Stack – Edinburgh Festival Fringe – Bedlam Theatre

2016STACK_BDStack at Bedlam Theatre (Venue 49), 7-15, 17-28 August.

Star rating: four stars ★ ★ ★ ★ ✩

Billed as ‘A very silly musical play’, perhaps more than a little self deprecating. True – it’s silly, but proper laugh-out-loud silliness – a Boy’s Own Adventure updated to the world of today. It’s a brilliant meeting of talent and form, creating something greater than either part could manage alone.

Our hero is Stackard Banks – an explorer on the brink of a new Amazonian adventure. Naturally, he needs a guide in the rainforest and who better than Sting? (Yes – that one). A sequence of hilarious and often fatal events are set in motion as we follow Stack into the rainforest. If Bear Grylls could sing – and act – he would BE Stackard Banks.

Ed MacArthur’s Stack is engaging and likeable – adding to his heroic credentials as explorer and documentary-maker extraordinaire. In this improbable tale, Annie McGrath is a perfect foil for MacArthur as the plot unfolds with bang-on comedic timing. The direction is nimble and includes the audience to a fair degree, but in a ‘good way’.

The music and songs (also composed by MacArthur) are perfectly matched in this delicious romp. Witty and at turns unpredictable, this is a well-rehearsed piece of sheer entertainment, oozing charisma. Oh – and SFX to kill for…

Fiona Orr

Dugout Theatre

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