Stellar performances at the Fringe
18 August 2016
This year, Sixth Form pupils took two productions to the Fringe: the cult-classic musical The Producers and an original play by ON Aidan Parsons entitled Elevated.
The Producers charts the tale of Broadway producer Max Bialystock, played by Rob Ekberry, and meek accountant Leo Bloom, played by Theo Wilson, as they try to defraud the wealthy widows of New York out of two million dollars by staging a sure-fire Broadway flop. The school’s version was directed by ON’s Adam Clayton and Sam Ings assisted by Christopher Williams and Graham Hanlon.
The most stage time belonged to Robert Ekbery, who gave a superb performance as Bialystock. His vocals where powerful and commanding, while he truly got to grips with the smarminess of the character. Opposite him Theo Wilson played Bloom, giving a perfect interpretation of a meek accountant who transforms when he discovers his true passion as a Broadway Producer. The musical centres around finding the worst play ever written. The author of ‘Springtime for Hitler’, Franz Liebkind, was played by Rory Bartram who commanded the audience’s attention and laughter with his stand-out performance, stealing every scene he goose-stepped into. Playing the ultra-effeminate director Roger De Bris, Jonathan Hewitt was deliciously deadpan and successfully got the audience begging him for more. His ‘common law assistant’ Carmen Ghia, played by Finley Hanlon camped it up for all he was worth making the theatre ring with laughter at almost every line.
It must be noted that the school took a 14 strong band with them, defying the norm for musicals in Edinburgh. The talented band, working in very cramped conditions, played superbly every night under the expert leadership of Sebastian Johnson. The cast, crew and band where delighted to have staged a performance which received a 4 star review from the well-known publication and Fringe reviewer Broadway Baby. The show sold out every night and the company has been awarded the prestigious ‘Fringe Sell Out Laurel’ for the second year in a row, and is also waiting to hear if they have been successful in winning their Derek Award nominations for Best Youth Group and Best Female Performance.
Elevated was a new piece of work, written by ON Aidan Parsons, an intense and quite dark play about three work colleagues who come down the lift one day and find themselves not on the ground floor but in the middle of nowhere with nothing around them apart from the elevator itself. Starring Katie Cary, Morgan Corby and Max Mian, this difficult play was successfully staged and saw audience sizes significantly larger than the Fringe average each night, something which is not to be taken lightly as new plays are notoriously difficult to sell to a tough Edinburgh audience.