"Showchoir: The Time of our Lives" Review - Edinburgh University Footlights

Photo credit: Andrew Perry
"Showchoir" is a staple of the annual Footlights catalogue, and is always highly anticipated. The potential for such a concept, a showcase of music linked by a theme or themes, is completely limitless and this year's theme, "The Time of our Lives", creative directed by James Hart and Kirsten Innes, most certainly delivers.

The show opens rather weirdly, with a very short part of ABBA's "I Have A Dream". At this point I was slightly worried about the direction of the show, as I have come to expect big, dramatic, full cast opening numbers from such things, but this was quickly delivered on, with "Kidz" and "Revolting Children" serving as our big opening number. "Kidz" was particularly enjoyable, whereas "Revolting Children" was hindered massively by some practically inaudible voices, mostly down to microphones.

The tech in the show was a mixed bag - the lighting was beautiful, and pa…

"The Importance of Being Earnest" Review - Edinburgh University Theatre Company

Credit: Bronwen Jones and Georgie Carey

This review was originally written by me, Lewis Forman, for LOAF Magazine.

I was not expecting "The Importance of Being Earnest" to be my type of play, but I was blown out of the water by this farcical comedy. With a script heavily relying on dramatic irony, it makes for good laughs, but the true strengths of this play lie in the perfect casting and expert direction by Kirsten Millar.

Fergus Head plays a very strong lead as Algernon, taking control of the scene whenever he is on stage. Both of the main characters tell a lot of lies, but there is something about Head's performance that makes you giggle so much as he tells all of these lies and pulls off his tricks. His facial expressions are also a highlight, as he reacts on the verge of cartoonishly, to the events happening onstage.

Gordon Stackhouse is at his best when he is making jokes. As Jack, his comic timing is impeccable, and every movement he makes and word he says is so perf…

"Mosquitoes" Review - Edinburgh University Theatre Company

Photography: Dominika Ucar, Design: Michael Zwiauer
Walking into "Mosquitoes," I did not have high hopes. I had been exposed to only one other Kirkwood play before, and I quite frankly hated the writing, and expected to do so here as well. I must have caught her on a bad day before, because this play is so incredibly good.
The play has a runtime of nearly 3 hours including the interval, but this flashes by in a heartbeat. Lead by Tilly Botsford and Megan Burns, with Charlie Woolley, Rory McKeon and a stunning supporting cast of seven, every moment in Mosquitoes feels authentic and delicate. 
Both Burns and Botsford are expertly cast, and the chemistry between them is electric (they play sisters). Every loving moment, every argument invoked tears from the audience, and whilst both actors, individually have some stunning moments and extreme amounts of talent, the play is at its best when these two characters are interacting. 
Charlie Woolley is simply incredible as Luke, and d…

"The Three Sisters" Review - Edinburgh University Theatre Company

Photo credit: Michael Zwiauer
"The Three Sisters" is a hugely ambitious project for an EUTC lunchtime - with a runtime of over 2 hours, and a stage transforming set, this production bears all the marks of a high budget mainterm.

"The Three Sisters" is a hugely personal show, mostly down to the fact that it's a Chekov. This means that some people will love it, some will hate it, and some will be largely indifferent.

I was somewhere between indifferent, and love. This was because I just felt that this is exactly what Bedlam needs, more quirky theatre. The vast majority of shows are modernly written political pieces or comedies, and this production made a nice change, even if some of the creative decisions didn't sit with me too well.

With a huge cast of 14 to go with a huge show, each of them had a moment to shine. Judith Gottesman in particular shone as Masha, along with Patrick Haworth as Alexander, rounded off by an ensemble that managed to steal the scene ev…

"I Am Woman" Review - Edinburgh University Theatre Company

Design Credit: Jasmin Geissen
Bedlam Festival tends to be very hit and miss, with way more misses than hits. This manages to be both, for very good reasons.

As a concept, the play "I Am Woman" is absolutely fantastic: interview women and get their answers to questions including ones such as "what's your favourite thing about being a woman?" and "what song makes you feel empowered?", then dramatising the answers given, as well as the occasional prerecorded interjection from the interviews.

One of my favourite sequences was one of the questions mentioned above, where the actors danced to songs which the interviewees had picked. All five actors lead a song each, and then; they lead another song each. This is where I realised my main problem with the show: there was twice as much of everything as there needed to be. Where a section felt fresh for five minutes, it went on for another five. This show needed to be half an hour long, and if it was it would easi…

Teenage Dream - Katy Perry Lip-Sync (Maddy Chisholm-Scott)

Image: Zoë Neale, Facebook
Whilst I almost always review theatre, sometimes I come across an outstanding piece of art and just have to share my thoughts on it.

In just 1 minute and 25 seconds, which for those less versed in the theatre amongst you, is considerably shorter than your average play, we, the audience, are taken on an emotional journey through the life of Maddy Chisholm-Scott.

What's striking here, is that unlike a lot of biopics, Chisholm-Scott actually plays herself in this short film, adding that level of authenticity you just don't get with less successful similar pieces such as 2018's "Bohemian Rhapsody" or 2019's "Rocketman".

Directed with expertise by Zoë Neale, the use of different aspect ratios in different shots as an overarching commentary on the different lenses that Chisholm-Scott sees life through, are simply breathtaking. The use of slow motion is also powerful, representing how slowly life seemed to move in her early days.


"Into The Woods" Review - Edinburgh University Savoy Opera Group

Design: James Crang

"Into The Woods" is a show that a lot of people love. As per usual, I've barely heard of it so I had no idea what to expect from this production. It can be summed up very easily; first rate, in simply every way.

Into The Woods is helmed by the direction of Sean Vannet, and lead by an extremely strong cast. A big risk of student theatre, is that very often ambitious shows don't have a large enough pool of actors to find someone absolutely perfect for the role, but all actors here were absolutely perfect for their roles. Additionally, it didn't fall into any of the usual pitfalls of student musical theatre, in particular, the acting, singing and dancing levels all seemed to be on one level, a very high one, when quite often the acting or dance can fall behind the vocals.

Whilst every actor has a brilliant moment to shine, some particular standout performances include Julia Weingaertner as the Baker's Wife, and Gordon Stackhouse as Jack. Both o…

"Mary Queen of Scots Got Her Head Chopped Off" Review - Edinburgh University Theatre Company

Design: Murid Laly, Photo: Elise Coward
"Mary Queen of Scots Got Her Head Chopped Off" can be summed up in one word: immersive. From the expectedly stellar acting, to the mind blowing stage design and incredible lighting, Bedlam Theatre was unrecognisable. 
Kirsten Millar drives the entire show more than expertly. Her vocals, both spoken and sung, are captivating, and her comedic timing is perfect. Eilidh Northridge as the titular character is moving, and you really feel sad for her eventual demise, which is, of course, having her head chopped off, which is expertly choreographed on stage. Megan Lambie steals the show in her roles, primarily as Elizabeth I. Both Northridge and Lambie multirole with such convincing motivation, and despite the fact that these characters could easily have been cast separately, the parallels and contrasts created by the multirolling adds to the quirkiness of the show. All 3 leads are perfectly cast, making for a fantastic viewing experience.

"Should Auld Acquaintance Be Forgot" Review - Edinburgh University Theatre Company