One Musical to Rule Them All at Greenside @ Infirmary Street (Venue 236).
Star rating: five stars ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
From the opening voice-over (Ian McKellen-esque) to the finale, this is everything and more than you’d expect from innovative, creative students with a wicked sense of humour. Overlapping with Portobello Primary School’s representation of the solar system, the laughter is practically non-stop. There is perceptible affection for Lord of the Rings – and reckless abandon in parodying every element of the books and films.
The citizens of Riddle Earth are bored rigid living their lives ruled by health and safety, but nonetheless it takes courage to agree to go on an adventure – memories of ‘Perry and Mippen’ who recently drowned are the dying proof! The hobbits, wizards, elves, witches, dark riders and orcs take part in the subsequent adventures, being assured that in a musical all problems can apparently be solved by singing and dancing.
The casting is totally successful – every performer has the right style, voice, talent and appearance to match the characters. It’s also refreshing to hear authentic Scots voices at the heart of the biggest arts festival in the world. The silent role of ‘The Ring’ is particularly well played – the best clowning I have seen at the Fringe this year.
Script, music, direction, choreography and rudimentary design create this hilarious work that reaches the parts other musicals cannot reach! (Natty one-liners abound, such as: ‘Two Orcs walk into a bar. The hobbit laughs and walks under it.’)
Packed with parody, precision and pinkie promises, this is a precious production. Well done to all – hope this script has a future.