Pippin for FCT

August 1, 2017 | By | Reply More

FCT bring Tony award smash to #EdFringe 2017

With a slew of four and five star reviews under its belt, Forth Children’s Theatre is stepping out into somewhat new territory this fringe with a production of Pippin.

Despite two smash hit runs on Broadway 40 years apart and the fact that the show’s lyrics and music are from Steven Schwartz – the man behind both Godspell and Wicked – Pippin is one of the less well known modern musicals.

Pippin cast members Gracie Briggs, Moray McConnachie, Helen Hunter, Frankie Cusack and Harmony Rose-Bremner. Pic Mark Gorman

Which is surprising, as Pippin made Tony Award history during its 2013 revival when Patina Miller won Best Actress in a Musical for her turn as the Leading Player. Back in the original 1972 production, Ben Vereen had won Best Actor in a Musical for his turn in the same role.

Musicals buffs will thrill at the idea that this is the only role to date for which a Tony has been won by both a male and a female performer. But for those who simply like a great show, this signals that Swartz must have been doing something right, despite Roger O. Hirson’s somewhat convoluted book.

The musical uses the construct of a troupe of travelling players to tell the story of Pippin, the son of an eighth century emperor, King Charlemagne the Great.

The young prince longs to discover the secret of true happiness and fulfilment. He seeks it in the glories of the battlefield, the temptations of life and the intrigues of political power – after disposing of his father. But finds it, ultimately, in the simple pleasures of home and family.

flexibility

The FCT production will be directed by Hayley Scott. Musical direction will be by Gus Harrower, who was winner of Scotland Rocks, and Natasha Rose is on choreographic duties.

Some of the cast for FCT’s Pippin. Pic: Mark Gorman.

Scott told Æ: “We chose the show primarily because of the music. I knew a couple of the songs and after listening to the whole soundtrack myself, Gus and Natasha looked into the story and decided it was the one for us!

“We liked how there are so many different elements to it – in both the story and the music. It gave us a lot of flexibility to be as creative as possible.”

A lot of that creativity will no doubt go into the presentation and machinations of the all-powerful Leading Player, the character behind those two Tony wins. At one point the Player brings Charlemagne back to life when Pippin regrets his actions in killing his father.

“Parts of it are challenging,” Scott concedes. “We’re staging ours in quite a different way physically and have taken some inspiration from the 2013 broadway revival.

“It tackles some mature issues as well, so that is another thing that can be slightly difficult because we’re a children’s company. We’ve toned some numbers down so that they’re still true to the script without being too much.”

creative team

The creative team of Scott, Harrower and Rose will be recognised by fans of FCT as they have all been performing members of the company for several years. However, for Scott in particular, this year marks something of a step up.

“This is my first time directing by myself,” she says. “I helped out with FCT’s last Fringe show but this is my first time on my own. Although it doesn’t really feel that way at all because the team behind the show are amazing.

“The cast are great too. It’s a lot of work but the support at FCT is second to none so if anything is ever difficult there’s always someone on hand with tons of experience to help out. It’s been a fantastic opportunity!”

Listing and Links

Pippin
Edinburgh Tabernacle, 41-43 Inverleith Gardens, EH3 5PR (Venue 120)
Friday 4 to Saturday 12 August 2017
Evenings, Mon – Sat 7.30pm; Matinees, Sats: 2.30pm.
Tickets from the #EdFringe website: https://tickets.edfringe.com/whats-on/pippin.
Ticket booking line: 07794 144 372.

FCT on Facebook: ForthChildrensTheatre
FCT website: https://forthchildrenstheatre.wordpress.com

ENDS

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