Edinburgh Festival FringeEdinburgh Fringe 2019ReviewScotland

Islander: A New Musical – Summerhall Roundabout, Edinburgh

Direction and Concept by Amy Draper

Book by Stewart Melton

Music and Lyrics by Finn Anderson

Reviewer: Dominic Corr

A thin veil attempts to cover the line between reality and folklore; stories had to come from somewhere after all. Staring out into the sea, Eilidh dreams of the mainland, her mother and being away from isolation. When the tide washes up a stranger, who somehow feels familiar, both of their lives change forever.

There’s this rather colloquial term people like to throw around, calling is a: “hidden gem”. Sometimes, just sometimes there is a need to call upon it. It’s a conjuring production, pushing the imagination of the audience to build-upon the folk-inspiring score.

Now, what’s the use of a musical without impressive vocals? I’m positive many would like to answer this. Islander has gorgeous vocals, Bethany Tennick and Kirsty Findlay possessing a uniquely ethereal nature to their voices.

Vaster than just song, the pair utilise their vocals in a unique concoction of sound effects, though on occasion it takes a while to fully set-up. Where productions have pre-recordings of water drips, waves or merriment, Islander takes the bold direction of live recordings on a soundboard. Instilling creativity, it offers an insight into the make-up of these effects, connecting us to the source of these sounds.

As funny as it is heart-warming, Tennick and Findlay understand the levity of the script, offering versatile characterisations. In balance, when Draper requires, the harder hitting moments bring a seriousness to the production. It’s clever writing, highlighting family, community and the environment without hammering the point in.

Islander embodies a sense of community, a richness in understanding Scottish ties to cultural folklore. This new musical has an ancient soul, a comforting story yet a fresh beating heart of talent.

Runs until 25 August 2019 (not Tuesdays) | Image: Contributed

Review Overview

The Reviews Hub Score

A comforting story yet a fresh beating heart of talent.

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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