The Addams Family
Celebrating a decade of musical theatre performance at the Fringe, The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland has really produced the goods with its darkly gothic and crisply funny production of The Addams Family.
As is often the case with RCS shows (and with only five males out of the 19 performers), many of the female roles are dual cast: Kristel Harder was a sensuously aloof Morticia Addams, while Sarah Haddath wowed in the plot-pivotal role of Wednesday.
Hannah Howie's portrayal of uptight Ohio housewife Alice Beineke was most impressive during The Game in the first half and her "full disclosure" an absolute hoot.
Gomez Addams was embodied by Martin Murphy, whose singing was matched by his expert Tango moves; Andrew Perry as Uncle Fester not only provided self-referential narrative nods but also helped create one of the most memorable Busby Berkeley-esque dance sequences with his love song to the moon.
A live band, under the rotating musical direction of Zach Flis and Joanne Ho, was a treat, with Aaron McGregor's violin playing deserving special mention. Vocally, the chorus of Addams Ancestors was capable of raising the dead, savouring every note of Andrew Lippa's macabre music and relishing every wickedly delicious lyric.
The Girl Who
Assembly George Square Gardens
As someone who grew up with Choose Your Own Adventure storybooks, the premise of this Royal Conservatoire of Scotland show was very tempting: from the outset the audience is in charge of the fate of central character Anna, and subsequently the plot of the show may well change every day of its run.
The idea of Scott Gilmour and Claire McKenzie (creators of last year's RCS Fringe shows Forest Boy and Freak Show) this "multi-path" musical combines original music and interactive storytelling within the appealing Spiegeltent Palazzo, as audience members are given a map on arrival, while facing a life or death decision before they even take their seats.
Perhaps more investment was needed in Anna (played by stunning Neshla Caplan) for even greater engagement, but the fast-paced, romping yarn is likely to delight children, even if it is a little dark at times. Andrew Panton's direction was most memorable in the shattered mirror sequence, while the ingenuity of the Screwtape character was a master stroke of design by Richard Evans.
The stand-out vocal performances came from Bethany Xan Jeffery as the Matchmaker and Thomas Putman as Axel Heavenshot. Roll the dice, take a chance, and see which show unfolds.