Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Seriously

On Sunday evening, Ian and I went into Edinburgh to see Seriously. Pet Shop Boys. Reinterpreted.  What a wonderful way to be broken in to Edinburgh's 2007 Fringe Festival.

Wonderful, yes, though queueing in the rain, the performance starting almost half an hour late, I wasn't feeling too wonderful, it must be said at curtain up.  Although there wasn't actually a curtain.

Fringe productions almost always run to time, the whole event being such a tight ship, so waiting half an hour for Seriously to start was like waiting five hours for a cold starter in a five star restaurant.

I felt a tad scared as I took my seat at a front row table (just like dinner theatre!) and wondered how dampened the crowd's ardour would be.  Quite damp.  Almost soggy.

But once things actually got going, wet jackets and the smell of damp dog were totally forgotten.

I'd once thought calling this piece of, let's face it, musical theatre, well, might be slightly pretentious, as if the songs were not serious but made serious by their reworkings.  No.  Not the case.  More that the seriousness of the songs are exposed thanks to the stripping back of the HiNRG and revealing the hurts, the jealousy, the sadness, the euphoria and all the other extreme emotions which make up our lives.

A story is told through the piece, yes, though nothing contrived or as ridiculous as the stories concocted for Mama Mia! and We Will Rock You.  Indeed, no words are spoken, the audience being shown aspects of life, of the characters lives, through music and lyrics.  A boy falls in love with a man, his Mother's losing her husband to another woman...

How are they going to get through?

Who'd have thought that Flamboyant could become a classy swing/jazz number?  Who'd have thought that a medley of Left to my own devices and A red letter day could become something of a torch song or that another medley, this time Love comes quickly and Miracles might bring a tear to ones eye or make the hairs on the back of ones neck stand up on end?

The piece was amazing, though just short of perfect, all thanks to technical hitches and us punters having to wait in three disorganised queues - almost chaos.

Michael Howard Smith's mic kept crackling and crashing out.  He then came back on stage with a bulkier, clumsier and more obvious piece of electronics.  Quite aptly, he then began to sing The survivors.

I hope Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe get to see it themselves soon.  They should.  It's fucking brilliant.

9.5/10

14 comments:

Brian said...

Did you have to take a jab at Mamma Mia?

gab said...

sounds good

Billy said...

How I miss good 'dinner theatre' here in Africa...

Conortje said...

Sounds great - Hmmm I wonder what are the chances of it ever coming to cloggyland.

Minge said...

My only dig at Mama Mia is that the story is so obviously contrived. It's the only negative thing I have to say about the piece. The rest of the show makes up for it in spades. I adore Mama Mia!

Minge said...

It was good, Gab. If I wasn't broke just now, I'd be going again. Hey, Gab, you should come up here for the festival one year. You'd love it.

Minge said...

Billy, take dinner theatre to Africa!

Minge said...

Conortje, I've heard whispers that the company are looking to tour Europe but have not yet stumbled upon the perfect circumstances. Keep your fingers crossed and your eyes peeled.

Eurgh.

I don't know why I just said that about your eyes. It's a vile expression in a literal sense.

Sorry. I'm waffling now.

Bill S. said...

Sounds awesome! I'm jealous.

Old Cheeser said...

That sounds really interesting. I love the PSB's music (although they kind of lost their edge with the more recent stuff). I would love to see it - do you know if it's coming to London?

I did see "Mama Mia" ages ago - it was fun but I know what you mean about the contrived thing.

Minge said...

Don't be jealous, Bill! Come over and see it!

Minge said...

I have hear rumours, OC, on the forums, that it's going to tour and that it will certainly include London - though there are caveats. The words right and circumstances keep cropping up.

I wish them every success, though. The Fringe is often a springboard for bigger and greater things.

Old Cheeser said...

Thanks for that Minge. If the show's as good as it sounds it would be a positive crime if it doesn't even come to London, fringe or not! You're right, it could lead to other things...many of our great entertainers started in humble circumstances...

Enda P said...

Nice review, and it's made me glad I bought tickets for squeeze and I Monday week (please please please don't let it be cancelled before then!).

And you got bigged up in the PSB fan forum http://www.petshopboys-forum.com/viewtopic.php?t=17062&postdays=0&postorder=asc&start=15