Monday, August 08, 2011

"Showchoir! The Musical" - Edinburgh Fringe 2011

Although we wouldn't class ourselves as Gleeks, we do enjoy our weekly dose of "Glee", and being quite partial to 'mockumentaries' we should  be the perfect audience for the One Academy's "Showchoir! The Musical" (One Academy is a production company set up by the RSAMD). So it's surprising that it left us a little disappointed. It's a good, solid, entertaining show but there is a definite 'sparkle' missing.

Following the "Symphonic Sensations" on their path to glory, the mockumentary element works well and the technique of playing to the audience via large mirrors is surprisingly effective. Unfortunately, as the show progresses, the subjects featured on 'camera' become too wide-ranging with many unnecessarily adding to an already cluttered character set. The plot drags at times and script would benefit from a liberal amount of red ink.

But the writing's weakness is to the benefit of the cast who grasp the opportunity to play multiple roles with both hands and considerable skill. Vocally, the performances (intentionally or unintentionally) feel like a high school glee club made good rather than what we might expect from the RSAMD. It leaves us questioning the wisdom of featuring the cast in multiple full scale shows (the cast also perform daily in "Sunday in the Park with George").

In the main, the show is funny in a gentle chortle kind of way but rarely gains the laugh-out-loud moments the concept should be capable of delivering. For hardcore Glee fans this will fill an off-season gap nicely, and for those overwhelmed by the options available in the Fringe programme it makes for a safe, reliable choice. For those looking for something a bit special, this probably isn't the show you are looking for.

Showchoir! The Musical runs at C until 29 August (odd numbered days only)