Browse reviews

Edinburgh Fringe 2022

Living With Sin

Cambridge University Musical Theatre Society

Genre: Musical Theatre

Venue: theSpace @ Surgeon's Hall


Low Down

The musical asks the question, are the Seven Deadly Sins actually deadly or a beacon for a new path?


Cece is mourning the loss of her grandmother, without whom she has lost her sense of purpose.  She has inherited her grandmother’s home at the tender age of 25. How will she handle the responsibility? Should she succumb to the pressure from a solicitor to sell the house?  How does she deal with societal expectations on young women to marry and bear children? What new directions will she explore?  What is her potential and how can she achieve it?  These questions and more are tackled in the new musical by the Cambridge University Musical Theatre Society, the organization that produced the now hit West End and Broadway musical “Six”, along with notable alumni Douglas Adams, John Cleese, Prince Edward, Tim Brooke-Taylor, Andy Hamilton and Graeme Garden.

The show opens after Grandma’s funeral.  The Seven Deadly Sins knew Grandma, and arrive to plot a strategy to guide Cece.  Adorned in glam costumes, these muses portray each of the sins, trying to tempt Cece through song.  They work to convince her that they can be a positive force for change in her life. Each of the songs in the show drive Cece along to the next stage of acceptance and change.  Cece needs to figure out what it is that she actively wants.  The Sins talk about the “good old days,” patronize her, and seem sympathetic and comforting, all to gain her trust.  They talk to her about finance and future.  They reassure her that she will be able to handle whatever is handed to her. The show finishes with Cece singing “Enough”, an anthem to her independence.

The score is well orchestrated.  The songs are well-written for each character but there are no take-away memorable songs from the book.  The production numbers are quite entertaining.  The ensemble singing is strong and really carries the show.  The individual singing is uneven, with some more in tune than others and some voices stronger than others.  Sometimes a song is belted out rather than finessed.  The difference comes with coaching and experience.  The show would improve with a strong vocal coach.

The Seven Deadly Sin actors portray their parts with great energy and vigor. The cast includes Lauren Lopez (Cece), Jaden Tsui (Pride), Lydia Clay-White (Eadie/Greed), Tom Hayes (Rafe/Wrath), Tabitha Tucker (Emmy/Envy), Louella Lucas (Lex/Lust), Ashley Cooper (Gee/Gluttony), and Hebe Church (Soph/Sloth). The creative team includes Ilona Sell (Director), Janie Dickerson (Producer), Jemma Starling (Music Director), Alex Radford (Marketing Director), Ramisa Hassan (Costume Designer), Cody Knight (Technical Director). Also on the team are Manon Harvey (Asst. Director), Gabriel Margolis and Drew Sellis (Asst. Music Directors), Ffion Godwin (Asst. Choreographer), and Kate Caspari (Asst. Producer).

The show concept is very clever and thought-provoking. Are the sins actually deadly or can they be used as catalyst for change?  How do we responsibly handle change in time of grief?  The show is a clever twist on where we go after death.  Make it a fun afternoon at The Fringe and go experience the show to decide for yourself which of the Deadly Sins would entice you.