Edinburgh Festival FringeEdinburgh Fringe 2016MusicalReviewScotland

Promise and Promiscuity: A New Musical – Assembly George Square Studios, Edinburgh

Writer: Penny Ashton &Robbie Ellis

Reviewer:Mel Duncan

‘A man in possession of good fortune, well, wants to keep it’

Penny Ashton presents a more worldly view through the eyes of Jane Austen in this hilarious hour long gallop based on the infamous novels.

We join Miss Elspeth Slowtree and a bevy of her family and general acquaintance as they navigate a tricky social world, whose steps are as complex as dancing the ‘wriggly maggot’. Marriage proposals, the role of the woman in society, and Horatio’s bodily functions are all pivotal to the unravelling of this plot.

Not one, but three and 30 direct Jane Austen quotes make their way into the work, and countless modern pop songs are referenced throughout – alongside many near the knuckle references which would initiate swooning in polite society. Ballads, arias, and jaunty marches written to well known classical works are the icing on the cake. Carefully written tongue in cheek dialogue such as this is a difficult thing to master, Ashton and fellow writer Robbie Ellis bring a script designed to keep the audience constantly on their toes, and thinking quickly.

Ashton is a wonderful whirling dervish – seamlessly segueing between at least eight characters, weaving a wonderful yarn and spellbinding her audience. Following the story is made simple by Ashton, each of her characters are wonderfully larger than life, have distinguishable manners and features, and she never deviates or steps out of them.

The intimate venue is perfect for this one woman show – the audience feels drawn into, and a part of the Slowtree family’s world. Audience interaction is expertly used to foster this feeling, and the warmth radiated by Ashton, and reciprocated by audience members upon exiting the performance was genuine – this was so much more than a mere performance.

Runs until 29 August 2016


Review Overview

The Reviews Hub Score

50 Shades of Austen

User Rating: 4.16 ( 5 votes)

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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