[title of show]

Hunter Bell and Jeff Bowen

patch of blue theatre

Assembly Checkpoint

From 01 August 2013 to 26 August 2013

Rating: *****

Review by Liam Blain

A clever musical with some of the best vocal harmonies to be found at the Fringe, [Title of Show] is a stunning musical journey. Having opened on Broadway in 2008, it is making it's UK première here in Edinburgh.

Two men, bored of their dead end jobs and lack of excitement, rekindle their love of Broadway and decide to write a musical. They have three weeks in which to write it, cast it and put it on at a festival creating an array of comical hardships and hurdles that have to be solved in the process.

The quick-witted and hilarious script makes you question at every stage whether the dialogue is a reality, a performance or a show within a show as the two guys decide the storyline of the musical will be simply the creation of the production itself, a concept that sounds like it should be extremely confusing but it is pulled off seamlessly by patch of blue theatre.

The two guys, Hunter (Nicky Johnstone) and Jeff (Robbie Towns) are the perfect pairing to front this over-the-top and original production. They bounce off of each other improvising and ad-libbing as they go, creating an extremely welcoming environment that puts the audience at ease, instantly allowing them to enjoy the off-the-wall entertainment even more.

Joining the men on stage are Carley Stenson as Susan and Jamie Lee Pike as Heidi, the two girls who are cast in the show as themselves by their two male friends and counterparts. Both women are superb actresses with Stenson's sharpness and Pike's relatable characterisation really coming to the fore. Their rendition of "Secondary Characters" really shows off their talent and brings the actresses to the foreground of the production.

However, it is as a quartet that this ensemble really holds its own. Their four-part harmonies in every number that they appear in are beyond stunning. There is not one fault in the vocal ability of any member of the cast and it is mesmerising to witness. The chemistry between the full company radiates joy and even the musical director is able to enjoy the limelight at certain moments with some priceless one liners.

[Title of Show] is a slick and stunning production that deserves all the praise available. Under Alex Howarth's direction, patch of blue has created an astounding piece of theatre and where Hunter states part way through the show, "You need to make sure the audience get their money's worth", you will definitely get that and so much more with this production.

[Title of Show] runs until  26 August at Assembly Checkpoint.