High school teacher and optimistic dreamer Jake Jonathan envisions a gold-vested phalanx of unstoppable musical talent, but instead is faced with a motley group of high school misfits, including a couple of air-headed cheerleaders, a jock, a talented wallflower and a hyper-competitive soloist.

Sound familiar? This is not some second-rate rehashing of Glee, though you may be forgiven for thinking so at first glance. One Academy Productions, otherwise known as the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama, have continued their reputation for excellence in this barnstorming new production from writers Donald Gaverick and Marck McDaniels.

Devin Herbert as Jake is a likable lead who just can’t help but infect others with his “sense of pizazz,” and Andrew Sutherland is all polished, shifty charm and American cheese as the trust-him-or-not agent to the stars Rich Cantore. The choreography is sharp, the singing is marvellous and the laughs come thick and fast. One Academy have done it again.

So it’s no surprise then that their second show, Wasted Love, is also a joyous, wonderful exhibit of musical and acting talent. Taking the form of a support group for victims of bad relationships, each member has to share their latest heartbreak “in four-part harmony”, demands group leader Gavin.

Written by brothers John and Gerry Kielty (perhaps better known as the lads behind Greyfriars Twisted Tales), this new musical doesn’t take itself too seriously. With great lines like: “I had you captured but somehow you wriggled free”, and fun, naughty songs like Your Sweet Ass the cast has a visibly good time with the excellent singing material. There’s the guy who prefers to follow women around and root through their rubbish to actually talking to them, and the unabashedly predatory fellow who prefers his girlfriends to have terminal illnesses. These are some characters who could border on the vile, but come across as hilariously, likeable off-centre instead.

There are some very exciting performances and the whole ensemble has a connected, rhythmic kineticism, made all the more astonishing by the fact that on the day of viewing a cast member was unable to sing due to laryngitis and had her songs cut. The fact everybody pulled together and it looked and felt and sounded as if nothing was amiss is a credit to the performers and director.

Wasted Love is a sing-along, clap-along, laugh-along show, and it’s another triumphant performance from One Academy.

A completely different key to the cheery, choreographed antics of the above is the dark, menacing, and gore-soaked bedroom/abattoir that greets us in Cambridge University Opera Society’s creepy duo Bonesong/Unknown Position.

A rib cage hangs from a butcher’s hook as a woman is murdered in her sleep. There is a detailed discussion about sausages, and a formerly demure woman drenches herself in blood. It’s very, very dark, and very, very strange. The music, performed onstage by a shadowy orchestra, is incredibly atmospheric as violins shrilly cry, drums roll and clarinets wail to the sinister acts in front of them. A domestic dispute involving an automated grocery check-out escalates into a realisation of a love of inanimate objects in the second of these, Unknown Position. This, a bit less gory but no less bizarre than Bonesong, has the same haunting melodies and ringing voices, but it’s so strange that it was difficult to feel any connection to the performance, apart from goggling at it uncomprehendingly.

Show Choir: The Musical until August 29, Wasted Love until August 28. The run of Bonesong/Unknown Position has ended.