And once again FCT lift the ENDA for best musical

2008 Jeckyl and Hyde directed by Claire Stewart

2009 Ragtime directed by Andrew Dyer

2010 Guys and Dolls directed by Claire Stewart

What a team.  What a result.  What an acknowledgement of our wonderful young cast and rather less young band and crew.

Well done every last one of you.

Our very first ever Evening News front page story

Is this really the last time?

WPC McBulldog dumped all 70 of us off the back of our float at the end of last Sunday’s Cavalcade, leaving us transportless and facing the long walk back to Bangholm which, in fact Izzy and nine intrepid explorers embarked upon.  The rest of us were left to ponder the demise of a tradition of 30 years where we all travel to Holyrood Park (or Princes Street in the old days) on the back of a 40 ft Artic.

So, for those of you who’ve shared the fun, have one last nostalgic look at Cavalcade 2010 starting at Bangholm as we left our spiritual home and later as we took the second of two wrong routes to the start.

It was a hoot.

Edinburgh Evening News review of Guys and Dolls

By Josie Balfour

Guys and Dolls
Inverleith Church Hall

Nathan Detroit, a sly and mischievous Sean Quinn, has been stepping out with Adelaide for as long as anyone can remember.

Which suits such a man about town right down to the lower ground floor of the Empire State Building. Adelaide, a sumptuous and sublime Rio Brady, however, is a lady with a mother who would not understand. This has placed Miss Adelaide in a very delicate situation, the stress of which has caused an upper respiratory inflammation that cannot be resolved unless a gold ring is placed on the third finger of her left hand.

Behind his beloved’s back and, naturally, that of the law, Nathan has been running a Craps game which has become somewhat complicated by a shortage of cash. Cash that can only be gleaned from one Sky Masterson, a swell yet understated Philip Ryan.

And the only sure way to part Sky and his money is a gamble. Enter the upstanding and abstemious Sarah Brown, an angel faced and voiced Rebecca Gilhooley, the unwitting victim of Detroit’s cunning swindle. Yet all does not go to plan and, via a complicated series of misadventures, the foursome find themselves entangled in a mishap that might end at the alter.

Taking over the church hall at Inverleith this week, these young ruffians and their fellow miscreants are sharing their version of these troubling events nightly. Included in their high-falutin’ family friendly hijinks are some outstanding musical numbers, Sit Down You’re Rockin’ The Boat and Take Back Your Mink perfectly capturing the spirit of Damon Runyon’s New York street hustlers.

Yet not all of their congregation of sinners is as stretched as the main quartet, nor are they challenged by the nature of the project they have embarked upon, having visited this story’s particular neighbourhood before. Straddling uncomfortably that dangerously thin line between school play and the success of their previous productions, Forth Children’s Theatre continually tease the audience with tantalising glimpses of their ability through the veneer of a very conventional account of Runyon’s best known proceedings.

Broadway Baby Review of Guys and Dolls

Guys and Dolls
Inverleith Church Hall

Guys and Dolls is based on the well known Hollywood film and stage musical. The storyline is set in the 1940’s around a couple of gamblers who are involved in the oldest permanent floating craps game in New York City. Nathan Detroit, who is hosting the game, is in desperate need of $1,000 and makes a bet with Sky Masterson that Sky cannot make a particular girl fall for him. Sky bets that whoever it is, he will be able to take her to Havana for dinner the next day. Nathan chooses Sara, who is running the local Mission. Will Sky succeed or will Sara be able to resist his charms? Will Sara manage to find enough sinners to be able to keep her Mission going?

The Forth Children’s Theatre has a long successful history of bringing productions to Edinburgh. Their staging is always spectacular but is significantly different every year as they develop new ways of using Inverleith Church Hall. For Jekyll & Hyde the stage was placed at the end of the hall. Last year, for Ragtime, it was in the middle but for Guys And Dolls it’s set along the length of the hall. This has the effect of making it more intimate; nobody is more than a few rows from the stage. But it also allows the action to move from side to side as well as backwards and forwards. At times there are multiple scenes taking place at once.

The production moves along very quickly, with barely a pause for breath. It’s quite long, at over two and a half hours including an interval, but it never drags for a moment.

The age range of the children in the company means that some of the performers are fully grown while others are still very small. The quality of the acting is so high that this makes no difference at all.

Singing and dancing are excellent throughout, particularly in some of the large ensemble numbers which made full use of the large stage, such as ‘Luck Be A Lady Tonight’ and ‘Sit Down You’re Rocking The Boat’.

Definitely not to be missed.

We’re off and running

The show kicked off on Friday night to standing ovations.  A full house on Saturday afternoon and a remarkable one off performance by understudy to Rebecca Gilhooley, Rebecca Clarke playing Sarah.

Audiences are raving about the show and tomorrow night (Tuesday 10th)  the show’s review by Josie Balfour will appear in the Evening News.

What’s more the ENDA’s judges have been in and one enjoyed it so much they’re coming back again.

This year the ENDAs are a little different.  The public get to vote for their favourite show,  so please do your bit and pick up a voucher in the Evening News and cast your vote.

And if FCT is not enough for you on its own you can choose from a wide range of other shows on the Fringe featuring our alumni.

All this week, straight after Guys and Dolls you can enjoy Andrew Dyer’s A little Late Night Music from 10.30 to Midnight at Inverleith Church Hall.

Random ACT (Musically directed by our very own Neil Somerville who helped us with Guys and Dolls) put on Stephen Sondheim’s “Putting it Together” from 9 – 15 August at 22:50 at Augustine’s venue 152 and from 17 – 22, 24 – 30 August at 23:40.

Or there’s SpiltMilk’s Under Milk Wood starring our very own Becky Martin (now acting under the name of Evelyn Adams) from 11th-15th August at 10pm – Symposium Hall (across the road from Festival Theatre, new development behind Surgeons Hall).  Here’s a wee taster of that one for you…