its summer break where the UK tour will continue in Southend and the show will also play a strictly limited 50 performance engagement in London’s west end at the Theatre Royal Haymarket.

The musical stars Rachel Lumberg as Rachel, Alison Fitzjohn as Claire, Emily Joyce as Heather, Jayne McKenna as Zoe, AJ Bentley, Nick Carsberg, Curtis T Johns, Yazdan Qafouri and Sario Solomon, collectively known as Five To Five, winners of BBC’s Let It Shine, as The Band, Faye Christall as Young Rachel, Katy Clayton as Young Heather, Rachelle Diedericks as Debbie, Sarah Kate Howarth as Young Claire, Lauren Jacobs as Young Zoe, Martin Miller as Jeff and Andy Williams as Dave.

The Band 1

THE BAND is a new musical about what it’s like to grow up with a boyband.  For five 16 year-old friends in 1992, ‘the band’ is everything.  25 years on, we are reunited with the group of friends, now 40-something women, as they try once more to fulfil their dream of meeting their heroes.

The Band is the second musical to feature the music of Take That, with “Never Forget the Musical” making its debut in 2007, this time around the band themselves are onboard as producers and with critically acclaimed Tim Firth writing the show, this promises to be something very special.

The Band 2

THE BAND is directed by Kim Gavin and Jack Ryder, designed by Jon Bausor and choreographed by Kim Gavin, with lighting design by Patrick Woodroffe, video design by Luke Halls and sound design by Terry Jardine and Nick Lidster.

THE BAND is produced by David Pugh & Dafydd Rogers and Gary Barlow, Howard Donald, Mark Owen, Robbie Williams. So for a night that could be the greatest night of your life hurry and book those tickets!

The Band, Edinburgh Playhouse Tuesday 10th to Saturday 14th July 2018. for tickets go to: http://www.atgtickets.com/shows/the-band/edinburgh-playhouse/

Preview

TBC Productions Spring Awakening, Preview

Spring Awakening, Preview:

Duncan Sheik’s alternative rock musical, Spring Awakening returns to Edinburgh in a new production from TBC productions, Edinburgh’s premier amateur ensemble company. Based on the 1891 play by Frank Wedekind, Spring Awakening debuted on Broadway winning several Tony awards including Best Musical, Best Book of a Musical and Best Original Score. Duncan Sheik’s rock score ranges from uplifting to haunting, with songs such as Mama Who Bore Me, The Bitch of Living and My Junk.

This coming of age story deals with depression, desire and the constraints and pressures placed on teenagers by society. Brimming with teenage-angst and hormone-induced sexual tension, this is a production which will move and inform in equal measure and holds a mirror to today and asks the question how far have we really come.

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Speaking to Scotsgay Arts Director, Louise Sables says “The story itself has no fat to trim and so is incredibly bold and strong in its message. As a result of that, Spring Awakening calls for actors who can focus their performances and bring both the strength and fragility this story deserves. This tour de force of a cast has done exactly that so you would be mad to miss out.”

Thomas McFarlane, one of the group’s original committee members, went on to explain “TBC Productions was initially formed in summer 2016 when we realised there was no one providing a platform for ensemble shows in Edinburgh outside of the Fringe. With it being ensemble shows, as the professional shows were intended, we wanted to bring the same quality to our productions.”

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Joining Sables is Musical Director Steven Segaud and Choreographer Chanel Turner the production will be performed with a live band. You can catch this production at The Studio, part of the Capital Theatres Group, located behind the Festival Theatre on Potterrow. The Studio is an artistic testing ground for new works and smaller scale touring productions as well offering a technically advanced performance space for Edinburgh based companies.

So, if you want to see what true ensemble performance is all about then grab a ticket and head along to The Studio for TBC Production of Spring Awakening.

TBC productions Present, Spring Awakening, Wednesday 27th to Saturday 30th June 2018. The Studio, Edinburgh for tickets go to: https://www.capitaltheatres.com/springawakening

Preview

The Pride by Alexi Kaye Campbell, Preview:

The Pride by Alexi Kaye Campbell, Preview:

What is the point of this stupid, painful life if not to be honest? If not to stand up for what is in the core of one’s being?’ Alternating between 1958 and 2008, The Pride examines changing attitudes to sexuality, looking at intimacy, identity and the courage it takes to be who you really are. Following three complex characters, we see how different their lives could have turned out had they been born 50 years earlier or later, and what can be learnt from their various struggles – even today.

The Pride premiered at the Royal Court Theatre in London in 2008, and won an Olivier Award, the Critics’ Circle Award for Most Promising Playwright and the John Whiting Award for Best New Play.

the pride

Different Works are staging this new production to coincide with the 10th anniversary of the play’s premiere and is being performed in conjunction with Pride Edinburgh weekend – as both a celebration of progress and poignant history lesson of the struggles many LGBTQI+ people and their allies have faced over the years.

Scotsgay Arts was invited to a sneak preview performance of act 1 and it’s a true powerhouse play with 4 exceptionally gifted actors. The story as it unfolds truly brings into the focus the very fine line between homosexuality and accepting one’s self and the destructive power of homophobia. This is a story that goes beyond love but into the human condition and makes us focus on the journey of the LGBTQI+ movement over the last 60 years, although the play spans 1958 -2008 its moral is as relevant now as it’s ever been.

This is a starkly honest story and some of the scenes will upset and with coarse language it does challenge the viewer but be assured this a Challenge that’s worth the watching. Its timing is also fitting as Edinburgh celebrates its diversity with its annual Pride event, taking time to reflects how far we have come and just how much further we have to go is vitally important and The Pride delivers that in a powerful and emotional way, truly engaging theatre so don’t miss out grab those tickets now.

Different Works presents “The Pride” by Alexi Kaye Campbell, Roxy Assembly, Edinburgh Wednesday 13th to Saturday 16th June. For tickets go to: http://www.assemblyroxy.com/event.php?id=246

Preview

MGA Presents Legally Blonde, Churchill Theatre Edinburgh, Preview:

Legally Blonde, Churchill Theatre Edinburgh, Preview:

In a rehearsal room, high above the streets of the New Town of Edinburgh the graduating third year students of MGA are hard at work rehearsing what will be there final production whilst in training before they set out to achieve their dreams in the performance arts.

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To mark this milestone MGA founders, Creative Director Murray Grant with Managing Director Andrew Gowland are helming this production personally with Gowland Directing and Grant Choreographing accompanied by Simon Hanson as Musical Director and Tom Mullins as Assistant director. It’s a production team that brings professional credits and experience to the fore to ensure this talented cast will bow out of MGA with a bang!

Legally blonde tells the story of Elle Woods, a sorority girl who en-rolls at Harvard Law School to win back her ex-boyfriend Warner. She discovers how her knowledge of the law can help others, and successfully defends exercise queen Brooke Wyndham in a murder trial. Throughout the show, no one has faith in Elle Woods, but she manages to surprise them when she defies expectations while staying true to herself. It’s a tale of acceptance, diversity and strength truly fitting attributes for a final show!

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We at ScotsGay arts were treated to a performance of two excerpts from the show, starting with the opening number, its big and brash with well drilled choreography, the cast are already giving it there all with Carl O’Dowd shining with a charming take on “Emmet Forrest”.

The second excerpt is from the end of the show, “Find my way/Finale” is a moment truly worthy of the west end, with Caitlin Tipping giving a performance that melts the heart with its strength and honesty. Her interpretation of Elle Woods shows every nuance of a finely crafted performance from an actress that will travel beyond the realms of musical theatre to where ever she dares to go. Gowland has directed a fine piece of musical theatre and it shows in this number with its subtly charm delivering an emotional high point that once seen is never forgotten.

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“Oh my god you guys” Even from these small peeks at the production it promises to be something very special and uniquely fitting and with only two performances and limited tickets you better book fast. So, grab those tickets and support the next generation of musical theatre performers before they set out to live there dreams, as judging by this preview for so many of them, the west end and indeed beyond awaits!

MGA Presents “Legally Blonde Churchill Theatre Edinburgh, Friday 4th and Saturday 5th May, for Tickets go to http://themgaacademyshopboxoffice.bigcartel.com/product/legally-blonde

Preview

An Officer and a Gentleman The Musical, Preview:

An Officer and a Gentleman the Musical, Preview:

Scotsgay Arts was invited to a special sit-down question and answer session with Oscar Nominated writer and director Douglas Day Stewart ahead of the Scottish Premier of the musical “An Officer and a Gentleman”. The three time Oscar winning movie which Stewart himself has adapted for the stage in collaboration with the Curve Theatre and with acclaimed director Nikolai Foster at the helm it already promises to be something special and a fitting testament to the enduring legacy of the beloved feature film.

An Officer and a Gentleman tell the story of Zack Mayo who is training to become a U.S Navy Pilot. When Zack rolls into boot camp with a bit too much of a swagger, drill Sergeant Foley doesn’t make life easy for him. When he falls for local girl Paula Pokrifki and tragedy befalls his friend and fellow candidate, Zack realises the importance of love and friendship and finds the courage to be himself and win the heart of the woman he loves, its only then that he can truly become and Officer and a Gentleman.

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Stewart spoke openly and candidly about his memories of writing the original screenplay, the bulk of which is based on his own experiences of life in the US military during the height of the Vietnam war. His confession that he chose to enter the US Navy as officer was born of a wish to survive the war is a sobering reminder of the cost of not just Vietnam but all wars something not lost on the assembled guests in front of him.

So how does it differ from the big screen? Douglas Day Stewart confirm the original heart and thrust of the story is still present in the stage adaption but a selection of 80’s mega hits have been added for example, “Material Girl”, “ Girls Just wanna have fun”, “Alone”, “Don’t Cry out loud”, and the smash hit signature tune of the movies score “ Up Where We Belong” all feature prominently. Also, while all the main characters are present some have been opened out more fully to explore their stories in deeper detail.

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Director Nikolai Foster says “An Officer and a Gentleman delicately charts the lives of working class, military folk in America at the dawning of the 1980’s; important lives, often pushed to the margins of society. We are proud to be working alongside the films creator, producer Jamie Wilson and an incredible creative team to present his beautiful and inspiring story.”

The musical adaption of “An Officer and Gentleman” will tour the UK before venturing into London’s west end, but when asked, is there going to be a sequel movie? Douglas Day Stewart confirmed he is just putting the finishing touches to the screen play, which he will submit to Warner Brothers studio in the next couple of weeks. He reveals the new film will pick up with all the original characters 35 years later with a new love story. One of the stories he is focusing on is the inclusion of a Same sex love story. As the original film was released at time were to be openly LGBTQI+ in the US military was unheard of, it’s a sign of the times that Stewart is willing to embrace the shifting social attitudes even if the current president seeks to reverse the equalities hard won in the military. Day is also keen to support the voices of woman in the film industry and for that he should be applauded.

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Hopefully we will see the return of that gentleman soon, meanwhile the raw emotional grittiness that charmed a generation of film goers is now about to charm the Theatre Audiences of the UK and especially those who visit the Edinburgh Playhouse for the Scottish Premier in July. So, let love lift you up where you belong and purchase those tickets now to ensure the best seats.

Jamie Wilson and The Curve Theatre Leicester Presents “An Officer and a Gentleman the Musical”, Monday 2nd – Saturday 7th July 2018. Playhouse Theatre, Edinburgh, Tickets from £19.90  go to http://www.atgtickets.com/shows/an-officer-and-a-gentleman-the-musical/edinburgh-playhouse/