Edinburgh Fringe 2016
Johnny is caught and needs an escape. He is stuck in the pound and gets to tell the tale of his time in Boney Maroney’s “library”. With the cops trying to bust him, he is only trying to survive but his heart gets stole by the waitress. He gets taken by the whole experience as Lola wins out but the gal gets her man.
This is standard gangster fare that is not lessened by it. We have the gangster, his mutts and the moll. We have the put upon waitress and the dumb schmuck who has fallen in the joint. Before too long you start to talk like them, feel like them and act like them as this tale takes you on a story all too familiar from the silver screen.
STAG make a very decent go of this, though there are a few issues. Firstly the acting is generally of a high standard with some cameo and comic parts that steal the show. The lead is good, Boney is good, the henchmen are fine with Barry in particular having some very decent comic chops. The problem comes with the girls. Lola sings one of her songs beautifully with some great audience interaction. Her voice is very good but there are bits and pieces of unevenness that don’t help her in other parts.
Our waitress who, presumably is the torch song diva that can’t get near the microphone because she does not have Lola’s curves is equally as good as Lola. The problem is, for the show to work she should be better.
The script zings but has a lack of depth which is unfortunate. Many lines and jokes are clunky, telegraphed even. The actors are clearly up to it though and for an amateur group this is not a bad choice.
Props, costumes, light and sound are decently applied and there is no doubt they get us to suspend our disbelief. This is in main due to the unbridled enthusiasm they put into this. Often groups, amateur ones in particular can push too hard, but here there is a care and genuine joy in performing. The ensemble feels ensemble and we get to enjoy them enjoying themselves without feeling they are over indulgent. If there are true divas in the company it is very well hidden.
Overall this was a decent afternoon’s fare and with them on a short run till the 20th scrap hard for a ticket. You won’t be left in the pound afterwards feeling dog tired.