Dirty Rotten Scoundrels

Jeffrey Lane and David Yazbek
Royal Conservatoire Of Scotland
Assembly Hall
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The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland consistently produces high quality musical theatre and returns year on year to the Edinburgh Fringe with both inventive new musicals and their main house production, which this year is Dirty Rotten Scoundrels by Jeffrey Lane and David Yazbek.

It’s an ambitious undertaking with exceedingly high production standards based on the 1988 film that starred Steve Martin, Michael Caine and Glenne Headly.

It is set in the glamorous world of the rich and famous on the French Riviera where two con artists play on their unsuspecting female victims to swindle them out of their money.

Derek Dishington is outstanding as the highly successful, suave con man Lawrence Jameson, who gives a masterclass in his ability to convince his unsuspecting victims to part with their money.

When the brash and much younger con man Freddy Benson arrives—an impressive wonderfully comic performance from Jacob Bedford—all is about to change.

The student wants to learn from the master to craft his techniques and an unusual partnership is established as the duo decide on their next victim. The chemistry between these two is palpable and electric as they test each other out.

They arrange a competition to swindle $50,000 from an unsuspecting heiress, the awkward American Soap Queen Christine Colgate, perfectly captured by Sorrel Brown, with the loser leaving town.

Donny Krow is the upright French Inspector Andre who eventually abandons his official demeanour in a hilarious seduction scene.

The excellent ensemble sing and dance with aplomb with slick choreography by Lainie Baird. Dougie Irvine’s direction is sharp and dazzling and the band under musical directors Audra Cramer and Chris Poon are spot on.

The twist at the end had the audience gasp in surprise. This production, running at two and a half hours, is an absolute joy.

Robin Strapp