Xmas Fest Moves West

September 20, 2016 | By | Reply More

Five Guys take Festival Square

A new production of Five Guys Named Moe will be the cornerstone of 2016’s Edinburgh’s Christmas stage entertainment, as the event moves its main stage to Festival Square on Lothian Road.

The show’s director, Paulette Randall, told Æ that it has “finally found its home” as it takes up the main slot in the 700 seat Spiegeltent which forms the pop-up Festival Square theatre.

Five Guys Named Moe with Santa Clause on keys. Photo: Duncan McGlynn

Five Guys Named Moe with Santa Clause on keys. Photo: Duncan McGlynn

The Louis Jordan musical will open on November 18, running through to January 7. It will be joined in the tent by magicians Morgan & West from December 1, who will be staging a new show: A (sort of) Christmas Carol Magic Show, aimed at younger audiences.

People living in Edinburgh will be eligible to a 20% discount on all tickets bought for the different Edinburgh’s Christmas shows, rides and events.

The oval skating rink remains in St Andrew Square, where operations appear to have been scaled back with the loss of the Spiegeltent and Scottish Market. East Princes Street Gardens will continue to host the rides, market and Santa’s Grotto complex with train and Christmas tree maze.

Last year’s big hit, the Street of Light, returns for 2016 – but moves from the High Street down to the New Town and the west end of George Street, which will also be the setting for the Scottish Market, previously in St Andrew Square.

Christmas on Stage

The move of all stage operations to Festival Square will allow Edinburgh’s Christmas to coordinate its ticketing operations with the Lyceum which is staging Alice in Wonderland, the Traverse with Black Beauty and Last Christmas, and the Usher Hall.

The Moes and Nomax get a selfie with Father Christmas. Photo: Duncan McGlynn

The Moes and Nomax get a selfie with Father Christmas. Photo: Duncan McGlynn

Five Guys Named Moe premiered in 1990 in Stratford East and transferred to London’s West End, winning that year’s Olivier for Best Entertainment. It was written by Clarke Peters, of The Wire fame – he played veteran detective Lester Freamon.

Using Louis Jordan‘s songs, from Choo Choo Ch’Boogie to Saturday Night Fish Fry, it tells of Nomax, who has upset his girlfriend one too many times and finds himself in a rented room drowning his sorrows to the songs of Louis Jordan. He finds solace with the Five Guys Named Moe, who emerge from the record player to rouse him from his misfortunes.

Co-producers Underbelly first staged the show at the fringe in 2010, when it sold out the McEwan Hall, with Peters playing Nomax. Director Paulette Randall returns to the show for this production and told Æ that it will be very different this time.

“For a start it is in a tent,” she said, “and I think it has finally found its home. The kind of show that Clark Peters imagined 20 years ago was kind of hindered by being stuck behind a proscenium arch. It burst through it, but I still think this is going to be even more free flowing and immersive which is really what he was looking for, I think.”

all about he singing and dancing

Although the producers from Underbelly are being tight-lipped about the staging, the seating plan shows that the seating areas will be placed in between – and in some cases surrounded by – the performance areas.

Spiegeltent seating areas

Spiegeltent seating areas

This is a show which is all about he singing and dancing, rather than relying on big visual effects. And as Randall adds, it is about people and the things which happen on their journey through the show. There are a lot of laughs, but it is also, she says, a very suitable production for the Christmas period.

“Christmas is about love and christmas is about family coming together, what ever your definition of family is,” she says.

“In a way, the Five Guys are a family that come and adopt Nomax and take him on a journey to make him a better person. So it is not too far removed, in a way, from Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, done in a different more obviously light-hearted way.

“But I think the message is still there. It is about love; it is about how, if you really do love, then you have to show the people you love, that you love them.”

Listings

Five Guys Named Moe
Festival Square Theatre, Festival Square, Lothian Road.
Friday 18 November 2016 – Saturday 7 January 2017.
Evenings (not Sun or Sat 24 Dec): 7.30pm; Matinee Thurs & Sat: 4pm.
Tickets and details on Edinburgh Christmas website: www.edinburghschristmas.com

Morgan & West: A (sort of) Christmas Carol Magic Show!
Festival Square Theatre, Festival Square, Lothian Road.
Thursday 1 December 2016 – Saturday 7 January 2017.
Daily, not Mon (except Mon 2 Jan) or Sun 4 & 25 Dec, Sun 1 Jan.
Mornings: 11am (not Fri); Fri Afternoons: 3.30pm.
Extra performances 1.30pm at weekends.
Tickets and details on Edinburgh Christmas website: www.edinburghschristmas.com

ENDS

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