Cruel Intentions: The Musical, Edinburgh Festival Fringe

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by Meredith Jones Russell

Does the world need a musical version of 1999 American teen flick Cruel Intentions? Probably not, but by God it’s entertaining.

Packing out the Underbelly’s Palais du Variete, this is closer to rock concert than musical. The mainly millennial audience is practically word perfect on both the script, which has been cut for length but otherwise largely unaltered from the screenplay, and the ‘00s hits that are peppered through the plot, often with the flimsiest justification.

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F. Off, Edinburgh Festival Fringe

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by Meredith Jones Russell

Is what we like more important than what we believe? This is the question posed by a National Youth Theatre (NYT) company bubbling with enthusiasm, excitement and talent.

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Scream Phone, Edinburgh Festival Fringe

Image result for scream phone, swipe right theatreby Meredith Jones Russell

If you weren’t lucky enough to have spent your formative years playing the ‘90s Hasbro wonder that was DreamPhone, it might be worth having a quick Google before you see the show. There’s still more than enough to enjoy if you don’t, but there are some wickedly funny references that make this musical horror spoof even better for the initiated.

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River in the Sky, Hope Theatre

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By Laura Kressly

Waves quietly break along the beach outside a remote holiday home. A woman drinks Earl Gray, eats biscuits and mourns her infant son. Her husband checks on her regularly, but within the icy sea of debilitating grief, they’ve lost the ability to communicate other than through fantastical stories of mythical creatures. Time all but stops in this sparsely-written series of snapshots depicting a couple trying their best to piece their lives together after a tragedy.

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I Wish My Life Were Like a Musical, Edinburgh Festival Fringe

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by Meredith Jones Russell

Would life really be better if it were a musical? Alexander S. Bermange’s revue show suggests it’s not all lipstick grins and audience adulation. Featuring four performers and Bermange himself on piano, the show tells their story as struggling artists, going from drama school dreams to the disappointing reality of auditions, understudying, second jobs, debilitating dance routines, low pay and backstage backstabbing.

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How to Save a Rock, Edinburgh Festival Fringe

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By Meredith Jones Russell

An earnest entreaty to save our planet, How to Save a Rock is a hugely well-intentioned and charming play which just slightly runs out of steam. It’s packed full of other forms of energy, however, as the whole show claims to be carbon neutral, powered by an on-stage bike and solar power.

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