Music: William Finn
Book: Rachel Sheinkin
Director: Alex Howarth & Caroline McCaffrey
Reviewer: John Roberts
The Public Reviews Rating:
Setting a musical amongst the fierce competition of American spelling bee’s, is perhaps one of the most original ideas in musical theatre, however all the themes you would normally find in a more traditional setting can be found in William Finn’s fantastic musical; love, hatred and conflict are all present and here delivered with comedic panache and energy by the Patch of Blue Theatre company.
Under the strong directorship of Alex Howarth and Caroline McCaffrey 25th Annual is brought vividly to life thanks to an extremely talented young cast, drawn from all corners of the UK, in the lead role of Olive Ostrovsky, Ellie Mason shines with quiet dignity that is so heartwarming to watch, Ross Cobald is equally engaging as Leaf Coneybear and Janette McManus is a delight as speech impaired Logainne Schwartzandgrubenierre, but it is the performance of Tom Mackley that steals the show as quirky know it all William Barfee or is that Barfey?
Patch of Blue Theatre’s production isn’t perfect though, the final 20minutes lack the level of attention both in its stage craft and also the vocal precision seen in he first hour but this is nothing a morning in rehearsals couldn’t easily fix.
25th Annual is an engaging production by a company that are clearly incredibly talented, and deserves the success and appreciation garnered from the capacity audience enjoying every minute.
Runs until 27th August
Edinburgh Fringe : The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee - C Venues,
Tags: Alex Howarth, C Venues, Caroline McCaffrey, Edinburgh, Edinburgh Fringe, Ellie Mason, Fri he, Janette McManus, Musical, Ross Cobald, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, Tom Mackley, William Finn