Really, this should have been the very first show of my schedule – as I’m an Edinburgh Fringe newbie I need all the tips I can get! Even if they are slightly tongue-in-cheek and in song format… You may remember that Ellen went to see a preview of this musical revue back in June, and it sounded like it was well on the way to brilliance even then. It’s running at C too for the duration of the festival, so whether you’re a rookie or a veteran there’s no excuse to miss it out of your schedule.
No part of Edinburgh or the Fringe is safe, with composer (and MD) Patrick Stockbridge taking a cheeky potshot at everything from venues and flyerers, to reviews and the weather. There’s also an impressive range of musical influences too, such as the Fifty-Fifty Chance of Rain salsa and even a Hamilton-inspired number (Come To My Show) about convincing people to see the shows they’re handing out flyers for.
One of my favourites has to be Guardians of the Fringe, with the three cast members and Stockbridge donning different coloured cloaks to represent the four powerhouses of the festival: Assembly, Pleasance, Gilded Balloon and Underbelly (“MOO!”). It’s a masterclass in comic characterisation and parody which should now be the backing music to any films & trailers these venues release from now on.
There is a bit of scripted chat in between songs, which largely doesn’t feel too forced, and it sets up each new number excellently. This extends to a slight narrative between Man and Woman, beginning with I Sort of Slept With My Cast Mate (a.k.a. “what happens at the Fringe, stays at the Fringe”) and continuing through to Fringe Crush, where an unsuspecting punter in the front row has their own moment of being serenaded.
As much as it enjoys taking the piss out of certain staples, and tries to highlight some things you might not know (for example, where your ticket money really goes), Ed Fringe: The Musical Revue is most definitely a friend to its fellow artists. Not only do they have cute handmade bunting – created from show flyers – but they also give any show teams in the audience a brief chance to advertise their work. So be sure to bring your flyers with you and be in good voice to earn your ten seconds of free advertising time!
Cast members Asha Cornelia Cluer, James Dangerfield and Emily Jane Kerr burst with enthusiasm and are brimming with musical and comic talent. They have great chemistry, and seem to be having a fantastic time performing these brilliant compositions together. The trio immediately get the audience onside, and have no trouble in getting them clapping along to the ‘megamix’ (you can barely see a musical at the moment without one of these at the end).
My verdict? A must-see show for Fringe newbies & veterans alike, celebrating & berating every conceivable angle in musical form – performed by an enthusiastic cast and backing band.
Ed Fringe: The Musical Revue runs at C too until 27 August 2018 (9.25pm, 1 hour). Tickets are available online or from the box office.