Edinburgh Festival FringeEdinburgh Fringe 2016MusicalReviewScotland

2 by 5: A Musical Review – SpaceTriplex, Edinburgh

Music and Lyrics: John Kander &Fred Ebb

Director: Deborah Mogford

Musical Director: Timm Adams

Reviewer: David Doyle

Kander and Ebb are among the most recognisable names in musical theatre. Having written such shows as Cabaret and Chicago, there are few who dont know them. This sung-through musical review presents a selection of some of their best-known songs as well as some less well known but equally beautiful numbers.

Performed by members of Rockford University, 2 By 5 is an enjoyable, if not revolutionary piece of musical theatre. Under the guidance of musical director Timm Adams, the entire company performs wonderfully. There are some great vocals on display, and there isnt a single song throughout the piece that feels superfluous.

The show uses a lot of choreography throughout including impressive tap routines, however, there are times when the company struggles. These moments disjoint and disrupt the apparent ease of the performance. The presentation of the piece also feels dated. The lack of a strong lighting or set design means that the narrative of pieces is sometimes lost. Given the talent of the performers, a more vibrant production would have further showcased their strengths.

2 By 5 is however, an extremely competent piece of musical theatre. Fans of Kander and Ebb wont be disappointed given the fine performances on display and more casual fans of the genre will recognise some well-known show tunes while also being introduced to some lesser-known songs. This is a charming if slightly undercooked production that offers a good platform for some emerging stars of the American musical theatre scene.

Runs until Tuesday 9 August 2016 (not 8)

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The Reviews Hub - Scotland

The Scotland team is under the editorship of Lauren Humphreys. The Reviews Hub was set up in 2007. We aim to review all professional types of theatre, whether that be Commercial, Repertory or Fringe as well as Comedy, Music, Gigs etc.

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