Hamelin: The Last Child

Youth Music Theatre Scotland

The Edinburgh Academy

From 06 August 2013 to 10 August 2013

Rating: ***

Review by Robin Strapp

Youth Music Theatre Scotland works with young people from across Scotland who have come together to create a brand new multimedia rock musical with a dynamic live band of talented musicians.

It begins in the town of Hamelin in 1824 where 130 children disappeared from the town, but it also inventively explores the stories of lost children through the ages. It also asks the question of who really is the Pied Piper.

There is much potential in this ambitious production that is unfortunately not fully realised. The music is superb with some strong singing but the acting is patchy with characters not fully developed.

The musical also considers more recent tales of children lost in time. There is a moving poem about the horrific consequences of a death as a result of drink driving and echoes of the millions of young people who were killed in the Holocaust.

It is simply staged with impressive video images. This aspiring production has a large agenda that unfolds in its short 45-minute running time including horrific statistic about the child victims of the war in Africa, child soldiers forced to fight, babies who didn’t survive and children who were lost through car accidents and sex trafficking.

The Piper certainly stole a generation of young people but cleverly we are witness to a vast number of projected pictures of other people who could be classified as Pied Pipers including Hitler, Obama, Baden Powell and raises many unanswered questions of who we should follow.

This worked well as a concert performance and has the promise of being developed into a fully-staged musical.