Writer: Dougal Irvine
Director: Sally Rapier
Reviewer: Deborah Klayman
The Public Reviews Rating:
Four years after it premiered at the Edinburgh Fringe, Dougal Irvine’s coming of age musical seems to be as popular as ever. Anyone who has ever travelled with Ryanair and been delayed knows the tedium of the bleak waiting areas, but with a strong cast and catchy songs Departure Lounge will keep you entertained for the duration. Although the subject matter is far from groundbreaking – four friends recounting tales of their boozy boys week in Malaga – the relationships are nicely drawn and the performances slick and assured.
While on their holiday the boys encountered Sophie (Hayley Hampson), a Liverpool lass who likes to have a good time, but were so drunk they struggle to remember the events of the past few days. Each of the boys has something he is keeping from the others, and in flashbacks their interactions with Sophie begin to fill in the blanks and reveal some of the secrets underpinning the story.
Arranged for just two guitars the music is surprisingly diverse, with many of the numbers in very different styles. The performers’ voices gel together well and their harmonies are spot on, while each brings an exuberant physicality to the piece, working in laddish play-fighting and splendid slapstick. Michael Fletcher gives a particularly memorable performance as Pete – effortlessly transitioning from comedy to vulnerability, his rendition of “Picture Book” was heartfelt and genuinely moving. Jamie Barnard (Jordan) showcases the top of his range in the ensemble numbers and Hampson’s solo number was a true delight. Bright, energetic and thoughtful this is a musical that is bound to take off.
Photo John Garfield-Roberts
Until 19th August.
Edinburgh Fringe: Departure Lounge – Paradise in Augustine’s,
Tags: 2012, Departure Lounge, Dougal Irvine, Edinburgh Fringe, Glenn Adamson, Hayley Hampson, Jamie Barnard, Joshua Meredith, Michael Fletcher, Musical Theatre, Paradise in Augustines, Richard Reeday, Sally Rapier