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Edinburgh Fringe 2012

Wild West End

Paulden Hall Productions

Genre: Musical Theatre


Pleasance Queen Dome


Low Down

A wild witch’s cauldron of wit, fun and song-and-dance, satirizing the music of our time and a well-loved story,


This is a delightful parody of a musical comedy journey.  A young, bewildered lyricist (attractive Laurence Hayes) with writer’s block is besieged by witches, then helped by a determined fairy to meet up with Dorothy  and the Phantom, and later a lion who has escaped from The Lion  and they all set off to see the Lizard.

Sounds familiar? Then you will love this show. If not, this musical revue with a story may not be for you.  But if you have ever whistled Do Re Mi, or fancied a Dreamcoat for Christmas, or especially searched Amazon for a copy of Forbidden Broadway, this is a hilarious laugh-a-minute show, with its witty lyrics by Andrew Doyle and Ed Clarke, hilarious parodies of some of the best loved songs of recent years ("Any Theme will Do!" that still allow us to enjoy the lovely melodies of Arlen or Lloyd Webber being very well sung by this multi talented cast.

It moves from gentle fun (the fairy dust keeps getting into the hero’s eyes) to something darker and more pointed and cruel or raunchy humour perhaps not for the very young. Musical Director Nick Stevenson uses the keyboard with skill and tact, never dominating unless he is summoning up the Phantom’s oran chords as well as other immaculately timed effects.  Thankfully the actors are miked very skilfully so that their tuneful voices are enhanced and the all-important words are clear without any harsh over-amplication, even in he ensemble harmonised choruses.  The show is well staged with easily moved grassy blocks representing the different places on the journey , and with simple but apt choreography the production is moved along at a lively pace by director James MacAndrew.

Delightful Dorothy (Katrina Holloway) is played with charm,vitality and a great voice (though "Over the Rainbow" will never be the same) and Laura Keyes Thomson doubles an amusing fun fairy with attitude, with an adrogenous Lion looking for a second Act.  Greg Ling as the Phantom (camply played but butchly sung) also doubles but it would give the biggest laugh in the show away to tell who with!

The show is a joyful antidote to too many dark Fringe plays and all Musicals enthusiasts should swallow a dose this season, before the seats run out.


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