Kickass Divas, Edinburgh Festival Fringe

by Romy Foster

This new musical showcases the lives of five fabulous, historical women through the framework of two young people experiencing an interactive museum. The show is filled with catchy, original numbers and engaging choreography with prominent musical motifs that thread through the performance.

Overall, the piece seems under-rehearsed and some characters are more cemented than others. There is still real potential to it, though. It could definitely be more engaging with stronger musical direction to strengthen the actors’ voices. The choral singing is great but individually, some performances lack luster and confidence.

Shining through are the performances of Florence Nightingale and Amelia Earhart. Their songs are vibrant, well-sung and the character choices are very clear. Their determination shines through and it is evident they put in extensive effort in both the rehearsal room and their own time. However, it’s unfortunate that there are no diverse characters actually in this show. They are only referenced briefly in a song. If the musical is expanded, this is definitely something that needs to be addressed.

The ages of the two youngsters are also unclear. At times, they seem very adolescent, referencing
homework and school, but then they contradict this when they switched topics to drinking and clubbing. Aside from this, they are bubbly, outgoing and provided nice moments of humour throughout.

The story and the setting is certainly exciting and encouraging for young women. There is a need for more shows like this that put a fun twist on history that has too long been overlooked. The themes of perseverance, womanhood and strength are necessary, and the character arc from disinterested young girls to empowered young women is a nice touch that ends on a power ballad about women changing the world.

Ultimately, this is a promising new musical that needs a commitment to diversity, more characterisation and refining, but with the right work, the future looks bright for this home-grown musical.

Kickass Divas runs through 20 August.

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