Eye of the Needle

Malcolm Carlton and Brett Elesmore

IndigoCo

Greenside

From 06 August 2012 to 11 August 2012

Rating: ****

Review by Robin Strapp

IndigoCo return to the Fringe with their spirited musical Eye of A Needle which was first performed in 2008.

Written by Malcolm Carlton and Brett Elesmore the plot concerns the rich heritage of needle making in the company’s home town of Reddich. It’s part documentary with some dramatic storytelling and tells the tale of a needler Sally, strongly played and beautifully sung by Sophie Thompson, who works at Forge Mill.

It’s a hard and dangerous job with life expectancy short. The play is overshadowed by the haunting appearance of a girl dressed in white with flowers in her hair who apparently committed suicide by drowning herself in the river Arrow centuries before.

The play traces generations of the same family in a compelling journey through the years as industrialisation slowly brings in machines to replace the manual workers bringing a degree of safety but at the cost of jobs.

The vibrant musical score under the musical direction of Malcolm Carlton has rousing chorus numbers and some soaring moving ballads with strong individual performances and impressive ensemble work all sung with a passion and commitment from this large cast who have total belief in this rich musical.

The company has certainly embraced the ‘spirit of the Fringe’ and are certainly ambassadors for their hometown.