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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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…